About Us


Praise for "The Ride"!

"Modern alternative experimentation with rebellious, relateable rock and roll. Certainly, The Ride exemplifies its name, leading the listener on an emotionally driven rollercoaster of sound." - JORDAN HENRIE (Ennui Magazine)

"At first listen... feels cozy like a favorite sweater that will still be worn long after its ragged." - JOHN SIEVERS (507 Magazine)


Our Story

WINTERSTATE is an alternative rock duo co-founded in 2015 in Valencia, Spain by Berklee College of Music alumni Kelvin Killmon and Alexander Ortberg. 

Alexander Ortberg and Kelvin Killmon grew up in Minnesota - almost close enough to share an area code - but they were destined to cross paths 4,500 miles from home under the sun-bleached palm trees at Berklee College of Music in Valencia, Spain. The two became close friends while pursuing their Master’s degrees in performance and production, and began working on original songs together.

When the pair graduated in 2016, Alex returned to Minnesota while Kelvin moved to Seattle, but their musical collaboration has continued to flourish. Connected by interstate 90, they chose the name WINTERSTATE as a reference to their long-distance work relationship and the icy climates of Minnesota and northern Washington. Their debut album “The Ride” was recorded simultaneously in both locations - with musical ideas being developed and traded back and forth over the Internet. 

WINTERSTATE will be touring the Midwest and Pacific Coast with a rotating lineup of guest musicians in 2019 to promote the release of  “The Ride”!  

Our passion is centered around creating community, and sharing music that brings people closer together. We're excited to share this new chapter in our musical journey with you.


Our Sound

Alexander Ortberg’s tight, driving rhythms and clean, multi-layered approach to composition provide the musical bedrock for the band. Kelvin Killmon brings anthemic melodies and rich vocal harmonies to the mix. His insightful lyrics tackle an impressive array of topics - from scandalous small town love affairs, to celebrating life in the face of terminal illness. 

The result is a polished alt-rock record tinged with early-2000s nostalgia, but with maturity and technical precision that is rare for the genre.