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In Words: Winger

- Kip Winger - Mar. 2010 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

Andres Martinez

Kip Winger - March 11th 2010 (by email)

Last year Kip Winger released albums with Winger and Blackwood Creek, he also toured with Winger and Europe and is coming back to Europe soon. More then enough reasons to shot some questions.

It seems that 2009 was a busy year for you and 2010 won't be less busy. In 2009 you released with Winger Karma and the Blackwood Creek album. You already played some shows with Winger. Looks like you worked a lot the last months, years and now everything sees the light of day... You must be very happy about all the positive feedback to the various projects? What was the highlight of 2009 for you?

I'm happy that people seem to like all the music. Although If no one liked it, I'd still do it... LOL

Let's first talk a bit about Blackwood Creek. It came out of the blue for rock fans, nobody expected something like that. It was your first band and now you released an album, decades later. Why now?

I'm not sure, we just decided to try it, and the first four songs we did sounded good, so we went ahead and finished it. The chemistry is still there and the songs are good, it's very organic, I really like the record.

Blackwood Creek is 70's rock, more straight forward... Sounds like it's predestined for the stage. Are their any plans?

Possibly, although I'm not sure... We were a good live band, so hopefully we'll get out there and try it.

Will there be another Blackwood Creek album in future? Or was it a one-off thing?

Maybe there will be some more, I didn't expect it to get such a great response.

Back to Winger! Karma is your 5th album and it seems to combine the essence of Winger's sound... the melodies and the live energy. I heard that the songs been wrote within 10 days, at leas the basic ideas. Is that part of the secret why the songs are heavier? Representing the live energy?

No, it's just because Reb and I know how to work together. We wanted to keep it up-tempo and not too progressive. But it just worked out that we wrote the tracks in 10 days... We were on a roll.

Songs like Stone Cold Killer, Pull Me Under and Come A Little Closer seems to show different facets of the Winger sound, but the album still sound homogenous. Another advantage of working quickly?

Again, it's really just how Reb and I work, the process has been the same from records one.
Everyone hears this as heavier, probably because I turned up the guitars in the mix.
I wouldn't say it's heavier then, M16 or Junk Yard Dog, or even Madalaine. But the way it's mixed shows a heavier sound.

In the early days a video was essential and now videos become more important again. People love YouTube & co. Have you considered doing a video clip for Karma?

Nothing other than the studio footage.

I really like the lyrics on Karma, some lines are really haunting - which I consider a good thing. Even if you look for a helping hand every now and then, do you feel more comfortable as a lyricist now?

Never, lyrics are always painful. If I have a good idea I can't finish it, but if I don't I'll ask for help.
Either way it's always difficult to convey something that will work in a rock band setting.

IV was more complex... And not overall well received, looking back, would it have been wiser to released under another moniker?

Well, only the non-musicians say that, IV is very complex, so if your not into the music from the musicians standpoint than you general don't get it. Many people think it's our best record. I happen to think, know actually, that some of our deepest music is on IV. It was written during a time of great musical expansion for me personally, maybe you should smoke a doobie and then decide... LOL

Winger played some shows in Europe in late 2009, now you are coming back to play other some more shows. How was it to be back on tour? And can fans expect a different set this time around?

Fantastic, I love performing with the band. We won't be doing any of the same cities so we will do the same set we did in the fall.

You just did 'Rock Fantasy Camp' with some others. Can you tell us a bit more about it? Did you enjoy it? And do you know who will do with you the 'Rock And Roll Fantasy Camp' in the U.K.?

I'll be doing a camp in London at the end of May, so anyone who doesn't know about should go to the web page and check it out. It's a blast!!!

Next on your schedule - as far as I know - is 'Rock the Boat' which somehow kicks off the European tour. Have you done something like that before? Or is it the first time to do a rock cruise?

Never done it. Should be fun, although I doubt I'll be hanging out much...

In February the San Francisco Ballet performed Ghosts after Tuscon Symphonic Orchestra did it. How was it to see some classical piece written by you performed by them? Exciting? Rewarding?

It was a long life dream come true. I've work for 15 years to be able to hear my symphonic music played live. Very thrilling!

In February you also got honored by the U.S. Government for Blue Suede Shoes. That's something nobody expects... I guess it was a huge surprise, right?

Yes, not expected at all! It was very humbling.

Lately some bands / artists had the chance to play in Iraq and Kuwait for the troops. Would you like to play there too?

Yes, ironically we haven't, but I've played a lot of military bases and support the troops as much as possible.

You'll play some solo shows in the US, can we expect something like that for Europe?

I'd love to go, get the gigs and I'll be there!!!!

I confess that I don't know your solo album From The Moon To The Sun, but I will pick it up soon. Anyway, it seems that this album had some special moments... I read that you had a song dedicated to Dimebag Darrell... Where did you meet him first? And do you remember your first reaction when you heard about his tragical death?

I met him years ago, he was a very special kind of person, very pure. Great musician as well.

I don't know if you played show around that time, but I remember that someone told me that right after Dimebag's death it was strange to go on stage... And that the ones family was quite scared... Did you had any similar feelings?

No, I've faced death, I don't view it in superstitious ways. It's just something that happens, sooner or later. Death is for the living.

Nothing was used for the movie Four Months. Can we expect to hear more Winger in movies in future?

Well, that depends on if I get the call... LOL

You achieved a lot in the music biz, any music related dream which haven't come true yet?

Wow, I guess not, after the symphonic and ballet, I've done everything I've set out to do.
But I'm far from finished, there is years of music in the cue, waiting for me to write it!!

Beside playing shows what else is on your schedule for 2010?

Writing more music!

Thank you,

I have to thank Kip Winger for answering my questions and for talking about all and everything. See you soon on tour!

Claudia Ehrhardt


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