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Interview - Kirk Windstein

2/10/05

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Sam: I noticed you're singing alot more on it (the new album).
Kirk: "Yeah, I've been little by little, like, you know, from album to album, a couple songs per album or something, kinda getting more into the vocals. It's still hard, you know, instead of just the barking shit. What it is, is alot of the songs are getting a little more, you know, melodic and still, you know, super heavy, but just, it's something I feel it's been long enough of the same type of thing and it's kinda cool changing it up and getting more melody into this shit. I think it makes for better fuckin' songs, so..."
Sam: I heard during the recording that Pepper came down for awhile?
Kirk: "Yeah, he did. Everybody was thinkin', like people...you know how the internet is these days, I mean, you can't fuckin' take a piss without somebody telling somebody about it."
Sam: Yeah, all of a sudden it was like 'Pepper is gonna be the new guitar player in Crowbar!'
Kirk: "Yeah exactly, what ended up happening was, we did the record, you know, and I had Rex and Craig do it with me, and Pep had just moved back to New Orleans, and he bought a bar. He's got like a bar/resturant type thing he runs down there, so, you know, he's down there. We were recording fuckin' five blocks from his house, so he'd stop by, you know, bring by the party favors and everbody would have a good time, or whatever. So it kinda leaked out, you know somebody asked me, like, one of my friends, 'yeah, is Pepper gonna do anything on the record?' and I said, man, if we get loaded one night and we got a good vibe or somethin' maybe I'll throw a guitar on one track. So then, between that and, then one time, he said look man, if you need a fill-in guitar player, this is like to do a tour or anything like that, he said let me know man, if I'm not doing anything, I'll do it. So all that turned into, he was joining, even though he was never, you know, never really going to join and never ended up doing anything on the record either. But you know how shit gets blown out of proportion, it was one of those deals."
Sam: How did Rex fall into the producing spot?
Kirk: "He played a little bass on it as well. Basically what happened is, the whole process of using him and Craig, what happened is after the Down thing my wife was pregnant and we had a baby in March of 2003. I took a little time off 'cause we did Down for a year, you know, basically. So I took some time off after that. I decided I wanted to start writing the new Crowbar shit. Well, me and Rex talk almost every fuckin' day, well, at that time we were anyway, we still keep in touch at least once a week or so. I ended up telling him, look you know, 'what you up to bro? what's goin' on?' I said, oh I think I'm gonna write, you know try to go ahead and do the new Crowbar record. Well he said, 'well who's playin' bass?' I said well, me, I usually play the bass on the Crowbar shit. and he said, 'well, why don't you let me do it motherfucker?'. So, I wasn't gonna say no, so, I got Criag involved, he offered to play drums, Rex offered to do the bass. And then we got Warren Riker involved to produce the last Down. And the next thing you know him and Warren decide to kinda co-produce it, and they did a great job and they really added alot to it, and helped really...the change in the vocals, alot of that had to do with them too. They really...I mean it would take me, sometimes 4 hours to sing one fuckin' 3 minute song. They would just push me, and push me, and push me, and I'd get pissed, but it was worth it in the end. So they did a good job."
Sam: The lyrics are pretty heavy, they are on all your albums, but there's some serious stuff there you're getting out.
Kirk: "Yeah, basically what I do is...all of the music is pretty much recorded before I write one fuckin' word. What I usually do is burn like a cd of whatever track I'm gonna sing that day, or the next day, or whatever and I'll just take it one day at a time, one song at a time. I'll lock myself in a room by myself with a fuckin' pen and paper, listen to the shit over and over again, and just really...what the lyrics are is whatever I'm feeling at that moment I just write down, and that becomes...some of them only take 5 minutes, some of them take 6 hours. You know, you've gotta really work it, but basically it's whatever I'm feeling at that moment, is what ends up being the lyrics. I kinda get in a little zone, and fuckin' scribble it down, and that's that. I go downstairs and belt it out and it's a song. So, it's worked pretty good that way for awhile."
Sam: You make it sound so easy...
Kirk: "Well, it is kinda, but the tune 'Lifesblood' the last track on it was going to be an instrumental. We were mixing it down in Miami at Steve's dad's studio and we're just kinda messing around, and I kept hearing like a vocal melody on it, so I just grabbed a pen and paper and maybe like ten minutes, you know, wrote it down. I said 'Let me give it a shot with some vocals on it', so I did, and they loved it. Steve actually did all the electric guitar stuff on it, which is cool, he was able to play on it. So, I said, 'dude go grab a guitar', you know I was getting into this creative little vibe, you know? But it all come together like, just one evening. The whole idea of even having the vocals, the lyrics, the guitar and everything just happened within a 'couple hours, we weren't even going to do any of that shit, so it's fun when you do that. Kind of get a little creative spark, and just roll with it, you know? it's totally cool."
Sam: Are you guys going to come back through again on another U.S. tour?
Kirk: "I'm sure we are, after this thing we go...we finish up on the 28th of February, we're gonna fly out on I guess, the 3rd of March for England, we're going with Hatebreed for like 11 shows in the U.K.. Then we're gonna headline like 2 weeks, 2 1/2 weeks of Crowbar shows, then come back around April 1st, then probably take a little break. But yeah, we're definately going to do like a whole other full thing. so sometime this year we should be back up this way."
Sam: There any Ozzfest possibility?
Kirk: "Nah, I mean, even if we got offered it, to be honest, I mean, I wouldn't do it. I mean I did it with Down and bands like Crowbar for instance would have to buy onto the fuckin' thing. I mean it's ridiculous, plus, not only do you have to pay to get on the stupid thing, then you don't have any income. So, you know you're fuckin' losing just hundreds of thousands of dollars. And really, I mean, I watched all the bands that were on the Ozzfest with Down that year. I mean, we headlined the 2nd stage and Hatebreed went on before us. We were already both pretty much established or whatever, already fuckin' doin' well. I mean Meshuggah came on before us, but it didn't even help 'um much. I mean all the other bands underneath, nobody did anything, I mean it's not like they got real big because of doing Ozzfest. It's a bunch of bullshit really. So I mean, even if we got offered to do it...I mean down got paid at least, and it wasn't that bad a pay, but to have to buy onto that thing, and it's so much bullshit, you're only playing like 4 shows a week, the drives are like fuckin' 20 hours. I mean Ozzy flies, you know, so they don't care about how far apart the gigs are, and it's just so expensive to do. Even with Down making decent money and everything else, we ended up not makin' shit by the time the whole thing was said and done. So, it's cool, I'm glad I got to do it, it was an experience and everything, but it's not something I'd want to do again, you know?"
Sam: Any DVD plans in the future?
Kirk: "Possibly, I've got alot, alot, alot of old, old, old footage of Crowbar just from the begining which was like '89 basically, up to like '96. And after that I don't have much, but you know, we do have alot of videos that we've done in the past and we just did a new one as well. It's possible, we played a big festival in Germany over the summer, and it was filmed with like 7 cameras and all that shit. It's a possibility to purchase that from the people from the gig and put that show out along with all the other bullshit. Have some other crap or whatever and make a DVD. I'd like to do one, I really would, I think it would be cool, so I'm hoping to do one."
Sam: You guys have gone though alot of lineup changes over the years...
Kirk: "That is true"
Sam: Do you feel that something has solidified?
Kirk: "I think so, I've known Tommy like 20 fuckin' years and he's a full time Crowbar member as well as a full time Soilent Green member. Me, Steve, and Pat have nothing else, no other bands going on. Basically what happened in the past is, nobody got kicked out of the band ever, most of the guys left because either because they had enough of the touring and road shit and wanted to have a family and whatnot. Or they...everybody I've ever played with pretty much has been in another band at the same time. Alot of 'um wanted to concentrate on their other band for awhile. 'cause they'd been concentrating on Crowbar for a long time. So really, the only schedule we've gotta juggle is with Tommy. I don't see it being that much of a problem to split things 50/50, you know, over the course of a year. If they were to do, you know 5 months of touring, or we were to do 5 months of touring or whatever, it's up to whatever schedule Tommy can really handle. But I don't see it being a problem to juggle his schedule 'cause me, Pat, and Steve, we're open for anything, so we can make it work out. This line-up is killer, I really hope that it'll fuckin' stay solid and not have to change. Believe me, I don't like to change, but I'm really glad we ended up with the lineup that we have now, I think it's killer."

AbsolutMetal 2005