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WINDS (ANDY WINTER)

HI! HOW ARE YOU? WHERE ARE YOU? I am doing great thanks. Right now I’m at home, but I just returned from the studio where we’ve been working for the past month on recording for the next winds album. We started on it this summer after having written material for it for most of this year so even though we just released a record it was already time to start working on the next one. “THE IMAGINARY DIRECTION OF TIME“ IS OUT AND VERY IMPRESSIVE. ARE YOU CONTENT WITH EVERYTHING? HOW ARE YOUR FEELINGS NOW AFTER WORK IS DONE? Yes the album is finally out also in Europe now and we’re very happy about that. It has been out in America since April but since our record label was working on finding a European distributor the album had to be delayed a little. Te record has been done since February and we’ve been working on new material since then. W are very happy with how “the imaginary direction of time” turned out and we are proud to say it’s by far our best work to date with this band. I BELIEVE THE DRUM PARTS HAVE BEEN CREATED SOME TIME BEFORE THE REST OF THE MUSIC. ISN’T THIS A DIFFICULT WAY OF COMPOSING? DO YOU EVER “JAM” TOGETHER? OR HOW DO YOU COMMUNICATE AT ALL AS YOU ARE ALL VERY BUSY MUSICIANS? The basic structures of the compositions were written prior to recording the drums but it is correct that we didn’t finalize all the music until some time after the drums were recorded. We had made a pre-production of the album with guitars and keyboards and after we recorded the drums on that we went back and changed everything we wanted to do differently. We had given ourselves a lot of time to let the music sink in and when we recorded the final arrangements these were pretty much exactly the way we wanted them to be after working with them for over a year. There are also no synthesizers on the record because all the string and piano parts were recorded with real instruments. This is why it took so long to complete the album, but we do like to record drums first because this allows us to play around with and re-arrange the music we have written once the basic structure of the tracks has been recorded. HOW DO YOU SHARE TASKS IN WINDS ANYWAY? IS THERE SOME KIND OF A “CORE” PERSON OR DO YOU ALL HAVE EQUAL INPUTS? Back when we started I was pretty much the musical director but these days we are all very involved and every person has a distinct role in the band. For “the imaginary direction of time” I wrote the basic structures of the tracks on keyboard and then handed them to Carl who wrote the guitars and recorded them as pilot tracks. Jan axel then arranged his drums and we recorded them in the studio, then Carl recorded all the guitars again from scratch and nothing from the old takes was kept. At that point Lars started writing the final string arrangements based on his own ideas and also inspired by what I had written during the pre-production stage, and after that I recorded my piano, we recorded the strings with musicians from the Oslo philharmonic, and then we were in the studio to record vocals where everyone contributed with ideas. After that Carl and I mixed the album in Canada. This is pretty much an overview of how we recorded this album. AND HOW DO YOU FACE THE PROBLEM THAT THE MUSIC OF WINDS COULD DEVELOP INTO AN EGO THING OF THE PARTICIPATING MUSICIANS AS THEY ALL ARE SO WELL TRAINED? IS IT SOMETIMES DIFFICULT TO KEEP A LITTLE BIT OF SIMPLICITY IN THE SONGS AS IT IS NEEDED FOR THE “BASIC” LISTENERS? The nice thing about playing with the guys in winds is that it was never about ego, it was always about doing what fits the music. Nobody has a need to show off and we just write the music the way it comes to us without focusing on how technical or non-technical it is. Our music has probably gotten increasingly technical the longer we’ve been together but this is just a natural step of getting to know each other better musically. It is definitely not because we want to be flashy or show off our technical abilities. AND HOW DID YOUR COLLABORATION WITH BLACKEND START? ARE YOU CONTENT WITH THEIR PROMOTIONAL WORK? I WAS A LITTLE BIT SURPRISED THAT YOU CHOSE BLACKEND AS IT IS A RATHER SMALL LABEL CONSIDERING YOUR STATUS… We are signed to the American label “the end records” worldwide and do not have a record deal with anyone else. If you look at the CD it says “licensed from the end records” on the back, so the explanation for this is that our label sought distribution through plastic head, which is one of the largest music distributors in the UK, and our album ended up being released by one of their sub-labels, which is called Blackend. I have not had any direct communication with them but it seems they are doing a good job promoting the album and getting it out to stores. THE COVER IS VERY INTERESTING AND A LITTLE BIT ROMANTIC I BELIEVE. WHICH IS THE MESSAGE? IS IT RELATED WITH THE TEXT CONCEPT AND DID YOU HAVE ANY INFLUENCE ON THE DESIGN? We worked closely with Travis Smith on the design and it is a visual interpretation of the album’s concept. The music, lyrics and artwork are closely related with all of our releases and this one is no exception. WHICH LYRICAL CONCEPT STANDS BEHIND “TIDOT”? YOU HAVE A RATHER PHILOSPHICAL APPROACH, DO YOU FEEL THE LISTENER HAS TO UNDERSTAND THE LYRICS OR IS IT NOT NECESSARY TO ENJOY THE MUSIC? It’s not necessary to understand the lyrics to enjoy the music but the overall experience of the album might be increased if one also reads the lyrics and looks at the artwork when listening to the music. For me winds isn’t really just about music, it’s also just as much about being an art-form that appeals too many of the different senses. For me it’s an experience, not just music. HOW IMPORTANT IS THE USAGE OF VIOLINS AND CELLO FOR YOUR SOUND? I FEEL THESE INSTRUMENTS ARE EVEN BETTER INTEGRATED NOW AS THEY WERE IN YOUR FIRST RELEASES. They are an important part of our sound and the moods we are trying to express, and they are a vital part of our band, almost like a fifth member you could say. Our music always had the string instruments integrated into it and even though we always felt it suited the music to use them, we are even happier with the arrangements and the way we used them this time around, so we do feel that we have taken a step in the right direction with it. I’m happy you also feel the same way about it. WHILE THE GUITAR RIFFS ARE VERY COMPLEX AND MAYBE A LITTLE BIT COLD, VIOLINS AND PIANO GIVE THE SONGS THE NEEDED WARMTH FOR BALANCE. IS COMPOSING A WINDS TRACK SOME KIND OF A MATHEMATICAL TASK TO GET THE BEST POSSIBLE RESULT? No, we never use mathematics when we compose music, it’s all about the feeling we have at the time we are playing and the emotions we are expressing through our instruments. We write music to compliment the mood in our lyrics and we write lyrics to compliment the mood in our music so it’s always related in some way or another. WHICH MUSICAL INFLUENCES DO YOU HAVE? I SUPPOSED YOU WOULD LIKE CLASSICAL/ NEO CLASSICAL MUSIC/ COMPOSERS BESIDES OTHERS? I don’t listen to music very often at all but Winds combines elements of classical music, metal, prog and jazz, so you could say that if there are any musical influences it would come from all these different genres. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE CURRENT METAL/ROCK SCENE IN GENERAL? DO YOU FEEL THAT THERE IS A NEW FOUND INSPIRATION? AND DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF BEING A PART OF THIS SCENE ANYWAY? We really have no association to any scene or anything like that, we are spread out all over the place and we are not so concerned with what other people do. There are some good bands out there I’m sure, but I never have time to check it out so if there is something cool I’m afraid I’m missing out on it. WHAT ARE YOUR OTHER INTERESTS BESIDES MUSIC? CAN THERE BE OTHER INTERESTS WHILST TRYING TO GET BETTER WITH YOUR INSTRUMENTS FROM DAY TO DAY? Personally I spend most of my time working with music in some form or another but I also like to watch movies and occasionally go for walks to clear my mind. some of the other guys in the band like to work out and some of us have other extracurricular activities as well, not to mention family responsibilities, but naturally music takes up the majority of our spare time. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE POETS/ WRITERS AS YOU SEEM TO BE WELL-READ PEOPLE? Some of my favorite poets through the years have been Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Robert Frost, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and William Butler Yeats just to name a few. I also have other favorite writers and philosophers like Stephen Hawking and many others. I always make a point out of not writing about something I’ve read before or using someone else’s ideas. This is also a good reason for why I don’t read too much these days or why I don’t listen to other music, because I want to keep my mind and ideas fresh and not let them be influenced from outside musical or lyrical influences. IS THERE ANY CHANCE OF SEEING YOU PLAYING LIVE IN GERMANY? HAVE YOU EVER TOURED AT ALL OR IS WINDS A STUDIO BAND? So far we’ve only been a studio band but we’ll consider this question between each album we do. We would like to play live if the opportunity is there. ONE QUESTION FOR “HELLHAMMER”: I HAVE SEEN YOU PLAYING LIVE WITH MAYHEM IN OSNABRÜCK/ TOR 3 IN A VERY SMALL CLUB (CADAVER HAS BEEN YOUR SUPPORT) AND I KEPT ASKING MYSELF: WHAT DOES A METAL LEGEND IN SUCH A SHITTY PLACE AFTER SO MANY YEARS. DO YOU HAVE ANY FEELINGS ABOUT THIS EVENING? NEDDO SAID HE JUST COULD STAND IT WITH THE HELP OF DRUGS… It’s a bit difficult for me to answer this question since it was not directed at me, but I can only say as a general assumption that a lot of musicians prefer to play in smaller venues because it gives an intimacy and a contact with the audience that you would not be able to get in a large club or at a stadium concert. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR TIME AND GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR STRONG EFFORT. Thank you kindly and we appreciate all your support as well.

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