Crowbars Kirk Windstein answers the questions you want answers to!!
|So, tell me everything that’s happened between the release of the last album and the completion of ‘Lifesblood For The Downtrodden’?|
|Well, once we finished up promoting the last Crowbar album I hooked up with the guys in Down and spent the best part of two and a half years recording and promoting that album. That was a pretty intense time and by the end of it we were all pretty much burnt out, but it was definitely time for me to concentrate on Crowbar again. I hadn’t done anything with the band for so long that it felt like some kind of rebirth this time round, which was pretty cool. That’s why we started over with a new label and a new line-up, and it’s all really exciting to me again|
|Candlelight Records isn’t the most obvious choice of labels for you…|
|No, I guess not. I guess they’re known much more for the black metal stuff and the Emperor records, but it’s still a good place for a heavy band, and Crowbar definitely has that dark side! We haven’t had a lot of good luck with labels in the past, so it was good to hook up with people who obviously know how to handle heavy music. We put our hearts and souls into this album so we wanted to make sure the whole thing didn’t get screwed up before we’d even started!|
Had you already written the album or did you sign to Candlelight first?
|It was pretty much done by the time we signed. I think it would’ve sounded the same if we’d gone with a different label. Candlelight were obviously into Crowbar and knew what they were signing|
|You had some high profile help with this album. How did Rex Brown get involved?|
|I’ve known Rex for years, like I’ve known all the Pantera guys. I needed to put a new line-up together to record the new songs I’d written and I asked Rex if he was interested in helping out. Obviously he’s been doing this for a long time and he’s very experienced in the studio and knows exactly what I’m trying to do. And he’s a killer bass player too, right? So it was an easy choice. He was really enthusiastic from the start so it worked out great. And getting Craig (Nunenmacher) to play drums was an easy decision too. He was in town for a while and didn’t have anything else to do so the whole thing just came together. There was a great vibe in the studio right away and you can hear that on the album. Those guys totally understood what Crowbar is about and it shows. There’s definitely real progress in the songwriting on this album, but of course it’s still real heavy.|
|Is it true that Pepper Keenan also contributed to the album?|
|Nah, not really. He hung out for a while and obviously we’re all friends from way back and we played together in Down. We did talk about him doing something on the album but it didn’t work out in the end. I guess someone misunderstood what happened because everybody seems to think he’s on the album. I think it was mentioned on a press release at some point. But no, Pepper’s not on there.|
|So what will the line-up be for all the forthcoming Crowbar shows?|
|It’s me, Steve Gibb on guitar – he played with Black Label Society for a few years, so you know he can do the job. Then there’s Pat Bruders on bass guitar and on drums we’ve got Tommy Buckley from Soilent Green. We played some shows together last summer in Europe, including the With Full Force festival in Germany and everything gelled really well. We all get along great|
|How do you prepare your new recruits for life on the road with Crowbar?|
|I guess we’re all older now so it’s not as crazy as it used to be when Crowbar first started touring. Everything’s gone real smooth so far. We’re all looking forward to taking this album out on the road. We’re gonna try and get plenty of sleep and not spend too many nights drinking! You never know what’s going to happen, though…|
What were your main aims when you recorded ‘Lifesblood For The Downtrodden’?
|I guess it’s just a bit more mature than previous Crowbar albums. I didn’t set out with anything particular in mind, but the songwriting has definitely progressed since the last album and I guess there’s a bit more variety on there. It’s been a real natural growth. We’re doing things that we would never have thought of doing when we put the first few records out. It still sounds like Crowbar, though. It’s still heavy!|
Do you still have plenty of things that piss you off to write about?
|I think everyone has plenty that pisses them off. I think people might misunderstand me sometimes. I’m not miserable all the time, but I have my dark moments and I’ve had my problems with alcohol or whatever and there’s always things in life that drag you down. This is a great way for me to get all that stuff out without hitting the bottle or getting real depressed. I’m pretty content these days, to be honest, but there’s always times when you want to punch a hole in the wall.|
What do you want to achieve with this album?
|Well, obviously I realize that we’re never going to be huge rock stars playing this kind of music, but this is the best album I’ve ever made with Crowbar and being on a new label and working with new people does mean that it feels like we’re starting up all over again. I’ll be happy if we can just keep on doing what we’ve been doing for the last 15 years, and if people still dig the songs I write and still want to come out to the shows then I can’t complain.|
|Do you still enjoy doing this as much as you used to?|
|I’m always amazed that I’m still able to do this, even though I don’t make an incredible amount of money from it. It’s a pretty cool thing to do for a living, right? And like I said before, we’ve all gotten older and calmed down a lot since the early days. I think we’re going to enjoy touring a lot more now. I think I appreciate being in Crowbar more now than ever. The guys I’ve got in the band now are all 100 per cent committed to what we’re doing and it’s never sounded better. The old songs sound great, the new songs sound incredible and the atmosphere in the band is really cool.”|
|Heavy music is enjoying a good, long period of popularity at the moment. Do you think you’ll benefit from that?|
|There’s a lot of kids that maybe haven’t seen us before so there’s always new challenges there. First we’re going to tour the States early next year and then we’re going over to Europe to tour with Hatebreed, so that should be a great time for everyone. Those guys are great and I guess we might share some fans already. It’ll be cool to play to new people, though. I’m not expecting anything, but we all feel great about getting out on the road again.|
|How did the tragic news about Dimebag Darrell affect you?|
|That was devastating. Obviously I’ve know those guys for a long, long time and it’s just the most horrible thing to have happened. It’s completely insane. I’ve spoken to Rex and Phil (Anselmo) almost every day since it happened and they’re totally destroyed about it. Dimebag was an amazing guy, a real one-off, a real brother to many of us and one of the few real guitar heroes around. He was a big influence on all of us. It’s just horrible to have someone like that taken away from us, and from his family and all the fans he had around the world. The world’s a pretty fucked up place these days if something like that can happen.|
All images are © 2005-06 Metal Chaos