Scott “Wino” Weinrich
Confinement Loaf: You’re doing new things. The last we talked, in our interview, you were just about to embark on a European tour, that September, right?
Wino: For my solo record.
CL: For your solo record.
CL: And you were going off with Scott Kelly.
CL: And a friend of yours, and you were really looking forward to this trip, to this adventure. How did it go?
W: It went really, really well. It was, like, two and a half months of playing acoustic. It was amazing. I did a whole bunch of different countries, it was really great. And, believe it or not, that record, and I’m stunned to say this, is probably gonna be my best selling record, except for the Probot record so far. I really can’t believe it. You guys have it in for the first time, right?
CL: Yeah! I’m holding it in my hand.
W: Ok. Man, It’s pretty angry, you know, it’s pretty much the state of mind at the time, and things haven’t really, I mean in my domestic life, its kind of, its pretty personal. But people seem to be diggin it, man, and I wanna, its pretty angry, but people seem to be diggin it, I mean I’m blown away, really.
CL: So, Could you tell us who, possibly, your best selling album ever…
W: It looks like its gonna be this one. Adrift.
CL: Adrift. Who is buying it? I mean, who’s really your audience?
W: Everyone’s into it, but I thought it was just gonna be a European phenomena, like, the Europeans were diggin it, and I mean it’s doing really well in the U.S. What happened was, is Greg Anderson, and I talked to him some months before about doing my next electric solo record, and he couldn’t do it for, I think, financial reasons, and then I asked him ‘Well, I wanted to do this acoustic record…” and he didn’t wanna do that either because he doesn’t do acoustic. So I get my old friend, Andreus, this German guy, Exon Mainstream, who actually had asked me years before if I would consider doing a solo record. Acoustic. And I never even thought about it at the time, but he also was the guy who brought, introduced (cant discern this) so he was kind of a visionary. So when I finally decided that the time was right, then I, I called him and he said that he wanted to do it. So, actually, he put it out, it was a German import, and then Volcom, the clothing company, I started to have a relationship with them because of Saint Vitus. They’ve got, like a single of the month club kind of a thing, and they were doing a Vitus single and it was taking a really long time because we couldn’t find, David kept jumping in the crowd, everyone’s too late, so we couldn’t get a good version. So my buddy, who does a lot of taping, basically recording everything I’ve done for a long time, he was connected, through the Vitus thing with Volcom, and when they found out that he was friends with me, we started talking and it turns out they’re all big fans there. That is a fuckin cool company. I mean, they make, they’re like a skateboard, none of this skateboard company kind of clothes, but they’re a… Well, come on. They put out a Vitus single.
W: And all the people in that, I walked into that corporation, it is a corporation, and it was the best vibe I’ve ever had from walking into a company company, you know? Everyone had a smile on their faces, it was just really groovy. So basically they licensed a thousand [copies] of Adrift, the German company Exon Mainstream, vinyl only. So basically Volcom did- that’s the American one. It has extra liner notes, that’s it, no extra songs just extra liner notes. But they liscensed a thousand, and did a thousand vinyl and then went through more so its doing pretty good. You know, when I say good I don’t mean its gonna go double platinum or nothing, but, you know, for me its good.
CL: So the tour in Europe was great.
W: It was amazing.
CL: In our interview, you specifically mentioned that you would be playing a cave. What was that?
W: Believe me, it really was a cave. Its this cave outside of Dortmann, which is sort of, I guess, the central industrial part of Germany, what used to be West Germany or whatever, and its like a really old cave. It was discovered when these workers were, they were on top of the ground, and one of the guys dropped his hammer down into a hole, which was the entrance of this fuckin cave. And I mean its old, old, like a hundred thousand years old. So, stalactites, I mean big ones, and it opens up into this natural kind of amphitheater. They’ve got a wooden stage there. Its fuckin unbelievable, its pretty mind blowing. They did really nice things, like they made this really nice flier, really nice flier and they’ve got these two (???candles of some kind) on stage, which were amazing, but man (laughs), I kept forgetting they were there and almost caught my hair on fire. (laughs) But it was fuckin really surreal, it sounds amazing, it was just like, it was really surreal. Lot of fun. Czech Republic, I wanted to say Czechoslovakia, but its called the Czech Republic, right? Fantastic crowd, played there in Prague, it was amazing. The interesting thing about Europe, the acoustic thing is, the Italian dudes are into it but they’re just too impatient, man, you know? That’s just the way they are, man, they want to get into it but you just cant hold them. I gave you another record, it’s a split single I did with me and Scott Kelly, my song on the record is called “Manifesto”. Its sort of, like, my beliefs and disbeliefs. And anyways, that’s a song where I would always unplug my acoustic and jump in the crowd and sing it, right? Italy and Scotland are the only places where people would clap along with me and just purposely speed up just to fuck me up. But you know, you just laugh, you know what I mean? Cause they’re cool, but its just the way they are, man. They’re just energetic folks.
CL: So the fans who were at the show…
W: Amazing, amazing. People came out.
CL: Are these metal fans? Is that how they come to you?
W: Its really interesting man. The thing I did with Scott Kelly was recently, and me and him only did like a seven city tour here in the U.S. The acoustic thing I did by myself and with this band called Dar Sambra and with this other German singer named Konnie Ox, and when I met Konnie, I had never met him beofre. He’s a German singer songwriter that is really, really good. He turned me on to Chris Whitley, He knew about Townes van Zandt and so right away we started jamming. He’s not Adrift, he’s not on anything, but right away we started jamming, and basically the acoustic sets we did, he would do a set, Dar Sambra would do a set, one man band, my friend Brian electric. And then me and Konnie would jam with Brian and Dar Sambra, and then I would play my set, and then I would bring Konnie up, and then we’d bring Brian up, cause Brian, Dar Sambra could sing these three part melodies, “Find the Cost of Freedom”, by Crosby sometimes, you know? But these guys got onstage and sang these fuckin three part harmonies perfectly the first night, flawlessly. Really talented cats. It was a lot of fun. Every night jamming, it was the shit. That was cool! And then after I did the acoustic thing, then I did Trimotor?? Back to back, I think I had ten days off, and then I went straight from that to Saint Vitus, and then right around New Years, I totally did not get sick the entire time until right around New Years, the shit went around the bus, on the Vitus bus, and I ended up getting pneumonia. So that’s how that ended: with pneumonia, in Berlin, on christmas fuckin day, so bad they wanted to keep me, but I mean I felt a jerk so… but luckily the antibiotics worked better. It was pretty heavy. So it was pretty horrible, and I cant even count how many countries it was, it was every European country except Scandinavia, but we did Denmark. We didn’t do Sweden, and we did Norway, but we didn’t do, I’ve still never been to Portugal, and I still havent been to any Asian countries at all.
CL: And the response in Europe, you said, to your acoustic project has been fantastic. And I know you just did, did you say seven cities here in the U.S. How was the response here?
W: It was the same. It was phenominal, man. It was kind of mindblowing, actually. I know that Scott’s been doing it for awhile, you know and everyone knows him for Neurosis, his stuff is very dark. And I’m into that, obviously I’m into dark type music, but trying to write my own songs I’ve really been getting into Townes van zandt, the kind of ignored americana. I think everyone knows about Dylan, but I only like, maybe 3 Bob Dylan songs, you know, hes got a couple of good songs but I’m not a huge Dylan fan. When I got turned onto van Zandt, man, that really changed everything. I don’t like every single song, in fact, the stuff he played on record, were doing a cover record with me and Steve and Scott, we’re supposed to each do 4 songs, but I cant even find a fourth one I like. But I already have the three that I know I’m gonna do. Its amazing stuff, man, its open my eyes to see a whole new world. I just taught myself to use fingerpicks and stuff which really comes in handy, dude with the banjo? Fuck yeah, its great. Just use the fingerpicks. That’s tricky shit, you know, I have a lot of respect for that kind of stuff. Its something I’ve overlooked.
CL: So I know that you and Steve von TIll and Scott Kelly have all been seperately kind of looking into the same acoustic realm, coming from metal and working on acoustic projects and now working on a project together, or an album together, released together, a compilation. What brought you, personally to this, to make this record? And its so successful.
W: This record right here? Its an angry record. You’ll see what I mean. Its pretty fast, its pretty angry, it’s a lot harder to make than I thought it was going to be. I thought making an acoustic record was gonna be easy, and, you know, I’ve never done it before. I learned a lot, and it also cost me a lot more money than I thought I was going to spend on it. I ended up putting a grand of my own money into it because it was harder than I thought, you know? Took longer.
CL: How did you record it?
W: I recorded it in my home state in Maryland, with this guy that I knew for years and years and years. He was one of my first guitar idols, from that state. He played with this cover band, you know back when I was a little kid. He was the guy that had the 57 Les Paul, he was playing, like “Over the HIlls and Far Away” you know, that Zeppelin shit to the T. He would walk into the room to jam, and everyone would just kind of gasp, you know, really fuckin good. And I had answered an ad to buy a Les Paul Jr., 55, the early obsessed days, and it was him. I was like “Man, I know you I’ve seen you play”, and we developed this relationship, he became my guitar… He basically works on my guitars and sets up my guitars when I was back around. And he became born again, which was a little bit of a problem because basically I wanted to do the record initially with Jay Robbins, who did my electric solo record. He really wanted to do it, but he was booked up, and so I asked Ray if he would do it. Thing about Ray, the guy who did this record, being a born again, kind of evangelical, kind of guy- man, he means well, but I swear to god his preaching shit was just bumming me out, and by the third day I was like you know what? He was wasting a lot of my time and money, and I had to come down on him, you know, I just did. I just had to say ” You know, listen. We have always agreed to disagree” with him anyways, you know? I don’t care what anyone believes in, but I don’t believe in his beliefs. And we’re always having these long debates and shit, and that’s always the way it is. I’ll take my guitar over there, he’ll solder a wire real slow, and then he’ll talk scripture that he knows I’m totally not buying it, and then ten minutes later he’ll solder another wire and its really torturous, you know? Making this record was pretty fuckin hard. But he’s got great ears and a formidable amount of equipment. He’s just got great ears and a fantastic sound. I got so frustrated with that record that about midway through I was ready just to scrap the whole project. But instead, I just told myself maybe I’m just burnt out, I took the roughs, and then I took three days off. I didn’t listen to it until really early in the morning on the third day. After two day of nothing to do at all, I listened to it and was like what the hell am I doing? I thought it was good, and so we carried on. I was a little unprepared, too. I thought it was gonna be easier; I was a little unprepared. Now I know.
CL: You also mentioned the three way split- is that what you’d call it? Kind of with Steve von TIll.
Why did they- I assume they contacted you about this.
W: Well what it was was, Konnie’s been doing the acoustic thing longer than me, von Till does Harvestman which is not an acoustic thing. You’ve seen that, right? its fuckin incredible. BUt those guys are both big Townes van Zandt fans. Im kind of a latecomer to Townes van Zandt. You know who Townes van Zandt was?
CL: Oh yeah.
W: But see, I don’t like all the country type shit. The only songs that I really like- the song that I’m doing? I started playing a couple of them in my set, and so that kind of, when me and Scott were together he saw that, and so then basically this other guy, Onscar, Nuerosis’ pointman in Germany, hes got a whole label, it was his idea to do the tribute. So, I’m gonna do “A Song for…”, which I think is his fuckin heaviest song ever. Sometimes you see it as ” A Song for You” but its actually “A Song for…”. Im gonna do “Nothing” and Im gonna do “Marie” and I cant think of… I mean to me those are like the saddest fuckin songs. I don’t really like the happy, country sounding kind of songs. I’ve tried man. I’ve listened and I need one more song but I can’t find it. I don’t know, maybe I’ll just do 3.
CL: Well, last time we talked, you mentioned that on Adrift which was yet to come, that there was a cover of Savoy Brown’s “A Shot in the Head”. I have not listened to the album but I see it here.
W: Its different than the electric version. I heard the electric version on WHMC, which is an AM radio station when I am pretty little. Barry Ritchies was the guy, and I had heard “shot in the Head” then, and I had never heard it again until 2 years ago. But I remember that’s why I loved that song. The original version is great. My version is a little bit different but I did it anyways. I also covered another one on that album.
CL: Which one is that?
W: Iron Horse, “Born to Lose”. Because I’ve always been playing Iron Horse, I love it, I’ve always been playing it on acoustic for parties and shit like that, and people always seemed to love it so I just decided that I wanted to do it. Actually I covered that one really well, It’s like one of the staples of my set. People really want to hear that and its fun to play when its stripped down like that, you know?
CL: Have you noticed people coming to the shows or interest, feedback, reviews of Adrift or been doing the acoustic projects, have you noticed- I mean it must be- the listenership expanding?
W: Everyone who talked to me at the show tonight told me they liked that record. Almost every single person and to me- I’m just stunned, really. I mean, when I did that record I had no idea what people would think, you know? So its usually a crapshoot. Anything you do, you know? I mean, I’m lucky to have loyal fans and stuff but people seem to be really getting into it. Its all been dedicated to my ex wife, ok? This is an angry record, my separation was really bitter I got stripped of my kids which I raised, so instead of seeing the kids every day, changed their diapers and shit like this for like 7 years, to not being able to see them at all now because of legal shit that’s really been blown out of proportion. Theres never been violence or anything on my part. But the record I dedicate to my ex wife is called “Old and Alone”, Cause she told me that was her worst fear, you know, to be old and alone. So I wrote that song for her. A little bit mean, but you know whats really strange is that’s people’s favorite fucking song. I think a lot of people identify because a lot of people have been through, especially in the last 2 years, man, there was quite a bit of upheaval in relationships. I don’t really know why, but I knew a lot of people who had been married for years and years and broke up. It was just a time of big change, and a lot of people like that song, man. It kinda freaks me out a bit but- NPR played “Hold on Love”, the second song, they played that not too long ago, that was amazing. Getting a lot of love, man.
CL: That really expands your audience.
W: Yeah, record’s getting a lot of love and Im happy.
CL: That’s fantastic. I know that you mentioned this album was born out of a very dark period of your life.
W: It was.
CL: And when we got together this evening, you’ve talked about a lot of positive things that have happened since you wrote Adrift.
W: Positive things in my career. The domestic situation hasn’t changed very much, except for that my kids are getting older, and my oldest son has a computer. Hes like Dad I didn’t know you had a website! Hes in the realm of communication with me now where I can actually email him now and stuff, and Im not getting any interference from his mother or nothing, and he plays the trombone. Hes a really smart kid, intellectually. Hes the kind of kid who- my middle son, hes a drummer, he was slammin down a beat on the phone the other day, out of the blue they call which very few people ever get, and my oldest son is playing his trombone and hes like I’m the best trombone player in the class! The reason I fucked up was because I didn’t have my music in front of me and I was like you can read music? I mean, blowin my mind,m you know? A trombone, right? So that’s all good, I mean its all good. [As a band] we have a lot of fun. Its nice to have struggled and now be experiencing a small amount of success. I mean that bus we’re on is really a luxury for us. Expensive as hell, we’re sharing it with Crowbar. Its nice man, because the last thing I did was chase the Clutch bus when they were on NIghtliner in a van, and i’ll tell you what, all the other bands are pretty much doin it, except for us, we’re chasin the bus. That’s a motherfucker, you know, you leave the show at 2 AM, you drive fuckin till sun up, basically, you get a hotel, sleep for 4 hours.
CL: So what are your more positive, or current, recent memories. Are you thinking about, other than the Von Till (?) project, are you thinking about anything else right now?
W: I’m not thinking about anything else right now, past Vitus, because each day is so intense and I’m so into this band and what we’re doin that… like today we recorded a new song today. We just split it… ???????scott something???? …hes got a great cd out. He recorded the new song that he played tonight, he recorded it. It sounded really really cool. It was really good to just do it, you know? That we have it good, and I’m just… I mean, I got stuff comin up, man. I mean im not… ??? … I mean I’m gonna do like a one off in June, Doom in June in Vegas, its like a bunch of ??? …But my acoustic, a year ago I wouldnt have taken that gig. It was just too daunting to play in front of metal fans. But you know what, man? I’ll just do it. See what happens. Seems like a pretty good deal. So I don’t know whats gonna happen, we’re gonna record our new record, this fall hopefully, so we’re gonna be knuckling down towards the end of the summer. I do have, I’m gonna do two, three shows with ??? 2 in Scandinavia, and then ??? and then that’s pretty much it. ??? , I got some stuff coming up with them, that’s a Volcom band. The way that came about is, me and my friend had been jammin together up in the desert, he lived in the high desert of California. We’ve been jammin together for 20 years, and we’ve never ever had a drummer or nothin, just me and him. So we’d stay up all night, fuckin play all night, you know? You can do that up there. I always promised him that I’d make a record with him, and because of the Vitus connections and Volcom… They liked it so they gave us a small deal. They’re probably gonna want me to do something for them, but I mean, right now Vitus is the priority. I have a few things on the horizon, and I’m just gonna fill in the time playing acoustic guitar. And banjo? (laughs) Now I got a banjo! A crazy banjo, a fuckin metal banjo with no frets thats gonna be insane. (laughs)
CL: You can make some cool sounds with that.
W: Yeah, man, its fuckin perfect. Its got all these holes in the back, and I was like, what am I gonna put in there? I think I’m gonna put a little amp in there… who knows? Maybe a little hose coming out of it or something, you never know! (laughs) Pick it up, it looks like a .38 shell maybe. (laughs) Multitasking the instrument/weapon/get high or something. (laughs) It’s all good, I mean I have a lot of fun. And I appreciate it, I mean, what you do on the radio is always inspiring, it warms my heart, really.
CL: Well, we’re happy to have you on our show, so thank you Wino!
W: Right on! You’re very welcome.
CL: And Vitus, and all of the other bands and projects you’ve been in the past how many decades?
W: I dont know, but one thing I know for sure is the next Vitus record, to me, is gonna be the one. I mean, we know it has to be the one and we’ve already got the tunes and I’m really excited about it. As soon as we knuckle down, and really start fuckin gettin it on, Its gonna be good.
CL: I loved what we heard today.
W: Its gonna be good, man.
CL: Henry looked like he a fantastic time.
W: David don’t you think the new Vitus songs are heavy, man? I love, I’m so looking forward to making this record.
David: The record with Henry is gonna blow doors.
W: It is, man. We were really lucky that he’s so into the band to start with, and that he would drop everything and do it, put his own band on the side.
D: And we were doing like two Vitus songs, anyway.
W: A lot of good things happened. He introduced us to Lace Pickups, I ended up getting an endorsement, he’s brought really cool, interesting people like the guy from Stone X who recorded our song today. I mean that came out so fuckin good, you know, and i’ll tell you what, I could see us doing a record there, you know?
D: I can’t see any reason not to.
W: Well thank you again, it’s been a pleasure.