lisa pikaard enters the freakshow…
Editor’s Note: Due to Hurricane Sandy, Hinder’s show at The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, N.J. has been rescheduled to December 16 at The Stone Pony, also in Asbury Park, N.J.
I cannot deny that I enjoy catching Hinder’s hits like “Lips of an Angel” and “Get Stoned” whenever they come on my radio. This radio friendly, multiplatinum rock band is about to release another album, Welcome to the Freakshow, on December 4, 2012 and is embarking on a “bare bones,” acoustic tour to support its new single, “Save Me.”
Hinder, has been around over a decade and I have been what you would call, a casual fan but Welcome to the Freakshow is definitely changing that. The band’s up and coming album has a few songs that have struck a deep chord within me. The mellow yet extremely powerful rock ballad, “Get Me Away From You” is captivating and easy to relate to on an emotional level and “Is It Just Me” is so catchy yet it has a depth lyrically that I didn’t think such a radio friendly song could have.
November 7, barring any issues resulting from the hurricane, Hinder will be taking the stage at the legendary Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, New Jersey to play a few tracks off of the new album. I was fortunate enough to spend some time talking to lead singer, Austin Winkler, about the new album, his favorite tours, his inspiration, and about how he died on February 9, 2010.
Austin Winkler: We’re scheduled to come to New Jersey!
Pop-Break: I know I’m excited! You’re going to have an interesting time here because you’re playing down in Asbury so you’re going to see for yourself first hand some of the carnage of this storm.
AW: Wow, that’s pretty cool. We’re going to come in and be a little mellow for you, an acoustic bare bones kind of thing so I think it’s going to be pretty cool. A nice chill night to kind of hang and take your minds off things.
PB: That’s awesome. How’s the tour going anyway?
AW: Well, tonight [November 3] is actually the first night so!
PB: Oh that’s exciting!
AW: Yeah. I’ll tell you when we get there or whenever but yeah I think it’s going to be really cool, a really interesting side for people to see, for Hinder to just strip everything down in the song to its most vulnerable stuff. I think it’s going to be pretty awesome.
PB: Awesome. So you guys are coming out with a new album soon, Welcome to the Freakshow, which is awesome by the way. I’ve gotten a little sneak listen to it.
PB: So tell me a little bit about it, how do you feel it’s different from your previous albums?
AW: I think it’s definitely the right direction for us as far as some of the songs, it’s a fresh record we put out as far as we wrote 70 songs for the last one; we wrote, I think, 25 for this one and you know we managed to, we only recycled one track from The All American Nightmare.
AW: Yeah so we only recycled one out of 70 so I think it’s really cool. I think it’s really important whenever you’re writing and doing a record, you just put the freshest material out there and the stuff that’s on your mind that needs to get out.
PB: So you guys actually have a new single off the album already, “Save Me.” How has it been going? Radio has been playing it.
AW: Yeah, they keep it going, you know. I mean obviously the storm is doing a lot more on the radio but I’m sure it will pick back up once everything gets back, kind of back together in New York. Everybody seems to be playing it to a good response and we’re playing it live and everyone seems to love it.
PB: I have a question: how many singles have you guys released so far? Do you have any idea?
AW: I have to think about it! Um, I’m not sure actually. I can just say 20, maybe even more with this last one.
PB: Wow. You guys have been making music for a really long time. It’s been, you guys have been together for over a decade now, right?
AW: Oh god! You make me feel so old! Yeah, we’ve been together for 11 years, yeah.
PB: Do you wish you could go back and change anything that has happened along the way?
AW: [Laughter} Well, I mean I don’t think like that. I think that’s selfish. There are some good things in life that come with consequences. I think it’s everything we thought and worth it. I wouldn’t change anything. Would I like to? Maybe? Possibly, you know. Catch me at a vulnerable spot maybe I’ll tell you the answer to that!
PB: A different question: if you could go back and give yourself a piece of advice, what would you caution yourself about?
AW: [Laugther] Ha, um probably not to do so many drugs.
PB: Probably a good one.
AW: Yeah, probably would stick to that a little more.
PB: Okay, about the new album, what is your favorite song on the new album?
AW: Oh that’s a good one. I’m thinking the song that’s on there that is closest to me is called “Get Me Away From You” and it’s actually about kind of the darkest hour at night kind of song and it’s one I hold close to my heart, one that I really let a lot out when we play it on stage and stuff so.
PB: That’s really cool. Since you have been playing yes, over a decade, sorry, gasp, what song are you most proud of that you’ve recorded?
AW: Um… I mean I think the older we get, I think that, I mean, I’m proud of every song. It’s just the longer I do it, the more I love it and I hold every song in a special place and I don’t think there is one particular song that I’m proud of, over the others anyway.
PB: Is there a song you could wish you could take back and didn’t put on an album?
AW: [Laughter] Absolutely not! We definitely didn’t have that.
PB: Okay, well on a lighter note, what is the craziest rumor you’ve heard about your band so far?
AW: I think it was, for a couple of months in a row I was dying.
PB: You were dying!
AW: In different parts of the country. I think that was just creepy because it was like you’d read it and people would read it and be like ‘Oh my god! You’re alive! You’re not dead!’ and I was like yeah. It just happens like consistently. There are people that have seen various parts of my body in a morgue and know it was me and that I died on February 9th, 2010.
PB: I don’t know if I could handle that, reading somewhere that I was dying!
AW: It gets creepy. You’ve got to kind of stay level and keep your feet on the ground.
PB: Well they say you haven’t truly made it until somebody told somebody else that you were dead or, for girls, that you are pregnant.
AW: Yeah, I’m dead and pregnant. I like it!
PB: Perfect. Oh that’ll be a good rumor to spread.
AW: Oh yeah, spread it around!
PB: I will. I will make sure they see you are both pregnant and dead. Well you’ve been playing live shows for so long, who is your favorite person you’ve performed live with?
AW: Obviously, I think it would be hands down Aerosmith. We got to do a small tour with them and it was like going back to school every night watching them play. It was a true dream come true kind of thing.
PB: And then, who do you wish you could perform with that you haven’t performed with yet.
AW: Rolling Stones.
AW: Yeah, I mean why not? If Aerosmith was a dream, the Rolling Stones could be a dream too that could happen.
PB: Well they’re on tour right now! Go jump on the tour, see what they say!
AW: Yeah, we’ll see what happens!
PB: Just crash the tour. That’d be a killer tour I’d be excited about it. What’s your favorite concert you’ve been to?
AW: I am going to go ahead and just say the Aerosmith shows that we played with them just because we’re chillin side stage watching them. Alice Cooper was awesome too actually. We played with Alice Cooper and watched from the side and could see how he did all of his tricks. It was awesome.
PB: Well, back to the idea of your music, what do you listen to that kind of inspires you when you’re in your writing and recording process?
AW: Oh man. I’ve got my dad’s vinyl collection that I stole from him years ago. So I always like to listen to the old stuff like the Stones and Aerosmith and whatnot. You know I don’t listen to anything a whole lot when we’re doing a new record. I kind of try to just get into certain bands that I haven’t listened to in a while. I’ll get into them and it’s pretty cool.
PB: I’ve stolen many a vinyl from my father myself so I get you. Okay, so a few random favorite questions of mine. What’s your favorite sports team?
AW: I am a huge Oklahoma Sooners fan.
PB: As long as you don’t say who the Giants are playing this week!
AW: Which team are you representing?
PB: The New York Giants! And do you have a favorite book?
AW: One of my favorite books is The Chris Farley Show. Have you ever read that?
PB: I have not actually but I am intrigued.
AW: It is really good.
PB: lright, well I’ve got just one last question: do you have anything that you want to say about the music or the new album to anyone in general?
AW: No, nothing, just go get it and if they don’t they’re passing up an opportunity and some really really good songs that could get them through some tough times!
PB: That’s perfect. Thank you so much for taking some time out of your morning to talk to me! Hope you have a kick ass show tonight and Jersey can’t wait for you to get out here.