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Kip Winger

Winger have released their album 'Karma' via Frontiers and embark on an autumn European tour with UK dates due March 2010...

What are you currently up to?

I'm currently working on an orchestral overture. Going to South America in October for solo acoustic gigs.  Then "Ghosts' premiere in Nov and shortly after that will go to Europe with the band.

Could you take us through the songs on 'Karma' (e.g. ideas behind the songs, song writing process etc)?

The songs a fairly self explanatory...The main thing we were going for was a up tempo rockin record.

Kind of a cross between Pull and the first Winger record. The writing process is always the same, Reb and I buy a 12 pack of beer and start writing riffs.. once we get something we dig, we start arranging it from there. Lyrics always come last.

How pleased with the fans reactions have you been since Winger came back as a full time band after the 'IV' album? Have you been picking up new, younger fans of the band at shows?

Well we never really broke up, we just went our separate ways for about 5 years, It's been great to see that people still dig the band,. and yes, there are a lot of younger fans which is very cool.

You have written a piece for orchestra 'Ghosts'. How did you go about composing classical music which must be totally different to sitting down and writing for Winger or your solo work? Have you considered adding an orchestral feel to Winger songs that may lend themselves to an orchestral style?

Well, I've always approached the Winger records very detailed. "Hungry" opens with a string quartet and "Rainbow In The Rose" is very orchestrated, M16 has a full on atonal guitar section...

I've always known I would eventually go into orchestral writing, it's always been my ultimate goal.  The process is very different in that you work alone rather than co-writing with band.

It's been a long road learning all the details that go with writing go music for sure...and the more you learn, the less you know.

What have been the most memorable live shows for you and why?

Paris 1992, something about that show has haunted me for years.

Do you have any more solo music planned and how do you divide your time between solo work and Winger the band?

I just do what my schedule allows, If Reb is available I will try to work on Winger. Solo records take a bit of planning in terms of "the next step".  I look at the solo records as my "experimental artist" territory. I don't want to do one unless I have a clear vision of what to do next...

How did you get your first break into the music business? What piece of advice would you pass onto budding musicians?

I got a break on a Alice Cooper record. I had play for years before that but getting into Alice was a big deal.

And it couldn't have been a better act...He's a super classy dude.

My advice is the focus on songs! The whole business hinges on how good your songs are.

How did you become involved in the Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camps and what is like appearing at one?

Kelly Keagy from Night Ranger suggested they call me.  I LOVE rock camp it's a great experience!

Who have been the biggest musical influences and why?

In rock: Joe Walsh, Grand Funk, Black Sabbath, Zeppelin, Beatles, Yes, Peter Gabriel.

In classical: Honneger, Ravel, Debussy, Stravinsky.

Have you seen an upswing in the interest in hard rock and metal music over the past couple of years? Has the internet helped get your music out there or in some ways e.g. illegal downloads has it made matters worse?

The internet has help for sure.. BUT the royalties have diminished by 3/4.

Thanks for the interview.. we are planning on touring England in March..


Interview September 2009 Jason Ritchie.
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