Friday, 8 July 2016

"Divine Intervention...The Journey Continues" In Conversation with Scott "Wino" Weinrich

By: Marc Gaffney

Susan Costantino (C)

Music and musicians tend to weather storms better than most, as their love for what they do is worn on their sleeve as a rite of passage in the Nocturnal Cathedrals of rock n roll.

Some are shaman and should be praised for their work ethic and commitment to the game. I say game because it is precisely that my brothers and sisters. The game is changing every day and the strong withstand the maniacal corporate nonsense, the acidic tongue critic who has never picked up an instrument but still feels the need to compensate for their lack of anything original or simply just being a pussy.  The gentleman that should be praised for his work in continually blasting the auditory systems of fans worldwide is none other than Scott “Wino” Weinrich.

Without this writer, vocalist, guitar slinger, many of us would not be performing and by performing I mean putting everything we have into the performance as the crowd may feel as they were part of the show.

Remember rock n roll is a show, concert, communal gathering, hence whatever it is to be called by you or the cascades you hang with. Wino is a performer and by performer; one who leaves the performance on the stage with his sweat and whole being completely involved. Night in and out giving of himself for the spirituality and art form that is of the utmost importance; this is his calling in life.

Some people are simply plucked from the womb of the music goddess and who knows the reason why, nevertheless this chosen man of the half step tuned down cloth has been sent here to fucking plug in and turn you out. Let it be known that this game is sometimes mastered by the one that stays his course, his rudder firmly planted in a sea of Tyrant Stacks and Black Arts pedals.

Sit back relax and enjoy my conversation with a living legend with whom had he not graced us many full moons ago, we would not be Obsessed.

Gaff- Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me. How is everything going with the tour so far?

Wino- Everything is going really great. The shows have been really good, great shows. We are feeling very inspired and spirited as we have a bunch of good stuff going on. We just signed a record deal with Relapse Records and it is a really nice deal and we are working on some new stuff, getting some good press along the way, so we are pretty happy.

Gaff- You guys were in the Pacific Northwest, it seems that the area is really a hot bed for your style of music

Wino- For heavy rock it is such a great hot spot and all across the US right now as the enthusiasm is really national.  So that makes you feel good and really inspired.

Gaff- You guys started off in 76 as Warhorse, how have you seen things change?

Wino- For heavy rock things have changed for the better. Sort of like a wave that left and then came back around. For bands, timing is always very crucial. I think the timing right now for The Obsessed especially is good but personally I think the whole Stoner rock or hard rock resurgence was kind of kick started in a way by the record label Mans Ruin, the internet and Queens of the Stone Age launching out from his label, bands like that, all in all it kick started this wave.
Gaff- It is a rather nice wave also.

Wino- Yeah it is a really nice wave for us.

Gaff- Tour is going well, now I know you guys will have the new album out. How many songs do you see being on it and have you finished any yet?

Wino- We have written about three quarters of the album and it will be at least an hour, so about 10-13 songs. And when we get them all flushed out, we might have a surplus so we can pick some to let evolve. We are super inspired, got some riffs and we are playing the Maryland doom fest and playing 2 new songs in the set now. We are working in the van, I have my guitar in there and I am working on lyrics.

Gaff- In terms of writing has that process changed for you along the way or is it more writing when you are inspired?

Wino- I look upon it as a Divine inspiration. I am always playing my guitar and usually I will have a concept in my mind like a theme and while that is in my mind marinating, I will come up with a riff. When I put the concept to the riff, then the song is born. Sometimes it is slow and sometimes it comes all at once, which is the super Divine inspiration and other times the lyrics take a little bit longer but I have the basis of the song. Usually I have 2-3 ideas kicking around at once, might have a title for one and a riff for one, you know it has basically been the same.

Gaff- Are you a guy that enjoys being in the studio and using all aspects of it or would you rather be playing live?

Wino- I love the studio, it is my favorite place to be, when you have a great record label behind you and you can go in and create

Gaff- Now that’s the shit.

Wino- I know, it is my favorite place to be. I like to go in early in the morning and also late at night too, and I enjoy using the studio. We are a power trio but I am not afraid to throw in some tasty riffs while I am playing a solo, know what I mean? You use the studio for what it is meant for.

Gaff- Being a singer do you do vocal warm ups or simply go at it?

Wino- Being on the road I am speaking to people so I am usually warmed up. I get hoarse invariably every tour but I have found ways to take care of it. A long time ago I asked Henry Rollins how do you do it every night and he gave me his secret recipe for his throat treatment and I have done it religiously every night and it seems to work.

Gaff- It appears your voice has become stronger and in fact more articulate.

Wino- It is something I learned how to do especially in St Vitus as I did not have a guitar and was the lead singer. The thing about playing live, live is a strange animal, every night can be different, sound can be different every night, what I have learned is when you are playing loud every night you can’t hear as well, you will notice, a lot of times singers will sound flat, a lot of the times it is so loud you think you are hitting pitch  and stages are weird too, you can step back when you are playing, and when I am on stage playing guitar and singing, I can step back a foot or two and it sounds like a key change, it is really weird so there is a lot of strange shit that happens. Live is a special animal man, you cram all that hard work into 45 minutes or an hour on stage, but that is what we do

Gaff- It is nuts, you show up to a club and it sounds amazing, the next night, the club manager is like, “Sorry we don’t have monitors.” What the fuck is that.

Wino- We played a club and the PA was on the ground, old wood room and sounded great when no one was in there. As soon as people get in there they are packed up against the stage, so packed up against the PA and the drum riser is behind this little niche and so people are blocked up against and the sound waves are crazy and everything goes to hell, feedback, everything changes drastically so you have to deal with that kind of shit. Hopefully you learn what clubs sound like that so next time you can make some changes.

Gaff- Do you enjoy singing or playing the guitar or both? Some guys think of themselves more of a player or a vocalist, has that ever crept in?

Wino- I love to sing and play the guitar. In the early days I had to sing and be a lead singer so I did it. I really learned how to sing when I was with St Vitus. I learned about delivery and breathing but the thing that really did it for me was once I tuned down a half step, everything came in my range.

Gaff- It appears really comfortable for you singing and riffing

Wino- Well it is much easier playing your own stuff than it is anyone else’s you know what I mean.

Gaff- I hear that, I feel really weird singing without a guitar in my hand

Wino- I loved singing but people would always say that they missed me playing guitar also. So I am so happy I am able to be doing this now.

Gaff- Without guys like yourself, playing and singing, a lot of us probably would not be doing it.

Wino- Oh thank you so much

Gaff- I would love to talk about gear, would you mind?

Wino- I would not mind that at all. I am endorsed by two people so I am really happy about that. I am endorsed by Tyrant amplifier and cabs which used to be called Emperor, my boy Shawn out of Chicago and I am also endorsed by Black Arts Tone Works pedal company.

Gaff- That is what I use for pedals, amazing.

Wino- Mark is a great guy. So I am so happy right now. The amps are sort of a re-tooled Model T with a little extra gain and I have 2 4-12 cabs loaded with greenbacks. One has the 35 watts and the other 75 watts. Also I run one of the cabs with a cool modified Marshall that I have. It is a JMP JCM combination inside of a Marshall Bassman 100 chasis with the Bassman transformer.  It is a pretty weird amp, pretty nice.

Gaff- Why do you love Mark’s pedals so much?

Wino- He has an ear and he has an eye and he knows what is good plus he is a real personable dude. He approached me about endorsing me and I tell you what I could not be happier. His stuff is so cool and a totally great guy to work with.

Gaff- He is one of the true gentleman when you are speaking with him, you know he is actually listening.
Wino- so true, he is actually working on a signature pedal for me now.

Gaff-(cannot discuss the pedal but when it hits the pedal boards, get some)

Gaff- You still playing the Guild?

Wino- I do not have that with me now, I am playing a 69 Les Paul custom and a modern Les Paul studio and a Electrical Guitar Company Les Paul which I call “Heavy Momma”. It is bigger all the way around and fatter than a Les Paul, heavier and sounds like a dream man. It has the sluttiest neck ever. 

Gaff- Does it have the Travis Bean headstock?

Wino- Yeah it has the headstock but the guitar is aluminum with a pancake style body and the back piece is power coated black, it is neck thru with really nice resistance allen keys all the way around the guitar and you can’t even get into the electronics or raise the action without taking the pancake off and I have not done that yet.  I received it as a gift for a producing job I did. Comes with the original pickups that they wind. Electrical Guitar Company man, major props out to those guys.

Gaff- Everything is going your way which is well deserved, you have the album in the works so where do you see yourself ending out 2016?

Wino- We will be recording the record in July until August and then we will be making plans. It is like Lennon said, “All life is making plans what you are gonna do next.”

Gaff- Where will you record the album?

Wino- In Maryland, with Frank Marchione and Rob Queen.

Gaff- Is there a technical release date?

Wino- Technically it is February, and most likely will be called “Sacred”. This record is going to be the most important record I have done in my career. The guys in the band know it and we realize what it is, so I am knuckling down and really want this to be the best record. The record is your legacy. I mean the live shows are great but the recording is what people will take with them. You know when you need that music to get you through the day; I will do my best to make it come through.

Gaff- Thank you so much and I hope everything goes amazingly well.

Wino- Thank you, the rock keeps everything together, I can be anywhere in the world and talk about music, so for that I am truly blessed.

So, if you are not rooting for Wino and The Obsessed after this read then there is something seriously wrong with you. A seasoned veteran that still loves the show and is striving for this to be his best album and cares for the fans day to day and understands his music has such a strong effect on people that he is striving to deliver and not just within the 15 minute time frame, he is delivering for eternity, so put that in your capsule and dig on it amigos.

I get very lucky to converse with people that have marinated my musical equilibrium and when they are even nicer and in touch with the real world, the world can be a better place, one groove at a even paced time.
Thank you so much Wino for taking the time to be a role model for the rock and simply being you, an Icon, bringing the goods, tuning down a half step, preaching the Divine intervention of what can and will keep doing, making the listener believe and letting the rock, roll oh so nice.

Eat a peach,


Band info: facebook