Jenna Williams (a.k.a. “The Scream Queen”) of TheScreamQueen.com conducted an interview with Kirk Windstein of KINGDOM OF SORROW, CROWBAR and DOWN at the seventh show of this summer’s Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival on July 17 in Englewood, Colorado. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
TheScreamQueen.com: For your next album with KINGDOM OF SORROW, when you all do have time to work on it, how do you want it to evolve more with your sound and whatnot?
Kirk: Just what we’ve already started to do, which is get away from like all the bands. All the heavy new bands are really… There’s a lot of great ones, but there’s a lot of very… We’re trying to get away from the really fast stuff, double kicks, and whatever, and do more of an organic… ‘Cause he [KINGDOM OF SORROW frontman Jamey Jasta] comes from a hardcore background. I come from a ’70s and early ’80s rock and metal background. So, we’re organic. We just plug in, and you know, there’s no triggers, there’s no backing tracks, which is great, but that’s not really what we want. We want to kind of get further away from that and get a little more into, you know, just doing our own thing; separating ourselves from that.
TheScreamQueen.com: Whenever you’re in the writing/recording process, whether it be with CROWBAR, DOWN, KINGDOM OF SORROW, or anything else; how would you translate your energy that you have on the stage and integrate it into a record?
Kirk: It’s a totally different world, you know? I mean, it’s a different energy; the record is a different… Records are fun to make in the sense that when it’s done, it’s an accomplishment and you’re like, “Wow, we created this piece of work that’s going to last forever.” But, it’s not fun to make in the sense that it’s — everything perfection. You really have to be on top of your game, everything’s got to sound perfect, because it’s going to be scrutinized, you know? Live, it’s more energy and aggression and more raw, you know? And it’s more of the vibe of feeding off the crowd, where in the studio, you’re feeding off yourself. You’re just like, “Jeez, I’ve got to play this thing right, so I can do it again.” So the writing is enjoyable, writing is fun, playing live is fun, recording is not fun, but I do enjoy it. Like I said, in a sense of when it’s done, you can look back and say, “Wow, I really accomplished something special.”
TheScreamQueen.com: What exactly did you want out of CROWBAR‘s “Sever The Wicked Hand” album?
Kirk: Just to put out every influence and every element that’s ever made up CROWBAR‘s sound into one record. Because I’m touched upon some of these things maybe on one song here and there over the course of the previous eight albums on our ninth album, but I’ve never put it all on one record. So to me, it’s all a CROWBAR record because it’s got everything in it, you know?
TheScreamQueen.com: I was at your “Over The Under” [DOWN] release party and listening to that album now and all of your others in general, they’re really full of life and passion. How do you give an album like “Over The Under” that “life” to it?
Kirk: I don’t know… I mean everybody’s just passionate about what they do, you know? Phil‘s [Anselmo; DOWN frontman] such a good singer and he’s really an emotional… He’s the best singer out there today, as far as I’m concerned, hands down. Nobody sings anymore or screams; he’s a throwback to fuckin’ Glenn Hughes [DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH] and Ian Gillan [DEEP PURPLE] and David Coverdale [WHITESNAKE], and you know, real vocalists. I mean, Rob Halford [JUDAS PRIEST], whatever. I’m talking real vocalists.
TheScreamQueen.com: With each DOWN album, the way they’ve progressed over the years, like the first one [“Nola”], you can tell it’s raw, the second one [“Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow”], it’s heavier in a sense and even more melodic, and then the third one [“Over The Under”], it’s completely different with some of the sounds, lyrics, etc… How would you describe the evolution in your way?
Kirk: It’s the same mindset as, you know, the latest CROWBAR, even tenfold… You know, DOWN can do anything. DOWN can be heavy, DOWN can be acoustic, DOWN can be bluesy, you know, we can do anything. So, we like to touch upon all of those elements in everything that we do.
Read the entire interview from TheScreamQueen.com.