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Scott “Wino” Weinrich

Interview with Scott “Wino” Weinrich from Wino
by Harry Papadopoulos, Dimitris Karametos at 21 November 2010, 7:11 PM

It was Tuesday afternoon, and I was running like a maniac in order to be on time and find DimKar, in order to have a really interest and friendly, I would not say interview, but, conversation with Scott "Wino" Weinrich, a living legend in the Metal scene that he is a part of for 33 years. So, here are the most important things that Scott said to us, in a conversation that in most of the time reminded a chat between friends talking about themselves.

I was wandering… You are an artist for so many years and for some you are a legend. You’ve influenced so many bands. I’d like to know your influences. Where do you get all those ideas?
A big influence is Frank Zappa, Hendrix, THE BEATTLES… well I like THE BEATTLES since I was a boy, but I never really liked there happy stuff. BLACK SABBATH of course. I saw SABBATH on my twelfth birthday, during the ‘Paranoid’ tour a gig that changed my life pretty much. From the time I saw SABBATH I knew I wasn’t into that happy music. The music has to be “a gut” thing, you know? It has to hit you hard in the gut and, to me, it’s an emotional thing.

Was BLACK SABBATH the first gig that you saw?
Well the first lives shows that I saw were BLACK SABBATH on ‘Paranoid’ tour, Alice Cooper in ‘Killers’ tour…

I really envy you! (laughs)
Well, yeah, I am a lucky man!

Are the fans a motive for you to keep going? An influence, if I may say so, to continue?
What keeps me going is what I always believed that I was born with a gift it’s important to me to carry the torch.

Looking at the names of the bands that you were involved,, I can see a spiritual side. I mean, if you see the names: SAINT VITUS, THE OBSESSED, HEADDEN HAND, SPIRIT CARAVAN, even SHRINEBUILDER
SAINT VITUS wasn’t my name, but everything, even the name of the bands, is about emotion is about art and it’s about hope…

“Adrift” feels so personal, so emotional. It is such a different album from what you have done in the past. I mean, it’s just like a blues guitar player, playing his heart out…
It may seems a bit kind of strange to put everything out there, but for me it’s just like therapy.

(interrupting) It’s like a catharsis…
Yeah, it is like a catharsis and also like exercising your demons… Especially for my personal life… And it is much better for me to write a song about those problems rather than taking a gun and do something crazy. (laughs)

Why an acoustic album?
Well, that’s a good question. It’s kind of a weird story It after the recording of “Punctuated Equilibrium”. And I’m talking about Jon Blank. He was a great guy. Nobody really knew who he was, but he was a great player and it was like magic when we recorded the alum. I knew that Jon had some drug issues, and so did I, but during the recordings of “Punctuated Equilibrium” and after them we were fine, but when we got on tour we were fucked up again, but I wasn’t at the same drugs that he was into, so we cleaned up and did a small tour for ten days before having four days off to start a big tour, six weeks, supporting CLUTCH. And the first day we went home Jon died and it was really hard for me. But before that, in the release party that we had, a friend of mine who has a motorcycle magazine and wanted me with one of my motorcycles on the cover, has a poster saying "Wino will do a small acoustic set at the end of the party". He didn’t ask me to do that (laughs)! And even though I was like “What the fuck dude?” I did it and it was really bad (laughs). So I told myself that if I’m going to do that, I’m going to do it right. So I wrote some acoustic songs with my guitar… And after Jon died that friend of mine told me to jump on the bus and do the rest of the tour acoustic. So I did it. And it turned out good, the people enjoyed it So I decided to go for it, even though I had a proposition four years ago. I know that everyone is doing it nowadays, but for me it’s a challenge.

What do you expect from the audience in a couple of hours?
Well, I know the Greek audience is really into Metal, I know that there are going to be people talking, I don’t mind that since I know that most of the fans will be there to listen to me. I played in many strange places, like in a cave or a cathedral. I try not to play in the usual rock places, ok here in Athens we don’t know much so we’ll stick with what we know.

There are two covers in "Adrift". One from MOTORHEAD and another one that I can’t remember the band right now (laughs)
Yeah, SAVOY BROWN“Shot In The Head”. I was probably 12 years old when I heard the song, now I turned 50 a few days ago, and I never listened to that song until recently. But I always remembered “Shot In The Head”. So after listening to it again last year, I decided to make a cover. And the same thing happened with “Iron Horse / Born To Lose”.

Are you going to continue with your other bands? SAIND VITUS and SHRINEBUILDER?
Yes I will. I’ve never thought that I would talk about SAINT VITUS until this late. We have a new life and that’s pretty amazing. It’s hard to imagine that this would the the greatest band I’ve been until now. I remember in 14987 when I joined the band, we couldn’t drop 50 people in the States. When we played in Europe we had 500 people. Over the years we struggled hard, we had every day jobs and stuff… But we are still here, rocking!

When should we expect a new album from SAINT VITUS?
We are working on new stuff and we played two new songs when we were on tour. Hopefully next year the album will be ready. And as for SHRINEBUILDER? It’s my favorite band, man. The energy level of the group is up and it’s incredible. And you know what? Scot Kelly? Man, he can write a song! He’s got the heart.

Is there any new bands that got your attention recently?
No I always find myself looking backwards.

So what should we expect to listen in a few hours?
Well, I’m going to play almost all the songs from the "Adrift" album and some other covers that you will find out during the show.

Which is your favorite song from “Adrift”?
I don’t know. I’d probably say the self title song. To me is has something like a Celtic flair and I didn’t have the words. So I carried the music along for a really long time… I believe that this song is ten – fifteen years old. I had some problems and I went in jail for about a month, so that song is about those days.

Well, thanks a lot Scott for this friendly chat.
My pleasure guys. See you in a few hours.


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Edited 08 February 2023

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