01. Could we start the interview with a description of the band, maybe there's some lost soul who doesn't know you, let's show 'em the way shall we?
Our band consists of Lars Eric Si, Carl August Tidemann, Jan Axel von Blomberg, and myself, Andy Winter. Some of us have played or still play in other bands such as Arcturus, Kovenant, Mayhem, etc, but our music in Winds is quite different from the style of any of these other bands. We combine classical influences with metal and progressive influences in our music. The vocals are melodic, not high pitched, and we use organic instruments in our sound such as piano and violins in addition to acoustic and electric guitars.
02. So, "The Imaginary Direction Of Time" is finally out, what's different this time around? Do you feel this album different as "Reflections Of The I"?
For me these two albums are definitely very different from one another. It may not seem that way to the random listener but once you get into the subtle differences they are in fact huge. The main differences lie in the improvement we have achieved as composers and performers, and there are also some production differences that stand out. Overall we are even more satisfied with the new album as we feel it represents more of our accomplishments both as individual musicians and as a band. It's also mixed in a better studio which makes a big difference on the overall sound. We chose to do some things differently this time around, because we didn't want to repeat ourselves or walk in the same footsteps that we had before. We also believed we could make some improvements that would make us even happier with the final result, and we feel we accomplished that.
03. Three quarter of the members of Winds came form a past [or a present] playing in some pure Black Metal acts such as Mayhem, Khold and Arcturus. Winds are surely not Black Metal. Often we hear about the death of Norwegian Black metal, overshadowed by the new Thrash attack from Sweden and the Folk/Viking metal from Finland. Can bands like Winds [but also different bands like Ulver, late Arcturus, late Satyricon, Ephel Duath, Samael and so on] be seen as the natural evolution of Norwegian black metal? Musicians coming from a Black Metal background do find their new course in avantgarde bands? Maybe the spirit of revolt of 90's Black Metal now changed into a will of experimentation, a will of break the schemes of a Black Metal that has become much too static for their will to create? They say that Black Metal is the genre of metal that change the less: could it be the opposite? Could Black Metal morph in multiple ways that they simply cannot see?
It is somewhat of a misconception that we have roots in black metal. Carl for instance was never into black metal, he only played on one Arcturus album, which was never considered black metal anyway, and Lars also never had any significant background in black metal, he joined Khold as a bassist just as a hired help pretty much, and that didn't even last long. Lars and Jan Axel are the only ones of us who have any musical connections to this genre what so ever, but Jan Axel even played progressive metal before Mayhem. We always try to make it clear that Winds is not a black or death metal band, nor does it have any connection or roots from black or death metal even if some of our members have played in bands of this genre.
04. Do you really think that classical music has something in common with metal? I mean: nowadays Metal have partitures, and arrangements much more complex than 10 or 20 years ago, and can sometimes [in the most progressive and experimental bands] duel in it with jazz. Do you find a common element between classical music and metal in this search for a layered and symphonic [but not necessarily orchestral] type of music?
I think metal, like a lot of the music of our time, is constantly evolving. It also has influences from classical music but this comparison can be made to all kinds of music since all music really originated from classical music. You can argue that rap and hip hop has very little to do with classical music, but it can also be argued that rap and hip hop in most cases isn't even really music, because it's more about what they have to say than about the music. The same goes for a lot of popular artists out there who are more like political speakers than musicians.
05. How 4 virtuosos musicians like you cooperate in the creation phase? Is it a planned way to work or your albums are totally part of your improvisation?
There is a good deal of improvisation in our music but the basic structures of the compositions are always planned ahead of time. We usually start with a framework of a melody line or an idea, and then we build on that by adding harmony layers and arrangements for the different instruments. Each person is pretty much responsible for their own instrument but we do discuss ideas and take advice from one another. We've also started to cooperate more in the compositional process lately so that each member is even more involved in the basic formation of the music and not only arrangements.
06. Any touring planned?
We do not have any touring planned and it's pretty much for sure that there won't be any touring for this album. Without elaborating much further on this, the main reasons are that it's difficult to transform our sound to a stage without adding more band members. Also because we live in different places it's not practically possible for us to rehearse, and we're also very busy with other things so we wouldn't really be able to take the time to go on a longer tour anyway.
07. How do you see the Metal scene these days? Any good stuff? Any particular band has caught your attention? What are your biggest Metal influences?
I am not very involved in the metal scene and I don't know what's going on as far as new bands, etc. I don't even really listen to music that much. I have tried to at least check out the CD's that people send me, but most of the time I'm too involved in working with music so I only end up listening to my own stuff.
08. What does the future have in stock for Winds? Do you have any ideas that would like to develop further on?
We're going to be doing some promotion for the new album, lots of interviews, etc, and then we have already gotten far into the writing process of our next album as well. So we expect to start recording this fall and hopefully we can have something finished within another year or so. We're continuously working on ideas and we have lots of creative energy these days.
09. Any last words to all your fans out there?
Just that we want to thank everyone for supporting us and especially Metal Storm for making a great review of our album. We appreciate it very much.
Undercraft Note: Thanks to Sephiroth for helping me out with this interview!