Earlier this week, Justin M. Norton of Hellbound.ca conducted an interview with SAINT VITUS frontman Scott "Wino" Weinrich. Wino discussed his upcoming acoustic album "Adrift"; his relationship with SHRINEBUILDER bandmate Scott Kelly and SAINT VITUS' recording plans. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Hellbound.ca: Have you always wanted to work on a primarily acoustic album?
Wino: I didn't really think about it until a little while ago. I'd been over to Germany and I was playing guitar one day and someone asked me if I had ever considered an acoustic record. It was a few years ago but I wasn't feeling it and I just wasn't interested. There were a strange set of circumstances that led me to playing acoustic live for the first time. It was pretty bad. I decided if I was going to do it I was going to do it right so I sat down and just wrote a few acoustic songs. After that I felt a little more confident. Then I did "Punctuated Equilibrium" and our bass player died unexpectedly. That's when I started to warm up for gigs with the acoustic and it felt good.
Hellbound.ca: You are bandmates with Scott Kelly in SHRINEBUILDER and are touring with him playing acoustic music. Scott's done two acoustic albums — did you talk to him when you started working on this material?
Wino: I did. I asked him about a lot of stuff. He's a good guy to go to for advice. He's been doing this for a while. We played the songs we're doing together for the first time last night and I think it's going to be really cool.
Hellbound.ca: What's the difference after a career playing with SAINT VITUS and THE OBSESSED? Does playing acoustic make you feel more exposed? Or is it a bigger challenge?
Wino: Both, actually. You don't have a big wall of sound behind you. It's you and your instrument. It's a challenge but I like a challenge. Recording "Adrift" was much harder than I though it would be. I thought it would be a breeze, but it ended up being a real learning experience.
Hellbound.ca: The '90s were a tough decade for you. What do you make of the fact that it's 2011 and you are hitting a creative peak as an artist and your old bands are finally getting the attention they deserve?
Wino: I'm pretty stunned, to be honest with you. I never thought this would happen, especially with "Adrift". I never in a million years thought we'd be talking about SAINT VITUS now but here we are on the move again. It's all looking pretty good, and it's unusual. But it's OK with me. When I turned 50, I realized it was time to loosen up. I decided not to worry as much and realized I'd be OK if I had a few beers. I had an attitude change. I'm not as uptight anymore.
Hellbound.ca: VITUS has been touring a lot .. are you working on new songs?
Wino: We're already doing new material. I wrote the lyrics to a song we played live on our last European tour. It went over really well. We're getting together to work on an album in June or July. We're going to go to (drummer) Henry's (Vasquez) house and record.
Hellbound.ca: I imagine it will be interesting recording with those guys… it's been a while since you've been in the studio together.
Wino: I think it's going to be easier because the older you get the more times you've done it. I've been at this for a long time now and I'll be ready to do my part.
Hellbound.ca: Why does VITUS continue to resonate?
Wino: Because it comes from the gut. The music has that low tone and it hits you in those emotional places. I've always tried to make the lyrics just as interesting as the music. It's always been a little bit dark but I'm not drawn to the happy stuff. I like music that grabs you by the balls.
Read the entire interview at Hellbound.ca.