Artist to Artist Interviews: WINDHAND Vs. SATAN’S SATYRS
Windhand and Satan’s Satyrs Tour starts tonight in Philly!
Windhand: You recently moved to Richmond. What do you think so far? And what was the driving factor behind moving here?
Satan’s Satyrs: The main reason for moving down was to be in the same city as my guitar player and drummer. Jarrett and Stephen had already moved down at various points over the years and now my joining them has allowed us to do so much more as a band. We’ve been rehearsing, writing, recording, and plotting for the future more than before and it’s great. It’s very affordable to live down here which good for creative types. It’s not as big and exciting as some of the other more expensive cities on the east coast, but as musicians we make our own excitement. I like it so far.
Windhand’s been a band for almost 10 years now. What have been some milestone moments for the band over the years? Are there any further goals for the future?
WH: Definitely would say playing Roadburn was our first big milestone as well as touring Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
We’ve been pretty fortunate to tour with awesome bands and people like High on Fire, Sleep and Danava.
But meeting and working with Jack Endino was pretty special. The man has been involved and seen/heard a lot of music that has been a huge influence over us as a band and individually.
Future goals? I’d like to play Japan and go back to Greece.
So you moved down to Richmond for the band, but what are some other dumb things you’ve done for music?
SS: Perhaps the dumbest thing I’ve done for music was drop out of college to focus on this band. It’s funny that you mentioned Roadburn, because that was the gig that I gave up school to prepare for. When we got the offer to do it, I stopped going to class and we started rehearsing like mad, usually 4 days a week, often twice a day, often until 3 in the morning. It was glorious. It was our first time going to Europe, and up to that point the most people we had ever played to was probably 30, tops. It was a huge deal for us and going to school was getting in the way, so I quit. I say it was dumb in the sense that it’s dumb on paper, but I most definitely don’t regret it. Perhaps it was ill advised, but the pay off since then has been truly life changing.
It’s interesting that you mentioned hoping to go to Japan. In your opinion, what do you think it is about Japan that makes it so appealing for so many of us western musicians? It seems like playing to the Japanese audience is a sort of “final frontier.”
WH: It just seems like a mysterious world over there. There’s really nothing to compare it to in the western world. It also seems pretty hard to get booked over there, from what I’ve heard you have to be invited to play there, you can’t just decide you want to book a tour and go about your business. There are a few “exotic” places I think would be incredible to play, like Egypt or Israel, but Japan is certainly on that list.
Could you see yourself living in any of the places you’ve played? And why?
SS: I love playing out west, from Colorado to California. Coming from the east coast it feels magical out there. It’s so vast and majestic. It’s such a liberating feeling being out there in the dry air and sunshine, on a desert road or in the mountains. It’s very inspiring. And there are great crowds out there in that part of the country, we love playing shows out there. I could definitely see myself living out in the west at some point.
What’s a typical day’s playlist on the road with Windhand? It seems like each of you has his/her own taste. Can y’all agree on anything or is it a constant struggle for control of the stereo?
WH: I don’t think there’s ever been a struggle for control of the radio. Sometimes we’ll go hours without putting anything on, but I can’t drive without background noise like music or a podcast. The Last Podcast on the Left is a personal favorite. As far as music goes, it really could be anything. Lately I’ve been listening to the Growlers and King Dude, though. We try to go easy on our ears during the day.
Are there any graves/landmarks/roadside attractions that you’re trying to see either on this run or in the future? Anything you’ve already seen? I know it can be hard to find the time.
SS: I think the rule of thumb is that when you’re going from city to city don’t expect to have to go sightseeing, but every once and a while you get to see something. We went to Randy Rhoads’ grave and that was a bit of a goosebump moment for me, cause I’ve been such a massive fan since I was a boy. The first time we went to Salt Lake City we went to a place called Saltair on the Great Salt Lake, which was the location where they filmed the deserted carnival in “Carnival of Souls,” which is my favorite film. The old carnival is long since gone, but the general area still had great vibes. Those are a couple special ones for me.
What about you guys? I’m sure you’ve seen some cool stuff.
WH: We’ve been fortunate enough to be able to fit in a good amount of sightseeing. Aside from the obvious things like the Eiffel Tower or the Sydney Opera House, we’ve visited the graves of Houdini, Gram Parsons, John Bonham and Waylon Jennings. The Cliff Burton memorial in Sweden. Stopped off at a couple movie-related landmarks like Goonies house and the Dinosaurs from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. The natural sights are probably the coolest though. I think the Moeraki Boulders in New Zealand were my favorite.
You seem to have your vices under control, so you may want to call in one of the other guys for this: any good stories about bad hangovers? And, maybe on a related note, what was your worst drive?
SS: I remember the first time driving across Kansas really sucked. We were running late and going 100 mph the whole drive, and of course it was every bit as endless and soul-crushing as people say it is. Long drives can suck, but I like them if you’ve got good music and the scenery is nice. It’s meditative almost.
Obviously, hangovers are par for the course when you’re on tour. I try to be the responsible one of the bunch, but we all let loose some time or another, be it in a spooky empty motel in the middle of the desert or during last call in a busted up strip club. Then you get a few hours sleep and wake up feeling like shit, but you go eat some greasy-ass Denny’s, put some Van Halen on the stereo and keep driving and you’re feeling good to go.
A very important question here, Wawa or Sheetz?
WH: Shit. The great debate! If the tank was on E and we only had time to stop at one, I would probably end up at Sheetz. They offer black, unsweetened iced coffee and Wawa only offers ice cream disguised as coffee. I think Wawa just recently started selling cans of cold brew so we’ll see how things unfold on the road this time around.
I think it’s time to wrap this up. See you in Philly!
May 17 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts
May 18 Pittsburgh, PA Cattivo
May 19 Toronto, ON Horseshoe Tavern
May 20 Detroit, MI Loving Touch
May 21 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle
May 22 Minneapolis, MN 7th St. Entry
May 23 Milwaukee, WI Cactus Club
May 24 Indianapolis, IN The Hi-Fi
May 25 Columbus, OH Ace of Cups