New Orlean’s sludge metal pioneers CROWBAR bring their low key, slow, brooding doom metal sound fused with hardcore punk aggression for the first time ever to the Greek audience.
Few days before their show in Athens vocalist/ guitarist and sole founding member Kirk Windstein, answers our questions in detail regarding their recent release “Zero And Below” as well as their future plans.
RockOverdose: Hello Kirk and thank you for accepting our invitation. 33 years of Crowbar in the year of ’23. Quite a ride so far, right?
Kirk Windstein (CROWBAR): Yes it’s been a great ride.
RockOverdose: Did your expectations run so much into the future while forming the band?
Kirk Windstein (CROWBAR): We had no idea what was going to happen but we just wanted to have fun playing music and touring the world.
RockOverdose: Did you see it coming or were you taking it always day by day?
Kirk Windstein (CROWBAR): Day by day
RockOverdose: Your 12th album entitled “Zero And Below” came out last year, being once again as always a very solid album. What new did it add to your history and how do you see it after a complete year after its release?
Kirk Windstein (CROWBAR): We went old school and 100% on this album as always. We felt that we wanted to put out the best album that we could. We love it.
RockOverdose: Is the title of the last album a way to show that no matter how negative we think things may go, there’s always worse to come?
Kirk Windstein (CROWBAR): My thoughts are always that when you think you have it bad, someone else has it worse. I want people to be positive. iDid the title come out from something specific or you felt it was strong anyway to fit the album? The title was originally a song title I had a long time ago. After naming the last track on album as Zero and Below I asked the guys what they thought for that as an album title and they said hell yes. It’s a great title.
RockOverdose: Τhe line-up of the band has been pretty stable the last 5 years, but it’s the first time Shane Wesley records an album. Which new elements has he brought to the band and how much has he helped you live prior and after the release of the album, just to have an idea?
Kirk Windstein (CROWBAR): Shane “The Young Rocker” is a great all around musician and person. He has brought a lot of energy to the band and has a great attitude toward Crowbar and our future. I have played bass for most of the albums so it was great to have someone be creative and write and also play on the album.
RockOverdose: It’s the second time Crowbar have a 6 year gap, with the previous being between 2005 and 2011. Were the factors the same in this album’s delay, or is it based mainly on the covid situation?
Kirk Windstein (CROWBAR): Covid pushed back the release. It was ready to go in 2020 but we had to push it to 2022. How did you see it affect the bands, as you’ve been friends with many bands out there.
RockOverdose: What kept Crowbar sane throughout this period and how strong is this return with the new album?
Kirk Windstein (CROWBAR): During Covid we all had to be a bit creative. We did live streams and it also brought Down back together for a live stream for the 25th anniversary of Nola album. It made us realize that we wanted to play again. Thankfully we are all back touring.
RockOverdose: The years pass by but I honestly believe your voice matures like a fine old wine each time. The screams are more direct, the mellow parts closer to the heart and your personal touch even more recognizable. Is this evolution something natural for you?
Kirk Windstein (CROWBAR): Yes my voice has changed over the years and I am very conscious that I could not sing the way I did 30 years ago today ( thankfully lol) i feel that I sing better now.
RockOverdose: Did you work hard on it through the decades, or just let it take its shape physically?
Kirk Windstein (CROWBAR): It naturally happened as I got older and also matured musically.
RockOverdose: In my country, we always valued Crowbar as the most honest band out there, giving no shit about trends and walking a lonely path of being different. As undoubted pioneers of a sound unknown when you started, did you ever believe we’d come to a point where each year brings you to more recognition, though people think you should be quite enormous?
Kirk Windstein (CROWBAR): I go by the words of Lemmy! “ Slow and Steady wins the Race”. We are not Metallica and not trying to be. We love playing music and slowly gaining new fans.
RockOverdose: Speaking of my country, it’s quite unbelievable we never saw Crowbar and it’s going to be the first time. Did you ever have any offers in the previous years that for somehow weren’t fulfilled?
Kirk Windstein (CROWBAR): No.
RockOverdose: How does it feel to play in a new place each time, though you already visited us with Down?
Kirk Windstein (CROWBAR): It feels great. One of my goals with being a professional musician is to visit every country that I can and play for everyone.
RockOverdose: Will we have any surprises to celebrate this moment, or will the set be specific as in all cities?
Kirk Windstein (CROWBAR): We have a set for this tour since we are celebrating the 30th year of our Self Titled Album. Lots of classics and 3 from the newest album.
RockOverdose: We know you are a big fan of music with many bands and artists to inspire you. Does the musician accept easily the fact that he becomes inspiration for others, as his heroes inspired him in the past?
Kirk Windstein (CROWBAR): It’s an honor.
RockOverdose: Did you ever think people would view Crowbar in the future the same way you viewed Black Sabbath, Saint Vitus, Thin Lizzy and Motorhead back then?
Kirk Windstein (CROWBAR): Absolutely not. When I was young that was unrealistic. So I am blessed.
RockOverdose: Does it make it worth the sacrifices of all these years?
Kirk Windstein (CROWBAR): Yes yes yes. Its always worth the gain ( that’s a new song)
RockOverdose: Your lyrics have always been an open wound to the bone and the heart and many people took them as lessons to their everyday lives. Do you drag inspiration from the same facts you did in the past, or is reality of the later years more deadly to help you express yourself through your thought?
Kirk Windstein (CROWBAR): My life now is fantastic, and I probably get more lyrical ideas from my current life. My lyrics in the past when I was young were pretty depressing. That’s the music I listened to and was influenced by. Thin Lizzy, Tyoe O etc. How do you see the fact that through dark descriptions, people see a bright side showing them the light at the end of the tunnel of their lives? That’s always been the purpose of my lyrics.
RockOverdose: Allow me to give some praise to your personal album “Dream In Motion”. Why do you thing it was the right time to be released 3 years ago?
Kirk Windstein (CROWBAR): I have always wanted to do it and it took 2 years to complete when I started in 2917. Did you erase a big dream from your bucket list with this album finally? Yes I did and. I have my second one coming out very soon. Down took it somehow more loose through the years and Kingdom Of Sorrow haven’t released something in quite a long time.
RockOverdose: Is there a chance for new materials including you aside from Crowbar in the near future, or any confirmed detail you could share with us?
Kirk Windstein (CROWBAR): I have a song with Kenny Hickey and Johnny Kelly from Type o Negative and Todd Strange formerly of Crowbar that should be out within a month, new solo album as mentioned , Kingdom is being worked on a bit and Down is on hold while Philip does Pantera.
RockOverdose: I would like to thank you for your time in this interview and for the company of 30 years since I first listened to you with the self-titled album. It’s a real honour and the way you always did things your way has been nothing less than inspiring for us all. Close the interview as you wish and prepare for some hell to be raised in Athens, for we craved for you long enough
Kirk Windstein (CROWBAR): Thank you for the questions. We are very excited to play Athens and hope that everyone enjoys the show!!