Interview: Kirk Windstein from Crowbar/Down/Kingdom Of Sorrow

Crowbar have been around since 1991, creating slow and intense riffmonsters which make you feel like swallowing a big gulp of heavy metal lava. Charismatic singer Kirk Windstein is also a member of the supergroup Down (together with Phil Anselmo, Rex Brown, Pepper Keenan and Jimmy Bower) and just released the second CD of his side project Kingdom Of Sorrow.

Metalgeek met up with Kirk during the current Crowbar tour in Vienna:

Metalgeek: Thank you for taking the time to do the interview – I’ve been a massive Crowbar-fan since I first listened to your self-titled album when I was 13.

Kirk: (laughs) You make me feel old!

Metalgeek: Sorry! How does it feel to still be on the road with Crowbar after so many years?

Kirk: It’s work you know – I mean I enjoy playing the gigs but the rest of it sucks. I’m missing my wife, I’m missing my daughter and I’m missing New Orleans. In my other bands Down and Kingdom of Sorrow we won’t do more than two weeks tops because everybody is older, longer touring is worse for your body you know … but the shows have been great, the fans have been great and playing is great, but the rest of it sucks!
It’s my 23rd time touring Europe so it’s no big deal, you know. When I was younger and I first came out here I did go sightseeing, but I don’t have the energy any more.

Metalgeek: So what’s your recipe for killing time in between shows?

Kirk: Ususally I’m on the internet skyping my girl and three hours before the show it’s time for my first beer! As I get older it’s less partying and definitely less after-show-partying. I did a lot of it during the years but nowadays every morning when I wake up I thank myself for not doing the after-show-party!

Metalgeek: Crowbar have been touring through Europe since June 18th although you don’t have a current record out – and the last one, “Life’s Blood for the Downtrodden”, is already five years old …

Kirk: We’re going to record a new album when we get home! The songs are more or less ready, the riffs are all there, so we are very close to gtting into the studio to record it. So with this European tour we’re just trying to get the name back out there. We supported Sepultura back in april and that went really well, so we tried to do some festivals and gigs to let everybody know that we are still around and that there will be a new record.

Metalgeek: Speaking of new records – you just released the second CD of your side project Kingdom Of Sorrow, your band with Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta. “Behind The Blackest Tears” turned out really heavy and you will play the new songs on the upcoming Ozzfest tour I suppose …

Kirk: Yeah, that will be so much fun! And the line-up for Ozzfest sounds fantastic!

Metalgeek: How do you distribute your energy between Crowbar, Kingdom Of Sorrow and your third band, the heavy metal supergroup Down?

Kirk: You know, right now I’m in Crowbarworld, when I get home we’ll play a few festivals with Down, so I’m in Downworld. And when I come back from that we’ll start recording the new Crowbar record and then I’m in Kingdom Of Sorrow-World for the Ozzfest … and then back to Downworld for writing some new stuff! Im always focused on what I’m doing at the moment, so there is no confusion (laughs)!

Metalgeek: So what can you tell us about the new Crowbar record?

Kirk: Heavy (laughs)! What we have is really, really good, I think people will really enjoy it. When we come back to the states we will put it together. I told the guys ‘Let’s take a few more weeks even if it means that we can’t get it out this year’ – because it is too important of a record for us to rush it. It’s been this long since the last one so what the fuck … it has to be a really strong record so a couple more months is totally worth it.

Metalgeek: You’ve been the support act for AC/DC in Bukarest/Romania recently, what can you tell us about that?

Kirk: We were all in awe … it’s playing before fucking AC/DC in front of 50.000 people! That’s a once in a lifetime thing. I even got to hold and play Malcolm Young’s guitar. We didn’t get to meet AC/DC because they are just so big. When they pulled up it was shuttle vans and police and everybody had to move like 100 meters away … they walked straight on to the stage and when they were done straight off the stage, in the van and they were gone.

Metalgeek: You supported Metallica back in 2008, did you get to hang around with them?

Kirk: Yeah, they hang out! I’ve met them a long time ago and James has been a Down fan ever since the beginning. C.O.C had supported Metallca, so Pepper (Keenan, C.O.C and Down guitarist) knows James well. After the show James would come to our dressing room, sometimes he even brought his wife and kids, but in this case he made sure that nobody was smoking anything …I think he’s a good father, that’s awesome. Lars and Robert would invite us to their dressing room after the show and James would also be there, but as he has been sober for a couple of years now he would leave after some time – and you gotta respect him for that. For being one of the biggest bands on the planet Metallica are very cool guys, very down to earth. They’r just regular guys who happen to be … rich (laughs)!

Metalgeek: What’s the current status of Down?

Kirk: Well we’re doing some festivals and stuff and I talked to Rex (Brown, bassist) the other day and we’ll meet up in two weeks and jam a little bit. Then we fly offto London to rehearse for the High Voltage Festival and then we have a festival in Spain. We have a lot of ideas and riffs already so there’ll definitely be a new Down record in the near future.

Metalgeek: One last question: Whatever happened to (charismatic Crowbar bass player until 2000) Sexy T?

Kirk: Oh he just retired. He’s doing alright, I’ve been keeping in touch with him. But he doesn’t play music any more. He enjoyed being in Crowbar but he smoked a lot of weed and drank a little back in the time – and when he quit both the music thing just became boring for him …

One Response to “Interview: Kirk Windstein from Crowbar/Down/Kingdom Of Sorrow”

  1. Good to hear Crowbar is finally gettin their shit together, can’t wait for the new album, also new down album will be fuckin immense. Kinda dissappointed they’ve not played the UK on their tour, hope they come in the near future, they are a must see.

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