KIP WINGER!

In an Elevenses Special, we catch up with Kip Winger and talk about his new album 'From The Moon To The Sun'.

Kip Winger is as prolific as a musician can be. He is a multi-talented instrumentalist, revered songwriter and founder of the multi-platinum Winger. His latest solo album 'From The Moon To The Sun' is released on 9th May 2008 through Frontiers Records. Already hailed as a masterpiece, the album also features All Out Guitar favourite Andy Timmons.

So what is your drink of choice at 11am in the morning?

Coffee!

OK, the new album From The Moon To The Sun - how long has this been in the making and is it all recent material?

5 years, I started in Istanbul with Cenk Eroglu (you can see some of the studio time on YOUTUBE) I worked on the record in between touring and producing.

I co-wrote a few songs with Ken Rose (American living in London). Ghosts 1st movement, took about 8 months to write (there are 2 more movements I'm recording next month in New York).

When I felt like I had enough good material, I started assembling the tracks for mixing which took about 2 months.

The production is sublime, your partnership with producer Cenk Eroglu is clearly a winning formula?

Thank you, Cenk is a very talented guy. He co-produced all the tracks done in Turkey - he has a great perspective on music. The other ones I did here in Nashville. I actually worked in several locations which ended up giving me a different perspective on how the songs work, because each room sounded so different.

How does recording with Andy Timmons and Reb Beach differ and who is the least obedient?

Haha... It's interesting, they are both extremely intuitive. Winger vs Kip
Winger solo are two different animals. The Winger music is based largely off
Rebs riffs, and the solo music isn't really rock music. But the approach is
similar in that we try to do what is right for the song.

With Reb, we used a Marshal JMP with a Mesa Boogie cabinet (which is in my studio), Reb normally uses Sur amps. I mic the Marshall with a SM57 into a Neve pre.

With Andy, the main sound is through a Vox AC30 mic with a SM57 and a Royer R 121 into a Neve pre.

It's always a pleasure to work with musicians of that calibur, I usually just press record and let them go for 4 or 5 passes, then we zero in on the most special bits and go from there.

Obedient? That's histerical...well Reb drinks more beer...

Will you be taking this one out on the road, and if you do, will there be a full band with Andy Timmons maybe?

I would love to! It would be at least a 6 piece band and I'm hoping to do a Live DVD of the solo music sometime this year.

The Middle Eastern influences are recurrent on the album, are your musical and political tastes directly reflected in this?
And following on from question 6, are you inspired by Peter Gabriel and if so, have you heard the epic Signal To Noise from his 2002 album UP?

Only musical and it is interesting that politically it has relevance.

It started when I visited Egypt in late 1996. "Free" was the first thing I wrote with that modality. Cenk is a master at it, having gone to the conservatory of music in Ankara. It's not just harmonic minor, much of it is based on the folk music of the middle east. Very interesting music.

Yes and Yes... I first really got into Peter Gabriel on Security, then promptly went out and bought his past catalogue and everything he comes out with. Super high quality music and lyrics!

Tell us about the instrumental Ghosts which we reviewed as: conjuring up imagery of Ingmar Bergman movies and Prokofiev soundtracks?

I began writing Ghosts when I began studying composition with Michael Kurek from Blair school of music and Vanderbuilt - www.michaelkurek.com In my first lesson he had me write a paragraph on what my piece of music would be, idea being, to clearify the images etc... I was new to Nashville and in the studio I was working in I kept seeing a Ghost! (right...I'm out there..oh well)

Anyway, as I started working on the music as in many musical situations, the images were shifting into what you hear on the first movement. It began as Flute carrying the melody from 1 to M7 as it evolved I kept hearing it as a String Quintet, Piano and Harp, which had the right balance to carry the music. Most of the scales are octatonic - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octatonic_scale

It has a dash of French impressionism and a dash modernism. I originally wrote it for Ballet and have written 2 more movements. The second is based on one of the Messiaen "Modes of limited Transposistion" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modes_of_limited_transposition

I altered number six by leaving out the b natural, it's basically the first half of a major scale and the second half of Phrygian, C D E F F# G# A# C , inherent in this scale is the beautiful whole tone scale but you also have the tension of the F to F# half step.

The 3rd Movement is a combination of the first two and a few references to the melodies and cells. I will record it with a larger group (31 pieces) in NY in May 2008.

If asked, what would you actually say your main instrument was these days - bass, 12 String, piano, vocal? You seem to be blessed with many musical talents.

Thank you but I consider myself a bit of a hack instrumentalist, I guess Bass and Vocals. I have developed my 12-String playing over the years, but I recognized years ago that writing music was my greatest passion.

Do you find it hard to decide where your songwriting ends up. In other words do you think Hmmm, I will keep that one for my next solo album, use that one with Winger and give that one to The Mob?

Usually the song will tell you. Sometimes I'll hold back a song if I'm not totally sure it fits. There was a song on FTMTTS that I didn't use because I just couldn't get it to do what I was hearing. Actually over the years that
has been the biggest struggle. It's taking a very long time of writing to be able to hit the mark on the first few tries.

So what’s your drink of choice at 11pm in the evening?

Red Wine! Unless I'm in England where a pint would do the trick.

Thank you,

Kip

www.kipwinger.com

www.frontiers.it

Interview - 16th April 2008