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Interview

Wino Of Premonition 13/Saint Vitus Discusses Forthcoming Album & Tours

Scott "Wino" Weinrich seems to have an endless fountain of ideas spouting out of his brain. Just in the last year, he released “Adrift,” an acoustic follow up to the electrified “Punctuated Equilibrium,” as part of his solo-dubbed band. Earlier this year, he played guitar and sang on Premonition 13’s self-titled recording. He also put out a split record with Scott Kelly of Neurosis. Kelly and Wino also play together in Shrinebuilder with Dale Crover (The Melvins) and Al Cisneros (Sleep, Om). These projects are only a few of the many accredited to Wino throughout his 30-plus-year career.

In March, Wino once again manned the mic for doom metal icons and propagators of Black Sabbath, Saint Vitus, as part of the “Metal Alliance” tour with Crowbar, Helmet, Weedeater and others. Saint Vitus came together for a mini-tour and has big plans for the future, including a new album. In the midst of pre-show chaos, Metal Underground got the scoop on these forthcoming endeavors from an ambivalent Wino.

Darren Cowan (Rex_84): Saint Vitus is on tour right now.

Wino: It’s a mini-tour. We’re doing separate shows. Last night, we did the ride for Dimebag Darrell (“Ride For Dime” with Crowbar). That was in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. That wasn’t all that rocking, but tonight we’re feeling great. We have a couple of days on the road and then we fly out to the “Hole in the Sky” festival in Bergen, Norway. Then we fly to Helsinki, Finland for another festival (Nosturi, August 27), and then we head back home.

Then, I have a little time off before I start the tour with Premonition 13. We’re going to do a West Coast tour, eleven shows, and then do a little longer East Coast shot. Then, we are going to fly over to Europe. Saint Vitus will be doing a double set at Roadburn Festival this year with Scott Reager doing his stuff. The Obsessed will be playing, too. We’re doing a reunion show. We’re working on doing other shows with The Obsessed. It’s going to be a “The Church Within” set.

I just recorded an acoustic record with this great singer/songwriter, this German cat—beautiful harmonies. I just got done recording that in Germany. It’s all acoustic. We’re mixing it now, so it should be coming out sometime soon. It’s an import, but we’ll see what happens.

DC: What did you call that project?

Wino: The project is called Wino and Conny Ochs and the record is called “Heavy Kingdom.” It came out really good. We did all analog in a big ‘ole studio...It’s really nice.

DC: You recently joined Helmet and Crowbar on the “Metal Alliance Tour.” How do you feel about that tour?

Wino: I thought it was great. It was a bit of a mismatch with Helmet. The ticket prices were really high because there were so many bands on the bill. Our turnout wasn’t great, but we were drawing, except for a couple of cities. The lower bands on the bill didn’t get treated as well as I think they should have. There was some other drama on their—I had to send one of the road managers home because he was fucking up pretty good. We had some great shows. We had some fantastic shows, especially Greensboro, North Carolina, Denver, Texas. I’d say Denver and San Francisco are neck-and-neck for most happening rock cities. Austin…I’d say maybe there is a three-way tie. A good place to play in San Francisco is The Independent. I love that place.

DC: Did Saint Vitus tour in 2008, after you reunited, or did you just make festival appearances?

Wino: We reunited in 2003. We did two shows and came back again. We were just testing the waters. Heavy rock is back with a vengeance and it’s great! We’re all older. Everyone gets along good. We don’t have the same problems that we did.

DC: How do you divide your time between bands, especially now since Saint Vitus is again at full speed?

Wino: I’m in bands that play traditional metal and doom metal. I’m in Premonition 13—that’s not a full-time band. Shrinebuilder is definitely not a full-time band. We’re lucky if we tour a month a year. We’re trying to record a new record in January or February, but we are so busy. Vitus isn’t really a full-time band, either, although Vitus is probably going to become a full-time band. We’re going to be signing with a label soon. I can’t tell you which one. Then we are going to do some heavy touring. Everybody is free to tour. I don’t have the responsibility of my children anymore, not by choice, but we’ll be on tour.

DC: We understand that Saint Vitus is working on a new record. Can you give us details?

Wino: We’re playing one new song tonight and we’re rehearsing a couple of other ones. I think we’re going to actually start recording in about two weeks.

DC: Do you have a rough schedule for release?

Wino: No, not even close. It’s coming quick. We’re going to be recording really quick.

DC: Can you give us information about your new material?

Wino: It’s pretty covert. You can watch the video clip of “Blessed Night” on YouTube. That’s the song that we’re going to play tonight.

DC: Saint Vitus released the “St. Vitus/Born Too Late,” title tracks from two of your earliest albums, earlier this year. Did you release this as a way to show your fans that you’re back?

Wino: Well, sort of. Volcom wanted a single for the single of the month. Rob, Saint Vitus’ manager from Chicago, said he would quit Volcom. Then, David [Chandler] likes to go into the crowd, so we never had a good take that he likes. They called my buddy Al [Alberto Mojica], my best friend who has taped everything that I’ve done since I’ve known him, and asked him if he had anything. He did, so he sent some live material down to Volcom. He mentioned to the heads of Volcom that he was hanging with me. They’re big fans, so they had us down. The next thing you know, we had dibs and a license.

“Adrift,” my acoustic record came out on a German label [Exile on the Mainstream]. I have two Wino albums. One is “Punctuated Equilibrium,” the electric one. Then there is the acoustic one “Adrift.” There is a little bit of electric on that one, but not much.

DC: Did you release those two albums so you could put out a heavy and a mellow album?

Wino: I did it because I wanted to do it. I liked the songs. It was like therapy. I let off a lot of steam and let go of bitter anger. I think it’s better to let it out like that than take a pipe to someone’s fuckin’ head.

DC: In addition to playing with Saint Vitus, you recently released an album with Premonition 13. Have you been jamming with Jim Karrow (his wife managed The Obsessed) for a long time?

Wino: Yes, for 20 years. He used to play in bands when he was younger, but he never pursued it like I did. We always had these great jams. He’s a great guitar player. We never played with anyone else. I think we played with a percussionist one time. He lives in the high desert. It would get really fucking hot and we’d play all night. Let me tell you something really fucking cool: He bought Aldous Huxley’s house in Llano. On Huxley’s deathbed, he took like 1,000 mm of Acid. Acid is supposed to reach the brain slowly, but going from this to peaking might be a little extreme. I like taking Acid, going to sleep and then waking up. You take it right before you fall asleep, and then wake up tripping.

DC: Do you think fans of Saint Vitus will dig that album? How does it compare to Saint Vitus?

Wino: It’s getting the best reviews of any record that I’ve ever done.

DC: Now that the Hidden Hand ended, do you use Premonition 13 as a channel to write conspiracy-based songs?

Wino: I’ve always believed in crafts. I think we are totally arrogant to think there isn’t other life. I think the Earth is unique. I think every planet is unique, with the way the Sun is placed. Also, I believe in Zecharia Sitchin’s theories. I was reading “The 12th Planet” by Zecharia Sitchin. He’s a Biblical scholar who can translate cuneiform, Babylonian tablets. He told a creation story about another planet that has a super-long orbit, like 25,000 years. All the biblical floods happened when this planet came close to the Earth. The funny thing about it is he actually found it. It’s not Planet X. It’s going to come between the Sun and the Earth. It’s so big, it’s already casing havoc—earthquakes, tsunamis.

We used HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) to cause the tidal wave in Japan. The day of the earthquake, look at what was going on in the sky. There were perfect electrical lines of clouds from when we heated it up. We threatened them and they didn’t play ball, so we did it. There’s all kinds of evil shit, man. Someone needs to channel Tesla. He was the guy. He was peaceful…they are using his shit as weapons now. I think we can do an anti-pigs eliminator, you know.

DC: Saint Vitus lyrics deal with negative emotions and experiences such as drug abuse, depression, isolation, etc. Do the other bands that you play in provide you with a vehicle to express topics of an uplifting nature?

Wino: Saint Vitus is pretty much David’s band. David writes most of the lyrics. I wrote the new song that we’re playing tonight “Blessed Night.” Right now, Shrinebuilder, Premonition and Saint Vitus are the bands I’m playing with. A lot of people think I write all the lyrics in Saint Vitus, but I don’t. I can identify, especially with the alcohol and drug songs.

DC: When did Henry Vasquez (drums) come into the band?

Wino: He came into the band, I think, around two years ago. He was also in Blood of the Sun. He’s from Texas, here. He’s a great-motherfucking drummer. I don’t think the band would be together if it werent’ for Henry. He was a catalyst for our playing together. He’s a hard-working guy. Armondo was great, but Armondo reached the point where his health didn’t allow him to play. Armondo never took care of his self. He had molars that had broken off and turned black. He was all fucked up. Nobody knows what his story is. We heard he died from a blood clot. Nobody knows, it’s all hearsay. The cause has never been posted. I don’t know what they did with the body.

Rex_84's avatar

An avid metal head for over twenty years, Darren Cowan has written for several metal publications and attended concerts throughout various regions of the U.S.

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