Interview: Kip Winger & Reb Beach, Winger

Pullin' Power

Winger's third album, Pull, provides a shock, as the band renowned for their melodic anthems have taken a left turn and ridden into rougher, harder territory. Is the present direction down to the departure of keyboardist Paul Taylor?

"Reb and I wrote all the songs. We wrote a few with Paul but they really weren't fitting to where we were going," replies vocalist-bassit Kip Winger.

Taylor's replacement is a new guitarist by the name of John Roth, who, according to dual six stringer Reb Beach was "the only guy who could play Seventeen the right way. He just pegged it."

Is Pull a conscious attempt to escape the big ballad tag?

"I'd call Miles Away a bad move. It's not representative of what we do," begins Kip. "We're lucky 'cos we've had some heavy hits so it's not as damaging in that way."

The new record is definitely heavier, far more direct.

"Yeah, it's more in tune with what we do," reasons the vocalist. "Since Paul left it was Reb and me that were left to our own devices. We wrote 5 or 6 songs out of habit. They sucked so we trashed them. We tried to be a bit more creative. It took a year to write this album."

We then move on to the tracks, beginning with Blind Revolution.

"It's just me observing the news, the same weird shit happening. The thing that makes it unique is the beginning where I talk about the kid born into the world with the willingness to do anything good. Through not being able to achieve your goals your frustration builds up until you buy a gun and kill everyone in McDonalds!"

My next choice for discussion, No Man's Land elicits a positive response from Kip.

"That's a song about living in the fast lane and eventually it catches up with you."

Junkyard Dog, however, is a lean mean Metallica-style grunge machine.

"I was screwing around with that riff and was trying to write something really heavy with a bridge like Aerosmith's Seasons of Wither," answers Reb before Kip takes over.

"It's an anti-drug song about a friend of mine who died. What makes it different is the vocals. A lot of heavy bands don't do vocals like that. We brought them down a few registers."

Reb then regains the reins.

"I don't think Junkyard Dog would have been on our first two albums merely because the people surrounding us weren't into that sort of music and influenced us to write more poppy stuff. I think when that when all the grunge bands came out they influenced us to go in the direction we wanted."

And so they did.

Joe Mackett
Riff Raff
July 1993

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