Austin Winkler of Hinder

by Deb Rao
Staff Writer

Hinder is currently out on the road taking the concert scene by storm, in support of their latest release All American Nightmare. Hinder have sold more than 3 million albums in the U.S. with their two previous release Extreme Behavior, and Take It To The Limit. The Oklahoma rock band has toured with such rock icons Motley Crue and their first major tour featured three dates with Boston’s legendary Aerosmith in 2006.

Hinder is gearing up to return to Boston, on Wednesday, Feb. 2 at the new state of the art new nightclub Royale Boston on Tremont Street, Feb. 4 at Lupos Heartbreak Hotel in Providence, RI and Feb. 8 in New York City at Best Buy Theater. Hinder’s latest single title track All American Nightmare can be heard on radio stations across the country.

On the song,” Put That Record On”, singer Austin Winkler sings,” I know rock and roll is the soundtrack of our lives.” This verse could not be truer. On their latest release, as a young band, Hinder have developed into one of the most dynamic rock bands in music today. Hinder take they’re song-writing to the next level. Writing songs that fans and new comers can identify written from the heart and valuable life experiences on the road that make this album an adventure from start to finish. Produced by Kevin Churko and Cody Hanson, All American Nightmare is very radio friendly, the guitar riffs are razor sharp, and singer Austin Winkler is giving the performance of a lifetime. Austin takes his vocal prowess to the next level singing with much conviction fortified, sultry and compelling.

From start to finish, All American Nightmare is laden with hits. Hinder explore new boundaries such as the blues, hard rock, and also combine their arena power ballads such as “The Life” making All American Nightmare one of their most diverse efforts to date.

In this exclusive interview with Hardrock Haven, singer Austin Winkler discusses in-depth the making of All American Nightmare, and Austin gives an exclusive track by track of All American Nightmare. Hinder Frontman Austin Winkler discusses why All American Nightmare is destined to be one of the hottest album releases of the year.

Hinder features Austin Winkler on vocals, Mark King on guitar, Joe “Blower” Garvey on guitar, Mike Rodden on bass, and Cody Hanson on drums.

HRH: Austin, Thank for checking in with Hardrock Haven to to discuss your latest album release, All American Nightmare and tour. Now, the band is currently out on the road. You are headed to the East Coast this week. How is the tour going so far?

Austin: It is doing really good. It is good too finally have the record out. People seem to be digging it a lot. We just played Hard Rock in Orlando last night. It was awesome. I love the Hard Rock. We are excited to get to Boston and rock your panties off! Do you know what I mean?

HRH: Tell us a little bit about the set list. Will the band be performing a lot of new material from your latest release All American Nightmare?

Austin: Yes, and it just kind of happened that way. We were playing the new material five months before the new record came out. It was really well received. So, I think we are playing eight out of the ten songs at the show.

HRH: That is awesome. I have been listening to the album and every song is a surefire radio hit. Congratulations! The production is amazing.

Austin: Thank you so much.

HRH: Tell us about the writing process for the album. You mentioned you were playing the songs before the tour actually commenced. The band has been on the road for a long time. How did performing the songs actually help the recording process?

Austin: Myself, I am always writing and coming up with ideas all of the time. But this process was actually a little bit different. We demoed about 50 songs. We narrowed it down to our best ten songs that we are capable of now. Cody and me will kind of come up with the nutshell of the song and bring it to the rest of the guys and they will kind of put it on the icing on the cake.

HRH: As a songwriter, would you say that your write from a lot of personal experiences?

Austin: All of it is. What a lot of people don’t do these days is write from personal experiences. That is why our fans relate to us. Because it is all-real and it does all happen to us. It has happened to them to in their own way.

HRH: I love one of your lyrics on the last track “Put That Record On”, “I know rock and roll is the soundtrack of our lives.” That is so brilliant. Tell us about that verse and how you came up with it?

Austin: It was kind of funny, I was actually sitting in my house when I started that song, I had the first line and I knew there was something there to this song. I had the first line and I brought it to Cody and I dude said,” There is something here isn’t there?” He said,”Yeah.” So we came up with a concept to write a tribute to all off our favorite artists and songs that inspired us.

HRH: I love what you are doing with your voice on this record. Are you using some different effects on the album?

Austin: Well, know I don’t know if it is necessarily different effects. There are definitely different keys than I have sung in the past. Some of the stuff is a little higher and pushed me as a vocalist. It gave me a chance to experiment more and myself. Kevin Churko who produced the record really gave me a chance to be creative. We would get it and then go for a different approach.

HRH: Tell us about the production of the video for All American Nightmare.

Austin: We wanted to kind of focus just a little more on the song and music. The video actually kind of backfired. The girl in the video did such a good job. It is kind of like how hot the girl was in the video. (Laughter)

Austin: Well, that is not a bad thing. The band always has hot girls in their videos. This will make it sell! It is all good.

HRH: The 80’s and the blues also play a major role in the songwriting production on the album especially on the song, ”Strip Tease.” Were you influenced by the 80s’ at all in your music?

Austin: I grew up listening to that stuff. So obviously, it will bleed through in our music. I definitely think we tried to have some southern blues. Our roots showed a little more. We are Oklahoma boys!

HRH: It has been a while since Hinder has performed in the Boston area. Hinder is slated to return to the Boston on February 2nd at Royale Boston. How do you feel the band has evolved since the debut of your mega hit,” Lips Of An Angel” and performing in the area with Aerosmith back in 2006 at the Mohegan Sun Arena?

Austin: Unfortunately, we only had the opportunity to play three shows with Aerosmith. It was great. It was like going back to school. Aerosmith is a big influence on myself. I am sure on the other guys in the band as well. I think we have definitely grown as musicians and as people. You can’t sit there and sing about one-night stands and booze forever. It is a fact you grow and we have.

HRH: Yes, I really love how the band has evolved since your debut. The album also has plenty of ballads. The ballads shine. It wouldn’t be a Hinder album without a good ballad. “The Life” is great. Austin, would you like to do a track by track for Hardrock Haven to promote the album?

Austin: Sure!

All American Nightmare exclusive track by track break down by Austin Winkler:

“All American Nightmare” – “It was one of those things. We said let’s go in and write a couple more songs. Let’s tap into it again and see if we can blow out something out. It was one of the last songs we wrote and the title just kind of spurs out. Originally, we were going to name the record “2 Sides Of Me.” We go that was it and it was also going to be the first single. This All American Nightmare turned out at the very end. We go,”Yes this is the name of the song and record. I think this song sets the tone for the record. It is a bit is a bit different than the last one.”

“What Ya Gonna Do” – It is kind of bluesy Southern rock action. It kind of a struggle instead of facing my problems sometimes I will drown them in a bottle of wine or whiskey. One of these days it is not going to work and I will just have to face them. I think a lot of people can kind of relate.

“2 Sides Of Me” – I remember I was in Nashville in a hotel room, and there is no kind of happy medium with me. Sometimes, I just can’t have one drink; I have to drink it all. Day to day, before I start drinking I am kind of a shy person and consider myself gentlemen. When the sun goes down, I can be a completely different person when I have a couple of extra drinks in me.

“Hey Ho” – It is kind of tongue in cheek kind of pogue. It is about being a fan of music. It is not really dishing hip-hop. It is saying like what your like it is fine. But don’t try and push it on me. It is kind of like a relationship where a girl likes hip-hop and a guy likes rock and roll and they break up.

“The Life” – This is definitely my favorite song on the record. It is about thinking life is only one-way. Whenever you grow up, even if it is everything you dream up. Life is never the way you think it is going to be no matter what. When you get there you go,”Oh this isn’t what I signed up for.” I am getting everything I want what I had in mine. It can go either way. It is kind of like the grass is always greener. I think a lot of people are going to relate to that song.

“Waking Up The Devil” – That is what we are going through. It is about drinking too much.

“Red Tail Lights” – It is a break-up song. It is kind of one that has never been written in the way as far as two people driving away and seeing taillights in your rear view mirror. You are like is this the way it was suppose to end? Or should we turn around and try to resolve this? With that question in the back of your mind, could we have made it or not? Is this worth fighting for?

“Strip Tease”- Anything that is wrong with music today inspired that song. There is a lot of pop being shoved down kids throats. This is not much anyone can do about it as of know. So I am writing about it.

“Everybody’s Wrong” – This song is kind of an unique way, whenever you are involved with somebody you are involved with their friends and family. There are always two sides to every story. Some people believe one person and some people believe another. That particular song is about everybody judging me and I am not the one that is actually wrong.

“Put That Record On” – It was kind of funny, I was actually sitting in my house when I started that song, I had the first line and I knew there was something there to this song. I had the first line and I brought it to Cody and I dude said, “There is something here isn’t there?” He said,”Yeah.” So we came up with a concept to write a tribute to all off our favorite artists and songs that inspired us.

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