(Photo Credit: Jordan V)
Based out of Richmond, Virginia, Windhand is steadily becoming one of the great modern additions to a long legacy of the doom metal sound made popular from the likes of Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard, or Sleep. With the desolate yet soulful vocals of lead singer Dorthia Cottrell, Windhand is on an organic journey now three full-length albums deep with the recent release of Grief's Infernal Flower on Relapse Records.
While currently on their own headlining tour, I was able to chat with guitarist Asechiah Bogdan and talk about how the band started and the writing of the new album.
How did the band start? How did you meet?
Garrett [Morris] and I both play guitar. We had met at school. We went to college in upstate New York, so I've known Garrett since 1992. I'd moved down to Richmond to go to school. A couple years later, he followed down. We started the band 2008-2009 around that timeframe. We met Dorthia and it just evolved from there.
You're in this doom/sludge metal genre that sort of draws out a more meticulous sound. What influenced the band's sound?
I guess we're all fans of heavy rock music. Initially, we're all fans of Black Sabbath and some of the stuff like that. We're trying to figure out our sounds in general and just the type of songwriting that we were doing, it just melded into what it is now. We listen to a pretty wide variety of influences and bands. Its pretty eclectic in that way and everybody brings a little something different to the table.
Going in this new album Grief's Infernal Flower, what was the overall idea on how the band wanted to go about this record?
We were looking to do it with someone else this go around just to make the whole process easier because, in the past, we've done everything ourselves, like we recorded everything in our practice room and Garrett's done all the recording of the previous albums. This go around, we reached out to Jack Endino because we were all fans of his recordings and some of the bands he's worked with. We flew out to Seattle and did the record with him for two weeks. We didn't really want to stray too much from our sound I think Jack sort of fit what we wanted to do, but also brought his expertise to the table. I think it really paid off. There's a lot of neat nuances with the record and definitely Dorthia's vocal performance is really strong and Jack definitely helped bring that up.
What's the creative process of the band? How much material does the band demo out before you finish the album?
We're constantly bringing things to the table. More often than not, people are doing recordings at home and then sort of email or text each other ideas. Then we get together and practice a couple times a week and then hash stuff out. A lot of times, we just play riffs over and over until we find the rhythm that works for the sort of the overall feel of it. And then, someone might have some ideas in terms of composite and what not. That's pretty much the process for the last couple years.
Has there been a moment yet where you think this band could be something that could stick around for a while?
I think we're just going with the flow. Things have been really good. All the tours in the last couple years have been great, whether that's us headlining or us supporting, whether its the fans or the bands, everyone's embraced for the most part; just going along for the ride. There's definitely things that we are striving to reach and we're taking steps to get there. It's been a real natural process. That's the thing with us. We like to keep things close to the vest.
Windhand plays The Loving Touch in Ferndale, Michigan on Thursday, November 12th with special guests Danava and Monolord. Their new album "Grief's Infernal Flower" is available now. For more information, visit windhand.band.