Tunes For The Troops: Winger
March 17, 2007
The majority of the artists who weâ€™ve featured in our Tunes For The Troops section have been artists whoâ€™ve written and performed songs in support of the troops, but arenâ€™t artists whoâ€™ve made a name for themselves in the Music Industry. Thanks to CJ over at , who brought the new Winger album to my attention, I went and purchased the CD. Kip Winger and the band have done it once again, but this time even better than ever. Kip played at Fort Hood just last month. Unfortunately due to my job, I was unable to attend the show, as I was out on a call at the time he was performing. I read CJâ€™s article and thought Iâ€™d send Kip an email to see if heâ€™d be willing to give me an interview, not really expecting to hear anything back from him. The thought in the back of my mind, was â€˜Why would Kip Winger take the time to speak to someone like me, who just writes for a MilBlog. Someone who definitely isnâ€™t going to be able to get him and the band the recognition they deserve.â€™ I was pleasantly surprised and excited when I got an email back from Kip, inviting me to call him on Friday to speak with him about the album.
Many of us remember the 1980â€™s with the Heavy Metal â€œHair Bandsâ€ as they were termed back then. The band Winger formed in the late 1980â€™s and quickly became one of my favorite bands. I had the distinct pleasure of seeing them perform in Kansas City in the old Memorial Hall. It was a concert Iâ€™ll never forget. The band is back with a vengeance and with a new member. Band line-up is: Kip Winger on Bass and Vocals, Reb Beach on Guitar, Rod Morgenstein on Drums, John Roth on Guitar and Keyboards and their newest member Cenk Eroglu on Guitar and Keyboards. Kip and band mate, guitarist Reb Beach always have a message to share, in the songs they write. Their new album, Winger IV is no exception. The first 4 songs on the album tell a story from the perspective of a soldier. When asked about his inspiration for the album Kip said, â€œI wanted to write it from their perspective. I didnâ€™t want to minimize what theyâ€™re going through and what theyâ€™re doing, so I tried to write it from their perspective. I canâ€™t begin to imagine what itâ€™s like to do what they do. I didnâ€™t write it to get Thank Youâ€™s or public acclaim, but instead wanted to tell them (the troops) Thank You for the job that they do.â€ I think Kip and Reb did a fantastic job of writing from the perspective of a soldier and getting the message they wished to convey across. From the response Kip has gotten from soldiers, the troops must think so as well. Kip said that heâ€™s gotten some really good letters from troops in response to Winger IV and what the band was trying to say. Kip commented that Winger doesnâ€™t make an album unless they have something they feel needs to be said. With Winger IV, the message that comes across Loud and Clear is that Kip Winger and Winger, fully stand behind our troops, appreciate the sacrifices they make and support them 100%.
I asked Kip if heâ€™s had the opportunity to play for the troops. As I shared earlier he has recently played at Fort Hood, but heâ€™s also performed at Fort Bragg and other bases around the US. He shared that the response from the troops has been great. As of yet, Winger hasnâ€™t been able to perform for the troops in Iraq or Afghanistan, but Kip shared that he would love to and would jump at the opportunity if it arose. I asked Kip about the cover of the album, which features a soldier dressed in Desert Camouflage, holding an M16 with 3 angels protectively watching over his shoulder. The front cover depicts this soldier with a blazing sun in the background and the back cover depicts the same soldier and angels under the full moon. Kip said that he told the artists Ethan Van Sciver and Moose Bauman what his concept was for the album and they just ran with it. In Kips words, â€œThe result was phenomenal.â€ I fully agree with that. The artwork is fantastic and fully conveys the message Kip and the band are trying to share in their songs.
Kip and I discussed the anti-war protests, specifically Cindy Sheehan. I told him about the Gathering of Eagles in Washington DC on March 17th in response to the Cindy Sheehan and Jane Fonda led anti-war protests. Hereâ€™s what Kip had to say; â€œI mentioned her in the first song, â€œRight Up Ahead.â€ She protests against the war and she doesnâ€™t mention that the troops are the reason that she has the right to say what she does. I understand that they say, â€˜No more killingâ€™ and I could stand behind that, but the way she goes about it and all, sheâ€™s not recognizing the fact that she can say those things because the troops are fighting to give her that right to protest. Unfortunately because of that, she doesnâ€™t really have a leg to stand on.â€ We briefly discussed the political aspects and how that affects the troops. Kip said, â€œI canâ€™t imagine how hard itâ€™s got to be. With the Democrats being in control now and so publicly against the war, itâ€™s got to be hard. I understand where they might think theyâ€™ve got no support.â€
From Wingerâ€™s website, part of the press release about Winger IV:
The new album, according to Kip Winger is the result of my chemistry with Reb Beach. “Songwriting and composition are the most important thing to me”, continues Kip, In my opinion good songs are a combination of life, experience and accident. On WINGER IV all of those things came together. Reb and I are more comfortable with each other now and our musical roles with respect to each other are more clearly defined.
“IV” is definitely a career-defining album for the experienced musicians that created it. “This was a very magical record. I gave it everything I had, I thought of the overwhelming support I’ve had over the years by the die hard fans and really wanted to give them something worth listening to”, says Winger.
The record has a very diverse feel: the aggression of tracks like “Right Up Ahead”, “M-16″ or “Livin Just To Die”, the mystical elements “Disappear”, the lyricism and sheer melodies of “Blue Suede Shoes”, “On A Day Like Today” and the political elements of “Cant Take It Back” and “Generica”. The album has something for everyone.
“Several songs on this record reveals Kip, were inspired by my experience performing at a few military bases, after meeting some of the men and women who are in the line of fire. I wrote songs like “Blue Suede Shoes”, “Right Up Ahead” and “M-16″ as a way of giving something back to the soldiers who sacrifice themselves for the rest of us to live free”.
I asked Kip, if he had to pick just 1 song off the Winger IV album for the troops to hear, which song would that be. Without hesitation Kip said â€œBlue Suede Shoes,â€ which is a dedication to our troops. Kip feels that itâ€™s the best song of the album, in fact he feels that itâ€™s the best song theyâ€™ve ever done. This song is written from the perspective of a soldier, telling the reason they so proudly serve their country. Kip gave me permission to post any of the songs from the album, along with the lyrics here for you all to enjoy. Blue Suede Shoes is the song Iâ€™ve chosen and decided after listening to it, that I would create a video, which I think gives the words and music even MORE impact. After listening to the song and reading the lyrics, I think youâ€™ll agree that Winger has a definite HIT on their hands!
Blue Suede Shoes
(Dedication to our troops)
Written by Kip Winger and Reb Beach Â®
I am the son who believed in the call
Standing beside you I witness it all
Walk hand in hand through cities of clay
Far from the ocean so far from the ocean.
You wonder why
Donâ€™t you know someone youâ€™d die for?
Put on my blue suede shoes all for youâ€¦
Iâ€™m not a trophy you hang on your wall
Levy illusion rob Peter pay Paul
I brave the distance I take the fall
Of extreme words unspoken with deeper devotion
Free to decide
Salute the lives laid down before me
Put on my blue suede shoes ahâ€¦.
Red, white and blue suede shoes all for youâ€¦
One look around
Wonâ€™t you see someone you live for?
Put on my blue suede shoes ahâ€¦
Red, white and blue suede shoes all for youâ€¦
If youâ€™ve not done so yet, RUN donâ€™t walk to your nearest record store and look for Wingerâ€™s new CD, Winger IV. Believe me you wonâ€™t be disappointed. Stop by the Official Winger website, where not only can you purchase this album, but their earlier releases, and also a video, â€œThe Making Of Winger IV.â€
Iâ€™d like to also THANK Kip Winger and the band Winger for their great Support of our Troops. I know it means a lot to them. Iâ€™d also like to THANK Kip for taking the time out of his busy schedule to speak with me on the phone Friday. It was a pleasure speaking with you.