Chuck Schuldiner Project

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Interview with Dorthia Cotrell

The other night I had a great chance to sit down with Dorthia Cotrell of Windhand to talk about her music and touring life. It was especially interesting to learn about some of the more ethereal elements of her bands music. Suffice to say, this was one of the more interesting interviews that I have conducted. I was honored to be able to carry it out, and definitely learned a lot in the process!

If you don't know Windhand already find them on Facebook!

So has the tour been going so far?
It’s been going great. We started out in Antwerp and every show has been really fun. Asides from Asechiah’s hospitalization.

He got a blood clot from flying because he has narrow arteries which we didn’t know about before we left. So when we were in Manchester we were staying with a friend and he took a shower and when he came out his arms were swollen. He had to go to the hospital. We actually picked him up from the bus station today so this is the first show he’ll be doing with us, asides from the first three.

What does the setlist look like for Windhand?
Well we have a pool of about seven songs. Mostly from the new record and we’ve been rotating the songs in and out.

Related to that, how do you manage to execute your longer pieces live?
The longest song that we’re playing in any of the sets is around ten or twelve minutes so it’s not that bad. We usually play for forty minutes so it’s an average amount of time really. It works out.

So now after two months after the release of Soma how do you feel about that record?
A lot of the songs are still new to us we haven’t played them live. We’ve pretty much been playing the same songs from Soma for the past year, year and a half. We’ve had those songs for a while. We’re excited that it’s been received so well. It’s a lot different than our first record. So we were a little bit nervous about what people would think because it was a big departure for us. But so far so good!

I really enjoyed the cover art, could you talk to me a little bit about that?
That is done by an artist named Christe Mourg. We’re going to meet her in person for the first time in Sweden. She has a lot of photographs like that on her website. They’re all really dark and grayscale and ghostly. She did the art for the Cough/Windhand split too.

How do you feel now about the split with Cough?
It was really fun to make we’ve all been friends for a really long time. We practice in the same building, they practice in the floor above us so we just hung out for a month and made a record.

So what do you think the future of Windhand is?
I hope we can just keep doing what we like to do and not having real jobs. We want to keep touring. When we get back to the states we go home for about two days and then we go out on a tour with High on Fire and Kvelertak in the West Coast and Western Canada. Then we come back here in the spring for Roadburn and Heavy Days.

Do you have a message behind your lyrics?
We don’t really publish the lyrics. If people ask me personally I will tell them what something is. But I think it’s cool to leave it open to interpretation.

Everywhere I look I see different genre tags for the band. Is there a genre you claim to be in?
Usually we just say ‘Rock’ because there is so many. It seems kind of silly that there are so many genres upon subgenres.

I feel like a lot of the time especially with Soma it’s almost more than music. Especially with the woodland sounds and all that. Do you know what I’m talking about?
I think it’s one of those things where it’s cool to see us live because it’s so loud and the vibrations are so strong you can feel the music in a very real way.

How do the more ambient sounds make their way onto the record?
I think it’s because we’re all just big hippies. We like the natural aspect and the nature themes. All of the sounds on the first record are just us recording stuff on our phones or on a portable recorder.

What are some bands that you all dig?
We all have very different tastes. We agree on Black Sabbath, Soundgarden, Nirvana. We all like new bands like Yob and Elder, Serpent Throne.

What do you love so much about music?
That’s a hard question. Everything. It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do or felt I should be doing. I don’t know, that’s a big question, do you have thirty minutes? (Laughs) Everything!

What is your ultimate goal with Windhand?

We just want to keep playing music that we like, regardless if people like it. If they do, great, if they don’t oh well. Regardless we will keep putting out albums, it has to be done!

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