WINDRUNNER AND NEW ALBUM ON PERSEVERANCE: MAI.
SICK AND SOUND presents to its readers a very exclusive interview our editor-in-chief Alessandra had with WINDRUNNER female fronted metalcore/djent outfit from Hanoi, Vietnam. We have the pleasure to introduce this bashing band on their debut day. Windrunner are being announced today by their freshly signed label Famined Records. Together with the announcement they give the world a taste of their music via the official release of a brand new single: ROSE. The track is off their upcoming full-length titled MAI, due out on November 30th, 2018 via Famined Records. Not to be missed out by fans of ERRA, Invent, Animate, Crystal Lake and more. Pre-orders are available at: https://windrunner.lnk.to/MAI.
We had the chance to have a chat with Windrunner to discuss their interesting music output, together with exploring their brand new single and sneak peeking into upcoming album Mai.
- INTRODUCTION. Hello guys and very welcome at SICK and SOUND. It’s great to have you here. So Let’s start with introducing yourself on this debut day after signing to Famined Records. How was the band brought together and what’s your background?
Thank you for having us!
The original band members were actually in a previous project. With time, members moved away or moved on, which led to the birth of Windrunner.
- VIETNAMESE SOUNDSCAPE. I’ve been meeting several bands belonging to metalcore, djent and –core soundscapes from all over the world. It’s not a large squadron, but still, they are proving that those genres are not just an exclusive of USA and AUS. I am fascinated to meet a band from Vietnam and would love to discuss with you the Vietnamese soundscape, the challenges and opportunities it is offering in order for a valid band to emerge.
The Vietnamese scene is pretty young and small compared to other countries, even in the South East Asia region. There’s a small market for heavy music in general here, which means that to be successful presents many challenges. We have to do almost everything ourselves from recording, making artwork, putting on shows, etc. but that has forced us to be more proficient at various aspects of running a band, and motivated us to take responsibility for our own music.
The chance to enter the international market through Famined Records is literally a dream come true for a Vietnamese band. We hope this will help reinvigorate the scene and inspire more people to play music in Vietnam.
- FEMALE VOCALS. Windrunner is a female fronted band, with Duong Bui both at harsh vocals and clean vocals. I am in love with the effortless transition from clean luscious vocals on a mid-high range switching to impressive mid growls. Let’s discuss the harsh/clean chemistry you have found and the mindset behind having a female singer for both.
Duong: The previous band’s screamer left the band, so this inspired me to incorporate the harsh screaming vocals, which pushed me as a vocalist to explore new boundaries. Naturally, I continued doing both for Windrunner. Being one of the few female vocalists in the heavy scene is quite awesome, because I am proud to inspire more girls to play original music in Vietnam.
- PERSONAL. Let’s get to know you. Who are Duong Bui, Trung Tôn, Nam Dao, Híu NT and David Hudd outside of their Windrunner outfit?
Besides playing music, each of us has different day jobs. Duong and David are English teachers, Hiu is a graphic designer, Nam works in the hospitality industry and Trung runs his own business making grooming products for men while also has a small recording studio. We believe that our day jobs have actually helped us in many aspects of running a band!
- SOUND. I have been listening to a few tracks and beyond metalcore, I have found a strong influence from progressive, djent, ambient, dark melodic. A remarkable guitar work, as in Orchid, often diluted with atmospherics of dark sphere and bold break downs. Tell us more of the main sound features which represent your strongest assets.
You are right! We do take a lot of inspiration from those styles, however we do like to include as much traditional elements we admire from various Asian music and cultures. We also try to emphasize writing original music that we aim to complement Duong’s clean and harsh vocals.
- NEW SINGLE ROSE: MELODIC CATCHINESS AND HEAVINESS. Today you’re also revealing Rose, which is the lead single for your upcoming album Mai due out on November 30th, 2018 via Famined Records. A beautiful song with arpeggios and piano on Duong’s lively clean vocals – envy of some of the best pop mainstream singers – evolving into creative and dynamic sections of crazy metalcore fretwork and drumming on Duong’s harsh vocals on fire. What’s the songwriting behind it? And how does this song best represent your music as lead single?
Funny story, the first version of this song was written almost 6 years ago for Trung (guitarist) and Duong’s previous band. The song was never finished because it didn’t fit the band at the time. The song then naturally evolved with our styles of writing, and it led to us feeling more comfortable with the song as a ‘Windrunner’ track.
It’s perhaps the most diverse of the songs on the album, which means it incorporates many styles we include on the album, so there is definitely more to discover from us.
- NEW SINGLE ROSE. Let’s discuss the video and its storytelling.
The video personifies the theme of the song, which is not taking chances and then regretting that you didn’t later in retrospect. The imagery captures a dream that both of the characters are having and what they could have had, dwelling on past memories.
Watch the official video release for Windrunner – Rose:
- UPCOMING ALBUM MAI. What messages Windrunner would love to spread to the world with their music and what lyrical themes have been selected for your upcoming album?
The main theme for the album is perseverance. “Mai” in Vietnamese is a beautiful flower that blossoms in the spring, which also means “tomorrow”. Other songs on the album are also names of flower blossoms or tree and each one talks about a different hardship that we may face in life. After all of that, it is important for us to persevere, to look to the future and move on to be a better person, like how every flower will eventually wither, but with that brings new and better things. With that, we also wanted to portray our music in the same way, a mix of heaviness and melodies.
- ALBUM MAI. What progression in the sound has been taking place since your very first EP titled VUI dating back to 2015? Differences and new features.
Naturally we evolved as musicians from our earlier work, but we feel that we have remained consistent to our original sound. Our technical abilities have improved with time, and we have progressively tried to experiment with different soundscapes.
- What are the most important aspects to focus on to achieve a great bond as a band and what are the most challenging aspects of sitting and writing an album all together?
Obviously communication is very important and making sure everyone has a chance to express their creativity or musical style. We have a bunch of members with very different musical backgrounds, but we work together to integrate each other’s styles, while remaining true to the bands spirit.
- I would love you to share any sneak peeks on incoming news, plans, a tour.
Coming up soon – we will release a few more songs and music videos, and we are planning a tour to support the release, which will be announced later!
Thank you for your time and all the best for your upcoming album we are very thrilled to listen to. We are keeping an eye on more music to be dropped by Windrunner and supporting you into Europe and US!
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