Windhand is bringing the heavy to the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco this Wednesday the 11th, with Kvelertak and High On Fire. Their new album Soma, (Relapse Records) is a monster–A supremely heavy and dark album of tone and general face-melting. We’re had a quick Q&A session with Parker Chandler, Bassist of Windhand to talk about the album & the tour.

Their second album, Soma, (Relapse Records) was recorded and mixed by the band’s own Garrett Morris at The Darkroom and mastered by James Plotkin in their hometown, of Virginia, VA. All music by Windhand is available directly from Relapse Records and on iTunes, Amazon and everywhere you buy music.

Check out photos from the show right here:

Let’s talk about the album, I’ve read that it may or may not be concept album. If so, can you elaborate on what the concept is, or should people judge it for themselves? (readers: here’s the link on what soma technically is:

Parker Chandler (Bassist): I guess the running theme is isolation.  We don’t like to publish or discuss lyrics too much because music is still such a personal thing to us.  It’s also nice for us to leave something to the imagination in this age of information.

I read that you recorded this album onto tape. I had a question about that… The song “Boleskine” is 30min long, and you the length of the tape was approx. under 30min. did you run out of tape? How’d that finally get that song recorded?

It still fit onto one spool but it was maxed out.

Were there any happy accidents that surprised you on recording this album?

Apparently there’s a buried vocal harmony track on ‘Evergreen’ that bled through but it fit perfectly.

Looking back on this recording, what did you learn about yourselves as a band writing and recording this record?

Every band has its ups and downs but the process and the sacrifices we’ve made as a unit have helped us realize how dedicated each member is.  I think there’s a mutual respect that comes with knowing that we’re all suffering through it together.

How has the band grown musically from just starting out to being on a label such as Relapse?

We try to put 3 parts in each song now instead of just 2.

You’re on the heavier side of music, but talk about the “doom” moniker. I know people have to pigeonhole something to describe it, like “oh, they’re a doom band” or “Norwegian Stoner Desert Rock”. However, in your own words describe what “heavy” music means to you all?

We couldn’t care less about genre labels. Putting honesty and soul into the music is the only way to make it truly heavy. Volume and tone are bonuses though.


Talk about the struggle on breaking through–What were your crap gigs before touring full time??

Unfortunately, music isn’t paying our bills so we still have to crawl back to the man when we get home.  We’ve dabbled in pizza delivery, suicide hotlines, education, sales, collections, screen printing, etc. – GO BUY THE ALBUM PEOPLE!

How’d you all connect and first consider yourselves “as a band”?

We had a foundation but we put an ad on Craigslist to complete the lineup. That’s how we found Dorthia (Vocals) and I guess that’s when we became ‘a band’.

What’s going on in the Virginia music scene?

We haven’t spent a lot of time there lately but it’s probably all right.

Which hometown venue is considered your favorite to play at?

Strange Matter is all we’ve got.  Anything else is either too big to bother with us or they’re a bar that sometimes hosts shows.

How do you keep it democratic while songwriting and still stay friends?

As long as nobody is adamant about forcing a really bad riff into a song, I don’t see any reason to lock horns. It can be frustrating at times but there shouldn’t be any stress in the creative process.

What song off the new album is a favorite playing live now?

‘Feral Bones’ is my personal favorite. It’s relatively new and we rarely play it. 

Have you rearranged some of your songs for your live set?

We’ve had to edit some stuff due to time constraints but nothing drastic.

This tour – any new or interesting stops this tour?

None of us have been to the middle or western parts of Canada.  We’re driving through the Rockies right now and it’s amazing.  Things got really interesting when we hit some black ice and flipped our trailer two days ago though.

T-live: (There was a minor accident during travelling, thankfully, everyone’s fine, besides the trailer. See post on the band’s Facebook page.)

What do you like to check out while in the SF bay area?

Amoeba is an essential stop. I think we’re all fascinated by the Haight/Ashbury area and the whole 60’s scene. It’s crazy how many famous (or infamous) people were all residing in such close proximity to each other.

Who in the band is the troublemaker on tour?

It’s normally the roadie or the merch guy.  As lame as it sounds, our days of public nudity and butt-chugging bum wine are behind us.

Who keeps it all together on tour and is the most on top of it?

We all have our own little responsibilities.

If you have a chance to trash a hotel room, (with a get out of jail free pass) how would you do it?

Luckily, most of the hotels we can afford come pre-trashed so we don’t have to concern ourselves with these things.  If I were definitely not getting caught, I’d probably just burn the whole thing down.

What’s coming up for Windhand in 2014?

Roadburn, Heavy Days in Doomtown, Maryland Deathfest, maybe SXSW.  I figure we’ll play some more shows and start bouncing around ideas for another record.

Do you remember your first album you purchased as a kid?

I’m sure it was Nirvana.

What about your first concert as a kid?

My mom took me to see Kiss in LA on some big reunion tour.  I think it was in ’96 and Stabbing Westward opened.  My mom yelled at a guy for trying to pass me a joint.

Also, do you remember your first riff your learned on your instrument?

I tried to learn ‘Paranoid’ from the back of Guitar World magazine.  It didn’t work so I started playing bass.

Windhand – Woodbine

“We couldn’t care less about genre labels. Putting honesty and soul into the music is the only way to make it truly heavy.” Parker Chandler, Bassist of Windhand


All images courtesy of Windhand & Relapse Records

Windhand on Bandcamp
Windhand on Facebook 

Dec 09 Hawthorne Theatre, Portland, OR

Dec 11 Regency Ballroom, San Francisco, CA

Dec 12, El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
Dec 13 Tempe Tavern, Phoenix, AZ
Dec 14 Moonlight Lounge, Albuquerque, NM
Dec 15 The Conservatory, Oklahoma City, OK
Dec 15 The Conservatory, Oklahoma City, OK
Dec 16 Club Dada, Dallas, TX
Dec 17 Red 7, Austin, TX

Apr 10 Roadburn 2014, Tilburg, Netherlands
May 22 Maryland Deathfest, Baltimore, MD