By now, the musical exploits of Scott "Wino" Weinrich are the stuff of legend. The Obsessed. Saint Vitus. Spirit Caravan. The Hidden Hand. Shrinebuilder. After releasing his solo debut in 2009, Wino went acoustic in early 2011 with Adrift, a gut-wrenchingly personal album written by a man who has survived a lifetime of gut-wrenching scenarios and lived to tell the tales.
Wino's latest project sees him plugged back inboth to his amplifier and the full-band format. Enter PREMONITION 13, a musical entity that finds its genesis in jam sessions dating back two decades, when Wino first met fellow guitarist Jim "Sparky" Karow. "Jim and I have known each other for about 20 years," Wino explains. "His wife was basically the first manager of the Obsessed. We played guitars together one day and then we had this really good conversation about magnetism. We realized we had a common love of Mesoamerican stuff and ancient cultures. So we've been jamming together for about 15 or 20 yearsjust me and him, two guitars, no drums or anything like that."
And so what started as a series of informal jams out at Karow's spread in the high California deserta place once inhabited by Brave New World author and LSD enthusiast Aldous Huxleyeventually became songwriting sessions. After enlisting the talents of Ostinato drummer Matthew Clark and former Meatjack bassist Brian Daniloski, they began playing live under the moniker Premonition. But a subsequent Internet search turned up quite a few bands with that very name, so Wino proposed a numerical addendum. "13 is one of my favorite numbers," he explains. "It's actually a very positive number, but it's been misconstrued quite a bit throughout history. Friday the 13th is considered bad luck in America, but that's just another fear trip. It's also considered good luck by some esoterically-minded folks because Friday the 13th was the day that Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, was burned at the stake. As he was being burned, he cursed the pope and the king, and they were both dead within a year."
Recorded at RTX guitarist Brian McKinley's unnamed studio in Costa Mesa, California, Premonition 13's debut sees Wino venturing into territories both new and familiar. "The band has two guitarists, first off, which I did for the first time in Shrinebuilder just a couple of years ago," he explains. "But I've also found that that there's a little bit of humor in this band. There're some tongue-in-cheek lyrical things; it's not quite as serious as some of the other stuff I've done. But at the same time, it is serious: we make some comments on conspiracy, the negative effects of control, and all the stuff one might protest against."
Musically, Wino cites Black Sabbath, King Crimson and his previous conspiracy-minded band The Hidden Hand as reference points for Premonition 13. He and Karow also make generous use of the E-Bow, a handheld guitar effect that sustains notes in a battery-powered electromagnetic field. "It's still pretty heavy, but it's definitely a departure from other bands I've been in," Wino offers. "I'm just excited for it to get out there so people can hear it."
WITCH MOUNTAIN was formed in Portland, OR in 1997 by Rob Wrong (Iommi Stubbs, ex-M99) and Nate "Nanotear" Carson (Point Line Plane, Two Ton Boa, Sunn0))) collaborator, etc). By 2000, the groundwork had been laid, the demo Homegrown Doom was remastered and released in Europe, and Dave Hoopaugh (Iommi Stubbs, Comavoid, Towers) was brought in to be the final bass player after a string of many.
Debut album ...Come the Mountain was released to critical acclaim in 2001. Man's Ruin tried to license it stateside, but they went under before it could happen. The first printing sold out in 2 months, and an expanded edition was released with bonus tracks composed for the unreleased PC/Dreamcast video game "Shrapnel".
Between 1998 and 2002 Witch Mountain became a live staple in the Northwest and on the national circuit, touring with Weedeater and Spirit Caravan, and gigging with the likes of Lost Goat, Bongzilla, Goatsnake, Acid King, High on Fire, Orange Goblin, Electric Wizard, YOB, Unsane, EyeHateGod, Alabama Thunderpussy, Clutch, Unida, Solitude Aeturnus, Unorthodox, Sour Vein, Isis, Soilent Green, Karma to Burn, Nebula, Penance, Raging Slab, Warhorse, Agalloch, Thrones, etc, etc.
In 2002, Witch Mountain toured with Eternal Elysium from Japan. After that, a period of hibernation was in effect. Rob and Dave had children to raise and families to look after. Nate was touring and recording constantly with Point Line Plane, Two Ton Boa, and Sunn 0))).
In 2005, WM shook the dust off for an appearance with the mighty YOB (their last Portland gig before their own hiatus) and Totimoshi. Seasonal gigs followed with Acid King, Atomic Bitchwax, Wolves in the Throneroom, and others. It became clear that the chemistry was better than ever, and the songs had really bloomed over time. 2006-2007 marked the serious return of Witch Mountain to Portland stages as a trio with new songs and veteran tone and ability.
In 2009, Witch Mountain finally found a voice to match its mighty instrumental prowess. Uta Plotkin keeps the tunes strong and melodic, and the music sounds better than ever. With Uta in tow, WM resumed its history of gigging strong with the likes of Pentagram,Saint Vitus, Jucifer, Ludicra, Lesbian, Slough Feg and the reformed YOB.
2010 was an auspicious year for WM as the sophomore album South of Salem was finally recorded at Smegma studio with mega-producer Billy Anderson. Mastering was handled by Mell Dettmer. The results speak for themselves. In September of 2010, Adult Swim launched its METAL SWIM compilation, which featured the brand new WM track "Veil of the Forgotten" amongst tracks by Boris, Torche, Kylesa, Isis, Ludicra, and other underground metal luminaries.
In 2011, Witch Mountain got back on road, touring with Christian Mistress to a climactic SXSW appearance at the Nanotear Showcase alongside old friends YOB, Agalloch, and Amber Asylum. The South of Salem LP was officially self-released by the band in April, and the record release show garnered massive local press in Portland, as well as serious nods from NPR and beyond.
Oregon is a stronghold for heavy music and its fans. In the valley between YOB's cosmic doom and Red Fang's brash party rawk, there lies a mountain
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