On a breezy sunny Georgia afternoon, a tour bus, tour vans and trailers are parked in front of an old mill building deemed to have been built as early as 1890. The old Dupre Excelsior Mill turned concert venue has three principal interior stages named for the destinations of the afterlife: Heaven, Purgatory and Hell. Hinder’s vocalist, Austin Winkler relaxed on their bus before playing Atlanta’s Masquerade, as other members hopped on and off to assist with sound check tasks.
Winkler met drummer Cody Hanson and guitarist Joe Garvey at a party in the summer of 2001 and the three decided to form the band. “We formed our band with a passion for music. We had just gotten together, we had all these songs written and we were getting all these gigs. To add to it, we were getting really frustrated with not having a name. One day I picked up a Thesaurus and looked up the word ‘frustrated’ and I scanned through the words and saw ‘Hinder’ and that’s what we chose. It’s a really lame story, but that’s the truth” says Winkler, as he laughs.
It would be two years later that guitarist Mark King and bassist Mike Rodden would join ranks with the threesome to round out what is now known as Hinder. All members are the original members from the beginning, “We all get along really well and we are like brothers. It’s great we do get along as well as we do, I think it is the main reason we have stuck together,” Winkler states appreciatively.
Hinder was offered several record deals by Universal Records, Roadrunner Records, and Atlantic Records, eventually signing with Universal Records in 2005, and later that same year Extreme Behavior was released. The album written mostly by Winkler and Hanson, reached triple-platinum status in sales. However, AMG (All Music Guide) deemed the album one of the worst for 2005. “People like to hate on us big time,” Winkler laughs again. “I have no clue why other than the quickness of our success. It doesn’t really faze me or bother me and the haters definitely do not make me or the guys want to change who we are or how we do our music…it just comes with the territory I think.”
Get Stoned was the first single to be released from Extreme Behavior, but it was the second single, Lips of an Angel, that shot to the top. Lasting 41 weeks on the charts and two of those weeks were at number one. Lips of an Angel appealed to several women and men alike. “We had just gotten signed and were writing for the record and the incident actually happened to me. I told Cody about it sort of as a joke, joking around with the first line of the song. It’s all true, and when we started to put it together, the song actually wrote itself in all of ten minutes.”
The years 2008 and 2009, brought Hinder’s second album Take It To The Limit and several more hit singles and embarked them on numerous tours, playing with Trapt and Rev Theory in 2008. The next year brought them the opportunity to play on Motley Crüe’s tour which also included The Last Vegas and Theory of a Deadman. Later that same year they toured with Nickelback. “I think one of my favorite tours was a small tour we did with Aerosmith and probably my favorite city would have to be Amsterdam,” states Winkler, “and if I could choose a band I would love to do a tour with, it would definitely be The Rolling Stones. They are the one band I had on my list of bands I want to tour with, so…we will have to see on that one,” he said with a grin.
All American Nightmare was released in 2010 and brought the sound Hinder is famous for. “We had written and recorded so many songs for that album that we had to keep cutting it and cutting it until we got it down to the final tracks. Cody and I both write about true to life experiences which make it so easy for the fans to relate to.”
Save Me was the first single to be released from Welcome To The Freakshow, which was released on December 4, 2012. The band went on tour to promote the new album and recently started the next leg of the tour in February of this year and chose several smaller cities across the country. “There are fans out there everywhere that we want to see come to our shows and have a good time. We don’t want to discriminate just because the towns are not as big as New York or Los Angeles,” states Winkler. “We hit the road to promote our new album and it is going really well. It’s actually nice to be here in Atlanta and have some nice warm weather. We have been up North and it has been so cold!”
The album consists of eleven tracks, with a track list of: Save Me, Ladies Come First, Should Have Known Better, Freakshow, Talk To Me, Get Me Away From You, Is It Just Me, I Don’t Wanna Believe, See You In Hell, Anyone But You, and Wanna Be Rich. “Welcome To The Freakshow has something for everybody on it. I mean, there is such a wide variety of music and a wide variety of subject matter and every song is about something different. It is probably our most honest record yet and the fans are responding to it really well. Take for instance, Talk To Me. Honestly every girl in the world inspired this song. Guys are so easy and girls tend to think of things more complex. I have been in several relationships as I am sure others can relate as well; the other person asks ‘why want you talk to me’. This was a really fun song to write. This album is more mature and I feel everyone can see how we have matured as songwriters, matured as artists and matured as a band in whole,” exclaims Winkler. “And you know it is so sad to say radio play these days is hard, because rock radio stations are dropping like flies. The music being played on the radio is either really heavy and hard rock that attract mostly dudes to shows or the current pop stuff is on the air. We just don’t fit into either category so airplay is almost a thing of the past, but it’s ok as we still have the fans that like our music and buy our albums. We are still extremely happy we can do this for a living. In May we are heading over to Japan for a tour. We want to be able to continue building a fan base, write music, sell the records and do shows for the fans. It’s still blows my mind we are able to do this and I’m very happy as well as the rest of the guys.”
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