September 2003 - THE HIDDEN HAND
After the sudden end of Spirit Caravan, Scott 'Wino' Weinrich formed a few month later a new band band under the banner THE HIDDEN HAND, together with his friends Bruce Falkinburgh (b./v.) and Dave Hennessy (dr.). After Spirit Caravan and The Obsessed, it's the third powertrio in his long-time career. Spirit Caravan was different from The Obsessed, and so is THE HIDDEN HAND not really to compare with Spirit Caravan. The musical signature of Wino is not to deny, of course, but THE HIDDEN HAND are more progressive combined with a clear political and philosophical point of view. At less, the music counts, and especially the creative inputs of Bruce and Dave are making THE HIDDEN HAND to an outstanding heavy band. After the release of the excellent debut "Divine Propaganda", the band had visited Germany for a couple of shows. A few weeks later, I asked Wino about THE HIDDEN HAND, and the philosophy behind the band, with the intention to avoid typical questions about recording sessions and record labels. So, here's the interesting and informative result!
Some weeks ago, The Hidden Hand have finished their first European tour. How do you remember the tour?
It was great,we know summer is not the best time to tour,and we had good turnouts.Our thanks to everyone for turning out.
Let's talk about your new band The Hidden Hand. What's the reason for your new political awareness? Don't misunderstand me, but in previous lyrics you have also written about things like freedom, but it was more personal and philosophical.
The more direct political comments are definitely due to these times we are in. A lot of stuff that was once considered "conspiracy theories" or "paranoia" we are witnessing as reality today.
The Hidden Hand is your first band with clear controversal political statements. Is one of the reasons the political situation in the USA since 9/11 and what do you think about all the restrictions like the Patriot Act etc. ?
Giving the entire situation careful study it's impossible ,if you have an open mind,to not see nefarious underpinnings to 911 and the so called Patriot Act.There are a lot of serious questions about 911 that the powers wont answer.The v.p.'s energy policy shrouded in secrecy when the enron connection etc.is no secret.The Ca. energy crisis was made by these corporations.How much can people take? So it's logical. I think that folks want to ask some qquestions,thats what were doing ,really.
A few days ago, I read an interview with King Buzzo from the Melvins, and when he was asked what he's thinking about all this 'war-on-terrorism' bullshit, he don't wants to answer this question, because it could be disadvantageous for him personal. After the release of the excellent "Divine Propaganda" album, do you feel any kind of pressure on your person?
I got a small amount of negative feedback not on the music ,but on the booklet info.Mostly from one clown who personally insulted me because I say read a book by a certain author.He totally slams this author for stuff he's wrote in later books, but he's never read any of it.Laughable actually, because he proves himself VERY un-knowledgeable about shit like MK.Ultra ,Project monarch etc,as he denies any govn.initiated mind control projects exist.I guess he never heard of the Stanford experiments either.A good example is the ira einhorn shit.Anyway most folks see it for what it is,asking questions and making a few statements.
Do you think, the FBI is observing the band? I ask for it, because I remember the situation of the MC5 in the late-60's, though they were a bit more like a "fun" band.
There are way more influential people than I saying a lot more publicly.In the end they won't be able to hide the truth.
I think, the current political times are much more irritating and confusing than the cold war. There are a lot of religious fanatics around and it seems as if hate and prejudice controls the mind of some politicians head. The next thing is that capitalistic structures are growing stonger and stronger, and taking much more control than ever before. I could go and on, but I would like to ask you about your point of view?
I agree with everything you said, yet there remains hope that enough free thinkers exist to eventually bring about change.I hate to be too negative , because positive will win every time. Love is the key.
How important is the political message of the band? Is it equal to the music?
No. The music is always first. That's what brought us to where we are.
The Hidden Hand is still rooted in the heavy Sabbath-influenced sounds of your former outfits, but in the same moment it's the most progressive band you were ever involved in. For me it seems, as if the Hidden Hand is open to a wider range of influences of music. Can you agree and is there something like a musical philosophie behind the band?
I agree with your observations and yes, we want to be as progressive, different and still be hard as ever. We are creating some really interesting stuff now, I'm totally happy to be playing with Bruce and Dave.
Another difference to The Obsessed and Spirit Caravan is, that you're not the main-writer and singer. I think, it must be a good feeling not to carry all the weight and how much are Dave Hennessy and Bruce Falkinburgh are involved into the process?
These guys are great players and great thinkers.Daves other band Ostinato are great,spacey dark and hard. Bruce is an amazing talent,calling him and asking him to jam was one of the better decisions I've made in my career!He brought Dave in and Daves contribution to the songwriting process is so important.Being a guitar player he makes good suggestions and has cool spacey ideas.Not afraid to get weird,and Bruce has a fukkin good bass sound.I describe it as "a pissed off Mamluke chieftain tearing sailcloth".
What are the band's next plans (new releases, tours. etc.) ?
We will be doing a release with McCarthyism, and start working on the next full length.Our first recording, will finally come out soon on the High Times Magazine stonrewr comp too.Thanks everyone for your support, and we hope you like the music!WINO
Thanks a lot for your time, Wino. I know, that you're very busy and so I appreciate it much more, that you've found a bit of time for the answers. All the best for you, your family and your musical projects!