The original line up of Miami Power Pop legends, The Wind, are back with their first release in 30 years….Re-Wind!
Singer-songwriters, Lane Steinberg & Steven Katz (aka Steve Barry) have worked together as both the creative force behind The Wind (1981-1988), and as a duo under the name Tan Sleeve (1998-present).
Now that drummer Steve Burdick is back, Re-Wind represents the trio’s first recordings for over 25 years and for power pop fans, it’s good news. Very good, in fact. The moment “Fight Like a Girl” kicks in with its guitar arpeggios and floor toms, it’s obvious that the band has lost none of its chops and sets the tone for the rest of this album. The warm balladry of “Let Me Show You How It’s Done”, the jaunty jollity of “Weak Spot” and the folk-rock of “Yes and No”demonstrate The Wind’s mastery over the melodic rock form, complemented superbly by the high production values. Re-Wind is a great-sounding album and comes with our highest recommendations.
We managed to pick Steve Katz’s brains to talk about the return of The Wind.
What was the impetus to re-form The Wind?
When Lane Steinberg and I look back on all our musical endeavors over the years, both together and separately, the early years of The Wind was the high point, due to the chemistry we had with drummer Steve Burdick. Steve had played drums on several songs on all the Tan Sleeve CDs. So it was almost The Wind, but not quite. Making a whole album as The Wind seemed like a logical step that we should have taken awhile ago.
What are your best memories as The Wind?
Best memories were definitely from when we were still living in Miami. This was before the whole South Beach revival, even before Miami Vice. South Florida was pretty boring back then, and we were in our own little cocoon making retro pop/rock and having a blast. Once we moved to New York and got a gander at the whole Downtown Punk scene, we started to doubt our Power Pop ethos. Our music got much darker, and I feel that we lost our innocence.
Was it easy or difficult to write and record new songs for The Wind? Why so?
With Tan Sleeve, Lane and I didn’t write together. That was my choice. I felt like collaborations have a tendency to produce throwaway material. On the other hand, writing together in the early days of The Wind helped to give us a cohesive sound. So we made a conscious decision to to do that again on this new album. I think the new collaborations are our best ever. I’m a much better lyricist than I was in the early days, so writing lyrics together was really fun this time around. I’m very proud of the lyrics throughout the whole album.
Can you walk us through the process i.e. songwriting, recording, production etc.
Once we decided to make this album, Lane and I spent a year working on new material. We sent very rough demos to Steve Burdick, so he could familiarize himself with all the songs over a period of time. In July of 2012, Steve came up to New York and we recorded basic tracks over three days. Then Lane and I spent the next two years doing overdubs, including re-cutting a lot of the bass and rhythm guitar parts. We finished mixing everything over the past Summer. That’s when Lane’s friend David Grahame got involved and remixed everything.
What do you hope to achieve with Re-Wind?
The goal was to show that a group of musicians in their 50’s can still make inspired, worthwhile music. (Right on! – Kevin) Also, I have a lot of regrets about the fact that the original line up of The Wind hardly released any albums, yet we had so much more material that only got the home demo treatment. I wanted there to be at least one more album with this line up.
Is this a one-off or will there be more new music from the Wind? And what about Tan Sleeve?
It really depends on the response we get. I’ll never lose my desire to write songs and make recordings. But as you get older, it gets harder to push yourself, if you’re not getting much positive feedback. We wanted to give the world one more chance to fall in love with The Wind. It didn’t happen for Tan Sleeve, so we can only hope that we can create some magic as The Wind!
Re-Wind is available from Kunaki.com.