Winger On the Road: Then & Now

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As of Valentine?s Day, hair metal hell-raisers Winger are hitting the road in support of their brand-new Winger Live CD and DVD. We found out from lead singer (and band namesake) Kip Winger what we can expect from their latest trip out on the road. Check after the jump for the full interview, but here are a few hints in the meantime: no hitting on 20-year-olds, crunchy stuff, and a few surprise covers thrown into the band?s incendiary live show.

How are you feeling about heading out on tour again?
It’s good. Another day at the office. And I love my office, it’s different every night. Touring is fun. It’s always a little less fun when you’re the singer, because you have to keep your voice in shape so you don’t suck. Everybody gets to party and I don’t smoke or drink anything.

You don?t smoke or drink anything?

Off tour is the only time. I go on stage to kick ass. When I was a kid I was into prog rock bands of a very high musicianship nature, like Yes and Queen. When I saw them live, they all kicked ass. And when one would suck, I would feel like I got gypped. I make it a point to hit every note.

How is touring now different from touring in, say, 1989?
We’re a better band now, far and away. Nowadays the people that come to see us, they know what they’re coming to see. We’re playing smaller places of course, because we’re not as big as we were then, but the impact of the band is much greater now.

What about the differences backstage, between then and now?
There were a million chicks everywhere, and it was amazing. Rock chicks everywhere, man. And most of the bands were all wasted. Even my band from time to time got pretty wasted. But we were always focused on being really solid, music-wise. We got misjudged as a poseur band, but only by the people that never saw us. Now I’m doing it for the music, really. Because that’s really what it began as. It’s stupid for a 45-year-old dude to be coming on to 20-year-olds. That’s kind of ugly. That’s not really where I’m at.

Who was the wildest act you ever went out on tour with?
The wildest act that we ever [toured with] where I did go on their bus and got into quite some trouble was Faster Pussycat. And that was in 2004! I’m like Satan’s Child, but I keep it under wraps. Nobody would ever really know what I’m all about. Back in the day, we had a lot of fun on the Poison tour. That was 1989.

Anything you wouldn?t tour without?
Packaged green beans. They crunch and I need crunchy food like potato chips but I can’t eat potato chips anymore because I’m old. There’s a fat issue. Our rider is very simple. [Making ridiculous requests] I always thought was stupid. To me, putting all blue M&Ms on your rider is an ego trip. It’s every17-year-old boy’s fantasy to be able to sell out a rock stadium and put all blue M&Ms on the rider. It’s cool if you’re David Lee Roth and you invented it. Too many people watched Spinal Tap and took it seriously.

Any surprises planned for this trip out?
This will be the same time that Jon Roth and Reb Beach each do a song of their own. And we’re going to do a couple covers and a few more songs from our latest record, Winger IV. We’re probably going to throw in five or six new tracks. I don’t know what we’re [covering] yet. I told those guys to pick them, so the day before I’ll learn it.

Winger Tour Dates:

2/14 Rex Theater, Pittsburgh, PA
2/15 Lee’s Palace, Toronto, ON
2/16 Rock & Roll Heaven, Cheektowaga, NY
2/17 Crocodile Rock Cafe, Allentown, PA
2/19 West Shore Hardware Bar, Mechanicsburg, PA
2/20 B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, New York, NY
2/21 Mulcahy’s Rock and Roll Sports Bar, Wantagh, NY
2/22 The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ
2/23 Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub, Cambridge, MA
2/24 Webster Theatre, Hartford, CT
2/27 Agora Theatre, Cleveland, OH
2/28 House Of Blues, Chicago, IL
2/29 Alrosa Villa, Columbus, OH
3/1 Harpo’s Concert Theatre, Detroit, MI
3/4 Pop’s, Sauget, IL
3/5 The Beaumont Club, Kansas City, MO
3/7 Sunshine Theatre, Albuquerque, NM
3/8 Eck’s Saloon, Lakewood, CO
3/10 Club Vegas, Salt Lake City, UT
3/13 The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano, CA
3/14 Crash Mansion LA, Los Angeles, CA

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