Kip Winger on new album, solo shows and state of rock

Published: Apr. 13, 2023 at 5:25 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The Bangor Mall will be hopping Thursday night with the sweet sounds of Winger.

The band has recorded two platinum albums with charting singles “Seventeen,” “Headed for a Heartbreak” and “Miles Away,” among their notable numbers.

Tom Krosnowski caught up with lead singer Kip Winger ahead of the show at G Force Entertainment.

Tom Krosnowski: “Kip, what brings you to Bangor tonight and how have you enjoyed it so far? Have you had any lobster yet?”

Kip Winger: “No, I haven’t (laughs). I have a basket made out of lobster rope! We’re playing G Force Entertainment tonight. - very cool place. The sound system is awesome, it’s a great setup. It’s me and my percussionist playing all the Winger hits and some of my solo stuff. Maybe I’ll sing with somebody, and it’s great, happy to be here. I don’t think I’ve actually ever been here before.”

TK: “When you touch on Winger and solo stuff, how do you so quickly and so easily go from one genre to the other, and one instrument to the other?”

KW: “A good song, you can play on acoustic guitar. So, I just work out the arrangements of which tunes work the best. I play all the hits, I’ve been doing it since 1998. I started doing the acoustic thing way back when, and I’ve been doing it for years and years. It’s just a fun diversion from the band. The band’s got a new album out now by the way, on May 5, we’ve got a new record coming out. We’ve got two singles out now. So, we’ll do a lot of band stuff, but I do, I change between this and the band quite a bit. It’s very intimate, the people are close up, and it’s fun.”

TK: “When you talk too about the band Winger, what does it mean to you guys to have the original band still together here in the year 2023?”

KW: “I appreciate you noticing that it’s all original members. This new album, every player played on every song, which is unusual, because usually, not every guy plays on every track, but this album has everybody on every track and we’ve been getting great reaction to the new to the new singles. We’re just good friends. I mean, we just hang, it’s a great hang and so we’ve always just enjoyed ourselves.”

TK: “When it comes to coming out with new music, what keeps the inspiration fresh and how do you evolve?”

KW: “My whole life has been music, music, music. I also write classical music, so they feed each other. When I’m writing, I might take something from my classical thing and throw it into the mix in the rock thing, just to make it more interesting, but I’ve never had a problem with inspiration.”

TK: “What’s in store for the next few months for you and the band?”

KW: “We’re touring a lot, and I’m doing a lot of solo things too, just like tonight. So, be sure to come tonight! But, we’re doing a lot of it. We’re going to the UK with Steel Panther, we’re doing Tom Kiefer in the summer. We’re going to Australia and Japan in September and hopefully South America towards the end of the year. A lot of headline shows - you can go to and check it out.”

TK: “And when it comes to the future of rock and the place it’s in right now, there’s been a lot of great bands that are coming here to Bangor, both from the past and from the present day. Where does the genre stand right now?”

KW: “It’s stronger than ever. I mean, if you look at Def Leppard, Motley Crue, they’re selling out stadiums, and everybody else underneath has been coming up. So from my point of view, the music’s just as strong as ever.”

TK: “What’s in store tonight? What can people expect without giving too much away?”

KW: “Oh, man, I play all the Winger songs. It’s a blast, actually. It’s very intimate. I take requests. Sometimes I bring people up on stage. This is a great club, by the way. I threw some axes in the back, they’ve got a paintball thing and an arcade, and it’s really an incredible setup. But you know, me and my percussionist just sing the hits, man, and a very intimate show and we really have a blast doing it.”

TK: “If I saw correct on your Facebook, this your first solo show in a while, right?”

KW: “It is. Yeah, it’s been quite a while actually. I’ve been working on this album, so we’re out and about again, so come out and check it out because it’s it’ll be my first solo show in many months. I can’t remember exactly how long, but we need the support. I need you guys to come sing with me!”