Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat

Jack: We’re off to a good start right there!

Winchester 7: Thank you for having us.

Phil: Hello RGM and readers!

What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

Winchester 7: Well, we come from a small community where music was a big part of our daily lives.  Everyone seemed to play something and one better than the next!

Jack: If you didn’t play something, you’d best start making some noise.

Phil: Fortunately, the noises were mostly pleasant.

Winchester 7: So, it really was just instilled in us from a very early age.

Introduce us to all to the members and your musical history.

Winchester 7: I’m Winchester 7 and I play a sometimes-electric ukulele.  I also sing.

Phil: I’m Phil Voorhees and I play the bass guitar.  I also sing.

Jack: I’m Jack Kane and I play the drums.  I also sometimes sing…when they let me!

Winchester 7: History-wise, we released our first EP, Beyond the Dome, in 2019.  Our current release, Heart of the Golden Mystics, is our fifth and, I believe it to be our most ambitious yet.

The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?

Jack: ‘tis, but we’re talking with you now and that’s something.

Winchester 7: I think that the most common measure of industry success is, maybe, wealth and awards.  We’ve had none of it!  But, we’re not exactly turning it down either.  We’re just making music for the sake of it.  The world needs more art and artists, doesn’t it?  It’s a scary enough place.  We might as well have something decent to look at or listen to.

How have your songwriting skills developed over time?

Winchester 7: I’d say that we are more comfortable with the recording process and, in turn, create more complex arrangements.

Phil: We are better capable of capturing the sounds that we have in our minds, on the records, and in the mix.

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.

Winchester 7:  Well, Jack’s dead…or, at least, we think he is.  He went missing right after the cover shoot of our first EP and we haven’t heard from him since!  We just put his hat on a Canadian actor by the name of Bob Sheeran and, after some rather extensive plastic surgery, asked him to grow a moustache.

Jack: [laughs] You can almost tell the difference…but, then, no!

Ok, so, mine is that when we’re not making music, I enjoy traveling and photography.

Phil: I very much hope that our band one day is sponsored by Heineken.

Jack: I could get on board with that one, mate.

What’s your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?

Jack: You’re gonna get him started!

Winchester 7: [laughs] I think that artists have been getting ripped off since the first caveman had the bright idea to convince a cave-painter to charge admission..and that he was worth a cut for his trouble.  Ever since, the road is literally strewn with artists being taken advantage of by bad contracts, bad managers, and bad intentions.

But, the thing is, people generally prefer to consume their art free of charge and artists, generally speaking, don’t have the wherewithal to build scalable distribution systems.  So, to get their art seen or heard, artists rely upon the distribution system of the moment. As those systems adapt to a marketplace that doesn’t want to pay, there’s little left over for the artists.

We use Spotify, love its convenience, and very much hope that our songs will get playlisted.  But, we don’t expect them to pay us very much, do expect that they will be replaced by another solution, and can only hope that the economics of art will one day favor artists over conglomerates.

Phil: You did ask. [laughs]

Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?

Phil: I do not.  But!  If the lizard people are offended, I sincerely apologize.

Winchester 7:  There’s probably a kernel of truth in some of them, I guess.  I really only have time to worry about writing our next song.

Jack: That’s just what an illuminati would say…

Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about.

Jack: I do a lot of travel and photography when we’re not playing music.  I wasn’t lying!  

Phil: I collect stamps.

Jack: Yet he’s never posted a thing!  An anachronism, our kid.

Winchester 7: I’m pretty big into barbeque.  I take my backyard grilling rather seriously.

Jack: Is right! His burgers are boss!

I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.

Winchester 7:  We do!  Our new EP, “Heart of the Golden Mystics” releases or released, depending on when you’re reading this, on December 22nd and we’re really excited for people to hear it.  We were looking to do something different with this one and decided to work more closely with our mix engineer, Jon Paz, to create something special.  

Jack: We were watching a lot of mysteries between albums and when we started talking about what to write, Win had the idea of doing a sequel to our song, “The Saint Simon Killer”.

Phil: “The Saint Simon Killer Returns”.

Winchester 7: It served as kind of a jumping off point for us.  Before we knew it, we’d written sort of a murder mystery set to music.

Jack: It’s not a concept album though.

Phil: It’s more a collection of songs which are inter-related.

What was the recording process like?

Winchester 7: We would usually have everything fully recorded before sending it to our mix engineer, Jon.  But, this time out, we decided that he would also serve as a co-executive producer.  So, our process changed to where we’d let him hear the early foundation tracks and guide vocals to get some of his impressions.

Jack: Pazzy’s assistant, Norr Madagascar, is a sound keyboardist too!  So, we’d tell him what we had in mind and he’d come up with these great parts to help add some texture to what we were doing.

Phil: I also recorded many keyboard parts.  But, somewhere in the mix process, Norr’s seemed to be the ones that were used.  I had some hard feelings about this, but my bass parts also were featured more prominently on this one.  So…it all works out ok.

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

Winchester 7: Well, you’d expect that writing about a given topic might afford you many different perspectives.  But, we ended up both having to figure out which the more interesting ones were and to keep writing about the same topic!  We’re much more used to writing about whatever occurs to us.

Phil: So, we kept dreaming up different angles!

Jack: It was a “slice of life” approach.

Would you change anything now it’s finished?

Winchester 7:  I both think that we ended up with something that I wouldn’t change and, if given access to more resources, something where we just might!

Jack: It almost makes you appreciate why George Lucas kept mucking about with re-releases.

Phil: Almost…

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

Winchester 7: Be sure to check out “Heart of the Golden Mystics”, streaming near you!  

Jack: But, don’t let us stop you from buying a copy.

Winchester 7: You can find a good price on Bandcamp.

Phil: And keep an eye on our YouTube channel for a “Making Of” documentary that should be out soon along with various other music videos.

Winchester 7: Thank you for listening and watching!

Jack: Cheers!

Check out Winchester 7 & the Runners via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Spotify, YouTube & their Website.