Raymond Westland puts the questions to Kirk Windstein, the legendary Crowbar front man. They talk about the new Crowbar album “Sever The Wicked hand” as well as discussing sobriety, Down, Kingdom Of Sorrow and New Orleans.

Congratulations on releasing such an inspired album as Sever The Wicked Hand. Are you satisfied the way it turned out?

Cool, thanks! Yes, I truly believe that this is the best Crowbar record.

Sever The Wicked Hand is a very personal album about your personal struggle with alcohol abuse. What triggered the notion that you had to stop drinking and how did your new found sobriety change your outlook on life?

Thing actually triggered it. It’s been coming for a long time, and getting a hold on my drinking problem has given me so much more focus in every aspect of my life.

What influence has your sobriety on the way you approached the writing process for your new album? Do you relive certain phases when you read the lyrics or perform the songs live?

I’ve always written my riffs and lyrics sober. I hadn’t played sober for about 25 years, so it was a nice, new experience, and I’ve found out that performing is a lot more emotional when I’m not drinking!

The new album also brings a couple of new faces to the band. In what way did they inspire you and what did they contribute to the new album?

Pat and Tommy have been with me for seven years now, and they bring a super tight, heavy rhythm section and experience, Matt brings the excitement of a young player, and it’s working out great.

Irony has it that you’re very successful with Down and Kingdom Of Sorrow, while the success and/or recognition of Crowbar seems to be lacking. How do you see this?

I agree, but that’s all about to change (I hope)! Crowbar will get the credit it deserves, I’ll work my ass off to make sure of that!

New Orleans has a vibrant tradition when it comes to jazz and blues and probably a ton of other musical genres as well. How does living in such a city inspire you as a person and a musician?

If you’re from New Orleans and you play music, you can’t help but be inspired by everything around you. This is the best music city in the world!

A couple of years ago New Orleans was virtually destroyed by a massive hurricane. It’s aftermath had a profound effect on Down’s Over The Under. How are things going nowadays in New Orleans and how do you look back on that record?

New Orleans is doing very well, thanks. The city rebuilds everyday, and though it’s different than before, it is alive, and well. Over The Under was a very difficult record to make, but it had to be done. I’m very happy with the finished product and look forward to new Down music.

I believe that you guys are working on a new Down album and it’s slowly coming together. What is the current status of that record and what can we expect from the new material?

Things with Down always take time, but it’s coming this year!

And perhaps most importantly, when will the new Down record be finished and what will be the release date?

It doesn’t have a release date yet, but I’d say in 2011.

Currently your active in three bands, namely Crowbar, Down and Kingdom Of Sorrow. How do you manage to split the time between those three bands and which one is dearest to you?

It is difficult to juggle all three bands, but it’s worth it. I love them all, but Crowbar is my baby, and has a special meaning to me.

Alright Kirk, time to wrap up the interview. What is the biggest Spinal Tap moment of your career?

There is no one in particular, my life is a continuous spinal tap moment! Hahaa

Thank you again for doing this interview. Do you have any final thoughts or comments?

Thanks, Kirk