Windrunner: Impassioned Metal from Hanoi
Meet Windrunner from Hanoi, Vietnam, whose stunning mixture of post hardcore and metal is destined to garner this collective a great deal of worldwide attention. Their debut album MAI is about to be released stateside via Famined Records! Highwire Daze caught up with this dynamic band to find out more about the magic and mystique of Windrunner and the captivating MAI! Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Windrunner, and how long the band has been together.
– We are
– Duong Bui – Vocals
– Trung Ton – Guitar
– Nam Dao – Guitar
– Hieu Nguyen – Bass
– David Hudd – Drums
WINDRUNNER officially started in 2015, but some of us played in bands together way before that and we’ve known each other since forever.
Where is Windrunner based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
We are from Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. In general, Hanoi and Vietnam have a very small and young metal/alternative music scene. Regardless of that, new and upcoming bands in the genre have been sprouting a little bit all over the country, which is quite exciting and interesting to see, as we all have our own take on the genre, and style. We all hope that, in the near future, more and more bands from the area start getting recognition globally, and that in turn will inspire more artists from Vietnam to pursue their dreams and a career. We may be small in number, but we have some amazing talent in Vietnam and we’re ready to hit the big markets.
Being from Vietnam, how did you wind up signing to Famined Records?
We were approached by them during the Summer – probably due to the fact that they’re familiar with Defiled Management, who we work with – and we all clicked right away. We worked closely together to organize the release, and it’s been an honour working with such kind people willing to take a chance with a Vietnamese band. We are proud to be a part of the Famined Records roster!
Is there any overall story or concept behind the album title MAI?
There definitely is a concept the album, and the track titles, revolve around: MAI in Vietnamese is a beautiful flower that blossoms in the spring, which also means “tomorrow”, and ties closely together with the whole concept of perseverance that we touch on throughout the album. Other songs also have names of flowers – Rose, Orchid – or trees – Oleander, Cedar – and talk about our own thoughts about different instances and struggles we might face in life. We want to emphasize the importance of persevering through it all, through highs and lows and whatever hardships may come, and to always look to the future aiming to be a better person, despite whatever might get in the way.
What is the lyrical inspiration for the single Rose?
That track specifically focuses on how we can sometimes be afraid to chase our hopes and dreams because of the consequences, or fear of failure, and then we’re left regretting it and wondering “what if“. The video that accompanies the song showcases a dream that the main characters are having where they’re living through what they could’ve had, had they only taken more chances instead of letting them pass them by. So it’s them, dwelling on past memories, wondering what could’ve been or how things could’ve gone differently, had they only tried harder. We want to remind people that it’s important to live in the present and not to dwell on the past, for nothing can be done to change that, and if we keep looking back we might never see what’s right in front of us. Always live in the present and look to the future, always move forward and let go of the anchors of “what if“.
Select any other song from Mai and what inspired the lyrics.
Mai, the title track of the album talks about important people in our lives, those who have influenced us to overcome hardships and obstacles when we are all alone and isolated in this world. We go through ups and downs in life, and often times love turns to hate. We have complicated thoughts on whose fault leads to all the misunderstandings in a relationship and end up blaming ourselves. But actually none of this is anyone’s fault. We just have to uphold the shared memories and carry on making our dreams come true as a tribute to gratefulness and respect to all the people who have come into our lives and made us who we are.
Who produced Mai and what was it like working with them?
The album was produced by our guitarist Trung, who operates a small recording studio in Hanoi for metal/alternative music. Trung is friendly but also a very serious producer, who always pay attention to every detail he can. During the production of MAI, most of the instrumental and vocals were recorded, mixed and mastered there. All the members were very supportive and they would show up for other member’s recording session to lend a hand, or just to entertain others. So it is pretty much like a family gathering to us.
How did your shows go with Attila and Secrets and did you get to meet or hang out with them at all?
It was probably one of our most memorable shows till now. We had to win the Battle of the Bands and to get the spot to open for Attila and Secrets. The show went amazing and we did get to hang out with the Attila and Secrets guys a bit. They were super genuine and nice guys off the stage and it was really chill. But what made the whole experience that much more memorable was that we got to go to another country, experience another culture and made a lot of new friends!
What could one expect from a live Windrunner show?
We always try our best to deliver the most heartfelt performance to the audience under any circumstances. Raw emotions, sweat and tears, from strongest feelings to the most tranquil ones, we think that this is the beauty of metal/hardcore music that no other genres have.
Any strange or scary happenings on the road or at a show?
We have been very lucky to have not experience any extreme bad luck or scary things while touring. There was however, a time when we had to walk through quite an unsavory neighborhood after the show to get back to our hotel, and that was quite scary, but that’s the extent of it. On that note though, the members’ varying physical conditions are sometimes scary things that make us worry about shows, so we all want to keep ourselves in good health when we have to tour so we can play, sing and be our best for the audience.
Has Windrunner ever played in the States area or plan to do so in future days?
Unfortunately we haven’t had the chance of playing in the States, but it would be a dream come true for us to play there!
What’s up next for Windrunner?
We will have a Vietnam tour to promote the upcoming album MAI, and we’re planning to tour around Asia as well, but that will probably be for next year. We are also always writing material for the next album.
Any final words of wisdom?
Thank you Highwire Daze for having us this interview!
Our new album titled MAI comes out on November 30th 2018 on Famined Records. Pre-orders are up now and it would mean the world if you could support us by pre-ordering, streaming or just sharing our music. Much love <3
Link here: https://www.windrunner.lnk.to/MAI
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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