Get to know Vietnam’s Windrunner!
Their track “Lotus” (YouTube/Spotify) is taken from their brand new album, ‘SEN’, which was released on August 23rd on Famined Records. This is a melodic and ambient re-imagining of 6-tracks from November’s debut album ‘MAI’. Having conquered Asia with a multitude of headline tours as well as on direct supports for the likes of Secrets and Emmure, Windrunner’s fanbase is building globally as one of Famined’s flagship bands, racking up over 850K plays on Spotify. Having made their name as a unique and progressive ambient metal outfit led by acclaimed female vocalist Duong Bui, upcoming EP ‘SEN’ shows the band in a substantially different light. ‘SEN’ is a masterfully re-imagined, impassioned melodic rock collection, showing the band’s impressive dexterity whilst retaining the mesmerizingly emotive ambiance showcased on November’s debut full-length.
Learn more about Windrunner in the following All Access interview:
– Now that we are well into the 8th month of the year, how would you say that 2019 is treating the band so far? What have been some goals this group has had this year? How close are you to reaching them?
It’s been a fun and scary rollercoaster ride to say the least. This year, we played our biggest shows ever to thousands of people, toured with the legendary Emmure across Asia, met so many new friends around the world and we feel extremely lucky to be able to reach these goals. Unfortunately our vocalist Duong Bui has parted ways with the band to purse her studies so we’ve also hit one of the lowest point of the band. But we persevered and will come back with full force soon!
– Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this group together? Was it hard to think of a name that you could agree on? What is the significance behind your band name?
We knew each other way before we started WINDRUNNER, playing in different local bands together, so it was natural for us to get along when we came together. The band name is inspired by a character from the video game called DotA. In the game she is a fast, stealthy and hard-hitting archer and it inspired the messages we try to spread that is being positive, strong and being able to push through hard things in life.
– How do you think your hometown has influenced the sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group? If not, what do you think does influence this group?
Of course, coming from Vietnam, rock music is not native to our culture and it was introduced only a few decades ago. We try to blend our own styles with the metal sound that we love and we think that you can hear some traditional Vietnamese music influences in our songs.
– Let’s talk about your newest single “Cedar” (Re-imagined) What was the inspiration for it? How would you say that it prepared listeners for your new EP “SEN”?
When we were talking to each other about which songs we would choose to remix for the new EP, Cedar instantly came first as it is one of our favorite songs off of our album “MAI” and we thought it would be cool to dial it down a bit while keeping the melodies close to the original. Lyrically, the original version of Cedar is about how a girl moves on after her brother’s death, so the general meaning behind the song is still about how eventually have to part ways but still appreciate each other. Our vocalist’s departure from the band makes the song even more meaningful to us as it just speaks to us at the right moment.
– While it’s difficult to pick, can you choose a few of your favorite songs on this album and talk about their inspiration and how they got to be on “SEN”?
Our favorite would have to be Sakura reimagined. It’s just totally different from the original or any other songs we’ve done. It’s inspired by traditional Vietnamese sounds and instruments while using somewhat western melodies.
– Generally, how do you guys go about writing your music? Do you write together or separately?
Usually someone will come up with an idea, maybe a guitar riff or a vocal melody and we work from there, either together in the practice room or separately at home. With technology nowadays, you can really capture what we want at the right moment.
– I always like to ask bands if you all hang out socially apart from the music? In other words, when you aren’t working on music, do you guys enjoy hanging out for fun?
Of course, we live in the same city and meet up at least once a week. We think it’s important to not only enjoy the music but also enjoy each other’s company to really make the band work.
– Where do you think you are all happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
Both! Being creative and making songs are fun and it’s literally the reason the band exists, but we also love performing and interacting with our fans through our music. Tracking is always a chore though.
– What do you think makes for an ideal show? What has been a favorite show of yours in the past? Any favorite venues?
An ideal show would be where there’s a lot of energy and interaction between the band and the audience. We love playing outdoors to a big audience but we also love playing in smaller venues where we can be really close to the audience and really feel the connection with them. Our favorite venues would be Hanoi Rock City in Hanoi, Vietnam, The Wall in Taipei and SD Livehouse in Guangzhou, China.
– How has social media impacted this band? How often are you all on your different sites interacting with fans? How have you been able to utilize it through the years?
It’s a super useful tool this day to keep fans updated and connected with the band. We appreciate and try our best to interact with our fans through social media. But then some of us are really introverted and shy so sometimes it’s hard to keep up with everything haha.
– We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how you all think being musicians and in this band still gives you the most joy in life today? Do you find that your music is an escape to all the current events?
Definitely. The joy it brings from being able to connect with so many people regardless of age, race, sex, etc. is magical. Playing music and being in a band itself is hard, but the reward is worthwhile.
– What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
We try to spread a positive message and outlook in life, to keep pushing on through hardships. We hope that our songs can make a positive impact on people’s live, whether through just enjoying the melodies or taking away positively from the words we sing.