WIND STORM Album Interview by David Finlayson
David Finlayson is a longtime good friend, an artist, graphic designer, singer-songwriter & comic. He lives with his lovely wife Gina and their two daughters in Gadsden, Alabama (www.myspace.com/tonkasoul).
Dave - On this album you've seemed to link the songs like a daisy chain. All together it's a very nice journey from song to song. When you started this project - did you plan this or did it just happen once the recording venture started?
Barbie - Actually, some of these songs were written 2-3 years before this recording. Nori is the master of organizing the order of the songs.
Nori - It really kind of just happened when we had the songs almost finished, and started thinking about the song order. It was pretty amazing to see how everything just seemed to fit together from song to song.
Dave - Even though the songs seem to come together seemlessly, each song has it's own flavor - it's own style. True WIND has it's own very unique sound, but I heard hints from The Beatles to The Moody Blues to Rick Wakeman (Journey To The Center of The Earth) to The Doors. Even "I Want To Know" has a playful classic fifties feel to it. Barbie even seems to wink at Olivia Newton John in "Wherever You Lead." I've never heard you two step out into other sounds and feels as much as you've done in "Storm." This album is very different from your previous productions in this respect. Again - did this happen as each song was concieved - or did it take flight in production?
Nori - I guess each song sort of has a life of its own, an identity. I really try not to write too many songs that sound alike, although up to a point, it's probably impossible since they're coming from the same brain, or two brains with Barbie. I think I tend to be inspired by what I'm listening to at the time, so not much of what I write is really original from my point of view...although neither of us have ever been into Olivia Newton John.
Barbie - I am inspired by what I happen to be listening to at the time, also.
Dave - On other albums I'm able to pick out the songs Nori's written from the songs Barbie's written. In "Storm," all the songs seem to merge so nicely together that it all sounds like it came from one heart.
Nori - I think we're defining who we are as a team a little more clearly the past few years. We went through a difficult time about 5 or 6 years ago after the band we had together sort of fell apart (the lineup that recorded the album "Straight Line" & "Small Town"). We really had to reevaluate who we are and what we're about..what we really feel called to do. There aren't really any regrets there - a lot of great things happened because of that time in the band, perhaps more for the band members than anyone else. We're all still close friends, and Jim (Pollard) & Rob (Bradley) actually contributed to "Storm." Anyway, after that happened our family moved to Japan, where we recorded "Wa." From that point on, Barbie has had a lot more input - not because I didn't ask for it before - but maybe her confidence level has risen somewhat...what do you think?
Barbie - Yeah. I am younger than Nori, and he definitely had much more experience than I had when we got married - from gigs to recordings. He has always asked for my input during projects, but I usually left most of it to him. I have recently been realizing that that's not right. God put us together to work together - not for me to sit back and watch Nori do his thing. So I have forced myself to say and do more on the last two albums. It's really nice to see the parallel in our music with our marriage. I wanted to be a "good," submissive wife. I didn't really know the definition of submitting, so I think I became a little invisible. Again, I don't believe that is God's plan for a marriage...I shouldn't sit back and watch Nori make all of the decisions on his own in this area, either. My opinion is just as important in this, too. Of course, as the leader and head of our home, he makes the final call. I trust that he is seeking God and has our best interest in mind, so it is not difficult to trust Nori. So, yes...merging...one heart...Good stuff!
Dave - What makes this album different than any other preceding album you've made?
Nori - I think the same things we just said - but once this album was near completion, I stepped back and said, "Wow...I think this is about the best we can do right now."
Barbie - Yes, what we said earlier. Becoming more of who God created us to be.
Dave - Seeing how I haven't met any of your new Colorado playmates...who all's playing on this album? :)
Nori - Me, Barbie, and a number of our friends! After we moved from Japan to Colorado Springs in 2005, I became close friends with a drummer named Tom Blackwell, who's from Canada. He started playing with us and is just a great guy in every way. He's a good worship drummer, very sensitive and can follow well. When we moved to Canon City in 2006, we were introduced by our pastor to Thumper (Dave Henry), who's the drummer for Flash Cadillac (www.flashcadillac.com). Thumper started playing with us as well, so for about 3 years there we had either Thumper or Tom, depending on who was available. It all sort of culminated in the fall of 2008 when we played at the Vineyard National Missions Meeting in Colorado Springs, and Rob Bradley even flew out from Alabama and played keys with us! Both Thumper and Tom played drums, and our good friend Mike McCaffrey joined us on percussion. It was lots of fun... our daughter, Lizzie, sang some harmonies and played some percussion as well. On one of our tours through the south, we set up some recording gear at Jim Pollard's (www.myspace.com/pamjammusic) house and cut a couple of songs with him on drums and George Vinson (www.myspace.com/georgevinson) on bass. So the album has Thumper, Jim and Tom playing drums, and some of the songs have programmed percussion. I did most everything else, with Rob playing keys on some things and George playing bass on a couple of things. Barbie played some acoustic guitar, flute and did all of the hand percussion. She does a lot of the lead vocals, of course, and Tom and I did a lot of the backing vocals. I did a few of the lead vocals. We had some additional friends, Donna Ackermann and Brian Hosler, join us in the chorus of "Heal Our Land," as well as our daughters, Lizzie & Cynthea.
Barbie - It was so much fun recording with our friends! We are blessed to have so many talented friends who contributed!
Dave - This was a very nice venture - thanks for the ride!
Nori - Thank YOU, David!
Barbie - WEEEEEE!!!