By now, the musical exploits of Scott “Wino” Weinrich are the stuff of legend. The Obsessed. Saint Vitus. Spirit Caravan. The Hidden Hand. Shrinebuilder. After releasing his solo debut in 2009, Wino went acoustic in early 2011 with Adrift, a gut-wrenchingly personal album written by a man who has survived a lifetime of gut-wrenching scenarios and lived to tell the tales.
Wino’s latest project sees him plugged back in—both to his amplifier and the full-band format. Enter PREMONITION 13, a musical entity that finds its genesis in jam sessions dating back two decades, when Wino first met fellow guitarist Jim “Sparky” Karow. “Jim and I have known each other for about 20 years,” Wino explains. “His wife was basically the first manager of the Obsessed. We played guitars together one day and then we had this really good conversation about magnetism. We realized we had a common love of Mesoamerican stuff and ancient cultures. So we’ve been jamming together for about 15 or 20 years—just me and him, two guitars, no drums or anything like that.”
And so what started as a series of informal jams out at Karow’s spread in the high California desert—a place once inhabited by Brave New World author and LSD enthusiast Aldous Huxley — eventually became songwriting sessions. After enlisting the talents of Ostinato drummer Matthew Clark and former Meatjack bassist Brian Daniloski, they began playing live under the moniker Premonition. But a subsequent Internet search turned up quite a few bands with that very name, so Wino proposed a numerical addendum. “13 is one of my favorite numbers,” he explains. “It’s actually a very positive number, but it’s been misconstrued quite a bit throughout history. Friday the 13th is considered bad luck in America, but that’s just another fear trip. It’s also considered good luck by some esoterically-minded folks because Friday the 13th was the day that Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, was burned at the stake. As he was being burned, he cursed the pope and the king, and they were both dead within a year.”
Recorded at RTX guitarist Brian McKinley’s unnamed studio in Costa Mesa, California, Premonition 13’s debut sees Wino venturing into territories both new and familiar. “The band has two guitarists, first off, which I did for the first time in Shrinebuilder just a couple of years ago,” he explains. “But I’ve also found that that there’s a little bit of humor in this band. There’re some tongue-in-cheek lyrical things; it’s not quite as serious as some of the other stuff I’ve done. But at the same time, it is serious: we make some comments on conspiracy, the negative effects of control, and all the stuff one might protest against.”
Musically, Wino cites Black Sabbath, King Crimson and his previous conspiracy-minded band The Hidden Hand as reference points for Premonition 13. He and Karow also make generous use of the E-Bow, a handheld guitar effect that sustains notes in a battery-powered electromagnetic field. “It’s still pretty heavy, but it’s definitely a departure from other bands I’ve been in,” Wino offers. “I’m just excited for it to get out there so people can hear it.”
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