Wino and Conny Ochs
“What is a friend? A single soul in two bodies.” Aristotle
The Legacy of Scott “Wino” Weinrich in the world of heavy music is indisputable. Many have postulated his influence in the underground rock scene over the last decades. But it’s not only his musical craftmanship that makes the man the underground hero he is. His connection to fans, his dedication and love for what he’s doing and how he treats people around him makes him the exceptional artist he is. For me it always was a pleasure to work with him and I consider it a fortune to have my parts in what he does and achieves.
It happened that we were shooting a videotaped interview at my house a few years ago for a website that he ended with playing one song on my wife’s acoustic guitar and once he was done I immediately knew that recording a fully acoustic album would be something that he should do at some point. I remember that by the time he wasn’t so much into it but in 2010 he finally realized that it might be about time to let some demons out in a very personal and intense way and playing fully acoustic was the medium. The result was his first acoustic solo album “Adrift” (EOM050), which of course had him walking the conventional path of promoting it with a tour. Again it was my job to throw all things together, book the tour and get the whole production in place, including searching for a driver and a possible support act. Now that this would be a kinda unusual situation with just him and an acoustic guitar on tour in a small passenger car the driver should be someone who would make up for good conversation and easy going as it’s quite a challenge for both the artist and the driver to be squeezed in a car for over 6 weeks with not knowing each other before.
I have known Conny Ochs for a while now. We both met for the first time in summer 2008 near the Baltic Sea on a beach party/ jam session/ hang out we do every year. He would show up, guitar in his hand and starts playing out of the blue by making up songs and lyrics on the go with a sheer overwhelming intensity. Everyone that watched him on this first appearance was speechless within seconds and sucked in this hippie-ish vibe your parents would have told you about when someone is playing guitar by a campfire. It might be the age or the experience or both but what would have been like a red rag for me before grabbed me with joy and Conny, you can consider yourself being responsible for digging out my old Bruce Springsteen and Townes Van Zandt tapes again after that night.
Conny and me stayed in touch and he became a regular guest on most the festivals and shows we put on and he eventually started working as a driver for some of our acts like Dead Western. As soon as the Wino solo tour was getting into place I knew he would be the right person for the job, also from his ability to maybe help out with playing second guitar or any other instrument to back up Wino, IF the two guys would get along well enough. And how this worked out. From the beginning there seemed to be an extraordinnairy vibe rotating between the two individuals, culminating in both of them seperately writing a song named “Labour Of Love” in the same night after a conversation about this term. Through music they discovered a very similar approach to life and art and a shared wisdom in creating music. It really seemed like two souls becoming one after they have learned to know each other. By the end of the tour they had achieved this and shared the stage every night and Conny would lay down his skills on Wino tracks.
After both recorded an infamous ‘Latitudes’ session in London by the end of the 2010 tour it was now time for a full album. And here you have it: 11 soulful tunes that speak for themselves, personalities shine, truth within. All songs got written and performed by Wino and Conny together. The album contains one coversong by Townes Van Zandt – an artist Conny an Wino deeply admire. 4 of the songs the both wrote on one day in Berlin in Summer 2011, among them “Heavy Kingdom” which marks the first song they ever wrote together. Rise was given to the other songs and the whole record with a first recording session in August 2011 – guess where? At the Baltic Sea on Rügen island on exactly that beach party/ jam session/ hang out where we first met Conny. The tracks were later twisted into shape in a second recording session at the seminal Kabumm Studios in Berlin. The artwork contains drawings by both artists and follows the dedicated and deeply intense approach of the whole album. Enjoy!
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious, it is the true source of art and friendship.” Albert Einstein
Andreas Kohl/ Exile On Mainstream 2011