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Nothing Hampering Hinder's Climb To The Top

Of the Oakland Press

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There was a period early this year when the members of Hinder weren’t exactly confident about their band’s future.

“It was kind of scary,” recalls singer Austin Winkler. “We were like, ‘Oh my God, we’re gonna be in debt forever. We’re not gonna get a next album ...’

“But, y’know, we kept touring and touring and did it the oldfashioned way, going out and gaining fans — and loyal fans at that. It all worked out.”

No kidding. Thanks to Hinder’s hard work — including stints opening for Nickel back, Staind and others — “Extreme Behavior” has topped the platinum mark and scored a Top 20 hit with “Lips of an Angel.” A new single, “How Long,” is out now, and yet another, “Better Than Me,” is already scheduled for the new year.

And the Oklahoma City quintet is in such demand it’s booking tour dates well into next summer.

“I don’t think anything has settled in yet,” says guitarist Joe “Blower” Garvey. “It’s been just ... overwhelming. We always hoped to accomplish what we’ve done, and we just keep doing it. We have our minds set on touring and just riding that wave right now.”

“We’re still pretty hammered all the time,” Winkler, 25, adds, “so it’s really not sinking in.”

That shouldn’t be shocking; after all, the first single from “Extreme Behavior” was called “Get Stoned.”

Hinder formed in 2001, after a cover band Winkler was in played a party at a house where Garvey, 24, and drummer Cody Hanson were living. They began getting together to jam and write songs, playing around an Oklahoma City scene where Winkler says “we were the only real rock band, so it was easy to build a big audience.”

Garvey says that straight-up rock is “what we’re all about, really. When all this writing started coming out, we weren’t really forced to do anything. This (direction) just kind of happened, and we just kind of went with it. We love this format.”

When Hinder’s self-released (and selffinanced) CD, “Far From Close,” sold 5,000 copies, major labels began paying attention. The group, which also includes guitarist Mark King and bassist Mike Rodden, signed with Universal and made “Extreme Behavior” during the spring and summer of 2005.

Winkler says the band felt that “Lips of an Angel” — inspired by a phone call from an ex-girlfriend when the singer’s current girlfriend was in the next room — “was a really, really good song” but had no idea about its potential as a breakthrough hit. The Univer sal executive in charge of “Extreme Behavior” didn’t even want it on the album.

“And we were like, ‘Uh, wait a minute ...’ ” Garvey says, “because, (for) a couple of us, it was our favorite song on the album. We were hoping it would be single. So it ended up finally being on the album, and (the Universal executive) is biting himself in the ass now.”

Hinder, meanwhile, is still chewing over its success — and enjoying every bite. Winkler and Garvey buzz about the bands they’ve played with and the encounters they’re having; they’re particularly excited about a three-show run coming up with Aerosmith, one of the band’s chief infl uences. Winkler also notes that in the wake of “Lips of an Angel’s” crossover success “the girls are getting better-looking but they’re also getting younger, so we have to card at the bus door.”

It’s not all fun and games, though. Hinder doesn’t expect to be able to get back into the studio until late next summer, but the group members are already working on new songs and are planning to take a studio-equipped tour bus on the road in order to start preserving the ideas.

“There’s definitely a lot of pressure on this next album,” Garvey says. “But it’s all in good fun. We’re not gonna be changing anything; we’re just having a good time and writing as we go.”

Hinder and 18 Visions perform Wednesday (November 8th) at Clutch Cargo's 65 E. Huron St., Pontiac. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are sold out. Call (248) 333-2362 or visit www.livenation.com. Hinder also opens for Aerosmith on December 1 at Joe Louis Arena, Detroit. Tickets are $79.50, $59.50 and $39.50. Call (313) 471-6611 or visit www.olympiaentertainment.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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