News Segment


February 23, 2007

Throughout his career, Kip Winger has worked with the best. He began playing music when he was 7, and by 8 he did his first paying gig. Later, he landed a job as Alice Cooper’s bassist before jumping into the fire with his band, Winger, in the mid-1980s.

The Deseret Morning News caught up with Winger (the singer/bassist) during a phone call from, ironically, Alice Cooper’s Cooperstown restaurant in Cleveland.

“My older brothers were in bands when I was growing up,” said Winger. “And I was able to play in bands with them. It was back in the late ’60s and early ’70s. So we played covers of all the bands — Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, Credence (Clearwater Revival), The James Gang and Grand Funk.”

A classically trained musician, Winger, who continues to study Baroque music and composition, caught the attention of the Alice Cooper circle and played bass on the 1986 album “Constrictor” and the subsequent tour.

A year later, Winger recruited Cooper guitarist Paul Taylor, guitarist Reb Beach and Dixie Dregs drummer Rod Morgenstein to form Winger (the band).

The band had its pop-metal run of success with hits “Madalaine,” “Seventeen,” “Headed for a Heartbreak” and “Hungry.” It was nominated the best new heavy metal band in 1990 by the American Music Awards and had a string of multi-platinum albums.

That’s when the challenges began. Winger,which has since added keyboardist Cenk Eroglu and guitarist John Roth (who replaced Taylor) was lumped in the same group as glam-metal acts Poison and Cinderella. The band was also ridiculed on “Beavis and Butt-Head” and had a much-covered feud with Metallica.

“I tried to stay away from things like that,” Winger said. “I’ve been accused of many things, and some of them are true, but I don’t feel the need to justify my existence. I just do what I do. If people don’t like it, then they don’t have to listen to it. I’m interested in playing music.”

Morgenstein had nothing but good things to say about Winger when the Dixie Dregs were in town a few months ago. (Morgenstein is pulling double duty this year with both bands on the road.)

“There aren’t a lot of people who know just how musically educated Kip is,” Morgenstein said during an interview with the Deseret Morning News. “He continually tries to better himself, and he studies classical music like a conductor.”

The musicality is evident on Winger’s latest album “IV,” which is laced with politically loaded lyrics. Songs like “M16,” “On a Day Like Today,” “Generica” and “Can’t Take It Back” are filled with images of war and conflict, which is prevalent in the world today.

“We did that on purpose,” said Winger. “We wanted to make an album that made people think of what is really important. And how things are messed up today.”

Courtesy of