Greg Prato for Ultimate Guitar spoke with Winger frontman Kip Winger. Portions of part one, of this interview, appear below.

Ultimate Guitar: Beau Hill produced Winger’s first two albums. What did he bring to the band as a producer, and were you familiar with this previous work with Ratt?

Kip Winger: It’s important to know that I was the first band that Beau ever produced. I was in a band with my two brothers and I met Beau when I was 16. He was in a band called Airborne. Not the Airbourne that people know now – it was a band called Airborne on CBS Records and I think produced by Keith Olson. Beau was living in Denver, and I had a band with my two brothers. And my manager met Beau at a Heart concert backstage, and put us together. And Beau produced a demo for me and my two brothers in… it must’ve been 1977.

Then, I became kind of his protege where he would hire us to play. I played bass on all his demos and me and my brothers sang on all his stuff. And then when he moved to New York to join a band called Spider – managed by the infamous Bill Aucoin [KISS‘ original manager] – he ended up getting some producing gigs, and then ended up producing Ratt, which hit it real big. But by that time, I had already worked with Beau for years and years and years, and kind of had learned a lot of studio stuff from Beau.

When we did the first album, I was really laying out all the music exactly like he would already do it. And so if you listen on the box set, there’s a demo disc of the demos that I produced that you can hear are very similar to the way the album came out. Madalaine was very slow when we first wrote it, and it was Beau’s suggestion to speed that up, which was a great call…

Ultimate Guitar: How would you describe the sound that producers such as Beau Hill specialized in at the time?

Kip Winger: I think everybody was doing that big snare sound. I think that was somewhat common among all the producers at that time. So, I don’t think it was unique to Beau, necessarily. Beau had a lot of success because he was very talented, and he made some great calls – especially on Ratt. I happened to think that the best production that Beau ever did was Midnight Dynamite by Kix. So, I think Beau was in the group of producers that kind of did that big sound – big snare drum and stuff like that – and happened to be a very talented guy and had more success than some other producers.”

Read more at Ultimate Guitar.

Winger’s Chapter One: Atlantic Years 1988-1993 box set is available for purchase for now. To read further details about this special release, please go here.


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