WINDRUNNER is a progressive metalcore quintet hailing from Hanoi, Vietnam. Founded
in early 2015 from the merger of two renowned Vietnamese metalcore bands: Epione
and Alive In Sight, WINDRUNNER quickly made a name for themselves with their
unique blend of rhythm and melodies, groovy yet intricate riffs, soothing ambience,
melodic guitar lines, coupled with catchy vocal choruses from female vocalist Duong
Bui. Their debut EP “VUI” was released in June 2015 and received positive acclaims
from around the world. Since then, WINDRUNNER has actively toured
around Vietnam, South East Asia and South Korea, supporting bands such as
Attila, Secrets, Benighted, Hiss From The Moat, Coldburn, King Ly Chee, Born From Pain, Earthists, and many others. The bands debut, ‘Mai” will be released 11/30/2018 via Famined Records and can be pre-ordered here. Check the band out on Facebook and if you get the chance, check out the little interview I had with the band, which you can read below!
What’s the music scene like over in Vietnam? Are there any genres that are more common than others?
The music scene in Vietnam is dominated mostly by V-Pop and K-Pop. The heavy music scene is small and young, but it is growing rapidly. Metalcore has been pretty popular, and recently hardcore and pop punk has definitely taken the leaderboards in popularity here, so it’s nice that we hold a niche of music that’s still quite uncommon in Vietnam!
Being from a country like Vietnam where metal generally isn’t a very popular genre, what made you decide to persevere and keep pushing for that metal sound?
In all honesty, it’s just the type of music we love to play. It feels natural for us, and original music is its own reward. Plus, having a small scene is like a family, and playing for the wild crowds of Vietnam is always a pleasure.
It’s becoming more and more common to have female vocalists in bands, but generally just doing the clean vocals. You seem to be able to perform both quite flawlessly. What made you decide to do both?
Duong: “Thanks for the compliment! The screamer from my previous band left, so I took it upon myself to include the screaming style into the singing as well. It naturally carried over when Windrunner was formed, and I’ve kept developing it ever since.”
What kind of lyrical themes are on the album? Is there a certain concept behind it?
The main theme of the album is perseverance. “Mai” in Vietnamese is a beautiful flower that blossoms in the spring, which also means “tomorrow”. Other songs on the album are also names of flower blossoms or tree and each one talks about a different problem that we may face in life. We try emphasize the importance of perseverance and hope through all hardships, and to look to the future and move on to be a better person, like how every flower will eventually wither, but with that brings new and better things.
How have you liked working with Famined records so far? Every experience I’ve had with them has been nothing short of phenomenal.
It has been an honour. They are very professional and helpful, especially for a band that hasn’t got much experience with labels. We feel super grateful that they chose to support and work with us. Chelsea, Tyeler, Riley, you are amazing!
Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
We draw inspiration from several genres as each member enjoys such a different style of music. But notably, you could say that the djent, progressive and metalcore styles played a big part in our playing preference. Besides that, we all enjoy heavy music in all it’s forms. Specifically:
Duong (vocals) – I actually listened to lots of R&B when I was young and contemporary artists like Tyler Carter or Jonny Craig really influenced my perception of how that style of vocals can be mixed with heavy music. They have some certain influence on me, especially my English got better singing along these guys. I must also say Linkin Park, Korn and Red Hot Chili Peppers set the spirit for me and they are my childhood heroes.
Trung (guitar) – I grew up listening to a lot of pop punk and emo. Then I got into heavier music with 2000’s metalcore and melodic hardcore. But a few bands that have really influenced my writing have been Northlane, Erra, Novelists and Invent Animate.
Nam (guitar) – Linkin Park is a legendary band that brought me into heavy music. I started playing the guitar listening to Avenged Sevenfold, and I gradually improved my style to what I am today. I am also largely influenced by bands like Asking Alexandria and metalcore bands of that era.
Hieu (bass) – Erra, The Amity Affliction and Architects are my favorite bands.
David (drums) – Growing up I listened to a lot of extreme metal styles. I still enjoy it, but in terms of my drums I like to incorporate slower, more melodic, groovy playing.
If you could tour with 3 bands, past or present, who would you care to tour with?
Linkin Park, Veil of Maya, and Northlane!
Speaking of touring, do you have any plans to tour to support the release when it comes out?
We are planning a tour around Vietnam and South East Asia in the winter to support the release of our full-length album titled “Mai” on November 30th 2018 on Famined Records. More details to be announced soon!