Nearly all '80s music trends actually started in the late '70s, including Punk and New Wave. The lone exception was Hair Metal (Motley Crue, Poison, Skid Row, Ratt, etc.). It was extremely popular and it took nothing less than Grunge to kill it. But like a phoenix (or hydra) it rose again.
'05 saw Motley Crue successfully tour the North America only slowed by surgeries and aliments usually associated with old age. In early '06, Crue was awarded a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. Well, you can't become more establishment or ancient than that. New blood was needed to carry on the wayward decadence bound and tied to the '80s. And that left the door ajar for Hinder.
The group came together shortly after the turn of the century in the hinder lands of Oklahoma City, under the "misery loves company" ethos. Personal lives were a mess and the group, especially with its smirking attitude, helped keep the pain at bay. It was sex, drugs and Rock n' Roll, not as a motto, but a lifestyle. Of course, that's hard to pull off in dusty confines of their hometown, so the idea was to get out.
Hinder built a strong regional following and went the indie route releasing "Far From Close." The CD sold over 5,000 copies which led to a major label signing. They ventured north to Vancouver's Armoury Studios to record their '06 release "Extreme Behavior," featuring lead single, "Get Stoned."
Not only is it a struggle to be successful, it's a battle to keep it rolling. A track from "Extreme Behavior," the ballad "Lips Of An Angel," managed to reach the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 (pop chart). The song nearly didn't make it on the album, much less get released as a single. "Our label guy was like, 'Nice song, it sounds like a B-side to me,'" recalled frontman Austin Winkler. "This is not a B-side." No kidding.
Things took a comic turn when Hinder torn into OK Go for their treadmill-dancing antics at the '06 MTV Video Music Awards. "That's not f**king Rock & Roll," claimed Winkler. "They're a bunch of fairies." Just to keep the ball rolling, Hanson slammed Thursday's Geoff Rickly. "That dude has got to be the worst singer I have ever heard in my entire f**king life." Kiss goodbye any chance of a Hinder-OK Go-Thursday world tour. Later, the cameras rolled as Hinder performed live at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN. They filmed the concert for both a DVD and for a live video for their single, "How Long."
The following year, the video for Hinder's take on Steppenwolf's classic "Born To Be Wild" made its debut on NASCAR.com. The song promoted TNT's coverage of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. Next, the group showed up on Stage Z, a virtual festival that coincided with the Live Earth shows to promote positive action regarding the climate-change crisis. "We're going out there to fight the complacency and apathy people have about what's going on in the world," said Winkler. The group also was also on The Badboys of Rock tour with Buckcherry and Papa Roach.
Hinder issued "You Can't Make This S**t Up" in October, '07. This was a deluxe version of "Extreme Behavior" with concert performances, music videos and bonus tracks, including their cover of "Born To Be Wild." Speaking of which, Winkler and actress/model Jami Miller were married in late July '08. The pair met while filming the "Born To Be Wild" music video.
They released their sophomore album "Take It To The Limit" on Election Day '08 (Obama v. McCain) so that fans could "go vote and buy the . . . record," said drummer Cody Hanson. "It's such an exciting day for the rest of the country. We figured we'd give our fans something else to be excited for as well." Produced by Brian Howes, "Use Me" was the lead single.
While on tour in support of "Take It To The Limit," first as part of Motley Crue's Saints Of Los Angeles trek, then on Nickelback's Dark Horse Tour, Hinder composed songs for their third album. "We wrote 70 or so songs, recorded about 50 and cut it down to 12," Winkler explained. "It's something that we've never done before, so it's like our ultimate baby." "All-American Nightmare" dropped in '10.
Two years later, "Welcome To The Freakshow," containing the single "Save Me," was Hinder's fourth studio effort.
On a subsequent North American tour, Saving Abel's Jared Weeks did a fill-in stint for Winkler who dropped out for personal reasons. "Instead of canceling shows and leaving our die-hard fans hanging, we're going to keep the good times rolling on the road this summer," read a band statement. "We have some guests filling in to help us out and promise you won't be disappointed." Drankmore's Marshal Dutton also handled vocals for a couple of the shows.
The "Winkler" issue was resolved in '13 when Hinder announced that the singer had officially left the band. "We hold no animosity towards Austin, and wish him the best," said Hanson. "Although it was a difficult decision, it was the best thing for everyone involved and time for us to move on."
"I want to thank each and every one of you all for your love and support over the years, and especially over the last 4 months on my road to recovery," wrote Winkler a short time later. "All the messages you sent me on Twitter and Instagram really helped me get through this difficult time in my life. I'm happy to say I've been sober for 150 days."
"I'm really passionate about the new project I'm working on," continued Winkler. "I have been in the studio nonstop and can't wait to share this new music with you."
Dutton must have done a good job filling in for Winkler because Hinder recruited him after parting ways with Nolan Neal, who became the group's full-time vocalist in '14.
"Marshal has been a part of the family since 2009 when he began co-writing/producing on the "All American Nightmare album," said a band statement. "He has been a co-producer on every Hinder release since, and truly loves this band as we do."
"When The Smoke Clears" was Hinder's first album without Winkler and their debut with Dutton, who co-wrote all the songs, usually with Hanson. The '15 album was supported by summer and fall tours. On the latter trek, their bus was involved in a crash outside Cookeville, TN. Bassist Mike Rodden suffered broken ribs. But a couple of months later the group resumed the tour.
With the tour completed Hinder put out "Stripped," an 'unplugged' EP. The '16 set featured the song "Not An Addict."
2005 Extreme Behavior
2008 Take It To The Limit
2010 All American Nightmare
2012 Welcome To The Freakshow
2015 When The Smoke Clears
2016 Stripped (Acoustic EP)
Hinder populates an anti-P.C. (politically correct) world. It's still a place where you can be sexist, arrogant or "lewd with a smile" and get away with it. Sometimes it works to be all three. Winkler provides the suggestive, occasionally emotional lyrics as the group shifts through chords with admirable precision.
After going triple-platinum with their debut Hinder has absolutely no reason to leave the '80s and "Take It To The Limit" doesn't. There is even an appearance by Crue guitarist Mick Mars on the title track (what goes around, comes around).
When they crank it, Hinder, whether singing about relationships (both sweet and sour), the perils of fame or just being wild and reckless, has an unbridled exuberance. And they can deliver a hook. Even when the verses drag, lag or sag, they save the song in the chorus.