Interview with Dorthia Cottrell of Windhand

Anyone who has been following the doom scene for the past decade is familiar with Windhand. The staple doom band hailing from Richmond, Virginia has dropped banger after banger and released powerful record after powerful record. Vocalist Dorthia Cottrell has been busy this whole time, as she not only heads up the band but also plays as a solo artist. I caught up with my old friend about all things Windhand and how she’s been doing.

How do you feel about the most recent record and how it’s being received?

Honestly, I try not to read many reviews so I don’t know exactly how it’s being received, but it was, I think, for all of us, one of our favorites. It was a really easy and cathartic writing process and I feel like we were all together as a unit writing it. It was a really fun, innocent, musical experience.

 

Well, you’re spot on because it has been really well-received. You really haven’t read any of the reviews?

I read one of Willie Nelson’s books, and he said not to read any reviews ever, and I agree with that. [laughs]

 

How have the tours been going for this album?

It’s been really good; we’ve had some sound guys with us recently, and having a sound guy has made a huge difference. I can finally hear myself; it makes us all feel a lot more comfortable like we have control over the sound so that I feel like that’s a great luxury.

 

What else do you have in the works with the band? Any more touring or recording going on?

We have some stuff lined up for this year, and we are about to leave for a Southeastern tour down to Miami and back up, and then we’re going to Europe in March and Mexico City. Then maybe we are doing some Europe stuff later in the year.

 

Are you working on any solo music?

I am, actually! I’ve really been working on a lot of solo stuff. I’m writing songs for myself and kind of playing with a lot of other girls that are in other bands. I don’t know if they want to announce it right now, but I went to Philly and recorded stuff with them recently.

 

Who are some of the bands you’re listening to a lot right now? Who can you not get enough of?

Lately, my friend who plays in Heavy Temple turned me on to Julien Baker, and I’ve just been listening to her, her interviews and what she has to say about playing music, especially playing music in the South, like how religion is playing a role in what you’re writing whether you believe in that or not. I love her; she’s such a young, amazing talent.

 

How do you feel about the doom scene in Richmond right now, and in general?

It’s huge now; I feel like there are so many more bands that play that kind of music everywhere, and in Richmond, and I know that a lot of women are more involved, and that’s cool. Any time I see that I’m excited about girls playing rock ‘n’ roll, but even though we play doom, none of us really listen to it that much, so I’m not up-to-date with the new things going on in the doom world, but I definitely think good things have happened.

 

Where do you see yourself in five years? What are your plans for the future of the band?

I have no idea honestly; we’ve just been flying by the seat of our pants since the beginning. We’ve never sat down to write and been like, ‘OK, we want this to sound like this,’ or, ‘We want to go here or there.’ We take it as it comes and try to write music we like.

 

ADDISON HERRON-WHEELER

Stream and buy Windhand’s latest album, Eternal Return here.