Hinder's New Album Inspired By Singer's 'Really Dark Drug Binge'
Hinder's New Album Inspired By Singer's 'Really Dark Drug Binge'

Frontman Austin Winkler headed to rehab after the rock group finished recording "Welcome to the Freakshow."

Hinder frontman Austin Winkler says that "a really, really dark drug binge" drove the songs for the group's forthcoming fourth album, "Welcome to the Freakshow."

"I was in a very, very, very dark addiction," Winkler, who went to rehab after the group finished the album, tells Billboard. "I think you can definitely hear the turmoil in my voice. As soon as we got the record done I went into treatment to get help, and it's interesting to go back and listen to it now. Coming back, I have a whole new look on all of them and they mean something completely different to me now, too, so it's pretty cool. That's the beauty of music."

Winkler says his struggle is evident in the album's first single, "Save Me," which came out in October. "I was kind of in the mind set of 'Get out of my face. I'm too far gone to be saved' kind of thing," he explains. "I had a really nasty attitude in that song, but I had a blast singing and recording it. I think it's our heaviest single yet, and we're getting a pretty good response."

Winkler says the group wrote "about 30 or so" songs for the album, with the 11 that appear on the final "Freakshow" lineup cutting a wider than usual swatch between hard rockers, power ballads and country-flavored tracks.

"I think this album's really diverse. I think it's going to surprise a lot of people," Winkler says. "We've always had those big rock songs and we've always had a ballad here and then, like, tongue-in-cheek songs." The album, due out Dec. 4, was co-produced by drummer Cody Hanson and Marshall Dutton in Hinder's own studio in Oklahoma City.

Hinder has been previewing the "Freakshow" material during its Bare Bones acoustic tour that wraps up Nov. 13 in Kansas City. The quintet opens for Lynyrd Skynyrd on Nov. 16 in Durant, Okla., and is planning a full tour in 2013. "We're looking at possibly doing a full-blown headline tour and taking out some bands, or we're looking to jump on some tours and do it that way," Winkler says. "We're talking about that now and... still have some kinks to work out."