- Kevin Ihle
'It all blurs together after a while," says Inaiah Lujan, trying to remember whether the Haunted Windchimes' appearance on A Prairie Home Companion was last year or the year before.
For the record, it was in October 2011. The group has since released its sixth album and played around town in an ever-changing array of side projects. Perhaps most importantly, the group has also toured almost constantly, and that's allowed them, or required them, actually, to give up their day jobs.
Life on the road is also a lot different than when Lujan was writing one of the band's earliest ballads, "The American Dream," while on a hitchhiking tour of the U.S.
"There are definitely more hotel rooms," he reports. "You have luxuries like air conditioning. You know where you're going to sleep and eat. Those are all luxuries I didn't have when I first started traveling."
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While that also means more opportunity for more private time, Lujan is careful not to close himself off to the world around him. "What I've come to realize is that the synchronicities and the sort of mysticism I experience from traveling doesn't go away."
Between tours, various combinations of Windchimes pop up all over the place. "I feel like we've grown into a full-throttle band and we're hitting it pretty hard," says Lujan. "And so the side projects, at least from my point of view, are to kind of pull ourselves away from the train that is the Haunted Windchimes, to venture into other parts of the brain and have some different places to draw inspiration from."
As for the next album, the band expects to begin recording by December. "Even before this year, we'd already been playing shows with a batch of songs that are unrecorded," he says. "We kind of find ourselves in the predicament of having too much material. Which is not a bad problem to have."
2nd place: Edith Makes a Paper Chain
3rd place: The Mitguards