Robert Scott "Wino" Weinrich (born September 29, 1960) is an American heavy metal guitarist, songwriter and singer.
He has been highly influential in helping develop and codify doom metal's trademark sound. Active since 1976, when he started his first band War Horse, Weinrich is best known for being the frontman and guitarist of the doom metal bands The Obsessed and Saint Vitus. Weinrich is also a solo artist, having released three studio albums since 2009.
Weinrich's musical career started out at Thomas Sprigg Wootton High school in Rockville, MD when he started his first band, War Horse. He went on to form The Obsessed in the late 70s. This version of The Obsessed would release a 7" entitled Sodden Jackal in 1983 on Invictus Records and have a track featured on Metal Blade Records's Metal Massacre VI. They also recorded an album entitled "Live at the Wax Museum" in 1982. In the mid 80s he disbanded The Obsessed and moved to California to sing for Saint Vitus. During this time Weinrich also anonymously played bass for The Mentors and filled in on vocals for L.A. hard rock outfit Lost Breed. In Vitus he covered vocal duties as well as additional guitar work on some tracks. Vitus put out three studio albums: Born Too Late (1987), Mournful Cries (1988) and V (1990), a live album (Live (1990)), and the Thirsty and Miserable EP (1987) with Weinrich. After Vitus signed to Hellhound Records, Hellhound put out The Obsessed (1990), a collection of archived Obsessed recordings. This prompted Weinrich to leave Vitus and reform The Obsessed (in between a stint with Maryland's Lost Breed), who now had a record deal with Hellhound Records. This incarnation of The Obsessed released some 7"s and two more albums: Lunar Womb (1991) and The Church Within (1994) (the latter was picked up by Columbia Records) before calling it quits in 1994. They also released a documentary video that year. Weinrich then formed Shine which released a single 7" with two songs. The band later became Spirit Caravan with ex-Wretched (another Hellhound act) vocalist Dave Sherman on bass. Spirit Caravan put out two albums Jug Fulla Sun (1999) and Elusive Truth (2001) and the Dreamwheel EP (1999) before disbanding in 2002. Weinrich joined ex-Pentagram guitarist Victor Griffin in his outfit, Place of Skulls, for one album, With Vision (2003) before leaving to start his most recent band, The Hidden Hand. The Hidden Hand released a 7", three studio albums, one DVD/CDEP, and a split 12" with Wooly Mammoth before he disbanded the group in August 2007. He's currently a member of a new project called Shrinebuilder featuring Al Cisneros (Om and Sleep), Scott Kelly of Neurosis and Dale Crover (Melvins and Altamont) and during 2008 recorded an album of solo material entitled Punctuated Equilibrium featuring Jean-Paul Gaster of Clutch (drums) and Jon Blank of Rezin (bass guitar), which was released in January 2009 on Southern Lord records.
Weinrich contributed vocals and guitars on the track "The Emerald Law" for Dave Grohl's project, Probot. He can be seen playing guitar in the Probot video for "Shake Your Blood," which features Lemmy on bass and vocals. He has also collaborated with ex-Death SS guitarist Paul Chain for some of his solo work. Weinrich was also the frontman for Lost Breed for a short time, a collection of recordings of this line-up has since been released, titled 'Wino Daze'. Weinrich worked with Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler, Sabbath drummer Bill Ward, Fight guitarist Brian Tilse and Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford in the band Bullring Brummies, who are featured on the Nativity in Black Black Sabbath tribute album. He also played guitar on a demo for the band "Gypsy Moth" and can be found singing and playing on the Mystick Krewe of Clearlight split CD with Acid King. Both The Obsessed and Spirit Caravan have released anthology-type albums featuring rare tracks, Incarnate (1999) and The Last Embrace (2004) respectively.
Since 2009, Weinrich has been touring with the reunited Saint Vitus. It was confirmed that the band would go on to record a new album in early 2011, for a release that year. Once released, it will be Saint Vitus' first since 1995's Die Healing and its first release with Weinrich since 1990's V. However, this plan fell through ever since, but the band plans to regroup to make the album sometime in summer 2011, after the band finishes their tour with Helmet and Crowbar. In 2010, Weinrich also formed Premonition 13 with guitarist Jim "Sparky" Karow. Premonition 13 released their first LP in July 2011. In a Guitar World Interview he stated that his signature sounds comes from a Gibson Les Paul guitar with DiMarzio Super Distortion Pickups plugged into a Sunn model T amp. He also changes the pre and power tubes of his amps with EH and JJ ones because "It's like a fuzz box built into the amp". In 2009, Wino released via Southern Lord records his first solo album under the name Punctuated Equilibrium. From 2010 onwards, Wino's solo material consists exclusively of acoustic material. Having released two acoustic albums so far, Adrift in 2010 and Heavy Kingdom (a collaboration with Conny Ochs) in 2012, Wino toured extensively Europe and North America as a solo artist.