As Austin Winkler leaves Hinder, will he have more stories to tell?

Austin Winkler, lead singer of Hinder, gave LSY!'s Francesca Harvey the scoop on surviving the rock life. (Photo by Tim O'Shei)

Austin Winkler with LSY!’s Francesca Harvey, has parted ways with Hinder.
(Photo by Tim O’Shei)

You hear it all too often: People wishing for fame because they think the spotlight will wipe away all their problems, insecurities and weaknesses.

In reality, that makes no more sense than having a child to save a crumbling marriage. The added responsibility – even one borne of passion – only tests your resolve. It doesn’t ease pressure.

Case-in-point: The rock band Hinder. Today we learned that the band is officially parting ways with its lead singer, Austin Winkler, who had left the group in July for “personal reasons.” Later, their manager confirmed Austin had entered rehab. It wasn’t the singer’s first battle against the demons of addiction. When LSY!’s teen editor Francesca Harvey interviewed Austin last winter, he brought up a previous stint in rehab.

“With this last record, I had a lot of issues going on,” Austin told Francesca when she asked him about handling the spotlight. “It was definitely tough. You know, I found myself in rehab actually. It’s hard. It’s hard to not be…I can’t be fake. We write all about real things that have happened, real feelings, and experiences. It’s something that I can’t fake.”

Why did Austin end up in rehab? Was it the pressures of the entertainment industry? The unfortunate result of a dark habit possibly formed long ago? We don’t know. We can’t assume the reasons. But I do wonder how deeply the loss of his place on stage will affect Austin. When Francesca asked Austin how being a storyteller on stage affects him, he told her it’s “therapy.”

“It’s 100 percent therapy,” he said, “especially if you are looking out and have people singing back to you. You obviously know that you have touched them in some way, or helped them along in hard times through the beauty of music. It’s amazing.”

Hinder will continue, but their fans will feel the loss. And so will Austin Winkler. He told us last February that he could never imagine walking away from music, and hopefully he won’t.

Hopefully he has many more stories to tell.

Tim O’Shei, LSY! founder


  1. Devastated over AUSTIN leaving…AUSTIN IS HINDER! I can only wish everyone the best…I will forever support Austin…

  2. memyselfni says:

    This shit makes want to cry for real! I looooove Hinder and I am sorry, but Austin’s voice made Hinder. When a song by them came on, you couldn’t tell who it was by the damn guitar or drums, it was his voice. I wish him the best in his recovery and hope he makes some new music soon. Damn it, this makes me sad.

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