Ann Wilson Discloses Which Songs Heart Won’t Play Live. - Interview

Heart recently were nominated into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame. They've sold more than 30 million albums and were ranked #57 on VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock." Ann Wilson called in to talk about the band's relevancy in music.

Heart has been around for almost 40 years. What's the most important lesson you've learned since coming onto the scene?

(Laughs) Lesson, let's see. (Pause) You get out of it what you put in. Don't do it if you're not ready to give everything.

You're in a band with your sister, Nancy. How do you maintain such a close relationship being that you two have essentially spent your entire personal and professional lives on the road together?



(Photo: Norman Seeff)

It's sisterhood. It's a family affair but it's also in another way like a marriage where you take things on together and certain things you bat away and other things you work out. You know when to back off and give the other person space. That's pretty much the only way we do it. And we love each other. We really do. That's Wilson family values.

The new album, "Fanatic," came out October 2, 2012. How was the writing and recording process on this album different than previous ones?

The process was different in that we didn't go into a studio only; we did it everywhere. We did it in various studios, in a few different hotel rooms with mics thrown up, on a couple cell phones, on a couple stages, in a couple dressing rooms. It was really on the fly. So this is a true traveling album.



With the implementation of digital downloads and iTunes, how do you market Heart differently now than 10, 15, 20 years ago?

Now, you have to seep into every single hole you can find. I'm probably not the perfect person to ask about the science of 2012 record marketing but from what I understand it's just figuring out all the different places where you can pop up. And that's great because it used to be so hard to get the music you wanted. Now you can have it instantaneously. Of course the dark side to that is there is so much music out there now there's this huge flood of mediocre music. (Laughs)

With your extensive catalog of music, how much of the new album actually makes the tour set list?

We don't listen to the people that try and talk sense into us; we're always trying to shove as much new stuff into our set as we can because we're selfish. We want to do it. So right now out of the hour and a half set we're doing five new songs.

Are there songs that you just won't play anymore because you're sick of them?

Oh yeah. There's a whole box full of them. Like "All I Wanna Do" and "Who Will You Run To?" Most of the ones from the '80s that were written by other people because once that thing passed for us we kind of stuck it in the closet. (Laughs)

So, what's the secret to staying relevant with the music industry being so cyclical?

That's really good because what every artist really wants is to be deeply relevant because artists are vain, right? (Laughs) It's really committing the fact that you're in the public eye; don't listen to the radio and see what's popular and then try and rewrite that.

How much longer do you want to do this?

That's such a good question. To go back to an earlier question, it has to be relevant. Not only outwardly but inwardly. If the flames still burn inside for me to do it then I'll do it. I don't think we're going to get disappointed; if we haven't gotten disappointed about periods of lack of success yet, I don't think that's going to put a lid on us because we don't have hit records.


BYLINE:

Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous." Follow him on Twitter at @zoiks_online. Email Jason at jason@zoiksonline.com.
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