Who are The Wildhearts?
By Jack Teague

On the 22nd of March, Atlanta is going to have a gift given to it. I shall soon take to the streets on my horse in Revolutionary War gear screaming the news, "The Wildhearts are coming! The Wildhearts are coming!" More than likely, I will be dragged off my trusty steed in the middle of the road in East Atlanta, beaten to within an inch of my life, and then asked the question… Who the hell are The Wildhearts? Well, The Wildhearts are a band from England that have been part of the rock scene over there for close to 13 years. They've released 9 CDs, numerous singles, etc…. Don't even ask about the number of releases that they have had in Japan. Well, if they are so great, why haven't we heard them in the states. Well, while The Wildhearts have stuck to their guns musically and entertained thousands of concert goers from Europe to Asia, we in the states have flitted about from one style of music to another. The Wildhearts have had one release here in the past with 1993's Earth vs. The Wildhearts. Even though it had the proper sound for what was hot at the moment, The Wildhearts got lost in the shuffle of the Seattle wannabees that were being shoved down our throats on MTV. This will all change with the March 9th release of their CD on Gearhead Records.

The success and longevity of The Wildhearts has to be attributed to the dogged determination of their frontman Ginger. Festival promoters regularly book The Wildhearts to energize festivalgoers bored by the sets of the latest trend bands. It is great fun to hear live recordings of The Wildhearts shows where you can hear the audience loudly singing along with the band. Wildheart shows are known for the energy and audience participation. This is sorely lacking in bands from the US. It is kind of difficult to sing along with the latest anthem of depression being sold to us on MTV and radio. Having not heard Riff After Riff yet, I cannot make any comments on the cd about to be released, but I do know that you should make it a priority to be at The Earl on the 22nd of March (or any other dates on the tour) to see The Wildhearts put on the same show that they put on for thousands in the UK, Europe, or Japan in our clubs only holding a fraction of that amount. If you miss them this time, your next chance will possibly be in a much less intimate setting as they open for The Darkness on the second leg of their tour. Don't drop the ball on this one.

Ginger, the lead singer and driving force of the legendary British band, The Wildhearts, was generous enough to answer some questions for Ear Candy while in the middle of what has turned out to be a mini-world tour with The Darkness. To help you understand The Wildhearts role in the British music scene, they could be described as the Cheap Trick of the UK. Not always in fashion, but loved by many and guaranteed to get a crowd on its feet. So let’s here a word from Ginger.

10 Questions with Ginger from The Wildhearts

EC: 1) How have you and the band been holding up with just coming off a European tour with The Darkness and now going on a 21 date marathon US tour with both The Darkness and the Dragons?

Ginger: The Wildhearts are fighting fit at the moment. Band morale has never been so high, and we've never played so good.

EC: 2) How long has it been since you toured the States with The Wildhearts?

Ginger: This will be the first time.

EC: 3) At home, your concerts seem to turn into sing-a-longs. How are you going to modify your setlist to accommodate the concertgoers that are new to The Wildhearts? or are you going to leave things as they are?

Ginger: We just completed the European Darkness tour, and just played a set with a bit of everything in it. We'll do the same in the US. We're good modifiers!

EC: 4) You are used to drawing a crowd whether as a member of The Wildhearts or when you play solo on acoustic. (the recordings that make me yearn to live in the UK) Are you prepared to spend the next year or so going back and forth across the US to establish a larger fanbase?

Ginger: You bet. There is no other way of breaking America. I'm massively looking forward to the work.

EC: 5) I’ve heard your scorching version of White Lies by Jason and the Scorchers. What other bands from the US have made an impact on you and your music?

Ginger: That would be like naming your favorite time of the day for oxygen. I am a massive fan of American bands. New York Dolls, KISS, Aerosmith, Ramones, Cheap Trick, Starz, Angel, Dictators, The Rods, Riot, Good Rats, Jason and the Scorchers, Long Ryders, Lone Justice, The Baby's, Big Black, Blue Oyster Cult, The Replacements, Soul Asylum.....the list goes on and on, but my fingers hurt typing band names so I'll have to stop there!

EC: 6) With smaller labels, the artist has more control, while with larger labels comes prestige and distribution. What are your preferences at this stage of your career?

Ginger: We need to tour the States as much as possible, that involves tour support. In an ideal world, we'd sign to an independent company that could offer us such.

EC: 7) Have you ever worked with younger bands in the role of a producer, and if so, do you see yourself doing more of that in the future?

Ginger: Yeah, and I really enjoyed it, but it is something I'd like to come back to when I get fed up with playing live. Producing is something that you can do when your body is tired, but your mind is still very much active. At the moment the body is in the best condition it's ever been in!

EC: 8) You’ve been on the road in one band or another for 15 or more years now. You have been touring for what seems to be non-stop since January, and on this tour of the US, you have about 21 shows scheduled with little time for rest. What do you do to keep from burning out on the road?

Ginger: Get up on stage! The audience give me a shot that I still can't explain.

EC: 9) You’re planning a British rock assault on the US. What two other UK bands would you want to bring with The Wildhearts?

Ginger: Therapy? and The Glitterati.

EC: 10) Why are British fans so much more loyal to musical artists? I read MOJO and see live acts advertised that most people in America don’t even have a clue still exist.

Ginger: I guess we are less bombarded with music television. The thrill of live bands hasn't left us yet.

EC: I want to thank Ginger for taking the time to answer our questions, and I want to tell the readers to please keep a lookout for The Wildhearts playing in your town. You’ll be guaranteed to get more than your money’s worth.

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