GINGER FROM THE WILDHEARTS GETS THE METALSUCKS INTERVIEW TREATMENT
I was gearing up to do another Album of the Day, but it gets trying having to express just how much some album is making me figuratively shit myself. Saying I love it over and over like a broken record (har har) isn’t all that much fun to write, let alone read, so I was going to let The Wildhearts’ The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed fall by the wayside. I just got a little lazy.
But Wildhearts front man Ginger has been anything but these past few months. From joining The Michael Monroe Band to supporting Motorhead on tour to recording a new solo album, he’s quite the manic musician. So instead of waffling for now and then eventually raving about some of his past work, I decided to see what the future holds for Devin Townsend’s British BFF. (Seriously, follow them both on Twitter. It kind of makes you go, “Awww.”) I shot him an email with a few questions and he, on top of business as usual, responded back in less than an hour.
He warned me to keep it interesting. Well, I tried.
I’m a big Michael Monroe fan (to be honest, more so with Hanoi Rocks, but I do follow his solo work), and I’m a big fan of yours, so I was pretty psyched to hear you were performing with The Michael Monroe Band. How did that come about?
I heard he was putting a band together, and when I heard some of the characters involved, I figured I had to be a part of it. Classic line-ups don’t come around too often, y’know?
How does he get his hair to stand out like that?
Back-combing and hairspray.
You’ve been touring pretty rigorously this past year, any chance of crossing the Atlantic? Either with Mr. Monroe or your own projects?
There is talk of American dates in 2011. I can only hope and pray that they come off.
I used to follow your tour diaries on the road with The Darkness, and it was pretty fun getting to read about the background shenanigans. Will you keep doing this as a way to connect with fans? Do you think you’d compile it all into a book?
Although I enjoyed the Metal Sludge diaries, it really is a bind when you commit to something like that. I don’t think I’ll be doing online diaries or blogs for some time, and, instead, will keep in touch with the fans through Twitter and formspring.
New album? Yes? Say yes. I believe you on Twitter, ’cause you wouldn’t lie to your fans, right? Tell me more. Please.
I’m actually recording it right now. It’s intense and very noisy, but in an intelligent way. I think that taking creative risks as an artist is essential. I really can’t wait for people to hear this.
I assume the new album would a solo record… do you foresee any Wildhearts records happening soon?
This new solo album sounds more like a Wildhearts album in spirit, and unlike my previous solo outings. The Wildhearts are taking an extended break, so this is the best way to get out my aggression and off the wall production ideas without the psychological outlet that is a Wildhearts album.
You’re fairly open and easy to reach via social networking sites. Do you ever find it irritating to be constantly bombarded with questions and queries from fans and, ahem, journalists alike?
I never find communication with the fans a burden, I think it’s an essential part of our relationship. I think musicians who don’t communicate with their fans have a very limited shelf life. I keep some aspects of my personal life very private, but I have no problem telling people about my experiences and opinions. Honesty is often pretty thin on the ground in this largely passive and faceless business so I try to make as much of an effort to be truthful and approachable.
Did you manage to find someone, a special guest, to come onstage at every stop [of the Ginger and Friends tour dates]? Any disasters with that?
The weather was pretty disastrous throughout and stopped a lot of guests being able to turn up.
Devin Townsend seems to be a pretty close friend. I actually started listening to and loving his music through you . How did that relationship come about? Do you think you’d ever work with him again? Also, on his Addicted album, he credits The Wildhearts as a direct influence on the song “Resolve.” It’s got shades of “Vanilla Radio,” doesn’t it? Indulge my nerdy music theories…
I met Devin when The Wildhearts supported Steve Vai, and we just got along like magic. So much so that he joined The Wildhearts briefly to help us out when we had no second guitarist. I’d love to work with Devin again, he’s great.
Mr. Townsend is kind of a fascinating person to watch and I recently got to meet him. Now if someone where to put you two on a reality show, how would that go? I would watch it. I mean that as a compliment, as I do not watch reality TV unless it involves Bret Michaels “sincerely” looking for love.
I really can’t see me or Devin agreeing to appear on a reality show!
Have you ever have to carry a passed-out Lemmy to his room?
Are you ever going to go back to having dreads? Don’t they get stuck and tangled on everything?
I never say never, but I can’t really see me going through all the hassle of having them again. They’re a pain in the arse to maintain. But then, who knows?
I heard you write a column for Classic Rock Magazine? How did that come along? Why did their Managing Editor never write back to my internship queries when I was in college? Just kidding about that last bit. I’m not bitter.
Research is a lot easier than you’d think! Google is your friend.
(Note: I do know the joys of research, that’s how I stumbled across this bit of news. But all right then.)
“Caffeine Bomb” was the song that would jerk me awake when my alarm rang when I was in high school. I had to retire it after my 109th heart attack. But is it more fun to write and play the faster, high-energy songs? Or do you not have a preference?
It’s all about audience participation. I enjoy the ones where the crowd sings.
Back when I was not a conscientious person and would download songs, I found a live version of “20th Century Boy” that The Wildhearts performed with The Hellacopters. Was that real, or have I been fooling myself for all these years? I think it was in Japan — “Arigato, sayonara,” is yelled at the end.
Oh man, there were a few lost memories from that era, but there’s a good chance we got together onstage and jammed that song. It’s quite easy to play.
Can I review and gush over your new record when it comes out?
I hope you do.
Is it going to be called Lingam, as the counterpart to Yoni? Okay, cheap joke, sorry.
Anything you want to add? Your turn to be interesting as, “See you on the road, and thanks for listening,” won’t cut it.
This new album is going to seriously fuck with your head, in a very positive way. Intelligent noise, insane performances and some seriously dark avenues explored. I’m hoping it will be with you in 3 or 4 months so not too long to wait, eh? There will also be some very exciting developments running alongside the album in 2011. Don’t touch that dial and keep watching the skies.
If there’s anything else you want to know about Ginger or his upcoming projects, well, Google is your friend.