Ginger Says – There has never been such a passion and determination to make this stuff the best that we have ever recorded
By Ginger | April 4, 2002
So The Wildhearts descended upon the dark rock ‘n’ roll recess known as Skegness (actually a bright, sunny, friendly place, but for the sake of atmosphere please bear with me), ending up at a place called Chappel Studios (owned by the highly genial host Andy Dransfield, with fantastic eats provided by the luscious Kelly, owner of the biggest smile in East England), to record the first songs since 1996 (not counting the new Jason Ringenberg material – you know you’ve gotta buy that new album of his doncha? Cool).
Anyway, cut to the point willya Ginger? What the fuck you on about?
Man, I’ve been around this band when we’ve recorded our most popular songs in the past, but there has never been such a passion and determination to make this stuff the best that we have ever recorded. The musicianship on this new material shows that the guys have been keeping their hands in since the split.
One of the most reassuring things about The Wildhearts is that whatever the level of debauchery present, the four members have never resorted to day jobs and hung up their instruments. Some people are full-timers, lifers. Like us.
So, these new numbers? You wanna know what album they most resemble before you shell out your dollars, right? I can honestly say don’t bother to keep the receipt.
The opening track and future set opener, when everyone gets to hear it. The first track we wrote together, it began life from a riff by Stidi. The rest of the song wrote itself. Seriously. It’s huge, meaty and classic, with a shout-along-a-Wildhearts chorus that’ll have the audience voicing their joy in absolute harmony (well, not too much harmony, you understand). We’ve never sounded so brutal yet catchy. Danny reckons the nearest comparisons are Be My Drug, Inglorious and Caprice. “Then hoy in Caffeine Bomb and you’re there,” he says.
Stormy In The North, Karma In The South
The first collaboration between me and CJ. A rollicking rocker with trademark harmony verses and a motorised riff. Heavy and melodic. Classic Wildhearts a la Everlone, I Wanna Go Where The People Go, and Nothing Ever Changes But The Shoes. Stidi says: “It’s like Cheap Trick playing a Motorhead song.” Danny says: “Only better”. CJ reckons it sounds like “a rabid goose called Arnold sucking the eye out of a little dog’s head.” And I can’t argue with him, to be honest.
Likely to be the first single off the album, this track really is the shit. A heavy as fuck riff, followed by a heavy as fuck riff, followed by a catchy as fuck verse, followed by… ah hell, you know the score. I wrote this one when we reformed last summer and it’s turned out to be the classic I hoped it would be. Armed with a huge chant-along chorus of “where’s my Elvis?”, it bemoans the lack of true rock stars on today’s radio. With some classic Earth Vs riffage and a ‘Beatley’ verse, this one really will take the roof off any club playing it. Expect a sampler to show up in your local rock club very soon. You’ll know it when it blasts through the speakers – it’ll be that one with the huge opening salvo. “Poptastic,” is Stidi’s description, “with more hooks than a Geordie fisherman.” “Expect to see this one on Top Of The Pops,” says Danny.
Another track from CJ’s arsenal. The initials stand for Obsessive Compulsive Distortion, and it sounds like it. A huge riffing mid-section goes off on more tangents than a night on the piss with Random Jon Poole; typical Wildhearts excess in the vein of the longer Fishing For Luckies tracks. “It reminds me of some of the riffs on Sky Babies,” says Danny. CJ, when asked to describe the track, remarks:”Fuck, did I turn off the kitchen light? Yes I did, no I didn’t, yes, no. Know what I mean?” Any obsessive compulsives out there will relate. That noise that you can also hear is the sound of hundreds of others scratching their collective heads.
Better Than Cable
A track I wrote after hearing Angie’s sister saying to my son: “Awww, Jake, you’re even better than cable!” I thought that would make a perfect song title, and – hey presto! – the track was instantly written while baking on a beach in Malaysia. This one revisits classic Wildhearts rock ‘n’ roll – a sound that so few people make these days. It’s in the speed-a-holic style of Caffeine Bomb, but mixed with a classic Yo-Yo’s swagger. Only heavier. Obviously. Great lyrics a la SG5’s Girls Are Better Than Boys. Every line’s a winner. “Music to drive a car very fast to,” says Danny. “Got it in one, Dan,” says Ginger.
Looking For The One
Another song written about splitting up with your partner. I had the idea for this one ages ago, but writing lyrics about something that happened years ago, and in the opposite state of mind to the one you’re currently occupying, is unbelievably difficult. And very satisfying to finish. It opens with one of the biggest collections of riffs we’ve ever opened with, then dives headlong into pure pop territory, with a classic Wildhearts chorus. Intense and melodic in equal measures. Would sit alongside anything on Earth Vs. “Sounds like The Wildhearts being influenced by The Wildhearts,” according to Danny.
Putting It On
Born from a musical idea by CJ and a terrific chorus line from Danny that goes: “Did you listen to your mothers? Did you listen to your brothers? Your sisters and your lovers? Not putting it on.” Hard not to relate to that one, right? It’s huge and anthemic, with an eye on the stadiums that this song was born to reverberate around. A great, chugging riff by CJ splits the tension with a hefty blade as the band sail out into the night on a chorus built of fond memories of gargantuan nights out. A song about friends, by friends. The last track on the album, and the last thing you’ll be singing while you press ‘play’ again and take in the whole sensation for a second time. And a third… and a fourth… and…
The title looks set to be The Black Box. Thanks for all the entries for the ‘name the album’ competition. They were generally great; some were side-splittingly funny and others were truly bizarre. A special and honourable mention goes out to Rob Powell for Paint Me Purple And Call Me Bernard, and to Lee and Jim for Never Trust A Woman With A Bigger Penis Than Yourself, and Paul Cairney for Fuck Me! It’s The Wildhearts!. And an award for unoriginality should go out to Keith Elrick for The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed. But we finally settled on The Black Box while spending an intense evening wrapped around the speakers (the black boxes) of the studio listening to the tracks at nosebleed volume.
It’s been emotional. We’re looking forward to recording the full album, with songs already coming fast and furious. It’s a new day, and it feels like a new band. Everything is good. Well, except for the fact that I’ve gotta go and have some more dental surgery tomorrow morning. Always something to piss on yer chips, huh? Nah, bring it on, mate. You and whose drill?
Nothing can wreck this buzz.