Ginger recently joined the All Things Wildheart’s facebook group for a couple of Q&A sessions on Albion and any other topics that came up.
Q&A 1 – 29th December
Ginger – Okay, so Albion, eh?
To be honest, I’d have changed very little in the actual, overall mix.
Kindly throw your Albion queries here, and I’ll answer them as best I can.
And please, please be civil.
Glyn Buckley – have you a good idea of the ten tracks you want to keep?
Glyn, I know which 10 tracks I’d keep. I doubt if Gav’s are the same tracks. It was always meant to be a 10 track album, we just gave you the rest as a Pedge ‘special’.
Paul Lambert – Hey G Love albion for me it’s a little bit of all your songwriting in one beautiful package… How different is writing for the Wildhearts to writing for solo projects ?
Paul, writing solo is all about me. I don’t even think of you guys when I’m writing my own personal feelings into song. With The Wildhearts I’m more aware of the listener.
Stephen Marley – Great song writing, as usual. I have been guilty about moaning about the sound though. I admit. But maybe I’m just pissed. What do you think?
Stephen, I think moaners will find things to moan about. I’m fine with that.
Matt Smith – Was it intentional for it to sound ‘familiar’? Its like I’ve heard them all before in some capacity, and have had this record for years. Love it!
Matt, I think that if you’ve stuck with me for this long I’m gonna sound familiar, whatever style I decide to go for.
Kevin Hardwick – Two questions Ginger, how’s the voice – and would you ever consider “employing” a singer in the future if it totally went?
Kevin, the voice improved when I started drinking again (go figure) but I’m still very keen to find a singer. It’s a plan that is still very embryonic, so please don’t read too much into it at this stage.
Matthew Pennell – Which track are you most pleased with how it turned out?
Matthew, it’s still way too early to say. It takes me way longer to digest an album than it does for some people.
Ian Evans – Is there anything you *would* change?
Ian, I would have changed the volume levels of some tracks and made the heavy bits heavier. I’d have also tweaked the general mix to favour instruments that seem to dip. Still, it wouldn’t have made people who don’t like the mix alter their opinion. Comparisons to MBV are entirely accurate.
Steve Brixey – Are any of the lyrics in ‘I Need You’ about your relationship with your fans?
Steve, of course. I need you. Well most of you
Mark Higgins – I have found it most definitely a grower, more than any of your other albums. I’ve done about 6 listens now and it’s rammed in my brain and I love it. I’ve a feeling Ginger Wildheart that you feel the same about it?
Mark, yes, it’s still a grower for me too.
Jonathan Statham – Hi Ginger, yeah, hands up, found Albion difficult to get to grips with initially, just needed a bit of time for it to click. What, if anything ,would you do differently next time around?
Jonathan, next time around I would make sure that I’m there for the final mix.
Adam Wilson – To me, Cambria musically sounds almost like a hybrid of Hey Hello and Mutation. Was that intentional, or just the way it came out?
Adam, nothing I write is really intentional, I just try to interpret the ideas as best I can.
Chris Follett – For you, which track was the most fun to complete and which was the least?
Chris, anything that involves gang vocals is always the most fun to record.
Steve Airey – With all your new output over the past year or so and the consistent demand for the Wildhearts, do you think you in one incarnation or another might appear at any of next years major festivals?
Steve, if we get the right offer, financially, then yes, I imagine that The Wildhearts will appear at one of the two big rock festivals next year.
Tim Croydon – For a solo album it was pretty brave to leave it in the hands of others while you went a gallivanting around the US. Are there any riffs you loved that got left out as a result or new ones that got added by others that blew you away?
Tim, it’s all written about on the blog, but yeah, there were bits I’d have changed and bits that turned out better than I’d hoped for. I think the main problem was that we promised you the album before Xmas. That kind of dictated the time frame.
Ian Evans – One other thing I was curious about just in terms of going back to one’s own work – you seemed kind of ambivalent about the record in your comments at the listening party, but also said something along the lines of it being nearly impossible for an someone to really *love* an album that they wrote. Was that more pronounced here due to the mood in which the album was created (which you referred to later), or was it much the same as ever? I wondered whether it was kind of like a writer going back over their novel and only seeing the problems.
Ian, most writers suffer from some form of depression or mental anxiety, and going over work really depends on the frame of mind when reviewing, rather than the frame of mind when creating. We’re an irritating bunch at the best of times.
Graham Fisher – Summer Tour?
Graham, I’m not sure that touring in Summer would be a good idea being as we’re touring in April.
Denis McDermott – Ginger, are we voting for the 10 tracks that will be commercially released or are the GW Band picking them? also, this would be a perfect time to resurrect your formspring account …please!
Denis, no, not this time. I didn’t agree with the songs that were voted for/got left out of 555%. Nice idea tho’.
Peter Richard Brooks – First up, thanks for a great album and for taking the time out to answer our questions. Question-wise, when you and Gav sit down to work out the final ten will the lists on this group (and elsewhere) have any bearing on which songs do or don’t make it if they are close to the cut?
Peter, if it gets to fisty cuffs then maybe me and Gav will use you guys as adjudicators.
Scott Phillips – “Grow A Pair”…big fan of Duran Duran’s “Planet Earth”? Love it ( both songs ).
Scott, no, but Jon is.
Rory James Hebblethwaite – When it comes to writing the vocal harmonies do you have them pre-imagined or is it a group effort and just seeing what happens? Vocal harmonies are my favourite thing haha
Rory, I think in harmony.
Rory James Hebblethwaite – Cool, I wish I could properly think in harmony, I think I’ll get there with practise. Also, who has your favourite guitar tone out of all the GWB guys?
Darren King – what was harder on the voice Albion or Mutation, you sound great on both btw
Darren, I find singing in an aggressive style way easier on my voice.
Neville Williams – Negative comments relating to the mix – i’ve found it incredibly “tinny” when listening in the car and the louder i turn it up the “scratchier” it sounds to my ears. For the record, i’ve found both Mutation and H!H! to be more “beefy” sounding on the same stereo. Not being at all informed in mixing techniques, what was done differently?
Neville, I’m not entirely sure, I wasn’t at the mix.
Mike Simpson – Ginger, I am new to the Ginger party. Only discovered you in the last year. Since then I have got everything I think you have released. This is my first time listening to one of your cd’s as it is released. Is the strong reaction pretty normal? I am loving Albion. If it sounded just like 555%, what fun would that be, right???
Mike, negative comments come with the territory, thank God you weren’t here for the Endless Nameless meltdown.
Anne-Marie Hinks Benstead – Normally wait for physical copies to arrive (I like to sit down with the liner notes while I listen for the first time), but very tempted to go for the download for this one, as everyone seems to have such strong opinions. What do you think: should I take the plunge?
Anne-Marie, no, wait for the physical copy.
Steve Lockey – Ginger I think I remember reading you mentioning that this would be the last Ginger Wildheart Band album, is there a specific reason for this?
Steve, The Wildhearts tend to overshadow anything else I’m doing.
Stephen Marley – So, Ginger, ever thought about doing an out and out Christmas song?
Nik Richardson – Love Albion – some of the tunes sound vast, reminded me of the hugeness of Devin’s “Terria”. Any footage of the lovely Kippford being included on the road trip dvd?
Nik, yes, the lovely Kipford is in there somewhere, but I only watched the movie once so I might be wrong.
Steve Brixey – You must be chuffed your music generates so many passionate opinions though, eh?
Steve, I’m as pro passionate debate as I am anti personal attacks.
Denis McDermott – With so many musicians & songwriters in the studio while recording Albion, would you have liked to have spent longer working on some of the songs? did you ever feel like you were rushing to get the 15 songs completed due to everyone’s schedules?
Denis, I’d have liked to have had more time to dedicate to every aspect of this album, but that’s usually how it goers with us perfectionists.
Jack Diamond – Did Chris write or co-write “Burn This City Down”? Besides his vocals, it just feels like something that could have been on the last Eureka Machines cd (which was excellent btw)!
Jack, Chris wrote (and sang) the melody on the verse. He’s a fantastic writer and one that I hope to collaborate with more in the future.
Daniel Abraham – If you had unlimited time and budget, would you have preferred to have collaborated more on the songwriting or do you think that would have been too much input for one album?
Daniel, we tried a more collaborative approach which took up way too much time than we had budgeted for. I had hoped for more, but I can pen a tune/arrange a song in the event of necessity.
Tom Mellott – How much of the album was written on your road trip? Also, when you’re in the states for new years, are there any East Coast plans?
Tom, 70% of the album was written on the road trip.
Dave Chubb – Ginger, how do the negative comments you receive on your projects affect you personally? I love Albion by the way!
Dave, like anyone, negative comments are hard to hear when directed at something you’ve worked hard to complete, but I don’t expect everyone to understand what it takes to make an album.
Darren King – Will there be another pledge next year?
Darren, at this point I’m not entirely sure, but probably.
Michelle Sherod – Can you describe this album in five words or less for someone who hasn’t heard any of it yet?
Michelle, no, I don’t think I can.
Steve Brixey – Mixing issues aside, overall are you happy with how Albion turned out?
Steve, happy enough to let people hear it.
Scott Thomson – Did you ever consider sticking applecross in the back pocket for later? By far my favourite and could easily imagine it on a wildhearts album!
Scott, the song was written for this album. I don’t tend to hold onto songs, to be honest.
Daniel Abraham – Apologies if this has been previously addressed, but would a new Wildhearts album be released through pledge?
Daniel, if a new Wildhearts album were to happen then recording it through pledgemusic.com would make sense.
Darren Prior – I’ve noticed the production gripes people are having with Albion but am reserving any judgement until the physical copy is in my hands. MP3’s are souless. I recently bought Market Harbour on CD after years of listening to the MP3 version, and there’s sounds and vibes I just hadn’t heard before. It’s like it’s been rejuvenated. I’m hoping that’ll be the case with Albion, and it will sound smoother, warmer and more rounded when the physical versions are here. So, I guess I’m asking… Are people being too quick to judge Albion after only hearing the MP3?
Darren, some people, in my opinion, can be too quick to judge in most avenues of life.
Huw Jenkins – Had you heard the final mix (which I have no issue with BTW) before the listening party or were you hearing it for the first time with us?
Huw, I was hearing most of it for the first time with you.
Vicky Peck – Do you think there will be some GWB live dates in 2014? Really hope so.
Vicky, unfortunately I can’t see that happening, but I definitely hope to be proved wrong.
Scott Dadeh Hamilton – Would you consider adding more to the Practical Musician blog? I really enjoyed it
Scott, I don’t think so. It was a good idea that kind of deflated earlier than I’d hoped it to.
Uomo Focaccina – Are you a fan of 5.1 Audio Dvd? Any chance of releasing your albums on that format?
Uomo, I haven’t much clue about audio formats to be honest, I’m just a songwriter.
Ben Williamson – To add ref gingers comment about not being there for the mix. Is that your normal working habit?
Ben, no, I normally like to be in attendance at the final rinsing of the mix, but this time things just took too long for that to happen.
Niclas Olsson – How was it like working with Bryan Scary? Seems that his piano playing adds a new dimension
Niclas, working with Bryan was a lovely experience. He’s a very positive fellow who is fun to hang out with.
Jon Tarbard – What’s your favorite part of the album provided by one of the other GWB members?
Jon, Jon’s prog ideas are always my favorite part of working on any album.
Vani Casals – Sorry if this was already asked, how’s your voice?
Vani, the voice seems to have improved greatly since I started drinking again. I’m not entirely sure, but neither am I arguing with the results.
Craig Henderson – When the new Wildhearts album comes along, are you still intent on the dual-bass set up of Scott and Jon?
Craig, I don’t see there being a single at all.
Kenneth Brorsson – Pro’s and con’s of so many musicians, producers, manager, crew gathered under one roof for a few weeks to record an album? Good to get it done in one session?
Kenneth, No pro’s and con’s, just a fascinating science experiment that I wish we’d had more time to conduct.
Mark Allen – Loving ‘Albion’ so far though still digesting most of it tbh… ‘Cambria’ and ‘Grow a Pair’ are a couple of standouts for me amongst a handful of others that keep teasing me on different listens. I just wondered what track is the one your happiest with / like most right now? Also a Hey Hello question… Please can you confirm what the lyrics ‘I’ve been there like swimwear’ actually meant when you wrote them? I have had lots of interesting debates on this statement! Lol – thanks for not only giving us all another wonderful album to indulge but for taking the time to reply to questions… Many wouldn’t x
Mark, the lyric is “I’m in there like swimwear”, ask a woman what it means.
Darren Prior – Were Body Parts and Capital Anxiety written for Albion or just unfinished tracks from Hey Hello! and Mutation that you wanted to get out there? They feel to me that they don’t really fit in with the rest of the album.
Darren, no, they were both written for this album.
Chris Nixon – First, loving Albion and its collaborative feel. It is a grower and those tend to be the albums that tend to stay with you.
As a songwriter, when writing/composing, do you consider the aspect of potentially playing the end result live or is that something that falls into place once the track is completed from a creative perspective?
Chris, I never think about playing a song live when I write.
Christian Ellingsen – Hi Ginger Wildheart! I’m one of the “moaners”. Just wanted to say that you have raised the bar skyhigh during your career, and when I say an album is not as good as the previous it still may be one of the best albums of the year. There should be place for various critics to your output, and I’m sure it would be worse if people didn’t give a fuck instead of expressing some ligthly negative thoughts?
Christian, opinions on the music are healthy and should be encouraged. Insults are unnecessary and counter productive. I think it’s important for all “sharp knives” to remember this.
Adrian Wisniewski – Think ur on safe ground here Ginger. People wudnt be here if being sharp knives was their thing. U’ve been a prolific songwriter over the years. i remember sum1 from eastwest extolling ur virtues as bands like ac/dc wud give an album n that was it & no b-sides or anything else. 2 b more than fair, some of ur b-sides more than merited album n a-side material. i noticed willy asked a while ago if people thought there was a maximum number of pledges people wud buy from an artist in a year. my question is – wud u ‘save up’ what u consider to be the best songs, or release all. conscious from a fans/ completist view, there’s an advantage to both. what’s it like from an artists point of view?
Adrian, I can only speak from a fan point of view, and I would buy every release from an artist like, for instance, Sparks. And I wouldn’t mind if some of them didn’t appeal to me.
Nick Statham – Hi Ginger. Victoria’s vocals just seem to add instant cool. Would you consider letting her take lead vocals on some Wildhearts tracks, or perhaps using a variety of guest vocalists like the Manics did on Rewind the Film (including two female vocalists). I think I could get into that. Not sure I could get into hearing the ‘old stuff’ sung by anyone else live, though. Oh, and cheers for another top album!
Nick, I don’t think having a female vocal on Wildhearts material would be a good idea.
Q&A 2 – 30th December
Thanks for the Q&A yesterday. Great to clear up some stuff for you.
I’ll be here for an hour or so if you want to throw any more queries at me.
Paul Lambert – Can we expect another hey hello album?
Paul, it’s impossible to say if there will be another Hey! Hello! album. It’s all down to how this one is promoted in 2014.
Andy Fox – Good to have you back fella. Is this just a flying visit, or are you hanging around for a bit?
Andy, let’s see how things go, eh?
Richard Robinson – Hi! Will we learn much about the inspiration for the songs on the road trip DVD? Also are you now happy with ‘cowboys’?
Richard, yes there is plenty of stuff on the writing process in the road movie. I’m happy that ‘..Cowboys’ is much closer to the demo version.
Nick Dunne – Mutation live with video screens playing hardcore gore. Please?
Nick, I don’t think I’d like to take Mutation onstage without video screens and fire.
Pug Vee-dub – Gav said the live wildhearts dvd shud see the light of day next year , can we expect a new album fir the tour as well?
Pug, there will be no Wildhearts album recorded for April.
Zoe Dingwall – Will there be an Endless Nameless anniversary tour? (which would be gloriously messy)
Zoe, I imagine there will be anniversary tours to commemorate all the Wildhearts albums.
Darren King – Hey Ginger, do record companies get pissed at bands using pledge? You’re basically cutting them out aren’t you?
Darren, I’m not sure they care enough either way
Ian Sparke – Thanks Ginger. One other question – with the clusterfuck of the mix situation and the personal nature of the songs in mind, do you wish you’d saved some of this material for another outlet, perhaps the ‘intimate’ ‘acoustic’ album you’ve mentioned? I kind of got that impression a little bit from your tweets during the listening party.
Ian, I just don’t do regrets. Everything happens for a reason, even if you sometimes have to create the reason.
Sam Wilkins – The order of the dog! GENIUS!! thank you!!! My Q. The twiddly riffs in Albion! How many takes did it take collectivley to nail that. Its insane. Good insane that is
Sam, not too many takes, to be honest. We’re pretty good players at this stage of our career.
Graham Fisher – Any new coffee to recomend fed up of what i have
Graham, Taylor’s Hot Java Lava. You can’t get sick of that one.
Denis McDermott – Thanks for Albion and god bless you for giving us the mighty Cambria. Are you taking a wee break or are you already planning your next album?
Denis, I’m always planning something, rest assured.
Kerry Bowler – If The Wildhearts were marooned on a desert island, who would be eaten first?
Paul Brightman – Is scott back to stay ?
Paul, funny you should mention that…
Andy Williams – Hey ginger , i know u say u have no immediate plans for a new wildhearts album as yet , just wondering if u have any ideas on which direction it will go , and maybe a question you dont want to answer in your opinion which is the tighter band to write and record with: the wildhearts or the ginger wildheart band ??
Andy, yes I have an idea how it would sound. The Wildhearts have the more traditionally tight style, but GWB really gels in its own odd little way.
Adrian Wisniewski – I was at the izzy gig in Leeds u didn’t get to play but on a more positive note, who’s the band that have been most fun / coolest to b on the road with?
Adrian, Slash’s lot were great fun to hang out with, as were Wolfsbane, and AC/DC were an inspiration every night.
Anthony Captain – What’s your favourite guitar tuning to work in?
Anthony, regular tuning, down one semi tone.
James Duffield – Is there a possibility of a 2nd set audience participation set choice again at these upcoming widhearts shows ?
James, I’m not sure everyone enjoyed that idea, but we’d consider it. I loved it.
Nigel Hutton – Will Silver Ginger 5 ever reform…for gigs or new music? Also do you ever expect to record a new Wildhearts album?
Nigel, the closest SG5 ever got to reforming was for the April 2014 tour, but Jon wasn’t available.
Nick Dunne – Have you heard the Steve Conte NYC album? It’s a belter!
Nick, yeah I love Steve’s album. He’s a great writer and a killer player.
Debz Love Lewis – Moustache or beard?
Debz, on a man or a woman?
John Eriksson – Play in Stockholm 2014?
John, I hope so. If they book me then I’ll play.
Pyretta Lair – Albion rawks, end of. What are you doin for New Year’s Eve/Hogmanay when we’re all gettin drunk and havin a Ginger/Wildhearts/SG5/Hey Hello/Supershit 666/Clam Abuse etc etc marathon as per usual?
Pyretta, I’ll be playing in LA with Hey! Hello! and Camp Freddy.
Sean McCarron – Hi Ginger, Pledgemusic is obviously bloody great but is there anything you would change about it?
Sean, no, I think Pledge works fine the way it is.
Stephen Reeves – Changing subject totally, whats your fav beachbody workout now? I finished t25 and was awesome!! Have you tried P90x3? Agility X is one awesome workout!!!
Stephen, I like T25, and look forward to getting stuck in once the xmas/new year party is over.
David Thornton – Is there ever the chance you could get over to Edinburgh to play? We need more of a music scene over here. It’s pitiful
David, there is talk of having more regular shows that take in places I don’t normally play. Still work in progress, but I think we’ll play Edinburgh in 2014.
Ian Pritchard – Are you excited about the possibility of Paul Stanley joining Camp Freddy on NYE?
Ian, of course. I still consider Paul one of the best.
Elio Ravet – Ginger, with hindsight, what is your least favourite piece of your (ever growing) back-catalog?
Elio, while I wouldn’t say least favourite I still wish PHUQ had been a double album.
Karl Smith – When you do gigs, what’s the rider?! Are you a Beyoncé in the making?! Or has the rider changed now you’re proper indie?
Karl, the rider reflects whatever the band members are currently drinking.
Pete Harrison – In terms of 1. producing an album you may not have been 100% happy with mix wise or 2. keeping the promise to deliver before xmas what made you opt for 2 over 1 – I’m more than happy with the result btw
Pete, a promise is a promise.
Debz Love Lewis – Christmas or New Year’s Eve,
Debz, Christmas. Although I might plan on having a NYE gig every year somewhere.
Karl Smith – Listened to a gig on YouTube and you said that you loved making the wildhearts must be destroyed, i really enjoyed the album and loved guest vocals from Andy cairns and justin from t’darkness. Might we see a similar outing for wildies’ 2014 efforts!
Karl, I never wanted to make Wildhearts albums that sound like previous ones.
Adrian Wisniewski – What lyric of urs r u most proud of / like the most? I still like powerful simplicity of ‘monday comes crashing in. ..’ just sets the whole scene for the song
Adrian, there are so many that I’m pleased with. Sometimes things just work.
Gary Davidson – I was wondering why you didn’t listen to the final mix of ‘Albion’ before we could hear the downloads?
Gary, the mixing was delayed for so long that I was unable to attend the final mix. I have no idea why.
Debz Love Lewis – Cream or custard?
Nigel Hutton – I know the inks not dry on the current one…but when can we expect your next pledge outing?
Nigel, I’m not sure. The next outing may not be a Pledge campaign, but that’s all I can say about it at the moment.
Jamie Wallace – Who is creating the cover for albion? the last 3/4 have been great
Jamie, I’m not sure at this point.
Matthew Pennell – Weren’t you writing a book on horror movies at one point? Whatever happened to that?
Matthew, time just took over. I’m hoping to finish it at some point, or perhaps make what we already have available somehow.
Tom Mellott – What is your opinion of Horns and Halos? And is the acoustic album still on the horizon for some point in the future?
Tom, I think it’s a great album. I’ve kind of gone off making an acoustic album.
Gary Davidson – How much can a mix change the sound of an album? It just seems crazy to me that you can put so much hard work into an album but not be there for the mix or hear the final results if it can make your vision sound different to the way you wanted it. Or is it something that as unavoidable? I’m just trying to understand how it works. Thanks
Gary, it’s complicated. Basically a failure to meet deadlines resulted in my inability to get involved.
Debz Love Lewis – de Sade or Lovecraft?
Craig St. Clair – Oh quick one for you, any chance of another Clam Abuse album? I’d Pledge on that!!!!!!
Craig, no I can’t see that being a priority anytime in the future.
Matthew Pennell – Another horror-related question: Any plans to do a Rob Zombie and go into movie making? Is that an attractive idea to you, or can’t you imagine doing anything else apart from music?
Matthew, I’d love to get involved in horror movies, writing and directing. I’m sure that the opportunity will arrive someday.
Ginger Wildheart – Thanx, this was great fun guys, but gotta bounce. Hope to do it again soon.