Q & A with Ginger Wildheart
Last year you started a PledgeMusic campaign to raise money for a triple album, reached your target in six hours, and named the record 555% after donations quintupled. Why did you decide to do a fan-funded project?
When the Pledge thing stated, I was considering quitting music, because it just wasn’t really working. I didn’t like the idea of going cap-in-hand to a record label and saying, ‘Give me some money. Give me five grand.’ And then they say, ‘Oh well, you can’t have five grand, but you can have three grand’. And then you’re doing a budget album on favours. I just got tired of that. The whole direct-to-the-people idea really appealed to me because that’s what I’ve been trying to do, only with a bunch of middlemen. If the fans had turned around and said ‘No’, I’d have gone, ‘Fair enough, it’s just an idea, don’t kill me’. But they said ‘Yes’.
What made you want to do a triple album? You could’ve just done one!
I like a challenge. It’s probably why people decided to build churches, and then think, ‘Oh let’s put a load of fucking gargoyles on them and do stained-glass windows’.
What’s the weirdest lyric on it?
The one that’s popped into my head is: ‘I took a good long shit a little earlier today / It smelled like chocolate, I didn’t want to flush it away‘, on ‘Beautifully, Blissfully Unsettled’. I was on ecstasy in New York and I went to the toilet and had a poo, and it actually smelled like chocolate, and I didn’t want it to go. I just wanted to invite everyone in and go, ‘Check this out, everyone!’ I flushed it away. But I didn’t want to. I missed it. So I thought, ‘You know what, I’ll write about you! I’ll put you in a song one day!’ And I did.
Are there any unusual instruments on the record?
I record anything. We did record a fart, but it’s distorted to the point where it doesn’t sound like one any more. We’ve also got a great section in ‘Taste Aversion‘ where there’s a scream and a really long burp, which is a grindcore, ‘Aaaaaaahhhhh’. We couldn’t get a low-enough sound without recording something and messing with it. We did it because I’m really into this band called SpermSwamp, whose vocalist sounds like a pig. They’re fucking fantastic.
You’ve answered 25,000 fan questions about the album on Formspring! What’s your favourite?
A guy came on and said: ‘My mate’s in hospital, could you wish him all the best?’ I was like, ‘Of course, tell him to get well soon, and I hope I can meet him at a show’. And then for days afterwards, other people were sending in their well-wishes, to the point where people were going, ‘Who the fuck is this guy? Why does everyone know and I don’t?’ And I was like, ‘That’s the beauty of it. No-one knows who he is. He’s just one of us, because we’ve brought him in’ It’s amazing that a community can work medicinally.
Have you received any gifts from your community?
I get some fucking weird stuff. At one point I had a PO Box so people could send me demos of their bands. Someone sent me so many large packages that they blocked up the FedEx office, and they said ‘Well, we’ve got to come and drop them off at your house’. This truck turned up with boxes, the smallest of which would’ve fit a fucking piano in. I sent them back without looking in them, because if they’d been body parts, and I’d signed for them, I’d be doing time now! To this day, I often wonder what was in them.
What else are you up to this year?
I’m writing a horror film review book and recording two more albums. The first is fucking noisy pop, and the second is crazy, brutal metal… it’s going to be the polar-opposite to this triple album!