Heart: ‘Experience is a great teacher for musicians’

Lundi 17 Février 2014

Interview. Heart is releasing Fanatic Live from Caesars Colosseum recorded in 2012 during the tour supporting the release of Fanatic. Ann Wilson has been kind enough to answer to my questions.

We can find all the different periods of Heart’s career in Fanatic Live From Caesars Colosseum. What is your favourite period?

My favorite period is the making of Fanatic. Definitely striking out in a more powerful direction.

Your debut album Dreamboat Annie has aged very well. What is the recipe to write a timeless song?

I think to keep the lyrics poetic and universal. Don't attach to anyone else's style.

Could you tell me about the making of the album Heart in 1985? Did you feel that it was going to be a success?

The making of the Heart album in 1985 was all work and no play. There was a cold, hard determination around doing "whatever it took" to have a hit. When it did become a hit, we were thrilled but not surprised, because it had the sound of the moment.

I would also like to know more about your appearance in the 80’s. Were you involved in the choices that were made?

Yes we started out very much involved in the imaging of ourselves, but after a year or so of corsets, stilleto heels, hair extensions, acrylic fingernails and movie makeup, we were ready to go back to out natural selves. As it turned out it wasn't that easy. People expected us to look the same way we did in the videos night after night in live concerts where the heat and humidity were broiling us to death. Looking back, I don't know how we managed to sustain all that heavy costumery for so long.

Could you tell me about the Road Home album? It is a superb album with some of your classic rock songs from the 80’s beautifully transformed.

The Road Home was produced by John Paul Jones, who came to Seattle for a month to help us prepare and perform the album. It was done in a small club called the Backstage over the course of several nights. It was a major thrill working with and playing with John Paul Jones. He is a wonderful musician!

You have written song since the 70’s and the world has change significantly. Do these changes have an impact on your songwriting?

Yes what is going on in the world always inspires our songwriting.

When I hear the mix of hard rock and acoustic songs in Fanatic, it reminds me of Led Zeppelin. And the song ‘Mashallah!’ sounds like a Led Zeppelin song too.

Naturally Led Zeppelin has always inspired us, along with many many others. I personally am inspired by world music, and that is truly what inspired 'Mashallah'.

How do you chose who is going to sing a song?

Usually the person who writes the lyrics sings the song.

Are you a better performer now than when you first started?

Absolutely. More focused, more able to express emotions without becoming hysterical. I think experience is a great teacher for musicians.

Fanatic Live From Caesars Colosseum was recorded in Windsor, Toronto. Why did you choose this place to record the show?

It was merely a stop on our tour, but it happened to have a beautiful stage and wonderful lights...in other words, the setting was perfect.

You have your star on Hollywood Boulevard, you have been inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame, now the next challenge could be to play in France…

There is much work going on behind the scenes to get us over to Europe. We all want to make the trip, and at some point, it will happen.

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