A veritable music legend, Ginger Wildheart has had a fascinating career, from The Wildhearts to a variety of solo projects, over the past three decades, the man has become a bonafide music institution. I was fortunate enough to interview him this past week:
Could you tell me a bit about yourself, what drew you to music, and what were your influences growing up? Do they remain the same now or have they changed?
It’s funny, I just had a clothing patch turn up in the post yesterday, it’s an inverted smiley face with the word ‘shit’ on the bottom. This morning I was just telling my 9 year old son that when I was nine years old I sat watching The Sweet singing ‘Blockbuster’ on Top Of The Pops, and the guitar player had this exact ‘inverted smiley’ design on a sticker on his guitar. Right then, with my Mother yelling about how she hated what she was hearing, this music and this sticker spoke to me. It told me that I would play music for my life.
Well, I was listening to Sweet in the car yesterday, as I was driving back home from the studio. So while I’ve found a billion influences since I was nine, the same one’s have always stayed with me.
Do you approach songwriting differently depending on the project your working on? Or do you maintain the same approach?
It’s all the same to me really, it’s all based on the lyrics. If I don’t have a theme to the song that I can invest myself in then the song means nothing to me. I can’t just get excited about a good riff or a catchy chorus, the actually subject matter has to be something I really want to write about. I reject a lot of songs because they just don’t seem to be speaking to me about anything.
What things inspire you in your songwriting?
My outlook on things. I’ve always been attracted towards experiences, usually quite extreme experiences, and as I get older my perspective changes. Having a different outlook on a topic as I did when I was younger is massively inspirational to me. Luckily you get a bit more wisdom as you age. And while you may lose your looks I was a pretty ugly young man, so I think that’s a pretty sweet deal.
I have more patience and less judgement than I did when I was young, and I’m very grateful for that. I’m way less of an arsehole these days.
With Ghost In The Tanglewood soon to be released, what can fans expect from the record, lyrically and musically? Is there a song or songs on the record you’re looking forward to playing live?
I really enjoy playing any new songs live, and these songs are particularly personal, so sharing them with an audience is going to be an honour.
Ghost In The Tanglewood is a very confessional album, it’s a candid report on the human condition, which I think a lot of people will be able to relate to.
Musically it’s still melodic, which my supporters have come to expect from me, but the music is lighter than I’d normally record, and embraces my love for country and folk, which showcase the words better than loud guitars and noise usually do. I hope people are going to be affected by the lyrics more on this album.
What plans have you got for the future?
I want to stay busy promoting my music. I want to keep writing new music, and once I record that I would like to get back on the road promoting it.
I want my life to be that of a travelling, recording, creative musician. As long as I can make sure that my family are supported then that is all I want to do with the rest of my days on this planet.