Part 1 of Biography.com’s exclusive interview with Heart went live on Tuesday. Here’s our second and final installment of the interview with sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, whose music and artistry have spanned almost four decades.
Q: Were songs like “What About Love,” “Alone,” “All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You,” “Will You Be There (In the Morning),” and “The Woman In Me” pushed on you, or were these songs you all had a genuine interest in recording? - Jeremy Brannon
ANN: “The Woman in Me” was one that we really wanted to cover. The others you mentioned were included in a stack of demos that we were encouraged to consider as alternatives to the songs we were writing ourselves. They were good songs and turned out to be hits, but you can imagine our mixed feelings at the time.
NANCY: Of those songs, “The Woman in Me” was our cover idea. And “Alone” could not be denied!
Q: Any plans to do duets with anyone? I would love to hear you collaborate with some other artists. I just can’t get enough of your music! – Brack Day
ANN: Our new album Fanatic includes a duet (“Walking Good”) where Nancy duets with Sarah McLachlan. Sounds great! My solo album Hope and Glory is all duets…Elton John, Rufus Wainright, Shawn Colvin, Gretchen Wilson, Wynonna Judd, KD Lang and Alison Kraus. Every time Nancy plays with Ben Mink, THAT is a true duet!
Heart goes ‘Crazy on You’:
Q: Back when “grunge” was breaking, did either of you see or sense the significance of so many great bands coming out at once & what did your interpretation of this mean to you personally or professionally? – Ryan Karr
ANN: None of the musicians in Seattle liked the term “grunge” because it was in itself an imaging term that came from the publicists in L.A. that could be a tight fit. That music was about busting out of all expectations and fakery, about playing loose, dirty, heavy and real. It was emotional and disrespectful of showbiz stereotypes….and it was the perfect wave to wash away what the 80s buffoonery had done to rock n roll. In the 1990s the beast shed its skin. It was liberating for us because it forced us to come out of the 80s clouds and stand on our own two feet musically. Every artist needs that kind of wake up call now and then.
NANCY: The Seattle explosion was what saved rock from becoming too pompous! A great moment in music!
Q: What’s the background story for “Say Hello”? Pretty please…. – Diane Lindstrand
ANN: “Say Hello” was meant as a joyful, sunny knock on a friend’s door to come out and play. It was our party with Ska and harmonies mixed. I always think of it as a really fun, beachy song.
NANCY: “Say Hello” was inspired by optimism. The high road and positivity is never the easy way but always the best way.
Q: Nancy, what make/model guitar is your favorite to play? – Ted Hand
NANCY: My favorite acoustic is the Nancy Wilson Signature Martin. My fave stage electric is the old blue Telecaster.
Courtesy of Neal Preston
Q: What bands of today are u listening to? – Will N Veronica
ANN: I am loving Alabama Shakes, the Head and the Heart, Florence and the Machine and the Civil Wars right now. Such amazing singing! I love the emotion.
NANCY: I listen to Sirius XMU radio and really like a lot of new artists. They play a lot of girl bands and co-ed bands, too. Beach House. The Shins. Grizzly Bear. The Decemberists. Bon Iver is amazing as well.
Q: Nancy!:)—-Is there a story behind the “Crazy on You” Acoustic Intro? Was there something that inspired you to write it? Did it all come in one jam or did it come slowly? It’s one the coolest things I’ve ever heard played on an acoustic guitar! – Tanner Fields
NANCY: For Silver Wheels, I was channeling an acoustic piece Paul Simon played on an early Simon and Garfunkel album. It’s called “Angie.”
Q: What accomplishment had the most impact on your life? – Cheryl Lambdin
ANN: Not trying to be coy, but my favorite accomplishment really is loving what I do and knowing that others get joy from it, too. It’s a big challenge to remain real and relevant throughout a long career. I can sleep with a smile on my face after a show in 2012 even better than I could in 1976!