Interview with Ginger of The Wildhearts; December 2003

Throughout the 90's, one of the most consistent bands to come out of the UK was the Wildhearts. They released a body of great original music, and then self-destructed following the release of 1997's 'Endless, Nameless'. In 2002, the band resurfaced with the EP 'Riff After Riff After Motherfucking Riff'. A new CD, titled 'The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed' followed in 2003.

I had a chance to fire a few questions at front-man Ginger regarding his thoughts on the reunion, file-sharing, and whether or not we'll be getting a tour in the U.S. anytime in the near future.

Q1. The Wildhearts have had two releases since reuniting with the classic 'Earth Vs.' lineup. What were the circumstances surrounding getting back together?

A1. Unfinished business. I always thought that The Wildhearts didn't get the attention and respect that they rightly deserve/deserved. Funnily enough, we still don't... but we're not done yet. Maybe I'm just delusional, or maybe we actually are good!

Q2. The general mood for the 'Riff After Riff' and 'Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed' seems a bit happier than on previous releases. Is there reason for this and was it something that you've noticed?

A2. I had children! There can't be many men that aren't made happier by the birth of their children! It tends to give you a more optimistic view on life, and that is reflected in the songs. I just write about what goes on around me.

Q3. The Wildhearts have always had a unique sound. How would you describe yourselves to someone that hasn't heard you and what influences led to the creation of this sound?

A3. I would describe us as a band with good tunes and loud guitars. I guess the main influence on our sound is rock and punk. We're lucky to be old enough to be able to appreciate the best rock bands in history, and the birth of punk.

Q4. Pain is a hell of an inspiration for art; that said, pain also sucks because, well, it's pain. Would you trade the personal pain you've channelled into creating music for the ability to not have experienced it?

A4. Of course! Depression is a pain in the fucking arse.

Q5. Right now in mainstream music, it seems that hype is becoming the most important factor and is replacing talent in terms of importance. What's your opinion on this?

A5. Hype has always been around, but there is definitely a severe lack of talent these days. I guess the audience gets what it deserves.

Q6. Wildhearts have had success in Europe and Japan. However, it seems as if North America hasn't been overly receptive to the band. Will the band try the states again?

A6. Again? When did we try it before? And why wasn't I invited! We have a lot going on in the States these days, new management, label interest, magazine interest and a tour in March. Next year will be very interesting.

Q7. In continuance with the last question, I've noticed a lot of Wildhearts CDs in local music stores around here that didn't carry anything by the band not long ago. Is there a reason for this and will we be perhaps seeing a North American release of the new CD sometime in the near future? What about a North American tour?

A7. I don't want to say too much, but I really think that things are going to start to move for The Wildhearts in US. Watch this space!

Q8. A big story lately has been the recording industry cracking down on online file sharing. What's your opinion on this and bootlegs?

A8. I am all for bootlegging of any kind. Anyone whining about downloading isn't exactly maintaining Rock's fearsome reputation for being larger than life, and twice as tough. Moaning bitches.

Q9. In the 90's, the Wildhearts released a series of singles each containing 2-3 new tracks. With the new CD, will there be a new series of singles?

A9. There already have been. We have already released something like 30 songs since reforming.

Q10. After the split following the release of 'Endless, Nameless', the band members went in separate directions, putting together a myriad of new projects such as 'The Yo Yo's', 'SG5', 'Supershit 666' and others. Any personal favorites?

A10. Yeah, SG5 and SS666!

Q11. What's the coolest/craziest thing you've ever seen on tour?

A11. Girls getting intimate with each other is always nice.

Q12. Here's a series of either/or questions. Feel free to drop an explanation in if you wish.

A. Killer riff or mind-numbing hook?

Why can't I have both?

B. Pacific or Atlantic?

No opinion.

C. (Personal former associations aside) Dogs or Quireboys?

Dogs! I picked the wrong band!

D. Sun or rain?

Both have their good points.

E. Cigarette or a beer?

They are inseparable.

F. Jazz or Classical?

Classical.

Q13. How would you say you've changed since the Wildhearts first started and, knowing now what you didn't know then, is there anything you would have done differently?

A13. I wouldn't change a thing. I fucked up good, but did it when I was younger and could get away with it. If you get past 30, and haven't learned anything about personal growth, then you're a tit.

Q14. Assemble your perfect tour with the Wildhearts and any other bands/musicians that ever existed.

A14. Ramones, Motorhead, Cheap Trick, The Wildhearts... dunno who's headlining, but we're opening up. I wanna hit the bar and catch the other bands.

Q15. What five CDs have been getting spins in your CD player of late? Any newer bands you think our listeners should keep an eye out for?

A15. I just got the first Distillers album, and I think it's their best one. I finally got a copy of The Unband's album, and that's fucking great. The Darkness are the best new band around. Trying to get into Ryan Adams new album. It's quite an effort, but I'll get there. What else? I dunno... our album, fuck it.

Q16. What's the best song you've ever written? The worst?

A16. That's not for me to say. Anyone who can tell you the best song they ever wrote is probably a twat.

Q17. In this space feel free to make whatever commentary you'd like and/or promo any tour info or products that you wish.

A17. I would like to start a campaign to get Half And Half milk on sale in UK.

Thanks to Ginger for taking some time to answer our questions.

Interviewed by Lycan Davis

Visit The Wildhearts Website