Jordan Strauss, Invision LOS ANGELES (AP) - Rush fans can relax. The band is…
- Posted on Jun 15th 2011 4:00PM by Chris Epting
Boasting what would become two iconic, instant FM classics in 'Magic Man' and 'Crazy on You,' along with a shimmering array of other thoughtful, self-penned classics, their band Heart established the Wilson sisters as forces to be reckoned with.
Over the decades, the band lineup has changed numerous times but it's never deterred the Wilsons from producing a steady, seamless string of classics right up through last year's "Red Velvet Car", which debuted on the Billboard charts at #10 (their recent concert DVD, "Night at Sky Church," debuted at #4).
As they set out on 48-city mega-tour across the US with Def Leppard, the sisters spoke with Spinner about how far they've come and what they see as their legacy.
The success of 'Red Velvet Car' had to make you feel good after all these years. There's still a hunger for new Heart music as opposed to fans just wanting all the old hits.
Nancy Wilson: It was amazing. We've always been real careful about not becoming a cartoon of ourselves or merely a jukebox that plays old songs.
Ann Wilson: Absolutely. We're always going to be a band that's growing and learning. As artists, that's what we have to do to survive.
At this stage of the game, is it strange to see original fans bringing their grown-up to the show?
Nancy: We love it! 'Guitar Hero' was another thing that put us on the radar of a lot of kids, which is totally cool. We look out today and see all these young faces up front, which makes it feel sort of like it was back in the beginning.
Ann: Really weird time-warp stuff. Plus, we have our kids on tour, too: My teenage son and Nancy's twins who are 11. They have a great time on the road which helps keep things "youthful."
Nancy: We do hear from fans that they've turned their kids on to Heart's music, but by and large we're still sort of oblivious to our effect on people. We just go out and play.
Is touring on this large scale something you still enjoy?
Nancy: It's a mixed bag. It's a super-hard thing to drag all your stuff across the country. But when you get it all set up, there is still nothing cooler in the world than getting up on stage. We have an amazing job, and even though it gets more challenging as we get a little older, it's totally worth it.
Ann: You have to understand: This is all we know how to do. We're musicians, so we have to keep moving forward like this.
The business has changed a lot since Heart first entered the scene.
Ann: It's totally unrecognizable today. It's really very "liquid" compared to what it was back in the 1970s and '80s. There was radio back then -- AM and FM -- and if you could get your records on both, that was huge. It's so different today it's almost impossible to describe.
Nancy: But we're learning, thanks to our manager Carol Peters, all about social networking, how to reach people in new ways. We've learned a lot.
You became not just a huge rock 'n' roll band, but also an example for many female musicians -- proof that you could succeed on your terms, with your own songs.
Nancy: When we've played Lilith Fair, we've heard incredible things from other female musicians, thanking us working so hard and setting an example.
Ann: Telling us we gave them courage. That's really something, but we were just doing what we felt we were put here to do. Of course we also heard from a lot of those incredible grunge guys in the early '90s up in Seattle who told us how much they dug 'Barracuda' while growing up [laughs].
Nancy: When we first came up, it was the end of the 1960s. Nothing was going to stop us. It was time for the next wave. Time to change the world with peace, poetry and music. We still feel that way.
When talk starts of which bands are unfairly not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Heart is usually at the top of the list. Is that something you think about?
Ann: Well, look, that would be such an honor. I mean, that's about recognition from one's peers so of course, we'd love it. But hey, if it doesn't happen, it's not going to change the way we do anything.