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Heart’s Ann Wilson talks solo tour, second EP, Chris Cornell (Includes interview)

On her solo “Ann Wilson of Heart” tour, she said, “The tour has been just fantastic. It has been way better than expected. We thought it was going to be great, but we didn’t know it was going to be over the top great. It has been amazing. We played in Atlanta last night, and people are bouncing off the ceiling. It’s really cool.”

Each day, she is motivated by her love for music. “I love music and singing. I love the band I’m in. I like to get out there and make a connection with people. This is just a dream, and I’m after it,” she said.

The song selection process for her second solo EP included some original songs and live cuts. “We picked out a couple of a live cuts that worked particularly well that night and paired them with a couple of our new songs,” she said.

Although she has had many personal favorite songs in her illustrious career, she shared that at the moment she enjoys singing The Who songs.

Last year, she toured with Joan Jett and Cheap Trick as part of the “Rock Hall Three for All” tour. They performed at Jones Beach, New York, on July 28 at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, and for their encore Heart sang “Love Hurts” with Cheap Trick. “That was fun. It was big. I’ve always loved Cheap Trick. That was a good show,” she said.

In 2013, Ann was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Heart by Soundgarden front-man and Seattle native Chris Cornell. “Well, it’s really an honor to be recognized by my peers. It’s just like going to college and having a degree after your name, but the work is still the work,” she said. “Chris and I were friends for a long time, and he was the perfect person to induct us. What he said was amazing and sweet. It was really great. He was a cool guy for sure.”

In return, Ann paid homage to Cornell by singing “Black Hole Sun” on Jimmy Kimmel Live. “He was a beautiful guy,” she said, about the late male Seattle rocker.

Prior to a concert, Ann tries to “find peace” as a pre-show ritual. “The world is pretty chaotic, and I just to make a little space for myself, that is really meditative and peaceful, so I can locate myself in the center before I go on. That’s the most important thing,” she said.

When asked to reflect upon the last four decades, she said, “I see a journey. Coming out of teenager-hood through 20’s and into real life. It has been a complicated and perilous journey in the rock world because all the things you do, you do in public. You don’t have the luxury of making your mistakes in private,” she said, with a sweet laugh. “It has been really interesting, real informative and it has been a really great life too.”

For Ann, a difference exists when she sings in the studio versus performing live in concert. “The studio has always been harder for me because you are so much under a microscope, and there is no audience,” she said. “My singing is best done when there are people to share it with. The live situations get the best out of me, and I can relax more live.”

She underscored the importance of staying true to oneself, especially when it comes to giving advice to aspiring musicians. “Don’t listening to anything anybody tells you. Don’t try to copy anybody else, and try to access your emotions and bring those out. Don’t be worried about technique,” the rock queen said.

Ann had nothing but the greatest remarks about performing at The Paramount on Long Island. “It was really cool,” she said. “The Paramount is so great! Whenever we go to Long Island, it is cool. People have a certain openness there. They will listen to a lot more different songs. They don’t have their minds closed and I really like that.”

She listed Matt Bellamy, the lead singer of the rock band Muse, as her dream male duet choice. “Matt is a fantastic singer and we could do a cool duet,” she said.

On the key to longevity in the music industry, she said, “Being yourself and staying true to who you are, and showing up. This industry can be a pretty harrowing place, and if you keep a hold of some kind of solidarity within yourself you just keep coming back. Those are the two things.”

Ann admitted that balancing a family life with a music career is still a “work in progress.” “Right now, my husband is travelling with me, and that’s how I can really stand to do it. We’ve build a really nice little home and we have it all the way we like it, and we have a way of life and we can be together. If I didn’t have him with me, I would be incredible lonely and probably not quite as motivated to be travelling all the time,” she said.

For her dedicated rock fans, she concluded, “They should really try and come out and see a show. Then, they will understand why I’m going through all the trouble to do this. It’s a very cool experience. It’s a way for me to stretch out and become a better singer, practice, and try new things. That’s how singers get better. They should definitely come out and see it.”

To learn more about Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Ann Wilson from Heart, her EP and touring schedule, check out her official website and Facebook page.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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