Interview: Ann WIlson
[POP] It’s been a rough year for Heart’s Ann Wilson, but she’s all the stronger for it. Last August, while headlining the Rock Hall Three For All Tour alongside Cheap Trick and Joan Jett, things took a turn for the strange when a scuffle broke out between Wilson’s husband Dean Witter and her sister Nancy’s kids at a homecoming gig in Washington state. The details are well documented in an April Rolling Stone article, but for the gal with the pipes behind indelible classics like “Crazy on You,” “Straight On,” and “Magic Man,” the resulting hiatus is a much needed liberation.
“About three years ago now I found myself in a real suffocated place,” Wilson said over the phone from her new Florida digs. “When you’re listed as a classic rock band, booking agents put you in the same type of packages every year. I’d begun to wonder, ‘wow, is this all there is for me?’ The buyers in those package scenarios expect you to do certain songs, and if you don’t do them, you’re potentially in breach of contract. I don’t blame [audiences] for expecting to hear their favorites after they’ve paid $100 to just sit on the lawn, but it’d begun to feel way too tight around the neck. I was getting more and more dissatisfied, dreaming of a parallel universe where I could just sing whatever songs I wanted. And then, this time last year, I found myself in a difficult situation which, in hindsight, provided the perfect window for me to fly out of.”