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Interview: Ann Wilson of Heart on surviving as a woman in the music industry

ann wilson interview

“I’ve never really not been on the road,” says Ann Wilson, precisely one-half of iconic rock duo Heart, as she reflects on her current summer solo tour. Of course, this is a 100 percent true statement, considering that Heart, one of the first groups to machete through the inundation of hirsute white dudes dominating rock in the 1970s, boasts a career that spans decades, generations, and subgenres.

And Wilson has been there to witness every flash-in-the-pan trend in between.

“With every era that passes, there are different challenges,” she explains by phone as we chat about her career and her show this Sunday (August 13) at the Lynn Memorial Auditorium in Lynn. “Let’s say that in the 1970s, you had to be x, y, and z in order to be famous, and then going into the ’80s you had to do something else to stay around, and then in the ’90s… you have to learn how to evolve and not go with the times, not try and stay with the trends, but rather, be ahead of them.”

Now on the second leg of her solo tour, billed as “Ann Wilson of Heart,” the living legend is creeping towards her 80-gig goal for 2017 as she rolls into Lynn this weekend. Expect far more than classic like “Barracuda” and “Crazy On You,” though — the Heart singer says that she’s also bringing along covers and material from her self-titled project for her solo shows.

In advance of her Lynn appearance, Wilson chatted with Vanyaland to discuss her thoughts on picking the perfect setlist, recording a new solo album, and what it’s like to be a woman in the music industry after over 40 years as Heart’s frontwoman.

Victoria Wasylak: What made you decide to extend your tour?

Ann Wilson: Well, we’re getting an incredible response. My goal this year was to do about 80 shows, and we’re gonna hit that goal, so — that’s as long as it takes to do that many shows.