If you have anything to ask Ginger for next month’s G·A·S·S· send your questions to email@example.com
Did you ever record any songs with the Quireboys? Or was your time in the band just live performances? M J Mercer
I recorded the first two EPs that they had out (Mayfair and There She Goes Again) and a few demo recordings from before that. Even I can barely hear my contribution in those recordings, so I doubt if they even kept me in the final mix. It was a very odd experience for me and, as a very young kid just new to the city, a very disappointing one.
In an age where many people seemingly release autobiographies (sometimes multiple) at the drop of a hat when would you consider the timing to be right for you? If at all? Could make for an awesome Pledge campaign. Malcolm Simpson
While the book I’m writing, regarding my songs, is quite autobiographical I wouldn’t consider a ‘wart-n-all…’ ‘throw-em under the bus’ book until maybe I was very old, or dying from something. For now the gossip will do nicely.
A while ago I asked you about the Townsend autobiography and you pretty much dismissed the idea of reading it. Why the change of heart and why so reticent in the beginning? Also, as a massive Who fan, I agree, he makes what should have been an eye watering account sound like the most tedious thing ever. Fucking genius songwriter though. Andy Johnson
I joined audible.com and just stuck anything remotely interesting looking on my wants list, providing the writer was narrating. Eventually it arrived at its turn on the list and I ordered it for a few pennies. And my God what a tedious affair it really has turned out to be. I intend to battle through until the end but, to be honest, I’m even struggling with the exciting years.
Love the G·A·S·S· bonus unreleased tracks so far. Was there ever a recording of ‘Agent Good’ made and if so, is there any chance it will surface sometime over the 12 months? Wayne McCrory
Agent Good was never finished. I recall there being various stabs at recording the backing tracks that never even got finished. I’ve no idea why it always turned out so boring but we just couldn’t make that song interesting enough to complete. The elements were all intact but something undefinable was just missing from the final attempts to nail it.
With the G·A·S·S· project running for a year is there a chance you compose a Christmas song for December’s trio of new material? In the vein of old-school Christmas classics by Slade, Wizzard, etc? Wayne McCrory
I can’t say that I wouldn’t, it actually sounds like quite a good idea, but I will say that there is no plan at all to do so. Still, if we get time and inclination then who knows?
Following his comments firstly that the poor should thank him and the other millionaires for the tax they pay and then the comments concerning people who have problems with drink, drugs and depression – have you ever thought less of Gene Simmons or been more ashamed to have ever been a fan of such an asshole? I know I am! Sure he’s a prize tool at the best of times, but those comments…? Wayne McCrory
I have recently lost any and all respect for Gene Simmons and see him as an ancient relic of a time before humility and conscience. He lives with Ted Nugent, George W Bush and the like as far as I’m concerned, just dead people who some consider important enough to keep on a media life support machine. He could say anything at this point and it would have no effect on me.
I really like the dance-rock sound in songs like ‘Do The Lonely Suffer…’ and ‘Under The Waves’ – will you be re-visiting that type of vibe in any of the new G·A·S·S· tracks? Wayne McCrory
Yes, I hope to continue to dip into that genre for some stuff for GASS. I love potential that electronic music has to offer.
I understand the exclusivity of G·A·S·S· rules out the stunning ‘Honour’ ever being released as a proper single – but, it would be SO cool to have it made into a fan-club single (particularly as a tasty 7″ picture disc or coloured vinyl), just as an exclusive collectible. Any chance of that ever happening? I’d buy one and I haven’t had a turntable in years!! Wayne McCrory
If anything breaks out of G·A·S·S·to a bigger audience I’m sure there’s not a single member would begrudge this happening. We’re just trying out new ways of making music possible, and anything else is an unsuspected bonus. I think people trust me when I say that we are doing this for entirely honourable reasons.
Probably quite an obvious one, so I doubt I’m the only one to ask, but may that duet with Courtney lead to a writing stint in her solo band a la Sensory Overdrive? Bill Wood
Who knows what the future holds? All I know is that you’ve got to be in it to win it.
Do you think it is disappointing that the suicide of a high profile star like Robin Williams is the only way the media and some people acknowledge mental health issues and suicide? James Simpson
While all death is tragic I think that anything to get the public to take notice of an illness that affects millions is a healthy footnote to a very serious issue. We can only sit and hope that the attention becomes awareness and, ultimately, education.
Where do the random word combos come from on the artwork each month? I love “Bank Holiday Chutney Cow” Matthew Roberts
Ha ha, usually from Dunc sending me hundreds of potential ideas and me sifting through them all to see if there are any useful words or phrases I can use. It’s one of the most fun parts of G·A·S·S·, for me. And I think Dunc enjoys it too.
Back in 1997 I attended the Mick Ronson memorial gig at the Hull Ice Arena, The Wildhearts were on the bill but never played, any particular reason? Francis Moon
I think it was something that some other members of the band, with all the best intentions, volunteered for, but it didn’t work with our schedule. It was never anything I had personally promised could be delivered. That’s not my style.
I was at the gym the other day and playing some Rammstein on my iPhone for motivation. On the song Mein Land there is a very distinctive voice in the background echoing the chorus, is this you Mr Wildheart, if not you have a sound alike out there! Aside from that just wanted to say I’ve been a fan of yours since 1993 and I reckon you’re writing your best material here and now. Francis Moon
No, sadly, I have never appeared on a Rammstein album. But I live in hope.
Hey Ginger, like yourself I’m a guitarist/songwriter too. I was just wondering if you have a certain approach to writing songs on the whole? Do you find it easiest to do the vocal melody first and then fit chords and lyrics around that or sometimes does it just ‘happen’? Michael Craig
All of the above, really. Sometimes it’ll be a phrase, others a melody and on some occasions a guitar lick that inspired a song. I just make sure that I record whatever it is if I can, unless I’m feeling cocky enough to remember it.
Any chance you could add Chords with new songs and lyrics??? It would be good to belt a few new songs out on the guitar. Alan Finn
I’ve never written or learned from chords/tabs and honestly wouldn’t even know where to start. So, no, I’m afraid.
About the following lyrics:
And when my little boy asks “where will you go when you die?”
I say “I’ll be in your heart, in the very same part I’ve been for all of your life.
I’m never far away, so live every day like you were dying tonight”.
Those few lines got me sobbing and I very much felt I needed to get those lines tattooed somewhere in my skin. I really don’t want to mispell ’em so how do I should get it written as I’ve got TWO boys I want to address it to both of them.
Really hope you can help me with this one, Jopo Bastardo
And when my little boys ask “where will you go when you die?”
I say “I’ll be in your heart, in the very same part I’ve been all of your life”
That should look nice. I’d miss off the part about them living like they’re dying each night, it’s a bit morbid for kids, but I agree, I love that line. I was crying when I wrote it and when I sang it.
Was the outdo to the song Chutzpah “inspired” by Abba’s Arrival? I’ve always thought they shared something, and seeing that Arrival is included in your secret history of rock n roll… Keith
It was inspired by a number of things that have moved and inspired me over the years, the Arrival theme tune being one of them. I believe that this is sharing music, and not just stealing.
Maybe a bit too personal but it possibly begs an answer to help others understand perhaps..
In light of Robin Williams’ passing (alleged suicide) and his ‘severe depression’ and your self-documented history with depression, did there ever come a time when you just wanted to check out from planet Earth? If so, what changed your mind, since you’re still rocking us fans…Stay well Todd Huber
I have wanted to check out on a regular basis, for many, many years. I keep going because I want to understand what this is, why we suffer from it and how we can learn to communicated as a species because of it, not just despite it. I keep going because I don’t want my kids to have my death serve them as a curse. I carry on because other people do and they inspire me.
In ‘Bi-polar Baby’ are you referring to the mental illness or an actual person? Gary Davidson
An actual person who isn’t any more bi-polar as Caffeine Bomb was about families being killed in explosions, it’s just a silly use of a phrase that I’ve been pulled up on many times. And I believe it is my right to use any phrase that I deem useful at any time, whatever the connotations. Ultimate it is my choice to face the consequences of my actions and subsequent reactions. I avoided phrases that are going up upset people I’d write instrumentals.
Arguably the 2 songs to get the most positive reaction in last 2 years is ‘How I survived punk rock wars’ and ‘Only Henry Rollins….’ – any thoughts about doing a punk rock album? Owen Goule
Yes, many thoughts, often. I’ll do it at some point.
Will we ever hear the left-over Mutation covers? If I remember correctly it was a Delgados and a Venom song. Think they would be perfect as a 7″. I would pay for that. Mathias Skeppstedt
Yes, you will, fear not.
Any chance of hearing your version of Brand New Hate, as one of the G·A·S·S· bonus tracks. What’s the story behind the Backyard Babies recording it? Andy Devaney.
Ha ha, no way. I’m leaving that one well alone. It wasn’t something I’d have anything positive to say about, and it far too touchy a subject to bring up in a public forum.
I’ve seen your shows in different cities and different countries, and that makes me wonder why your favourite place to play is Japan (I’ve read and heard that you’ve said so). What is so special about Japan? I’m very curious as a fan from Japan. Naoko Suzuki
I have no idea. I love the people, the food, the culture, the organisation, the weather….there is so much I could list, but I guess it goes even deeper than lists alone. I just feel a welcome when I’m back there that I don’t feel in any of the other places that I love.
I remember you saying back in 2004 that The Wildhearts wrote a couple of songs: ‘Generica’ and ‘I’m only drinking whiskey ‘cos they ran out of wine’.
Did these ever get recorded? Gary Davidson
Man, I don’t even remember those ones. Probably just me and Scott Sorry fucking around on his multi track after too little sleep.
Loving the first four months of G·A·S·S· songs, even the bonus tracks. Absolute class! I was wondering if you were ever a fan of Gerry Rafferty, ex-Stealers Wheel? He was a great underrated songwriter, who had a penchant for a writing a catchy melody while playing varying styles of music. Very much like yourself! Andrew Devaney
I can’t say that I know anything about Gerry Rafferty. I’m glad I’m in the company of other misunderstood writers who’s legend continues after his time has presumably come and gone. This makes me very happy.
As someone who’s been a fan since early in your career, the diary & podcast aspects of G·A·S·S·(and the Albion DVD) feel like the most personally open you’ve ever been publicly. I know you’ve found it difficult so my question is did you take the diary & podcast as a personal challenge to be more ‘exposed’ or was it more just as a way of offering better value for G·A·S·S·members?
Thanks for both by the way, the effort’s appreciated! Daniel Brandon
When beginning this project, and contemplating the diaries and podcasts, I figured that the only way to approach these would be with unflinching honesty, otherwise why bother doing them? It was something that I thought long and hard about, and fully realised that I was putting myself in a very vulnerable position in doing so.
Every year could be our last, and so I believe that we should leave an accurate portrayal of the person that we were, so that your legacy contains an honesty that can be trusted or otherwise. Why lie?
Just listening to Clam Abuse “message to Geri”. Did you ever meet Geri? Do you know if she ever heard the song? M J Mercer
I never met Geri and have no idea if she ever heard the song.
The song Melancholic has so far been my favourite song out of all the ones on G·A·S·S·, what are the chances of a version with a Clannad style vocal in the future on some release, I think that would sound stunning. Steve May
I am in talks with a couple of people about re-recording this song, after the astounding response to the demo. Expect something substantially larger to appear in your G·A·S·S· box before the end of the project.
Is there any chance in hell that you happen to have any of the old Wildhearts or Ginger releases on vinyl hanging about? The ones that exist on ebay are selling for excess prices and perhaps you could sell them on G·A·S·S· shop page or use as rewards??? Jay
I’m not sure if I have any WH vinyls lying around, but if I do then we’d be talking one of each album. Happy hunting, I’m sure something will crop up. And remember, records fayres and car boot sales are your friend.
If you could only describe the following artists/bands with one sentence or less what would you say????
The Wildhearts –
The Ramones –
Guns N Roses –
Axl Rose –
Tom Waits –
Red Hot Chili Peppers –
Hardcore Superstar –
Brides of Destruction –
Pearl Jam –
Paul Stanley –
Ginger Wildheart –
My friend and I had an argument about who started glam rock.. He sided with David Bowie and I sided with Marc Bolan & Alice Cooper … who wins?? or is it a tie and we both lose? Jay
Alice started glam rock before Bowie.
And as for your sentence per band, how about a word?
The Wildhearts – Overrated
The Ramones – Underrated
Guns N Roses – Over
Axl Rose – Icon
Tom Waits – Authentic
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Dull
Hardcore Superstar – Confused
Brides of Destruction – Silly
Pearl Jam – Talented
Oasis – Missed
Paul Stanley – Confused
Ginger Wildheart – Hungry
When I spoke to Ryan Jarman he said he missed you living in New York… how much do you miss New York itself? Gary Davidson
I wish I could afford it. I loved all my time there and would be back in a heartbeat if I became a financially able to.
What is ‘Down The Dip’ about? Hope you don’t mind me asking these questions on what the G·A·S·S· songs are about. It’s just that when I know the meaning behind a song it opens it up for me. Gary Davidson
Down The Dip is about a fictional place of being where your personal opinion of yourself defines the character you are, and misinforms your opinion of others and your effect on them. We all know someone who has very little idea what people really think of them, assuming – naively – that their actions have no subsequent reactions.
Basically, anyone can bullshit, and even assume that they’re a popular person in the process, but time wins out in every occasion.
Hoping To Prove You Wrong. Is there interest in the demos also being physically released? FUCK YES! A few of them would need to be mastered louder to match the rest though. James Benesh
This is something that maybe the G·A·S·S· team should make a call on. Personally I have no interest in doing it at all.
Response from the G·A·S·S· team: unfortunately the demos are not recorded at a good enough quality to put on to a physical release (mostly 128 kbps) so this will be unlikely to work out.
Hey, I was wondering if you have a favourite Cardiacs album and if so why? I’m a relatively new convert but really digging ‘A little man and a house’ and ‘On land and in the Sea’. Thanks for getting me into them! Also, what are your impressions of The Dowling Poole? I was so happy to pledge on that one as really missing Jackdaw4. Neil Grace (fan since 1996)
I wish we had a regularly asked questions as I think I’ve answered this Cardiacs one more than any other. But On Land And In The Sea.
‘Down The Dip’ instantly became my joint favourite G·A·S·S·track so far on first listen (alongside ‘Bloody Knees’). I’m wondering if you’re ever surprised how a song actually turns out once you hear it back? The tremendous vocal noise that you, Yolanda, Kelli and Ben make is just…. astonishing, and I can’t imagine that you had that racket fully formed in your head before all the voices actually did it. How do you feel when you hear it mastered in full-fat form? Matt Bubbles
I honestly didn’t like that song when it was sent to Kevin for mixing. The recording editing was sloppy and some of the parts were out of time and badly recorded, but we just ran out of time and were rushed when recording it. I made a few suggestions and Kevin made magic happen on that song. I now think that Kevin Vanbergen is an utter genius and that songs stands out as one of my favourite songs of the whole G·A·S·S·experience.
Ancient history, I know, but I’m curious. When Mark Keds was briefly a Wildheart, did the four of you ever play together as a band in a rehearsal room or anywhere? If so, do you recall which songs you may have run through? I know he provided BV on the Just In Lust B-Sides but bands play together, right? Even if they’re only a band for a short time. Stuart Brackpool
We practiced as a band quite a few times but, to be honest, it just didn’t sound very good. He wasn’t a good enough guitar player to be able to handle the older songs, but he was an amazing singer and really great fun to hang around with. I liked him a lot.
Does your music and lyrics paint a fairly accurate picture of who you are as a person?
Is it fair that as listeners we think the picture that is painted by musicians is who they are as people?
And last one, which song do we as fans misinterpret the meaning of the most? Owen Goule
I like to think that my writing goes on to explain more fully the kind of person that I am, otherwise I don’t see the point. I have nothing to hide and everything to share.
The most misinterpreted song, by far is Turning American.
Are you a fan of Jellyfish/ Andy Sturmer at all? I always thought of them as a good band suffering from poor timing: The one-eyed god of the media was on Seattle at the time. And so it goes. George Connor
I loved Jellyfish and think that Andy Sturmer is a supremely talented human being. The media didn’t take to them because they looked silly, had a singing drummer and didn’t have enough filth in their sound. Nothing personal, just my take on it.
After hearing on July’s podcast that you’re getting acquainted with Rossi, Parfitt, Rhino et al, can I just say: “Quo Vs The Wildhearts” would be the greatest rock ‘n’ roll album of the century. Up for it? Make it happen! Jason Hodgson.
Ha ha, it’s a lovely idea, but I can’t see either of us wanting to do it.
Are you interested in listening to the Iggy Pop radio show going to be on Radio 6? Will we ever hear you on the airwaves again with your own show? Loved your previous stuff, and hearing ‘The Belle Of St. Mark’ on a ‘Rock’ radio station was a really cool surprise!! Wayne McCrory
I’d love to hear an Iggy radio show but would be in fear of him playing too much sixties stuff.
Me? I’d love a radio show again. Who knows, maybe it’ll happen one day?
I read your comment in Classic Rock #200: ‘Courtney doesn’t need the brand name of Hole’ – do you feel similarly that you don’t need the brand name of The Wildhearts? And why do many fans seem so keen to see you back under that brand? (Personally, I figure between the awesome material from your G.A.S.S. / Pledge output, as well as CJ’s solowork and The Dowling Poole – the Wildhearts are pretty much well represented elsewhere!!) Wayne McCrory
I think that The Wildhearts reminds people of when they had hair and flat bellies, or something. If they only know how much better the solo band sound compared to WH. Still, I like stuff from the past and have no problem with it. So if people want to relive their youth then it’s hardly hurting anyone, is it? And if they don’t want to listen to my post Wildhearts material then that’s okay too. Their loss, really.
Did you catch any of the Monty Python Reunion stuff – whether at one of the gigs or just watching the live broadcast? Was dusting the team out of retirement and popping them up in front of the O2 diluting the feel of the original show or was it a magical slice of fun and nostalgia? Wayne McCrory
I couldn’t make any of the shows, but would have loved to have bought a shirt and a mug, and couldn’t have easily suspended the thought they’re much older now and rehashing old material. Sounds like a good night out really, bit like a Wildhearts gig.
I just wondered where the title ‘After All You Said About Cowboys’ comes from? Gary Davidson
It was conjured up after going to see The Tubes with my friend Doug Brod, at BB Kings in NYC. An amazing night, slightly marred by the cost of the fairy average food, but great evenings can’t be price listed, and this was one of them.
Just thought I would share a hilarious phone conversation I had this morning.
I realized today that my ‘Oh Fuck I’m 50′ Birthday Bash ticket had gone to my old address months ago. Anyway it’s not there so I phoned Ticketmaster so they could do me a duplicate to pick it up at the box office. After going through all my details the guy on the phone said: “ok just to confirm Sir, the event is… erm” then silence. He then told me he wasn’t allowed to say the offending word and I burst out laughing as did he. He said in all the years he has had the job he’s never came across this before. I ended by saying ‘Fuck’ for him. I think you would approve of this…
My question: Funny as fuck yeah? Gary Davidson
Yes, I loved that!
What order do you rate the Jaws films based on entertainment, quality and posterity? Mine is 1, 3, 4 then 2.
And who is your favourite member of 1D? Dwayne Hickman
I only really know Jaws 1 & 2, and liked the first one best.
Harry is my favourite member of One Direction.
You’re asked to recorded songs for tribute albums for Queen, Quo and Cheap Trick. Which song would you choose for each artist, and which line up would you use to record the song? The Wildhearts, GWB or as a solo artist. Paul Goold
I’d record them all as a solo artist and I’d do ‘Blue For You’, ‘Queen II’ and ‘Standing On The Edge’….or ‘One On One’.
Why was the first ‘S’ in the G·A·S·S· logo changed from the Superman ‘S-shield’? Wayne McCrory.
Our merch company got cold feet and asked that it be replaced at the last minute. Bit of coward’s trick, if you ask me.
Love the artwork used so far in the G·A·S·S· website. Will there be more exclusive merch using future G·A·S·S· designs? Would love to see a set of G.A.S.S. exclusive plectrums with designs like the ‘Love rocket’ on them!!! Wayne McCrory.
Yeah, there will defintely be more G·A·S·S· merch available as time passes. This was always a priority part of it for me.
Love the thought of you writing a book from the focussing on your lyrics / career as a songwriter. There was a book written by Paul Zollo called ‘Conversations with Tom Petty’ that used his body of songs and the examining of them to chronicle his career and history. Have you ever read it and is your book still going ahead? Wayne McCrory.
Book is still going ahead, just gonna need a spare month to finish it. Plans are afoot tho’.
Did you ever watch Stella Street with John Sessions and Phil Cornwell ( who also voiced / improv-ed the delightfully subversive Gilbert the Alien on Get Fresh, an 80’s Saturday morning TV show)!!! Wayne McCrory.
Yeah, I used to get stoned and watch Stella Street religiously. Loved that programme.
Are you looking forward to the Joe Perry book? Also, with the Steven Tyler book and the official bio, Walk This Way, do you find it a little tedious reading books that cover much of the same events? I enjoyed reading the Keef and Ron Wood books, but found reading the books by three members of G’N’R a bit repetitive (although Duff’s was easily the best). Wayne McCrory.
Of course I’ll be reading it. He’s Joe Fucking Perry man!
If you are considering taking a pared-down version of the GWB out on tour and playing more dates with Courtney Love will this mean the solo acoustic / spoken word dates and Pledge campaign you had mentioned as being pencilled in for the end of the year are now on hiatus? Or are you intending on cloning yourself to accomplish completing such a massive workload? Wayne McCrory.
I’m fully planning on doing these shows next year, before G·A·S·S· closes. Expect the sometime around March and April.
Will you ever record any more radio shows if you ever get the time? Wayne McCrory.
Yes, I’d love to.
Do you ever wish you had got a chance to record something with the Ginger & The Scorchers line-up you briefly toured with? Wayne McCrory.
No, I like Jason’s voice way too much!
What did you make of KISS’ induction to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame and are you looking forward to the new Ace Frehley studio album? Wayne McCrory.
I’m really looking forward to hearing Ace’s new album, as always.
I absolutely don’t care about the Hall of Fame at all.
As a fan of InMe I was buzzing to see Dave McPherson “The very nice person” on stage with you at your birthday bash a few years ago. Any chance of you working with Dave on any G·A·S·S· tracks? Paul Steward
Maybe? I don’t see why not. He’s an exceptionally talented person. I like Dave.
I’m a long-time fan and I know most fans say “Earth vs” is their favourite but mine is Chutzpah. Band never sounded better than the line up with Scott in my opinion. Anyway, my question is about Zeen Requiem. What is it about and what does it mean??? David Higgins
Another good reason for a FAQ section. He was a guy called Danny Deen, and friend of mine who killed himself.