Ep46: Ginger Wildheart on creating a you-sized shape in the world of music – Transcript

Ep46: Ginger Wildheart on creating a you-sized shape in the world of music – Transcript


SPEAKERS

Laura Kidd, Ginger Wildheart


Ginger Wildheart
I think the job you end up doing is one that ends up being in your shape, you know? You create a you-sized shape in the world of music, don’t you?


Laura Kidd  

Ginger Wildheart has been busy releasing music since the late 1980’s: as the leader of British rock band The Wildhearts, as a solo artist and as a key member of numerous side projects and collaborations. Always keen to find creative new ways to embrace his special relationship with supporters of his music, over the years he’s experimented with release methods outside the record label model including crowdfunding triple album 555% and running fan subscription club “the Ginger Associated Secret Society” or G-A-S-S.

The Wildhearts’ 10th studio album “21st Century Love Songs” is out on 3rd September 2021.


I’m so so pleased to share this conversation with you today. I first met Ginger Wildheart in March 2018 – I was invited to support him on a few dates around the UK, which was very exciting, and I was a bit nervous to say hello in person.

The weather was awful around that time – snow was shutting down a lot of the UK, and Ginger and his crew were a bit delayed getting to the venue, so I was pootling about setting out my CDs and records on the merch table, waiting for everything to start. In swept Ginger, who came right over to say hello, picked up a CD and thrust a tenner into my hands before heading off to soundcheck.

Later on, I was sitting by myself in a room full of chairs and broken things aka the support band dressing room, listening to a podcast about computer game music, when Ginger knocked on the door.

“Do you like being alone?” he asked me.
“Um, I’m just used to it” I replied.
He said, “Well, if you want some company you’re welcome in our dressing room”.

And so began a delightful run of support shows where I was treated like a valued member of the team, not just by Ginger, but by everyone in his band and crew. Playing music isn’t always like that, and I’d say often isn’t like that – or hasn’t been for me – so I’ll always appreciate that warm welcome.

So that the first bit of our conversation makes sense, I need to explain something. In late May 2021, the release week for my latest album “Exotic Monsters” was made unnecessarily dramatic when the company in charge of sending the record out to buyers and reporting sales to the official charts company massively underreported those sales, meaning that the midweek chart announcement on Monday was wrong. “Exotic Monsters” should have been at number 12, between Elton John and Paul Weller, which would have been a real achievement for an independent record. Instead, it was at 36, which would have felt great…if it was accurate.

It was really upsetting that this went so wrong, not just on a personal level but because I felt that the supporters of my album, and any other indie artist, should have their support acknowledged by the official channels. I made the decision to share what was happening online, and to fight for these votes of support to be counted, and Ginger wrote me the loveliest message of encouragement that night.

The kind people of the internet rallied around me, the miscounting did get fixed the next day, and the album went in at number 24 in the album charts at the end of the week, which was a wonderful end to a very stressful few days.

I mention all of this for context – because Ginger mentions it right at the start of our conversation, and it leads onto the topic of vulnerability and honesty online, which I think is really interesting. I just wanted to make sure it made some sense if you didn’t already know the story, PLUS it’s just further proof that Ginger is bloody great.

Here’s my conversation with Ginger Wildheart.


GW  
Helloooo!

LK  
Hi, how are you?

GW 
I’m fantastic, I’m fantastic. I’m in one of my bouts of insomnia periods, so I’ve been up since about 1.30 this morning…but I’m having a very productive day…

LK  
Yeah, I saw your tweets about that…you were doing lyric sheets and stuff, weren’t you?

GW  
Well, I’m probably the same as you, I can’t really be awake all night and sit and stew – I’ve got to do something. So if I’m not writing, I’m designing things, or doing international interviews, or whatever. So I can’t…I get a lot done when I have these kind of insomniac bursts, and I quite like it. You know, I think the whole thing about it is don’t be frustrated and just kinda enjoy it, really. And there’s lovely stages of every day, and if you can get out, like, you know…6 in the morning’s great, because, you know, things haven’t quite woken up yet. I was out with Maggie this morning, about 4. So it was just starting to get light 4, 4.30? And the fields that we go to were just inundated with animals. And you know, because it was brand new, they were all interested in us. We had this horse that wouldn’t leave us alone, and there’s deers running around. So you know, definitely didn’t think that I lost anything in the bargain.

LK  
No, no, exactly.

It’s so good to see you. It’s been ages!

GW  
I know, I know…Did you manage to sort out all of that nonsense that was plaguing you?

LK  
Yes, thank you, yeah. Do you mean the chart stuff?

GW  
Yeah.

LK  
Yeah, yeah. Well, once the people whose only job was to send out stuff and count them up did that job, it was fine. Yeah, it was fine. I just…I had to make a decision whether I was going to share what was going on, in hopefully as dignified a way as possible. I wasn’t slagging off the company, or trying to get someone fired or anything. And I think, well, that just helped. I think it helped with the whole situation, but it just also helped me to just…because the whole thing’s a journey, obviously – writing and releasing the thing, I just felt like there’d be a big gap if I didn’t be honest about what was actually happening in that week. So it was weird, because I don’t normally do that – I wouldn’t normally put a really super vulnerable, “I’m really upset” thing up, you know.

GW
But I think it worked because you don’t normally do that, so it showed that you were really, you know, affected by it. And I think people want to know that artists are affected by stuff, that, you know, they’re affected by good stuff as well as bad stuff. But you need to be honest to your audience.

LK  
Because we’re people too!

GW  
My God…and probably a lot more sensitive than a lot of people that buy our stuff, and I see no reason in the world to lie to anyone, you know?

LK  
No, same. Absolutely the same.

GW  
I’m just going to put some hot water on my tea bags.

LK  
Okay!

We’re well into our conversation, which is great, but could you introduce yourself for listeners? Because some people might have never come across you, and I’d love to know how you describe yourself.

My name is Ginger. I have a dog called Maggie who’s over there – can’t see her, but I’m sure she’s going to introduce herself at some point. I sing in a band called The Wildhearts, which has been my band for, you know, 20-something years, and I’m in a new band called Ginger Wildheart and the Sinners and our first album comes out next March, I think, and I’m not allowed to talk about it. Sworn to secrecy, because it’s with a label. But The Wildhearts have an album coming out on September 3rd called “21st Century Love Songs”. So that’s what I do in my day job. Otherwise, I create and I write music, and I record it and I try my best to sing it.

And I sell it – I’ve got a record label as well, I’ve got a label that just sells my stuff, so I’m one of them people that, through adversity, I’ve ran out of people that don’t want to work with me, or record companies that don’t want to do as many albums as I want to make and I’m, well, I’ll do that myself, and I’ll do that myself. And bit by bit I’ve created this little me-sized empire that not only pays the bills and feeds my family and my dog, who’s very much part of my family, it allows me to create music, which is all I ever wanted to do since I was a little kid. I didn’t want to be in a big band, I didn’t want to be successful – I wanted to be creative. And I’ve got…you know, every now and again, I’ve got to pull myself back and remember that I’ve got a charmed, ideal lifestyle and, you know, touch wood, as long as I can maintain quality control, I’ll have a job probably for the rest of my life.

LK  
Yeah. That’s the dream.

GW  
Isn’t it! There’s nothing else. I’m a Sparks fan, a huge Sparks fan. And there’s been times when Sparks have been such a small band, and these vastly inferior bands have been huge. And I still would rather be in Sparks, because every album’s great. And now that they’re like, they’re 30 albums into their 50 year career or something, you’re like, well yeah, you definitely rather be Sparks if you wanted to be a musician, than One Direction who lasted a year and a half or something.

LK  
Yeah. Well, there’s the question: what do you want to be, and what do you want to do – and how is that different? So do you want to be a musician because you think a musician is this thing? Or do you want to spend your days making music and doing the stuff that other people might think is not glamorous, like sitting in a van, going to shows, carrying things in and out of venues. Because I love all that stuff (in normal times), I love all that stuff – all the parts of it, I don’t find any of that to be boring, or unpleasant, because it’s part of being a musician. You know, doing the stuff.

GW
Oh, you’re very good at it as well, you do things that I really don’t enjoy.

LK  
Oh, how do you mean?

GW  
You enjoy the space. You enjoy the control and the silence. You create things out of silence. And when you’re playing to a new audience, and you’ve got them, and you’re lost in it…that’s where I would freak out and go like I’ve got to talk, I’ve got to do something.

LK  
Oh right…

GW  
And there’s very few people I’ve seen that have got your patience and control of silence. It’s all about space, I think, making music and communicating with people.

LK
That’s blowing my mind, because I’m not quite sure what you’re saying but I think it’s a compliment, and I think it’s really interesting. But I’m not sure what you’re saying.

GW  
You’re not afraid of silence.

LK  
Oh what – you mean at shows?

GW  
At shows – you’re not afraid of making quiet soundscapes, or soundscapes that build from the most, you know, timid sounding little voice to this orchestral, vocal majesty, and expect everyone to give you their time, and they will be rewarded.

LK  
Yes.

GW  
And it works. I’ve seen you do it to so many audiences. I’m very jealous of it.

LK  
Oh, wow, thank you so much. I’m not sure that I expect them to come along with me. I just feel like this is what I do, so get on board or don’t! And hopefully they do, you know…

GW  
Really?

LK  
Yeah.

GW
So you don’t feel “I’ve got them now, I’ve got them”. It’s completely just, you’re winging it.

LK  
I wouldn’t say winging it either, because I think that’s downplaying it. I think that it’s, it’s, um…it feels like so long since I’ve done it, honestly, I haven’t played a show since 2019. The last few shows I did felt really hard. They felt really arduous because I think I was just – I was coming to the end of my last project, I knew I wanted to finish it up in a nice way and I had these tour dates and stuff. Actually the last shows I did were great, I went on tour with Robin Ince and played in the middle of his show, which was…that was really great, because people were sitting down, they were really invested, really interested in this weird thing that wasn’t the comedy they’d paid to come and see. So that was really nice to be in a different environment. But the ones before that, I went out on tour around Europe and…I just found it really difficult, actually. So I was sort of struggling with my own mental issues on stage rather than commanding the room or feeling like I was in control.

But because I’ve done it so much, I think that I probably forget that obviously I got to that place at some point. I remember in 2012 going on tour with Chris T-T, and it was the first She Makes War tour I’d ever done. I’d only just done one-off gigs before that, and I remember thinking a lot about: Why am I playing a show? What is a live performance for (for me and for the audience, potentially)? What am I trying to do in this room? Because I wasn’t interested in just playing some songs in a row, and then going and doing it again the next day. I just thought it had to be more than that.

Whether the audience ever understood that I was trying to do more than that or not doesn’t matter, because I suppose I had to have a reason to do it. There had to be a reason. So I always carried, through all those years of doing those shows, the idea that I could form a kind of protective bubble around the audience. If they chose to step inside that bubble, then brilliant. And if they chose not to, they were welcome any time…you know, I wasn’t saying “then this isn’t for you” – it was for them if they wanted. So actually, yeah, it’s just that because I decided that such a long time ago, I think maybe I wasn’t giving myself enough credit for the fact that those live performances were important, or useful, or something. I was just very keen to move on from where I was in 2019. And I haven’t gone out and played since then, obviously.

GW  
So what about Penfriend? How would you promote that?

LK  
Do you mean live?

GW  
Yeah, would that be you, or a band, or tapes or what?

LK  
I haven’t had to think about that yet, which is nice! I have ideas about doing a really immersive music and storytelling show, which could be in theatres, or it could be in gig venues or whatever. With stuff on tape, with potentially one or two extra musicians. I’m not particularly interested in putting together a traditional live band, because I just think there’s so many great bands who play that way, and when it’s not a quote unquote “real band”, as in it’s my project and I’m hiring people, I just think that doing that is a bit…I don’t know, a bit basic? Does that make sense? So I think there could be more going on.

I’m really interested in the storytelling aspect of art in general and songwriting in particular, so giving that immersive experience with good lights and interesting stuff going on, really memorable things…which I was always trying to do, especially with my songs that have looping in, I was always trying to do a thing where I was getting the song across the best I could live in that space, but also, I knew that those would be the moments that people would remember. So if they were telling their friends about this person they saw, they’d probably say, “oh, and then she layered up her vocals, and it was really loud, and it was really interesting”. Or “she stepped out into the audience with a megaphone, and she stood right in front of me, and we locked eyes. And it was an experience”. Not just “she played a bunch of songs”, you know…

GW  
Rocked. She rocked.

LK  
“She rocked out!” But that’s just for my personal interest, because I’ve been playing shows since I was 15/16 and I’m now 40. And it’s like, well, I’ve done it quite a lot, so…

GW
You’re not 40!

LK  
I am! Look – look at these lines!

GW  
Jesus Christ! That’s a good filter you’ve got on there, then.

LK  
Haha, a good filter! The young filter. Yeah yeah, I turned 40 a couple of months ago. Yeah.

GW
Wow. Well done.

LK  
Yeah. Thanks. Got there!

GW  
Yeah well done, you’re doing good!

LK  
Got there and beyond!

GW  
And will do! If you ever do do those little gigs, I did a tour – a spoken word tour. I just asked the audience for the most intimate and interesting venues, and I’ve got a list of these little theatres. If you do want to do that, I’ll have Jane send you this list of theatres and honestly, they’re just…some of them are just so beautiful, so gorgeous. And highly, highly recommended.

LK  
Thank you. That would be great, yeah. I just think we have to keep our own interest up in the thing that we’re doing, don’t we?

GW  
Course.

LK  
But where are you at with gigs? You’ve got more years on me for gigging, you’ve been doing it your entire life – do you find ever that that the repetition is boring? How do you approach shows? We’ve talked about how I think about this protective bubble and whatnot – what are gigs for you?

GW
Well, because I’ve been doing this a long time, and I’ve been doing this in different phases of my life, they’ve meant different things to me.

LK  
Yeah.

GW  
And when you were young it was about, you know, taking over that level of the circuit, you know, pub level. You know, we’ll decimate all the bands on pub level, and then go to the next level. And that was pretty much where I started out, the only thing that I cared about was being a better band than everyone else.

LK  
Yeah.

GW  
And then, you know, things change, you go down in favour, but obviously you’re still doing this, and you’re playing to the people that really love you, the ones that stick with you the whole time. And then it becomes something more like…well, that was the beginning of what now I consider to be a community of people – because they look after each other when when I’m not there, or the band’s not there, all the time. And that all came from the fallow points of my career, where I literally could see everyone in the audience, and I recognise their faces. And now it really is a communicatory experience more than anything. It’s nice to be loud, it’s nice not to play loud, but the thing that always, always is the same is, you know, who are you? What’s your story? What are you doing here, you know? I’m going to know you a lot better before I go home, you know, and it starts here.

And some people are a bit freaked out about that, and especially when you’re playing with The Wildhearts, they’re going “can you stop talking and play some more songs?” and you’re like “okay, it’s that kind of crowd…I’ll talk a lot more if you come and see me solo, otherwise here’s some more loud riffs”. And so yeah, every gig you kind of tailor to whatever the circumstances are, but for the most part it’s the communication, you know, the contact. Especially now – we’ve done a few gigs since lockdown, and it’s almost like that contact is more important or more sacred than it ever has been, because people were in doubt of whether they would ever go to gigs anymore.

LK  
Yeah, yeah, people have been really needing that.

GW  
Well, and most of the gigs have been outdoors, obviously, it’s a little bit less intimidating. We’re doing a tour indoors in September, and that’s going to be really emotional. And I don’t know how people are going to be. Are people going to start arguing with people like they do online, anti or pro whatever? Or are they just going to go, this is the future, it’s not going to be exactly like the past, you know. It’s not safe, it’s, you know…with this, you can’t control what people want to do. They want to get vaccinated, they don’t wanna get vaccinated, they want to wear a mask, they don’t want to get a mask – you can just control do you want to be there or not? If you’re going to be there and dive into this kind of fishpond and see what happens genetically, then, yeah, that’s going to be…well, the jury’s out on whether that’s going to be the case at all. We could be playing to empty venues, just sold a lot of tickets to people that went “nah, I’ve changed my mind!”  Who knows? My idea of playing live is going to change come September, anyway.

LK  
Yeah, definitely.

GW  
Are you looking forward to getting back live?

LK
Iiiiiiiiiii…

GW  
You sound like you’re not really missing it that much!

LK 
I’m really enjoying not doing the parts of it that I don’t love. Because, again, you remember the negative things more than maybe you remember the positive things. So I have in my mind the arduous gigs where people weren’t that interested, when I’m supporting people who don’t really match. Which is unfair, because I’ve played a lot of shows that weren’t that at all. Maybe this will sound terribly selfish and arrogant…I would love to play to a room of people who really want to see me. That’s obviously, I think what most artists would want. I think my days of quite random support slots are over – I’m not going to be chasing those now.

Yeah, so I’ve done a lot of things where I played with bands I really liked, without considering for a moment whether their audience would be interested in me. Playing with you was a wonderful surprise, because I was excited to play with you but I did think this could be one of those ones where…for instance, I played with Suede, and their fans were like, not into me at all. But I love Suede, so I was excited. And I was just like, Suede might see me play! So I played with Suede. But yes, when I played with you, it was just like, oh, yes, this is this thing where, for some reason, whatever it is, something’s clicking. It’s not that I play like you, or we’re the same, or anything. It’s just that those people were receptive. And you were so receptive, and so supportive and encouraging, and so were all of your crew. That was a fucking dream. Give me those shows – yes, and all the ones where everyone loves me, then I’m in! (laughs) Totally in!

GW  
We need to get you to Japan!

LK  
Yes, I’d love to.

GW  
Japan is one of those places where you play and people are so into it, it’s terrifying, cos there’s no sound. There’s not even rustling of, you know, crisp packets or anything. It’s just absolutely silent. And your initial impression is “they hate me” or they don’t understand me. And neither is true. They’re listening, which is weird for Westerners. But yeah, my audience, not The Wildhearts audience but my solo audience – I’ve put them through a lot, so they are very receptive to bands, whether it’s…

LK  
They’re amenable!

GW
…whether it’s you, or whether it’s like Baby Godzilla, or you know…they kind of come there and they want to enjoy the night, they want to have a good time and they trust that I’m not just going to stick a blues covers band on there, you know?

LK  
Yeah. Well that’s it – they trust you, yeah.

GW
And they’re fans for life, you know, there’s people talk about you all the time and they find you out because they turn up early because, you know, there must be something going on.

And there’s not a better feeling in the world, probably naively so – I should probably be more interested in money or something – but there’s not a better feeling in the world for me than seeing a band…you know, hit that level of communication with the audience, where the audience are just going to all come see them next time they play. Massive Wagons were really good at that, and they’re going from strength to strength now and they keep saying it was this tour they did with me and I was like, it wasn’t, it was the fact that you’re good, and our audience is good. And I’m chuffed to be there as well.

LK  
Oh that’s lovely. Yeah. 

GW  
It’s not a lot to do with me, really.

LK  
But it is lovely when you see the headliner people standing in the audience and watching, and so I really appreciated that about you – because I do that, of course. I’ve put on lots of shows myself and had people support me, and why wouldn’t I go and watch, you know? And I know it’s not always possible, and people have their creative process, and lalala, so fine, I’m not judging anyone who doesn’t watch every single support band on their night or anything, but it just makes such a difference when you feel like you’re part of something. You’re not just like shoved on the front, you know, to pass the time until it’s nine o’clock or half nine for the headliner.

GW
Yeah. I’m a music fan. I mean, I like liking stuff, you know.

LK  
It’s nice, isn’t it! Yes, of course.

GW  
There’s no better place to be…I mean, apart from the fact that when you’re a musician, the only time you get to see bands most of the time is on your bill.
 
Or, you know, even if you’re playing festivals you get to see the one before you, and if you’re lucky enough, the one after you. But on your bill, you get to see everyone. I have no idea why people would not want to watch the bands they’re playing with.

LK  
You’re responsible for me playing with Frank Turner a few years ago…I’m almost certain that’s your fault, or your responsibility.

GW
No, I’d mentioned you to Frank but he didn’t remember it. He told me “have you heard this girl, She Makes War?” And I’m like, “Yeah yeah, I mentioned her to you”. “No you didn’t.” “Yeah I did!” But it goes to show that if someone’s going to listen to you and gonna like it, they’re gonna find out about you anyway, because I don’t believe he did listen to you because of me.

LK  
Okay…

GW  
He listened to you because of someone else. So, you know, you’re gonna get through anyway.

LK  
It’s hard to hold onto that sometimes, that idea, because there’s so much about having a big machine behind the band, you know: the PR, the right label, the lalala, the money, all that…even now. So it can be really hard to hold onto the idea that if you do good work, it will rise to…not necessarily “the top”, because that’s a sort of unrealistic thing, but it will get to people.

GW
Even now? I think now that’s about to change. I think big labels and promo and blahblahblah…it’s not redundant just yet, but it’s going to be. You can see why it’s not going to matter. And all the strength, all the power in music is going to be coming from the artists, and they’re going to be talking directly to their fanbase, they’re going to be selling directly to their fanbase, and the middlemen are going to be a thing of the past, you know? They’re going to have to all go and get in a home and, you know…an expensive one with all the money they’ve made from artists over the years! I think now that things are a bit more lean, and have to be a bit more practical, I think the first thing that’s got to go is the institute of the business of selling music, you know.

People that aren’t involved in the creativity, or the creative side at all of music, are going to have to be the first ones out. There’s not room, there’s not money enough. So I think word of mouth is going to be the new putting adverts in magazines, which it kind of always has been, really, like what we’re saying. People do talk about you being good. And if you treat your fans well, I think they enjoy being a fan and they talk about you.

LK  
Yeah! Well, the idea that if you make stuff that’s so good people can’t ignore it, that they will share it for you, then you don’t have to spend so much time – and I think a lot of artists of all different levels of their careers…I just get the impression that a lot of artists think they need to do a lot of tweeting, and a lot of Instagram posting, but they’re not writing enough music. Because it’s not our job to tell everyone one by one to listen to our records. The idea is, if you can make something like I say that’s so good, people have to share it, they feel like they have to share it, then they will do that work for you.

But I think people can get really caught up in this because there’s an element of control, it feels like “if I can do three Instagram posts a week and this and this and this, then I have control over spreading the word of my music out there”. I think that’s a bit of a fallacy that I’m trying to kind of work through and explain to people – if they want me to explain it to them. Whereas you seem to me like someone who just makes a fuckload of music all the time, and it’s always great. And I think that you are probably spending your time in a much better way than many other people. And because you make stuff that’s so consistently good, people share it for you, you know, and of course you’re not doing it completely on your own – you have your label, and Jane helps, and all of that…

GW  
God yeah, a great team…

LK  
You’re not an idiot like me sitting here doing my own website and stuff, hopefully, you’re focusing on songwriting…

GW  
Ahhh, but know that what you’re doing is exactly what you should be doing. I’m old…old school, okay…I’m from an analogue kind of time.

LK  
Yeah.

GW  
Where, you know, you did things with people – music was the sound of a bunch of people set up in a studio. And it’s hard to get rid of a lot of that, and not that I want to, because there’s a lot of value in that.

LK  
Yeah.

GW  
But that doesn’t mean to say I’m a Luddite, I love where music’s going. I love what people are doing. I’m obsessed now with a new artist, well, an artist that’s been around called Beth Jeans Houghton who now does a thing called Du Blonde.

LK  
Oh, yeah.

GW  
And I just…if I get into anything I’m going to tell everyone. That’s what I’m mainly going to use Twitter and Instagram for, is to inform people of other stuff that’s getting me excited. On Twitter, if it’s not pictures of Maggie, it’s pictures of vinyl that I’ve just got. It is a community of people who like to share things, and to know that people are going to buy directly from Du Blonde, and then they get back a box full of stuff that’s hand wrapped, and it’s got glitter and bits of coloured paper, and stickers and all this stuff. And they’re thanking me! I’m like, I’m just the messenger, do you know what I mean? I’m just like, thank her and tell people. You know, give money to people who deserve it. And all of this – she says all of this is a reaction against her dealing with, you know, supposed experts in the field that cost her a fortune, and having to go to expensive studios. And she just went “fuck it, I’m going to do it all myself”. And I think she’s getting better and better the more independent she gets, and is definitely getting more hands on. And I don’t think there’s going to be any language or currency that’s going to be more important than care and attention.

If there’s people that like you, be good to them. Treat them like they really are wanting you to do it. I mean, they’re a good boss, they want you to do well. So be nice to them, and if you’re not going to be nice to them, then, you know, I hope they leave quick and go to someone who does appreciate them. A language of the future is going to be: how good are you to the people that support you? And if, you know, if you’re going to be hiding behind management and all the rest of it, you’re not going to take a personal part in it, then you can’t really, when your career starts spinning out of control, you can’t really be that surprised. You haven’t been in control of it, do you know what I mean?

LK  
Yeah. And I know some of that comes from fear, because there’s a lot of artists who wouldn’t want to go and talk to people at the merch after the gig, sort of thing, because they’re probably just scared of talking to people…I don’t know. But I always just think that all the people I’m playing to are vastly more interesting than me, and I want to know more about that. I want to have a bit of a connection with them and say “hello” and “thank you so much for coming” and all that, or “thank you for watching me” if I’m supporting someone else, because they’re the reason that you get to play to people. And they’re the reason you get to sell things.

They’re not a number on an Instagram post, they’re actual people with vast inner lives, and interesting experiences and emotions and…and how wonderful to have that connection. And so to me, a gig was never complete if I didn’t get to speak to people after. Whereas when I started out, and I was in this…well, we called it an “alternative rock” band, other people called it “nu metal”…and I didn’t like that!

GW  
Oh dear…I’m glad I got here late!

LK
Ha – I know! But we…I remember feeling like if we went to speak to people after the show, it was really arrogant because it would be so that they could congratulate us? And I had just got it totally the wrong way around in my head, and so I never went and said hi to people – not that there were many people there anyway – but it’s because I thought it would be like “oh, look at me, tell me I’m wonderful!”, you know, but actually, it’s much more humble…it should be much more humble than that. It’s “thank you for coming”. It’s that way round for me, anyway.

GW  
I learned from Charlie Harper, actually. I learn everything from good…usually good old punks. But Charlie Harper…I used to always go out and talk to people and everything, and then wonder why I can’t sing the next day. And he would say it’s…”you’re talking”, you know, the worst thing for your singing voice is talking. And because The Wildhearts fans are, by and large, drunk by the time we finish, if we do get out there quick enough to meet them before they get kicked out the venue, they will talk to you for hours and hours and hours. And I used to do it religiously, and then wonder why my voice was completely fucked.

LK  
Yeah, that’s a good point.

GW
Yeah. But again, it’s like, I think you need a good, healthy and loving relationship with the people that support you, however you carry that out, and I think people know the difference between you’re trying to just get some more money off them, or you’re actually engaging them in something that you’re going to be doing for the rest of your life, and if they want to come on the journey with you then hop on board.

LK  
Yeah. Was there a point in your life where you realised this was just your life – this was going to be your life forever, if you could keep it going?

GW
No! When I used to go to school, I used to walk 20 minutes there, 20 minutes back – I used to walk to school and imagine an album, and then make up in my head five songs. And that was Side One. And then when I walked back from school, I’d make up Side Two, and have the cover and everything, and that would be my little daily thing.

LK  
Wow.

GW  
And I just never thought that was a practical…I was never going to do that as a job. I was going to have to join a band, or things that people did – I didn’t know anyone who just made tons and tons of albums. And so what I do for a living, that was a fantasy. It was something that I used to do when I needed to entertain myself. And so yeah, but I, I knew I wanted to make music, and I knew I had an interest in writing and in song structure, and then a bit later on, lyrics. But yeah, what I do for a living is…I never thought…I mean, it wasn’t on offer as a job because it was all about signing record contracts. And they were like, ” okay, you can’t flood the market”. That was always my favourite one, you know, meaning that they can’t be bothered to do more than one album every couple of years. Can’t flood the market. I’m like, “but I buy more than one album a year, why can’t my fans buy two of my albums, or thee of my albums?” and hey, presto they do!

LK  
Yeah.

GW  
And I succeeded in getting rid of all of these experts that were telling me not to do that. But yeah, I think that the job you end up doing is one that you kind of end up…you know…it ends up being in your shape.

LK  
Yes.

GW  
You know, you create a you-sized shape in the world of music, don’t you?

LK  
Yeah, yeah definitely. I feel like I’ve definitely been doing that over the last two years now. And before that, I was doing a lot of freelance work and I just…I don’t know what took me quite so long, because I think I was doing my fan slash community – fan’s such a horrible word – but the people…my music supporters…my supporters, let’s say…I was doing them a bit of a disservice, because I never quite trusted that when I put another record out anyone would buy it. I’d just be like “oh, no-one will buy the next one, so I can’t give up my jobs…yet”, you know. So I just held on and held on and held on and then I was just like “do you know what, fuck it – these people do keep buying stuff. I’m not making them. No one’s making them do anything they don’t want to do. And they’re saying to me – do this full time”.

So I have been now for…is it even two and a half years now, something like that? And I still have – of course, because I’m me – major imposter syndrome. Like “well, who am I to spend my days being creative”…and I seem to have enough money to live on at the moment, you know, touch wood cross fingers lalala. Because to me this was never an option as a “full time job”, inverted commas, it was just a dream I had that I’d like to do one day. And then one day finally comes and then you’re like, “oh shit, oh I’ve got to do it now. And then what’s next, then?” And then it’s kind of maintaining that without freaking out, and worrying, and…I don’t know, just panicking and doing silly things. So…I don’t know what the silly things would be. Make more music? That’s not silly…

GW
You could have stuck with your metal band…

LK  
(cackles loudly)

GW  
But you didn’t! But your stuff is so beautiful, and the vinyl, the inside sleeves and the attention to detail is all so…it’s, you know, that’s…

LK  
Thank you.

GW
…anyone is going to tell someone “Ohhhh, it’s gorgeous, this record” and you’re going to sell two records for every one record you sell. It’s…that’s you that, thank God you didn’t stay with nu metal because we wouldn’t have things like that. I’m such a huge fan of people who put a lot of effort into every aspect of it, not just the music and the getting the emotional side correct, but the packaging.

LK  
Well, it’s an opportunity to create a whole world isn’t it? It’s an experience from the moment of, really, well…before the moment of buying something, even, so it’s how did you discover the person? What quality things are there? What are they saying in those videos, or things, or podcasts, or whatever? And then, yeah, how is the experience of buying the thing? What’s the community like around that person? What comes in the post and yeah, and like you say, the packaging and stuff because it’s just a way of saying things all the way through it and I’ve never understood when people aren’t interested in that. But that’s just because I’ve always been really interested in that. So I’m really glad that you like it. Thank you.

GW
I never could get it. I used to love 4AD bands but I used to hate buying the records, because the covers were always shit. There was always like a purple something or other that was a bit kind of blurred. I’m like, I like big…I like artwork. A 12 inch vinyl is a platform, it’s a showcase for some amazing artwork. You know, I’ve always had that aesthetic that, you know…finish it off. Anyone can start something…finish it off! You know, and being a fan myself…and it’s funny that you said you hate the word “fans”, because I can’t use the word “fans” in conjunction with people who support me. But yeah, I’m a fan. Very much a fan. I’m a fan of yours.

LK  
Awwh. I’m a fan of yours!

GW
I guess it’s one of them things where you…you can be a fan, but calling someone a fan is a little bit…a little bit demeaning.

LK  
Yes. Oh, yeah. I think you’re right. I’m a fan of a lot of different artists for lots of different reasons. But yeah, I would never go “Nice to meet you, you’re my fan” Ughhhh, it’s so gross.

GW
Yeah. It is. It is a funny one. I still don’t know why I hate the word so much, when I like the word so much.

LK  
Yeah. 

GW  
One of them paradoxes that doesn’t make a lot of sense.

LK  
I guess you’re human.

I asked one of my…not fans, but people who is part of my community. He’s in my Correspondent’s Club, a man called Michael Record who is a lovely, lovely chap. I asked him if he had a question for you: when writing vulnerable, personal lyrics, are you ever hesitant to give so much of yourself away? Do you write thinking about the effect your choice of words might have on the listener? And have you ever pulled back on wording that you would otherwise have used because of that?

That’s about four questions…

GW
Wrapped up in one really good one… I used to be really nervous about writing stuff that was direct, so I used to mask everything up in cod philosophy and stuff until I did my first solo album, and it came at a time where I was just so emotionally crushed by a bunch of stuff that had happened. I just…I couldn’t make things up, and I just had to be open. And it was somewhere that, without the personal trauma going on, I’m not sure I would have arrived at it, I think I still would have been masking things up in “funny”, or whatever. But as soon as I started singing about real stuff, people started getting in touch. I’ve always had a good relationship with the fans, even when I was writing about just being angry about stuff. Fans – I just said it!

LK
Fans! I know…

GW  
Yes. Rehabilitation starts here!

People started talking about songs directly affecting them. And it was a weird one…it wasn’t really part of the deal I was expecting, I thought it was going to be a bit cringy and I was just going to have to go, “maybe I’ll go back to just masking everything”. And then the more honest I wrote my lyrics, the more it was directly affecting someone else. When I’m writing a song I don’t think about who it’s going to affect, obviously, because I can’t see them. But for me, it’s a way of coping. It’s a way of…if things are terrible, you know, mentally or emotionally or both sometimes…writing is medication for me, and therapy – all wrapped in one. And to have a…I don’t know, skill or a talent, or just a love for trying to write now, writing honest words. And it helps. And you just say “how lucky am I? I just got through that whole thing just by writing about it.” Not even thinking that when the record comes out, someone else goes “that song that you wrote about…”, you know, they don’t know what I wrote it about…no idea, but it had an effect on them. And it’s times like that when you’re…if you’re writing something and you get that kind of goosebumpy moment where you go, “oh, that’s nailed it, that’s really successfully said and done what I wanted that piece of music to do”. And then that has an effect on someone, then you go like, whoa, this is way beyond music now. This is way beyond trying to sell people something, or yourself, or whatever. This is a service. It’s like I’m writing about the human condition based on my experience, and it’s having an effect. People are affected by it.

LK  
Yeah. 

GW  
Boom. But at that point, it’s like, you can’t quit. It’s not a job. It’s like something magical, spiritual and…and you are a very, very lucky fucking person indeed, to have that relationship with yourself and your emotions and your supporters.

LK  
Yeah, it’s an incredible thing. I think of it as magic too, because it doesn’t…I don’t think you can explain that very well. I have a song called “Black Car”, which is the last song on the new album. One of only two songs on there that was written about and during last year, 2020, and I was really nervous to put that on the record because – it’s interesting that Michael asked that question, because I wrote that song for me to work through some stuff, and because it was a song that was happening, I was gonna obviously write it and finish it. And then I thought, what are people gonna feel like (when it was done) – what are people gonna feel like when I play this? Especially live, actually, because I feel like that’s more uninvited.

If I just play a song that’s like a massive downer in a room of people – they didn’t have a choice to press play, I’m just doing it. I have had those moments myself before. I’m just like, “Oh, I might have just ruined this person’s night.” But they did come and see me so, like, the trigger warnings should be sort of inherent really in the fact that I make quite sad songs. But I did feel like that about that song, and I felt super nervous about it, so I think I shared it with…I shared it with my Correspondents first, a live version of it, and the feedback I got from them was so amazing I was like, well, okay, this has to go on the record now because it feels like an important thing within the record. But I felt all those goosebumps and it made me cry and all this, and I think if I can’t move myself, then I don’t think it’s gonna move anyone else necessarily, in the same way.

GW
And if you can’t move yourself, then you’re not gonna make very many records. Because otherwise what’s in it for you?

LK  
No, exactly.

GW
Well, when you’re writing a brand new song, it’s got nothing to do with money, or the status or anything. And the brand new song is just, you’re pregnant with something and it’s coming out.

LK  
Yeah.

GW  
But again, you know, we see…I mean, I often think, how do people cope if they can’t write songs?

LK  
Yeah.

GW  
But I’m a huge music nut anyway. And there’s songs that…you know, you hear a song for the first time and it’s a brand new song, and you just say, “oh, my God, this thing is making things so much easier. This song is making today possible”.

LK  
Yeah.

GW  
And so I guess that unknown commodity of, you know, of music…of the medicinal properties of music, stuff that people aren’t selling, you know, when they’re selling these ideals and chest-beating rock and all the rest of it, they’re not thinking about the spiritual and emotional side of it. I’ve got a story I don’t tell very many people, but sometimes it illustrates a point. There was one of our…supporters. (Now I’m constantly aware that I’ve mentioned the “f-word” in conjunction with talking about people.) But she was…she’s fine now, but she was in a coma, and they’d tried inducing her and putting, you know, different kinds of familiar things on…peoples’ voices and everything, and then they played the first…I think it was her older brother or something just played the first Wildhearts album, because it had just come out, and there was a song called “Miles Away Girl” that she woke up and she went “Oh, who’s this?”

LK  
Oh my God…

GW  
And it was a song I wasn’t going to put on the album! And it was just like…you know, at that point, I thought I knew what I wanted. You know, no love songs, just all anger and aggression. This was a love song, you know, and thank God that it was my first album, and thank God I got proven wrong. I’m not a critic. I’m not allowed to be a critic, you know. You put everything out that meant something to you. Obviously, by the time it comes out, it’s public property, it doesn’t really mean anything to you, but you put everything out because God knows what’s going to happen.

LK  
Yeah, you’re right.

GW  
Who’s gonna listen to it?

LK  
Yeah.

GW  
And I find that with other people’s music, it does that kind of “there, there, it’s gonna be all right…”.

LK  
Yeah, it’s comforting, isn’t it? It can be comforting. It can be inspiring, galvanising. Yeah, I feel the same about the music that I love. And I was reading something recently about how if you have the ability / skills / talent, whatever you want to call it, to create something, then there’s the idea that if you don’t follow that through without, you know, being so self-critical that you can never finish the thing, so if you don’t follow that through, then you’re taking that away from the world.

Because as an artist, your job (should you choose to accept it) is to share things with the world, and like you say it becomes medicinal. It’s interesting you use that word, because I was listening to Kristin Hersh talking to Marc Maron on his podcast a few weeks ago, and she was talking about songs being medicine…or poison, depending. And I love that, I love that way of looking at it. Because if you can look at it as a service, like you also said, I much prefer that than this idea of creating music to improve my own status, so that people like me or think I’m great or tell me…whatever. It’s just more meaningful and, like you say, that means that you can keep doing it because there’s a reason to do it. We need a reason to keep doing things.

GW
When times are hard I like to think of this. The original musicians – minstrels – were doing the job of newspapers. And I know monks always get the credit for spreading the word, but it was minstrels going from town to town, going “there was a giant in that last town, you want to really avoid…” or “there’s some lovely shops there”, and all for a bed, and some food, and some flagons of ale, and some company. And the whole thing was that it started out as a service, and remained a service long before people were able to commercialise and monetise it.

Which is why I like the idea that, you know, music has gone through a lot of different stages. And I think the stage of people behind desks making more money than the people that are actually working hard to make this thing…and they’re brokering the fans’ money (careful use of the word there) and taking a ridiculous percentage off the top. Well, I love the idea that in my lifetime, they’re gonna be done and finished, and that’s going to be like a kind of embarrassing side of the industry that history won’t look too kind on.

LK  
No.

GW  
And it’ll go back to more of a service, more of a telling people stories and people going “oh yeah, I agree”. Or “oh, yeah, I like that story, this is great”. And really, not only does it control the ego side of it, and the inconsistency between people, because obviously, everyone is the same…it also makes the message a bit more clear and a bit more pure. You know, we’re not doing this because we want groupies or we want riches, or I want a bigger car than you. We’re doing this because I’ve got to do it. And, you know, by the looks of it, you’ve got to listen to music, you know, to get your solace from.

LK  
Yeah, and if you can get away from this idea that this company should be taking 80% minimum of your money, then you can actually have a sustainable music career as well. I know people who are in those deals, they’re getting 18% of the money that’s made, and they’re repaying the advance out of that first. I didn’t know that part of it, I didn’t know that you had to repay the debt out of the 18% first, and then you get 18%.

GW
Unbelievable.

LK  
It’s nuts!

GW  
So now, people are taking the money, you know, whether it’s pre-ordering something, or whether it’s direct to fan funding or whatever, you’re taking the money, and the money that doesn’t cover the costs of the record that you’re holding and enjoying goes into the making of the next record, which you hope that they’re gonna do because you like the last one. And the whole thing is just a lot more sustainable than them maybe never even paying the debt back from the last album. So their career’s scuppered, and if you liked the band – tough shit, the record industry just killed them.

LK
It’s terrible. It just doesn’t make any sense, does it? It’s just, it’s just…yeah, not cool.

GW
No.

LK  
And I remember even…it’s only, what 10/11 years ago since I put my first album out…the way that I felt really looked down upon for releasing it myself, for then doing crowdfunding, and for then setting up my own…basically my own Patreon thing. I was really looked down upon and people really thought I was sort of begging for money and all of this stuff. But it’s just like, that’s not at all what this is, and it just never made any sense to me to go, “I’ve made this thing. Now, who can I get to ruin it and make it so I never get to do this full time ever in my life”. And it’s just been this sort of…yeah, I’m really pleased I felt that way.

And I guess being in that metal band really helped, because that was on a label, and that all went terribly wrong. So I…I actually was listening to one of our songs the other day, it wasn’t bad. It wasn’t as bad as I’m making it sound, it was fine, and it was just something I did when I was 19. It was an interesting thing. The people in it were cool, and it was generally a good experience. But I learned a lot of stuff, which was very useful, like how not to do things if they were my songs, how not to get my songs taken off me by someone else so I can’t use them, basically, when it doesn’t come out. So yeah.

GW
I think learning what not to do is way more valuable than learning what is awesome. You know, cos awesome’s gonna change all the time but learning how to cover your arse and survive is always going to be fashionable, it’s always gonna be trendy, you need to be good at that all the time, especially when music’s in such a state of flux as it is now. I’m pretty confident that I’m going to be okay, however it turns out. There’s a lot of big bands I think are gonna be the first under the cosh. How are they going to sustain that with the changes and, you know, things minimising compared to what they were? And you know, every time something gets big and bloated it’s got to kind of go and sort itself out and become a bit more manageable. So yeah, you’re blindly walking into fame and success and massive debt and huge responsibilities. It will be seen as the enemy of music, because those bands tend not to make very many records. And I like artists and bands that make loads of records.

LK  
Yes, me too. And I think that’s maybe most of the job is trying to make sure that you can make the next one, because it hasn’t been ruined by whoever. I was talking to someone recently about how…it was a manager, actually, and he was talking about how one of his artists is on maybe two or three giant Spotify playlists, and that’s where all of his money is coming from. But the problem is, of course, if one of those playlists just takes the song off, that artist is screwed cuz he doesn’t have anything else happening. So while that stuff can work really well, for some people – it’s never worked well for me, but it can work really well – it’s just that all your eggs in one basket thing, isn’t it? If you want to support a family as you need to do, or just just make the next record, you can’t put all of your energy into one place.

GW
And I think the streaming thing itself…you’re looking at the death of that now. The fact that people, you know, want to have music for free, and the fact that, you know, the label bosses are getting paid. It’s not practical, you know, it’s not practical. Spotify aren’t making music, labels aren’t really making music, they’re, if anything, stopping music being made by the huge percentages that they’re taking. So, the future for me, and it’ll happen slowly, but once it once it starts happening, it’ll happen surely, and it’ll be strong, and people will believe in it, and it’ll be a practical future where the musicians and the music fans, like myself, can believe it. It’s something worth investing in, and every penny that you’re investing is going into, you know, the making of the next record, like you say.

The streaming sites – we won’t be losing them tomorrow, you know, or the day after that. But it’s not sustainable. And it is going to die just the same as the CDs died. Things like that do come and go, but the need to make music, the need to listen to music, and the need for the communication to be there between both parties – that is the story of music, and that’s always going to be there. So yeah, you know, the streaming sites aren’t making a lot of sense, but they’re not going to last that long I don’t think

LK  
Last episode, I was talking to Mary Spender, who’s a really, really interesting artist who’s made this huge audience on YouTube, and writes songs and stuff as well. But she gave up on the whole sort of singer-songwriter playing for no money, no-one there sort of thing to, “I can do something different”. And she’s created this wonderful, creative life for herself that’s really sustainable. And we were talking about that stuff as well. And it’s just really interesting all the same things come up between us all, obviously.

Which is why I wanted to do this thing, because we’ve never had a really super deep chat like this before. Because there’s never time is there. There’s always a stupid amp in the way!

GW
Because then you’re at your soundcheck, and then you’re having to go out and watch the bloody pesky support bands!

LK  
I know…rubbish!

I wanted to ask you what has it been like growing up alongside your audience? Do you feel you’ve had enough room to grow and change over the years?

GW
Well, I think growing and changing has definitely been possible, if not inevitable, and they’ve allowed me to do it, and I’ve done it in public. The good thing about my crowd is that I’ve done all my mistakes in public as well and they’ve forgiven me or they’ve…I’m not expecting forgiveness for behaving like a complete and utter tool, but they’ve accepted that that’s part of a person’s story, a person’s growth is you do make mistakes and then go “oh, God”. And they’ve given me the benefit of the doubt that, you know, I am a good person, I do care about them, I do care about what I do. And that’s the only areas that I’ve wanted to grow is as an artist as a, you know, very much a fan of music. So I know what I’m doing has got a value.

The thing is, if you’re not a fan of music it’s a bit like doing a Rubik’s cube in the dark, isn’t it? You don’t quite know if it’s going well or not. I know it’s going well, down to the cardboard we use for the bloody vinyl. You know I want the whole thing, it doesn’t matter what it is – no corners will be cut. And they’ve allowed me to do that alongside me and so now I’ve got…you know, we do shows and people are bringing their kids to the shows now, and they met their wife at a show, and it’s deeper and it’s more involving and it’s way more personal than just growing as a musician, you know…I’ve been the soundtrack to their lives, and they’ve been the reason why I’ve been able to create a soundtrack. I call them the boss – well, they are the boss because they want you to succeed.

LK  
Yeah.

GW  
They’re a great boss, they want you to do well. So, anyway, I’ve got a very, very special and very affectionate responsibility and relationship with my people because we’re in this together, we really are in this together – they’ve got their kids involved now, so it’s not going anywhere, you know what I mean? I know what their dogs look like! So it’s great.

LK  
It’s so beautiful.

GW  
It’s great. It is, it’s great. And again, it’s like when I was a little kid walking to school, I probably knew that’s what I was going to do, it just wasn’t on offer at the Jobcentre. Everything that I’ve done in my life has got me to the position I am now, doing exactly what that little kid used to do to entertain himself. So, I love my job. It’s me-sized, and it’s perfect for me. And I know I’ll never let anyone down. And I’ll never take advantage of it. And I will moan every now and again, I will get angry and yell and I will get down and sad and depressed, and go to them for comfort or understanding or, or something. And that’s okay. And they can do it with me. I’m glad that the growth has been of a kind of, an emotional and affectionate kind of solidarity. It means more now.

LK  
Yeah. So how’s it been seeing some of those people in the past few weeks with your shows?

GW
Weird, because like I say, you’re doing gigs: you’re shafted on stage, you’re shafted off stage, you can’t go and hang out with people and talk to people now, obviously, because of all of the COVID rules and stuff. Watching people singing has just been something that I didn’t realise I was missing so much. And our first gig back was Download Festival, the mini Download, where there was just so much baggage: our baggage, emotional baggage and just stuff that, you know, had been lying, festering, since lockdown. And I just was like, “This is dreadful. I hate this job”.

And so I effectively left the business, and I said “I need to re-evaluate everything that I do in this band. I need to enjoy this, and I need to be good at it. And I need to understand and focus on what my gig is”. Which is like, it’s not to go on there with my baggage, it’s just to go on there and speak, sing, whatever – communicate – to the people that have paid to come to see us. And so, yeah, it was a disastrous gig, but it was a massive turning point, based on the fact that I needed things to be different. And when sometimes there’s too many things to fix, it’s best off just going…walk away. Look at it from a distance and go “I know now”. So it’s been great, but it’s, you know, it’s still a work in progress.

LK  
It’s a funny time, to say the least, isn’t it? But yeah, there’s always music, though.

GW
Well, we’ve got a song called “Remember These Days” off the new album, and it’s about sitting down, looking at a picture of me and CJ – who’s the guitar player in my band – on stage, and just thinking like some of the worst times of our lives as people and as musicians have made us who we are. And that’s why we love this. Everything is a catalyst, whether it’s a positive or a negative catalyst, and so it’s important to look at these terribly negative, seemingly negative days as – something good came from this. And I think it’s going to be a lot of good things come from this based on the fact that everyone’s going to have to kind of tighten their belts, make everything a bit more financially practical and get rid of the dinosaurs. So yeah, these are good times, believe it or not.

LK  
Yeah, it’s how we look at it as well, isn’t it?

GW
Absolutely. Everything is how you look at it. Gotta get that radar or pointed to the right direction.

LK  
Yeah, definitely.

I have one more question for you Ginger, if that’s okay…which is, if you could give one piece of advice to a listener who wants to be more creative in their own life, what would that be?

GW
Make plenty of mistakes. Just make mistakes, don’t think about being creative. Everything you’re ever going to learn, everything that’s ever going to be important to you is because you made mistakes getting there. So wilfully make mistakes, huge, multi-colour dayglo mistakes. Be brave and be fearless and just do it, you know. And that little bit of fear or hesitancy or doubt that you’ve got? We all have that, everyone has that, you’re never going to lose it. Just make sure it’s on a lead and walk it and, you know, treat it nice. And just make plenty of mistakes, make them big.

LK  
That sounds wonderful. Thank you so much for chatting to me today. It’s been wonderful to catch up.

GW
It’s been lovely to see you again. I’m really glad that everything’s done on Zoom now instead of phones, it’s much, much nicer.

LK  
Yeah, much nicer.

GW
Lovely to see you again.

LK  
You too!


LK
That was a lovely excuse to catch up, I always learn so much from talking to Ginger, and I do hope you’ll go and check out 21st century love songs now, the singles so far have been incredible and I’m excited to hear the whole album soon.

Visit the deluxe show notes page for this episode at penfriend.rocks/ginger and you can find links to the Wildhearts and his solo work.

If you’re new here, make sure you visit my website to pick up two free songs and receive thoughtful letters about art and music, and if you’d like to keep listening today, I think you might enjoy episode 4 with Frank Turner and episode 24 with Alicia Gaines of Ganser.

This podcast is a rare ad-free zone, but sponsorship from listeners keeps the wheels turning, so if you’d like to be part of keeping this show on the road visit penfriend.rocks/sponsorship. Thanks for considering it!

Massive thanks and love to my Correspondent’s Club for powering the making of this show and all my music, and I’ll be back in two weeks time to share my conversation with Miki Berenyi of Piroshka and Lush – so I hope to catch you again then.

Til then – take care!

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