This is an article that appeared on the myLifetime.com website on October 1st. Ann gives some interesting insight into her views on the world around us and the ideas behind her solo album Hope & Glory.
Here are a few questions and answers from the interview.
Why did you decide to do almost all cover songs for your first solo album?
I just think it was pretty thrilling to get to sing these songs that I’ve loved, some since I was a kid. I think a lot of times, people make solo albums and they take songs that weren’t good enough to be on the main band’s album. And then nothing happens [with the album] because it wasn’t that good in the first place. There are exceptions, of course, like Stevie Nicks and other people who’ve had brilliant solo careers outside of their bands. I chose to do these covers because when you stand them all up and put them together, they make a powerful statement about the times. They all resonate even though they come from different eras.
You’ve probably seen it all while touring. But what never ceases to amaze you when you go out on the road?
The level of musical camaraderie within our band. We just don’t have a bunch of people there punching a time clock. We have people who really want to play with Nancy and me, and are on an amazing level. The other thing that amazes me is that the audiences are so loyal. It’s really sweet.
How do you think the music industry has changed since you first started?
I can’t think of anything that’s changed for the better. But then I don’t work in the nuts and bolts of the industry. I’m an artist. There may be lots of things that I don’t hear about that may be wonderful. I think expectations for young female artists are incredibly high. Sure, there’s more room for them now than there used to be. But they’re expected to look like actresses, dance like professionals and it doesn’t particularly matter that much if they can sing because that can all be altered now with technology. Some of these young women are just asked to be so much, and that must be really hard.
How do you take care of your voice?
I drink a hell of a lot of water. I don’t smoke anything. I take a megadose of buffered vitamin C three times every day. I credit that with [enabling] me to do four shows in a row, and we haven’t changed any [musical] keys. We’re still doing the songs as they were written.
What advice do you have for working moms like yourself who have to spend time away from the kids?
The best advice is to take your children with you if you can. Even if it’s a little bit boring for the kids, at least the family is together. The kids may actually get to see things that they don’t normally get to see. If you can’t take your kids with you to work, then you better have some darn good people at home making sure that the ship stays afloat. And set a certain time every day to call your children. Move heaven and earth to make sure you talk to them every day.
What causes or social issues are most important to you?
I’m a total peacenik. I think we should be out of the war. It’s a complete disaster. It’s really upsetting. Another thing that bothers me is dogfighting because I’m such an animal person. Dogfighting represents the worst side of human nature. It drives me insane.
What’s next for Heart?
We’re just getting going on the new album right now. It’s still very formative. Nancy has a big idea for it to be a concept album having to do with our family, our parents and our story.
Read the complete interview here.