From The Heart

In early Summer, “Heart” will touchdown in Kelowna with their “Fanatic-Live” tour!  Recently, I had the distinct honour in interviewing “Heart” talking about the “Fanatic” album, touring and more!...

Bruce Atkinson: I would like to begin with a brief recap of the last couple of years, a very busy time for you both and the band: the box-set, the induction to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and your critically acclaimed album, “Fanatic”! And of course the touring… It seems that you may be busier now than in years past!

Ann Wilson: We have always been a hard-working band but, yes, the last ten years has seemed busier (and in many ways more rewarding)! Being inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame was an incredible honor. It addressed our history and paved the way for a bigger and better future for us as artists. 

BA: As we continue, you spent most of 2013 on the road, promoting “Fanatic”, were you able to perform in places that you may not have had the opportunity to do so in the past?

AW: In the last few years, we had the opportunity to tour in Australia for the first time. Also we have performed in some really special places, like the Kennedy Center in Washington, D. C. Last year, we headlined a tour of summer sheds (partially covered amphitheaters), which was very fun. This year, we will do two concerts on the Grammy cruise boat, and an entire tour of Canada, which is always very fun for us.

BA: Let’s dwell on the latest studio creation, how many songs from “Fanatic” are included in your current set list?

AW: We performed six songs from the new “Fanatic” album at the Windsor show! New songs are always the most exciting to perform and we are grateful to our audiences for their enthusiasm when we play them. We continue to play songs from the new album in all our shows. A big favourite is “Dear Old America,” for which we also have a video.

BA: As mentioned, the record met with critical acclaim. It is almost the “back to form” album from Heart… Was this a conscious goal?

AW: Heart is a rock band and, when we started to write songs for the “Fanatic” album, we wanted to RAWK! And so there are heavy elements in the arrangements. The songs are wonderful to perform live! Our primary goal when we write an album is always to tell stories, often personal ones from our own lives or things that have been on our minds, in as musical a form as possible.

BA: Keeping with this release, you seem to have strengthened your Canadian connection, what with Ben Mink producing “Fanatic”, and now doing the same with your brand new DVD/CD!!

AW: We have always been a fan of Ben Mink’s work. I was fortunate to have worked with him on my solo project (“Hope & Glory”), and Nancy and I were so impressed with his work that we asked him to produce our “Red Velvet Car” album. And of course, now the “Fanatic” album. Ben is not only a wonderful composer / producer; he is also an amazing musician who can bring beautiful music out of anything that has strings. He is also very generous, often appearing on stage with us when we are in Canada. You’ll see him on stage in the “Fanatic Live” show. He also arranged and led a string ensemble on the show.

BA: So, let’s talk about your latest, “Fanatic Live From Caesars Colosseum”, your first for the distinctive label Frontiers… The performance was also recorded in Canada, right?

AW: Yes, we were asked to do a concert for AXS-TV and the arena at Caesar’s Coliseum in Windsor, Canada is a beautiful venue that worked for everyone’s schedule.

BA: Are you taking this tour into 2014, and if so, in what areas?

AW: We are calling our U.S. tour “Fanatic Live” and leaving for the road at the end of this week. Our first run of shows are in the South (where it’s not so cold!). Then in March/April, we will be on the East Coast.  Canada is in June, and I’m sure we will be in many places around the United States during the summer.

BA: Although you are very busy with your touring commitments, would it be fair to ask about some new material?  Are you also writing and preparing for a follow-up to “Fanatic”?

AW: Writing new songs is an important part of who we are. We will never be content just performing songs from the past.

BA: You both have given us so much precious music over the years, have you ever thought of slowing down?

AW: NO! We are artists and so we must make art!

BA: Thank-you ever so much for taking this time to answer some of my questions, and a huge thank - you for your insightfulness and musical talent - Heart is truly an iconic musical force, please leave our readers with some closing thoughts…

AW: Thank you for this opportunity to talk to you. We want to let our fans know how much we appreciate their support al l these years. And that we hope to bring them good music and exciting performances for many years to come!


A Live documentation that announces Heart to the Frontiers Family in a huge way!  “Fanatic Live From…” sees this long running powerhouse in top form! Celebrating a critically acclaimed reception for their latest studio effort; “Fanatic”… The Wilson sisters and Company hit the road in 2013 bringing this “back to form” music to the masses!  Of course, anything that Heart does, they do so well! This live package is no exception, showcasing the group’s exceptional Talent and heartfelt execution in a live concert setting.  Now, not only do we hear and see Heart’s extraordinary catalogue of music, but several selections from Fanatic are front and centre, and well they should be! This is pure Heart, stellar performances, each song done with renewed energy, high emotion and conviction… An all-encompassing Concert experience. Frontiers is releasing this in several configurations, including CD / DVD, Blu-ray DVD and also regular DVD!

Certainly a “must-have”, Heart’s latest will renew your love for Melodic Rock music, and

done only the way that Masters can do!

Under The Lights

Upcoming Club/Concert Highlights:

The Blue Gator:  Forty Foot Fred:   March 6th    Poppa Dawg:   March 7th & 8th    Zamboni Brothers:   March 13th     Papa Wheely:   March 14th & 15th

Doc Willoughby’s Downtown Pub:    Red Eye Empire:  March 14th    Kytami:  March 15th   The Wild:  March 21st   The Skinny:  April 5th     Rude City Riot:  April 18th

The Green: (Vernon)   Sunday Night Jams-featuring  GTR   

Lake City Casino (Lounge):   Aaron Halliday:  March 7th & 8th  Steppin Out:   March 14th & 15th   Gorden James:  March 21st & 22nd    

Notable Concerts:  

Prospera Place:   Chicago:  March 13th    ZZ Top:  March 20th  Yes:   March 21st   Collective Soul:   April 4th

Kelowna Community Theatre:    Jann Arden:   March 29th   Johnny Clegg Band:  April 27th   

South Okanagan Events Centre (Penticton):       Florida Georgia Line:   April 10th

Interior Savings Centre (Kamloops):   George Thorogood & The Destroyers:   May 1st 2014 

Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre:   The Wailers:   March 15th 


                 …if you have a musical story or news and would like me to write something… drop me a line at:  [email protected]  and let’s celebrate Kelowna’s rich and varied music community together!!.....

More Under the Lights articles

About the Author

We call him the Professor of Rock: With a career in music, television and media arts spanning 30 years, Atkinson knows music. He's traveled as a professional musician and he loves Rock 'N Roll. He is a music journalist who writes internationally for Frontier Records' Melodic Rock magazine and he owns FBA International a multifaceted management, consulting, promotional entity.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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