Gin Wigmore kicks off her Let It Ride tour here in New Orleans this Wednesday night at The Hi-Ho Lounge and she’s bringing new music with her. If you haven’t had the pleasure of knowing Wigmore’s music until now, you’ve been missing out for years. Wigmore’s voice challenges the conventional female sound. Her music is the result of her “no rules” mentality crashing with pure creativity and talent. She has found something new and magnetic in the gritty power of her sound. Her personality can be described in the same way.
Gin spared some of her time to chat with Where Y’at about her upcoming album, her music videos, and her desire to be a cowgirl who just lets it all ride.
Where Y'at: “Dirty Mercy” is your huge new single that just dropped on November 4th. You’re known for your raspy, passionate vocals, but on this new record there seems to be an even bigger surge of emotion coming from the pit of your stomach. Where is that coming from? Is it the product on something going on in your life right now?
Gin Wigmore: I think it’s just with every album I do, I really, really want to try and experiment. For me, it’s like an evolution. Each album is an evolution of myself, mainly, and that’s what I put down to record. For me, I think I’ve got this deep sense of fear and being bored with myself, I always want to see what I’m capable of. And that is something that I’ve never experimented with, and having a husband like Jason Butler, who’s always screaming and yelling on stage, I guess subconsciously that kind of seeped into my blood somehow and I was like, I wonder what it would be like to try that; to really go at it with my voice and see the limits of it and see where I could go, as you said, from the pit of my stomach and really growl the shit out of it.
WYAT: Who influenced you early in your career and who influences you now?
Gin: I think growing up, my first tape was Oasis – Morning Glory, so I think I’ve always been a huge fan of a strong melody, a strong chorus. Those choruses, those melodies are so catchy. I like ear candy. I can’t deny it. I like repetition and I like something you can really hang onto.
But at the same time, David Gray was a massive influence. What I took from him was that the lyrical kind of content was so magical. It was so imaginative and beautiful. It just sounded so poetic and then the way he sang it, this raspy kind of a tone that seemed so unconventional, non-conformist, and just not conservative. It really resonated with me because I never felt very much one to conform. I never really felt like I fit in with your general singing voice that you’re always supposed to have growing up in high school and what gets you into all the f*cking shows and all this kind of shit. So, I really related to it and was like, f*ck, there is a life out there for singers that doesn’t have to be this purist kind of approach.
Now my music listening is extremely broad. I listen to everything from End Tables to Karen Dalton to French music. I’m continually influenced by French music. Kanye West was a huge influence on my last record, as he is on this record as well, just from the production side of things.
I’m a very positive listener and there are only a few things I really can’t put my ear to, but yeah for the most part, there’s something good you can take from anything.
WYAT: You recently said that growing up in New Zealand made you feel like there weren’t many rules on anything and you weren’t restricted to do what’s “cool”. I have to say, you’re pretty damn cool, with a very original sound. Did growing up in that environment push you to create something new?
Gin: I think the thing is, when you were young, you didn’t really know what was “new”, because everything was done, but there was just so few people doing it. So it felt like what I was doing was, well I guess it was new. I don’t know. It’s so little you don’t know if you’re making an impact. You don’t know if it’s a fresh new sound because you’ve only got a few people to go “Oh that’s cool, yeah, I like that!” I don’t know if you’re making a big enough wave to go, “Oh, look at this fresh new thing I’m doing. There’s no “Yeah that’s right, yeah that’s wrong.” So you kind of dig at what you’re doing because there’s not a big enough audience really.
Also, I was very fortunate to be around really good musicians growing up and they were incredibly supportive and they took on this motherly/fatherly role within my music, which really meant that I wasn’t afraid to be me which ultimately breathes and grows the best kind of artist.
WYAT: I hear you are releasing your next full length album this coming Spring. What’s the word? What can you tell us?
Gin: What’s the word on that! Well, I led with “Dirty Mercy” and it’s really not reflective of the rest of the album. [laugh] It’s kind of a wild card. And I wanted to do that because Dirty Mercy to me was the most aggressive and in your face, and I always like to come out strong with anything I do. It’s a lot easier to work back from that, rather than have to let everyone know you’ve come out, but then, “Wait, hey, but look! I’m trying to do something badass.” It’s harder to do that. So I think come out strong, come out polarizing, and anything’s possible.
So it kind of goes down this Lauryn Hill kind of vibe with this album, then it goes down this BreakBot, wait have you heard of this band, BreakBot? They’re kind of electronic, a heavy use of synths and groove in this funk tuxedo kind of a feel. So it’s got that scattered across it. It feels more well thought out, this album. Like it’s really sunk into itself.
WYAT: New Orleans will be the first stop on your Let It Ride tour. What does “Let It Ride” mean to you at this point in your career?
Gin: Well I think somewhere in my life, or past life, or future life, hopefully, I wanted to be, and will be a cowgirl who just rides off into the sunset and falls in love with a cowboy and has all these dogs and horse and lives in a ranch and just kind of be this wild woman. And I have this dream of it, and I thought that with the idea of “Let it ride”, there’s such an abandonment with that, and such a liberation with that. I wanted to have that feeling across this tour. I want to see what happens. Let it all ride, and ride on. Just throw caution to the wind. I kind of live by that.
I didn’t know what to expect with this tour because we have not played in a lot of these cities, or it has been a long, long time. I leave it up to fate, and hopefully people come and love it, and if not, well, no worries. [laugh]
WYAT: I’m sure we’ll love it. Will this tour feature new music? What can fans expect at the show November 23?
Gin: Yeah! For sure, I’m think I’m planning on playing two or three off the new record, and I love playing Gravel and Wine. It’s just such a fun album. It’s an older album now but there’s just some really fun stuff to play at a show. I might even go back to Holy Smokes. It’s really fun because I get to be very selective, and be like, I’m in this mood tonight.
WYAT: I want to chat about your sister, Lucy Wigmore, directing your latest music video, “Willing To Die ft. Suffa, Logic”.
Gin: Yeah that was pretty cool and we have a new music video for “Dirty Mercy” which comes out Sunday, so you’ll be able to see it before I come to New Orleans.
But “Willing to Die”…I obviously love my sister very dearly and she is a fantastic writer, director, artist, actress, all around in the arts. She always said to me, Gin, I’d love to do a music video with you, and so I figured it was the best time to do it when I had zero budget for actually doing a music video. So I could pull in my family favor. And she’s like, “Great, Gin. When there’s no f*cking money, I get the call up.”
We had this idea, and I write the treatments for all of my music videos, so the main thing for me is figuring out who’s going to be able to direct and execute that story for me. Me and my sister having that short hand was cool, she knew how far I’d go, and knew what I’d do. I was really inspired by Erykah Badu’s “Window Seat” music video. It’s so good. She’s the baddest bitch out there. I watched it and I was inspired by getting rid of everything, not letting all these materialistic things take control. And I think it’s very true in this day in age and particular at this time. We have this false, over-sensationalized, dumbed down state of mind for women, and I really am against it, and I feel so strongly about not condoning it. I wanted to do that in my music video. I would be willing to die, to get rid of all this bullshit we put upon ourselves, particular as women, to kind of hide who we are. To hide our sense of freedom, to hide our equality, and basically to hide us.
And in this video, I wanted to get rid of all that stuff. So I did it with taking off rings, and taking off nails, taking off everything until I was naked, and blew the whole place up behind me. I just wanted to get rid of everything, walk out in the nude, and show that I was prepared to be who I truly am and be cool with that and be happy with that.
WYAT: So apparently Obama is even a huge fan of yours and chose “Man Like That” to be on “The President’s Summer Playlist 2016 – Daytime” playlist on Spotify. When you heard about that, were you excited or was it just like another fan?
Gin: Oh no! I mean, with all the music he could like, it’s really cool. You have this romantic idea that’s he’s just sitting somewhere fabulous in the White house, and like “Hey, Sir, can you put on ‘Man Like That’? Can you put on ‘Man Like That’ quick?” and then dance around. [laugh] It’s a cool image. I’m going to pretend/hope, that that’s what happened, and that’s great! [laugh]
WYAT: Besides the appearance of your 4th full-length album, what else does 2017 have in store for you?
Gin: Loads of new music with this new album. There are 10 tracks. Not sure of the name of it yet, but yeah, 2017 is all about that and all about touring. We’ve got a huge tour this summer at the end of July going into August. So about 2 months on the road through the States. Depending how New Orleans goes, then I’ll be back there in the summertime!
WYAT: Well I hope so! Gin, it’s been an absolute pleasure speaking with you today. Thank you so much for your time. I look forward to seeing you live at The Hi-Ho Lounge November 23!
Grab your tickets now and come out this Wednesday night to see Gin Wigmore live at The Hi-Ho Lounge
Wednesday, Nov. 23, 8:00 p.m.
The Hi-Ho Lounge, 2239 St. Claude Ave.
Let It Ride North American Tour Dates
11/23 - Hi Ho Lounge - New Orleans, LA
11/25 - The Social - Orlando, FL
11/26 - Jack Rabbits - Jacksonville, FL
11/28 - Vinyl - Atlanta, GA
11/29 - New Breckland Tavern - West Columbia, SC
12/02 - Hi-Tone Cafe - Memphis, TN
12/03 - Off Broadway - St. Louis, MO
12/05 - Deluxe @ Old National Center - Indianapolis, IN
12/06 - A&R Music Bar - Columbus, OH
12/07 - The Club @ Stage AE - Pittsburgh, PA
12/09 - The Hollow - Albany, NY