Being married to Cameron Crowe isn’t exactly conducive to being musically prolific with your own band — especially when your hotshot director husband asks you to write music for his blockbusters. Which may explain why eight years have elapsed since Nancy Wilson has worked on a studio Heart record with her sister, Ann.
The Wilson sisters haven’t been completely inactive. They’ve released three discs since 1993 via their side project, Lovemongers. And while Nancy is tied up with the score for Crowe’s upcoming “Vanilla Sky,” she and her sis will release Heart Brings You a Lovemongers Christmas, their second holiday disc together.
“Having a Christmas album coming out now is a very cool feeling,” Ann Wilson said last week. “We did it about two years ago, and if we can do anything positive that we love, this is the moment.”
After the Christmas album arrives, Heart will reconvene in Seattle to work on a record they’re writing material for.
“It’s just gonna be the two of us, but it’s gonna be a Heart album,” Ann said. “We’ve got an assignment: Before we see each other, we each have to come up with five turkeys. That’s what we call them before they become polished songs.”
For those who can’t tell Lovemongers from Heart, here’s the distinction: Heart sometimes rock.
Explains Ann: “Heart has always been acoustic at its core. Even a song like ‘Barracuda’ had acoustic guitars at the core, but it’s much bigger and harder. Lovemongers is mostly an acoustic vocal group. But the line does get blurry at times.”
With daily reports of missile strikes, terrorist threats and anthrax scares, many artists find it difficult to concentrate. Ann, though, said she’s been inspired by recent headlines.
“If I ever had writer’s block before, it’s gone now,” she said. “Every time you turn on the TV, somebody says something that could be a song lyric, song title or album title.”
The Wilson sisters will play most of the instruments on the album themselves. While Ann is excited about the freedom this will allow them, she’s nervous about having to wear too many hats at once on the record, which should come out next year.
“It will be the first time we’ve ever done it that way, and I’m a little bit jittery because Nancy is an incredible musician,” she said. “She can play anything she touches, and I’ve always been the singer. I can play pretty good bass, I guess, and I can play OK rhythm guitar. But I’m practicing now. I’m getting ready.”