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  CJ WILDHEART IN CONVERSATION ABOUT HIS SOLO CAREER AND THE WILDHEARTS

Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus

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houston

The long time serving guitarist in The Wildhearts and self-confessed food lover has a new solo album out called 'Mable'. The last time he committed himself to a solo album of sorts was the album '13' when he presented himself as CJ & The Satellites over seven years prior.

Not wishing to discuss food too much as it makes me hungry, with this opportunity to talk with the good man on behalf of MetalTalk.net I delved feet first in to music topics!

After brief introductions, I found myself instantly posing the question to CJ Wildheart that he might well be a workaholic?

Article continues below...

 
 


CJ: "I have to do lots and lots of different things. So like today I've started working on demos for my next album, I've cleaned the windows in my house, I've been doing stuff online with various websites, I've fed and tended to all my animals, I've cooked a meal for my wife and washed the car - there's always lots of things, you know, it keeps things interesting."

Making note that he had already begun work on another solo album with the paintwork still wet after the release of 'Mable', our laid back chat continues.

CJ: "There was a point in my life where I was just rabid about music and bands but as I got older I got passionate about other things. Like cooking has always been a massive thing for me. I come from a family where food is really important – my Mum being from the Seychelles and my Dad being Indian. It was something which was instilled in us at a young age. You are what you eat, so if you eat shit you become shit basically.

"You don't need to spend money on food; you should be able to cook, always strive to get the finest ingredients so that was instilled in me in a really young age."

Letting me in to his world further, CJ Wildheart continues with his explanation and thought on his interests and world around him.

CJ: "For me, my new album is getting a new spice or trying out a new meal or coming up with a new recipe. That's what floats my boat, but I'll always be a music fan. I think you're mugging yourself if you stay the same person all of your life. You should evolve, adapt and change to new sounds, tastes and sensations, it's really important."

Concerned that this talented individual may turn his back on music completely as his interest in food stems a long way in to his past, I share my observation.

CJ: "You know what; I prefer making music than listening to music as strange as that sounds. There's so much music out there and there are certain things I do where I have to listen to music. I cannot drive without music being on but when I'm at home – I live in the countryside. It so peaceful and quiet out here that all you hear are the birds chirping and the chickens clucking around the garden, and that's a soundtrack I don't want to be polluted by loud noises."

houston

After a pause for thought, CJ pushes home his passion for making music.

CJ: "Making music and being a music fan I think are two completely different things. I love the science of music and how music is recorded and put together and it's something I've always been fascinated in. It's something I've really embraced. I recorded 'Mable' on my own and I still struggle with mixing, but it's something I'm learning all the time."

Pondering over the involvement of Lee Wray in the process of recording 'Mable' and how he was also involved with CJ & The Wildhearts for the '13' album, I asked whether he'd considered reaching out to the other members of The Satellites for this latest studio album.

CJ: "No, 'Mable' was always going to be me recording on my own. I can record music and I think a musician who has made as many albums as me and, I've been playing in bands since I was 16 – that's 30 years I've been playing in bands and I've been making albums since I was 18. If I don't know how to record an album on my own now, then I'm a true idiot! Musicians who have been around as long as me should know how to record music on their own."



If you check out the inlay card on 'Mable' you'll notice that very nearly every track was composed by CJ Wildheart with the exception of 'State Of Emergency' which was co-written with Lee Wray and 'Vitriol' which is a cover version.

CJ: "I really like Bluejuice. It's a really funky Australian band and when I was working in London, I used to use that song as my kind of get-me-up song when I was in my van heading to jobs. I hadn't recorded for three years, so the first thing I recorded was a cover of 'Vitriol' and also doing a cover eased myself into it. I didn't really have to work that hard, it was a kind of a nice way of starting the recording process."

Bringing the conversation back to his earlier comments about demo material for a new album, I quizzed the multi-instrumentalist and vocalist about any insight in to which direction he was going in. Would he use PledgeMusic.com again as a platform to get it made?

CJ: "Definitely. I'm going to work on my own. I like working on my own, I like being in a band but to be honest with you, being in bands there's so many egos and dramas involved. Every musician brings his own ego and drama to the table. I find working on my own it's almost like meditating to me; it's very peaceful and I work at my own pace and I have no one to answer to apart from myself.

"You are united when you're a band. I've always been quite an insular person and I've always been someone who relies on myself. I love the band thing, but I don't need anyone to hold my hand, I can get up and do something on my own. Part of me prefers working on my own, but I'll always be a part of a band, and that band is The Wildhearts. For me it's something I have to be, for me to be a good father and a good husband I have to have faith in myself as an individual, that's kind of where I come from."

I take CJ back in time as I rarely ever read about coverage of the 1988 studio album 'Bleeding Hearts And Needle Marks' by the Tattooed Love Boys. One song in particular is a real anthem packed full of attitude and a hook called 'Read My Lips'. The chorus goes something like this; "Read my lips, 'cos I'm talkin' to you, don't give me no shit, 'cos you know it ain't true – You stand there bullshitting, talkin' tough, kiss my arse I've had enough! Read my lips, 'cos I'm talkin' to you!"

CJ: "To be honest with you, I can't even remember the song! That band enabled one thing to happen, and that was for me and Ginger to meet and to form The Wildhearts and I'll always be thankful for that stepping stone. If I wasn't in that band, I wouldn't have come to Ginger's attention."

I tackled CJ about other ventures he'd been a part of during the years like The Jellys for example. He was proud of the material which surfaced and came across like each of these past chapters held something significant to him, but it's always down to record labels and music sources with sufficient financial clout to get these products re-issued or even re-mastered. In other words, it holds emotional sentimentality but regarding any insight in to these releases being reborn any time soon, keep checking in with your favourite record labels specialising in reissues.

With slight notions and a slim possibility that The Wildhearts will regroup to celebrate an anniversary for the 'P.H.U.Q.' album next year, nothing more seems forthcoming for now from that band. Ginger Wildheart complete with melancholy tones spoke on his July podcast within his G.A.S.S. online fan club/community about how there was little of the team spirit the band had captured in past glorious years. The brilliant and versatile song-writer has said things in this tone before about The Wildhearts and eventually they kiss and make up.

So we're left with interesting and instinctive projects for now like CJ Wildheart carving out another solo album, plus the psychedelic progressive pop of The Dowling Poole alongside recordings by Eureka Machines, Hey! Hello! and The Ginger Wildheart Band playing live shows, plus releasing new music via the G.A.S.S. project.

If this was inadequate for the fan-base and to be fair that would be an unfair reaction to the abundance of music leaking through in various outlets, then a fresh new band that Ginger Wildheart is championing at the moment called the Love Zombies might do the trick to fill a void.

Many thanks to CJ for his time and honesty. Looking forward to the new album when it is ready.


4.8.14





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arch enemy ARCH ENEMY ANNOUNCE NEW LIVE DATES FOR 2015
European fans will see Arch Enemy again in late April. The band are coming back with support from US Metal force Unearth and Drone from Germany...

motley crue EXCLUSIVE: MOTLEY CRUE PAY TRIBUTE TO GARY GLITTER ON THE FINAL TOUR
Debauched rockers Motley Crue are currently in Japan performing their last Asian dates on their much publicised Final Tour...

music for nations LEGENDARY HEAVY METAL LABEL MUSIC FOR NATIONS IS BACK
As well as reissues, the label will be signing new artists for the first time in over a decade...

satyricon SATYRICON SIGNS WITH NAPALM RECORDS FOR RELEASE OF SPECTACULAR LIVE DVD
"It's not a live album. It's a celebration of what Satyricon stands for as a band..."

absolva ABSOLVA RELEASE NEW VIDEO FOR 'IN SOME WILD UNIVERSE' PLUS TOUR UPDATE
This video features the touring line-up of the band for 2015...

rival sons RIVAL SONS WITHDRAW FROM SOUNDWAVE 2015
Australia will have to wait a little longer to see Rival Sons in the flesh as family matters take priority...

the answer THE ANSWER RELEASE BRAND NEW LYRIC VIDEO FOR TRACK 'LONG LIVE THE RENEGADES'
"The song is about just doing what you do best and having a bit of a bunker mentality..."

dead kennedys DEAD KENNEDYS ANNOUNCE UK AND EUROPE HEADLINE TOUR FOR JUNE 2015
US punk pioneers will bring their distincitve sound to four countries over ten dates...

carl sentance BREAKING NEWS: CARL SENTANCE ANNOUNCED AS NEW VOCALIST FOR NAZARETH
Persian Risk vocalist Carl Sentance replaces Linton Osbourne to start the next chapter for the Scottish hard rockers...

rockingham firefest BREAKING NEWS: ROCKINGHAM RELIGHTS THE FIREFEST; GOTTHARD, DAN REED, STAN BUSH AND MORE ANNOUNCED
The AOR flag will be raised high yet again over Nottingham Rock City...

pentagram PENTAGRAM RE-SIGNS WITH PEACEVILLE RECORDS - ALBUM RECORDING UNDERWAY
Through four decades of adversity and triumph, Pentagram have become a legendary international act...

uriah heep URIAH HEEP 2015 UK TOUR ANNOUNCED
This tour follows on from the release of the band's acclaimed album 'Outsider' which enjoyed excellent reviews...

godsmack GODSMACK VOCALIST SULLY ERNA TO MAKE AN ONLINE POKER COMEBACK
For Godsmack fans this could be disheartening as Erna shifts his attention from music to poker...

quo convention FIRST EVER STATUS QUO FAN CLUB CONVENTION ANNOUNCED
There will be live music, very special guests and a packed programme this October for this very special celebration...

queensryche THUNDER CONFIRMED AS VERY SPECIAL GUESTS TO ZZ TOP AT WEMBLEY ARENA PLUS MINI UK TOUR ANNOUNCED
The group's first studio album in six years, 'Wonder Days', reminds us why Thunder are now more revered than ever before...

queensryche QUEENSRŸCHE TO TOUR EUROPE AND RELEASE NEW ALBUM IN 2015
It's a busy year for Queensrÿche with headline shows and festival appearances before the new album release...

dir en grey dir en grey RETURN FOR TWO EXCLUSIVE SHOWS
The Islington O2 Academy will be the scene for Japanese avant-garde Metal in May...

unleashed SWEDISH LEGENDS UNLEASHED REVEAL ALBUM TITLE AND ARTWORK
The founders of the Viking Death Metal movement are back and as brutal as ever...

santa cruz SANTA CRUZ REVEAL LYRIC VIDEO FOR 'MY REMEDY'
Get a taste of the new album with 'My Remedy', the third single to be released...

Shattered sun LEGENDARY BRITISH MELODIC ROCKERS FM RETURN WITH 'HEROES & VILLAINS' ON APRIL 17TH
"We're on a roll! Some of the tracks on this album are better than anything that the band has ever produced, and Steve's voice is as good as ever..."

nightwish NIGHTWISH ANNOUNCE ONLY UK DATE THIS YEAR WITH ARCH ENEMY SUPPORTING
"Who would have thought about headlining at Wembley Arena one day when we were starting our UK touring history..."

quireboys THE QUIREBOYS GO UNPLUGGED AND PERSONAL: ACOUSTIC DATES ANNOUNCED
After last year's highly acclaimed unplugged tour, The Quireboys are pleased to announce a very intimate string of evenings early 2015...

killit KILLIT UNLEASH DEBUT VIDEO AND ANNOUNCE FIRST EVER LIVE SHOW
'Shut It Down' is the first single from the album and is out now and available...

state villains STATE VILLAINS TO RELEASE SECOND EP IN SPRING
State Villains have an honesty that harkens back to an era of integrity and a distinct lack of gimmicks...

chris slade BREAKING NEWS: CHRIS SLADE IS BACK IN AC/DC
Chris will rejoin the legendary hard rockers for their appearance at the 57th annual Grammy Awards as well as the band's upcoming tour...

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