Tag: Nancy Wilson

Interview: Liv Warfield Discusses Her Emotional New Single, ‘Mantra’

From her days as a member of Prince’s New Power Generation to her acclaimed solo career and time fronting Roadcase Royale, her ubiquitously cool project with Nancy Wilson (Heart), there can be no denying that powerhouse vocalist Liv Warfield is a force of to be reckoned with. As evidenced by her emotionally-charged new single, “Mantra.”

Written by Warfield along with longtime friend and guitarist Ryan Waters, the song is a roller coaster ride of blues and soul, and equally as honest in its surreality.

Backed by Waters’ tasty guitar prowess and a 42-piece orchestra (arranged by Grammy-winning conductor, Mateo Messina), “Mantra” not only showcases the artist’s unique and powerful vocal range but is also an undying message of hope.

The song, which took nearly four years to complete, and had even piqued the interest of Prince himself shortly before his passing, is indicative of an artist who’s found her musical foundation.

I recently spoke with Warfield about “Mantra”, her work with Roadcase Royale, Prince and much more in this exclusive new interview.

How did “Mantra” come about?

Liv Warfield: As an independent artist, we’re always trying to find the next thing. Ryan Waters and I had the song in an infant stage around the same time I had the chance to open-up for Heart. Prince was still alive at the time and when he heard the song he was wowed by it. The song is full of emotional highs and low and the lyrics are what I was feeling. It’s taken four years to complete but I think everyone can relate to the song’s roller coaster ride.

I have to ask you, what was it like working with Prince?

LW: It was incredible and an experience like no other. There’s so many emotions I feel across the board whenever I think of him. He was a teacher, a mentor and a friend. One of the best experiences for me was being able to watch him on stage. Just the energy he put off to everyone. You couldn’t help but just freeze in the moment. It was magic and I miss him every single day.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Liv Warfield by Clicking Here!

Interview: Nancy Wilson discusses new Roadcase Royale Tour, 40th anniversary of Heart’s ‘Dog & Butterfly’

Photo: Jeremy Danger

Fresh off a series of Southern California live shows, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Nancy Wilson of Heart and her band, Roadcase Royale, are gearing up for their first East Coast and Canadian shows of the summer. The group, which features members of Heart as well as R&B powerhouse vocalist, Liv Warfield (Prince’s New Power Generation), will be in support of their eclectically cool, soul-driven debut album, First Things First.

The five-city tour begins in Waterloo, New York on Saturday, Aug. 11 and wraps up in Toronto, Canada on Saturday, Aug. 18. Tickets are available now.

AXS recently spoke with Nancy Wilson about the new Roadcase Royale tour, songwriting and the 40th anniversary of Heart’s album, Dog & Butterfly in this exclusive new interview.

AXS: What can fans expect from your upcoming tour with Roadcase Royale?

Nancy Wilson: When we’re out touring as Roadcase Royale, we’ll be doing quite a bit of the hits Heart fans really like to hear, like “Crazy on You,” “Barracuda,” and a reinterpreted “Straight On” that’s even more rock and fun. We’ll also be doing a few original songs from our album, First Things First, and a few covers that we really love to do. It’s a good place for a Heart fan to be.

AXS: How has the reaction been to the new Roadcase Royale album?

NW: A lot of people have called it a fresh, new take on rock and soul, which is exactly what we were aiming at. It’s still fun performing our song, “Get Loud,” which was aimed at the #MeToo movement before it even started. We wrote the song for the women’s marches and it’s even more of a relevant song today. There’s also a reinterpretation of “These Dreams” on First Things First. Liv is such a different kind of singer, and her interpretation and spin on the Heart songs is something so unique and different. She’s made the songs her own.

AXS: You’ve described the sound of First Things First as muscular rock with a flavor of R&B. Was that what you intended to have or did the sound evolve as you all started jamming and writing?

NWIt was definitely an intentional collaboration. I first met Liv when her band opened for Heart. She had been wanting to rock more and I’d always loved the flavor of soul and R&B. We liked each other so much that Liv sent me some tracks and we started talking about how we could make music together. I had a million ideas, but the first one I wanted to try was this amazing song, “Hold On To My Hand” by Colin Hay. The version I’d heard was just one acoustic guitar and voice. It was so moving that I thought, let’s interpret this simple, meaningful song, make it our own and see what our sound is going to be like. It still may be my favorite song on the album.

AXS: Can you tell me the origin of the track, “Cover Each Other” from First Things First?

NW: That song was inspired by my husband, Geoff. He has far-reaching talent and had been working for many years in movie division and TV. One day, they offered him and a bunch of other people a buyout, which was a very generous reward for all the years of loyalty and success. It was one of those things you’re happy about when you take it, but then realize there’s this whole other emotional level you didn’t anticipate. Leaving is like graduating school and missing your friends; the camaraderie and structured routine. I knew he was dealing with some of those feelings, so I wrote the words for “Cover Each Other.” Because when someone is going through something hard, you catch them and are there for them. That’s what the song is about.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Nancy Wilson by Clicking Here!

Nancy Wilson Talks New Side Project—Roadcase Royale—and Rocking Against MS

Roadcase Royale—a new band fronted by Heart co-founder Nancy Wilson and former Prince collaborator Liv Warfield—has a background that’s rich in rock and R&B.

The band also includes Ryan Waters, Warfield’s lead guitarist and musical director, and Heart veterans Dan Rothchild (bass), Ben Smith (drums) and Chris Joyner (keyboards).

Their debut single is the infectiously funky “Get Loud,” which you can check out below. It’s a women’s anthem with a laid-back, power-driven groove that provides a solid acoustic/electric foundation for Warfield’s sultry vocals.

Roadcase Royale will make their live debut performance at this year’s Rock Against MS Benefit Concert, which will take place Saturday, March 25, at the historic Los Angeles Theatre. Wilson will perform as part of an all-star band during the event—and Roadcase Royale’s headlining performance will follow.

I recently caught up with Wilson to get her thoughts on Roadcase Royale and the Rock Against MS event.

How did Roadcase Royale come about?

We saw Liv on Jimmy Fallon playing with a group, and she was doing this amazing song called “Why Do You Lie” that her guitar player wrote. We were blown away. Heart had a few shows coming up at the Hollywood Bowl, and we wondered if she’d be interested in opening for us. We got her to come and play and Liv and I just became fast friends. She’s the sweetest person and a wonderful human being and has a voice that’s so powerful.

We really hit it off and said we should do something together. So we got together with some of my guys and Ryan Waters and started writing. Everything worked so well right off the bat.

How would you describe the sound of Roadcase Royale? 

I call it muscular rock and roll with a flavor of R&B. There’s also plenty of dimension in it for more romantic balladry. We’re flexible musically and can do stuff that’s way R&B or way heavy rock. We’ve got a five-song EP that’s almost ready to come out where you’ll hear all of those things.

How does the writing process for Roadcase Royale differ from writing with Ann Wilson for Heart?

It’s actually kind of similar. Ann always has really cool lyric ideas. We’ve both got a notebook that’s full of lyrics and song titles, and so does Liv. In the case of Roadcase Royale, everyone in the band has a lot to offer as a writer and producer. Dan Rothchild has a song with lyrics and cool musical parts that were going to do. Our drummer, Ben Smith, is working with Liv and Ryan, and then Chris Joyner was the one who came up with “Get Loud.” We all contribute and listen and know how to communicate our ideas to each other.

You can read the rest of my
Interview with Nancy Wilson by Clicking Here!

Heart’s Nancy Wilson Talks ‘Live at the Royal Albert Hall’ CD/DVD

Photo by: Christie Goodwin
Photo by: Christie Goodwin

Heart’s epic new CD/DVD/Blu-ray, Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, captures the band’s first performance—ever—at the legendary London venue.

The sold-out show, which took place in June, was highlighted by hit after hit—from “Crazy on You” and “Barracuda” to “Magic Man” and “Dreamboat Annie”—plus tracks from the band’s engaging new studio album, Beautiful Broken.

Besides Ann Wilson (vocals) and Nancy Wilson (guitar/vocals), the band that night included Ben Smith (drums), Dan Rothchild (bass), Craig Bartock (guitar), Chris Joyner (keyboards) and, of course, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Nick Davies.

I recently spoke with Nancy Wilson about the Royal Albert Hall performance, gear and the stories behind some of the band’s biggest hits.

When and how did the idea for a performance at the Royal Albert Hall originate?
We had been pushing the concept of bringing the band over to the U.K. and doing some shows for some time. That was when someone who had been handling big shows at Royal Albert Hall got wind that we were coming over and asked if we’d be interested in doing a World Symphony show. And we were like, “Uhm, yeah! I think we could manage that!” [laughs]. It all fell together very naturally.

What was the process like in terms of putting orchestration behind the band’s iconic songs?
It was a cool thing because we already had some standard charts from Paul Buckmaster, who worked us on Beautiful Broken. But we didn’t want to give it a pastoral kind of sound. We wanted more of a rock-symphony sound. We came over and had one day with Nick Davies looking over the charts and talking them over. We perused through them together and decided what to add and what take out.

The same day as the show was the only day we actually rehearsed with the orchestra. They’re so insanely talented. Once we got out there and saw how great it sounded in the room, we knew right away it was going to work. That’s when we said, “Ok, let’s go have some fun!”

Read the rest of my
gw_logoInterview with Nancy Wilson Here!