Nancy Wilson has been one of rock’s prized guitarists for over 45 years. Since the formation of Heart back in 1972, the band has sold over 35 million albums, making them one of most commercially successful rock bands in music history. In 2012 her rock star status was forever documented when she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Heart.
Heart is not the only musical venture Wilson has tackled, however. She built a successful career as a film composer starting in 1989 with Say Anything. Other film credits include Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous, Vanilla Sky, and Elizabethtown, for which she received award nominations, winning the ASCAP Award for the title song of Jerry Maguire. Her most recent venture – Roadcase Royale – is a collaboration that has the music world buzzing.
Roadcase Royale, led by Wilson and Liv Warfield of Prince’s New Power Generation, is a rock and roll band for rock and roll fans. By combining players from both women’s bands, they produce a sound larger than life. Roadcase is just weeks away from the release of their debut album First Things First, due out September 22. And when we spoke to Wilson, she said to watch out because they are ready for world domination.
Roadcase Royale is really an amazing band, how is the creative process different for you as opposed to Heart?
Well, with Roadcase Royale we’ve decided to kind of capture the Pearl Jam ethics of collaborating on songwriting. So, as songwriters, everyone gets part of the song. If there are three people who really write the song, then that’s 50% and the other half of the song is split equally between everyone else. It’s a beautiful way to collaborate. Everyone has the incentive of being part of it and whatever song comes to life, everyone had a part of it, a piece of it. I like the ethic of that, and everyone’s invested.
Roadcase had a couple shows in California before you headed out on a headline tour and with Bob Seger. What should fans expect from you all?
We did! We do a few Heart songs, we’re gonna learn a Prince song because Ryan Waters and Liv Warfield are both out of Prince’s New Power Generation: the World of Prince, so they’re both protégés. So we’re gonna probably learn” Controversy.” We’re gonna do “Crazy on You” and “These Dreams,” and probably “Even it Up,” as well as all of our original stuff. So we’re looking forward to, you know, just kind of spreading it out a little bit more with a few covers, but the bulk of the set is going to be original music.
The debut show for Roadcase was the Rock Against MS event. We were there, and I know the audience was blown away. How do you think that first show went?
It was our very first show ever, we were so excited to get up and play in front of people. We were just really excited about the music and the new songs and everything that was happening with Roadcase Royale. There’s nothing exactly like playing live. You can rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse, but playing live has that extra adrenaline that comes with it. It was super fun, I couldn’t have felt better about it. There were little things here and there that I was kind of nervous about and I dropped a line or something here and there, but it was great. It was a trial by fire kind of situation where you’re capturing it as it happens. It was great, too, because Danny Gold is a writer/director who makes amazing documentaries and he came forward and asked us if we could start making a documentary about Roadcase Royale — as a sort of a reverse engineered looking forward as a new band instead of a retrospective of an already established band. We were like “absolutely, you have full access to everything we are up to,” and so he was there for two days basically just capturing everything that was going on. And now we have some really cool live footage of all of the songs. We have beautiful footage and all kinds of content to lay out. It’s really a lucky, beautiful thing. I just went to the premiere of his movie called “If You’re In The Obit, Eat Breakfast.” It’s really funny. It’s got Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Betty White and a whole bunch a whole bunch of really funny, classic comedian people. They’re all in their 90s and hysterical people. So anyway, I feel really lucky to have Danny Gold capturing Roadcase Royale right now.
Read Nancy’s full-length feature in our Fall issue, available now at all Barnes & Noble locations, or for purchase on our website.