The Wildhearts Book

Interviews

Dunken Francis, waxing lyrical on: his time fronting The Wildhearts, Mournblade and mental health in music

For anyone not aware, Dunken Francis (or Dunken F. Mullett as he was known in 1990) joined The ’Hearts as frontman fresh from his previous band Mournblade after Snake, The Wildhearts current frontman left. However after a year or so Dunken was replaced when Snake returned to the role.

Dunken now lives in New Zealand: he’s an Aikido instructor in the week and rock n roller in several bands come the weekend.

At 5am UK time, 16.00pm New Zealand we begun a wonderful half an hour video chat.

Dunken: Hello geezer.

Are we all go?

Dunken: You got me?

Yeah… Continue reading

Frank Turner: Talking about his love of The Wildhearts, and answering questions from the ‘Frank Turner Army’ Facebook group

Frank Turner with Gary Davidson and Zealot in Wonderland Wildhearts book

I caught up with Frank Turner before his Oxford gig on the ‘Be More Kind’ tour. With Frank being a huge Wildhearts fan and friend of their singer Ginger Wildheart, I asked a few Wildhearts related questions as well as that of his own work.

What does it feel like to be back in Oxford?

FT: It feels great! I spend more time here than I publicise, as three members of the band are from Oxford; they were in the band Dive Dive. We’ve got a rehearsal room just outside Oxford so whenever we’re working on new material or rehearsing… Continue reading

Ryan Hamilton: Talking The Traitors, Ginger Wildheart, the ‘Fuck You Brain’ charity single, mental health and beards

23 March 2018
Surya, London

I had a chat with Ryan backstage at the Surya venue in Kings Cross (where The Traitors were also hanging out) before the last date of the Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors ‘Young, Dumb and Full of Rum’ UK tour. Supporting on the tour were The Main Grains featuring Wildhearts’ bassist Danny McCormack.

Me: You seem to be having a blast on this tour. How have the gigs been and what’s it been like hanging out with The Main Grains?

Ryan: The gigs have been super fun! We’ve been to two or three places we’ve… Continue reading

Danny McCormack: Where we talk The Wildhearts, The Main Grains, recording a World Cup song and mental health…

23 March 2018
Surya, London

After hotfooting it to the offie to purchase two cans of Guinness for Danny and cider for myself, we find a quietish corner in which to have a chat before The Main Grains support slot on the Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors tour at the Surya venue in London.

Firstly, I asked good friend and all round Wildhearts nut Kerry (Ten Pin) Bowler if he had a question for Danny.

Ten Pin: What’s it like for your brother Chris being in The Professionals with former Sex Pistol Paul Cook?

Danny: He’s over the moon! I’ve… Continue reading

Interview with Alex Kane

2 JANUARY 2013

The one that nearly got away. After several failed attempts to interview Alex when I started writing Zealot, we got back in touch via Facebook Chat in September 2011. Our plan was to conduct the interview through Skype, but this was also laid to rest as our schedules wouldn’t allow it. It was decided that the only way the interview was going to happen was if I sent Alex the questions in an email. Not the way I normally like to do things but at least it seemed it was going to happen… or so I… Continue reading

Interview with Devin Townsend


Thumbing a lift with Devin

17 NOVEMBER 2011

Canadian Devin Townsend’s band Strapping Young Lad were too thrashy for my tastes. But I knew and loved the single ‘Christeen’ lifted off his ’98 ‘Infinity’ LP. Ginger had also been credited as co-writing ‘Christeen’ and featured in the promo video.
However, I wrongly assumed that all Devin’s other work would be of the same ilk as Strapping Young Lad, so I never explored. Then all that changed…

In October 2011, my friend Kerry posted a link on Facebook to the Devin song ‘Planet Of The Apes’. Well, it blew me… Continue reading

Interview with Jon Poole / Jase Edwards

13 NOVEMBER 2007

 

The God Damn Whores were supporting the Cardiacs at The O2 Academy (formerly The Zodiac) in Oxford. I got in touch with Jon Poole via MySpace a few days beforehand to try and organise an interview. I received this positive reply:

Hello Gary,

Yeah I’d be up for an interview. I’ll be milling around before and after the gig so come and make yourself known!
All the best,
Jon

Walking down Cowley Road I started to get a little nervous: as was the norm, before conducting an interview with someone I admired. Also, The Zodiac had… Continue reading

Interview with ex-Wildhearts guitarist Mark Keds

23 MARCH 2007

Photo: Copyright Naomi Dryden-Smith

There was a substantial gap between interviewing Jef in 2006 and Mark Keds the year after. This was because, several times when I was supposed to get back to Mark I felt too down to do so, and many times when I had got in touch, Mark just wasn’t at the other end of the phone. Finally, though, we organised to meet in London outside Clapham Common Tube Station at 1.45pm on 23 March.

I had originally wanted Martin to share the experience with me, but he couldn’t get away from work and… Continue reading

Interview with ex-Wildhearts guitarist Jef Streatfield

16 JULY 2006

Using the number I obtained from Danny, I gave Jef a ring and had no trouble organising a convenient moment to talk. However, this interview almost didn’t get written up, as the recording on my Dictaphone was practically inaudible. But with hours and hours of patience, I managed to work out a proportion of what was said. It’s a shame I can’t enter the whole of the interview because Jef was so friendly and easygoing.

Jef: “Hello, mate.”

Me: “Hello, is that Jef?”

Jef: “It is, yeah. Hi Gary, how ya doing?”

Me: “Hello, alright mate. You… Continue reading

Interview with Danny McCormack

11 June 2006

I was getting more confident as I did these interviews. I was especially looking forward to this one as on the few occasions I’d met Danny, he had come across as a lovely guy. But I wasn’t sure if he would answer the phone nor, if he did, whether he would be well enough to talk. When he answered on my first attempt you can imagine I was more than pleased. Funnily enough though, I expected his first words to be a little more rock ’n’ roll than, “Could you ring back in a couple of hours… Continue reading

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