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Ann Wilson Talks Sobriety, Storytelling, and Confidence

For years, Ann Wilson of the legendary female rock group, Heart, has envisioned herself touring solo and it was not until the end of Heart’s 2016 tour that sparked that decision.

Wilson wanted more than just playing the same hits she has played for over 40 years.

 “See that’s why it’s been the face of my need to be real and it was a core thing that was bothering my soul for a few years,” said Wilson.  “Finally last year I went, well I can just sit around and mope about this and dread going on stage or I could do something about it.’”

She does not have any hard feelings for Heart, but she needed to step out of her comfort zone by touring solo in a more intimate setting.

Ever since January, Wilson’s vision became a reality when she started touring on the Ann Wilson of Heart Tour. The tour, as she describes, is “authentic.”

 “There’s nothing in there that is fake or phony.  There is nothing in there I don’t want.  There’s nothing in there that’s just a failed technique or oppose or anything like that,” said Wilson.  “It’s all stuff that I came up with, that I’m really excited about that I get off of doing every time.”

Even though Wilson performs her own songs, she also performs her own rendition of some Heart classics as well as songs from musicians such as Yes, Peter Gabriel, and The Who.

“That’s really amazing poetry,” said Wilson. “For me it’s all about words and storytelling, so I love that. Wherever I can find really great stories, melodies, and words I’m down.”

As of now, she has two EPs out from “The Ann Wilson Thing” and she will be coming out with a third by the wintertime. 

Wilson, one of the strongest female vocalists in rock history, has managed to maintain her powerful pipes through all of the highs and lows of her career.

Wilson struggled with alcohol, as she describes in her book “Kicking and Dreaming”.  She saw her colleagues such as Andrew Wood, Kurt Cobain, and Layne Staley all pass away due to drugs or alcohol. Wilson later started battling with her own inner demons and found the light at the end of the tunnel in 2009 when she decided to become sober.

“It’s just a conscious choice, I just want to live a clean life and it works much better.  It just works much better on every level,” said Wilson.

With living a cleaner lifestyle and getting rid of unwanted junk, Wilson created a clearer vision of her tour even though she knew she was going to face the challenge of proving herself as a soloist.

“I’m finding myself going out and convincing people just by doing great shows and showing up and getting good reviews,” said Wilson.

Even though she has to prove herself, her experience with Heart has made her the soloist that she is today.

“I think confidence is really a big thing in what I’m doing now,” said Wilson.  “It’s helping me personally and it really comes across on stage.”

With tremendous help from her husband, Wilson realized that going solo right now is the best time for her.

“If there is something you really want to do, what are you waiting for? The moments are really ticking by.  So I thought, well you know, I’m just not going to sit around anymore and be unhappy,” said Wilson. “I’m just going to go out there and find happiness.”

Ann Wilson is playing at UC Health Stadium on Friday, May 26th. Grab tickets HERE