As the excellent new album 'Chutzpah!' hits the shelves we talk to Wildhearts frontman Ginger about it's conception and the record that just won't go away, 'Endles Nameless'.

R13:You stated that this album is unlike any other Wildhearts album you’ve made; is that more in the way you approached it or the material itself and given the fantastic reaction to the last album why change it?
G:It was a band decision to try to take the group to another level. We decided that making decisions should be a democratic process. For far too long I've been making the decisions myself.

R13:Having heard the new album you seem to have moved away from some of the longer instrumental sections that are one of the bands trademarks and let the pop sensibilities come to the fore, was that a conscious decision?
G:Yes, it was, again, a democratic decision to make something more commercial than usual to give the band the best chance of being heard on the radio. I wanted to make something far less commercial and I'm happy to have been shot down on that idea!

R13:You share vocal duties with Scott and Rich on this album, was that a result of them having a go on the ‘Stop Us..’ album?
G:Hearing Scott and CJ sing lead vocals on 'Stop Us...' was a real treat for us all, as we realised we can all hold our own in the vocal department. Even Ritch has a great voice. This is something that I hope to feature more of live on the next tour.

R13:‘Tim Smith’ nearly didn’t make the cut and yet it turned out to be the highlight of the album for me, what swung it for you?
G:It just turned out great. I love the sentiment, obviously but once we heard the mix we changed the title from 'The Greatest Man Who Ever Walked On The Earth' to simply 'Tim Smith'. It's a very touching tribute to my favourite Englishman.

R13:Were there many songs recorded during the sessions that didn’t make the album & if so can we expect them to see the light of day as b-sides etc?
G:I hope they will all see the light of day. I'm more than happy to furnish Japanese fans with extra songs, as a bonus for the album release, and if this means we release them for free to fans around the world then I'm also very happy about that.

R13:The band has just won the ‘Spirit of Independence’ award at the Kerrang Awards, does that feel like a justification for sticking it out through the dark times?
G:Music, and the ability to keep making music, is its own reward. The Kerrang! presentation is great because it alerts young rock musicians to some older guys still going strong and making a living at this. It would be great to know that we encouraged someone to stick to their guns and never give up. There is enough negativity around in music to be proud of bringing some positivity to the table. And I'd like to be remembered for something more positive than just making money.

R13:Given your prolific output is it hard to decide which songs should become Wildhearts songs and which are better suited for solo albums/other projects and in hindsight are there any where you think you made the wrong choice?
G:There are songs on the last album, that were meant to be on my next solo album, that I'd wished I'd kept. We don't play the more subtle stuff in a very subtle way! That's a beautiful thing in itself, being in a noisy band, but I think some of the songs were sacrificed to the wrong altar. Having said that, it would appear that no one wants to pay for another solo album so maybe it all worked out okay?

R13:The addition of Scott Sorry seemed to bring the band a new impetus, how much of a difference to the band do you think he has made?
G:He has made the band a solid unit. We all have an extra focus now, and an extra respect for each other that we didn't have before.

R13:I was firmly in the camp that hated the production on ‘Endless Nameless’ at the time, in hindsight I admit to liking it and accept that it was a bold statement but it frustrates the hell out of me that what are clearly great songs are in some cases almost unlistenable. You’ve stated that the only reasons you’d rerecord those songs would be to stop people asking you to rerecord them, so I’m asking! Have we pestered you enough yet?
G:I don't think there are enough hours in your collective days to pester me enough, but you are free to keep trying!

R13:You’ve stated that you’re not going to do anymore acoustic tours, what’s the reason for that?
G:I find them really frustrating. I played one in Sweden recently at an open air folk gig and enjoyed it so much that I couldn't wait for the next one. The next one, however, was in front of a rock crowd who talked and shouted all the way through. I was reminded why I don't like playing acoustic shows in front of rock crowds!

R13:Purely in terms of the songs (and not any of the events surrounding a release), which previous Wildhearts album do you take the most pleasure from & why?
G:I think that 'The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed' contains some of my favourite songs of any Wildhearts albums ('Only One Hell', 'Only Love', 'One Love, One Life, One Girl', 'Someone Who Won't Let Me Go') but it seems to be the least favourite of the fans. Well apart from 'Endless Nameless', obviously, which I also love, so what do I know? I just write 'em. You guys let me know if they're any good!

R13:We saw your solo set at Guilfest this year, was it as surreal for you as it was for us?
G:I hated every single second of it.

R13:Did The Wildhearts ever turn into the band you thought they would when you first started?
G:At the start the idea I had for the band was one that were so badly behaved that we pissed everyone off and made a name for ourselves that way. A band that threw away every chance we got and flew in the face of commercial success. I believe that we achieved that with flying colours. I also believe that I was a complete fucking arsehole.

R13:You’ve always been very honest and open with your fans and clearly recognise that they are your bread and butter. To what extent (if any) does that influence the direction of the band and/or how much do you worry about the reaction to new material?
G:The new material is the new material, you never know if people are going to like it or not. If you did there would be no new material. Our fans like approximately 50% of what we release. Fortunately they all like a different 50% so they're still all still hanging in in there!

Catch The Wildhearts out on tour throughout the UK in September.