photo: Norman Seeffphoto: Norman Seeffphoto: Norman Seeffphoto: Norman Seeff
When Heart stopped by to chat with Yahoo Music, not only was their career a main focus, but how women in the world of music have changed. When Ann and Nancy Wilson broke through with Heart in the early '70s, they didn't necessarily set out to be pioneering "women in rock"--but with few other loud ladies leading the way, that's exactly what happened. It certainly wasn't an easy road for them; Heart's famously fierce 1977 signature song, "Barracuda," was in fact all about their dealings with the music business's shady, sexist boys' club of that era. But now, as the iconic Wilson sisters release their 14th studio album, Fanatic--as well as their boxed set, Strange Euphoria, and their autobiography, Kicking And Dreaming: A Story Of Heart, Soul, And Rock And Roll--they admit in an exclusive Yahoo! Music interview that the industry sadly hasn't changed much for women, four long decades later.
"It's probably easier [for female artists] to get noticed today, to get a start--but then once you get started, some of the same pitfalls are still there--the hypersexuality," laments Ann, one of the greatest female vocalists of all time (who never had to rely just on her looks to establish her career). "That stuff hasn't really changed that much; it's just shapeshifted."
"In many ways, it's possibly harder now, because the pop music scene is so extremely sexualized," adds Nancy.
"That's the tricky thing about sexuality, that I would tell my daughter: Sex should not be confused with power. It's not currency," stresses Ann. "Hopefully young women don't confuse their sexuality with their true personal power."
One current young woman that the Wilsons think may have a chance of avoiding those pitfalls, surprisingly, is Katy Perry--although they express similar concerns about Katy's long-term future. "I'm a Katy Perry fan, and I took my kids to go see her," says Nancy, "and it was a great show, and she really can sing and she really can play. And the hypersexual aspect with her, at least it's confectionary; it's very cartoonish. In a lot of ways, comparatively speaking, it's kind of innocent, and to me, that's a bit refreshing. But in 15 years...is she still going to be a candy cane?"
Read the entire article and all the performances from Heart on Yahoo Music: