Heart's Ann Wilson — No Auto-Tune, Please!
By Christy Karras
Special to The Seattle Times
Heart, fronted by sisters Nancy and Ann Wilson, opens for Def Leppard Thursday at White River Amphitheatre, playing songs from the band's 35-year career, during which it has sold more than 30 million albums.
In a phone interview this week, Ann Wilson talked about a range of subjects, including Seattle, Def Leppard, women in rock and Auto-Tune.
Q: How do you feel about performing in the Seattle area again?
A: It's kind of surreal, because everyone you know comes to the show, and you've been touring around the country and all of a sudden all your friends are there and all your family is there — you know what I mean? It's really wonderful. It also adds a little bit of extra pressure because you want it to be extra good.
Q: I've heard that a lot of people at these shows are actually coming to see you, even though you're technically the opening act.
A: There's a Heart fan base there, and there's a Leppard fan base there ... It's an interesting tour, because we do things our way and Def Leppard does things their way ... They have a great big spectacle show and we have a pretty, you know, non-spectacle show. We're out there just with our bodies. So there is a balance on this tour that's really interesting.
Q: Why is it that there aren't more women in rock?
A: I think part of the reason is that in order to be in rock, you really have to sacrifice a lot ... It's very hard to make this much sacrifice ... It's very hard on relationships. Then there's the whole image of hypersexuality thing, which women in rock have yet to sort out. Rock is something that women have to recreate in their own image, and it takes a while.
Q: I hope we'll see more of that.
A: Me, too, and I hope we'll hear less Auto-Tune, because, I mean, this isn't even on a philosophical level, I think Auto-Tune makes women's voices sound more shrill, and so when you get up there, it's kind of irritating [laughs]. Maybe that's why there aren't more women in rock. It kind of makes people's voices sound more anonymous, so everybody sounds the same.
Q: So you're saying we're not going to hear Auto-Tune on a Heart record?
A: [laughs] Aww, too bad. I was just dying to reach into my soul and sing a vocal and then have somebody put Auto-Tune all over it so you can't tell it's me.