I caught up with CJ Wildheart for a quick on the spot interview ahead of his upcoming February UK tour. He plays Newcastle at Think Tank on the 19th Feb.
Here’s the infectiously catchy lead track from his brand new album.
“Nearly all of ‘Robot’ was recorded in my home studio. I play most of the parts and sing all the vocals apart from gang vocals. I basically recorded the whole album on my own with a drum machine and then got Jason Bowld to add real drums and got in a bunch of voices to beef up the gang parts. The album was mixed by Dave Draper and me with some assistance from Lee Wray who worked with me on ‘Mable’ my last solo album.”
What can we expect from the new album?
Well first off it’s a lot heavier than my normal solo stuff. It’s been a natural progression and the album is full of riffs but I always pull it back in with a chorus. Being in The Wildhearts means I can mix it up a bit and folks will not be surprised.
Robot was a crowd funded album and has surpassed its target. The crowd funding approach seems to work well for you; do you think this is the future of releasing music?
Yes it works in the sense that I can get my music direct to my small fan base but I’m not really breaking new ground here. It takes a lot of money to promote any artist whether young or old and there is only so much you can do with the crowd funding approach especially with an artist at my level. I have to make a living from this so there is only so much I can give up in the name of PR. You know things change so quickly these days that it’s quite hard to predict where industry is heading. The whole business has changed so much in the last 20 years. It’s an exciting time to be making music.
You hit the road in February for a UK tour. What’s in store for these shows? Full band? New material? Any old gold from other music projects?
Yes I’m taking a full band with me and I have Chris Catalyst (Eureka Machines / Sisters of Mercy) on guitar and vocals, Lee Wray on bass and a young drummer from Birmingham Elliot Vaughn who is standing in for Jason, as Jase is out with Bullet For My Valentine so he could not do my tour. We’re going to play a whole bunch of songs from various bands I’ve been in and it should be a lot of fun. I am really looking forward to playing songs off the new album especially the heavier numbers.
The tour features a lot of local talent as support acts (including the fantastic new band Drama Club Rejects ft. Stidi at the Think Tank show, Newcastle). How did you pick those supports and are there any bands that you’re really looking forward to playing with?
I’m really looking forward to seeing Stidi’s new band and it’s been a long time since we’ve seen each other so it will be really cool to catch up. We’re taking out VHYes who are opening all the shows. They are a new band put together by my producer Dave Draper and they have some serious tunes. All the local bands contacted myself or my manager via Facebook/Twitter and through talking with us and local promoters where added to the bill. There are so many good bands out there and it’s great that some of them want to play with my solo band.
We’re big fans of spicy shit at Blank Slate. I hear you have your own range of hot sauces, which is awesome! How did this come about? And what is your recommended sauce?
I’ve always loved spicy food and my mum has always made her own chilli sauce…it’s hot!!! I became addicted to hot sauce from a very young age and I had the perfect opportunity with my last album to hook up with a Yorkshire based chilli sauce company and make my own hot sauce called ‘Devilspit’. It’s a combination of beer, BBQ and chilli and it’s damn tasty. I now have seven different varieties and it’s still really just a hobby at the moment but it’s really good having my own hot sauce and it’s something I would love to see grow. Well there is only one sauce I can recommend and that’s my Original Devilspit Hot Sauce hang on a sec I have a garlic version of it called Robot Hot Sauce and that is just beautiful…garlic and chilli behave!