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Gin Wigmore Interview

Gin Wigmore Interview

By: Jenny Ibbott

Gin Wigmore agreed to do an interview, over the phone with Disorder. It quickly became apparent that this was not going to cause any issues at all. She was really open, talkative and amusing. Her naturally, bubbly and friendly personality radiated down the phone line; the interview was, very quickly, in full swing.

Gin Wigmore agreed to do an interview, over the phone with Disorder. It quickly became apparent that this was not going to cause any issues at all. She was really open, talkative and amusing. Her naturally, bubbly and friendly personality radiated down the phone line; the interview was, very quickly, in full swing.

Gin is from Auckland, New Zealand and has been a singer-songwriter since a young age. At the age of seventeen she went on to win the U.S based International Song-writing Competition in 2004. Gin beat 11,000 other applicants, from 77 different countries and at this stage she was still unsigned. Illuminating us on her experience on winning this prestigious award Gin explained that it was “weirdly surreal” and that she did not fully understand the “weight of that at the time”. “It was such a big prize, having just turned 18 flying to the US, with all this money and recording time that I didn’t know what to do with! It introduced me to how far you could go with music- a career. It’s not really the kind of thing that’s presented at careers day haha!”

Interestingly though, music was not always a chosen path for Gin as she explained, “Yeah I wanted to be a primary school teacher! Desperately! Haha. I would line up all my teddies and have little classes, actually, really elaborate teaching classes for my teddies. I actually did a teaching degree at university but somehow music kept muscling in. Music was like a really high maintenance sexy boyfriend. I kept having all these amazing opportunities with music that just snowballed and by the time I was 21 I never looked back, I was completely at the mercy of music,” she explained.

‘Angelfire’, was one of Gin’s first song-writing experiences at the raw age of fourteen, “I’m not sure at that stage it was a very well crafted song,” she laughed, “but it was important because it was first time I realised the power of song writing. You know I was a typical teenager, I was a total bitch, I was mean to my parents, you know, I didn’t think their roles applied to me. So I wrote the song and it was a form of escapism. It was about being saved by a lovely woman in white and I would finally be able to live my life how I wanted to… haha what the fuck did I know at fourteen?! Somehow, I would be transcended into this freedom through this song. It’s so awesome how songs can do that, they take you somewhere, and it’s the shortest trip you can take but actually the most powerful.  You can lose yourself to a song.”

Gin describes her music as being a culmination of many different genres of music, “I couldn’t commit to one genre partly because I would be bored to tears if I couldn’t experiment”. She was really open-minded about the possibilities that music offers, the fact that all the different flavours you could obtain from different styles could result in something new and exciting. She has learned a few different instruments including the recorder, saxophone, piano and the guitar but it was the guitar that Gin adopted as her main companion in writing, “It was the first one that I chose myself that wasn’t chosen by my parents. I thought great! I can be loud and obnoxious, with the help of amps and really piss off my parents! But now I write the majority of my music on the guitar, a little on the piano,” she explained.

Like so many of us, the people around her and the people she loves, inspires Gin. To her, “it’s not just the music that is inspirational”. Understandably, when she writes her songs, they are based, mainly, on personal experiences, as this makes them personal to her. “The people in my life, people I’ve loved, people that have passed away, the people that make you feel something. That’s inspirational,” she explained. Personal experiences combined with events, taking place in the world around us, are also pivotal to Gin’s writing. Naturally, there were also particular artists, from whom, she drew musical inspiration, such as Ann Peebles, along with Band of Skulls and Queens of the Stone Age. She also described a particular T.V show where she was able to witness Dredge, a two piece. They were playing really “wicked, big, loud rock and roll- really gritty old school stuff!” She explained.

Disorder was interested in what music was really special to Gin, what got under her skin, something she could listen to over and over again. We all have that favourite album that just takes us away to a different place and for Gin it was ‘Tom Waits- Closing Time.’ “It’s an album I could just sit and listen to the whole way through, over and over.”  A particular song that resonates with Gin is one by Tallest Man on Earth called ‘Leaving Now’, which is “one of the most beautiful songs ever written,” she expressed.

‘Blood to Bone’ is Gin’s third album and was released in the summer. Gin continued to take us through the journey of writing this album and how she was able to breathe life into it, “I spent a year and a half writing it, with my friend. But it was a beautiful time creating it. After the tour with ‘Gravel and Wine’ I changed everything about my life, even down to the guy I was with. I moved to LA and it was the total cliché of coming off the boat with my suitcases! I fell completely in love with a guy who didn’t want to be with me and now he’s my husband! I went through a tough time, with all of this change and during that time - also once I had come out the other side - I started to write.  The album is a complete reflection of those six months. The album ends with the song ‘I will love you’ when I was personally at peace and content, whereas I wrote ‘New Rush’ when I was in a time of total disarray. It is here where we can really see what Gin meant when she described how her personal experiences were key to her song writing.

But as with all professional artists mistakes are always made! A monumental mistake of Gin’s led to stopping a song completely! “I turned around to my band and stopped it. It’s got to be right. People have paid to see us. If it’s not as good as I want it to be there’s no point right? I would rather stop the song and get it right. If it means I have to be that awkward girl then fuck it! The cool thing about live shows is that things go wrong- there’s not one where a small things doesn’t go wrong- like a lead breaking. A lot of the time you can smooth it over. If it’s massive like missing a verse then yeah I will stop”. Gin believes that suffering from nerves onstage can be used to your advantage, “They can become a Cloak of confidence like superman. It’s a hard thing to do and it takes repetition of being onstage- slowly over come them and make them into something awesome”.  

In the near future, Gin, is really looking forward to all of her gigs, especially the regional tour of her home country, New Zealand and then of course “chilling out over Christmas” will be much appreciated! After finishing in Munich on October 14th, Gin begins her New Zealand tour on November 22nd, finishing in Australia on December 12th.