SXSW Interview: Ann and Nancy Wilson

SXSW Showcase Reviews

Reviewed by Melanie Haupt, Fri., March 16, 2012

Ballroom Dancing
Photo by John Anderson

SXSW Interview: Ann and Nancy Wilson

Austin Convention Center, Thursday, March 15

Of course a panel on Woody Guthrie would go long and eat into the time allotted for rock critic Ann Powers' interview with rock goddesses Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart. Powers began by thanking the sisters Wilson for being there and turned to the audience to say, "You should be thanking these women for a lifetime of amazing rock & roll." Powers asked the women about Heart's trademark sound. "The consistent thing is our songwriting," said Ann. "The songs are the through line; the sounds can come and go and change, but the songs speak loudest." Powers then transitioned to the gender issue, remarking that the Wilsons never played the victim as female songwriters, but rather that the songs evoked a sense of a female adventurer. "We were writing the songs from the perspective of a person in the world, not specifically a woman," said Nancy, who turns 58 today. The most touching moment of the interview happened during the Q&A, when a young woman testified that "Barracuda" had awakened her sense of herself as a musician and then expressed heartfelt gratitude to the Wilson sisters for clearing the rock & roll path for female musicians.

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