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Heart’s Ann Wilson: “I’m Sober”

Heart 2012
(Mark Davis/Getty Images)

Among the revelations in Heart’s upcoming autobiography, Kicking And Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul And Rock And Roll, is that Ann Wilson battled alcoholism and is celebrating three years sober. Although Wilson chose to go cold turkey, entered into therapy, and avoided any 12-step programs, she told Ultimate Classic Rock, that having a clear head made the music on the group’s upcoming album, Fanatic, come together, revealing, “(It’s like) the effect of kind of lifting a tarp off of me, creatively. I was having so much trouble writing songs and just coming up with ideas when I was still drinking. Once I stopped, and have been going through this whole process of recovery and everything, it’s just as if the tarp has come off and I’m just more aware.”

She went on to add: “It’s all about mindfulness and being aware that the very reason why you drink is to protect yourself from all of these things that hurt and in the meantime, you protect yourself from everything good too. So it really has helped a lot.”

Ann said that when she and sister Nancy Wilson started compiling Heart’s new box set, Strange Euphoria, there was no committee of management, label heads — or even friends — that had input on the way the collection ended up: “Well, the interesting thing is that we’ve never thought of Heart as sounding like anything in particular. Y’know, we’ve always had a way that we’ve gone about doing our music; it’s been outside forces that have said, ‘Well, this is what Heart is supposed to sound like.’ So on this box set, we don’t even address what people outside of the Nancy and Ann world think. Y’know, we’ve got this together ourselves, there’s just no outside influence on this, really.”

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