Nancy Wilson Talks Her New Project, Layne Staley, And Gives Advice For Young Artists

This is the band I always wanted to be in,” says Nancy Wilson of her new project. The legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Heart founder has recently released a new album with an incredible list of collaborators that they named Roadcase Royale. “As a songwriter you go through phases and it’s interesting to create different products out of those phases . . . (Roadcase) was so effortless. We all produce, we all write.”

Wilson definitely knows of what she speaks. Her legendary career has the ability to attract the greatest of musicians, which is exactly what she was able to do with her newest endeavor. While bringing with her a few Heart contributors, she also teamed up with members of Prince’s New Power Generation and R&B singer Liv Warfield, who is nothing short of incredible on their debut. “You got to check out this singer on Jimmy Fallon,” Wilson explains hearing about Warfield. “We needed an opening act for our shows at the Hollywood Bowl . . . we talked and she has such an energy and voice.” Their first collaboration was on their cover of Colin Hay’s “Hold On to My Hand”, which is one of many highlights on the album.

The band’s chemistry is perhaps strongest on the live track “Mind Your Business”. “A lot of people like that track,” she explains through grateful laughter. “We liked the energy when we played it . . . it is sort of sassy and free . . . we couldn’t recreate the energy of the live feel.”

The band got their name from Wilson who explains “I’ve always liked how road cases have a lot of character, where they’re beat-up and scuffed. They’re old warhorses—just like the people that go on the road with them. And then with Liv and Ryan coming from the Prince world, I thought that ‘royale’ would be a really nice juxtaposition to this beat-up road case concept. You put the words next to each other and it’s just a cool contrasting image.”

Perhaps one of the more moving tracks on the album is “Dragon” which Wilson started to write in the ‘90’s for friend and Alice in Chains vocalist Layne Staley. “You could see Layne going down the ‘dark latter’ (referring to the lyrics) . . . since then, it has taken a new meaning. It’s more than a Layne song. It’s more than a Chris Cornell song or Chester song.” Wilson explains they were able to finish it with the help of the band.

We couldn’t get off the phone with Wilson without asking her for wisdom; I mean here is someone who has survived the ups and downs of an industry that tends to favor the new and superficial. “I would turn back if I were you,” she says half jokingly to young acts. “I am a dogged optimist . . . You need a healthy sense of humor to deflect the irritants. I believe if you can play music, you should. It is totally worth it. Music is important to make and give to others to make the world better.” This ability to stay positive through the years might just be a secret to her longevity in the industry and why Roadcase Royale works so seamlessly.

First Things First is the new album from the super-group and is well worth your time if you dig R&B infused rock and roll. Currently they are on tour teaming up with Bob Segar on a few dates. For diehard Heart fans, she adds “Let them know we are doing lots of Heart songs too . . . don’t be intimidated by the new stuff.

Roadcase Royale Headline Tour Dates:

Sept 10 @ The Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY

Sept 24 @ The Pabst Theater – Milwaukee, WI

Sept 26 @ The State Theatre – State College, PA

Oct 1 @ Neighborhood Theatre – Charlotte, NC

Oct 4 @ Bijou Theatre – Knoxville, TN

Oct 8 @ City Winery – Nashville, TN

Oct 15 @ Tower Theatre – Oklahoma City, OK

Oct 17 @ Joy Theater – New Orleans, LA


Bob Seger Dates:

Tue 9/12/17 – Rochester, NY @ Blue Cross Arena

Thu 9/14/17 – Boston, MA @ TD Garden

Sat 9/16/17 – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena

Tue 9/19/17 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Van Andel Arena

Thu 9/21/17 – Cincinnati, OH @ US Bank Arena

Sat 9/23/17 – Auburn Hills, MI @ The Palace of Auburn Hills

Thu 9/28/17 – Pittsburgh, PA @ PPG Paints Arena

Sat 9/30/17 – Columbus, OH @ Nationwide Arena

Thu 10/5/17 – Greenville, SC @ Bon Secours Wellness Arena

Sat 10/7/17 – Duluth, GA @ Infinite Energy Center

Tue 10/10/17 – Des Moines, IA @ Wells Fargo Arena

Thu 10/12/17 – Saint Louis, MO @ Scottrade Center

Sat 10/14/17 – Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center

Thu 10/19/17 – Houston, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

Sat 10/21/17 – Frisco, TX @ The Star

Tue 10/24/17 – Austin, TX @ Frank Erwin Center

Thu 10/26/17 – Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center

Sat 10/28/17 – Phoenix, AZ @ Talking Stick Resort Arena

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