Interview: Gin Wigmore

We chat with the New Zealand singer-songwriter about her latest album, her take on music, and her hallmark tattoos

Gin Wigmore isn’t one to take cyber insults lying down. Making headlines earlier in the year for schooling an internet troll who left an offensive (and grammatically incorrect) message on her Facebook page, the New Zealand singer-songwriter clearly has no qualms speaking her mind. With her sultry, soulful vocals layered over folk rock melodies, her music is just as searing, heartfelt and emotional.

Recently released Blood to Bone is her third album, after the sophomore Gravel & Wine, which found her breakout success and resulted in her move to Los Angeles. The record flows seamlessly and smoothly, with lyrics that weave stories so clear, you can almost imagine them as she sings. Needless to say, we're intrigued. 

'Music should evolve with what you’re doing as a person.'

Tell us more about the inspiration behind Blood to Bone.

Blood to Bone is a transition from Gravel & Wine. I felt like I bled for Gravel, and Blood to Bone is the next stage so it’s kind of a transition between the two albums.

Your new album is touted as a departure from your usual style – why did you decide to go in that direction?

Music should evolve with what you’re doing as a person. I really want to challenge myself, and at this point in my life, it’s really important to jump off the beacon in that way with music and explore new ways of creating. It wasn’t scary, it was more exciting and refreshing. That’s the most important thing, being excited by the music you make. This record is very much that.

Your tracks have been featured in various films and TV shows – what is it about your music that attracts?

My voice is quite distinct and it cuts through. The thing with advertising and movies is, often you want it to cut through and twist people’s hearing and get their attention straight away. I’m fortunate that my voice does that and I’m guessing that’s why my music gets a lot of attention. It’s been great because it has given me the luxury of time to write and really craft the songs on this album without that financial pressure.

You recently took on an online hater who made snarky comments on your page, and your response went viral. How do you feel about that?

[Laughs] If anyone is going to come onto a platform I’ve created for my fans to be a positive base, and be negative and unintelligent, I would say intuitively that it requires a response. I don’t want to be silent on a forum meant to be positive. I meant to tell them what was out, so I did.  

As a songwriter, what keeps you going when you run out of inspiration?

I think you never run out of inspiration. I think inspiration is all around you. In meaningful relationships and as you’re giving to the world in a meaningful way, there is constantly inspiration because there are so many things that can come through that. So many emotions, feelings and thoughts in the relationships you make with the people around you – that’s a constant source, so I don’t think it will ever dry up. I’ll never not have something to talk about.

For people who haven’t had the chance to hear your tracks, what’s a good introductory one?

I would say ‘Written in the Water’ is a really cool song, or ‘Black Parade’. Either one from this new album is a good way to start. I think ‘Black Parade’ has a very dark kind of presence – it’s moody, it’s strong and it’s got lots of strength and torture. The lyrics really dig deep. It’s vulnerable. ‘Written in the Water’ is kind of the opposite of that – it’s quite light.

We see you’ve got quite a few funky looking tattoos. Do they hold any significance for you?

[Laughs] I regret it all. I started getting tattoos at 14, and I’m 29 now. There’s a tattoo on my back, which was my first, and it’s so bad. I’d probably say that was a great regret, but for me, tattoos tell a story. They put me back right into that place where I was in that moment of my life.

See for more info on her new album.