Coat of Arms - Track by Track

Mark Abrahams and Andy Powell talked through the whole album, track by track. It was published as an audio file in late 2020.
Yours truly transcribed the whole story and was allowed to publish it here. Thanks Andy and Mark!


Andy: "Hello this is Andy Powell and..."

Mark: "... This is Mark Abrahams..."

Andy: "... of Wishbone Ash. We're going to give you a track-by-track breakdown of the new album Coat of Arms."

Select which track's story to read from the tabs below.


Back in the Day

Andy: "Back in the Day is one of those tracks that I was working on with Aynsley for my solo album. We had jammed out on this one. I thought we could get a really heavy track but use acoustic guitars and mandolins. I always loved that vibe. We were jamming this one in my house in Connecticut. It's got a really rough and ready feel about it and a nice little riff on the mandolin. Lyrically Back in the Day was just kept coming in my mind. I pretty much wrote this lyric at one go. It was really a nod to the fact that we started out with this great idea and this great intention of being a rock band that would just have fun on the road. And then we went off in this long journey, a fifty-year journey. And here we are now: Mark is in the band. Here we are, just like Back in the Day. And it's so much of playing with Mark that reminds me of the early days playing with Ted Turner and being in a band. Just having fun. Just blowing on the guitars. You put the electric part on it, didn't you actually. It actually became more electric. The acoustic guitars are there, but..."

Mark: "Yeah. Then I added this kind of fast picking section..."

Andy: "Crazy funk bit at the end which I ended up soloing over. "

Mark: "I think just before we went to France to do the writing, I'd been to see Mark Knopfler playing leads. So, I had that kind of picking thing in mind. When there was a section there, yeah let's do that. I remember recording it on the Les Paul Junior. I was looking at Mark who was doing the engineering and said, 'Let me do it one more time.' He said, ' No, we got it!' I was sweating trying to play in time."

Andy: "Was that a vintage 1959?"

Mark: "The 1959 Junior."

Andy: "... Junior you bought in Germany. You had to get it on the album somewhere."

Mark: "It's all over the album, actually. You can really hear it on that part on this track, I think."

Andy: "Did you use that one on Too Cool for AC?"

Mark: "On the riff, yeah."

Andy: "You did! Great guitar, amazing guitar."

Mark: "Sounds good."

Andy: "All the guitars made in the 50's and 60's are still the best guitars. Also: That was a similar guitar that Ted Turner started out on, a 1959 Junior."

Mark: "I think Muddy had one too."

Andy: "He probably did because of Ted. So you're the third in line using a Junior. The Junior is a real major part for guitar freaks."

Mark: "Peanut pickup."

Andy: "It's a prototype simple guitar with these single coil fat wound P19 Gibson pickups. That guitar inspired that song very definitely."

Mark: "Definitely."

Andy: "It's funny that you mentioned about Mark Knopfler because often if you go into an inspiring concert and you're in the middle of recording an album, that can stay with you and somehow that wibe can find its way onto us."

Mark: "Certainly did."

Andy: "And that's why, I think, bands are influenced by each other. We're all influenced by something. Bands are influenced by us. Certainly, Iron Maiden and Opeth. Bands like Judas Priest. Probably guys came to our concerts and got inspired. And we were in turn inspired by them and other bands of their contemporaries. Like you said you've been to a concert recently. You were inspired to enough to put a little bit of that influence into an album. So, everything influences everything else. Yeah, it's a great track. Some people come to me and say that's their favourite song on the album, which I find weird because it's quite an unusual song for the album. Yeah, it works and the idea of Back in the Day is obviously appealing so that was a rewarding track for me."




Transcribed/written by: Rainer Frilund - Last update: Apr, 2021