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.


Coat of Arms

Andy: "This track, Coat of Arms, became the title track of the album. Nowhere in the lyric does the phrase coat of arms appear, but the track was almost completely conceived by Aynsley and he had the title. From that he presented a demo to us which we then proceeded to adapt a little bit in the demo studio. We recorded it with us playing and putting our own stamp on it, the Wishbone Ash kind. The lessons we'd learned playing together over the previous two or three years as players. Cause it's a guitar piece. It's a big guitar workout, this song. It goes on for nearly eight minutes. We added solos and we added a couple of extra parts to the arrangement. Then I put the lyric together. Any specific things you can think about?"

Mark: "I just remember how many hours we spent in France working it all out together. Different harmony parts, we tried various different harmonies. We did different guitar chord parts behind each of the solos. But really, Aynsley had pretty much the song when we got there..."

Andy: "Yes, he had the meat and potatoes of the song. No question about it."

Mark: "Putting our own little parts to it."

Andy: "Probably the biggest addition, perhaps, was my parts under the verses, the moody chords under the verses. Then the actual lyric itself. I made it a song about protesting how one percent is in control of all of us, often old white men. It's a bit of a gang like 'We Stand as One' is another protest song. It's a little bit political. It's about corporations and old families and old money that really control they way we really live and at the end of the day, it's beyond the man in the street to really almost do anything except vote. And often, the problems that we're facing today are so big that we just change the channel and turn away. So, it's got a pretty serious theme about it. Lyrically it was a lot of work to put that track together. Because you could jam out for eight minutes, but to put something together that goes somewhere in a particular direction and keeps the listeners interest is what we had in mind. When we got back to England, where we actually recorded the album for real, we presented it to the rhythm section, and they added their character to it. We were really happy the way it turned out."




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