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.


Déjà Vu

Andy: "So the song Déjà Vu, another mellow track from Wishbone Ash. Lyrically it's about a guy who is trying to consolidate a relationship but doesn't quite know how to do it. He's been there before. It's like déjà vu, it's like déjà vu. But basically, all he needs to do is to man up and make it happen. Because at least in male/female relationships, which I know about, being heterosexual. I'm sure it's the same in different kinds of relationships as well, but someone has to kind of take the lead in a relationship and they have to do what the other partner wants them to do, which is basically: Set the thing up. So lyrically that's what it's about. The music started out obviously as an instrumental that came from Aynsley. We added parts, some twin lead guitar parts to it and probably melded it slightly, we changed some of the inversions of the chords."

Mark: "Changed the chords around a little bit."

Andy: "But certainly, the inspiration for it is Aynsley being influenced by the music of Wishbone Ash. It's got an almost medieval feel about it."

Mark: "Yeah, definitely."

Andy: "To me it harkens back to songs we've done in past, like Sorrel, Lady Jay. It's that real Wishbone Ash medieval folk..."

Mark: "Even Errors of my Way."

Andy: "Yeah. It's got that feel about it, very soft. One of the things that I was very aware of in the album was, because I'm singing lead on all of the songs, is to try different vocal approaches on different songs. So, some songs are really belted out on the top of my range and on some songs we added vocal effects to. Some songs, like Empty Man, we put a specific kind of distorted vocal effect on the vocal. Anything we could do to vocally make one song different from the next, because it kind of gets a bit too much when you hear the same vocal sound on every song. This one's got a very intimate vocal. I remember recording it very close on the mike, breathy and I had to get the right feeling for that song, to fit with the melody. It's not too much drums on this."

Mark: "Very little drums. Like you say, the vocal is the main thing. I think it's probably my favourite vocal performance of the album."

Andy: "Thank you! I mean drum wise there are other songs where Joe does a major drum work out. Like the previous song Back in the Day he's really playing full tilt, but this one's a little bit more subtle approach for the rhythm section. But again, very much a fun from the guitarist's standpoint. To get your hands around those chord inversions and we're harmonizing a lot of the chord patterns and then we bring in the typical Wishbone Ash twin lead, gentle harmony parts to it, which I think a lot of people find quite interesting to work out. I mean, we often find that the songs we write become something that guitar players enjoy working out from a musical standpoint. So, it's almost like a mini guitar lesson, in a way. I don't know if this one's specifically is, but there are other songs in the album I know people are already trying to work out. We had a youtube video the other day..."

Mark: "Was it Coat of Arms?"

Andy: "Yeah. Which is the greatest compliment you can ever get as a guitar player."




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