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.
Mark: "So, this song, It's Only You I See, I was inspired by the sound of the 70's album New England, which is a favourite album of mine. And I really thought it would be cool to have something on this album that sounded just like that kind of sound."
Mark: "Referencing I guess, yes. Songs like You Rescue Me and Lorelei. The guitar part to start with has got that kind of wobbly, almost like a Leslie, Electric Mistress typed sound which I think you used a lot on that album."
Andy: "Yes, that was one of the first guitar effects that started coming and I bought this pedal called Electric Mistress, which is all over that album. And I think Andy Summers from The Police got inspired by that one. Because there weren't too many guitar effects around, so I was enamoured with that. It sounds like a Leslie."
Mark: "More than Leslie sound."
Andy: "Which is cool I think, actually."
Mark: " I think it's got very 70's kind of feel about it."
Andy: "Yes, basic. It's all a little bit druggy, kind of groovy."
Mark: "And then it goes to a heavier harmonized riff that we both played. And the in the middle of the track, there's like a whole section of music on its own, I think. The harmony section with the almost Queen inspired peak at the end."
Andy: "When it gets massive, goes into stadium rock. Really into spacey, groovy vibe, very intimate. And then it gets quite grandiose. Yeah, Queen. There's a lot of Brian May vibe in it, symphonic. Again, it's a typical Wishbone Ash musical journey. I could definitely imagine this one on stage."
Mark: "Yeah, yeah."
Andy: "I think it would be a lot of fun to play on stage. Made for guitar solos."
Mark: "Lots of space within the track and then an extended outro solo which is kind of typical of the 70's. New England era, I guess."
Andy: "Yes. Those things are always the most fun to play, as well. Because it's got loads of space to be yourself."
Mark: "Possibly my favourite track on the album."
Andy: "One of mine too, yeah, definitely. And the lyric, it is really about one of the situations where perhaps one your first love or the first major relationship you might have had. How the other person in the relationship just can't see it and walks away. It's the one who's left behind is always: 'It's Only You I See'. You're left thinking 'What if. Could it ever had worked out?' Because relationships don't end. They gradually sort of fade apart. There's always almost of like a shadow left on your soul. It's really referencing that kind of concept. It's kind of sad and a bit reflective, which fits with the verses, that kind of spacey stoned vibe. In the end it's almost triumphant. It's almost like 'yea, I got over that.' We go out on a high note."
Andy: "Then there's a massive solo at the end, which you play."
Mark: "Two- or three-minutes solo."
Andy: "We just said to Mark 'Just play'."
Mark: "The cool thing is: The outro solo is actually the solo that was recorded when we were jamming the track. It wasn't a take at all. It's just..."
Andy: "This could be the take."
Mark: "I just listened to it and really liked it and felt 'Why try and play it again. We got it there."
Andy: "That's quite unusual. For you as a guitar player in Wishbone Ash. Because many of the guitar players that I've played with, they often go: 'No I've got to do it again. I can always do better.' But I think it's quite brave to, sort of, go... I'm actually like that too as well. I'll play something on the basic track and I'll go: 'Well it's got some ragged stuff in there, but it's actually me.' You did the same thing. You listened to it and went: 'Well that's me, that's my solo. That's me being me.'"
Mark: "We could have spent hours trying to capture that small section. But it wouldn't have worked."
Andy: "Yeah, and that also, I think, makes it a song that's going to be ideal for playing live. Because it's so honest, it's straightforward. And we don't have to try and contrive and copy it. Because we can just 'do that, do that'. We can be honest. It's a really honest track, I love it. I agree with you. It's one of my favourite songs on the album and I think it's going to go down great."
Mark: "I think it's real classic Wishbone song."
Andy: "Absolutely. No question about it."
Transcribed/written by: Rainer Frilund - Last update: Apr, 2021