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.


Too Cool for AC

Andy: "So this song Too Cool for AC has kind of convoluted beginnings because Mark had this incredible riff which reminded us of something, and I thought what about answering that riff with another riff. It's a chord riff, isn't it? Isn't that how we came about this or did you have both riffs?"

Mark: "I had the entire riff."

Andy: "Oh, but we spread it over the two guitars."

Mark: "We spread it over the two of us which made it quite an interesting thing."

Andy: "We're basically chord riffing with each other. Which again when you imagine live. And because it reminded us of a certain band, the working title was 'Too Cool for DC'. Because it's got that AC/DC feeling about it, or it did in the beginning. But we were rehearsing and putting it together in this big room, music school actually. It was in France and the owner was very proud because he'd installed new air conditioning and every time — it was not that warm — but it was getting warmer there and he'd come and say 'the air condition ok?' We said 'well, yes ok' but he'd insist on turning it down, so we felt icy air all the time on us. We'd go over and switch it off when he left the room. So, then it became 'it's too cool for the AC.'"


"Andy: "Yes, it's one of those fun rocker songs, a relationship song. Too hot to handle, too cool for AC. It's too much trouble. She's gonna get you into trouble. Lyrically, that's what that's about. We met many people like that on the road. Starts out promising and then it becomes a nightmare. There's a couple of songs like that on the album. So that would reference, from my standpoint, my early years in rock'n'roll, I would say, lyrically. But, yeah, it's a stomping rock'n'roll..."

Mark: "Just a fun track."

Andy: "Yeah, fun track. Again, could be amazing on stage. It was a ball buster to sing it, I have to say. Is there a key change in it?"

Mark: "There is a key change."

Andy: "Just when I thought I couldn't get any higher. Oh, my god, it's got a key change in it. I had to get really like..."

Mark: "Then we did the guitar harmony outro. Like the Allman Brothers..."

Andy: "Yes, somebody's mentioned that it sounds like Southern Rock."

Mark: "Yes, Southern."

Andy: "Yes, it is. It's a cross between like the Allman Brothers and AC/DC. So, we decided that at the end it goes into a jolly romp, which is very Southern. Almost like a Marshall Tucker, Allman Brothers kind of vibe. We cut the solos live in the studio."

Mark: "We played it together. Jammed it together."

Andy: "Which was tricky, wasn't it? To make sure the licks were something we'd feel comfortable with, we did a few takes of it." 

Mark: "We did. I think one of the takes were exactly how it ended up on the recording. I don't think it was cut up. Messed about."

Andy: "No, not too much. Maybe minimally, but it's as it went down. We were playing off each other. Which is the best way to play if you're a twin guitar band. So yes, hell of a track."

Mark: "Too cool."





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