As a member of The B-52s, Cindy Wilson is easily recognized by her blonde hair and the retro party vibe of a band that’s been around for 40 years now. The B-52s are celebrating with an anniversary tour, but between those concerts, Wilson is performing her solo project, too.
She’ll perform at The Pinhook in downtown Durham on Wednesday, June 28. Her solo sound is pyschedelic new wave pop, a chilled out sound rather than the get-this-party-started of B-52s songs like “Love Shack” and “Roam.”
Wilson summed up her solo sound as “turbo chill.”
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The Herald-Sun spoke with her by phone recently while she was at a B-52s tour stop in Buffalo, New York. She said the band has stepped up touring for their 40th anniversary, performing with symphonies.
Her solo project is happening simultaneously, she said, and didn’t want to let it go even though her schedule is really busy. She has two EPs out and an album on the way. She said traveling for the solo tour is like going back to early B-52s days, with simple equipment and traveling with musicians in a van. It’s really fun, Wilson said.
“It’s like starting all over again when you step outside what is expected of you,” she said. “With brand new songs, there’s not a history there for audiences to grab onto — maybe just a curiousity.”
Wilson said she’ll have a new record out by November with a West Coast record company.
“It’s very, very different from The B-52s. We’re starting over,” she said. “I wouldn’t want anything given to me. You have to earn it.”
Wilson’s solo project came about when she was off from The B-52s for a year and a half, and started writing with a friend, Ryan Monahan, just for fun. After about three years off and on, they built a good sound that’s consistent, she said. They agreed on “turbo chill” to describe it.
“It’s going to be fun. It’s great to go back on the road with a brand-new style,” Wilson said.
Coming up with a different vocal style than her B-52s work is amazing, too, she said. “So I get to do something different. It’s good for you.”
Wilson mentioned again that it’s just a lot of fun. She still paces herself on the road by having her wheatgrass juice and ginger, not eating junk, and getting home to Athens, Georgia, as much as possible.
Her solo shows are more arty than B-52s shows, she said. “It starts at the beginning and kind of flows. Not clap after every song, more like a play. It evolves.”
GO & DO
WHO: Cindy Wilson
WHEN: 8 p.m. June 28
WHERE: The Pinhook
E. Main St., Durham