Let’s be honest: we love Gin Wigmore right now. Her voice is as sweet as honey and embodies every badass quality you ever wanted but never had the balls to follow up on. She’s tattooed, she’s blonde and she’s a babe. Currently touring America with the ragtag Warped Tour crew, this New Zealander is holding nothing back. Americans probably know her as the voice behind that catchy Heineken/Skyfall ad, but we know her as our smoky-eyed dream girl.
Playboy.com: You’re on the road with Vans Warped Tour. I’ve always wanted to do that.
Wigmore: It’s been incredible. The start was very eye-opening, being on a tour that’s so massive it’s kind of like a traveling circus. There are so many musicians; it’s a rock star bill. Everybody’s got a gigantic personality; it’s something I’ve never seen before. But eventually you start making mates with all of these people and all the bands that you had never heard of before. Now it just feels like a summer camp. We’re all buddies and we’re hanging out and drinking far too much. It’s brilliant.
Playboy.com: Have you had any wild things happen to you thus far? Warped Tour is notorious for those.
Wigmore: Not so crazy yet. I have spewed up on my bus, which is pretty embarrassing. That was like five days in. [laughs] I couldn’t even make it to the bathroom, one meter down from my bunk. I threw up everywhere, which is pretty gross, and I had to face the music the next morning. Everybody was so disappointed. So that was not very classy. I got told off last night too. The DJ at the party was really bad so I took it upon myself to go and change the music. I got yelled at and was told to “Fuck off, Gin Wigmore,” so that was good… [laughs] There will be some more interesting situations as the tour goes along. Everybody is pretty loose; it doesn’t feel like there are many rules. I mean, Kevin Lyman [creator of Warped Tour] is a musician at heart with a wild spirit so it feels a bit lawless on this tour!
Playboy.com: You began your music career in New Zealand. What have been the biggest differences you’ve faced touring in America?
Wigmore: I think really just the sheer size of it. New Zealand is so tiny, you probably play your longest tour clocking in at two weeks. In America I may spend a month on the East Coast or a month on the West Coast and I haven’t even ticked off every place to play. It’s incredible, it feels like you have a massive mountain of things to do when you face the States, but it’s great. It means you can be working and getting really good at what you’re doing because you’re doing it day after day. From that aspect it’s brilliant. And you’re all so polite! I can’t believe it; we can be so mean and brutal in the U.K. and New Zealand. Everyone is not more honest, but we’re a lot tougher. When you come to America everyone is so kind and sweet and turns up at the right time when you’re going to play; it’s very respectful. It’s nice to play for that kind of crowd! It’s good to come from that tougher background, but I feel like I need to hold my tongue a bit when I’m here around such lovely polite people, so it’s strange but very nice.
Playboy.com: Yes, it’s safe to say that you have quite the silver tongue. What kind of inspiration do you draw upon for your lyrics?
Wigmore: I really like to conjure up different kinds of characters; it translates into something so fun onstage. If you’ve got this kind of character in, say, “Kill of the Night” who’s a very confident and a bit saucy, sexy and takes no shit kind of woman, it’s very fun to become that character on stage when I perform that song. You get a spell cast upon you and you get to project it onto the audience. Then you can see it, particularly in the girls, who start dancing in this way that they’re saying, “Yeah, I’ve been fucked over too and I’m going to take my revenge!” and it’s really cool! I like playing in that kind of world. I think often people are scared to. But I think that it’s really cool to be able to go there and to be okay with doing so. And when you do, the audience gets to act like that and think like that for those two hours or whatever that they see you. It’s fun.
Playboy.com: If I’m not mistaken, you got to record in Nashville too, a place where music is absolutely booming at the moment. Did living in those sorts of surroundings help better your craft?
Wigmore: I did do some cowriting down in Nashville, but I ended up recording Gravel & Wine in Los Angeles. The writing was cool, but it was very different. It’s a business down there; it doesn’t have that hippie, free-spirit vibe. You turn up at nine A.M. for a writing session and you’re done by two. Then you’re jumping into another from two-thirty to five. It’s very business. Which I kind of like, because you always finish the song and you can walk away knowing it’s done, but in some ways I like to procrastinate and fuck around a little bit and spend a few days playing around on one little idea. I think that was the cool thing about being in Los Angeles for the majority of the writing. It was summer and there were days that you’d hang out and maybe write a chorus over a whole day and that was fine, as long as you ended up having a bottle of wine at the end of the day it was a good day’s work. It was a lot more relaxed. I think I prefer to do the more unperturbed writing.
Playboy.com: Are you currently working on anything or just focusing on living it up?
Wigmore: Focusing on getting through this Warped Tour! They’re little cheeky buggers, eh? [laughs] They pull you in at the start with all these days off. Two shows on, two days off, which has you swimming in the pool and it’s lovely, you’re on the West Coast. Then you hit the month mark and it’s 10 days on and one day off in the middle of fucking nowhere, and then 10 days on again. It’s brutal. So this end part of the tour is quite taxing, so I’m just kind of keeping my head above water for the last two weeks then I’ll go back to Aussie and write the next record, I think!
Playboy.com: It must have been nice to meet all of your fans along the way. Does Warped Tour still do the booth signings?
Wigmore: Yeah, they do! I love that sort of relationship with my fans. Even at my own shows I make sure I go out afterwards as much as possible and keep in touch too. It’s a really good gauge of how people are actually experiencing the music, where they found out about you, which songs they are excited about or what things they don’t like. It’s also important to keep tabs on what kind of fans you have and what your audience is. It’s been great on the tour because you see such a range. Different ages, sizes, bloody everything! It’s just a melting pot, it’s been interesting. Young fans too! I never thought I’d have a young teenage audience, so that was cool to know. [laughs]
Playboy.com: I read somewhere you’re big into the supernatural; is that true?
Wigmore: I am a bit! I’m really intrigued by it, find it quite spooky. I like scaring myself. I don’t know why because I freak out completely but I really do love a good scare. I get all revved up by ghosts and all those interesting things. Thinking that there’s something else after we die as well is a comforting thought, other than biting the dust and being in a fucking box for the rest of your days.
Playboy.com: Have you ever had any supernatural experiences?
Wigmore: Well, we used to do, this is really shit, but we used to do séances, as you do when you’re like 13. You know, you’re doing Ouija boards and someone is moving it and shit, but we did a séance once, and again this is so dumb, in a church. It’s so bad but it was fucking amazing. We had all the candles in a row and all of them blew out and we lost our fucking minds. We ran out screaming and thought things were flying at us; we were probably throwing shit around at each other. I’ve done a few séances in my life and some kind of crazy stuff has happened during those, but you never really know if it’s just your mates pulling tricks on you.
Playboy.com: What’s your…
Favorite food: Penne vodka.
Favorite drink: French Martinis, love it!
Most embarrassing moment: I fell off a stage once, it was absolutely mortifying, [laughs] so embarrassing. I was in New Zealand in front of probably the biggest crowd I’ve ever had, which is even worse. And I’m out there like some bloody drunk onstage, I always have a glass of red wine onstage and I had drunk it all and I reached out trying to talk to the crowd and shit and I stand out between the two monitors where it was all kind of black and I said, “Can someone fill up my wine glass?” and I stepped out on what I thought was a fucking stage and there was nothing there. I stepped off and dropped two meters, about an inch away from the security bar, absolutely mortified. [laughs] Everyone is screaming and hysterical and I get lifted back up and had to finish the show with my bruised prostitute legs, absolutely horrible.
Worst pickup line: I don’t get picked up all too often; I think I’m a bit too scary or something, [laughs] but I’ve had that “I think I know you from somewhere” and me being me I just say, “No, I’ve never met you before in my life.” And they keep going with, “No, I have!” and I just say, “No, I have never met you, sir. I’m not going to talk to you anymore.” I think I’m too honest and mean so they can’t get too far.
First memory of Playboy: I think it would have to be from my brother: he used to buy all the sexy mags and Playboy was on his list of things to do as a teen boy so I remember finding a stash once, and I’m also very sure I told Mom about it because I’m a dick younger sister. But it’s cool, you always hear about Hugh Hefner and all the extravagant parties and you hope to go one day!