Gin Blossoms giving fans a ‘reality’ check - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Gin Blossoms giving fans a ‘reality’ check

September 15th, 2018 SanTan Sun News
Gin Blossoms giving fans a ‘reality’ check

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski, Managing Editor

Gin Blossoms singer Robin Wilson is late for his phone interview.

He immediately apologizes and offers an explanation. Who can blame him?

“I’m at the wonderful Kimpton Amara in Sedona, eating eggs and chorizo for breakfast,” said Wilson, who was born in Detroit, but grew up in the Tempe music scene. He lives in New York.

Wilson, who owns a boat at Saguaro Lake, is in the Grand Canyon State vacationing before hitting the road again in support of Gin Blossoms’ new album “Mixed Reality.”

The tour includes a Saturday, Sept. 8, show with Big Head Todd and the Monsters at The Van Buren in Phoenix.

“I’m pretty psyched to see it,” Wilson said of the venue that opened in August 2017. “It’s definitely must have been a labor of love.

“We haven’t done a show like this in Phoenix in a long time. We have usually, for the last several years, played festivals. It’s nice to do a hard-ticket date in a real music venue.”

Released in June via Cleopatra Records, the 15-song Mixed Reality was produced by Don Dixon (The Smithereens, R.E.M.) and features the single “Break.”

“It’s an awesome record,” Wilson said. “As a guy who’s been making records for 30 years, I feel this is the best album I’ve ever been a part of. It has good songs and a cool cover (of the album). It’s a solid piece of work. It’s nice to be able to stand behind something like this.”

The rest of the Gin Blossoms – vocalist/guitarist Jesse Valenzuela, guitarist Scott Johnson and bassist Bill Leen – are just as excited.

“Our partnership is strong,” Wilson says. “Everybody is into supporting the new record. Our career is rebuilt and everything we’re doing right now is a few notches above the things we were doing a few years ago. We’re mercenaries, basically. We’re getting better jobs and better gigs.”

In 2017, the Gin Blossoms celebrated the 25th anniversary of its 1992 multiplatinum album “New Miserable Experience,” which spawned four Top 40 hits, including “Hey Jealousy” and “Found Out About You.”

They received a Grammy nomination for best performance by a duo or group for its song “As Long as it Matters.”

The band has continued to release albums and perform close to 150 shows a year. The band has sold more than 10 million records collectively, and in 2017 were inducted into the Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame.

“We’re entertaining and we have chops, but it really comes down to the songs,” Wilson said. “The reason we’re still here is that we have good songs. When young musicians ask me for advice, what’s the best thing to do to further my career, I always say, ‘Write good songs.’ It always comes down to that.”

Special to the San Tan Sun News