A lot of bands don’t make it 10 years, let alone 40.

No one ever accused The B-52s of being like any other band, and in their 40th year together, the band is as tough and resilient as ever.

“Oh my god. It was the last show that we did,” Cindy Wilson said. “We put on this free show (in LA). It was going great. Everyone was having a great time. But they were having trouble with having too many people. They were macing people outside, these hard-cop things. They had the helicopters coming, trying to disperse some of the crowd. It was nuts.”

Nuts is what happened next.

“At the end of the night, Fred (Schneider) was doing “Rock Lobster.” They didn’t put tape at the end of the stage, so he misjudged (the stage) and how far it went out. He went down, but he never missed a note. He kept singing. I looked over there in horror. He said, ‘It’s ok. It’s ok.’ He got back up on stage. It is a wonder he didn’t kill himself. All he did was kind of bang up his knee. He’s ok. He kept singing. He never missed a note. We did one more song after that, and that was the end of the show. It was nuts! It has been really crazy, hectic and weird all the way up to the eclipse.”

Wilson, along with Schneider, Kate Pierson and Wilson’s late brother Ricky, formed The B-52s in Athens, Georgia in 1976. The band shot to national prominence just before the Athens scene popped with other bands like R.E.M. finding some of the nation’s spotlight.

It is Wilson that is responsible for the memorable “Tin roof rusted” spot in The B-52s biggest hit “Love Shack.”

“Rock Lobster,” “Private Idaho,” “Girl From Ipanema Goes To Greenland,” “Roam,” and “Funplex” are also among the now-classics that the B-52s are responsible for over their career.

For the first time, Wilson is stepping out of The B-52s to release her debut solo album “Change” in November. Wilson brings her solo band to the Hard Rock Cafe on September 5.

The B-52s, the evolution of “Change,” the importance of naps, and, of course, the eclipse were all topics in The Swerve Magazine’s recent conversation with Wilson.

The Swerve Magazine: If things start to change after the eclipse, I can live with that.

Cindy Wilson: I think things are supposed to eclipse out. Hopefully, hatred will be eclipsed. It is what I would like.

SM: Very much so, considering all the hate right now.


CW: Oh my god, what is going on?

SM: Where to even start with that.

CW: Hopefully things will get a lot better.

SM: Speaking of things getting better, you’re on a break between tours right now.

CW: It is so hectic. I’m doing my solo and the B-52s 40th-anniversary tour. We really stepped it up. We got new management. Everything is cranking.

I feel like I'm just stepping up to the plate and doing it. The shows have been great. People are glad to see us. It is positive energy.

The solo stuff has been really fun to watch that build. I got great people with me. Who would have thought at this stage of the game, it would be happening. It has been a lot of cool things happening one after another. I’m really encouraged with it.

SM: You have to ride the wave whenever it is there.

CW: Yeah! All the planets are aligned. We had been working on the (solo) music for about three years now, meeting just once a month. It finally came together. It has this cohesiveness in its sound. We are still, kind of, changing and tweaking our sound.

It is what is great about doing these live shows too. (It let us) figure out what we have to do next. We are enjoying meeting the crowds. It is a really good chance for me to talk to fans and let them see a different side. I’m loving it. I hear so many great stories from people about what The B-52s meant (to them), but also, how much they are enjoying seeing me step out and doing this style of music, it is very modern.

SM: The music is definitely different from The B-52s.

CW: Definitely. There is some element of it. I’ve done this softer style in some (B-52) songs, but it is a whole new genre unto itself.

SM: It is the first real solo album, how does it feel to step out from The B-52s?

CW: I’ve done music, of course. ("Change") is doing it, taking it and recording it into a real album. I’m working with these amazing younger musicians. It is a different thing. It has been like school for me. You would think since I’m the older one, I’d be the teacher. But, no, I’m the one who is the student. I think that is really good for you to keep your mind expanding. It has really been good for me. I’ve been learning so much.


SM: How did this album/group come together?

CW: I live in Atlanta. It started a few years ago when The B-52s took a year off. I just started writing with a friend of mine, who said “Let’s go into the studio and kick around (some ideas). We had been doing music before. His name is Ryan Monahan; we had been doing local shows in Athens and Atlanta. We had never gone into the studio. So, just for kicks, we went in. We met (producer) Suny Lyons, whose studio we used. As soon as I met Suny, it became really clear that Suny had to be part of the band too. He is a genius. Both of these guys are amazing. They are really bright musicians and songwriters. I love their ideas and tastes.

We came up with a partnership. Lemuel Hayes is our drummer and part of the partnership. It is real tight, tight band. The thing is, everyone is really invested. It is the beginning of a creative enterprise. It is a lot different than if I just hired a band.

SM: It grew organically, instead of it being forced or artificially put together.

CW: It is how The B-52s started too.

SM: What is like going back and forth between the two bands now?

CW: It has made me speed up. It has been good, but, of course, I have to take my naps (laughs).

SM: Naps are essential.

CW: You have to pace yourself. They are completely different animals. They are two completely different realities. At the same time, it is really magic, both of them are.

SM: The B-52s 40th-anniversary tour starts again in the fall?

CW: It has been going on. It will go on for another year. There are a lot of anniversaries (for the band) that are all around the same time. So, next year is going to be very hectic too, that is the name of the game right now.

SM: So do The B-52s have any inkling to record anything new?

CW: We were thinking of doing a song. We couldn’t commit to anything more than that. There is a documentary in the works. I think that is going to happen. They are also coming up with this wonderful off-Broadway B-52s show. It looks like it is going to happen. It has got the money behind it. It is very exciting.

We are doing a lot of shows. We’ve made them more… polished. We’re bringing in songs that we  don’t normally sing. Of course, you have to do most of the classics. We are bringing some stuff you wouldn’t think. There is a lot going on.

Then with the solo project, I got money for a video for the second single, “Brother.” The solo album will be released in November. There is a lot going on. It is never usually like this, but now you just have to step up to the plate and go for it, baby.


SM: I would say, you do have to pace yourself.

CW: (Laughs) I’m in bed doing this interview.

SM: Hey, you got to get those naps (laughs)

CW: Absolutely.