Dickinson Starts 'Fresh' With Solo Debut
Former Catherine Wheel frontman Rob Dickinson will make his solo bow with "Fresh Wine for the Horses," due Sept. 13 via Sanctuary.Former Catherine Wheel frontman Rob Dickinson will make his solo bow with "Fresh Wine for the Horses," due Sept. 13 via Sanctuary. The set primarily features the artist and producer David Rolfe, although Eels drummer Butch Norton, singer/violinist Tracy Bonham and the Church guitarist Marti Wilson-Piper all make guest appearances.
Dickinson's Catherine Wheel colleagues turn up on the tracks "Towering and Flowering" and "The Storm," which he tells Billboard.com "cover an area of the record that my own songs weren't really touching, which was more of the bigger guitar sound."
Dickinson has walked the path toward completing "Fresh Wine" ever since the final Catherine Wheel album, "Wishville," in 2000. "I had always planned to make a record on my own, but there was no great necessity to rush it out," he says. "There wasn't anyone panting for a Rob Dickinson solo record. So, I knew I had to make the right record. The legacy of the band was something I felt I needed to live up to."
And while he initially hoped to tour the material "with both barrels blazing" in an electric setting, so far, Dickinson has been pleasantly surprised by the handful of acoustic performances he's given in recent weeks.
"I had to have my arm twisted to do these songs acoustically, because I didn't really want to be seen as yet another singer/songwriter with an acoustic guitar around his neck," he says. "But I've really been enjoying it. It's interesting to see that these songs can connect and resonate when played quite modestly."
Dickinson is still formulating whether he will tour with a full band this fall for a few October shows in North America. Performances in his native U.K. are also in the works. Expect to hear a handful of Catherine Wheel songs, including "Black Metallic" and "Future Boy." "I'm quite happy to dig into those again because I haven't played them for so long," the artist says.
And as for the future of Catherine Wheel, Dickinson remains optimistic the band may work together again. "I think we always said the band was parked rather than split up," he says with a chuckle. "[After 'Wishville'], there was a great sense that people had stopped paying attention. When that happens to a creative unit, it's the kiss of death. But everyone is still friends and on good terms, so who knows."