Wills & the Willing release new single 'Iceberg' amid virus outbreak
03 April 2020
Poet, Lyricist, Musician, Front Man & Author, Ian Wills has suffered child abuse, drug addiction, made and lost fortunes, had brushes with Margaret Thatcher and the Royal Family, battled the most crushing of diseases, teamed up with Premier League footballers, and created and performed some of the most profound and beautiful poetry.
In the first single Iceberg to be taken from his forthcoming album London Country, Ian Wills sings “I’ve never looked for perfection, Cos I know that I’m deeply flawed.” He is also incredibly honest, and this is just one reason why his confrontational and often stark use of language has elevated him to the position of one of Britain’s premier spoken word artists.
Transferring these skills to a musical canvas with his band Wills & The Willing has reaped praise from across the board including BBC Radio 2’s Janice Long, and even legendary guitarist Les Paul. His new single will be released on 12th June with the new album coming shortly after in July.
Their fourth album features a host of fantastic musicians including Sean Genockey (The Who, Manic Street Preachers, Kula Shaker), Mick Talbot (The Style Council, Dexys Midnight Runners) and world-renowned goalkeeper Petr Cech! The Chelsea, Arsenal and Czech Republic legend is a keen drummer who has been taking lessons from no other than Queen’s Roger Taylor, for more than a decade. The new songs dig deep into a rich vein of cinematic influences, sometimes brutal, sometimes apocalyptic, always personal, and never hiding Ian’s own vulnerability that brings the stories to life.
Ian grew up in South London in the most impoverished circumstances imaginable. His dad was incredibly violent and gave out regular severe beatings. His mother was distant and harsh. By the age of 13 he was a heroin addict. He would inject straight into a vein in his ankle so his school socks would hide the evidence, resulting in damage to his legs which continues to this day, he managed to kick the habit following an attempted suicide when he was just 15 years old.
By the mid-1980s Ian was the consummate wheeler dealer and when Margaret Thatcher banned Spycatcher, the memoirs of former MI5 agent Peter Wright, Ian promptly flew to America, where the book was printed, and bought a job lot. Selling them on the roadside dressed as Uncle Sam he gained some notoriety as he enjoyed the profits of those who would pay ‘stupid money’ to have a copy on their coffee tables. Thatcher was not impressed!
Having built a successful pharmaceutical consultancy in Libya, Ian caught wind of James Hewitt hawking around his personal letters from Princess Diana he offered him $1,000,000 of his own money to purchase them, take them out of circulation and return them to her family. Hewitt signed a contract which Ian still has, but then backed out and the letters went to a higher bidder, subsequently ending up on the front pages of every tabloid newspaper across the world.
Health problems have dogged Ian for much of his life, primarily as a result of his early addictions. He is immune suppressed, a condition which requires him to be administered Infliximab every 8 weeks via intravenous infusion. He has high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Last year he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. And yet he is still the most positive and cheerful person you are ever likely to meet, even in the current climate being in a high-risk group during the Coronavirus outbreak.
As he says himself “I know I will always be driven, loving every minute that I can write, perform and knock down walls.”
With this summer’s release of the new album London Country, Ian will be taking The Willing on tour with him to perform the new songs with dates to be announced soon. The band will include drummer Petr Cech along with other fantastic musicians. The dates will including a special London show at Under The Bridge, part of Chelsea FC’s ground, and even some shows in the USA where a certain Randy Jackson will be playing bass guitar after becoming a fan of Ian’s music and offering his services. The band were due to perform at Glastonbury this year, but this has unfortunately now been cancelled due to the current world health crisis.
Ian Wills added: “There is always some part of me in the songs, the good and bad come out in equal measures, I seem to never forget my failings only my victories as a poet and lyricist. That helps keep me searching and I do write most days, always looking for an answer to a question yet to be asked.”
“With Iceberg it’s a timely release amongst the current pandemic, no matter how close you feel you are to another soul, distance is distance.”