Holding On to Wilson Phillips: The Trio Talks Music, Motherhood, and More
There are some song lyrics that just stick with you. You know, the kind that you can't help but sing along to; your go-to karaoke picks:
Summer loving, had me a blast, summer loving happened so fast…
Just a small town girl, livin' in a lonely world…
So ladies (yeah), Ladies (yeah), Do you wanna roll in my Mercedes (yeah), Then turn around, stick it out, even white boys got to shout, Baby got back…
But for us '90s babies, the song that always gets us singing like we're a rock star in the shower goes a little like this:
Some day somebody's gonna make you want to turn around and say goodbye, 'til then baby are you going to let them hold you down and make you cry, don't you know? Don't you know things can change. Things'll go your way. If you hold on for one more day…
Yes, we love us some Wilson Phillips! And after a killer cameo in one of our all-time fave flicks, Bridesmaids, the trio is back and ready to take the world by storm… again!
More than 20 years after their "Hold On" fame, Chynna, Carnie, and Wendy have released a new album and are braving a new reality show on the TV Guide network. We chatted with the ladies about their comeback tour, the new show, and their former fashion missteps.
FabFitFun (FFF): Carnie, what was the driving force behind your decision to undergo weight loss surgery again?
Carnie Wilson (CW): Of course the biggest driving force is for health reasons, absolutely. You know, somebody like me, who has been so open about my struggles with weight and what I've been through, it would be uncharacteristic of me to not talk about it in the public eye because I don't want to hide anything… I look at this as taking control of my health. So I'm really proud that I did it.
FFF: Your reality series, The Wilson Phillips Project, premiered on Sunday, April 8. What made you want to document your lives at this point in your career?
Wendy Wilson (WW): First of all, it was not our idea to make a reality show, and when it was presented to us we had reservations at first… because everything is very exposed in your life. But we think it's a great tool for us to put ourselves out there again… let fans get a little taste of who we are as people.
Chynna Phillips (CP): We like to call it a docu-drama, not a reality show.
FFF: Do you feel the cameras add to the tension or drama in your relationships?
CP: You know what? It causes a little extra drama.
FFF: Now that you are older with families, has the dynamic of your group changed?
CP: We've grown up a lot since our debut record 20 years ago. We're completely different women, and the three of us interact with each other in a way that is so much more healthy and productive. We immediately look for solutions now, instead of just fighting over something where we're just chasing our tail and nothing is getting accomplished, nothing is getting resolved. So now we're like, what's the solution here? How can we make this better? It's easier said than done, but we really aspire to try our hardest to respect one another and find a solution.
CW: It is kind of like a marriage.
FFF: Have you seen the Chick-Fil-A spoof video that parodies Wilson Phillips and the song "Hold On"? What did you think about it?
WW: Well, imitation is always flattery.
CW: Right. My favorite part was when he's like, "Mayonnaise, F-K!" That was my favorite part. OK, the guy is gorgeous. It was intense. I was kind of tripping out. I mean, I love drag queens. Are you kidding me? Oh my god. So, that part, I'm in heaven.
FFF: From big permed hair, to pixie cuts, to bangs; all three of you have undergone a major style evolution. Any fashion or beauty moment you all look back on fondly or conversely, any that you regret?
WW: Well, if you look back at 1990, first of all, our eyebrows were really, really dark and very pointed and, you know, the big hair. Some of those jackets we wore were a little frumpy but, overall, I think we always had good style and we always were put together.
CP: I'm never going back to the short hair. I mean, I know you never say never, but I love my hair. I just can't imagine cutting it off again.
CW: I've always loved the clothes… I was looking at a picture of us when I had the bangs with the bob and the blazer. I remember that I was one of the first people that wore a Richard Tyler suit. Janet Jackson and I were some of the first people… I like our style. I've always liked it. The only thing I didn't like was when we were in that stupid lingerie for that "You Won't See Me Cry" video. That didn't seem natural to me. I wasn't comfortable with any of us, the way we were dressed, for that.
FFF: Have any of your children expressed an interest in going into entertainment and would you be accepting of that?
CP: Both Lola and Brooke want to be on a Disney Channel show.
CW: Yeah, Good Luck Charlie. They're both obsessed with Good Luck Charlie.
CP: They're both good dancers and singers, and they would love that. My mom didn't let me get into a professional career until I was 18, and I think that's really, really a very important thing to instill, I think for me, in my child, because I feel like she's too young to make her own decisions so I don't want to make decisions for her that are going to impact her for a lifetime. So I would rather she be 18 and make her own decisions and then she can't blame me.
CW: I feel like if Lola, my 7-year-old-she's going to be 7 this month-if she said to me, Mommy, I want to start acting or I want to sing, I would let her do whatever she wants. I feel a little bit differently. She goes to a school that's really focused on academics, which I think is great, but also gives them that creative freedom-that artistic freedom. She's extremely expressive and she's definitely gifted. She has the gift to be able to sing harmony. She has been able to do that since she was 3 years old. She would harmonize to commercials that come on the TV and my mouth would be wide open. I still can't believe it.
FFF: Being 22 years removed from the debut of your first album, are there songs that you have grown apart from as songwriters or songs that resonate more with you now?
CP: I think that it feels exactly the same when we sing these songs on stage when we tour. It almost feels like it was yesterday, 20 years ago. The same feeling we get when we sing together, so I think it means the same thing to us. We're just more grateful now to be up there. We're kind of in awe of what we accomplished. So it's a nice feeling.
CW: Also, when we sing on stage, we were never really a touring band. We did tour on the road for like six weeks with Richard Marx, but we did more promotional and radio station work. Now, when we go on stage and we actually do these shows, to see the audience mouth the words, and sing along with us, and stand up and clap, and really appreciate the vocals, it is one big harmony fest. It's really an incredible feeling that we really didn't experience before. It was always like so rushed. Perform your single, and then perform your song, and then go to the next radio station. And do the next meet-and-greet. And kiss somebody else's ass… It seems like now, because there is so little opportunity, you grab what's there because things are so different… I feel like there's more appreciation.
xx, The FabFitFun Team
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