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New Zealand’s Gin Wigmore nicely adjusts to American life

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Gin Wigmore’s most recent release is “Blood to Bone.” (Courtesy Island Records)

When New Zealand blues-rocker Gin Wigmore found herself on the Vans Warped Tour of America with a cavalcade of scrappy punk bands, the concept seemed hellish at first. “I was like, ‘What the f— am I doing in this crazy lineup?’” she says. “But I didn’t know the back story — that this was a holy shrine of a tour for a lot of bands, and a really cool thing to be on.” Things turned heavenly, when she met – then fell in love with and married – Warped compadre Jason Butler, of the band Letlive. Her latest album, 2015’s “Blood to Bone,” is essentially a collection of gravelly love songs, like “24,” “New Rush” and “This Old Heart.”

So you guys have moved to Los Angeles. Did you get a green card yet?

I did! And I did it all myself. Because I believed that if you’re a confident individual, and you can read and write, then you can do things like that. So I read everything, with the stupid weird legal jargon that was totally nonsensical at times. And I was really proud that I could read through all this stuff, after being told countless times, “No, you cannot do this by yourself. You need to have all these lawyers around you.”

And then you had to go through the interview process. How was that?

We got quizzed on many things, and you had to bring in all this proof of your marriage being legitimate, like pictures of your wedding. But because we eloped, last-minute, we had zero wedding pictures. So we brought shots of us barbecuing in the back yard, with cups of wine. I think it was the fact that we were squabbling so much that finally convinced the guy we were married.

And you got your driver’s license, and survived the DMV?

That took a minute. At first, I didn’t have the right insurance, and then I failed the test. But I passed it the second time. And yeah – the DMV is a nightmare. On a good day. But that’s all done. I’ve got social security, I’m able to drive, I’ve got my green card, I’m all Americanized.

Any other crucial cards?

I got off from a run-in with a cop on a FedEx/Kinko’s card! I was driving, going 90, and in my defense, I didn’t understand the whole miles-per-hour versus miles-per-kilometer situation. So I got pulled over, and the cop asked for my license and registration, but all I actually had was my EdEx/Kinko’s card. I said, “Does this help?” He just laughed, shook his head, and let me off with a warning. So that’s my get-out-of-jail-free card now, my Golden Ticket!


Gin Wigmore
Where: Independent, 628 Divisadero St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. May 1
Tickets: $18
Contact: (415) 771-1421, www.ticketfly.com

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