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“I like to think our music always has darkness but with small rays of hope. The world is a dark place but we do have positive messages without making light of it. If our music makes someone feel less alone then I know what I’m doing is still worth it,” affirmed Vernon.
“I remember how poor we were at certain times. My dad worked hard and he always made sure we had two things, books and music. I grew up listening to anything I could get my hands on, from Cole Porter to African rhythm records. I didn’t care what it was, as long as it sparked something in me.”
“I always felt rock & roll should be raw and dangerous. Playing live is an exorcism and really just a celebration of life; Owning pain, joy and emotion,” affirmed Lewis.
“Southern Indie” label This Is American Music shows there’s more than meets the eye in their home region and reveals the importance of community in the music business.
A post-punk/shoegaze trio from Tel Aviv that exemplifies the notion of music being universal.
“I’m never complacent. I always just try to get better and improve my work, which keeps me hungry and striving for greatness endlessly,” he concluded.
“I still love everything about it. I guess quitting for awhile helped me get even more excited about music.I consider myself very lucky to be able to still write and I feel very free and more creative now than I have ever been. I’m going to ride it as long as I can,” laughed Secich.
“I really don’t feel our rise to fame was that quick. First off, we were still touring in vans and I knew nothing when I went to record. I really have to give props to our producer, Keith Forsey. He taught me so much about music and sound and has been a huge influence on my growth as a musician,” complimented Stevens.
Onstage, with her low-slung bass guitar and trademark bare feet, Finch epitomized grunge era cool.
“Personally, I’m all for the music aspect. I love blending different styles. We’re about music and inspiration and hopefully inspiring others to start creating.”
“Never give up in what you believe in. I just remain true to myself. The newer fans now have a female guitarist they can look to for guidance and leadership. I stand still and the world revolves around me,” stated Ford.
“I was first inspired by Courtney Love. I know she’s not the best person but it wasn’t until I heard Pantera that I knew I wanted to try and make a career from music. I knew I wanted to do something to help people and inspire them and I do feel responsible to be positive,” she reflected.
On the heels of her lovely new solo record, Red Kite—only her second in seventeen years—we have a lovely chat with Saint Etienne frontwoman Sarah Cracknell.
“The time off has really worked to our advantage. We pursued a lot of other projects since then and we have gained all these new perspectives. I feel we’re all much more accountable now and this record, to me, has us taking control of every aspect,” said Bottum.
“I understand that our music is heavy and something a lot of people won’t get or even dance to but we work to create a special energy. I’m not into stages. I don’t think anyone should feel they’re elevated and above any one else. A lot of the Bay Area venues we play have been closing but we network to play venues where we feel we can connect better with people,” she said.
“Going solo is absolutely more challenging. It’s naked, harrowing, terrifying. I have a binder in front of me to help me remember words. With the ‘Utters and maybe rock in general, you have this safety net of volume or speed. If I make a mistake it’s not as glaringly obvious but with these songs, it’s painfully obvious,” he sighed.
“Today, our country puts away roughly 2.3 million people. California spends about $47,000 a year per person to lockup inmates. This is a deep, complex problem and the issues surrounding all of this could make it the biggest disaster in U.S. social policy history. I think it’s an embarrassment,” stated Kramer.
In a short time, Dick Diver have created some monumental works (New Start Again and Calendar Days spring to mind) that not only display deft and diverse songwriting but also some ace guitar and lasting melodies. Melbourne, Florida is no different than its predecessors, but does show a newfound confidence.
“Hearing early rock n’ roll made me wanna bash stuff and make a racket! When I was 4 years old they discovered me in the kitchen with all the pots and pans upside down on the floor. I was bashing on them with a spoon along to the music coming out of the radio. When I was 11 I got a guitar, picked it up and wrote a song on it, on one string! I’m still cranking on that string and bashing stuff.”
“When you’re not feeling good about yourself, a number one record doesn’t matter.”
It’s a common belief that bad things come in threes. For Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band, that theory just doesn’t hold up. Former Brooklynite and current Philly resident Chris Forsyth and his band (featuring Peter Kerlin, Paul Sukeena from Philly deep thudders Spacin’ and Steve Urgo, formerly of The War on Drugs) are countering this aged idea successfully at every turn, beginning with the release of Solar Motel on October 29th, 2013 .
“Shopping Howl’s record around to the old guard made me realize that the kids are the new guard, here and now. I’m not going to abandon them because they straight up made my career. I don’t want to alienate people, I want to learn and grow with them. If I can challenge the kids with this band then I’m all the better for it,” he said.
“When Rasputina started we didn’t have anyone to emulate. My naiveté turned out to be a real blessing because it seemed obvious to use cello instead of guitar. I wasn’t going to get a guitarist or learn just so I could have a band,” laughed Creager.
2014 shows no signs of Fair slowing down his collaborations or Half Japanese.
“Hardcore indirectly gave my natural big mouth a megaphone. It nurtured the activism within my heart and made me appreciate the idea of unity and community,” shared Kevin.
“I get really down on hateful music that has no point. What good is it if all you’re doing is screaming about how angry you are if there’s no type of catharsis for you?” stated Newton.
Bandleader Perry Serpa on the NYC ensemble’s four-album series and the special challenges of running a rock orchestra.
“There’s no higher compliment than to get feedback in person. To have someone come up to you 20 years later and say something you wrote saved their life is very gratifying, especially when you look back to when you first wrote it and wondered if anyone was even listening.”
“Every time you hear that noise that says ‘We are the makers and you people are the takers’, there has to be some kind of soundtrack to that which says ‘fuck you’. I want to be part of that soundtrack,” stated Bondi.
Beme’s rap goes beyond the mere food/shit dichotomy. Beme’s “shit talk” is also music; the body is not a bank, but the music is rooted in the breath, the free improvisatory flow of words that are also tethered to the formalism of rhyme. Talk is ex-lax; rap betters the talking cure. It, too, is a work out that can make you less hungry. As a mural from the Oakland-based Community Rejuvenation Project suggests: there’d be less eating disorders and drug addictions if people were allowed to talk more, if word-jazz and singing were more acceptable. In this sense, Richard Berman is wrong: it’s harder to solve the obesity crisis by keeping your mouth closed. The extra energy you get from dieting has to go somewhere.
On the heels of a reissue of their sole album and a farewell series of shows, we talk with Norman Brannon, guitarist for the highly regarded band Texas Is The Reason, about their past and their present.
“I really think Mudhoney’s overall integrity will draw people to this documentary. Even when they were on Reprise their music was still high quality,” said Pease.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to realize early on, that I play for myself. I play because I love playing. I don’t seek admiration or acceptance. I enjoy myself at rehearsal as much as any show. Playing is sacred to me. I can take a lot but if anything messes with my chance to play, I lose it. Any hostility I still harbor stems from those who’ve messed with that,” said Becvare.
“We took Hip Hop above and beyond the moment we got passports. I can’t stand major media companies and radio stations that show the black community has less power than it truly does.”
White Lung’s voracious lead singer, Mish Way, talks about the band’s latest album, Sorry, and explains why Canadian music is anything but boring.
Mississippi-based Dent May eschews everything that made his debut album so charming—specifically, his ukulele—and he discusses with us why he left it behind, and the making of his pleasant follow-up record.
Brooklyn’s Sophia Knapp’s music has a timeless quality about it, and is evocative of a simpler era. Here, she discusses her own musical background and love of simple pop music.
“I knew that it would be impossible to replicate Radio Birdman, a product of a unique combination of energies which created a new entity, much bigger than the sum of the parts. My goal was to come across as a good solo songwriter, but I knew that I could always get the energy level up there. It was never going to be “folk music” or acoustic pop,” said Tek.
While many indie labels flicker and fade alongside the scenes they propagated, Slumberland Records’ beacon continues to burn brightly. The imprint has outlived many of its peers and predecessors, as well as the indiepop movement it emerged from in the early nineties.
What makes this film special is the rare opportunity to chronicle an emerging punk rock artist on his ride to stardom only for him to fall and never live to see his legendary potential.
The band’s new album, Pillar To Post marks their 50th anniversary, as well as brings the band’s history to a close.
Up-and-coming country-rocker Lydia Loveless takes a moment while resting in Music City to reflect upon the classifications and inspirations that have graced her over the past year.
From New York’s smoke-filled clubs to the national stage, legendary saxophonist Sonny Rollins’ fire still burns as he recently received top awards under the brightest of spotlights.
Canadian documentarian Susanne Tabata (49 Degrees, Skater Girl), plunges into the sleazy underbelly of Vancouver’s seventies punk scene to make a deeply human film about an entire scene and it’s often larger-then-life denizens.
We have a nice talk with Canadian dream-pop band Memoryhouse, on their growth from a bedroom band to a fully-operational group, and the reasons why they rerecorded their critically acclaimed debut EP.
We have a quick chat with Ohio-based Pomegranates about their new, experimental EP.