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As San Francisco’s Octavian Winters gear up to release their new album The Line or The Curve’, I spoke to Randy Gzebb (drums), Ria Aursjoen (vocals, keyboards), and Stephan Salit (guitar) about past, present and future plans.
Atlanta indie pop duo I Am a Rocketship has released their new La Cruella album, their sixth major release, comprised of ten tracks that explore uncertainty, fear, and dreams. I Am a Rocketship is made up of American artist Eric Weissinger and Swedish artist L E Kippner.
NYC artist Guitarmy of One (aka guitarist Scott Helland, has released his adventurous crowdfunded album The Wave Files mixing dark, ominous guitar riffing with surf guitar swells and foreboding reverb-drenched melodies. His first band Deep Wound, was formed with alt-rock trailblazers J Mascis and Lou Barlow (Dinosaur Jr). He later played with Outpatients, School of Violence and Darkside NYC before forming the post-punk duo Frenchy and the Punk in 2005.
Malena Cadiz is a lady of the canyon, waylaid at a suburban strip mall, acutely aware of how romance shines through even in the moments of grit and desolation. There’s something Didion-esque about Cadiz’s storytelling as she crafts deeply personal vignettes that reveal greater narratives about the world we live in. A captivating songwriter with an unmistakable voice.
New Jersey band CR and The Nones have released their new album The Ghosts Are Coming Home via Montclair-based Magic Door Record Label. The band is led by Chris Gennone, who came of age playing in various projects in suburban New Jersey, including his former band, CR and The Degenerates.
With their first album of original material in a decade, The Polyphonic Spree returns with Salvage Enterprise, an album meant to take listeners back to the old way of listening to music – finding the right environment to play the album from start to finish and let the music wash over you. Tim DeLaughter shares why this album is so important to him and how it’s origins came as a way to battle depression.
A conversation with artist and musician Brian Walsby about his background in ’80s fanzine culture, how music fuels his art, and his recent series of power pop drawings.
Dylan LeBlanc’s journey through life, from the gritty streets of Shreveport, Louisiana to the creative haven of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, has been a defining influence on his music. With a passionate commitment to storytelling through his songs, he has crafted a series of critically-acclaimed albums, including his latest work, Coyote, which represents a culmination of his artistic evolution.
Coming out of the gate fast and furious, modern classic rock torchbearers Dirty Honey have returned with their aptly-titled sophomore album, Can’t Find the Brakes. With a new drummer in tow, Dirty Honey’s stretching their songwriting skills to include some mid-tempo ballads though the rockers still soar with arena-ready vocals and guitar hero riffs. Guitarist John Notto and drummer Jaydon Bean discuss the making of the album, recording in Australia, and what a dream stadium tour lineup would look like.
With an illustrious five-decade, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame career as one half of the Hall and Oates duo coming to an end, John Oates discusses how writing and recording his own material has made music fun again. Oates has a handful of sold-out tour dates to end the year and he shares what fans should expect from these shows, from how he’ll tell stories behind the songs to what might be on the setlist.
Joshua Deitner (composer/multi-instrumentalist) is the voice and producer behind Ditner, an experimental/indie recording project based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Figures arrives October 27, 2023 featuring traditional drum set and percussion, monophonic synthesizer and layered guitars underneath the most adventurous lyrical and vocal work to date.
Artifacts is a memorable collection of Americana songs conceived in rural parts of West Virginia by a songwriter who has city smarts. Sarah Rudy discusses the making of Hello June’s sophomore album, the reason she covered John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads”, and the artists she finds comfort in including some heavier stuff that might surprise you.
Former Snake River Conspiracy singer Tobey Torres discusses her current band, Mojave Phone Booth
“Individual personalities are what make our band what it is. Everyone has a slightly different aesthetic that works so well together, while essentially drawing the inspiration from the same source.” – Galine Tumasyan
“I got a lot of stripe-y mock necks and a great suede jacket, but I’m on the hunt for a black leather blazer a la C86 era Primal Scream. About size 34 if anyone’s got one, lemme know!” – Andy Pastalaniec
“I love that we all come from different backgrounds and have our own personal styles that all blend together as a whole. I think that’s what makes Seablite distinctive and keeps things interesting!” – Jen Mundy
“This was the biggest project to date that I’ve engineered, recording guitars in our practice space and then vocals and other layers in my apartment. I think the hardest part about recording like this, is to know when to put a bow on it.” – Lauren Matsui
The Vancouver-based Meltt uses lifelong relationships among band members to create a rich and complex collection of tracks that are truly brought to life when listening on a good set of headphones. James Porter and Jamie Turner discuss the luxury of time provided by Covid lockdowns to dedicate to songwriting, the importance of album sequencing, and how the band name reflects how they want listeners to interpret the music they make.
“We don’t live in a perfect world. In fact, when it comes to love and or romance, things hardly ever live up to unrealistic expectations. But in one’s head and heart, there are infinite possibilities, each containing an equal possibility for devastation.” – Michael Ramos
One of the most well-respected and talented guitarists the music world has ever known, Andy Summers is currently on tour doing a one-man mixed-media show including music, storytelling and photography. In this interview, Summers talks about how he got into taking photos, how he has no plans to slow down, and discusses some of his post-Police projects.
The Nashville-by-way-of-Birmingham The Brook and The Bluff is riding their indie-folk-meets-yacht-rock sound to great success on the road. Singer Joseph Settine discusses the band’s journey and answers questions inspired by some of the Bluebeard song titles.
Japanese superstar Yoshiki discusses his October classical world tour, his debut as a film director, the emotional and physical strength he’s shown throughout his life, and his intense desire to help himself – and his beloved fans – with his music
Balancing writing her own songs, writing for others, hosting podcasts, and being a new mother, Jenny Owen Youngs doesn’t have a lot of free time. With a new album, Avalanche, out on Yep Roc Records, Youngs’ already busy life is about to get busier as she enters the promotional cycle and plays a few dates to support the album. We were lucky to get a few minutes to catch up with the singer-songwriter recently to talk about new music, podcasting and music around the house.
Teenage Fanclub’s eleventh album, Nothing Lasts Forever, finds the Glasgow band doing what they do best – delivering delightfully sublime, ’60s Laurel Canyon-influenced, melodic power-pop with a sunny attitude. Singer/guitarist Norman Blake discusses how the band arrived at that sound, releasing an album (Endless Arcade) during the pandemic, and what it’s like being a band that has lasted over three decades.
Chiaroscuro, is the latest EP from Maureen Toth, a collection of songs that live up to the titular idea of artistic use of light and shade. Championed by Women of Substance Radio, the inherent quality in Toth’s forthright material has drawn comparisons to Patty Griffin, Joni Mitchell, and Shelby Lynne.
It’s been a dreamlike year for Sofia Jensen, from releasing the debut Free Range album, Practice, to supporting artists like Jeff Tweedy and Ratboys to gracing The Newport Folk Festival stage. A rising talent in the indie folk world, Jensen discusses Free Range’s origins, the songwriting process, covering Gillian Welch’s “Look at Miss Ohio”, and losing their wallet in Ohio.
The bright and summery sounds of PJ Western’s debut album Here I Go sound like ’70s AM radio gold. A creation from the mind of JR JR’s Josh Epstein, PJ Western gave the songwriter purpose during Covid lockdown and the ability to try something completely different.
Singer-songwriter Diane Gentile discusses her latest album, The Bad and the Beautiful
Afton Wolfe is a product of his home, Mississippi. It is the birthplace of at least 2 American art forms: country music and blues music. Meridian is the birthplace of Jimmy Rodgers, while the Mississippi Delta is the birthplace of the blues, and the first rock n’ roll notes ever played, according to some music historians, came from Hattiesburg. Afton also draws much of his style from nearby New Orleans.
“Discovering Japan” and “Local Girls” singer-songwriter Graham Parker discusses his latest studio album, Last Chance to Learn the Twist
“Despechada means heartbroken or without your soul,” explained Ane Díaz about the title of her evocative new album, released June 9th via LaunchLeft. “It’s a very powerful word used for love affairs, but that’s also how I feel about losing my country.”
Brazil-based sonic adventurers BIKE released their new album Arte Bruta earlier this year after a busy start to 2023 – the band has toured extensively, performed live on Seattle’s KEXP, played dozens of shows at SXSW and Treefort Music Fest, in addition to opening for The Brian Jonestown Massacre in their native city of São Paulo. We caught up with these Amazonian sonic ambassadors for a quick catch-up.
Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys are an art pop/alternative band based in Berlin. The group, fronted by South African born artist, Lucy Kruger, are known for creating music that is full of atmosphere and intensity. Their prolific output and memorable live shows have attracted attention from both audiences and critics alike.
Quiz Show is a continuation. After a quarter-century break, Chris Matthews, a founding member of legendary DC hardcore band Shudder To Think, picked-up his guitar and began to write songs again. Luckily he lives in the same town as Guided By Voices drummer Kevin March, who agreed to jam and write with Chris.
With a run of seasonal singles underway and a new album planned, it felt like the perfect time to sit down with Teni Rane again and find out about the new music music, her recent travels and the fascinating journey which has got her to where she is today.
Becca Mancari unpacks a lot of personal baggage on their third album, Left Hand, through a fantastical lens where the music speaks a rich language. It’s an evolution from their earliest recording days which found Mancari fitting into the Nashville singer-songwriter narrative. Mancari shares how the evolution took place, the themes of the album, and how shedding heavy topics has been a weight off their shoulders.
Following a modestly successful solo career, Ruarri Joseph took on a new challenge by formed the trio William the Conqueror which allowed him to dig into his influences and set a new course for his songwriting. The band’s latest Excuse Me While I Vanish is a warm and intoxicating journey that sounds both familiar and unique.
Formed by singer Dave Jackson and bassist Becky Stringer in the golden years of northern English postpunk, the band is now back, joined by their original drummer Clive Thomas, along with guitarist Darren Brown, keyboardist Ethan Kyme.
Margaret Glaspy took a simple approach to writing and recording her third album, Echo The Diamond, with many of the songs being written in 15 minutes and recorded as a trio using a first-take final philosophy. The result is an intimate sounding album that will play live just as it does on record.
Rock royalty – and Ringo Starr’s son – Zak Starkey (Oasis, The Who) and his wife/band mate Sshh discuss the formation of the “fantastic” group Mantra of the Cosmos featuring members of the Happy Mondays, Ride, and The Fall and how chemistry is what drives creativity.
Lovely Little Girls is an avant-rock band directed by artist Gregory Jacobsen and bassist Alex Perkolup. The new album Effusive Supreme is out August 18th on SKiN GRAFT Records with a tour planned for October 2023.
In the tradition of power-pop giants like Teenage Fanclub, The Lemonheads, and Matthew Sweet, the latest by Philly’s Hurry is a hook-filled album with vibrant vocals and catchy choruses. Singer/guitarist Matt Scottoline discusses his consistency with releasing music and shares the bands whose music is in his DNA.
Two-Man Giant Squid is a prominent band in the fast rising Brooklyn post punk scene. Big Takeover sat down with the band and got the latest news on their upcoming projects.
Influences don’t always have to be other artists or bands. Activity’s Travis Johnson discusses some of non-obvious influences that contributed to the recipe of the band’s second album, Spirit in the Room.
“There ain’t no gold in them there hills. You gotta be really, really, really lucky to gain any ground. The music business, as it was, doesn’t really exist anymore. But that’s also very freeing because that means you can do whatever you want.”
Joanna Pearl is a singer/songwriter with an undeniable passion for music that reflects in her dynamic vocal strength. Her true-to-life songwriting portrays the heart of a woman ranging from independence to vulnerability.
With a shortened name, the band responsible for the 1982 smash hit “Come On Eileen” has returned with The Feminine Divine, a narrative of sorts from founding member/lead singer Kevin Rowland. On this latest by Dexys, Rowland examines how masculinity shaped his early beliefs and how, as he’s gotten older – and wiser – those beliefs have changed.
Hannah Connolly is a singer-songwriter originally from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, now living in Los Angeles, California. Her debut album From Where You Are was released in 2020, soon to be followed by her forthcoming second record, Shadowboxing.
Former R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills discusses his current band, the supergroup The Baseball Project
Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament discusses Deaf Charlie, his new band with Fitz and the Tantrums drummer John Wicks
Jeshua Marshall is a musical troubadour, with 18 years of experience writing, playing, singing and touring original music with Larry And His Flask and as a solo artist. He has performed in every state in the U.S., every province in Canada, 15 countries in Europe, and Palestine.
Though Gov’t Mule is most comfortable on the road and playing in front of live audiences, their two most recent studio releases (2021’s Heavy Load Blues, 2023’s Peace … Like a River) are solid entries to the band’s catalog. Warren Haynes discusses how his brothers introduced him to music, how Gov’t Mule got started covering Pink Floyd, and the importance of continuously shaking up the setlist.