Off-Topic => Other Artists => Topic started by: SueC on June 27, 2021, 12:49:35

Title: Nice interviews to read
Post by: SueC on June 27, 2021, 12:49:35
Occasionally I'll read a nice musician interview - here's one from someone whose music is not normally my thing, but I always make time to read an interview with him because he's got interesting things to say.

Never heard of the other guy but good value too. And I vividly remember Elton John doing a beautiful job on Candle in the Wind at Diana's funeral - that performance made me cry, and I'm pretty sure he was crying too.

This reminds me of something that happened when I was staying at a school friend's place for a weekend when I was 13. They were nice welcoming people to me, which was a bit of a change in this xenophobic little rural town in which I went to middle school newly arrived in Australia. I remember having a little trouble with the amount of fat in the Australian-rural-style roast - the roast was swimming in the stuff, and it was poured off and kept as dripping to return on sandwiches and to roast vegetables in down the track...

Anyway, we were early-teenage girls and it was 1984, so we were listening to music, could have actually been on Countdown, can't remember, but a Boy George song was on when my classmate's Elton-John-fanatic dad came into the lounge room and said, "Boy George is gay, you know!"

So bloody what. Typical bloody cultural homophobia at the time. But we shot straight back at him, "Hello, so is Elton John!" and it devastated the poor misguided man. Could never enjoy his favourite artist's music the same after that. People are so strange.

At least her father kept it to teasing and unnecessary remarks, which was bad enough. My own father bashed me in the face for having a poster with a "poofter like that" up on my wall the following year.  :persevere:

You'd think we've come a long way in 30-odd years since, but in some ways we haven't.
Title: Re: Nice interviews to read
Post by: SueC on October 22, 2021, 05:44:39
Metal isn't my thing, but selected bits of it are in my husband's multi-genre collection, so I pricked up my ears and read this interview:

I was particularly interested in this part of the interview, which is relevant to a topic on this forum ( about Killing An Arab, which some people (yours truly not included) seemed to think The Cure should stop performing, not because of what the song was about but because of how it was often misinterpreted by nincompoops:

QuoteEven though you weren't physically present, Rage Against the Machine's Killing in the Name was chanted at the Black Lives Matter protest in Portland, but it was also chanted by pro-Trump supporters in Philadelphia. How did that feel?
First of all, there's no accounting for stupidity. There's a long list of radical left anthems that are misunderstood by bozos who sing them at events like that, from Woody Guthrie's This Land Is Your Land to Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA to John Lennon's Imagine – those people have really no idea what the hell they're singing about. The one thing that I speak to in all of those instances is that there's a power to the music that casts a wide net, and that's a good thing, not a bad thing. In that net, there will be the far-right bozos, but there will also be people that have never considered the ideas put forward in those songs and are forced to consider those ideas because the rock'n'roll is great. You can either put a beat to a Noam Chomsky lecture – no one wants that, but there's going to be no mistaking what the content is – or you can make music that's compelling.

So you don't try to serve people with a cease-and-desist order when they misuse your music?
When they were using Rage songs for torture in Guantánamo, we sued the state department, but no. My take is: "Go enjoy the rock'n'roll. You look like fools, but go enjoy the rock'n'roll."
Title: Re: Nice interviews to read
Post by: Ulrich on October 22, 2021, 14:08:18
Didn't really know where to put this, but it's (kind of) an interview with Mogwai producer Dave Fridman about work on their latest album:

Quote from: undefinedDespite the challenges of producing the album remotely, Dave Fridmann's work on the latest Mogwai album saw the band top the charts for the very first time.

"Mogwai is one of those bands that's ultra‑dynamic, that goes from ear‑bleeding volume to deafening silence. If you go to one of their shows you'll experience a full range of emotions because of those dynamics, and because it's so visceral when they're loud. My job was to try to make the visceral experience of a live concert come out of a pair of stereo speakers, or tiny computer speakers, or earbuds. That's not an easy task.

"In general, it is why I have bands come into my studio and perform their music here, and I'm in the room with them listening, experiencing their music in the way they experience it. I'm not sitting in the control room. When you do that with Mogwai, it's absolutely mesmerising. Capturing that is not as simple as just recording them straight. There's studio trickery involved in getting that across on a home stereo system. I hope that I can bring some added value to the table here, not only with Mogwai, but in working with anybody."

In these two paragraphs Dave Fridmann summarises many of the essential aspects of his production and mix work on the latest Mogwai album, As The Love Continues.

Fridmann has worked with Mogwai off and on since the band's second album, 1999's Come On Die Young. He also worked on the follow up, Rock Action (2001), and again on their ninth album, Every Country's Sun (2017), and most recently on As The Love Continues. The latter, which went to number one in the UK (the band's first chart‑topping effort), came into being in a rather unusual way. Fridmann directed the recording sessions via Zoom, which may seems like a rather remote, impersonal, digital approach for someone so fond of the warmth and humanity of analogue gear. However, while countless people the world over are by now absolutely fed up of relating to others via a screen, the American has a different perspective.

"I'd actually argue that even as Zoom is a digital format, it's an analogue experience. We were looking at each other in real time. We were hearing each other in real time. We were interacting in real time. I couldn't pause reality. It was just like being in the room together. If we had been sitting in the room together, we'd have had the same conversations.
Title: Re: Nice interviews to read
Post by: Ulrich on October 26, 2021, 09:36:36
Title: Re: Nice interviews to read
Post by: Ulrich on October 30, 2021, 10:25:40

QuoteQ: Peter Buck has said "New Test Leper" is his favorite R.E.M. song of the band's whole catalog. What still resonates with you from the album?

Mills: I don't listen to R.E.M. records for pleasure, but "How the West Was Won and Where it Got Us" is so eerie and spooky. It was an incredibly organically created song. Bill started playing the drum line, the piano just fell out of me, and in about three minutes we had a framework of the song. It's rare and exciting and when something happens that fast – it's usually pretty good. There's a reason it came out like that. That song was meant to be.

Stipe: I would agree with "New Test Leper." It's a song that I worked very, very hard on. I wrote seven completely different drafts and narrative arcs and through all seven I landed on one after watching a daytime TV talk show and someone we would have referred to then as a transvestite was presenting their idea about why they felt compelled to express themselves. That song followed me. I just couldn't land it. I can remember the couch I sat on when it hit me, and when I wrote that story down on a notebook. That song and "Man on the Moon" (from 1992's "Automatic for the People") are two of the most difficult I wrote.
Title: Re: Nice interviews to read
Post by: Ulrich on February 01, 2022, 19:03:19
QuoteI want to talk a little bit about your life post 90's. That's definitely an era for you that's much less documented. I'm interested to hear about what was going on then and what your life was like. In the late 90's you moved to Germany. What precipitated you deciding to move to Europe?

I started living in the middle of Germany, in Darmstadt. I didn't know it at the time, but it's a huge city for Stockhausen and experimental music. Later I moved to the south, which was more rural. It's more the Black Forest style. That's when I was playing with the twins in the Go-Luckys, and was actually living with their parents. I almost felt like a teenager again.

You're wanting to know about a time that was weird, because at that point I realized I wasn't a success and I wasn't going to be. It was kind of a transition for me to realize that I needed to find a way to make sure I could take care of myself, and music wasn't going to be it. It was sort of that period too, where I was thinking "I don't know what I'm doing, I'm an old woman already." The songs were definitely about feeling a lack of connection, not knowing what's ahead and not knowing how to plan. Not really feeling like I was going to live much longer, really; there's a lot of suicide talk in the songs.

That said, some of the best songs that I ever wrote were during that period. I don't know if you've ever heard "Dreaming" and "Don't Neglect Yourself" and "I Mean Nothing", but those are pretty amazing songs that I wrote when I was really living on the edge back in America, hardly being able to keep it together. When I left Germany I went back to Chico and went back to school. I was living out of my van the first six months, just living as cheaply as I could.

I was doing radio, I got to be the voice of the North State at KCHO radio, an NPR affiliate. I got to be the voice in-between broadcasts for Morning Edition or All Things Considered. I loved it, but at eight dollars an hour how can you survive?

But basically there was a transition, where I realized if I didn't do music for love then I shouldn't do it because it certainly wasn't profitable, and I felt like I was taking from people more than I was giving them. As a musician I didn't feel that I could make enough to pay back everyone I wanted to pay back. So I went back to school and got a real job. Can you believe I'm a teacher?

How has it been with COVID? I imagine there are some challenges to teaching drama right now.

Yes. The kids are traumatized from the past few years. I sure do get to know it when I talk to them and get to hear about their hopes and dreams. The students who are taking drama because they want it really didn't have anything for a good year and a half. Then there's kids that have been shoved into the class and are forced to take it, but I think they're getting something out of it. They're going to appreciate theater more, even if they don't want to be actors.

What I see is that the students are traumatized because they aren't as used to being social. And now being social always has to do with technology and phones. I don't really see kids just being together without that.

But what I'm super thrilled about (and if anyone here is from anywhere that isn't California they're probably going to think this is so California) is that our school is embracing what we call SEL: social emotional learning. We are flexible, we don't demean the students, we try to figure out how to work with them and give them time. What I really love is greeting my students as they come in late. Saying "Good morning, you came just at the right time!" rather than making them go and get a note.
Title: Re: Nice interviews to read
Post by: Ulrich on May 06, 2022, 09:58:54

QuoteVan Etten began writing We've Been Going About This All Wrong in 2020—aside from two songs, "Darkish" and "Far Away," which she wrote earlier and then set aside because, at the time, she thought they were "too apocalyptic." (I find this funny, I say, because her writing tends to be fairly dark. "Right? I mean, I put jokes in there. I temper it a little," she says. "I have to have a joke in there somewhere, to remind people that I am a human being.") The album does bear an apocalyptic imprint—near the end of "Darkish," Van Etten asks, "Where will we be when our world is done?"—but it's also a sort of reorientation around the idea of home. On "Darkness Fades" and "Headspace," there's a sense of estrangement from a partner; on "Come Back," she grasps again for connection. On "Home to Me," Van Etten addresses her son directly: "Don't turn your back. Don't leave," she sings. "You're on my mind, do you not see?"

Earlier this year, she put out two songs—"Porta" and "Used to It"—which emerged from the same writing period. But she released no singles from the album, which comes out this week. She wanted listeners to take it in from start to finish and assign their own meaning to songs. Like a hand outstretched, saying: This was my experience. Maybe it was yours, too.

If Van Etten's previous album, 2019's Remind Me Tomorrow, was about looking back on her life so far, We've Been Going About This All Wrong focuses on where she's at now.

Van Etten had lived in Brooklyn for nearly 15 years when, in September 2019, she moved to Los Angeles with her partner (the music manager, and her former drummer, Zeke Hutchins), and their son, then 2. She wanted "to try to slow down," she says—to have more space for her family and to build a home studio from which she could write and record herself, and to work on more projects that wouldn't require her to be on the road. She and Hutchins were supposed to get married in May 2020; in February, traveling to Mexico for her bachelorette party, she found that LAX was empty. "That was the first time I remember thinking, 'Oh, this Covid thing might be something," she says.

Then everything shut down. "Here we are in our new home, still unpacking, still figuring out, 'Where are we? Who are our neighbors? What are we doing here?'" Van Etten says. She and Hutchins had to learn to navigate their jobs, her classes (she resumed work on her undergraduate psychology degree in 2020), their relationship, and parenting under the same roof, while trying not to let on to their son how scary the world around had become. It wasn't only the pandemic; it was also the longer, increasingly ferocious fire seasons in California brought on by climate change; rising gun violence; protests over racial justice—all the ways that individual anxieties were exposed to be community ones, too. It comes through in the music. "I wanted to acknowledge what we were going through in our political climate," she says, "and just be able to put into words my frustration and my anger."
Title: Re: Nice interviews to read
Post by: Ulrich on December 25, 2022, 17:40:56
One might think about Bob Dylan what she/he likes, but this interview proves he's still passionate about music (as a listener and as a songwriter)!

QuoteMusic is made very differently now, and your grandchildren are hearing songs for the first time in whole new ways, like via Spotify. Does the way you first hear a song matter? Do you think that has changed the relationship of the listener to the song?

The relationship you have to a song can change over time. You can outgrow it, or it could come back to haunt you, come back stronger in a different way. A song could be like a nephew or a sister, or a mother-in-law. There actually is a song called "Mother-in-Law."

When you first hear a song, it might be related to what time of day you hear it. Maybe at daybreak – at dawn with the sun in your face – it would probably stay with you longer than if you heard it at dusk. Or maybe, if you first hear it at sunset, it would probably mean something different, than if you heard it first at 2 in the afternoon. Or maybe you hear something in the dead of night, in the darkness, with night eyes.

Do you think there is anything about the technology used today to record music that would have changed the impact or value you place on the songs you've included in the book, and especially the performances, or is a great song a great song?

I think a great song has the sentiments of the people in mind. When you hear it, you get a gut reaction, and an emotional one at the same time. A great song follows the logic of the heart and stays in your head long after you've heard it, like "Taxman," it can be played with a full orchestra score or by a strolling minstrel, and you don't have to be a great singer to sing it. It's bell, book, and candle. Otherworldly. It transports you and you feel like you're levitating. It's close to an out of body experience.

A great song mutates, makes quantum leaps, turns up again like the prodigal son. It crosses genres. Could be punk rock, ragtime, folk-rock, or zydeco, and can be played in a lot of different styles, multiple styles.
Title: Re: Nice interviews to read
Post by: Ulrich on February 05, 2023, 12:05:18
Today you'll get 2 for the price of 1.  ;)

Quote"We've had a few 'ends of careers' actually," he laughs. "We've been banned from a few countries and been arrested in a few countries – Australia amongst them."

"Which I now wear a badge of honour – everything's so sterile and safe these days. People are too afraid of f*cking up their careers. Bollocks to that."

Having emerged as a band in the late 70s on the wave of punk rock, The Stranglers were known for their experimentation across a large variety of musical styles, including art rock, gothic rock, pop and new wave.

With his time in a producing role for bands such as ARB, Taxi Girl, Lizard and more, JJ Burnel refined his ear for diverse musicality: "I used to love producing because it gave me a chance to learn new stuff in the studio."

"It's like osmosis. You pick stuff up and you bring it to life. I would learn a new way of singing, a new way of recording the drums, a lick here, a lick there, a new sound or keyboard."

It's this evolution that is at the core of The Stranglers' ethos: "it would be pathetic if me, now, at my age was trying to be my 24-year-old self, or – I won't mention any names – men with very long hair in Lycra who are still trying to be Metal Gods with their beer bellies."

"Make your own mistakes – humility is probably the most important thing to learn. It's as simple as that. Your success is not based on you. It's based on a hell of a lot of networks and help."

"Sometimes you evolve and you fall flat on your face. And other times you try something new and it works. That's what it should be about."

QuoteMost former punks end up touring the nostalgia circuit or cropping up at conventions. Not Christopher John Millar, aka Rat Scabies. When Scabies hit middle age, the legendary drummer with the Damned began to hunt for the Holy Grail. 'We all started off criticising government and I've ended up looking for pixies,' explains Scabies.

In 2005, the music journalist Christopher Dawes wrote a rollicking account of a trip he took with Scabies to the epicentre of it all, Rennes-le-Château, a tiny village atop a rock overlooking the River Aude in the Languedoc. Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail has taken its place as a minor gonzo classic. Dawes lived across the road from Scabies in Brentford and gradually got drawn into a world of odd theories and strange coincidences. 'I knew he'd be hooked and anyway this kind of yarn made me sound interesting,' Scabies tells me.

This "yarn" got me obsessed too and I made the trip to south France to go Grailhunting... (I still do, even in Germany you can go on a Grail travel, seeing Wolfram von Eschenbach was one of the first to write about it, back in 1200 or so)!
Title: Re: Nice interviews to read
Post by: Ulrich on April 30, 2023, 19:07:59

QuoteThe Damned's 12th studio album, and first in five years, was "pretty much finished" before the 2022 reunion tour of the original quartet, who were the first U.K. punk band to release a single ("New Rose" in October 1976) and to tour the U.S. Darkadelic reflects the band's continuing musical evolution; its usual gothic-flavored drama is intact, but filled with intricate instrumental dynamics and textures — particularly on "Western Promise," a song with soundscapes that are accented by trumpets and sonic nods to '80s new romantic fare.

"For me, the only criteria was to have this album driven by more pronounced guitars," says Vanian. "The album took on its own identity compared to our last (2018's Evil Spirits). Plus, wanting it to sound sonically inspiring when heard on iPad or phone, a slightly more modern sound, if you will, without effecting or compromising what we do." Sensible notes that, "We always set out to do something a little bit different. We get bored doing the same thing over and over. The first rule of the Damned is there are no rules." The direction, he adds, "Wasn't a conscious decision or anything. We just came together with our own demos and certain tracks got chosen and it did take on a life of its own, as they all do, and that's the album."

Sensible says Darkadelic was very much a band effort by the current quintet, with drummer Will Taylor making his first appearance on a Damned album. "We chose the tunes and started bashing them out, all five of us, just being a band," says Sensible...

Also intriguing is the galloping "Leader of the Gang," a not particularly veiled elegy to disgraced rocker Gary Glitter, who's back in jail after violating probation conditions related to his child sexual abuse conviction.

"He got caught doing some really sh-t things and spent some time in prison — deservedly so," Sensible says. "But the thing is the music was absolutely magnificent and so influential. They don't play his music on the radio anymore in Britain, and for me that's a shame. His band didn't do anything wrong, and they can't get a gig anymore. Do you ban the music or the art? If you ban one person you have to follow that and ban loads of people because some of these creatives have some some pretty sh-t stuff in their lives. [Some of them are] very, very famous people, film directors and politicians... where do you stop?"

After a European tour earlier this year, the Damned come across the pond for a half-dozen U.S. west coast dates starting May 20 in San Francisco before playing New Zealand and Australia during June and the Rebellion Festival in Blackpool, England, in early August. "We haven't done a lot of gigs with this lineup, so it's nice things are opening up again," Sensible says. "Live music's really taken a hit and a lot of venues didn't make it. The musicians are just the tip of the iceberg; you don't see all the support people, the venue staff and the crews and the logistics people. It's having to revive in a way."

He's also amenable to doing more gigs with original bandmates Brian James and Rat Scabies after last fall's five-show run in the U.K. "They were an absolute revelation, to be quite honest — musically and socially," Sensible says. "There was a point about 10 years ago when we all stopped slagging each other off; the fact we all made up and like each other again is just incredible to me because it was extremely bitter. (laughs) But we all got on. It was really strange backstage — everyone's smiling at each other, arms around each other's shoulders and stuff, really great. So I would love to work with them again, in that or another capacity."
Title: Re: Nice interviews to read
Post by: Ulrich on May 18, 2023, 10:43:20

QuoteYellowstone wouldn't be complete without the sweeping orchestral sounds that open each episode. And naturally, it was all Taylor Sheridan's idea to make the title sequences sound big and dramatic, said composer Brian Tyler, who joined his colleague Breton Vivian at Deadline's Sound & Screen event that focused on the big of both the Paramount Network drama and the Paramount+ prequel 1923.

"He was writing Yellowstone and was thinking that he wanted to do very cinematic kind of approach. He wanted orchestral music and he wanted something very emotional that explored the dark side too, that which reflects dynamically against the beauty," Tyler said. "It's like where tragedy is beauty and you understand one because of the other. "
Title: Re: Nice interviews to read
Post by: Ulrich on May 18, 2023, 18:24:49

Quote"The thing about The Damned is that we've still got something to say," says guitarist Raymond Burns – better known to the world at large as Captain Sensible.

"Every album we put out is different to the last. We've been on this musical adventure, this journey, and if we started repeating ourselves then we may as well just become another heritage band. I always look back to The Beatles, who were so big for my generation. I didn't particularly like them at the time, but they did so much in the eight or nine years they were making albums. Let It Be is so different from the nonsense they started out with. I feel as though bands are duty bound to progress, and see how far they can take it."

On Darkadelic, the band explore a potent blend of their tried-and-true punk background with garage rock and psychedelia.

"We decided to take more risks this time around," says the Captain.

"We don't make an awful lot of albums, so it's exciting for us to veer off in another direction – especially with the lyrics."

He points in particular to the song 'Wake The Dead', which was written in response to the band discovering that their music was being played at funerals of those that loved The Damned.

"We raise two fingers to the Grim Reaper on that one," he laughs. "The punk generation aren't gonna go quietly, that's my take on that."

Burns also prides the band on tracking everything in the studio themselves, which they did with producer Thomas Mitchener across sessions at London's Kore Studios and Watford's Broadfields Studios. At a point in time with technology that can quantise and perfect everything down to a spotless T, The Damned still want their albums to sound like "five blokes in a room together bashing the songs out," as the guitarist so succinctly puts it. "Our first album [1977's Damned Damned Damned] was recorded on an eight-track recorder with one-inch tape," he recalls.

"We then moved onto 24-track, which took up two separate machines, and then it all went digital. There's all these insane plugins now that people can create those horrible AutoTune effects with. You can make anyone sound good in a studio now, and that's a frightening thing. Any plastic surgery TikTok influencer with 10 million followers can get a top-10 single now. Without the AutoTune, it'd sound absolutely appalling. We still wanna do it the traditional way. ...
Title: Re: Nice interviews to read
Post by: Ulrich on June 07, 2023, 09:50:33

QuoteNME: There's a quote where you're talking about Faith, Hope & Carnage where you welcomed the privilege of being wrong, which was refreshing as it's not a privilege that a lot of people allow themselves...

Cave: "No, it isn't. I like being wrong. I'm always wrong. The thing about a wrong idea is that you know. The thing with Seán is that I would start talking about what I call in the book 'my cherished ideas' – these are the ideas that you think are really good, they rattle round in your head, you talk to yourself, and you have the conversation as they come out of your mouth. You're saying them to someone that's not afraid to push back into them a bit and you can hear that they're not good ideas. That is the corrective value of a conversation. You find out your good ideas, they get firmer and better, and your bad ideas drop away.


"There's also a corrosive, pathological, relentless pessimism coming from the media and social media. It's just eating away at ourselves and what we are as human beings. Personally, I don't see the world like that. I think terrible things can happen but what we are missing is the beauty of the world – the systemic loveliness of things."

It's no accident that the really great stuff is often made by the most problematic people. I don't quite understand it, but there's certainly no metric that says that virtuousness makes good art. If you start looking around for the good people who make good art, the conversation shuts down very quickly. All the great stuff seems to be made by people who are in some way, out of order in some way or another.

"I just value art and see that the need for it is too urgent to be f*cking around and taking this stuff down. That's where my problem with the cancel culture business begins and ends. It's not some great fight I'm having with these people. I just worry about the world and we need as much good stuff as possible."
Title: Re: Nice interviews to read
Post by: Ulrich on June 15, 2023, 10:10:49

QuoteFormed in 1977, X quickly established itself as one of the best bands in the first wave of L.A.'s punk scene. Featuring singer Exene Cervenka, singer-bassist John Doe, guitarist Billy Zoom and drummer DJ Bonebrake, the band released its debut single, "Adult Books"/"We're Desperate," and then steadily toured and recorded. Rolling Stone rightly ranks X's first two studio albums, Los Angeles and Wild Gift, among the top 500 greatest albums of all time.

The band continues to tour with the original line-up fully intact, and X's current trek brings it to House of Blues on Wednesday, July 5.

In 2020, X celebrated the 40th Anniversary of Los Angeles and then delivered a surprise release of Alphabetland, its first new studio album featuring the original line-up in 35 years. The group is currently working on new material.

You have been working on new music. Talk about when you started developing the new material?
Cervenka: We put out Alphabetland during the height of the pandemic. We couldn't tour, and we waited so long to do a record, and then, everybody's life got postponed. If that pandemic wouldn't have happened, the record would have come out in a more timely fashion, and we would have toured more behind it. We could have just said, "Ok. We made a new record, and that's that." Because we couldn't really say that, we have to make another record. We are working on songs, and they're going very well. We did four of them live at the last set of shows. Everyone liked them a lot. I had people telling me they really liked them and that they fit in. I We have more confidence now that we did that last album and can write songs all day and come up with good ideas. We're not worried or inhibited or thinking they won't be as good.
Doe: At first, I was daunted. I thought, "Why? What? Who cares?" But that is what all artists go through even if you're at the top and did the best record ever. I thought nobody would want to hear a new album. Once we started writing songs together, I thought oddly enough that they're very catchy. This group of songs is much catchier than Alphabetland. That's unexpected. I don't know what happened. The choruses came together in a better way. It's exciting to have new material. Then, you don't feel like you're just an oldies act, which we have never been. We haven't had the luxury of playing casinos and county fairs.

You've toured really regularly post-pandemic. What keeps the band going nearly 50 years into its career?
Cervenka: Can I answer from Billy? Nobody has quit or died from drug overdoses. Basically, that is true. Success can be a problem. But we are still alive. If the Ramones were still alive, they'd still be playing and traveling in a van. You know they would. It's a tragedy that they're not here. Same with the Cramps. I would give anything to see the Cramps. It's the luck of the draw. We're lucky to be here. Overthinking things can really be a problem for an artist if you want to be this totally intuitive artist, and you don't care what people think. Sometimes, you have to be smart enough to know what's going on and how to keep doing it. It's a combination of so many things. We're on Fat Possum Records and have great management and good booking. We have a good bunch of people who really promote what we do and believe in us. From our accountant to our lawyer, they're all fans. They do what they need to do to make sure we can keep playing. That is really amazing. In turn, we can help other people. It's what happens when you do something long enough.
Doe: I would add to that that we still have creative juice. I don't say that to brag, but I feel like we still want to create things and maybe that's ambition or stick-to-it-ness. If it wasn't for the fact that people came to see us, we wouldn't do this. If there were 100 people, and we made $1000 a night, we probably wouldn't do it. That's not the case. We're fortunate that we're here and that people still give a shit. If they didn't, nobody has that kind of determination. We make a good living and people love to see the band, and we love to play. We don't sweat the small stuff. We're probably better friends now than ever because we have been through so much together.
Title: Re: Nice interviews to read
Post by: Ulrich on June 17, 2023, 11:28:06

QuoteOn the day InReview talks to singer Carla Lippis, a shipment of her new album Mondo Psycho has just landed, literally, on her doorstep.

"I'm trying to get them all inside before it rains," she says.

It's a momentous occasion for the native South Australian, given this is her debut album after more than 20 years in the business.

During that time, the 42-year-old performer has lived and worked around the world, including in London's West End, touring Europe with Italian post-folk band Sacri Cuori and back in Adelaide as a regular performer at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival.

Lippis's depth of talent and diversity have culminated in Mondo Psycho, which sees her stepping away from her cabaret roots and morphing into a dramatic, looming character – a "rabid Liza Minnelli", as she puts it.

"As a late bloomer in music, I've constantly been told 'You're too old to foster industry backing', because few in the industry here want to take a risk on an artist that isn't young, impressionable and easily manipulated into fulfilling the commercial interest of others," she says.

"I feel like we're still living in this weird ageist world with musicians where music is about being young and beautiful. Whereas living in Europe taught me that being a musician is for life.

"I was feeling kind of sad when I came back [from London], because we're still really driven here by youth culture and I feel this is something we need to change."

On a sidenote: I haven't heard her debut album yet, but I own an EP she recorded with Sacri Cuori (bought at a live show of them in Stuttgart back in 2016, where she delivered vocals on a few songs)!
Title: Re: Nice interviews to read
Post by: Ulrich on July 03, 2023, 13:44:06

QuoteGlen: I'd seen pictures of Blondie, and they weren't scabby old punk rockers, they had a bit of style to them, they had that pop thing going on. I think the first time I met Clem was when I did that one-off gig with Sid (Vicious) at the Electric Ballroom. Blondie had turned up en masse and, Clem tells me, Marc Bolan was there. I do remember Phil Lynott being there... When you're in a band your paths kind of cross and you gravitate to people you get on with, so I suppose me being a bass player and him being a drummer there's some kind of affinity there.

And Clem, when did you first become aware of Glen's work?

Clem: I tried to get Glen in a band with me, back in the seventies, that I was trying to put together with Eric Faulkner [of the Bay City Rollers] and Paul Weller [then of The Jam]. It was kind of a pipe dream. We had that bit of a lay-off with Blondie at the time, and even though we were so successful I was still trying to get something else going, just to keep playing, and that's been my MO ever since. I'm not exactly sure what happened with that band, but I know we spent a lot of afternoons in The Roebuck on the King's Road.

While arguments persist about who invented what, there were always distinct differences between the UK and US punk scenes. I spoke with Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible recently, and they were saying how when The Damned first played CBGB in the spring of 1977, the New York bands were utterly appalled by what drunken louts they were.

Glen: The first time I went to New York I was playing with Iggy Pop and we headlined the Palladium on Halloween, with The Cramps supporting us, and I did like a brown ale back then. Iggy Pop felt much the same way as they did about The Damned, and read me the riot act: "The American people will not stand for this kind of behaviour..." You know, Iggy Pop telling me off, can you imagine? It was probably because I was winding him up about getting on a bit.

Clem: I saw The Damned at the Starwood in LA on that tour, actually. They were great. That was at the point when Jake Riviera [Stiff Records co-founder who signed The Damned to the label in '76] was getting up on stage and haranguing the audience, disparaging the whole thing, Rat set the cymbals on fire and Captain was running around in a tutu.

Punk's longevity never ceases to amaze. But when the word 'punk' was being bandied about in the early days of Blondie and the Pistols, I imagine you were both thinking: "Fair enough, just a passing press thing that'll pass in a couple of months", rather than: "I'll still be talking about this shit in forty-seven years' time to some bloke in Colchester."

Clem: Well, neither one of us would ever have called ourselves punks prior to the word being used in the vernacular to describe a certain kind of music. I mean, the New York scene was more like beatniks. Debbie and Chris were beatniks, and even Iggy Pop. But when Punk magazine started, people got behind it in New York.

But punk rock in pop was not something I thought of as a new phenomenon. I'm pretty sure The Sonics and Stooges had already been called punk, probably by Lester Bangs. I remember [the MC5's] Wayne Kramer had just gotten out of prison, and they were saying he was one of the seminal influences on punk rock, but the last thing that he wanted to be called was a 'punk', because in prison it means something completely different. So he was like: "What do you mean they're calling me a punk now?"

So first it was a label for a specific kind of music, but now it's a catch-all catchphrase used to describe a do-it-yourself lifestyle, a certain ethic. I think there's a lot of positive aspects to existing under that umbrella of punk in a lot of ways, but I don't think that we ever went around calling ourselves punks.

Glen: No. As for my band, we weren't punks, we were the Sex Pistols. To me, punks were the bands who came along after on our coat-tails. But a name sticks. In England it was Sounds' Jonh Ingham and Melody Maker's Caroline Coon who came up with the term. We'd never heard it before. It just appeared in the Melody Maker and people adopted it.

One thing that seemed analogous between Blondie and the Sex Pistols was a direct line to the sixties: a combination of Brill Building teen angst and short, sharp, snappy, aggressive music, very reminiscent of mod. The first time I heard the Sex Pistols I heard a mod band.

Clem: Yeah, a bit like The Who. That would have been my reaction as well: stylish, young, aggressive music. I mean, The Who were really the first punk-rock band. But the so-called punk scene couldn't really be defined by one word. When I first came over here, the UK scene reflected what was happening at CBGB in that all the bands were so different: Dr Feelgood, Eddie & The Hot Rods, The Stranglers, all different.

All they had in common was that they were the opposite of what was happening in the mainstream. Ultimately, they weren't Rick Wakeman. Add to that a bit of posing and a bit of fun... But who would have thought that we'd still be here now? The next major thing that happened as far as changing the approach to rock'n' roll was grunge.
Title: Re: Nice interviews to read
Post by: Ulrich on October 12, 2023, 10:40:53
QuoteIn a recent interview with the BBC, the guitarist refused to discuss the meanings behind the singer's words on the latest record, insisting, "Mick writes the lyrics. ... But he's got some angst in him, and I said, 'Well, let's use it.' From my point of view, the essential thing about making a record is that the singer has to want to sing the material. Mick, given a song that he's not interested in, can really make it bad. And that's maybe one of the reasons it took 18 years because Mick's waves of enthusiasm come and go."

Richards also praised Jagger's insistence that the band began work on the record as soon as the Stones completed their last tour. "He hit me in the right spot," the guitarist said. "I've always wanted to record the band as soon after we get off of the road because the band is lubricated."
Read More: Keith Richards on Why Mick Jagger Makes Some Songs 'Really Bad' |
Title: Re: Nice interviews to read
Post by: Ulrich on October 18, 2023, 15:53:48

QuoteThe Pretenders frontwoman and punk pioneer takes questions from Observer readers and famous fans on her relentless creativity spanning half a century, rethinking her hippy youth, and her cruelty-free farm

This interview took place in a photo studio in Islington last week in a break from a touring schedule that has taken in 50 gigs already this year, some in intimate clubs, some at stadiums as special guests of Guns N' Roses. In a couple of weeks the band will head to the States for more of the same. Hynde is no great lover of the business of album promotion or journalist's questions (as she once admitted to the Observer: "I can't be arsed usually and it doesn't help that I'm not a show-off... OK, on stage I am, but only on stage").

We live in a time when protest is being restricted but – with a climate and biodiversity emergency – is more important than ever before. Still, there is a dearth of protest singers. Is it time for songwriters to put pop to one side and to pick up their pens with more purpose?

I don't think songwriters should do anything except what they want to do. Which is express themselves. It's good for people to protest, but everyone knows what the problems are. What we need are solutions. That is what the ahimsa farm is about, trying to set examples of what could be done. Do I think people should pick up a guitar and sing about it? Well, you know, Masters of War was a great protest song – but I'm not Bob Dylan. The thing with art is that it's personal to you, it's self-expression.

The standout track from the Pretenders' first album is the epic Lovers of Today. In its last line you sing that you'll never feel like a man in a man's world – is the music industry still a man's world and have you ever felt like a man in it?

Have I ever felt like a man? No. When I was 17, I read Charlie Mingus's autobiography. He described this island, this colourless island, where musicians and artists lived. And that's how I've always thought of it. Writing music is not about gender, race, or any belief system, none of that sort of thing. I have been asked hundreds of times over the years, especially by female journalists, if I had to work harder because I was a woman. Or I had to fight more. But the truth is, I actually feel I was probably given more credit than I was due, because I was a novelty. I was a girl doing this.
Title: Re: Nice interviews to read
Post by: Ulrich on October 22, 2023, 16:54:16

QuoteTanya Donelly takes pride in her creative achievements over the last three decades.

The singer-songwriter-guitarist helped launch three seminal alternative rock bands—Throwing Muses, The Breeders, and Belly — the last two within only two years of each other.

With Throwing Muses, she became the first American act signed by the legendary British label 4AD.

With Belly, the ethereal-voiced singer achieved two alternative Top 10 singles: "Gepetto" and the chart-topper "Feed the Tree."

"We had a strange trajectory toward the end of The Breeders because, for instance, all of the songs that ended up being on Star, Belly's first album, were slated for the second Breeders album.

But then Kim went on tour, so I did the Belly thing. When Star and Last Splash came out within months of each other, it was like we were playing side by side. There was just something so celebratory about the fact that Kim and I both got to do our thing and that it worked out so beautifully separately. It was wonderful for both of us."

48 HILLS: There were so many strong women-fronted rock bands in the '90s, including Belly. How did it feel to be part of this feminist wave?

TANYA DONELLY: "It means everything to me, and at the time that it was happening, we were aware that there were a lot of very talented women who were picking up instruments and writing songs and singing.

At some early stage of Throwing Muses, Kristin Hersh and I felt we couldn't address the "What's it like to be a woman in rock?" question because we just felt like, "What do you mean? Everything we'd ever listened to involved women."

But it was really in post that I started to see that what happened in the late '80s and early '90s was unprecedented in terms of female musicianship. Not just singers and songwriters—there were also many strong, undeniable female musicians. It felt different and exciting.

I didn't fully appreciate it until younger women started coming to me to say, "You, Kristin, and Kim are the reason I started playing." I have to stare at the ceiling to try not to cry because it moves me every time. That's genuinely one of the most gratifying parts of this. It's an overwhelming gift to have somebody say that to you."
Title: Re: Nice interviews to read
Post by: Ulrich on October 28, 2023, 14:11:08
Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) talking about his book:

QuoteWriting was essential to my own creative impulse. I always give it equal value to music.

And so I always harbored a frustrated desire to be a writer, and be recognized as such. And to have books of my own exist in any kind of bookstore, whether it's independent or corporate. The fact that this book will come out, and possibly be in a window or two, is very exciting for me. Because books and records were always such artful objects. That's why I've amassed such a library over the years. To the point of realizing I don't have enough days in my life to actually get through all the books I own, let alone listen to the music I've acquired on every single medium, be it cassette or CD or vinyl. That makes me ask myself why I don't get rid of it all, and be spartan and Buddhist, and just enjoy the sound of birdsongs and get over it. But I love these artful documents that people use in exchange and sharing of knowledge and information. I feel comfortable in that kind of world.

For me, meditation is spending hours going through dusty old bookstores and record stores. Of course a lot of those things have gone missing in the last couple of decades. It's funny— just before you called, I was reading about Bandcamp being sold to a corporatized company, and all these workers being laid off. It's been such a good forum for music, the kind that didn't necessitate any PR for those who couldn't afford it. Now the fear is that day is gone. It was the only online music sharing I had any interest in. It makes me ask: "Now what?"


It's like New York City for me, living there for 30 years. Each generation I would meet was like: "Oh, you should have seen this city in the '60s. Or the '50s. I was like: "Yeah, I would have liked to." My experience was the mid '70s onwards. And even musicians I would meet in the '90s would talk about missing out on the "good old days." I'd tell them not to wish for something you didn't have.

The thing about the "good old days" is they show up at any given time. I initially wanted to not only write about the history of Sonic Youth, but also my history as a young person coming to New York, and connecting it to these other musicians, and how we connected with these subcultures.

Punk rock was always sort of a dark genre. At the same time, it was an extremely liberated forum for whatever activism you felt politically. The only thing it kicked against was fascism. So any kind of Nazi iconography that would come in would make you wonder: "Are they embracing that just to make a statement of absurdity?" Then everybody turned against it. It was abhorrent initially, but also almost comical. When you look back now though, it's just completely and terribly embarrassing. Because these children were playing around with really dangerous motifs. I think the whole idea early on was to play with danger. So Sid Vicious was being the lunk headed teenager, going "Oh, I'm wearing a swastika. Yay! I'm being stupid." But it defies explanation, because it's nothing but a reference to human degradation.

So I wanted to make this kind of art rock, but with a punk energy. Intellectualized music that was also really raw and primal. I thought Sonic Youth could be this balance between the two. I don't know if Kim, Lee [Ranaldo], or Steve [Shelley] felt the same way, but I think they were okay with letting me try to realize a lot of that. They'd always respond well to Minor Threat or Black Flag. But I think my interests were always very dominant in the group. We didn't really have a leader, we'd always considered ourselves a Sonic Democracy. But as far as the balance between art rock and hardcore, I was pushing for that. And I didn't find myself meeting any kind of resistance from the other members. I think everybody was just happy to be in this thing that was charging forward.

Read (much) more at:
Title: Re: Nice interviews to read
Post by: Ulrich on March 09, 2024, 13:13:23
QuoteAs the front man of London punk rock band The Damned, Dave Vanian swapped digging graves for rock'n'roll, leaning into his love of film noir, gothic fiction and vampire obsession for his stage persona.

At 67, Vanian has spent the last three days in a London rehearsal studio with his band mates getting ready for their Australian tour.  He's happy they're back together for nostalgia's sake, but isn't one to dwell on the past too much.

"I am always moving forward with music; I am all about new challenges and new things in life. I don't sit thinking about the past," says Dave Vanian. "But it's certainly been nostalgic lately because the band has been in the same room again and a lot of memories come to the fore yet again," he says.

When Vanian was last in Melbourne, he took a bus to Elsternwick to see the Ripponlea Estate where Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries TV series is made – yes, he's a big fan. He's also a huge fan of the gothic architecture of Melbourne; the Victorian terraces that spook all the feels.

"I also love checking out bars, museums and lots of architecture when I am in Melbourne. I also went to the Melbourne Flower and Garden Show on my last visit," he says. "I am a punk with a shovel and like to garden back at home."

When it comes to cocktail hour, he prefers speakeasy moods over loud venues.

"I tend to go to old hotels because if they make good martinis, that's where you'll find me," says Vanian.

"I also love to drink rye whiskies and brandy. I am not much of a beer drinker. I like old men's colonial style clubs – somewhere I can settle in for a few drinks," he adds.

Correction: it is not the "original line-up", it's more like "The Black Album" line-up ('80-'82)!