Category Archives: Interviews

INTERVIEW: JOHN SEBASTIAN

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“It was simply a matter of ‘What do we have that everybody doesn’t have?’ Let’s see. Bob Dylan songs? Let’s not have any of those. There was all kinds of rules. No Epiphones. No Rickenbackers. No 12-strings. We were on a very strict tear as far as stuff like that goes. But the important thing was that we wanted to reflect our own influences. Zally and I weren’t mono-inflected in our background.” 

John Sebastian at length about a half century in the music business, the tricks he learned composing for five-year-olds, the credit that’s still due to Zal Yanovsky, what it’s like to have Beatles, Kinks and Clapton stealing his moves, and the joy in being able to still revel in and perform jug band music as he pleases. Oh yeah, and why Cass Elliot said he and Zal might as well have been a pair of 16-year-old girls …  Continue reading

INTERVIEW: CRISPIAN MILLS

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“I think Kula Shaker was an anomaly, really … It was a weird time, but it was nice to be surprised by pop music. To think anything can happen. I like to think that Kula Shaker were also part of that surprise. We were doing things that people weren’t expecting and it was very creative.”

Crispian Mills at length about Kula Shaker coming full circle 20 years after recording their debut album, K, navigating the music industry before and after the “atomic war” of downloading that befell record labels in the aughts, returning to the US at a time of worldwide nervous breakdown, and the similarities between producing movies and music. Oh, and that feeling you get when you’re handed the bill for recording an album on Dave Gilmour’s boat …  Continue reading

INTERVIEW: HOWIE PAYNE

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“We don’t live in a world where there’s one music industry anymore. I don’t know if we ever did, but it used to seem that there was one music industry that existed—like this great big river that would run forever forward, and the jobs of musicians when they were starting out was to somehow catch a ride on a boat on that river. The boat being the record label that would take you down through this industry. ‘These are the pipes, this is where they put your music, it goes to the store, the people buy it.’ We know that doesn’t exist now, so we’re looking at multiple ways you can get your music out and it can exist.”

Howie Payne at length about getting the bug to release new music, navigating the unknown in the music industry’s new world, the importance of the groove, the heavy sound of the Stands that never translated to record, and the fertile ground that Liverpool provides for young musicians. Oh, and also why you should always wear Adidas.  Continue reading

INTERVIEW: ANDY BELL

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“You can’t fake it. You’ve either got it or you haven’t. That’s what bends my mind about the life I’ve had, because I’ve played in bands that have had great chemistry, and I’m still very lucky about that. I mean, obviously Ride had a good chemistry because we were all school friends … The version of Oasis that I was in—we really did have a great chemistry on stage, even though it wasn’t the quote-unquote ‘classic’ lineup. We still had something special. You can’t go on stage at River Plate Stadium in Argentina and just be five guys on stage and tear it up like that.”

Andy Bell at length about the Ride reunion (and the possibility of stretching it past a handful of 2015 shows), the American preservation of shoegazing, Dave Sitek’s influence on both sound and an eBay gear binge, Beady Eye’s battle to stay in the vinyl world and trying to break into film- and TV-scoring by way of Steve Marriott. Oh, and also why an intense fandom of the Beatles and the Velvet Underground caused a schism in the Ride discography …  Continue reading

INTERVIEW: KEVIN ROWLAND

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“There was lots of people that were living in my area of northwest London—their dads were also builders … So some of their dads would have companies, and they’d be making big money. But they weren’t as exacting about the detail of what they were doing as my dad. I worked for him, and I would see. Something you would think would be alright was not good enough for him. He wanted it really, really right, you know? I’m like that.”

Kevin Rowland at length about why it took 27 years to make a new Dexys album, the art of conversational songs, the “indefinable” element Big Jim Paterson brings to a band and why songwriting is “f*cking hard word.” Oh, and also why younger musicians need to learn to appreciate dynamics … Continue reading

INTERVIEW: PAUL ‘BONEHEAD’ ARTHURS

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“I’m still more than capable of doing the big Bonehead power chords, but I’ve matured as a player and I think that comes across in songs  … The days of standing on the edge of the stage, staring people out, playing huge, big rock chords are sort of behind me now. You move on, don’t you? You turn a corner, which I think I’ve done.”

Bonehead at length about his career, from following the Stone Roses around since 1984 to traveling the world with Oasis in the 1990s, post-Oasis reassurance from Johnny Marr and a more “mature” future with Parlour Flames. Oh, and also that matter of Oasis and Travis songs reducing him to tears … Continue reading

INTERVIEW: ISOBEL CAMPBELL

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I just thought, ‘Wait a minute. You’re supposed to do things that make you feel good. Do I feel good? I don’t feel good and I’m not taking care of myself.’ I was just so exhausted by everything that I think I just needed to go …  I had that feeling at the end of the band, too. You just have to go and recalibrate. I’m a really quiet person anyway, so I think a lot of the touring stuff takes a lot from me. It’s been really good to just think about myself and do really boring things like go to the supermarket.”

Isobel Campbell at length about re-establishing herself as a solo artist, preparing to write her book, riding the storm of album-and-tour cycles with Mark Lanegan and becoming more comfortable about looking back at her time with Belle & Sebastian. Oh, and also why it’s hard for a “little girl from Glasgow” to not look out the window at California’s beautiful weather and think, “#$%@.” Continue reading

INTERVIEW: NEIL INNES

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“I am one of the shrinking violets in this business because I’ve never been that keen on being famous. I like to share observations and feelings and things like that, but I can’t stand the idea of being popular. I think people who are hugely popular have to work at it quite a bit. And I’ve never worked at it.”

Neil Innes at length about the life of the Bonzo Dog (Doo-Dah) Band, the legacy of the Rutles, a solo career that’s oscillated between television and radio and how instant karma got both himself and Noel Gallagher in a similar predicament. Oh, and also why Benjamin Britten’s stuff is “just the most unthinkably bad music you’ve ever heard.” Continue reading

INTERVIEW: MILES KANE

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“I guess it’s been sort of a long old journey to find the craft. After the Puppets, I sort of found it, really, making the Colour of the Trap album. And then now on this one, when you get people coming forward and saying they wanna work with you, it’s just a complete honor. It sort of raises my game.”

Miles Kane at length about his second solo LP, working with the likes of Paul Weller, Noel Gallagher, Gruff Rhys and Ian Broudie, and being prepared to start small in America. Oh, and also wanting to do what T. Rex, Oasis or the Four Tops can do for a Saturday night (with no regard for Sunday morning) …  Continue reading

INTERVIEW: MATT PETERS

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“To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t really like the feeling of getting too comfortable with the process … You never want to have the sensation that you’ve found something concrete. All art forms should always have a certain amount of mystery to them. You don’t really know why things work … It’s always been a process of discovery. What excites me is not knowing the process. So if something gets a little too easy, I get very suspicious that maybe things are getting a little stale.”

Matt Peters at length about Royal Canoe’s forthcoming transnational ventures, taking the risk of NOT having 100 things happening at once and the state of the Waking Eyes’ “open relationship.” Oh, and also why Winnipeggers need to find time to travel.

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