Archive for the ‘interview’ Category

Lynyrd Skynyrd Breh

February 3, 2017

Lynyrd Skynyrd Breh, 1/31/17,

I recently hit the Westside neighborhood in Kansas City, MO. Ended up having a discussion about street art and the importance of urban culture.

X105.1 #StreetBeast Ep. 1 // Thou Mayest

January 24, 2017

My first segment for X1051 recently debuted. I hit up hip local coffee shop Thou Mayest to give away some Mastodon/Eagles of Death Metal tickets. Check out the mayhem of #StreetBeast!

A Live Chat With Molly Balloons

December 26, 2016

McClain and Molly Balloons at the Midland, 12/23/16

I recently ran into past interview subject and balloon beast Molly Balloons during a set break at the recent Floozies show at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland in Kansas City. You know we had to go live and chat it up!

People That Made Their Facebook Live Debuts With Me in 2016

December 14, 2016

I had the honor of going live with many great musicians and friends in their debut Facebook Live interviews this year.

Here’s a chat with Australian producer Roland Tings.

Two members of the Milwaukee-based electronic pop/dream pop band GGOOLLDD stopped by for an interview.

Hank Weidel, drummer for Kansas City-based band Captiva, stopped by for an interview after their set at X1051‘s Bye Week Brew Fest. This interview also features a guest appearance by the legendary Alfred Whitaker.

I interviewed Austin-based musician Walker Lukens for X1051 after his set at the Riot Room.

Rachel Mallin (of Rachel Mallin and the Wild Type and Jaenki) was the most frequent guest of the year. She has appeared four times this year on my Facebook Live.

We talked about Degenerate Matters at her EP release show

We had a chat about my favorite song of the year, “White Girls.”

I chatted it up with Rachel and famed blogger Sam Kali after her Midland debut.

I met up with Rachel, Stephen and Joanna Snow and the enigmatic Westport Panda during a set break at the Riot Room.

Fashion designer Nicole Leth (owner of Sex and Ice Cream) gave an interview and a tour of her shop.

Aaron Braun chatted with me during the Umphrey’s McGee show at CrossroadsKC.

It was over 100 degrees out at the Chipotle Cultivate Festival in Kansas City this year. Paul Bragg and cocktail maven Margot Anna Thompson. We had to give the rundown on the indie rock vibes and learn about quality margarita crafting.

A chat with funk fiends Macy and Gabe Engelbert about the origins of their funk and their love of Lettuce.

I hit up Art Alley with the former rave queen/indie rock beast Jami Halverson.

A chat with Matthew Arnold and Krystal Nies at the Liberty Memorial.

I met up with David Cecil Blattner of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art to discuss a few of the modern art pieces in the collection.

I sat down with Joe Hammers and Gabrielle Favreau for an impromptu interview at YJ’s Snack Bar about Burning Man.

I had a chat with comedian Chloe Pelletier to discuss her favorite joke and the impact of Huntington’s disease.

Emmaline Twist singer and guitarist Meredith McGrade stopped by for an interview after their set at RecordBar.

Kansas City-based indie rockers Golden Groves sat down for an interview before their set at the Riot Room.

I met up with Tom Camden while he was selling merch at the sold out marshmello show at the Midland.

A big thank you to everyone that sat down for chats with me this year! So much beasting!

Interview: Walker Lukens

December 2, 2016

Walker Lukens at the Riot Room, 11/30/16

Walker Lukens recently hit KC for a show presented by X1051 at the Riot Room. I sat down with Walker to discuss how he became interested in music, his approach to songwriting and the creation of “Lifted.”


McClain and Walker Lukens

Interview: Comedian Chloe Pelletier

November 16, 2016

My interview with Kansas City-based comedian Chloe Pelletier. She discusses a favorite joke, the impact of Huntington’s disease and her decision to not let fear control her life.

Interview: GGOOLLDD

November 16, 2016

GGOOLLDD live at the RecordBar, 11/11/16

I recently did a quick live interview with two members of the up-and-coming indie group GGOOLLDD. The Wisconsin-based band played Sound Machine, an event at the RecordBar curated by Kansas City label The Record Machine.


GGOOLLD at the RecordBar, 11/11/16

Check out my interview and the video for “Boyz” below:

An Interview with Singer-Songwriter Kate Cosentino.

May 20, 2016

Kate Cosentino (Image via

Kate Cosentino is a Kansas City-based singer-songwriter. Her latest release is the Smart EP. Kate recently discussed her creative process. favorite songwriters and lyrical inspiration.

Did you come from a musical family? We’re your parents musical?
My immediate family isn’t very musical as in they don’t sing or play any instruments, however they really enjoy music in terms of daily listening and going to concerts. I have a couple of aunts who sing ,but other than that I am the musical “ugly duckling.”

How old were you when you wrote your first song?
I was probably in the 2nd or 3rd grade when I wrote my first song, so around 8 years old. Pretty sure it had to do with dancing and butterflies.

Who are some of your favorite songwriters and why?
Regina Spektor is probably my all time favorite songwriter because she is completely unafraid. She writes about the weirdest things and uses strange vocal techniques and instruments and totally owns it.

Sufjan Stevens. He writes very specific strange lyrics that transport you into the stories he’s singing about and it somehow feels very relatable. It’s unique and relatable all it once, which is really impressive to me.

TuNe-YaRds. Meryl of tune yards writes political and social messages into her songs in an amazing and creative way. She also uses a looper to come up with cool arrangements and harmonies, which I’ve been messing with lately too because of her.

What is your creative process when writing songs? Do you start with lyrics or melody first?
It all depends on the song. I typically have either one line or a subject matter the whole song stems from. Then I play guitar and sing around until I land on something that fits.

What inspires you lyrically?
Stories and puns inspire me lyrically. Any clever phrases or ideas make me immediately turn to pen and paper. However, hearing moving stories from others or my own life inspire me as well. Also, nerdy things like Batman and the periodic table because I can easily nerd out to music.


Kate Cosentino (Image via

How often do you find yourself writing songs?
I try to play music every day. I usually goof around with song ideas all the time, but I probably sit down to write a song around once a month. I gather a bunch of ideas constantly though.

What was the first song written for the Smart EP?
The first song I wrote for the EP was “London.” I also made it the first track because it sounds like the beginning of an adventure to me.

What inspired “Moving More?”
My school was having a diversity assembly and they asked me to perform a song about diversity. I decided to write “Moving More” because of that opportunity, but I didn’t want to write the standard “love each other, we are one” song. So I focused on the diversity of people’s problems.

Do you have a favorite quote or motto that you live by?
I live by the idea of making the world a better place everyday by affecting other people’s lives in a positive way. I also live by the idea that if it’s what you love, it’s what you should pursue.


Interview: The Greeting Committee.

April 20, 2016

The Greeting Committee, 4/9/16

The Greeting Committee is an up-and-coming Kansas City-based band. They are signed to Harvest Records, which also features artists such as Glass Animals and Best Coast. They played SXSW and are playing Lollapalooza 2016. I go to a lot of shows, I’ve interviewed a ton of bands over the years. The Greeting Committee has something special. Their well-crafted indie rock and joyous live performances are gaining them fans nationwide.The future is bright for this band. The Greeting Committee features guitarist and lead singer Addie Sartino, bassist Pierce Turcotte, guitarist Brandon Yangmi, and drummer Austin Fraser. I recently sat down with the band to discuss the insanity of SXSW, signing with Harvest and their creative process.

I’m here with the legendary Greeting Committee here, up-and-coming, soon to be legendary, in my opinion, but they already know that. How did you all get started?
Addie: I wrote and performed music as a solo artist and I decided that it wasn’t fulfilling enough. I’d previously written music with Brandon Yangmi, our guitar player. When it came time to make a band, I knew he was the first person to call and from there he got Pierce Turcotte, our bass player, and Austin Fraser, our drummer.

Your EP, It’s Not All That Bad, is out now and doing well. You’re getting radio play, you’re really growing. How does your song writing process work? Do you start with lyrics first, melody first?
Brandon: Usually, it starts off with the music. Someone will bring an idea, me, Pierce or even Addie. One of us will bring an idea and we’ll kind of build it off of that. Usually, it’s like one idea and bringing in the rest of the band. We then mold it together as a whole band. We just kind of jam on stuff. Then, lyrics go on the top of the music that we’ve already written.

You guys really dig into your songs and that’s a beautiful thing to see. You’re really focused and I see a lot of bands that are not focused. You guys are locked in and that’s awesome. How often do you find yourselves writing?
Addie: Writing is more of a continuous project. It’s harder to write while we’re on the road. Since we’ve been on the road a short amount of time, it’s not that difficult. I would say writing is a continuous process and not something that we take breaks from. If we have an idea, we go with it. If not, we don’t put pressure on that.

That’s the thing about being creative, you just have to let it flow. You guys are signed to Harvest Records. How did you get hooked up with him? How did that happen?
Addie: The first email we got was from Republic Records and then Atlantic Records. After that, we spoke with Lazlo, who’s our manager, and he kind of made the connection with Harvest. He’s been best friends with Jacqueline, who is the general manager. They’ve been close for about 20 years or so. After having meetings with Republic, Atlantic and Harvest, it was just kind of clear which one was the best fit for us personally. Harvest just felt like home.

That’s awesome. There are some heavy hitters on Harvest, Best Coast and Glass Animals. These guys are melting kid’s faces off. You’re going to melt their faces off too. Have you guys started tracking your debut album yet? Are you writing right now?
Pierce: We have been writing, but not tracking anything.
Austin: We haven’t recorded anything, but we have been getting ideas and stuff. I think we’re going to record it over the summer. We haven’t recorded anything yet.


The Greeting Committee, 4/9/16

Do you have favorite quoted motto that you live by?
Addie: Peyton Marek and I, she’s our tour manager, we just say, “Be a girl boss,” all the time. I don’t know if that works for the guys. I don’t know if they have their personal motto.
Austin: “I like Dirt.”

You’ll be seeing those boys soon enough. Are you pumped for Lollapalooza?
Addie: I am really excited for Lollapalooza. A lot of my favorite artists that I haven’t gotten a chance to see, like Daughter is on the same day as us. I am really excited for that.
Austin: I’m glad you got the “I Like Dirt” reference. Did you notice us go into it when we played MGMT’s) “Kids?”

Yeah, I did catch that. It was nice. You had a spacey jam segment.
Pierce: I just wanted someone to catch the “I like Dirt.”

You did throw it in there. You’re loose enough too that it works. You guys are really in the moment live. It’s all about being good live. You’re going to rip Lollapalooza apart. Did you enjoy South by Southwest too?
Pierce: Yes, it was a lot of fun.
Austin: South by Southwest was insane. It was definitely a new experience. Besides the venues, just the whole city and the people. It was a great experience. We got treated really nicely. We played a Stubb’s Showcase where a notable artist, Charli XCX, was playing outside. That was a really fun performance. Everything was really fast paced. I’m glad we only dd two shows because I felt like if we did more, then there would have been a lot of things that we wouldn’t be prepared for.

You don’t get burned out. I know people that have done like 12 showcases. They feel like they’re going to die. I went a few years back. You feel great, but you’re falling asleep at the Korean taco truck. It’s like a Hunter S. Thompson music fest put on by Taco Bell. I’m watching Youth Lagoon and people in flannels are shoveling Taco Bell in their faces. It was confusing.
Brandon: That’s the life. People go down to South by Southwest just to sell stuff. They know tons of people will be down there.

So many voices all shouting. What advice would you give to the artists who just starting out? You guys are still young and you got the future in front of you.
Brandon: We are still starting out.
Addie: Play as many shows as you possibly can. You’re never too good or too above anything. Just play music and have fun doing it.
Austin: Practice a lot. Chemistry in the band is one of the most important things for a band.
Pierce: There can be very special things about each individual, but it’s also important how everyone kind of gets together and kind of bonds with the music too. Put in the work and stay humble.
Austin: I think it’s also important to really show off your individuality in the music too, because everyone comes from a different backgrounds. I think it is very important.
Brandon: You shouldn’t set roles for yourself. You shouldn’t be like, “No one else is doing this, I probably shouldn’t do it.” You should do do whatever you feel like you want to do.


Interview: Excision.

March 23, 2016

Excision (image via

Excision is a Canadian DJ who combines many different styles of dance
music to form his own bass-heavy sound. His music transcends
genres and labels. From a mixing standpoint, he is one of the best live DJs I have ever seen. Excision discussed his first musical memory and his approach to creating a quality live show.
What was your first musical memory?
The first electronic music I heard that stood out to me was the
Prodigy’s “The Fat of the Land.” I loved it, but couldn’t find
anything else even close to it. It wasn’t until 2005 that I
discovered drum ‘n’ bass and the Vex’d album “Degenerate,” which
showed me the extent of what dubstep and all electronic music is
capable of.

I started producing and DJing at the time, dropped out of the business
degree program I was taking at the University of British Columbia and
decided that this was what I needed to do. My parents weren’t too
impressed, but they had some level of faith when they saw I was
putting in 12 hours a day to get better. Living in Kelowna, I didn’t
know a single other DJ for over a year and didn’t meet any other
producers until I was touring in 2007. It was 2005 when I started and
although the Internet had a few places you could read up on various
techniques, it definitely wasn’t like today where there is a YouTube
tutorial for everything. Learning how to produce the sounds of your
imagination is a long, arduous process that I wouldn’t recommend to
anyone who isn’t willing to sacrifice a big chunk of their life.

How is your live setup differ from your studio setup?
The new stage “The Executioner” has been in progress since April of
last year. When we built Xvision, we learned what projection mapping
is truly capable of, and with a bit bigger budget this year we were
able to produce something far more complex. We wanted to get away
from the 2D “trippy visualizations” as much as possible. My team and
I felt that we had learned enough from Xvision to tackle the entire
project ourselves.

I worked with Ben from Beama and went through 66 revisions before we
finally settled on the current design. I then went and hired 50 or so
animators from around the world, created storyboards of what we wanted
each animation to look like, how we wanted it to sync with a specific
song and spent a huge amount of time on each of them really dialing it
in. Justin is our Mr. Fixit guy who knows a lot about a ton of
different things. He handled the window to the DJ booth, which goes
up and down based at the push of a button, as well as the panels that
open and close to reveal lasers within the stage, as well as CO2 jets,
crazy, low-lying fog machines, and even snow machines! A Canadian
crew can’t truly put on a high production value show without snow.
Justin also helped with the Serato/Ableton dual setup.

I wanted to keep everything as close to a traditional DJ setup as
possible, and still have the freedom to play whatever tracks in
whatever order the crowd wants them. We use Serato music videos for
70 songs; usually I get through 55 in a set. Each of these videos stay
in perfect sync with the attached song and the Serato video technology
is perfect so far. Where we ran into trouble was creating a fully
synced lighting show. We bridged Ableton to Serato and hacked a bunch
of things in order to get the time code sent out to the lighting desk
and trigger all the cues. The result is a system that gives me full
freedom to cater to the crowd and still be a real DJ, but at the same
time give a fully synced audio-visual show.

You might think this has been done before, but every artist I’ve seen,
and I’ve seen nearly all of them, have a 100% pre-planned set that
they literally just press a play button at the beginning of the show
and fake it for 90 minutes. Fuck that!

Due to how long it takes for movie-grade animations to be created, I
had to be careful about which songs I had them made for. I won’t ruin
the surprise, but it’s going to be an epic set that stays true to my
roots, but still has enough diversity to make everyone happy. Expect
to leave exhausted.

The Executioner features every bit of cutting edge technology that we
can cram into it, and it’s our goal to deliver an experience that is
as close as you will get to the future of EDM in today’s world. As far
as the future years and years ahead goes, we will always be working
hard to stay at least a few steps ahead of the rest of the industry.

You tour constantly. What have been some of your favorite moments on the road?
The most memorable achievements that first come to mind are headlining
shows playing to 10 or 20 thousand people at epic venues like Red
Rocks in Colorado or The Gorge in Washington. Looking out onto the
crowd and the awesome view and seeing so many people rocking out to
such nasty music is a pretty righteous feeling.

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