Posts Tagged ‘interview’

Beasting It Up with Doo Wap Rapper Second Hand King at Middle of the Map Fest 2017

May 9, 2017

I met up with Kansas City-based doo wap rapper Second Hand King for a live interview during Middle of the Map Fest 2017. We chatted it up and Secondhand King serenaded unsuspecting passersby with his glorious vibes.

Beasting It Up With Star Beasts at Planet Comicon 2017

May 2, 2017
StarBeasts

Writer Stephanie Young and illustrator Allyson Lassiter, of the comic Star Beasts, at Planet Comicon 2017, 4/30/17

I recently hit up Planet Comicon 2017 with artist Matthew Arnold. You know I’m all about being the beast. It was only fitting to have a live chat with Star Beasts writer Stephanie Young and illustrator Allyson Lassiter.

Interview: GGOOLLDD

November 16, 2016
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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.

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GGOOLLD at the RecordBar, 11/11/16

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

An Interview with CHERUB.

October 27, 2016

CHERUB is a Nashville-based duo. They are playing Liberty Hall October 27th. Jason Huber and Jordan Kelley recently discussed their creative process, lyrical inspiration and favorite producers.

Did you come from a musical family? Were your parents musical? 

Jason: I come from a family of music lovers, but neither of my parents are musical. You should hear my dad sing along to Shaggy.

What was your earliest musical memory?

Jason: Recording mixtapes while I listened to the radio doing my homework so I could bring all the new songs to the carpool.

How did CHERUB first come together?

Jason: We all met freshman year of college.

What is your creative approach when crafting a song?

Jason: It’s really all about throwing spaghetti up against the wall and seeing what sticks.

Who are some of your favorite producers and why?

Jason: Butchvig- the way he layers guitars has always been really inspiring to me. Some of his records have been the most inspiring in my life. And Adam Baker from the Annuals because there aren’t any bands that mean enough to me to get a tattoo.

What inspires you lyrically?

Jordan: Life inspires me lyrically. That’s why there’s so many moods on our albums. You go through so many feels throughout a day. It would be hard for me to write an album that stuck with one emotional theme, to be honest.

How did “Doses & Mimosas” come together?

Jason: The funny thing about that song is we never picked it as a single when we were releasing the album, but it’s really grown legs and taken on a life of its own.

Bleed Gold, Piss Excellence is your new album. What was the first song written for Bleed Gold, Piss Excellence?

Jason: Technically it’s “Traveling Blues.” It was written about 3 years ago for another album, but instead spent some time in the vaults and is now getting to see the light of day.

What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in your career?

Jason: My fear of microphone grills. Especially the grill part of microphones. They’re very hard and they’ll knock a tooth out if you get too excited. I already knocked my tooth out with a microphone once while singing karaoke in Tokyo. 

What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?

Jason: Be your own biggest fan. Because if you’re not, then who else would want to be?

Gratefully Deadicated: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Grateful Dead.

December 8, 2015
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Photo credit: Dead.net

 

Friday (12/4/15) marked the 50 anniversary of the formation of the Grateful Dead. I have been fortunate to interview three out of the four members of the “Core Four” and several former members of the Grateful Dead throughout the years. When you see the name Grateful Dead come up on the caller ID, you trip over yourself to grab the phone. Here are links to my past Dead-related interviews:

On playing with the Dead, “I’d find myself playing, say the right hand being with Jerry, and the right foot with the bass. Each limb being with a different instrument. Maybe doing my own talking with the snare drum, but filling for the other instruments with those other limbs and breaking it up like that. It got so you could really hear the pieces, who is doing what. You would separate it that way.”

Mickey Hart: http://www.the-vignette.com/…/mickey-hart-dancing-with-the…/ (Audio)

Bob Weir: http://www.the-vignette.com/…/the-grateful-deads-bob-weir-…/

On song selection with the Dead, “You know, if Jerry was singing and I was up next. I would have the whole song Jerry was singing to decide what I was going to do next. I’d sort of feel it out while I was playing Jerry’s song. I’d just call out what I was going to do, and we would go into that. Then it was Jerry’s turn.”

Bruce Hornsby (who played keyboards with the Dead in the late ’80s/early ’90s): http://www.bandsthatjam.com/bands-…/bruce-hornsby-interview/

On learning to play with the Dead, “I considered my self fairly well versed in their music, which meant I knew about 40 Dead songs. I thought that was a lot. They had a revolving list of about 160, that were on their list of songs in active rotation. It meant I had to learn about 120 songs. That was definitely challenging, but they were so loose about it. It was such a loose environment. They hated to rehearse, kind of like I do. I’m the same way. They would just tell me the key and just say, “OK, just wing it.” Some of their music is very simple, and some of it is very complex. “Help On the Way>Slipknot>Franklin’s Tower,” that part in the middle isn’t something you can just wing. You can’t hear that and play it. You have to learn it. You have to spend time wood shedding it. There were several songs like that. Those would often be the most enjoyable songs to play, once you learned how to play them. There’s a little more meat on the instrumental bones. It was really fun, but they were a lot to learn. I could have probably done a better job of doing my homework. I did what I did. I can’t say I did my best. I probably could have been a little more studious in my wood shedding of the songs. I tended to just use my ears. Frankly, I would just lay out a lot when I didn’t know something. Often, the best thing to play is nothing. There’s a lot of players up there. Often, I would just sit there. People would think, “Why is Bruce not playing? He must be bummed out or something.” It couldn’t have been further from the truth. I was just trying to leave some space. Also, a lot of times, I wouldn’t be playing because I didn’t know what the hell they were doing. I didn’t know it, so why be up there sucking? All in the name of looking like I’m into it and playing. I would just stop.”

Tom Constanten (Grateful Dead keyboardist from 1968-1970);
http://www.bandsthatjam.com/…/qa-with-tom-constanten-forme…/

On touring with the Dead, “The usual vicissitudes of travel. The music is the easy part, I’ve often said. Some people get stage fright. Not me. I get stage calm. After the day’s hassles with flight connections, hotel reservations, and all, it’s when I’m finally seated in front of the keyboard that I feel most in control.”

The Grateful Dead helped change the face of modern music. Happy 50th! What a long, strange trip it’s been.

Grace Askew Interview.

October 8, 2015

Grace

Grace Askew is a Memphis-based singer-songwriter. She is a soulful artist and an outstanding live performer. I first met Grace when we were attending Loyola University New Orleans. Grace recently discussed her favorite songwriters, being a contestant on The Voice and her lyrical inspiration. For more info on Grace Askew, check out her website http://www.graceaskew.com/

Did you come from a musical family? Were your parents musical?
I grew up with very artistic, encouraging (non-musician) parents and an older sister who was very active in the theater and opera world.

What was your first musical memory?
I remember spending hours upon hours locked in my room dancing and lip synching to whatever cassette’s I could get my hands on, but I was particularly fond of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”

What was the first album you bought?
Elvis Presley

Who are some of your favorite songwriters and why?
I favor Tom Waits and Lucinda Williams type of Southern Gothic, dark writing styles because I’ve always been attracted to what lies beneath the surface…the unseen, between-the-cracks depths of life. Their perspectives on the outside world have greatly impacted the confidence I have in my own strange, unique way of looking at things. They make it OK to not make sense sometimes, but to also be completely 100% raw with the truth — YES!

How old were you when you wrote your first song?
Hard to say, because I was writing poems and little stories long before I picked up a guitar at 13…but I suppose 13.

What’s your creative approach when songwriting?
My “creative approach” is never the same…when it hits me, I just try to seize the moment and immediately write it down or record a voice memo..otherwise, it pretty easily slips through your fingers.

How often do you find yourself writing a song?
Every night before I fall asleep, or right when I wake up, I’ll be hit with an idea. It can be quite frustrating at times. My subconscious likes those hours best, because I’m half asleep and still fuzzy-headed in dreams. It’s like my subconscious senses a green light to slink to the surface and make it’s presence known in a more comfortably vulnerable and open environment.

What inspires you lyrically?
Whatever makes me most alive inspires me…after all, that’s what we ALL should be sharing with each other. The world needs more people who are alive and ignited in their passions.

Your latest album is Scaredy Cat. What was the first song written for Scaredy Cat?
“Cinnamon” was a song I had gone back to and re-hashed time and time again for over 6 years, until one day I set it to slide guitar and I just knew the song had finally found its rightful home.

How did the song “Bad Habit” come together?
It’s pretty straight forward…I kept going back to a certain relationship over and over again, even though I knew that he was just a drug to me, so to speak..he was just a “Bad Habit”.

You are an very soulful vocalist. How do you approach covers to make them your own?
I don’t listen to the songs I end up covering very many times beforehand, so it doesn’t effect my approach. I simply like to learn the basic structure, and then I take it back to the drawing board – my guitar – and begin feeling through it myself to find my voice within the song.

You tour a ton. What have been some of your strangest moments on the road?
Deeeeeep, deep, South West Texas. So weird. It by far has been my favorite touring stops to date. Specifically: Marfa, Terlingua, Alpine.

What did you enjoy most about your time in NOLA?
Re-discovering my love for Memphis. Frenchman Street late-nights. Long walks in Audubon Park.

You put on an amazing live show. How do you create your set lists?
I like to make sure there is a good balance of up and down tempo songs, dispersed in proper measurements throughout the show. I want to take my audience on a roller coaster of the entire spectrum of emotion.

What do you feel are the biggest things you learned from being on The Voice?
Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. The Voice was an incredible lesson on courage and confidence and a part of my journey that I will never deny. I had all of the power within me already to be a truly unique, great talent and The Voice pulled that out of me and put it right in my face…on a national level.

What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in your career?
Questioning my art and my uniqueness is a struggle every artist deals with I think. Yes, everything has already been done…but never with MY voice..or with YOUR voice. The money isn’t always great either, but I’ve recently made a promise to myself to not allow my music and financial state to be mutually exclusive. That is how creativity gets murdered.

Do you have a quote or motto that you live by?
A belief that I hold really dear to my spirit is that I am warrior, already completely equipped and empowered with everything I need to battle any dark forces that come my way. We are ALL warriors.

What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?
Give it your best, even on your worst day because the world NEEDS to experience the gifts that only you can offer.

Galactic Interview Featured on Jambase.com

March 13, 2015

My  interview with Galactic bassist Robert Mercurio was featured on Jambase.com. Click here to read the piece.

Interview with KOPECKY Featured on the Wakarusa Website.

March 3, 2015

My interview with Nashville-based indie pop band KOPECKY is featured on the Wakarusa website. Check out the interview here.


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