Posts Tagged ‘interview’

Kathleen Edwards: blues in plaid – The Grid (1.19.12)

January 22, 2012

Kathleen Edwards turns her breakup into a breakthrough with her Bon Iver-produced album Voyageur.

Everyone loves a good breakup record. The massive success of Adele’s heart-wrenching 21 is a testament to the appeal of sharing in someone’s artfully rendered misery. Nick Cave transformed his split with P.J. Harvey into his accomplished and introspective album The Boatman’s Call—and even Taylor Swift evolved as a songwriter by exploring such depths. But when a singer taps into this particular subject, the flood of emotions comes with an equal amount of baggage, from the probing questions lobbed by headline-hungry journalists to the fact that he or she will probably have to play these songs night after night for months on end.

Toronto’s Kathleen Edwards is on the verge of having her biggest success yet with just such an album. Written and recorded over three years, Voyageur (out this week) is largely about the breakup of her marriage to producer/bandmate/collaborator Colin Cripps. But even if you didn’t know the context, it would be hard not to get that sense from Voyageur. And the situation is further complicated by the fact that the album was co-produced by Kanye-approved, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver), who’s now also Edwards’ main squeeze. So with the prospect of having to talk about that context for the foreseeable future, Edwards is steeling herself for the deluge.

Read the entire story in The Grid.

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The National Geographic – The Grid (12.8.11)

January 7, 2012

With the widespread success of The National’s most recent album, High Violet (2010), the Brooklyn indie-rock quintet is finally at a point where writers can stop referring to them as a “grower” of a band. After all, they are headlining the ACC on Dec. 8. Bassist Scott Devendorf gave us the rundown on what goes into their current setlist.

Read the full article in The Grid.

Interview: Slash – Eye Weekly (9.9.10)

November 7, 2010

An interview with the legendary Guns N’ Roses guitarist, the one and only Slash:

You just got back from Australia, right? How have the shows been going?
Awesome. The guys [in my band] are so good that I can just play and not worry about keeping it all together. They all really carry their own weight and everybody loves what they’re doing. It’s a relief to be in a situation where I don’t have at least one guy in the band who’s a complete basket case.

I assume you’re talking about the Velvet Revolver experience with Scott Weiland.
Uhh, maybe…. [nervous laughter]. There always seems to be one guy who’s just disconnected from the trajectory of the group.

That’s a polite way of putting it. Do you think the improvement is a case of you being in charge of the band?
I wouldn’t go so far as to say all that. I’m not really the in-charge guy. [The musicians know] it’s my gig, and that I put it together and blah blah blah. But everybody’s there to have a good time and I don’t have to be the dictator, so I think it really is just one of those circumstances where I’ve been fortunate this time around.

Read the rest of the interview here.

Land of Talk interview – Eye Weekly (9.15.10)

November 6, 2010

Chatting with Land of Talk’s Liz Powell about the band’s exquisite sophomore album Cloak and Cipher.

Elizabeth Powell is Land of Talk. For a long time, she was their bandleader, frontwoman, songwriter, lead guitarist, what have you, but with the Montreal-based outfit’s latest album, Cloak and Cipher, Powell has taken full command of the project and guided its evolution from the crackling intensity of a seriously impressive power trio to an inclusive group capable of expansive and surprising musical statements. Since Land of Talk’s debut in 2006 with the stunning seven-song EP, Applause Cheer Boo Hiss, Powell has had her ups (joining Broken Social Scene) and downs (losing key band members and, for a time, her voice) but remains a singular creative force whose frail voice and shadowy guitar playing make her one of Canadian indie-rock’s genuine treasures. EYE WEEKLY caught up with Powell over the phone during a relaxing afternoon in Montreal.

It goes without saying, but Cloak and Cipher has come a long way from Applause Cheer Boo Hiss.
It’s so different. I think of Cloak and Cipher as where I would naturally go. I mean, with Applause Cheer, I had $750, which kind of determined what we could do in the studio. But I love constraints and I needed that to happen, and I think that’s the sound of my circumstance in 2005 or 2006. I was always hoping to build on that.

Read the rest of the interview here.

Interview : Buzz Osborne – Eye Weekly (8.25.10)

November 6, 2010

A chat with Melvins bandleader Buzz Osborne yields many jokes and occasional insight into the sludge-metal pioneers’ 30 year career.

When it comes to integrity, creativity and dinosaur-heavy riffage, the Melvins have few peers. Born out of woodsy boredom in a Washington state logging town in the early 1980s, the trio, consisting of guitarist/singer Buzz Osborne, drummer Dale Crover and a succession of bass players, grabbed the intensity of hardcore punk and slowed it down — way down. Sludge metal, stoner rock, grunge, whatever you want to call it, the basic idea has provided the band with an opportunity for limitless musical exploration and collaboration (they’ve even expanded to a quartet, joining forces in 2006 with LA duo Big Business). But the Melvins are also rock’s most unintentionally ironic band: critics tend to call each album (including their latest disc, The Bride Screamed Murder) an experimental change in direction, yet they never sound like anyone but the Melvins; “stoner rock” guitar originator Osbourne doesn’t drink or do drugs; and for all the name-dropping by famous fans from Kurt Cobain to Boris, they’re still basically an underground phenomenon. We spoke with Osborne about their place in the lineage of rock history.

Read the rest of the interview here.

Slayer interview – Eye Weekly (7.29.10)

July 31, 2010

Geeks, sportos, motorheads, dweebs… everybody loves Slayer. EYE WEEKLY’s Chris Bilton tracks down the band in Quebec to find out why the original masters of thrash are more popular than ever

QUEBEC CITY — It’s never just “Slayer”; it’s always “fuckin’ Slayer!” As an expression, it’s the perfect summation of what it means to be a Slayer fan, especially when yelled in the vicinity of one of their concerts. The name of the band alone carries with it a certain set of images and associations — Satanic pentagrams, combat-helmeted demons, vaguely SS-styled lettering, the most brutalizing thrash metal to come out of the 1980s — and yelling “Slayer” is enough to let any other metal fan know that you mean business. But adding the expletive is a kind of fanatical declaration: both vulgar and impassioned, and thoroughly committed to showing total disregard for societal norms.

Case in point, there’s already an Urban Dictionary1 entry on the phrase, and it’s a phenomenon that, for some, extends past the concert venue into everyday life. (Also, “Fuckin’ Metallica” has far too many syllables and “Fuckin’ Anthrax” too much consonance right in the middle of the phrase — “Fuckin’ Slayer,” on the other hand, just rolls perfectly off the tongue.)
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Flaming Lips interview – Eye Weekly (7.6.10)

July 7, 2010

In conversation with the one and only Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips.

Wayne Coyne doesn’t mind flirting with disaster. When I reach the Flaming Lips singer at his recently-flooded home in the oldest section of downtown Oklahoma City, he’s quick to reassure me that he and his wife are old pros at dealing with Fantasia-like waves of sewage, and they had the place cleaned up in about half a day. Having lived his entire life in the heart of Tornado Alley, he’s very much at the mercy of nature, but, he says, “I kind of embrace that. I suppose everywhere is at the mercy [of nature], but with the tornadoes and the flooding and all that, you kind of get immune to it. It’s only when we go to California and people say there’s an earthquake happening that we think, ‘Oh wow, really?’”

“The danger that you live with all the time isn’t as nearly as interesting as the new danger,” he adds, in his casually philosophical way. That isn’t an entirely surprising remark from someone whose most well-known song hinges on the line “Do you realize that everyone you know someday will die?”

Read the rest of the article over at EYE WEEKLY.

The National – Sex and Violets – EYE (6.2.10)

July 6, 2010

My conversation with The National’s Aaron Dessner leads to a consideration of the band’s immaculately crafted midlife-crisis indie-rock.

The word “cinematic” gets tossed around a lot as an indie rock descriptor — usually to explain the sonic scope of an instrumental passage or densely layered orchestral embellishments. With Brooklyn’s The National, “cinematic” can be used much more literally: the music is very much like a film. Their songs play like carefully staged scenes with skewed lighting and ambiguous dialogue. As a listener, you are immediately thrust into them and have to feel your way around in order to understand just what’s going on. It could be a woman in long red socks and red shoes pissing in a sink, super-late-night revelers with “a little something” in their lemonade or a lover with his head on the hood of a car taking it too far.

In most cases, the word-images are part of a larger narrative — an exploration of that period between youthful excess and settling into the less exciting person you will inevitably become. It’s indie rock on the verge of a mid-life crisis — music as a Wes Anderson tragicomedy.

Nick Cave interview – Eye Weekly (9.24.09)

September 29, 2009

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A face-to-face chat about the Death of Bunny Munro with the Black Crow King himself.

Bunny Munro, like many of your characters, is effectively doomed — is that part of your worldview or a literary device?
It’s a literary device. One of the most interesting aspects of the Bunny Monro character is that he is an addict, in his own way. And to sustain the kind of energy of addiction you can’t afford to take responsibility for your actions at all. Throughout the book he has those momentary glimpses of what he is really like and they disappear, sink back into the quicksand of his libido. He is the character who will forever make the wrong decisions.

Read the whole interview here.