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The Big Takeover Issue #88
Interviews
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Interview: Orchestra Gold - Treefort Fest Pick of the Day

24 September 2021

Malian singer and dancer Mariam Diakité met lifelong guitarist Erich Huffaker at a wedding in Diakité’s homeland about 15 years ago, and after subsequently running into each other multiple times at bars, they bonded over their mutual love for old-school folkloric music from Mali.

Built to Spill performs at the Main Stage at the Treefort Music Fest in Boise on March 21, 2019.

Interview: Built to Spill - Treefort Fest Pick of the Day

23 September 2021

In honor of Boise’s best band continuing its streak with a Main Stage set tonight at 7 p.m., we bring you a 20-year-old interview with Martsch that has never been previously published online.

Interview: Monophonics - Treefort Fest Pick of the Day

22 September 2021

Frontman Kelly Finnigan recently spoke with the Big Takeover about COVID-related setbacks, why he’s psyched to play Treefort and why the Monophonics aren’t fans of jam bands (sacrilege!).

The Connells

Interview: The Connells

11 September 2021

Mike Connell and Doug MacMillan of The Connells discuss their career – and Steadman’s Wake, their first new studio album in 20 years

Interview: Robert Levon Been

10 September 2021

What started off as a request for one song turned into an entire album’s worth of music for The Card Counter soundtrack by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club frontman/guitarist Robert Levon Been. The request came with some challenges as Levon Been explains in this conversation.

Interview: Rhydian Dafydd (The Joy Formidable)

8 September 2021

The Joy Formidable’s Rhydian Dafydd intended to spend a few months with his bandmate Ritzy Bryan in Utah to record new music. Eighteen months later, thanks to the pandemic, with Into the Blue written and recorded, Dafydd was able to return to the U.K. for a little break before jumping into the tour cycle.

Interview: Steve Wynn

2 September 2021

Steve Wynn (The Dream Syndicate, Gutterball, The Baseball Project) checks in to report on his backyard and living room house tour covering 16 shows in 17 days.

Yann Tiersen photo

Interview: Yann Tiersen

1 September 2021

Celebrated avant-garde musician and composer Yann Tiersen discusses Kerber, his latest (and most daring) studio album

A short conversation with Gabriel Judet-Weinshel of Unpinnable Butterflies

23 August 2021

With a new album, Radio Ocean on the way and a brilliantly fun and energetic single, “You” to light the way, it seemed like the perfect time to sit down with Gabriel Judet-Weinshel, the man behind the music of Unpinnable Butterflies.

Interview: Jakob Dylan (The Wallflowers)

20 August 2021

The Wallflower’s first album in nearly a decade, Exit Wounds, finds Jakob Dylan returning to his Americana roots with a collection of songs produced by Butch Walker. Dylan talks about recording, lyrics and The Monkees in this conversation.

Interview: Walter Schreifels (Quicksand)

16 August 2021

Quicksand’s second full-length release in the last four years now equals the output from the NYC post-hardcore band in the mid-90s. Singer/guitarist Walter Schreifels shares how grateful he is to be reunited with his friends after once saying that Quicksand would never reunite.

Colin Hay

Interview: Colin Hay

8 August 2021

Colin Hay discusses his new covers album, I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself, and the vinyl release of his 2001 album Going Somewhere

Joshua Radin

Interview: Joshua Radin

8 August 2021

On The Ghost and the Wall, gold-selling Americana singer-songwriter Joshua Radin explores his fear of intimacy

Interview: Steve Berlin (Los Lobos)

4 August 2021

Los Lobos saxophonist Steve Berlin talks about the band’s new covers album, Native Sons, and shares how he got into playing in bands back when he was a teenager in Philadelphia.

Ursa Minor

Interview: Ursa Minor

3 August 2021

Longtime New York City alternative rock band Ursa Minor discuss their latest studio album, Sian Ka’an

Interview: Dot Allison

30 July 2021

Dot Allison has returned with her first album in over a decade, the hauntingly beautiful Heart-Shaped Scars. Dot shares why she took a break and how she’s been honing her songwriting skills.

Interview: Brett Newski

23 July 2021

The stigma surrounding mental health is something we often are afraid to talk about. Brett Newski has found a way to lighten the topic and share his experiences through not only his music, but also as the host of the Dirt from the Road podcast and as an author/illustrator.

Willa Amai photo 1

Interview: Willa Amai

22 July 2021

Linda Perry’s protégé Willa Amai discusses her debut album, I Can Go to Bed Whenever

Interview: Hunter Pinkston (The Pink Stones)

20 July 2021

After spending his teen years playing punk rock, Hunter Pinkston discovered Gram Parsons and the rest, as they say, is Americana history. With well-crafted songs, and a founding member of Drive-By Truckers as part of the lineup, The Pink Stones signed to Normaltown Records and released their critically-acclaimed debut earlier this year.

Matt Hinton, Director

Interview: Matt Hinton (Director, Parallel Love: The Story of a Band Called Luxury)

14 July 2021

Director Matt Hinton’s documentary about the Georgia band Luxury, sometimes described as Morrissey-fronting-Fugazi, is full of twists and turns including a nearly-fatal auto accident and three band members becoming Eastern Orthodox priests. Hinton shares how the film came together and some of the challenges he’s faced in getting people to give it a chance.

Michael Franti

Interview: Michael Franti

11 July 2021

Spearhead frontman Michael Franti discusses his life in Indonesia during the pandemic, and how he uses his music and shows to help others get through hard times

Lou Barlow

Interview: Lou Barlow

7 July 2021

Lou Barlow talks about his latest solo album, and reflects on playing with Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh

A Short Conversation with Leadboots

6 July 2021

With a number of well-received releases now under their belt, a full line-up in place and the opportunity to play live shows and festivals back on the menu, it was the perfect time to sit down with “Leadboots* and find out how lockdown has treated them, how they kept creative during those dark days and what the future holds for the band.

Assertion

Interview: William Goldsmith of Assertion

5 July 2021

Drummer William Goldsmith (Sunny Day Real Estate, The Fire Theft, Foo Fighters) opened up about where he’s been the last decade and how forming the band Assertion has reignited his passion for sitting behind a drum kit.

Daniel Avery

Interview: Daniel Avery

3 July 2021

Acclaimed electronic artist and DJ Daniel Avery discusses the unique origin story behind his fourth album, Together in Static

A Short Conversation with Carly Kraft of Coral Moons

30 June 2021

With the wonderfully nostalgic sound of “Like We Used To” already turning heads and attracting critical attention and a new album_Fieldcrest_ about to be released, it seemed the perfect time to sit down with Carly Kraft of Coral Moons to find out about, what we can expect from the new long-player, how the band stayed creative through lockdown and what they are looking forward to as we head into a slightly unexpected future.

Gary Numan

Interview: Gary Numan

29 June 2021

Gary Numan discusses his 18th solo album, the dystopian Intruder

Inquisition of a Musical Chameleon: An Interview with Chris Connelly

29 June 2021

When it comes to the world of alternative-industrial music, there are few names as well-known as Al Jourgensen, Skinny Puppy, Pigface, KMFDM and collaborators. Today we have the pleasure of speaking with Chris Connelly, who is associated with not one, but two of these groups (Ministry and Pigface), along with numerous other projects, new and old (Fini Tribe, The Revolting Cocks, The Joy Thieves). But as it turns out, there is entirely another side to Connelly’s persona that is lesser known to the masses, but no less talented. On his latest album The Birthday Poems with Scottish songstress Monica Queen, his music is more in line with bands like The Proclaimers, The Pogues and The Clash than anything from the industrial realm. And a great album it is (stream it below). For now, we had a little chat with Connelly and here’s how it went.

Tim Ayre

Interview: Tim Ayre

28 June 2021

Australian indie dream rock artist Tim Ayre creates a sunny musical vibe with his new EP, Modern Life

Another short conversation with Kevin Daniel

26 June 2021

With a new album, Been Here Before now available and a year that saw his life turned upside down, I sat down with Kevin Daniel to discuss the personal and emotional hardships of the last year, the experiences and feelings that fuelled the new album, and why he believes that you should always live in the moment.

Interview: Jesse Marchant

25 June 2021

With some acting experience under his belt, Jesse Marchant’s music often takes on a cinematic quality, as do the videos he makes to accompany his singles. Marchant’s latest release, Antelope Running, paints beautiful pictures with rich and complex instrumentation and wistful vocals that are easy to get lost in.

Interview: Faye Webster

24 June 2021

Already four albums into her career, 23-year-old Faye Webster’s newest release, I Know I’m Funny haha, is a collection of real-life experiences from the lifelong Atlanta resident’s last two years set to a unique mix of pop, jazz, R&B and alt-country. And, it’s special enough to have caught the ear of a very important person who named “Better Distractions” one of his favorite songs of 2020.

Interview: T. Hardy Morris

22 June 2021

T. Hardy Morris (Dead Confederate, Diamond Rugs) set aside an album he started recording in early 2020 and wrote a band new album, The Digital Age of Rome, influenced by the rapidly changing world we all found ourselves in last year. We talk about the album as well as take a walk through his back catalog.

Brutus VIII photo

Interview: Brutus VIII

18 June 2021

Musician and filmmaker Brutus VIII (Jackson Katz) discusses his new album, Beyond, and short film, Sylvain’s Hunt

Joe Bourdet

Interview: Joe Bourdet

17 June 2021

Southern California’s Joe Bourdet is the first to acknowledge the critical role that mid-to-late ’70s singer/songwriters – whose music, these days, fills dollar bins at the local record store – played in the development and recording of his outstanding debut album, Meadow Rock.

Superbloom

Interview: Superbloom

14 June 2021

Brooklyn’s Superbloom are bringing mid-90s grunge back with raspy vocals and fuzzy guitars. Learn how the members of the band first heard grunge, the names they tossed around before settling on Superbloom and what it was like working with Will Yip on their debut album, Pollen.

Interview: Jim Ward

10 June 2021

While the pandemic put a halt to any plans Jim Ward may have made for promoting and touring to support the new Sparta record, the singer/guitarist has kept busy by hosting an Instagram interview series and writing and recording a solo album which is out now.

The Allman Betts Band

Interview: Duane Betts of The Allman Betts Band

8 June 2021

Coming this month, The Allman Betts Band will be performing three unique livestream shows – one will be all acoustic, the second will be playing the 2020 release Bless Your Heart in full for the first time, and the third will be a set of Allman Brothers classics. Guitarist/vocalist Duane Betts talks about releasing two albums in two years, the summer Spirit of The South tour, and what it was like playing shows in 2020.

cleopatrick

Interview: Luke Gruntz and Ian Fraser of cleopatrick

4 June 2021

With a sound comparable to modern rock bands like Royal Blood, Muse and Death From Above 1979, the Canadian duo cleopatrick, made up of guitarist/vocalist Luke Gruntz and drummer Ian Fraser, have gone from basement shows to the Lollapalooza stage in a short amount of time. Learn more about the young band leading the “New Rock Mafia”.

Bizou

Interview: Marisa Prietto of Bizou

3 June 2021

Without the ability to play shows in early 2020 to support their newly released EP, stillifeburning, due to the pandemic, L.A.-based Bizou used the time to write and record a full-length debut, Tragic Lover. Singer Marisa Prietto talks about the band’s formation, how the songs come together, and how having a former member of Smashing Pumpkins and Veruca Salt helps with the buzz.

A Short Conversation with Sugar Loaf Walker

27 May 2021

Having just dropped an album many years in the making, the wonderfully named Sugar Loaf Walker had a virtual sit down with me to talk about his travels both geographical and sonic, about the deeper meanings and themes found on this fantastic record and the art of the instrumental album in the modern climate.

Trade Wind

Interview: Jesse Barnett of Trade Wind

24 May 2021

There may have been a silver lining to 2020. Singer Jesse Barnett was forced to take time off the road with his band Stick To Your Guns and use it to write and record with his electronica-based project, Trade Wind. For someone who makes a living screaming, Barnett showcases his gentler side with compelling results.

Trapper Schoepp photo

Interview: Trapper Schoepp

21 May 2021

Trapper Schoepp discusses the challenging (and cathartic) process that led to his latest album, May Day

Silver Synthetic

Interview: Kunal Prakash of Silver Synthetic

19 May 2021

Guitarist Kunal Prakash of Silver Synthetic shares how the pandemic set the band’s Third Man Records debut back a year and discusses the rock scene of the band’s home town of New Orleans.

Christian O'Connor

A Short Conversation with Christian O'Connor

16 May 2021

With his latest single, Wherever The Hammer Falls recently premiered on this site, it felt like the perfect time to sit down with Christian O’Connor to find out all about the musical path that got him to this point, his influences, the creation process for his self-made video and his plans for the future.

Interview: Noah Lekas

14 May 2021

Poet Noah Lekas shared five entries from his first book, 2019’s Saturday Night Sage, with musicians and filmmakers and gave them free reign to create their own interpretations of his poems. How that all came to be is just one of the highlights of a recent conversation with the talented writer.

Interview: Morgan Wade

11 May 2021

Though her debut album has some twang, Morgan Wade’s music doesn’t fit snuggly into the country genre, there’s much more to it. We talked about defying genres, working with Sadler Vaden (Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit), and her impressive collection of tattoos.

Michigander

Interview: Jason Singer of Michigander

5 May 2021

Everything Will Be Ok Eventually is the perfect title for an album written, recorded and released in the midst of a global pandemic. Jason Singer reveals Michigander’s origin story, his thoughts on Spotify, and best and worst tour experiences.

A Short Conversation with Afton Wolfe

1 May 2021

With the single “Dirty Girl” leading the way to a full album to follow, I sat down with the most eloquent Afton Wolfe to hear all about his past musical journeys, his inspirations and aspirations, the musicians that he admires and has worked with and where it all goes next.

Andy McFarlane of Far Lands

Interview: Andy McFarlane of Far Lands

30 April 2021

Not many artists wait until their late 30s to start their music career, but that’s exactly what Andy McFarlane did when he released 2017’s Oh What An Honor, Oh What A Drag. In this conversation, we talk about his late start, what took him so long, and his new album, There Be Monsters.