Chip Midnight cut his music journalist teeth as a journalism student at the Ohio State University in the early ’90s where his first interview was a phoner with Joey Ramone. Throughout the decades, Chip has contributed to local and regional publications and websites (The Ohio State Lantern, Columbus Alive, Moo Magazine, Donewaiting.com) and national print publications (Skratch Magazine, Wonka Vision Magazine) as well as running his own sites (Swizzle-Stick.com, AtomicNed.com). Chip joined the Big Takeover staff in 2007 after having been a long-time reader. Check out chipmidnight.com to read interviews Chip has done over the years with the likes of Jason Isbell, Rage Against the Machine, Sparklehorse, Veruca Salt, Gary Numan, Mojave 3, Weezer, Juliana Hatfield and more.
In constant writing mode, John Treanor says the new Tombstones in Their Eyes album, Sea of Sorrow, contains the cream of the crop from demos he’s been collecting the last few years and that he’s already got another album ready to go. Learn more about band’s unique sound in this conversation.
Making each other laugh is the driving force behind The Dirty Nil’s music, though the mix of punk rock and power metal is no joke from the Canadian trio. Singer Luke Bentham discusses the band’s songwriting process, what he likes about playing festivals, and how he was able to scam his way into a front row Buddy Guy ticket.
After a self-imposed hiatus, Skaters front man Michael Ian Cummings has reemerged with a solo EP proving to himself and others that the passion is still there. Cummings shares some insight into the songs and discusses how the whole process has been cathartic.
The Ironsides have created a ’60s sounding, cinematic soundtrack to a film that doesn’t exist on their debut full-length for Colemine Records. Taking inspiration from a variety of sources, from soul to jazz to classical scores, The Ironsides discuss how the band formed, how their sound has evolved, and play a game with their song titles in this conversation.
Pony’s sophomore release, Velveteen, is one of the brightest, most sugary albums of the year. Sam Bielanski and Matty Morand discuss the freedom of writing songs that aren’t personal, how a Sopranos episode influenced lyrics, and gush over ’90s alt-rock artists like That Dog and Letters to Cleo.
Savannah Conley’s debut album is an accurate portrayal of the trials and tribulations of a woman in her early 20s and all the emotions that are part of being that age. The Nashville born-and-raised songwriter discusses the album’s themes, working with collaborators, and musical friendships she’s made along the way.
A culmination of worldly music experiences, from going to his first rock shows as a teenager in Chicago to jamming with Motorhead’s Lemmy in L.A., have led Jonny Polonsky to his eighth album, Rise of the Rebel Angels, released on Loosegrooves Records, founded by Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard.
With a background primarily, but not exclusively, entrenched in the hardcore metal world, Vadim Taver’s solo album allows the singer/guitarist to expand his horizons into a blissful neo-psychedelia wonderworld. Taver discusses the album’s recording, the artists he’s toured with, and explains what the “California Hustle” is all about.
The tenth album by The Declining Winter finds Richard Adams continuing to explore a meditative soundscape through a folktronica sound. Adams discusses his music-making process, the importance of settings in his songs, and how his day job inspires how he thinks about music.
Hayden is back with his first new album in eight years, his ninth album overall, Are We Good, featuring collaborations with Feist and members of The National and Big Thief. We chat with the Canadian singer-songwriter about the making of the album, the collaborations, and a charity event he started that is very personal to his family.
Ruston Kelly says the impetuous for his third full-length album, The Weakness, was to channel the energy of a live show and put it on record. Working for the first-time with an outside collaborator (Nate Mercereau), Kelly’s accomplished his goals as he pushes closer and closer to the mainstream spotlight.
The last two years have been fruitful for Michigander’s Jason Singer, from moving to Nashville to getting married to releasing a new EP. Singer fills us in on his move, what it was like working with outside collaborators for the first time, and his dreams for his upcoming tour.
The latest release from The Dears front man Murray A. Lightburn is Bacharach-ian in nature, the lush instrumentation providing the cushion for Lightburn’s crooner-like vocals. In this conversation, Lightburn discusses the songwriting process, shares his touring philosophy, and offers insight into the stunning album cover.
If Greta Van Fleet is this generation’s Led Zeppelin, then Crown Lands is this generation’s Rush. Kevin Comeau shares how classic and prog rock from the ’70s inspired the band, from the way they write songs to how they arrange albums.
While never dreaming of being a rock star as a kid, Somebody’s Child’s Cian Godfrey discovered the art of songwriting when he started college and has written an album full of alt-rock radio bangers. In this conversation, Godfrey discusses his past, what he gets from performing live, and the things that inspire him.
After a six-year recording hiatus, Frankie Rose has returned with Love As Projection, an album full of ’80s post-punk, new wave pop bangers. The singer discusses the songwriting process, covering The Cure’s Seventeen Seconds album, and hustling on social media to promote music.
Forty years after the first release by The Church, founding member Steve Kilbey says, when talking about the band’s 26th album, The Hypnogogue, “Just when you thought you could write these guys off, we’re not going gently into the night. We’re going down screaming.”
With their parents’ CD collections serving as inspirations, the NYC trio Hello Mary, featuring two college students, has released one of the best ’90s-sounding alternative rock records of the year.
With a sound based in bluegrass music, Rose’s Pawn Shop incorporates different elements (Americana, Country, Folk, Rock) to stand out among peers. Singer Paul Givant shares how his band is unique, why it took 8 years to release new music, where he draws lyrical inspiration, and which famous actor he’s been compared to in this conversation.
Presented with careful intimacy, poolblood’s full-length debut, mole, succeeds on the strength of Maryam Said’s gripping delivery and aided by the help and support of producers Louie Short and Shamir as well as a number of Toronto indie rock musicians.
A former member of Set Sail, High Morale, and Casual Vice, Brandon Hoogenboom discusses his debt solo album and how the Beach Boys served as an influence on his sunny, sandy soft rock sound.
While Hamish Hawk is known first and foremost as a musician, this discussion about topics ranging from favorite coffee cups to listening to CDs in the car positions Hawk as a great conversationalist as well.
Tropical Fuck Storm’s Gaz Liddiard discusses the Australian band’s latest covers EP, checking out free jazz cassettes from the library, and bassist Fiona Kitschin’s recent breast cancer diagnosis.
With their sophomore album – written and recorded before Covid lockdown – finally released to the world, Kelley Deal and Mike Montgomery discuss the advantages of delaying the album by a few years and the creative packaging that makes the album special and unique.
During the pandemic, John Schmersal took stock of all the Brainiac demos and unreleased tracks he had been collecting since the band’s untimely end in 1997. The latest, and perhaps last, batch of songs have recently been released as The Predator Nominate EP. Schmersal discuss the release and the impetus behind upcoming Brainiac live shows.
A silver lining to lockdown was the ability to have access to a studio. We Are Scientists took advantage by recording songs for two albums, 2021’s Huffy and the brand new release, Lobes. Singer/guitarist Keith Murray shares how the downtime gave the band a chance to experiment.
As a child, Blur drummer Dave Rowntree would spin the dial on his longwave radio and listen to exotic music from all corners of the world. On his debut solo album, Rowntree envisioned his songs as the type that someone might find while exploring the radio.
Shiner frontman, and Third Gear Scratch podcast host, Allen Epley discusses his first solo album, Everything, released 30 years into his career as well as the role the pandemic had on his creativity.
After releasing 10 albums since 2004, Micah P. Hinson found himself at a critical juncture where stepping away from music seemed to be a viable option. With a new champion in his corner, a budding new relationship providing inspiration, and a move from Texas to Spain, Hinson’s now excited for the next chapter in his musical career.
Life has been a whirlwind for The Backseat Lovers whose members are in their early 20s. Josh Harmon, Jonas Swanson and KJ Ward reflect on the year that saw the band release their sophomore album, play festival stages, and perform on multiple television talk shows.
In this in-depth interview, Bob Holmes, Pat Irwin, and Jonathan Gregg of SUSS share how they developed their ambient country sound and the thinking behind compiling four EPs for a new, self-titled double album.
Singer/songwriter/actress Alison Sudol’s new album, Still Come the Night, addresses the emotions tied with love and loss and does so in an unflinching manner.
Though Samira Winter was just a toddler in the early ’90s, her newest album, What Kind of Blue Are You?, with shimmering guitars and dreamy vocals, sounds like the shoegazing movement led by My Bloody Valentine. Winter talks about her fascination with ’90s music, the impact of moving to L.A., and how producer Joo Joo Ashworth helped bring her vision to life.
“I think my job is to make people cry or hold each other or laugh or feel something they were holding in and were afraid to feel,” Glen Phillips says. His new album, There Is So Much Here, accomplishes these goals and more. The on-again, off-again Toad the Wet Sprocket singer talks in-depth about his solo career and how he kept his songwriting sharp during the pandemic.
Belgium’s Brutus has returned with Unison Life, an album that incorporates Bjork-like vocals into the kind of post-rock music that often is presented as instrumentals. Drummer/vocalist Stefanie Mannaerts and bassist Peter Mulders discuss the album’s journey, teenage favorites, and the rare mistake on stage.
a-ha guitarist Paul Waaktaar-Savory reflects on the band’s 40-year-career, the overnight success of “Take On Me,” and the band’s newly-released eleventh album, True North.
Songwriter Brooke Annibale talks about her mental wellbeing journey and how it influenced the songs on her fourth album, Better By Now.
Billy Duffy of The Cult checks in on the eve of the band’s new album, Under the Midnight Sun, to share his thoughts on his lengthy career, meeting audience expectations, the influence his band has had on music, and splitting time between L.A. and the UK.
Singer/songwriter Derek Hoke shares thoughts about the Nashville music scene, maturing as a songwriter, his new album Electric Mountain, and hosting $2 Tuesday at The 5 Spot for over a decade.
The long-awaited debut full length by LA’s Dear Boy is a Brit pop fan’s dream come true. Singer/guitarist Ben Grey shares stories recording the album, discovering punk music, being on an ongoing text thread with Richard Butler (The Psychedelic Furs) and Tim Booth (James), a memorable (but strange) encounter with Rivers Cuomo and having an unlikely pen pal as a child.
Goon’s founding member Kenny Becker shares how new band members contributed to the band’s latest release, Hour of Green Evening, being creative through both music and art, the joy of making videos with friends, and encountering celebrities in Los Angeles.
Ramesh Srivastava is guardedly optimistic about Voxtrot’s future. Reuniting for the first time since 2010, the Austin-based band has reissued two albums worth of older material (EPs, B-Sides, demos) and has a short tour coming up this fall. If nothing else happens, it will have been worth it but Srivastava envisions more touring and potentially writing new music with his bandmates.
Carré Callaway’s life story may be as interesting and wild as her latest album, Couples Only, released under the Queen Kwong moniker. Callaway discusses both in this in-depth conversation.
There’s a chance The Deslondes extended hiatus may have lasted longer had John James Tourville (fiddle/pedal steel) not proposed getting the band back together during the pandemic. Riley Downing (vocals/guitar) talks about the band’s reunion, it’s new album, Ways & Means, life on the road and more.
Thanks to support from the PRS Foundation and Help Musicians, UK artist Pit Pony was afforded the opportunity to record it’s blistering, melodic-punk debut, World To Me, during an otherwise daunting time in world history. Jackie Purver, Garth Purver, and Andrew Jones discuss how living in Newcastle helps shape the band’s sound.
Spacey Jane’s sophomore album, Here Comes Everybody, follows close on the heels of the Australian band’s debut which came out in June 2020. Singer Caleb Harper talks lyrical inspirations, mental wellbeing, and seeking Jeff Tweedy’s approval on the album title.
With a sound rooted in folky and dreamy psychedelic-pop, Haunted Summer’s third album, Whole, proves you can judge a band by it’s name. We catch up with wife-and-husband duo Bridgette Moody and John Seasons as they happily return to the touring lifestyle they put on hold for the last two years.
After experiencing a whirlwind career-starting single, “No Roots,” (which currently has been streamed over 1 billion times worldwide), Alice Merton is learning to slow down and enjoy whatever life throws at her. Her new album, S.I.D.E.S., is the result of purging two years worth of dark thoughts and emotions as a form of therapy.
With the listener in mind, progressive jam band Dopapod put a lot of thought into how they want the audience to experience their new album. From the sequencing of the songs, to the album artwork, to the board game that is part of the vinyl package, everything was carefully calculated. Eli Winderman talks about the album, touring and more.
Isaac Gibson reflects on how living in a small mountain town in Virginia helps shape 49 Winchester’s sound on the band’s new album, Fortune Favors the Bold and how to feel a sense of “home” when playing in big cities.