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The Big Takeover Issue #94

Chip Midnight

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, and national print publications (Skratch Magazine, Wonka Vision Magazine) as well as running his own sites (, Chip joined the Big Takeover staff in 2007 after having been a long-time reader. Check out 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.

Interview: Sebastian Bach

9 May 2024

After a ten-year hiatus, Sebastian Bach returns with Child Within the Man, an album the enigmatic singer considers to be the best album of his solo career. Bach discusses the time and care put into the album, how he organizes his massive vinyl collection, the inspiration behind “Hard Darkness,” and why he won’t keep a consistent lineup of musicians to play on his albums and tour.

Interview: Jason Black (Hot Water Music)

9 May 2024

For three decades, Hot Water Music’s sound has defined punk. Bassist Jason Black chats about the band’s enduring lineup across 10 albums, and why their star-studded new release, Vows, might be their magnum opus.

Interview: Jonah Matranga (Sons of Alpha Centauri)

5 May 2024

90s emo/post-hardcore icon Jonah Matranga (Far, onelinedrawing) delves into his current musical ventures, including lending his distinctive vocals to UK band Sons of Alpha Centauri who recruited Matranga for their 2021 album, Push, and their new release, Pull.

Interview: Royel Otis

2 May 2024

As close as an overnight sensation as there is in 2024, Sydney, Australia’s Royel Otis is enamoring audiences around the globe with their brand of indie-pop guitar-rock. With a steady release of EPs that started in late 2021, and a full-length earlier this year, the duo’s built a following through airplay on satellite radio, additions to Spotify playlists, and videos on YouTube that have been viewed millions of times. Royel Maddell and Otis Pavlovic are in the midst of a sold-out club tour that will find them back in the U.S. later this year at venues double and triple the size of where they’re playing now.

Interview: Katie Pruitt

22 April 2024

Katie Pruitt confronts self-doubt on Mantras, her confident sophomore album. Following the acclaimed Expectations, Pruitt embraces a fuller sound and a more honest lyrical style. This time around, with a full promotional push, she’s poised for a breakout.

Interview: Sam Emerson Bodary (Hello Emerson)

14 April 2024

With two albums under their belt, Hello Emerson’s third release, To Keep Him Here, is the most personal to date. The entire album is about the nine days Sam Emerson Bodary’s dad, David, spent in the hospital following an accident in 2017 and the many different emotions the Bodary family went through while wait to see if David would recover.

Interview: Bill Kielty (O Zorn!)

10 April 2024

With the pandemic as a backdrop, O Zorn!’s Bill Kielty crafted the band’s most accessible release to date. The singer/guitarist sheds light on tracking the album while dodging Covid, replacing band members, and leveraging AI to create a video for the sludgy single, “Never Saw It Coming.”

Interview: Marcus King

9 April 2024

Marcus King declares his new album, Mood Swings, a sonic rebirth. “It’s really all about what the music wants,” he says. Produced by Rick Rubin, the album weaves pop, R&B, and hip-hop elements into King’s signature bluesy guitar rock, reflecting not just a musical shift but also a personal one. Mood Swings is King’s journey of confronting his mental health battles and emerging stronger.

Interview: Lo Moon

5 April 2024

A return appearance by Lo Moon’s Matt Lowell, this time to discuss the band’s new release, I Wish You Way More Than Luck, which got it’s start when Lowell returned to the location where he performed for the first time in front of an audience – a chapel used by the high school in Connecticut he attended in the early 2000s.

Interview: Savak

1 April 2024

Indie rock vets Michael “Jaws” Jaworski (The Cops) and Sohrab Habibion (Edsel, Obits) have been making music as the Brooklyn post-punk band Savak since 2015. In this conversation, Jaworski and Habibion discuss the band’s formation, dive into the songs, share the inspiration behind the Flavors of Paradise album title, and reveal why they’re touring in France.

Interview: Ryan Anderson (Bendigo Fletcher)

28 March 2024

Louisville, Kentucky’s Bendigo Fletcher has built a career around weaving intimate stories with timeless harmonies and blending timeless influences with indie flair. The band’s new album, Two Things at Once, demonstrates the band’s intimate charm throughout it’s 11 tracks. Lead singer Ryan Anderson discusses working with Ken Coomer and Tchad Blake on the album, the state of the Louisville music scene, and the classic TV series that inspired the song “Ought Not.”

Interview: Rishi Dhir (Elephant Stone)

18 March 2024

Montreal’s psych-rock veterans Elephant Stone are back with their sixth album, Back Into the Dream. This time, they weave their signature cosmic sounds with catchy pop hooks and jazzy flourishes. Lead singer Rishi Dhir discusses the album’s creation in his home studio, the inspiration behind the title (a tribute to a music journalist), and Elephant Stone’s place in the musical landscape.

Interview: Ellis Ludwig-Leone (San Fermin)

10 March 2024

San Fermin gets personal on their new album, Arms. Songwriter and composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone utilizes the band’s dynamic vocalists, Allen Tate and Claire Wellin, to craft a shifting narrative rich with raw emotion. While the orchestration is scaled back, Arms is far from simple, channeling Ludwig-Leone’s post-breakup experiences into a potent and theatrical listen.

Interview: Julie Dawson (NewDad)

5 March 2024

With a sound that blends dreamlike shoegaze textures with relatable lyrics about the ups and downs of living in your early 20s, Ireland’s NewDad has already achieved career highlights that most bands will never get to experience – from recording at a world-famous studio to signing a major label deal to playing a string of sold-out headline dates. Singer/guitarist Julie Dawson discusses the band’s rapid accension, what’s still on the checklist, the influences that shaped NewDad’s sound and the strategy of releasing singles to build excitement.

Interview: Devon Ross

28 February 2024

While Devon Ross is primarily recognized for her achievements in modeling and acting, her roots lie in music as her father has been Lenny Kravitz’s guitarist since the early ’90s. On her debut EP, released on Thurston Moore’s label, Ross skillfully captures the essence of cool, underground indie rock from previous eras, delivering a refreshingly exciting sound.

Interview: Alex Bleeker (Real Estate)

22 February 2024

With a number of projects under his belt, Real Estate co-founder and bassist Alex Bleeker offers up some recommendations from the list of things he’s worked on that people should check out as they prepare to listen to the new Real Estate album, Daniel.

Interview: Danielle Durack

19 February 2024

Danielle Durack gracefully traverses a range of emotions, bravely tackling difficult truths on her fourth album, Escape Artist. Exploring themes of love, loss, and significant life changes, Escape Artist offers Durack a stage for deep introspection into her personal journey and the beginning of resolution.

Interview: Friko

16 February 2024

One of the best-sounding debut albums I’ve heard, Friko’s Where we’ve been, Where we go from here showcases the young Chicago trio’s versatile sound which will undoubtedly remind listeners of stuff they’ve heard without ever sounding like an imitation of any of those artists. Niko Kapetan and Bailey Minzenberger share where they’ve been in terms of how they met and developed the Friko sound as well as where they go from here, which includes touring to support their jaw-dropping debut.

Interview: Tyler Ramsey

14 February 2024

Rooted in folk and Americana traditions, Tyler Ramsey’s introspective style of songwriting provides warmth and intimacy on his latest album, the Phil Ek*-produced New Lost Ages. As humble and gentle in person as he is on record, Ramsey discusses the new album, the world he hopes to leave behind for his kids, and how *Neal Casal’s passing inspired the song “Flare”.

Interview: Tom McGreevy (Ducks Ltd.)

11 February 2024

Shiny and shimmering jangle pop helps offset the darker subject matter of Ducks Ltd.’s sophomore album, Harm’s Way. Singer/guitarist Tom McGreevy discusses what led to recording in Chicago, how his R.E.M. knowledge didn’t run deep at the start of the band’s career, and how Archers of Loaf provided valuable touring lessons.

Interview: Pylon Reenactment Society

7 February 2024

A member of the influential ’80s new wave punk band Pylon returns, paying homage to the band she lead decades ago with the help of fellow Athens, Georgia musicians from bands like Supercluster and Casper & The Cookies. But, make no mistake, while Pylon Reenactment Society does pay homage to Pylon, singer Vanessa Briscoe Hay is ready to explore new and fresh sounds. Hay and guitarist Jason NeSmith share stories about Athens, discuss the influence Pylon has had, and recall a funny story about meeting Sleater-Kinney.

Interview: TORRES

2 February 2024

With an ever evolving sound, the latest release by TORRES, What an enormous room on Merge Records find singer Mackenzie Scott addressing often dark and complex thoughts and feelings with music grounded in fantasy and experimentation. Scott discusses where this album fits in among their past efforts, talks about the importance of physical and mental fitness, and dives into some of the lyrics.

Interview: Jack Callan and Sam McCann (Sprints)

29 January 2024

Delving fearlessly into themes of mental health and sexuality, Sprints debut album, and first notable album of the year, Letter to Self, serves as a raw and unapologetic exploration of singer Karla Chubb’s difficult life. Bassist Sam McCann and drummer Jack Callan discuss the album’s release, Chubb’s honest songwriting, connecting with fans, and the feeling of playing their first sold-out show.

Interview: Kane Strang (Office Dog)

25 January 2024

Teaming up with friends, and musicians who had backed him during his solo career, Kane Strang’s passion was reignited with the formation of the indie guitar-rock trio Office Dog. Free from expectations, the New Zealand-based band provides the energy that Strang was missing as a solo artist and caught the attention of two highly-respected indie labels who are now sharing Office Dog’s music with the world.

Interview: Folly Group

22 January 2024

The UK’s Folly Group enters 2024 on a strong note with the release of their post-punk debut, Down There!. While the band’s music is anxious, paranoid, and even angry at times, the guys in the band are the complete opposite. In this conversation, they discuss their common love of Gorillaz, where the confidence comes from, the realities of touring, and the band names they’d use if they started a hardcore band.

Interview: Marika Hackman

12 January 2024

Marika Hackman opens up about the profound impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on her music creation process, providing a glimpse into the challenges and revelations she faced during these unprecedented times. Marika shares the highs, lows, and unexpected inspirations that shaped her latest album, Big Sigh and discusses her introspective lyrics, the thematic choices in her music videos, and the evolving philosophy behind her pursuit of artistic growth.

Interview: Rome

3 January 2024

Rome Ramirez discusses his reasons for leaving Sublime with Rome and what he’s got planned for his future. He also talks about how Sublime with Rome’s music isn’t that far removed from the jam band scene, his move to Nashville, when being on the road turns into a job, and what dream he still has for his career.

Interview: Stewart Copeland

28 December 2023

Stewart Copeland opens up about the influx of Police-related projects in 2023 — including two albums and a book — which he sees as an opportunity to create space for pursuing his other passions in the upcoming year. In this interview with the legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer, Copeland delves into his deep affection for composing orchestral pieces, shares the emotions evoked when encountering The Police’s music unexpectedly, and discloses his keen interest in keeping tabs on the current endeavors of both Sting and Andy Summers.

Interview: JACK

28 December 2023

Jack Osborn is an indie-pop virtuoso whose music is a kaleidoscope of smart lyricism and infectious melodies. Crafting witty tunes with irresistible hooks, Sad Songs in C Major, the full-length debut by JACK, is like Vampire Weekend without the Ivy League degree. In this conversation, Osborn discusses the advantages of living in Nebraska, why he create massive amounts of social media content, and the decision behind recording some unexpected covers.

Interview: Vinnie Paolizzi

18 December 2023

After co-writing hundreds of songs for other artists, Vinnie Paolizzi has finally released his own full-length album that he says is neither a country nor a folk record but, rather, a Vinnie record. In this conversation, Paolizzi discusses his influences, the draw of Nashville, his admiration of Chris Cornell and more.

Interview: Mitch Rowland

11 December 2023

Growing up a fan of Neil Young and The Black Crowes, Mitch Rowland’s musical career was diverted when he joined Harry Styles band as both a co-writer and touring guitarist. Inspired by the downtime the pandemic offered, Rowland wrote and recorded his debut solo album, Come June, which is a minimalistic, ’70s-inspired singer/songwriter collection of Americana-flavored songs. Rowland discusses those songs and more in this conversation.

Interview: Josh Radnor

5 December 2023

Best known as TV’s Ted Mosby (How I Met Your Mother), Josh Radnor was a latecomer to the songwriting game. But, a chance meeting with singer/songwriter Ben Lee opened new doors for the actor who’s gift for telling stories through song shines brightly on his debut album, Eulogy: Volume 1.

Interview: Alex Ellis (Our Man in the Field)

4 December 2023

Recording under the name Our Man in the Field, UK actor-turned-musician Alex Ellis is able to tell stories as an observer rather than delivering a first-person narrative although the songwriter admits many of the songs on his sophomore release, Gold on the Horizon, are, in fact, based on his personal experiences.

Interview: Tim DeLaughter (The Polyphonic Spree)

17 November 2023

With their first album of original material in a decade, The Polyphonic Spree returns with Salvage Enterprise, an album meant to take listeners back to the old way of listening to music – finding the right environment to play the album from start to finish and let the music wash over you. Tim DeLaughter shares why this album is so important to him and how it’s origins came as a way to battle depression.

Interview: Dylan LeBlanc

7 November 2023

Dylan LeBlanc’s journey through life, from the gritty streets of Shreveport, Louisiana to the creative haven of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, has been a defining influence on his music. With a passionate commitment to storytelling through his songs, he has crafted a series of critically-acclaimed albums, including his latest work, Coyote, which represents a culmination of his artistic evolution.

Interview: Dirty Honey

3 November 2023

Coming out of the gate fast and furious, modern classic rock torchbearers Dirty Honey have returned with their aptly-titled sophomore album, Can’t Find the Brakes. With a new drummer in tow, Dirty Honey’s stretching their songwriting skills to include some mid-tempo ballads though the rockers still soar with arena-ready vocals and guitar hero riffs. Guitarist John Notto and drummer Jaydon Bean discuss the making of the album, recording in Australia, and what a dream stadium tour lineup would look like.

Interview: John Oates

31 October 2023

With an illustrious five-decade, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame career as one half of the Hall and Oates duo coming to an end, John Oates discusses how writing and recording his own material has made music fun again. Oates has a handful of sold-out tour dates to end the year and he shares what fans should expect from these shows, from how he’ll tell stories behind the songs to what might be on the setlist.

Interview: Sarah Rudy (Hello June)

26 October 2023

Artifacts is a memorable collection of Americana songs conceived in rural parts of West Virginia by a songwriter who has city smarts. Sarah Rudy discusses the making of Hello June’s sophomore album, the reason she covered John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads”, and the artists she finds comfort in including some heavier stuff that might surprise you.

Interview: Meltt

23 October 2023

The Vancouver-based Meltt uses lifelong relationships among band members to create a rich and complex collection of tracks that are truly brought to life when listening on a good set of headphones. James Porter and Jamie Turner discuss the luxury of time provided by Covid lockdowns to dedicate to songwriting, the importance of album sequencing, and how the band name reflects how they want listeners to interpret the music they make.

Interview: Andy Summers

9 October 2023

One of the most well-respected and talented guitarists the music world has ever known, Andy Summers is currently on tour doing a one-man mixed-media show including music, storytelling and photography. In this interview, Summers talks about how he got into taking photos, how he has no plans to slow down, and discusses some of his post-Police projects.

Interview: The Brook and The Bluff

6 October 2023

The Nashville-by-way-of-Birmingham The Brook and The Bluff is riding their indie-folk-meets-yacht-rock sound to great success on the road. Singer Joseph Settine discusses the band’s journey and answers questions inspired by some of the Bluebeard song titles.

Interview: Jenny Owen Youngs

2 October 2023

Balancing writing her own songs, writing for others, hosting podcasts, and being a new mother, Jenny Owen Youngs doesn’t have a lot of free time. With a new album, Avalanche, out on Yep Roc Records, Youngs’ already busy life is about to get busier as she enters the promotional cycle and plays a few dates to support the album. We were lucky to get a few minutes to catch up with the singer-songwriter recently to talk about new music, podcasting and music around the house.

Interview: Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub)

25 September 2023

Teenage Fanclub’s eleventh album, Nothing Lasts Forever, finds the Glasgow band doing what they do best – delivering delightfully sublime, ’60s Laurel Canyon-influenced, melodic power-pop with a sunny attitude. Singer/guitarist Norman Blake discusses how the band arrived at that sound, releasing an album (Endless Arcade) during the pandemic, and what it’s like being a band that has lasted over three decades.

Interview: Sofia Jensen (Free Range)

17 September 2023

It’s been a dreamlike year for Sofia Jensen, from releasing the debut Free Range album, Practice, to supporting artists like Jeff Tweedy and Ratboys to gracing The Newport Folk Festival stage. A rising talent in the indie folk world, Jensen discusses Free Range’s origins, the songwriting process, covering Gillian Welch’s “Look at Miss Ohio”, and losing their wallet in Ohio.

Interview: PJ Western

16 September 2023

The bright and summery sounds of PJ Western’s debut album Here I Go sound like ’70s AM radio gold. A creation from the mind of JR JR’s Josh Epstein, PJ Western gave the songwriter purpose during Covid lockdown and the ability to try something completely different.

Interview: Becca Mancari

25 August 2023

Becca Mancari unpacks a lot of personal baggage on their third album, Left Hand, through a fantastical lens where the music speaks a rich language. It’s an evolution from their earliest recording days which found Mancari fitting into the Nashville singer-songwriter narrative. Mancari shares how the evolution took place, the themes of the album, and how shedding heavy topics has been a weight off their shoulders.

Interview: Ruarri Joseph (William the Conqueror)

23 August 2023

Following a modestly successful solo career, Ruarri Joseph took on a new challenge by formed the trio William the Conqueror which allowed him to dig into his influences and set a new course for his songwriting. The band’s latest Excuse Me While I Vanish is a warm and intoxicating journey that sounds both familiar and unique.

Interview: Margaret Glaspy

18 August 2023

Margaret Glaspy took a simple approach to writing and recording her third album, Echo The Diamond, with many of the songs being written in 15 minutes and recorded as a trio using a first-take final philosophy. The result is an intimate sounding album that will play live just as it does on record.

Interview: Zak Starkey & Sshh (Mantra of the Cosmos)

16 August 2023

Rock royalty – and Ringo Starr’s son – Zak Starkey (Oasis, The Who) and his wife/band mate Sshh discuss the formation of the “fantastic” group Mantra of the Cosmos featuring members of the Happy Mondays, Ride, and The Fall and how chemistry is what drives creativity.

Interview: Matt Scottoline (Hurry)

14 August 2023

In the tradition of power-pop giants like Teenage Fanclub, The Lemonheads, and Matthew Sweet, the latest by Philly’s Hurry is a hook-filled album with vibrant vocals and catchy choruses. Singer/guitarist Matt Scottoline discusses his consistency with releasing music and shares the bands whose music is in his DNA.