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The Big Takeover Issue #92

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: 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.

Interview: Activity

4 August 2023

Influences don’t always have to be other artists or bands. Activity’s Travis Johnson discusses some of non-obvious influences that contributed to the recipe of the band’s second album, Spirit in the Room.

Interview: Kevin Rowland (Dexys)

28 July 2023

With a shortened name, the band responsible for the 1982 smash hit “Come On Eileen” has returned with The Feminine Divine, a narrative of sorts from founding member/lead singer Kevin Rowland. On this latest by Dexys, Rowland examines how masculinity shaped his early beliefs and how, as he’s gotten older – and wiser – those beliefs have changed.

Interview: Warren Haynes (Gov't Mule)

13 July 2023

Though Gov’t Mule is most comfortable on the road and playing in front of live audiences, their two most recent studio releases (2021’s Heavy Load Blues, 2023’s Peace … Like a River) are solid entries to the band’s catalog. Warren Haynes discusses how his brothers introduced him to music, how Gov’t Mule got started covering Pink Floyd, and the importance of continuously shaking up the setlist.

Interview: Aaron Dowdy of Fust

11 July 2023

The puzzle pieces have fallen into place for Durham, North Carolina’s Fust. Having recorded in Drop of Sun Studios and signed with Dear Life Records, the band, led by Aaron Dowdy, has released one of the most compelling storytelling albums of 2023 and is getting noticed outside of Dowdy’s bedroom for the first time.

Interview: The Pink Stones

30 June 2023

The new cosmic-country album, You Know Who, by Athens, Georgia’s The Pink Stones is inspired by artists ranging from George Jones to Gram Parsons and features a very George-and-Tammy-style duet with Nikki Lane. Check out the things in Hunter Pinkston’s life that inspired the making of the new album.

Interview: Scott Holiday (Rival Sons)

26 June 2023

With a classic rock sound – and work ethic – in their DNA, Rival Sons has recently released the first of two albums planned for this year. Guitarist Scott Holiday discusses the band’s influence on artists like tour mates Greta Van Fleet and how they made the most out of the downtime caused by the pandemic.

Interview: Royal Thunder

16 June 2023

Coming out of the other side of hell, Royal Thunder returns with a new focus – and a reunion with drummer Evan Diprima – on their fourth album, the aptly titled Rebuilding the Mountain. Singer/bassist Mlny Parsons, never one to dodge difficult subjects, opens up about her addictions and how she’s overcome them to focus on Royal Thunder.

Interview: Chris Dowd (Fishbone)

12 June 2023

Returning to Fishbone for the first time since getting off the tour bus in 1994, keyboardist Chris Dowd discusses what he’s been up to, why it was a good time to return to the band he helped form in 1979, the band’s new self-titled EP and what the future holds.

Interview: Joey Santiago (Pixies)

7 June 2023

Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago checks in to discuss the rhythm of touring, his current favorite Pixies merch, being a nostalgia act and recording far away from temptation.

Interview: Joe Pernice (The Pernice Brothers)

2 June 2023

Big Takeover favorite Joe Pernice discusses the release of 1998’s Overcome by Happiness for the first time ever on vinyl, talks about some overlooked songs, and shares a story about the drunkest he’s ever been.

Interview: Tombstones in Their Eyes

30 May 2023

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.

Interview: The Dirty Nil

26 May 2023

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.

Interview: Michael Ian Cummings

25 May 2023

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.

Interview: The Ironsides

24 May 2023

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.

Interview: Pony

19 May 2023

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.

Interview: Savannah Conley

12 May 2023

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.

Interview: Jonny Polonsky

12 May 2023

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.

Interview: Vadim Taver

2 May 2023

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.

Interview: Richard Adams (The Declining Winter)

25 April 2023

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.

Interview: Hayden

14 April 2023

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.

Interview: Ruston Kelly

13 April 2023

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.

Interview: Michigander

5 April 2023

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.

Interview: Murray A. Lightburn

4 April 2023

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.

Interview: Kevin Comeau (Crown Lands)

31 March 2023

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.

Interview: Cian Godfrey (Somebody's Child)

27 March 2023

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.

Interview: Frankie Rose

10 March 2023

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.

Interview: Steve Kilbey (The Church)

7 March 2023

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.”

Interview: Hello Mary

2 March 2023

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.

Interview: Rose's Pawn Shop

23 February 2023

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.

Interview: poolblood

19 February 2023

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.


15 February 2023

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.

Interview: Hamish Hawk

8 February 2023

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.

Interview: Tropical Fuck Storm

5 February 2023

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.

Interview: Kelley Deal and Mike Montgomery (R. Ring)

26 January 2023

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.

Interview: John Schmersal (Brainiac)

24 January 2023

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.

Interview: We Are Scientists

20 January 2023

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.

Interview: Dave Rowntree

18 January 2023

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.

Interview: Allen Epley

5 January 2023

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.

Interview: Micah P. Hinson

2 January 2023

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.

Interview: The Backseat Lovers

19 December 2022

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.

Interview: SUSS

13 December 2022

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.

Interview: Alison Sudol

6 December 2022

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.