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The Big Takeover Issue #91

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, 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.

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.

Interview: Samira Winter

7 November 2022

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.

Interview: Glen Phillips

5 November 2022

“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.

Interview: BRUTUS

30 October 2022

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.

Interview: Paul Waaktaar-Savoy (a-ha)

21 October 2022

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.

Interview: Brooke Annibale

14 October 2022

Songwriter Brooke Annibale talks about her mental wellbeing journey and how it influenced the songs on her fourth album, Better By Now.

The Cult

Interview: Billy Duffy of The Cult

7 October 2022

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.

Interview: Derek Hoke

25 September 2022

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.

Interview: Ben Grey (Dear Boy)

14 September 2022

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.

Interview: Kenny Becker (Goon)

3 August 2022

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.

Interview: Ramesh Srivastava (Voxtrot)

25 July 2022

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.

Interview: Queen Kwong

12 July 2022

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.

Interview: Riley Downing (The Deslondes)

8 July 2022

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.

Interview: Pit Pony

7 July 2022

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.

Interview: Spacey Jane

30 June 2022

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.

Interview: Haunted Summer

27 June 2022

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.

Interview: Alice Merton

17 June 2022

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.

Interview: Eli Winderman (Dopapod)

27 May 2022

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.

Interview: Isaac Gibson (49 Winchester)

13 May 2022

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.

Interview: Duquette Johnston

10 May 2022

Following the release of his fifth solo album, The Social Animals, former Verbena bassist Duquette Johnston shares what it was like working with John Agnello, talks about balancing priorities, and shines the light on Birmingham, Alabama.

Interview: Joshua Hedley

21 April 2022

After drugs and alcohol nearly derailed Nashville’s Joshua Hedley’s career, the now-sober singer/songwriter is back with an album paying homage to the ’90s country music he grew up listening to.

Interview: Pat Graham (Big Nothing)

15 April 2022

Pat Graham of Philadelphia’s Big Nothing shares how the band approached writing and recording Dog Hours in the midst of the pandemic and the never-ending quest he’s on to write the perfect pop song.

Interview: Yelawolf & Shooter Jennings (Sometimes Y)

4 April 2022

What do you get when you mix the outlaw country songwriter/producer Shooter Jennings with a predominant name in the hip-hop world, Yelawolf? Probably not what you’d expect. Sometimes Y delivers a modern rock album with influences from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. Jennings and Yelawolf share with us how they came together and why two opposites attract.

Interview: The Mysterines

25 March 2022

Racking up honors and accolades in the UK with their explosive brand of guitar-driven rock, The Mysterines now has its sights set on the U.S. Singer Lia Metcalfe and drummer Paul Crilly discuss making the debut album, Reeling, influences, festival lineups and “pinch me” moments.

Interview: Jakob Hemström (Oh Hiroshima)

4 March 2022

Constant change has been the norm for Oh Hiroshima since their formation in 2017. Paired down to a duo in early 2021, brothers Jakob Hemström and Oskar Nilsson have challenged the post-rock stereotypes on their fourth album, Myriad and delivered a stunning cinematic masterpiece.

Interview: Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses)

28 February 2022

When Ben Bridwell says he never meant to be a musician, that it just happened, he sells it with conviction. Thankfully, things worked out the way they did as Band of Horses’ sixth album, Things Are Great, is as honest and unflinching as the band has ever been. Learn about the making of the album, life in South Carolina, and why Band of Horses tries to never phone in a live performance.

Interview: Blood Incantation

24 February 2022

Known for their technical and complex death metal, Blood Incantation’s new, all-instrumental, ambient release, Timewave Zero, is a palate cleanser that owes a lot to ’60s and ’70s influences, according to singer/guitarist Paul Riedl.

Interview: Matt Lowell (Lo Moon)

24 February 2022

Lo Moon is back with a new album, A Modern Life, on a new label, Thirty Tigers. We catch up with Matt Lowell who talks about influences, being in it for the long haul, and making low-budget videos,

Interview: Olive Vox

21 February 2022

Brothers Parker James and Caden Shea weren’t even a twinkle in their parents eyes during the ’90s grunge era, but hearing the music around the house while growing up was directly responsible for their band’s nostalgic sound.

Interview: Boulevards

16 February 2022

Perhaps a surprise artist on a label known for its Americana and Roots Rock roster, Boulevards brings a lifetime of funk and cinematic soul to his New West Records debut, Electric Cowboy: Born in Carolina Mud and the results are as vibrant and colorful as the album cover.

Interview: Ryan Key

11 February 2022

With his sights on composing for TV and film, Ryan Key’s newest EP, Everything Except Desire, is a warm and complex calling card showcasing the songwriter’s ability to set a cinematic tone through the ebbs and flows of his electronic-based music.

Interview: Isaac Flynn (Hembree)

4 February 2022

Isaac Flynn’s talent of writing memorable hooks is on full display on Hembree’s new album, It’s a Dream! Flynn shares how he’s spent the last two years honing his craft not only in his new band but when collaborating with other songwriters.

Interview: Steve Stevens

1 February 2022

Legendary guitarist Steve Stevens joined The String Revolution on a special cover of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” to honor guitar hero Randy Rhoads’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Stevens talks about his involvement with the project, his early days in NYC, touring with Journey and more.

Interview: Bobby Markos (Cloakroom)

28 January 2022

When he’s not palling around with Dale Earnhardt Jr, Bobby Markos is playing bass with the shoegazing power trio Cloakroom. A decade into their existence, Cloakroom has just released the stunning Dissolution Wave which will undoubtedly appeal to Hum, Failure, Swervedriver and Nothing fans.

Interview: The Dollyrots

21 January 2022

The Dollyrots have cleared out their closet with the release of Down the Rabbit Hole featuring 20 years worth of unreleased tracks, demos, B-sides and covers. Kelly Ogden and Luis Cabezas share how the pandemic had some silver linings as they balance being in a punk-rock band with being parents.

Interview: Jan Lüftner (There's A Light)

18 January 2022

Despite the ongoing global pandemic, German post-rock band There’s A Light managed to not only record a new album in 2021 but signed a deal with Napalm Records for worldwide distribution. Drummer Jan Lüftner talks about the album’s theme, shooting videos and the music that inspired him in 2021.

Interview: Ricky Young (The Wild Feathers)

26 December 2021

With the Spirit of the South tour, originally scheduled for 2020, postponed until 2021, The Wild Feathers used the down time to record it’s fourth full-length, Alvarado, and score a deal with New West Records. Singer/guitarist Ricky Young talks about recording the album and touring with big names.

Interview: Kevin Whelan (Aeon Station)

10 December 2021

While we all wish for new music from The Wrens, things are a bit complicated these days. But, half of the songs on Aeon Station’s new album, Observatory, were written by Kevin Whelan for The Wrens so fans should savor the moment that has been 18 years in the making.

Interview: Kellii Scott (Failure)

2 December 2021

After taking a 17-year-break, Failure returned in 2014 and with the release of Wild Type Droid, the third album since reuniting, the band has now equaled the output from the first part of their career. Drummer Kellii Scott checks in to talk about the new album, the songwriting process, and why saying “yes” is his guiding force in life.

Interview: Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society)

29 November 2021

Zakk Wylde talks about the ballads on the Black Label Society’s eleventh album, Doom Crew Inc., the artists that influenced his songwriting, having fun while shooting videos and who he wants to induct him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Palm Ghosts

Interview: Joseph Lekkas (Palm Ghosts)

23 November 2021

Earlier this month, Palm Ghosts released it’s second album of 2021, The Lost Frequency. Joseph Lekkas shares the story behind both albums, discusses the ’80s influence found in the band’s music, and reveals what it will take to feel like the band has “made it”.

Interview: Dan Hawkins (The Darkness)

17 November 2021

Fresh off a late 2019 release, The Darkness return with more stadium-ready hard rock on Motorheart. Guitarist Dan Hawkins discusses what it’s like to return to playing shows, how the band has stayed relevant for 20 years, ’80s references that can be found throughout the album and 2022 tour plans.