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The Big Takeover Issue #94
Interviews
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Interview: Eric Earley (Blitzen Trapper)

10 June 2024

Two decades into their career, Blitzen Trapper’s written some of their best material on their new album, _100’s of 1000’s, Millions of Billions*. Lead singer – and founding member – Eric Earley discusses the freedom he feels these days to tap into early influences and revisit ideas from his earliest days of songwriting as well as how he manages his music career with the work that he does with Oregon’s homeless.

Interview: X Ambassadors frontman Sam Nelson Harris

31 May 2024

X Ambassadors frontman Sam Nelson Harris discusses the band’s latest album, Townie, and how it reflects his more introspective side

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.

Let Go & Slide Away: An Interview with Domenic Palermo of Nothing

27 April 2024

“I knew that by putting this together it would cement my place where Nothing deserves to be in the realm of this scene and this music. In the process of doing that, I’m able to complete this cross-generational thing and give the community something they deserve as well.” – Domenic Palermo

Interview: Belouis Some

26 April 2024

As he prepares to tour with The Alarm and Jay Aston’s Gene Loves Jezebel, Belouis Some talks about his career renaissance

Telling Tales, a short conversation with Dean Harlem

26 April 2024

From California to Texas to New England, New Jersey native son Dean Harlem has in true troubadour fashion made America his home. Deep-rooted in Americana and classic country sounds, with a picking style that blends Townes Van Zandt and Justin Townes Earle, and with an honest, soulful voice, Harlem has distinguished himself as a young singer-songwriter to watch, with what Seacoast Online predicts, “a long, storied career” ahead of him. His debut release, 2019’s Asbury Park, paid homage to his New Jersey origins, even as it pointed to new songways and highways ahead as evidenced by his 2022 stand-alone single, “World Without Song,” that further cemented his songwriting acumen. Currently, he makes his home in Nashville with his second EP, Red Oak Hill, arriving summer ’24

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.

Sun Atoms & Little Cloud Records – keeping Portland prominent on the U.S. music map

19 April 2024

Psychedelic gaze-wave outfit Sun Atoms recently released a 7” vinyl featuring the new wave-inspired single ‘Ceiling Tiles’ and a unique fuzzed-out tribute to Leonard Cohen called ‘Tower of Song (in the key of JAMC)’. Mixed by iconic producer Jagz Kooner (Massive Attack, Primal Scream, Oasis, Garbage), it comes via the ever-growing label Little Cloud Records digitally, who are also putting out the band’s sophomore album this summer.

Then Comes Silence on new 'Trickery' album, punk past & road tripping

17 April 2024

Signed to Metropolis Records, Stockholm alternative rock / post-punk trio Then Comes Silence has unleashed their seventh album Trickery. This time around, frontman Alex Svenson, drummer Jonas Fransson and guitarist Hugo Zombie worked with producer Jorgen Wall (Jay-Jay Johanson, The Hellacopters) and mixer Tom Van Heesch (Rammstein, Apocalyptica) – a capable team infusing extraordinary power in a collection of tracks that is ultimately about friendship, unity and a sense of belonging.

Suffer Fools Gladly: An Interview With R.E. Seraphin

16 April 2024

“In a lot of ways, playing under my own name has made me more honest. There’s no gimmick or genre constraints – I just record songs that emerge from my head.” – R.E. Seraphin

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.

Close-knit: An Interview with Torrey's Ryann and Kelly Gonsalves

4 April 2024

“It’s hard to say exactly how the Bay Area has informed our music, but it’s impossible to say it hasn’t. There’s so much art, diversity, and history here. So many opportunities everyday to learn something new and grow as a person.” – Kelly Gonsalves

“When we started writing this record, I was at the beginning of turning inward and having a closer look at myself. A lot of the lyrics reflect that subtle, kind of meditative conversations with yourself while experiencing the beginning of a big transition.” – Ryann Gonsalves

Interview and Premiere: Holly Ramos of FUR

4 April 2024

Thirty years after it was made, Holly Ramos premieres the video for “Beautiful Wreck” by her former band FUR

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.”

Mo(re) Dotti Please! An Interview With Mo Dotti's Gina Negrini

28 March 2024

“We hope we can create music that is not necessarily afraid to hide who we are inspired by but also be our own thing. I’d hate to be perceived as a carbon copy, but at the same time I want to make music I would want to listen to.” – Gina Negrini

Their Big Days - The Triumphant Return of Bombay Bicycle Club

18 March 2024

Their Big New Days: Jack Steadman and Ed Nash of Bombay Bicycle Club on their latest travels and their triumphant return.

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: Dave Stewart

13 March 2024

Eurythmics mastermind Dave Stewart returns with a new tour featuring that band’s beloved songs, as well as a new rock opera and film

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: Al Jourgensen of Ministry

25 February 2024

Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen discusses the legendary industrial band’s new album, HOPIUMFORTHEMASSES – and why he’ll soon wind down the group for good

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”.

You can't keep a good band down. A chat with Foster C. Johnson on the return of Vegas DeMilo

13 February 2024

Riff-driven power pop outfit Vegas DeMilo have announced the release of Black Sheep Lodge, their shimmering 4th album which one writer described as “The Replacements fronted by Liam Gallagher.” It’s an apt comparison as the expertly produced collection displays its 90s grit while also exhibiting the songwriting finesse of Paul Westerberg and Jeff Tweedy clamoring against the dramatic tension of Oasis anthems.

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.

Sanity, Clarity, and Sonic Excellence: A Chat with Léanie Kaleido and Mark Foster of Karamelien

20 January 2024

UK-based Karamelien is Léanie Kaleido and Mark Foster. After a string of singles, the indie pop duo has released their debut album. It celebrates the rewarding path of learning to live with mental health challenges, accepting them, and feeling the freedom of just ‘going with the flow.

This 9-track offering was co-produced by Ride’s Mark Gardener, Ian Caple (Massive Attack, Tricky, Mansun, Tindersticks, Vanessa Paradis) and Chris Mars (A Flock of Seagulls, Damian Wilson). This album also features bassist Lee Pomeroy (ELO, Rick Wakeman, Yes), Morris ‘Mo’ Pleasure (Earth, Wind & Fire, Michael Jackson, Ray Charles), and Léanie’s father *Top Topham*(*The Yardbirds8), who recently passed away. Let’s get into it.

Between a Rock and a Psychedelic Place: Getting to Know London's Sabatta

17 January 2024

Revolving around Essex-raised guitarist and songwriter Yinka Oyewole, who is of Nigerian lineage, London alternative-psychedelic rock trio Sabatta has had a busy year with loads of attention for their new 12-track album_How To Get Even_. With support from Clash Magazine, AfroPunk and The Big Takeover, they most recently featured in Rolling Stone France. With their stock riding high, I sat down with Yinka to find out more.

Interview: Erik Kase Romero

16 January 2024

Few artists can juggle their involvement in multiple interesting projects at once and pull it off like a seasoned pro. Erik Kase Romero is a perfect example of such an artist. He splits his time between being an active member of The Front Bottoms, his production/engineering work, where he pours much of his creative juices into his efforts to help up-and-coming bands shine to their fullest on record, putting out music under his own name, and you know, having an actual life outside of music, too.

The Audio-Visual Dream Experience: A deep dive into Art-Rock with Tulipomania

16 January 2024

Philadelphia’s Tulipomania is Cheryl Gelover and Tom Murray, who first met through experimental film and animation classes, so it comes as no surprise that their music and animations should explore outrage, powerlessness – and the sorrow that emerges from those states of mind. The duo has released their fifth album Dreaming of Sleep and a remix of the single “You Had to Be There” by UK music icon Martyn Ware (Heaven 17, The Human League) & Charles Stooke.

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.