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The Big Takeover Issue #92
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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: Diane Gentile

15 September 2023

Singer-songwriter Diane Gentile discusses her latest album, The Bad and the Beautiful

Reaping what you sow. A catch up with Afton Wolfe

12 September 2023

Afton Wolfe is a product of his home, Mississippi. It is the birthplace of at least 2 American art forms: country music and blues music. Meridian is the birthplace of Jimmy Rodgers, while the Mississippi Delta is the birthplace of the blues, and the first rock n’ roll notes ever played, according to some music historians, came from Hattiesburg. Afton also draws much of his style from nearby New Orleans.

Interview: Graham Parker

8 September 2023

“Discovering Japan” and “Local Girls” singer-songwriter Graham Parker discusses his latest studio album, Last Chance to Learn the Twist

Interview: Ane Diaz

4 September 2023

Despechada means heartbroken or without your soul,” explained Ane Díaz about the title of her evocative new album, released June 9th via LaunchLeft. “It’s a very powerful word used for love affairs, but that’s also how I feel about losing my country.”

From Brazil to the World: Trippin' with post-Tropicalia psychedelic outfit BIKE

31 August 2023

Brazil-based sonic adventurers BIKE released their new album Arte Bruta earlier this year after a busy start to 2023 – the band has toured extensively, performed live on Seattle’s KEXP, played dozens of shows at SXSW and Treefort Music Fest, in addition to opening for The Brian Jonestown Massacre in their native city of São Paulo. We caught up with these Amazonian sonic ambassadors for a quick catch-up.

Between Ethereality and Aggression: A Candid Chat with Lucy Kruger

31 August 2023

Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys are an art pop/alternative band based in Berlin. The group, fronted by South African born artist, Lucy Kruger, are known for creating music that is full of atmosphere and intensity. Their prolific output and memorable live shows have attracted attention from both audiences and critics alike.

From Shudder To Think to Quiz Show: A Chat with Chris Matthews

31 August 2023

Quiz Show is a continuation. After a quarter-century break, Chris Matthews, a founding member of legendary DC hardcore band Shudder To Think, picked-up his guitar and began to write songs again. Luckily he lives in the same town as Guided By Voices drummer Kevin March, who agreed to jam and write with Chris.

Talking with Teni Rane about old influences and new releases

28 August 2023

With a run of seasonal singles underway and a new album planned, it felt like the perfect time to sit down with Teni Rane again and find out about the new music music, her recent travels and the fascinating journey which has got her to where she is today.

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.

The Room's Dave Jackson Talks Four Decades and The Big Return

22 August 2023

Formed by singer Dave Jackson and bassist Becky Stringer in the golden years of northern English postpunk, the band is now back, joined by their original drummer Clive Thomas, along with guitarist Darren Brown, keyboardist Ethan Kyme.

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.

Girl Talk: A chat with Gregory Jacobsen of Lovely Little Girls

15 August 2023

Lovely Little Girls is an avant-rock band directed by artist Gregory Jacobsen and bassist Alex Perkolup. The new album Effusive Supreme is out August 18th on SKiN GRAFT Records with a tour planned for October 2023.

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: Two-Man Giant Squid

13 August 2023

Two-Man Giant Squid is a prominent band in the fast rising Brooklyn post punk scene. Big Takeover sat down with the band and got the latest news on their upcoming projects.

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: Stuffy Shmitt

31 July 2023

“There ain’t no gold in them there hills. You gotta be really, really, really lucky to gain any ground. The music business, as it was, doesn’t really exist anymore. But that’s also very freeing because that means you can do whatever you want.”

Pearls of Wisdom - talking nature, jewellery, music and beyond with Joanna Pearl

30 July 2023

Joanna Pearl is a singer/songwriter with an undeniable passion for music that reflects in her dynamic vocal strength. Her true-to-life songwriting portrays the heart of a woman ranging from independence to vulnerability.

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.

From Vienna to Reno via Minneapolis with Hannah Connolly

27 July 2023

Hannah Connolly is a singer-songwriter originally from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, now living in Los Angeles, California. Her debut album From Where You Are was released in 2020, soon to be followed by her forthcoming second record, Shadowboxing.

Interview: Mike Mills (ex-R.E.M.) Discusses The Baseball Project

21 July 2023

Former R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills discusses his current band, the supergroup The Baseball Project

Interview: Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam) Discuss His New Side Band, Deaf Charlie

16 July 2023

Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament discusses Deaf Charlie, his new band with Fitz and the Tantrums drummer John Wicks

Shooting The Moon: A brief chat with Jeshua Marshall

16 July 2023

Jeshua Marshall is a musical troubadour, with 18 years of experience writing, playing, singing and touring original music with Larry And His Flask and as a solo artist. He has performed in every state in the U.S., every province in Canada, 15 countries in Europe, and Palestine.

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.

Texcentric Eurostar? Marina Rocks on her European tour, music with a message and what the future holds

13 July 2023

With her new E.P Texcentric now out and with a short tour of North Europe under her belt, it was the perfect time to sit down Marina Rocks to find out about those recent events, and what the future holds.

Getting to know The Black Lab Guy. An in-depth chat with Andy Ellis

11 July 2023

Andy Ellis is a versatile and accomplished musician who has navigated various music landscapes throughout his career. His journey began in the mid-1990s in the vibrant Chicago music scene, where he honed his craft as a teenager. He then ventured into the alternative electronic music scene of late 90’s Southern California, with a touch of hip hop influences.

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: Joe Langridge-Brown of Nothing But Thieves

6 July 2023

Nothing But Thieves guitarist/lyricist Joe Langridge-Brown discusses the band’s ambitious fourth album, Dead Club City

Interview: Violent Magic Orchestra

2 July 2023

Since 2016, Violent Magic Orchestra has been continuously uniting black-metal with electronic tendencies. With fury and pulsations, the band presents their newest single, ‘Supergaze’ (available now via Never Sleep). We’ve spoken to the members of VMO discussing identity, connecting metalheads and their upcoming LP.

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.

Dead Air Time: A catch up with TJ from The Nearly Deads

14 June 2023

The Nearly Deads” is a four-piece, featuring vocalist *Theresa Jeane, guitarist/bassist Steven Tobi, guitarist Javier Garza Jr. and drummer Josh Perrone, rocketed to stardom with the playful-yet-powerful “Never Look Back,” and its 10-million strong zombie-laced music video. The kinetic energy of the song provided an apt soundtrack to the exhilarating catharsis of out-running the walking dead, both literally and figuratively.

Taking the Withered Hand: A Conversation with Scotland's Famed Troubadour

12 June 2023

Following the release of his long-awaited (and now critically acclaimed) album How To Love, we took some time to chat with Withered Hand – the nom de plume of Edinburgh-based singer-songwriter Dan Willson, who originally hails from London.

His first new music in nine years, and with nine tracks on offer, this record is released via Reveal Records. Here, Withered Hand continues to live up to his reputation as one of Scotland’s most gifted songwriters. He has garnered worldwide support and heavy airplay on tastemaker stations, including BBC 6 Music and Amazing Radio.

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.

Love, compassion and how music can save your life. A candid chat with Keturah Allgood

30 May 2023

Keturah Allgood was born and raised in the mountains of Western North Carolina. She is a soulful Americana artist who draws on her myriad of life experiences for inspiration. Her latest single, “Rosary Beads,” is out today.

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: Russell Mael of Sparks

26 May 2023

Sparks vocalist Russell Mael discusses his band’s legendary career, including their latest album, The Girl Is Crying in Her Latte

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: Friday

25 May 2023

FRIDAY channels her creativity in each moment and brings a sense of nostalgic fun to each track. She’s recently released her first two singles: the grunged-out rock ballad “Dear God” and “I Do It For You,” a 60’s-bubblegum-pop-inspired earworm – showcasing Daddona’s chameleon-like range in music and beyond.

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.