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The Big Takeover Issue #88
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Photo by Joseph Najera

Fleeting Joys: An Interview with John and Rorika Loring

21 September 2020

“Our approach to music has always been DIY. My first job was at a big label and I saw them spending artists’ money on ridiculous dinners, payola, etc. Their exploitation of the artists was disgusting. It seemed more pure to integrate recording and releasing into our daily lives so that we could do things exactly as we wanted them.” – Rorika Loring

“The ability to experiment endlessly is both the best and worst part of technology. Like everyone, we benefit, and suffer from it. We hated getting off of tape, but our writing process requires maximum flexibility to rearrange songs. Aside from multiple reverbs and a whammy, what’s really important is the instrumentation.” – John Loring

A Short Conversation with Erick Bieger of West of House

14 September 2020

With their debut album Crescendo of Silence just hitting the public domain, I sat down with West of House main man Erick Bieger to discuss the band, its influences, the challenges of recording and releasing music under pandemic restrictions and where it all goes next for the Californian quintet.

Kristin Hersh

Interview: Kristin Hersh of Throwing Muses

4 September 2020

Throwing Muses frontwoman Kristin Hersh discusses the band’s latest album (Sun Racket), her unconventional songwriting style, and her belief in music as prayer.

A Short Conversation with ARIELLA

19 August 2020

ARIELLA is a really cool duo whose musical pathway has gone hand in hand with their personal relationship. I sat down with Ariella and Nichlaas to find out more about their story, how they dealt with releasing music under the strictures of lockdown and where everything goes from here.


Interview: Andy Bell of Erasure

4 August 2020

Erasure singer Andy Bell discusses the band’s new album, The Neon, and looks back on how he and bandmate Vince Clarke first met.

A Short Conversation with I Like Trains

3 August 2020

I Like Trains has always made music which explores interesting social and political idea. With their latest album, KOMPROMAT delving into topics such as social media, fake news and how technology and information is manipulated, often for political gain, it seemed the perfect time to find out a bit more about the band, the music and their view of the world as it stands at the moment.

A Short Conversation with The Haunt

1 August 2020

With new single “Brag About” being launched amid all the restrictions of lockdown, I talked to Anastasia Grace and Maxamillion Haunt about the problems that such conditions impose on creativity, what it’s actually like being siblings in a bad and where things go next.

A Short Conversation With Johnny Chops

28 July 2020

Johnny Chops recent release “Hope Is Contagious Too” felt like the perfect rallying cry as we gradually emerge from the lockdown world and into a slightly altered new reality. I sat down with the man himself…virtually and at a very safe distance…to find out how he had coped with the strictures of lockdown, what the song means to him personally and what the future looks like for him and touring musicians like him.

A Short Conversation with The Wolfhounds

23 July 2020

With a career stretching back into the 80’s it was great to catch up with The Wolfhounds to discuss what has changed along the way, musically and otherwise, what it’s like having someone like Stewart Lee championing your music and the advantages which come with being an under the radar band.

A Short Conversation with Town Meeting

23 July 2020

With a new album “Make Things Better” being released, I sat down with Town Meeting to discuss, releasing new material in such unusual times, influences and labels, the journey which got them here and what that journey looks like going forward.

Modern English

Interview: Robbie Grey of Modern English

21 July 2020

Modern English frontman Robbie Grey discusses “I Melt With You,” and why the New Wave classic as relevant today as ever

The Bacon Brothers

Interview: Kevin Bacon & Michael Bacon of The Bacon Brothers

15 July 2020

Kevin Bacon and Michael Bacon of The Bacon Brothers discuss their new album, The Way We Love, why their childhood in Philadelphia stoked their creativity, and how they continue to stay inspired

A Short Conversation with Kevin Daniel

9 July 2020

The new album from Kevin Daniel seems to blend a wide range of sounds from the great American songbook. With this album being released at a time when the music industry seems to be on pause, I asked him about his musical influences, what he learned about himself during those months of imposed isolation and where things go from here.

Radnor & Lee

Interview: Josh Radnor and Ben Lee of Radnor & Lee

8 July 2020

Josh Radnor (of How I Met Your Mother fame) also has a band, Radnor & Lee, with Australian singer-songwriter Ben Lee, and they’ve just released their second album, Golden State

Interview: Diet Cig

8 July 2020

Diet Cig discusses the impact COVID-19 had on their new album and the move to being completely online.

Suzi Quatro

Interview: Suzi Quatro

1 July 2020

Suzi Quatro – the first true female rock star – talks about Suzi Q, the documentary about her extraordinary life that premiered on July 1

A Short Conversation with Devon

1 July 2020

With a brace of singles out to pave the way for the new EP, Sitting Up Straight I caught up with Devon to talk about her music, pop covers and making music in and after lockdown.

Bully interview

Interview: Bully

30 June 2020

Bully returns with their third album and new optimism.

A Short Conversation with Nick Hudson of The Academy of Sun

23 June 2020

With two gloriously sonically opposed singles and a new full length album, The Quiet Earth now in the public domain, I sat down to talk to The Academy of Sun*s *Nick Hudson about new music, where it comes from, where it is going and what it is saying, as well as what he might have learned during lockdown nd perhaps what the future holds.

Tom Guerra

Pop Goes Tom Guerra - "Sudden Signs of Grace" Revealed

21 June 2020

New England songwriter/guitarist Tom Guerra is back with his fourth solo album, the sublime Sudden Signs of Grace.

A Short Conversation with Broads

9 June 2020

Broads have a track record of making fascinating and cinematic music, and a recent turn towards an even more minimal approach and a collaboration with Milly Hirst has lead to some of their most striking and understated music to date. I sat down with the East Anglian duo to find out more.

Ian Anderson & Leslie Mandoki

Interview: Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) & Leslie Mandoki

25 May 2020

Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson and his longtime songwriting partner Leslie Mandoki discuss their new single, “We Say Thank You,” that gives thanks to frontline workers during the pandemic

Sparks main photo

Interview: Ron Mael of Sparks

15 May 2020

Sparks keyboardist and songwriter Ron Mael discusses the band’s new album – their 24th one! – as well as his unique songwriting sensibilities, and why this band endures

London Plane

Interview: London Plane

15 May 2020

London Plane leader David Mosey explains how his darkwave band is emerging as one of the more esoteric and exciting bands in the New York City music scene.


Interview: Donita Sparks of L7

6 May 2020

Donita Sparks of L7 discusses the band’s new single, her livestream show, and why some people are terrified to talk to her.

Photo by Yannick Pereira Bajard

Mundy's Bay: Remedy For These Times

3 May 2020

“People are going to re-evaluate what their time means to them and see how valuable it is to have time to focus on yourself and the things you want to do.” – Esther Mulders

“The fact that we have always been associated with hardcore a little bit makes us a bit more free of barriers in some ways because we’re not trying to please a “indie” crowd or not trying to please a “hardcore” crowd or any crowd for that matter.” – Victor Beaudoin

A Short Conversation with Orange Kyte

1 May 2020

The Orange Kyte have described their music as “A loose cacophony of visceral sonic tomfoolery, fixed together with pop-informed melody, three safety pins, and some scotch tape,” but there is obviously much more to their music than this self-deprecating description admits. So I thought that the only way to get to the heart of the matter was to corner the band and ask them to let me in to their fascinating world.

Ann Wilson of Heart

An Interview with Ann Wilson of Heart

6 April 2020

Heart frontwoman Ann Wilson talks about how the resilience she’s gained during her legendary career is helping her navigate the current COVID-19 crisis.

A Short Conversation with Liu Mottes of Alienbaby Collective

29 March 2020

With _ F I S H B O W L / T E R R E S T R I A L_ about to land in the public marketplace, I sat down with the artist behind Alienbaby Collective, Liu Mottes to find out how this new musical path came about, what are its drives and inspirations and where it all goes next.

A Short Conversation with Tiny Fighter

28 March 2020

With a new album Going Home about to be released, I sat down with Therese Karlsson and Tim Spelman to find out about the band’s unusual beginning, its fascinating development, influences, hidden depths and where they are heading next.

A Short Conversation with Mayflower Madame

27 March 2020

With “Prepared For A Nightmare” about to drop, the time felt right to sit down with Mayflower Madame and discuss the album, what influences their sound, generic labels, touring on both sides of the Atlantic and everything in between.

A Short Conversation with Harry Stafford

26 March 2020

With his latest album Urban Gothic Blues painting such a vivid picture of the ever changing nature of the modern city, as well as being such a fantastic collection of songs, I spoke to Harry Stafford about the thens, the nows and the where next for him, his band, his music and the city which inspired the music.

Love Fame Tragedy

Interview: Love Fame Tragedy (Matthew "Murph" Murphy of The Wombats)

23 March 2020

Love Fame Tragedy, the one-man band from The Wombats frontman Matthew “Murph” Murphy, releases a second EP with notable collaborators Dan Smith (Bastille), Eleanor Fletcher (Crystal Fighters) and Jack River.

A Short Conversation with Jonny Polonsky

9 March 2020

With a new album, Kingdom of Sleep, just hitting the shelves we sat down with Jonny Polonsky to discuss inspirations, aspirations, his musical journey to date and where it all goes next.

James Stevenson

An Interview with James Stevenson

6 March 2020

Celebrated guitarist James Stevenson talks about his remarkable career playing with The Alarm, Generation X, Jay Aston’s Gene Loves Jezebel, Holy Holy, The Cult, Chelsea, and many more.

A Short Conversation With Johanna Kuvaja

4 March 2020

With two great pop songs under her belt and a third on the way, we caught up with Finnish pop star Johanna Kuvaja to find out what lies behind her music, how she got to where she is today and where everything goes from here.

The Split Squad

Interview: The Split Squad frontman Michael Giblin

29 February 2020

Michael Giblin talks about fronting The Split Squad, a supergroup featuring Clem Burke (Blondie), Keith Streng (The Fleshtones), Eddie Munoz (The Plimsouls), and Josh Kantor (The Baseball Project).

The Ocean Blue

Interview: David Schelzel of The Ocean Blue

27 February 2020

The Ocean Blue frontman David Schelzel discusses becoming famous as a teenager, then becoming a lawyer, and how he balances his two careers now.

Sweet Lizzy Project

Interview: Sweet Lizzy Project

24 February 2020

Lisset Diaz of Sweet Lizzy Project talks about moving from her native Havana, Cuba to Nashville, her band’s new album, and being discovered by Raul Malo of The Mavericks.

Eyelids & Larry Beckett

Interview: John Moen & Chris Slusarenko of Eyelids

23 February 2020

John Moen and Chris Slusarenko of indie supergroup Eyelids discuss collaborating with Larry Beckett and Peter Buck on their new album.

Photo by Anthony Tran

Tennis System: An Interview with Matty Taylor

19 February 2020

“Do you think Kevin Shields, Jim Reid or Kurt Cobain ever said they were a specific genre? We aren’t necessarily looking to fall into a genre, we’re just looking to make rad art that will move people, the same way the art that influences us has moved us.” – Matty Taylor

A short conversation with Nandan Gautam

16 February 2020

With the recent release of his book The King of The Sea, it seemed the perfect time to sit down and talk to Nandan Gautam about the two albums which act as musical tie-ins to the novel, how he managed to gather such a Stella cast of players around him and what the future holds.

Robert Vincent

Interview: Robert Vincent

15 February 2020

Robert Vincent discusses why it makes sense to be an Americana artist from Liverpool, his new album, and a how a teacher’s encouragement changed his life.

Photo by Kevin Condon

Bambara: In Conversation

10 February 2020

“The theme of death just kind of bubbled to the surface as the characters’ narratives started to take shape and intertwine. After I wrote “Heat Lightning”, I realized that death would have to be present in all the songs in some form or another. It was unavoidable.” – Reid Bateh

Eli Musser

Interview: Eli Musser

8 February 2020

Eli Musser talks about standing out from the crowd in New York City, working with legendary studio veteran Bryce Goggin, and self-discovery.

Ian McNabb of Icicle Works

Interview: Ian McNabb of The Icicle Works

1 February 2020

Ian McNabb discusses fronting The Icicle Works and his solo career, his upcoming one-off show in Atlanta on January 11, and surviving the music business.

Alexander Hacke & Danielle de Picciotto of hackedepicciotto

Interview: Alexander Hacke & Danielle de Picciotto of hackedepicciotto

26 January 2020

Alexander Hacke (Einstürzende Neubauten) and Danielle de Picciotto (Crime & The City Solution) discuss hackedepicciotto, their experimental duo, and how it fits into their nomadic life.

Beach Fossils

Interview: Beach Fossils

20 January 2020

Beach Fossils frontman Dustin Payseur discusses the importance of writing emotionally vulnerable lyrics, and touring for the pure love of it.

A quick conversation with The Judex

19 January 2020

With a sound described as “the sound of punk being invented in a Chicago blues club in 1957, a gang fight set to 12 bar rhythms” The Judex walk a fine line between past and present. With their unexpected resurrection, new releases and even their own video newscast, a conversation with Will and Jason about the strange world of The Judex seemed long overdue.

A quick conversation with Martin Engler of Mono Inc.

15 January 2020

With German maestros of doom-laden classic rock meets dark wave Mono Inc. releasing their 11th album, it felt like the perfect time to catch up with frontman Martin Engler to find out about the twenty years of the band, how such music is perceived in the current musical climate and where the band are headed next.