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The Big Takeover Issue #88
Interviews
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Lunchbox: Thermos Full of Pop

2 March 2021

“If you think about names of famous bands, after awhile it becomes a signifier for the band, it’s drained of content. Is The Beatles a good name? It’s a stupid name right? But The Beatles are THE BEATLES!” – Tim Brown

“At least, the silver lining is that when we can play again, people will care about live music and it will be special again.” – Donna McKean

Electric Jesus

Interview: Chris White (writer/director) and Daniel Smith (songwriter) of Electric Jesus

1 March 2021

Chris White (writer/director) and Daniel Smith (songwriter) discuss the inspiration behind both the Electric Jesus movie and the soundtrack which is loaded with ’80s Christian hair metal original songs.

Aaron Lee Tasjan

Interview: Aaron Lee Tasjan

22 February 2021

Singer/songwriter Aaron Lee Tasjan shares how he avoids the trappings of being easy to classify, how moving to Nashville was one of the best things he’s ever done, and has some fun answering questions about the “Thank You” credits on his new album, Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan!.

A Short Conversation with Siamese Youth

18 February 2021

Berlin duo, Siamese Youth, make music which revels in the synthwave sounds of the mid-eighties. Their latest album, Echoes of Tomorrow, written during Lockdown, sees them embracing a broader sonic palette and adding new elements alongside their core sound. The bands new single “So Far From Home” is out now on New Retro Wave and the new album will be released shortly. I sat down with them to find out all about the making of their second album, how they coped with a year of isolation and what they are looking forward to once normality begins to return.

Teenage Wrist

Interview: Marshall Gallagher and Anthony Salazar of Teenage Wrist

14 February 2021

Marshall Gallagher and Anthony Salazar provide some insight into the new Teenage Wrist album and how a lineup change gave the duo a chance to bring new musical ideas to the table.

Get The Funk Out: A candid chat with Nevaris A.C. of Loud Apartment

9 February 2021

Loud Apartment is a band with a unique sound, one which crosses cultural and generic boundaries as easily as it does those relating to technology and musical era. With a new album, System Breakdown, now out, I sat down with Nevaris A.C. to find out how the band build up their singular sound, how it has remained creative during the pandemic and what the future holds.

A Short Conversation with Juan and Mark from When Planets Align

5 February 2021

When Planets Align is a band which mixes, merges and wilfully hops genres as the desire takes them. Their latest album, The Death of Us certainly explores such eclectic and exotic approaches but it also lyrically looks at tragedy both on a very personal and emotional level, but on a global and catastrophic one two.

We sat down with Juan and Mark to find out about the journey which got them to this latest album, their approach to making music, collaborations and what the future holds for them.

Steven Wilson

Interview: Steven Wilson

29 January 2021

Steven Wilson discusses his new album, The Future Bites, on which he explores dystopian themes of technology-triggered isolation and needless consumerism

Lilly Winwood

Interview: Lilly Winwood

29 January 2021

For an artist who spends a lot of time on the road and whose songs are written while traveling, it seems a bit unfair that with a recently-released debut album to promote, Lilly Winwood is stuck at home due to the global pandemic. The young singer-songwriter discusses how it’s both a blessing and a curse

Music on Tap: A chat with Davey Woodward (The Brilliant Corners, The Experimental Pop Band)

27 January 2021

With a resume boasting such bands as The Brilliant Corners, The Experimental Pop Band to his name, Bristolian Davey Woodward has just released a new album with his band The Winter Orphans. We sat down with him to find out what inspirations and processes drive his songwriting and how lockdown has been treating him.

Liverpool Cult 80s Band Candy Opera Back For A Second Round: An Interview

23 January 2021

Candy Opera sounded like the perfect band for the post-punk era that they formed in. But whilst bands around them became household names, somehow, the band never got the break many felt that they deserved. A new album The Patron Saint of Heartache, sees a new line up, garnered from band members from across their original, ten-year duration and the opening of a new chapter. We sat down with Paul Malone to discuss, the past, the present and the future of the band.

A Short Conversation with Forest Sun

22 January 2021

Stubborn Breathing Heart is an album which feels like a sonic road trip through the heart of American music. We sat down with its creator, Forest Sun to find out about the album and talk about his own journey through music.

Dark Psychedelia At Work: An Interview with Nero Kane

22 January 2021

With a new and beguiling collection of music out under the title of “Tales of Faith and Lunacy” we spoke to Nero Kane about the inspiration for the unique sonic landscape that his music paints, about the inspiration behind it and about how he has travelled to this point musically.

Dale Crover

Interview: Dale Crover (Melvins/Redd Kross)

21 January 2021

Dale Crover (Melvins / Redd Kross) talks about his new release, Rat-a-Tat-Tat!, shares how he wound up being in multiple bands with bassist Steve McDonald, and how he’s discovering new music while spending time at home, rather than in a tour van.

Interview: Ben Kweller

14 January 2021

With a surprise January 1 new album drop, Ben Kweller has delivered a perfect 8-song, 28-minute pop masterpiece. He shares the reason why Circuit Boredom clocks in under half an hour as well as spilling some Spotify playlist secrets and the magic of email marketing in this engaging and entertaining conversation.

Portugal band Beautify Junkyards

A Virtual Conversation with João Branco Kyron of Beautify Junkyards

9 January 2021

“Beautify Junkyards plays a unique blend of tropicalia, dream pop, and folk. Their songs are like wandering inside a dreamscape.”

Interview: Travis Johnson of Activity

6 January 2021

If there could be an official soundtrack to 2020, Activity’s debut, Unmask Whoever would be a worthy submission as it’s dark, cold, paranoid and, at times, creepy. Travis Johnson shares how the band formed, what they are trying to accomplish, and what the future holds.

A Short Conversation with Noble Barz

5 January 2021

Having undergone a rebranding of late, we caught up with Nobel Barz, an artist known for pushing the boundaries of hip-hop into more soul and indie, even rock-orientated territories, to see how he has survived a difficult year and what we can expect from his new musical persona.

Members of Hull band bdrmm

A Virtual Conversation with Hull, UK's Ever Changing bdrmm

29 December 2020

HULL, U.K. FIVE-PIECE BDRMM’s debut album resonates from musical touchpoints far deeper than one would expect from a newer group. Drop the needle on any song, and you’ll be reminded of The Chameleons, DIIV, and even Pale Saints.”

Interview: Emma Swift

18 December 2020

Emma Swift discusses how it took a global pandemic for the world to hear her interpretations of Bob Dylan classics and deep cuts, shares what it’s like as a touring artists to pivoting to singing into her laptop camera, and gives her thoughts on another singer with the same last name.

Muzz photo

Interview: Paul Banks, Josh Kaufman, & Matt Barrick of the supergroup Muzz

14 December 2020

Paul Banks (Interpol), Josh Kaufman (Bonny Light Horseman), and Matt Barrick (The Walkmen) talk about the new Covers EP from their group Muzz

Bob Forrest - Thelonious Monster

Interview: Bob Forrest of Thelonious Monster [Part 2]

14 December 2020

Bob Forrest talks about how Thelonious Monster reunited for the outstanding Oh That Monster, how the songs came together, and how “Sammy Hagar Weekend” will forever be the band’s most well-known song.

Bob Forrest - Thelonious Monster

Interview: Bob Forrest of Thelonious Monster [Part 1]

5 December 2020

In Part 1, Bob Forrest of Thelonious Monster shares his thoughts on the current state of rock music and how the internet has enabled a culture that he isn’t particularly fond of.

Kilo Bravo live by Johnny Lindamood

Interview with Kris Butcher from Kilo Bravo

2 December 2020

With the release of Chew This Slow, Kris Butcher explores the reaches of his melodic and pop capabilities. Kilo Bravo reaches well beyond the alterna-rock gauntlet, from post 80’s self-deprecating pop, to Rubber Soul-era folk melodies and classic riffs that set the hook quick and deep…

Dirty Knobs with Mike Campbell

Interview: Mike Campbell

20 November 2020

Legendary guitarist Mike Campbell discusses his band The Dirty Knobs and his time with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

A Short Conversation with Jim Styring from It's Karma It's Cool

11 November 2020

With the latest album, “Woke Up In Hollywood”, finally getting a live outing after an unforeseen pandemic-related delay, I sat down with Jim Styring, guitarist with UK Power-Pop outfit It’s Karma It’s Cool to find out how their year has been, get a potted history of the band and find out what the future holds.

Zero 7 with Lou Stone

Interview: Henry Binns of Zero 7

7 November 2020

Zero 7 co-frontman Henry Binns discusses the band’s new EP, Shadows, as well as their celebrated career overall

The Cadillac Three

Interview: Jaren Johnston of The Cadillac Three

2 November 2020

The Cadillac Three frontman Jaren Johnston discusses the band’s new album, Tabasco & Sweet Tea (their second release this year), Southern pride, and making sure they – and their fans – always have a good time

Travis band

Interview: Fran Healy of Travis

9 October 2020

Travis frontman Fran Healy discusses the band’s new album (10 Songs), fatherhood, and how his poverty-stricken childhood has driven him throughout his life

Young Gun Silver Fox

Interview: Andy Platts and Shawn Lee of Young Gun Silver Fox

5 October 2020

With day gigs in other bands, Andy Platt and Shawn Lee have found a creative outlet for their “yacht rock”-inspired smooth rock sounds in Young Gun Silver Fox. The duo discuss their new album, Canyons, and how the pandemic laid waste to 2020 tour plans.

A Short Conversation with Beth Snapp

30 September 2020

With her wonderful reinterpretation of the Steve Winwood classic “Higher Love” just released I sat down with Beth Snapp to find out how it all came about, her UK connection, what it means to come from such a rich musical location and what the future holds for her.

A Short Conversation with Tatiana DeMaria

27 September 2020

With her latest single and response to the recent tragic events in Lebanon, “Beruit Fire,” now out I sat down with Tatiana DeMaria to find out about her approach to making music, her inspirations, the differences between being a musician in both the UK and the US and the silver linings which she found in the recent lockdown.

Peter Daltrey of Kaleidoscope UK

A Conversation with Peter Daltrey of Kaleidoscope UK

23 September 2020

“We were very much of our time. A product of our times. Shaped and moulded by the explosion of creativity that made the Sixties in Britain so vital, so exciting. You only get one big chance in life. That was ours.”

Eddie Pumer (center) and Kaleidoscope UK

A Short Conversation with Eddie Pumer of Kaleidoscope UK (RIP)

23 September 2020

“We called ourselves The Sidekicks. We then changed our name to The Key. I wasn’t happy about this and came up with the name Kaleidoscope. It was at this phase, as you say, that Pete and I started writing together and kept in the more progressive type of music.”

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.

Erasure

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