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The Big Takeover Issue #93
Interviews
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Orient meets Occident: A short conversation with Malena Cadiz

24 November 2023

Malena Cadiz is a lady of the canyon, waylaid at a suburban strip mall, acutely aware of how romance shines through even in the moments of grit and desolation. There’s something Didion-esque about Cadiz’s storytelling as she crafts deeply personal vignettes that reveal greater narratives about the world we live in. A captivating songwriter with an unmistakable voice.

Interview: A New Jersey moment with CR and the Nones

23 November 2023

New Jersey band CR and The Nones have released their new album The Ghosts Are Coming Home via Montclair-based Magic Door Record Label. The band is led by Chris Gennone, who came of age playing in various projects in suburban New Jersey, including his former band, CR and The Degenerates.

Interview: Tim DeLaughter (The Polyphonic Spree)

17 November 2023

With their first album of original material in a decade, The Polyphonic Spree returns with Salvage Enterprise, an album meant to take listeners back to the old way of listening to music – finding the right environment to play the album from start to finish and let the music wash over you. Tim DeLaughter shares why this album is so important to him and how it’s origins came as a way to battle depression.

Interview: Brian Walsby

9 November 2023

A conversation with artist and musician Brian Walsby about his background in ’80s fanzine culture, how music fuels his art, and his recent series of power pop drawings.

Interview: Dylan LeBlanc

7 November 2023

Dylan LeBlanc’s journey through life, from the gritty streets of Shreveport, Louisiana to the creative haven of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, has been a defining influence on his music. With a passionate commitment to storytelling through his songs, he has crafted a series of critically-acclaimed albums, including his latest work, Coyote, which represents a culmination of his artistic evolution.

Interview: Dirty Honey

3 November 2023

Coming out of the gate fast and furious, modern classic rock torchbearers Dirty Honey have returned with their aptly-titled sophomore album, Can’t Find the Brakes. With a new drummer in tow, Dirty Honey’s stretching their songwriting skills to include some mid-tempo ballads though the rockers still soar with arena-ready vocals and guitar hero riffs. Guitarist John Notto and drummer Jaydon Bean discuss the making of the album, recording in Australia, and what a dream stadium tour lineup would look like.

Interview: John Oates

31 October 2023

With an illustrious five-decade, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame career as one half of the Hall and Oates duo coming to an end, John Oates discusses how writing and recording his own material has made music fun again. Oates has a handful of sold-out tour dates to end the year and he shares what fans should expect from these shows, from how he’ll tell stories behind the songs to what might be on the setlist.

Interview: Ditner (Joshua Deitner)

29 October 2023

Joshua Deitner (composer/multi-instrumentalist) is the voice and producer behind Ditner, an experimental/indie recording project based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Figures arrives October 27, 2023 featuring traditional drum set and percussion, monophonic synthesizer and layered guitars underneath the most adventurous lyrical and vocal work to date.

Interview: Sarah Rudy (Hello June)

26 October 2023

Artifacts is a memorable collection of Americana songs conceived in rural parts of West Virginia by a songwriter who has city smarts. Sarah Rudy discusses the making of Hello June’s sophomore album, the reason she covered John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads”, and the artists she finds comfort in including some heavier stuff that might surprise you.

Interview: Tobey Torres-Doran of Mojave Phone Booth

26 October 2023

Former Snake River Conspiracy singer Tobey Torres discusses her current band, Mojave Phone Booth

Let There Be Lemon Lights: An Interview With Seablite

24 October 2023

“Individual personalities are what make our band what it is. Everyone has a slightly different aesthetic that works so well together, while essentially drawing the inspiration from the same source.” – Galine Tumasyan

“I got a lot of stripe-y mock necks and a great suede jacket, but I’m on the hunt for a black leather blazer a la C86 era Primal Scream. About size 34 if anyone’s got one, lemme know!” – Andy Pastalaniec

“I love that we all come from different backgrounds and have our own personal styles that all blend together as a whole. I think that’s what makes Seablite distinctive and keeps things interesting!” – Jen Mundy

“This was the biggest project to date that I’ve engineered, recording guitars in our practice space and then vocals and other layers in my apartment. I think the hardest part about recording like this, is to know when to put a bow on it.” – Lauren Matsui

Interview: Meltt

23 October 2023

The Vancouver-based Meltt uses lifelong relationships among band members to create a rich and complex collection of tracks that are truly brought to life when listening on a good set of headphones. James Porter and Jamie Turner discuss the luxury of time provided by Covid lockdowns to dedicate to songwriting, the importance of album sequencing, and how the band name reflects how they want listeners to interpret the music they make.

Bard Of The Bay: An Interview With Tony Jay

16 October 2023

“We don’t live in a perfect world. In fact, when it comes to love and or romance, things hardly ever live up to unrealistic expectations. But in one’s head and heart, there are infinite possibilities, each containing an equal possibility for devastation.” – Michael Ramos

Interview: Andy Summers

9 October 2023

One of the most well-respected and talented guitarists the music world has ever known, Andy Summers is currently on tour doing a one-man mixed-media show including music, storytelling and photography. In this interview, Summers talks about how he got into taking photos, how he has no plans to slow down, and discusses some of his post-Police projects.

Interview: The Brook and The Bluff

6 October 2023

The Nashville-by-way-of-Birmingham The Brook and The Bluff is riding their indie-folk-meets-yacht-rock sound to great success on the road. Singer Joseph Settine discusses the band’s journey and answers questions inspired by some of the Bluebeard song titles.

A Long Interview with Yoshiki

5 October 2023

Japanese superstar Yoshiki discusses his October classical world tour, his debut as a film director, the emotional and physical strength he’s shown throughout his life, and his intense desire to help himself – and his beloved fans – with his music

Interview: Jenny Owen Youngs

2 October 2023

Balancing writing her own songs, writing for others, hosting podcasts, and being a new mother, Jenny Owen Youngs doesn’t have a lot of free time. With a new album, Avalanche, out on Yep Roc Records, Youngs’ already busy life is about to get busier as she enters the promotional cycle and plays a few dates to support the album. We were lucky to get a few minutes to catch up with the singer-songwriter recently to talk about new music, podcasting and music around the house.

Interview: Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub)

25 September 2023

Teenage Fanclub’s eleventh album, Nothing Lasts Forever, finds the Glasgow band doing what they do best – delivering delightfully sublime, ’60s Laurel Canyon-influenced, melodic power-pop with a sunny attitude. Singer/guitarist Norman Blake discusses how the band arrived at that sound, releasing an album (Endless Arcade) during the pandemic, and what it’s like being a band that has lasted over three decades.

From Lockdowns to Musical Highs. In Conversation with Maureen Toth

25 September 2023

Chiaroscuro, is the latest EP from Maureen Toth, a collection of songs that live up to the titular idea of artistic use of light and shade. Championed by Women of Substance Radio, the inherent quality in Toth’s forthright material has drawn comparisons to Patty Griffin, Joni Mitchell, and Shelby Lynne.

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) Discusses 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.