Musoscribe’s Best of 2010: Interviews

In 2010 I conducted a long list of interviews, and I can honestly say that I enjoyed every single one of them. Some were in-person; some were phoners, and couple used Skype. In every case I believe I came away with a better understanding of what makes the artist tick. But a few interviews stood out as especially remarkable and rewarding.

Jason Falkner is one of those does-it-all-kinds of musicians. He lends his talents to the recorded work of many other artists, but when it comes to his own music, he tends to go solo. I had a wide-ranging conversation with Jason a few months ago, and found him surprisingly candid about, well, everything I asked him about.

The New Mastersounds are at the forefront of a soul-jazz revival. I’ve been following their career with keen interest for awhile, and jumped at the chance to sit down with them prior to a enthusiastically-received outdoor concert last summer.

Henry Rollins is perhaps best known as former vocalist for Black Flag, although some people know him as one of the scariest characters on the Sons of Anarchy TV series. I know him as a spoken-word artist, but he doesn’t engage in the often-pretentious medium of poetry. Instead, he walks out onto a stage and just talks about…stuff. To the uninitiated that might not sound compelling; in fact it’s quite riveting. I interviewed Rollins last spring.

On the Beatles’ final tour of the USA, they were joined by a Boston band called the Remains. Expected to make the big time, for a variety of reasons the Remains never gained major fame, but they left behind some great music and a great story. I interviewed Remains leader Barry Tashian for a major feature that ran in the British magazine Shindig! Now it’s online too.

Anybody who grew up in the 1960s remembers Paul Revere and the Raiders; they were on TV more than the Monkees. While the hitmaking group saw its lineup change over the years, the “classic” mid-60s lineup created some great music that has withstood the test of time. I conducted a long series of interviews with most of the surviving members of those years, and crafted a major feature which ran as a cover story in Shindig! It’s the highest-profile printed piece I’ve ever done.

I did plenty of other great interviews in 2010, including Graeme Edge (The Moody Blues), Felix Cavaliere (The Rascals), Steve Cropper (Booker T & the MGs), Tommy James (the Shondells), Gary Wright, Howard Jones, Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), Richard Barone, Steve Hackett (Genesis) and others. All of those are here as well. 2011 promises to be equally memorable.

Next I’ll look at my favorite music-related DVDs of 2010.

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