interview Archive

Rad Lab: Doug McKechnie and the Moog Model III (Part Three)

Continued from Part Two … You’ve said – only half joking, I’d guess — that the main goal of the San Francisco Radical Lab was attracting women. Well, it wasn’t much more than that. And I came up with the name “San Francisco Radical Laboratories.” At the time, one of the things that I was

Rad Lab: Doug McKechnie and the Moog Model III (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … The Moog Model III didn’t come with a manual. How much was it hit-or-miss to develop the sounds that you wanted? Well, I pretty much grasped immediately what a high/low pass filter was. Because, in my lecture demonstration, with the microphone and my mouth, I would do exactly the same

Rad Lab: Doug McKechnie and the Moog Model III (Part One)

In the late 1960s, Doug McKechnie and his roommate launched the San Francisco Radical Lab, an experimental endeavor launched (in part, as you’ll read) to explore the capabilities of the then new and novel Moog Model III modular synthesizer. The Lab had one of the earliest of that instrument, with the serial number 004. Now

Doug McKechnie’s ‘San Francisco Moog: 1968-1972’

In the late ’60s, the Moog modular synthesizer was still very much an experimental tool. While there had been some ambitious attempts to use the Moog as the centerpiece of recordings — Mort Garson’s 1967 LP The Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds was likely the first album to feature the synthesizer prominently — “serious” use of the

It’s Still About Chemistry: A Conversation with Semisonic’s Jacob Slichter

In my last feature, I shared bonus content from my interview with Semisonic’s Dan Wilson. That piece featured parts of our conversation that didn’t make it into the story I wrote for Goldmine Magazine. Today it’s more bonus content: the best bits from my conversation with Semisonic drummer (and keyboardist) Jacob Slichter. – bk Your

Lightning Strikes Again: A Conversation with Semisonic’s Dan Wilson (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … Bill Kopp: One thing that has always surprised me is the way in which Semisonic – and this was true for Trip Shakespeare as well – got lots and lots of critical acclaim, but you didn’t really explode into the superstar commercial realm. I certainly thought you should have. Do

Lightning Strikes Again: A Conversation with Semisonic’s Dan Wilson (Part One)

This summer I spoke with Dan Wilson and Jacob Slichter of Semisonic about the band and its new EP, You’re Not Alone. (Vacationing with his family at that time, bassist John Munson was unavailable, so I missed the opportunity to follow up with him on our 2015 conversation.) Large bits of our conversations are featured

Re-opening Time: Semisonic Returns with a new EP (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … When listeners hear new songs like the soaring title track and the riffing “Basement Tapes,” they may find themselves thinking that Semisonic has picked up right where it left off in 2001. And that idea hung over Wilson and his bandmates as they contemplated the group’s reactivation. Wilson says that

Re-opening Time: Semisonic Returns with a new EP (Part One)

An edited version of this feature appeared previously in Goldmine Magazine. Minneapolis rock trio Semisonic scored big with “Closing Time,” the hit single from their second album, Feeling Strangely Fine. The song – and all of Semisonic’s music – may have been out of step with the prevailing grunge scene, but listeners across the globe

William Schmitt: We are the Wildflowers

When one hears a band name like William and the Wildflowers, images of folky, pastoral musical textures might come to mind. And a cover image of the artist sitting crosslegged on the bank of a mountain river – complete with crackling campfire – only reinforces that notion. But those images only hint at a small