interview Archive

The Allan Holdsworth Interview, Part Four

Continued from Part Three… What’s the status of the crowd funding project for Tales from the Vault? Tales From The Vault turned into a bit of a disaster, actually. There were some older tracks that I’d done before with Ernest and Joel but I never finished; I was going to finish them for the pledge

The Allan Holdsworth Interview, Part Three

Continued from Part Two… In recent years you’ve also been performing and recording with a baritone guitar. From your point of view, what is the appeal of that instrument? When I was playing violin, I used to love the sound of the viola. There was just something about that, just having a little bit lower

The Allan Holdsworth Interview, Part Two

Continued from Part One… In the years that you worked with Jean-Luc Ponty – because he was essentially the lead instrumentalist – did you have to ease back on some of what you were doing to leave space for him? Jean-Luc was great to work for; he left me alone pretty much as well. He

The Allan Holdsworth Interview, Part One

Note: Sometime in 2016, I was contacted by a management representative for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. Plans called for the progressive/fusion guitarist’s body of work to be combined and reissued as a boxed set, with release scheduled for 2017. My name had been given to Holdsworth’s rep as someone who could recommend a good publicist to

Still on Top of the World: Cheap Trick’s Tom Petersson (Part 2)

Continued from Part One… Petersson recalls the early days when the band was playing clubs. “People would come up to us and go, ‘God, I love your band, but you ought to dress your guitar player up like [Jimi] Hendrix.’ Or, ‘We kind of love your band, but when is your drummer going to get

Still on Top of the World: Cheap Trick’s Tom Petersson (Part 1)

Time certainly does fly. It was 40 years ago last February that Cheap Trick released its self-titled debut album. While the Rockford, Illinois foursome’s sound – standing on the edge (so to speak) between hard rock and power pop – took some time to catch on with the record-buying public, the band eventually became a

Jonathan Coulton Bucks the Industry, Still Makes Traditional Albums

Brooklynite Jonathan Coulton has been making albums for years without becoming a household name, but he made news in 2011 when he told an NPR interviewer that he was making more than half a million dollars a year from his music. Operating completely outside the traditional musical industry, Coulton nonetheless makes highly tuneful, accessible pop

Christopher Paul Stelling: Embracing the Unknown

Christopher Paul Stelling is a singer-songwriter; he doesn’t include an ability to predict the future among his skills. Yet unlike some of the most respected pollsters, the seismic political changes that took place in the United States last November didn’t come as a surprise to him. The songs that he wrote as the future began

Skunk Ruckus: Disrupting the Old-time Vibe

Nearly everything about Asheville-based band Skunk Ruckus is suffused with humor. But the band is very serious about its music. The inherent tension between those two realities is part of the band’s recipe for success, as is the band’s musical style: equal parts punk and mountain music, delivered in cheeky style. Skunk Ruckus celebrated the

Billy Sherwood: Prog’s Pinch-hitter

In recent months a bright spotlight has been shone upon multi-instrumentalist Billy Sherwood. The 51 year old, Las Vegas-born musician has had a long and prolific career of his own, releasing his original music and producing an array of other artists, primarily in progressive rock. But his long and fruitful association with some of the