interview Archive

Active Bird Community: Birds of a Feather Still Flocking Together

The four members of Active Bird Community are only 24 years old, but the Bedstuy-based indie rock group is already releasing its fourth collection of new music. The title of that record, Amends, might suggest that the four musicians are already getting on each other’s nerves, but that’s not the case. Guitarist-vocalist Tom D’Agustino admits

John the Martyr: Up From the Subway

Contrast is a useful and popular device in music. Fast and slow, loud and quiet, simple and complex: creatively combined, the differences can make for some fascinating and memorable music. A group called John the Martyr takes this old idea in a new direction, combining musicians of different generations. The 10-piece group is a collective

The Struts Under Pressure, Part Two

Continued from Part One… Luke: And the thing is, there was so much added pressure as well. We weren’t allowed to leave any of those sessions without a great demo. That was what was kind of expected of us. Because it costs money. [pauses a beat] No one said that directly, but there was definitely

The Struts Under Pressure, Part One

The Struts burst onto the American scene in 2016 with a retooled version of their then two-year-old debut album, Everybody Wants. Combining an arena-rock musical approach with glam swagger, the Struts evoke the sound and feel of a bygone rock era. But they’re more than a Queen retread; their anthemic songs strike a chord with

Ten Favorite Quotes from my 2018 Interviews

The title explains it all. Each year I do on average 175 interviews with musicians. These are some of my favorite quotes from last year. “Four strings seemed so much simpler than six. If it could have been three strings, I would have done that.” – Robert Been (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club) “Sometimes a mistake

Amigo: On Their Own Trip Now

Based in Charlotte, Amigo make modern-day country rock that’s informed by the sound and style of the genre’s earliest practitioners: groups like the Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers and Poco. Amigo – led by guitarist and songwriter Slade Baird – recently released And Friends, the follow-up to the trio’s 2014 debut album Might Could. Amigo

Soul Street Dance: Hip-hop, Storytelling and Music

Soul Street Dance combines hip-hop, storytelling and music, creating a dazzling, high energy show in the process. The two founders of the Houston-based company, Rock Williams and director Javier Garcia both have a long history as dancers. When the company in which they both performed ended its run, the two men knew they wanted to

Alejandro Escovedo: Crossing Paths

As musician, singer and songwriter Alejandro Escovedo has long been a keen an incisive observer in the American experience. Through his solo work, collaborations and band projects, he has made compelling music in a wide variety of musical styles, with the unifying quality of thoughtful and thought-provoking lyrics. He’s a storyteller in the grand tradition,

Badfinger’s WB Years Revisited, Part Two

Continued from Part One… As brilliant as the original mixes of Badfinger’s two Warners albums are, the 2018 bonus mixes shed additional light on the process of making those records. Matovina says that Badfinger’s guitar work – primarily by Ham and Molland, though all four members played guitar – is underrated. The new mixes highlight

Badfinger’s WB Years Revisited, Part One

The story of Badfinger is a cautionary tale, one filled with betrayal, despair, missed opportunity, unfulfilled promise, neglect and two suicides. But all of those discomforting elements should not overshadow the music made by the half-British, half-Welsh group. The compilers of a new Badfinger reissue aim to help in that regard. Still known as the