The best interviews are not those laborious Q & A sessions, but the ones that are like two people just shooting the breeze. That’s the way it was talking to Matt North. For a guy with a very impressive career and a new album on the way, he is incredibly down to earth. He made the interview so easy because he is so honest and open. We were able to talk about his album that comes out on February 21st, Above Ground Fools. Matt also talked about the musicians that played on his albums and his unique songwriting style. It is a very insightful look into a great singer songwriter.
MN = Matt North – TL = Twangri-La
MN: I’ve got to ask you a question first. Did you come up with the name Twangri-La?
Slim Cessna’s Auto Club from left to right: Todd “The Peeler” Moore (standing), Dwight Pentecost (standing), Rebecca Vera, Slim Cessna, Munly Munly, Ian O’Dougherty
Interview by Harry Kaplan
I had the great fortune of sitting down with Slim Cessna, who is one of the front men for Slim Cessna’s Auto Club (SCAC). They have been together for going on 25 years now. The Commandments According To SCAC is their 10th studio album. One thing they pride themselves on is that none of their studio albums sound like the others. Also, they pride themselves on their live performances. After seeing them for the first time, I can see why. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. It was part concert, part performance art, and part Broadway musical. I have never seen a person use a violin bow on a pedal steel or see someone get feedback out of a banjo. I saw both for the first time that night. It was an enlightening experience seeing SCAC live. It was also enlightening speaking to the man the band is named after, Slim Cessna.
I had a chance to sit down with Jesse Dayton on the final stop of his tour with The Supersuckers and Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. He has had quite a career already, playing with the likes of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, John Doe, and Rob Zombie. He is also a producer, actor, and writer. On top of that, he is a great performer and just released an incredible album called The Revealer. Our interview was like a conversation between two friends, rather than an interview.
For brevity’s sake: TL = Twangri-La and JD = Jesse Dayton(more…)
Mandolin Orange are an Americana duo out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The group is comprised of Andrew Marlin (vocals, mandolin, guitar, and banjo) and Emily Frantz (vocals, violin, and guitar). They were gracious enough to speak to me before their show in Portland Oregon on their fall tour. This was less than a week after the release of their stellar album Blindfaller. They speak about playing, recording, and life on the road.(more…)
I spoke to Mia Doi Todd about her latest album Songbook, touring, recording and her plans for the future. She is a very accomplished composer and musician and Songbook is her 10th studio album containing standards from other artists such as Prince, The Cure, and Neil Young.(more…)
I had the honor and pleasure of speaking with Josh Haden. Haden is the founding member of the band Spain. Carolina is Spain’s 6th full lenght release. It is very rare that an artist gives such an honest and candid interview discussing such topics as songwriting, touring, singing, and the business end of music. Haden was gracious enough to open up and really tell it like it is. He is intelligent and engaging. The interview below is a fantastic read and really gives insight into the mind of a dynamic performer.(more…)
Dear County (from left to right): Nelson Saarni, Julia Napier, Mark W. Lynn, Arrica Rose, and Michael Smartt
Interviewed by Harry Kaplan
I was fortunate enough to interview Arrica Rose and Mark W. Lynn of the band Dear County. Dear County is a five piece band consisting of Mark W. Lynn (lead guitar, vocals), Arrica Rose (lead vocals, guitar), Michael Smartt (drums), Nelson Saarni (bass, vocals), and Julia Napier (percussion, vocals). Their musical influences include the likes of Gram Parsons, Eagles, Dusty Springfield, Big Star, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, and The Replacements. As you will hear in the interview, their aim is to pay respects to their influences while creating something uniquely their own. Let’s meet them, shall we?(more…)
I had the pleasure of interviewing Beat Root Revival. They are the extremely talented duo of Ben Jones and Andrea Magee. They are classified as folk but that doesn’t even come close to describing their musical style and influences. They discuss that in the interview. They also discuss living in Texas now, away from their homes in England (Ben) and Ireland (Andrea). One of the things that struck me about speaking to them is how gracious and thankful they are for their opportunities. Also, their love for their fan base. To them it comes naturally, but it is certainly a rare quality in today’s music scene. They are a true partnership. Even during the interview, they never spoke over one another. They have incredible chemistry as you will read in the interview:(more…)
The Feelies (from left to right) Bill Million, Glenn Mercer, Stan Demeski, Dave Weckerman, and Brenda Sauter
Interview by Harry Kaplan
I had the honor of speaking with, and interviewing, Glenn Mercer. He is the lead guitarist, vocalist, and founding member of the legendary band, The Feelies. I have been a fan of the Feelies for almost 30 years of their 40 years (with a 17 year hiatus between 1991 and 2008 ). This band is responsible for influencing countless bands, most notably, The Pixies, REM, and Yo La Tengo. Speaking with Glenn was amazing. It was bigger for me than if I would have spoken to Paul McCartney. He speaks about playing now and the music scene in the late 80s/early 90s.(more…)