Signals Midwest (Max Stern)
1. What are your top five albums that were released in 2019? (In order 1-5)
- Big Nothing - Chris
- The Hold Steady - Thrashing Thru The Passion
- Laura Stevenson - The Big Freeze
- Hallelujah the Hills - I'm You
- The Mountain Goats - In League With Dragons
2. What band did you discover in 2019 (can be a brand new band or an older band) that had an impact on your life? What made them significant?
I got really into Tom Petty and Neil Young. I've been really fascinated with traditional folk-rock songwriting, in particular from the '70s -- trying to figure out what makes it so good and what makes it tick. Their narratives and mystique really engrossed me this year: rebellious kids from small towns who went on to make some of the greatest music ever made, completely on their own terms. Punk as fuck.
I also listened to a ton of Jason Molina / Songs: Ohia / Magnolia Electric Co.
3. How will you remember 2019? (In terms of music)
I will remember seeing Ted Leo and the Pharmacists play in a batting cage in Philadelphia in July. I'll remember this killer Sidekicks single. I'll remember seeing Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires blow the roof of of every venue they enter. And I'll remember seeing Wild Pink play in the practice space down the block from my house and being absolutely entranced.
4. What can we look forward to from you in 2020?
Signals is gonna tour the UK, which we haven't done since 2014. I'm also finishing up a solo record and am planning on playing out in support of that. I made it with Adam Beck from Sincere Engineer, Kyle Pulley from Thin Lips, and Jon Hernandez from Timeshares. I'm so stoked on how it turned out.
5. What records are you looking forward to most in 2020?
I hope TACT from Philly puts a full length out. They're incredible. Members of Amanda X, Pears, Paint It Black -- they're so good.
6. What is your favorite way to pass time while on tour? Any apps, podcasts, etc you're into?
I pretty much only listen to Reply All and Disgraceland.