Quite literally, a one question interview. Also known as 1QIs, we post these first to our social media on a near-daily basis, with the archival piece here. Check 'em out.
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An in-depth discussion with a band or artist, generally in the form of a straight Q&A – no editorializing.
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Album streams, our Set List "top five..." features, our year-end "best of" lists and other music-related miscellany.
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Contributions on a range of topics from a range of industry figures: musicians, filmmakers, editors and more.
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A melting pot of mixed content: movie, book and even video game reviews. Updated sporadically, but eclectically.
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A semi-regular column exploring new and rising local bands and artists deserving of attention.
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We post a variety of features in recurring series – click below to browse them.
A collection of items grouped by topic, eg. "Top 5 Worst Beatles Songs" or "Top 10 best '77 punk releases". Browse 19 features
A wide-ranging guest column written by BJ from Ancient Shores, mainly covering film but extending into philosophy and aesthetics too. Check out BJ's work on the A389 podcast. Browse 12 features
Guest column by T of Vegas Browse 10 features
Our annual round-up of the best music of the year 2014. Browse 4 features
A brief but englightening chat with an artist who reveals an interesting or unexpected story from their career Browse 4 features
Our annual round-up of the best music of the year 2015. Browse 4 features
Our annual round-up of the best music of the year 2016. Browse 4 features
A roundup of coverage of the annual punk rock festival held in Gainesville, Florida Browse 4 features
A life lived and lessons learned by Eddie Spaghetti of Supersuckers. Browse 4 features
Our annual roundup from Gainesville, FL's famous Fest. Browse 4 features
It's the end of 2013, so here's our best-of roundup for the last twelve months. Browse 4 features
SPB's coverage of the annual festival in Gainesville, Florida. Browse 4 features
A collection of coverage rounding up the year 2012, covering our favorite albums, shows, bands, and more, as well as asking record labels and bands about their past twelve months in music Browse 3 features
A cookery column by Nick, vocalist with metal band The Famine. Veggie/vegan friendly! Browse 3 features
Our coverage of the annual Fest extravaganza. Browse 1 features
A semi-regular column where we choose a specific area and give a local scene report. Browse 1 features
Nathalie Haurberg (Rat Storm/Closet Burner/Reality is a Cult Records) SPB: Do you wear earplugs when you play? Why/why not? Haurberg: I don't wear earplugs. I sometimes think I should, because my hearing is important. However, I just think it makes things sound different. If I'm playing it totally distorts how I hear the guitar tone and if I'm not playing I feel like it effects how I hear the band. I just rock out and then cross my fingers that in the long run I don't do any long-term damage!
Quite literally, a one question interview. Also known as 1QIs, we post these first to our social media on a near-daily basis, with the archival piece here. Check 'em out.
Taylor Iversen (Abrams)
SPB: What’s your favorite stretch of highway to drive in the US?
Taylor: When we were leaving Joshua Tree after our most recent show there, some sagely person told us to take a scenic route to get to where we were going.
We ended up cutting through the Mojave National Preserve on our way up to SLC. We spent some timeless period driving past endless sun scorched deserts, hills, and cacti while listening to Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, and the Desert Sessions the whole way. After some immeasurable length of time, we spilled out onto Interstate 15, cut through Vegas, and were in Salt Lake City for our show many hours later.
I couldn't tell you what the name of the road was, and I'm just fine with that. Something like that doesn't need a name.
Greg (All People)
SPB: What are the origins for the band name All People?
Greg: We first came up with the name for our band while waiting in the airport on our way home from the Asian Man Records 15 year anniversary shows in 2011. D-Ray and I were in San Francisco, waiting to fly back to New Orleans, and I started trying to think of words that would represent what our new project would be. I wrote down, sort of stream of conciseness, words that I felt communicated the ideas for the band and message.
The initial concept was “All People Translate Pure Unfiltered Emotion.” The phrase described what the band would be for us: a conduit for emotion and feeling. It’s a kind of mantra or spiritual belief that also touches on the idea that we wholeheartedly believe there is a pure and common energy connecting all of humanity. Music is our method of self expression within this common energy, but each person has their unique way of expressing what’s in their hearts. We shortened the phrase to the first two words "All People."
Matt King (Illustrations)
SPB: What appeals to you about self-releasing records?
Matt: I appreciate the idea of self-releasing records because the entire process is handled by the artist. There is no middleman. It's all in your hands. That's probably my favorite part of the process, because I personally like to take care of the details myself to see that everything goes properly. I feel like some artists may feel more comfortable with that than putting trust into someone else, depending on who you're working with. Pressing vinyl among other formats isn't cheap either, so the work put into funding and creating the record feels much more rewarding in the end and can even result in more of a profit for the artist if planned out correctly.
Jeffrey Blum (Drip-Fed)
SPB: When writing songs, how do you draw the line between taking influence and mimicking?
Jeffrey: Writing songs has always been and continues to be a frustrating process for me. It doesn't come easy like I see in a lot of people around me. I usually write by messing around on my guitar until I accidentally play something that sounds interesting. Then I just build on whatever I come up with over days or months, often getting stuck or deciding I don't like what I wrote.
Although it's kind of an elementary way of writing music, it does allow any kind of influence to be natural and on the subconscious level. I never sit down and say, "Alright, I'm going to write a song that sounds like this" or "I want to sound like this band." My influences tend to seep through without me trying because I'll be more likely to explore a riff or idea that's a similar vibe to whatever records excite me at the time.
Jeff Bobula (Crushed)
Terry Orlando (Hellkeeper)
SPB: If you had the choice, which song of yours would you want to hear covered by another artist? By whom?
Orlando: First off I'd like to say that this was a really hard question for us because we all have fairly different ears for our own music and that caused a lot of hilarious answers to be bounced around... but we're going to keep those laughs for ourselves, here's a serious one. In the end we made the unanimous decision that it would be the coolest thing in the world to hear our song "I Hear Death Calling" covered by The Dillinger Escape Plan.
Jonathan Smith (Vassals – drums)
SPB: What’s your preferred listening medium/in which order would you rank cd, vinyl, digital, cassette, (other?)?
Smith: Vinyl all the way! I’m really into ritual. I like the idea of looking through a library and choosing a record, having to physically drop the needle and be a part of the process. Not to mention the larger format makes for a nice canvas for the album art, credits, etc. Then you gotta flip the thing over. All of it sort-of keeps you involved at a higher level than just clicking on something in spotify or whatever and tuning out, so to speak. Also, I dig the warmth that is a result of the physical constraints from the medium.
Rated: #1 Vinyl, #2 digital and then throw out the rest. There’s no reason CDs should still be around. Same with tapes. Tapes are sorta cool if you don’t have the money to press records but want to be able to sell music at shows for cheap. But honestly, to me that’s just a gimmick -- no one is taking these things home and putting them in tape players (at least this kid isn’t).
SPB: What song would you want played at your funeral?
Sean: It took me a bit to decide what song because I don't want something totally depressing playing at my funeral.
So, I figured Tom Waits' "Anywhere I Lay My Head" perfectly combines both the downbeat and the upbeat. Waits' gravelly vocals and vagabond lyrics--"anywhere I lay my head, boys, I will call my home"--are supported by a mournful brass section, but then the ending erupts into New Orleans-style parade music. Perfect, man. Put me in the ground with that one playing.
Frank Discussion (The Feederz-guitar/vocals)
SPB: How did the current line-up come together?
Discussion: Clear Bob was our first bass player and he still lives in Arizona. Thomas at Slope first contacted him to see if he could reach me about the idea of doing another record. This was right after Annoying Orange won the election, ripping apart the last shred of credibility (and hope) the US government had, so I had to jump into the fray. Our original drummer Art Nouveau died a number of years back, but DH Peligro who played on our first album was down for it. So the lineup is all early Feederz and I think the energy shows it.
Mike Felumlee (The Bigger Empty)
SPB: Do you wear earplugs when you play? Why/why not?
Femumlee: Yes, I wear earplugs now, but have just started wearing them over the last couple of years.
This can be taken as a cautionary tale for the young rockers out there. I'm 42 years old and have been actively playing shows and touring since I was 17. For most of those years I did not wear ear plugs. I just couldn't get over how they seemed to kill the fun and had a hard time dealing with how my drums sounded when playing with them in. Fast forward 25 years and now I have significant hearing loss in my left ear, and very bad tinnitus in my right ear and wish I could go back and make my younger self wear the damn ear plugs! I would suggest that anyone playing live rock music frequently go see an Audiologist and get some custom plugs made. The filters on the custom plugs don't make things quite as muffled sounding as the foam earplugs you can buy at the drug store. You can also select how many db of reduction you want/need. The custom plugs are 100% worth the investment and I'll never play without them again!
SPB: What band has the best logo of all time?
Tomber Lever: We would say that Titus Andronicus has the best band logo! Not only is it a T and A for their name, it’s an upside down cross and an anarchy sign! No Gods, No Masters!
Jason Navarro (Hellmouth, Suicide Machines)
SPB: You’ve released a trilogy of records. How has your original vision changed over the years it took for the releases to come to fruition?
Navarro: Well, I never thought the trilogy would end on a more positive note. Which partially through the record it became personal and became a positive change in the way I look at myself and the world. Granted we do always tie in oroborus with most of our concept of the trilogy -- as applied every new beginning has to have and the final ending -- I just didn't know that we would see what the change should become with the third installment., I just figured it would be a complete negative end but, in all actuality, it became a positive thing.
The album cover which our sun dwarfing in becoming a black hole
Which will be the final say in the end of mankind because even after an apocalypse or war to end all wars man would more than like be doomed to repeat its mistakes. And do I repeat my mistakes myself personally, which is more what this album’s oblivion was about. This band and music has calmed me to the point I don’t need it anymore.
SPB: You (and Matthew Shipp) come from two different eras of the NY free jazz scene. What did you discover in your recording sessions, about either the past and the present of the scene?
Kapp: Although there is twenty years between us and each era is different, there are very similar aspects.
One is the level of commitment which was life or death back then and is the same now in Matthew, I feel two is that the need to adjust the system of the ‘60s was urgent. Personal freedom was on the line and young people were " dropping out," no matter what the risk, to express themselves and protest oppression of any kind. This is beginning to happen again now because of "45" etc, and as a result, conventional art (which can be beautiful and valid) is still too limited for these new urgent times.
Third, I could find the sound of the people I played with in the sixties in my drums!
With the people I've recorded with lately, some are Ivo Perleman, Ras Moshe, Tyler Mitchell, and especially Matthew Shipp. I get their core sound deep in my drums...This is powerful, spiritual, vibrational therapy heading out into the planet. It seems to fill me with new restorative life energy: practical immortality, if you will.
Tim Martinkøvixxx (Fast Break! Records – label manager)
SPB: What is the best pop song of the last 10 years?
Martinkøvixxx: I'm going to cite a track that I found wholly by accident but not, not entirely by design.. Independent music is where my heart lies, so an argument can be made for many tracks form many labels / artists / genres but I'm going to throw a pair of loaded dice and call your decade card at the X.
Artist: DANGER O's
Album: Little Machines © 2007
Track: Wolf In Sheeps Clothing
This track is the epitome of indie power pop, with a simple melodic guitar and bass driven open soaked in electric icing, all marching with a beat that drives us to a cliff where intertwined vocal melodies carry us as we fall through the sky into an chorus that drowns us in cascading and refracting neon light. It's a fun ride from beginning to end, and a brilliant execution of everything pop.
SPB: Your new album features a fair deal of spiritual themes, for instance the themes of creation, destruction, rebirth and repetition. Do you feel that themes from your own background, such as Hinduism, bring a more personal and unique tone to your concepts, and act as an aid in the construction of your music?
KidambI: Absolutely. The entire construction of the Holy Science suite is based around the ideas contained within Hindu scripture regarding time cycles. The suite follows these time cycles by name starting with first era of "creation" or the Sathya-Yuga followed by the Treta-Yuga, Dvapara-Yuga and finally the current era of chaos and destruction, the Kali-Yuga. The conception of time as cycles of birth, death and rebirth is a central idea in Hindu philosophy. I grew up Tamil Brahmin and it had a huge impact on me for better or worse. Hinduism as it is practiced today here in the US and in India, is a fairly conservative ideology even though the philosophy is actually incredibly radical and open. I was and still am negotiating that dichotomy and pushed back against the more conservative aspects as I was growing up. At the same time, the spiritual and philosophical ideas largely shape how I view the world and inevitably influence my thinking when it comes to music and creativity, especially improvisation. In Hinduism we have this idea of ego-destruction as a path to truth and I find improvising is one of the few activities where I've felt like I can get close to this idea of transcendence. These Hindu ideas also had a profound impact on artists including John and Alice Coltrane, who are some of my biggest musical influences, so it sort of comes full circle for me. I think the influence of these ideas in my music is not unique in that the influence exists, rather the filter that these ideas flow through. My own identity, personality, musical background and other musical influences transform these ideas into something I think is unique and to be honest pretty weird!
Bruce Lamont (Brain Tentacles)
SBP: You have a dense and complex sound, heavily featuring jazz influences and an extreme metal basis. Since you are all heavily involved in the more experimental edge of the heavy spectrum, what do you feel like is the next step for the sound of Brain Tentacles?
Lamont: 2017 is the year that we are gonna go for broke. Taking more risks, more chances. We have nothing to lose.
How bout you?
Fluffy (The Ejector Seats/The By-Products – bass/vocals)
SPB: How has the increasing digitalization of music changed how you listen to or consume music?
Fluffy: Well...this is a sensitive subject for me!
Mostly...I hate the digitization of music! I'm not a "purist" or anything...I just love records and the whole process/religious experience of listening to them. Don't get me wrong, I think the technology is incredible: recording band practices on your phone and emailing them to everyone before they even get home from practice is great; being able to pop your stuff up online and instantly be connected to the 4 corners of the planet is a game changer and a time saver...But as far as listening, I like my records and the whole selection process! Yes...a strange ritual to most...understandable to some.
Portability?!?? you ask...Well, I'm fine with CDs. CDs are pretty great in comparison to tapes! Although tapes definitely helped humanity to take their tunes on the road in the ancient past, I personally have lost sssssssssooooooooooooo much good music from my tapes being eaten, that the simple sight of a cassette makes my blood pressure rise!
So, to simply answer your question, the way digitzation has most changed how I consume music, is that I will go to a band's site, listen to a couple of tracks, and if I dig them, I'll buy the vinyl!
SPB: How did you come to work with Jeff Burke on II?
Andrea: Not a very special story. We love Marked Men and Radioactivity and when we find out he was touring Europe we simply asked him if he would like to come record us, and he said "Yes."
Leo Ashline (Street Sects)
SPB: There is a fair amount of your new album that was written focusing on the subject of addiction, which stemmed also from personal experiences. Do you feel that Street Sects has aided you, in that it acts as an outlet for your emotions?
Ashline: Definitely. For my end, Street Sects was created specifically to be an outlet for that negative, self-destructive energy. Abstaining from drugs and alcohol hasn't eliminated those feelings, it just helps to keep me alive and out of jail. Street Sects gives me a reason to get out of bed, to do something with my life, with that energy. I'm still a mess even without those addictions, but if I didn't have Street Sects I would probably be dead, or worse.
For the record, SS isn't a straight edge band and we aren't trying to push some kind of sobriety agenda. I get why people want to get fucked up. It feels good. But, if people who are struggling with addiction or just a general lack of self worth hear our music or read the lyrics and get something from it that maybe inspires or comforts them in some way, then that would be priceless to me. I remember towards the end of my days as an addict, when I was still drinking every day and smoking crack as often as I could get my hands on it, I read this Vice interview with Tina from How I Quit Crack where she talked about how music was the sole thing that helped her get away from using. I was at an absolute low when I read that, and it even though it took me another 6 to 8 months before I went to rehab and started getting my shit together, I never forgot that. It was inspiring. For all the negativity and self-disillusionment Shaun and I pour into this project, I hope that maybe someday, something positive can come out of it.
Raymondo (Collision Course Records)
SPB: What is your dayjob and how does it affect/influence/interfere with your label operations?
Raymondo: Well....I'd like to say I sit around in my sunglasses drinking lattes and looking at my phone all day...but running an indie punk label isn't that lucrative!!!! Soooo...I get up at the crack of dawn with my faithful partner, Daisy and we get our lattes to-go and get into the daily routine of running a window cleaning business.
The good parts??? In & out, fast, 80% of clients pay the same day, so... that helps...and the hours are whatever you make 'em. I like to wrap it up by noon. I'm happy if I'm done by 2pm & try to always be back to the base by 3pm!
That gives me time to chill, make lunch, pack orders and check emails & still get to the post office!!!
When you add in recording & playing in bands and going to see friends bands etc....it's a pretty full week!! 'cept when it rains. That's when I get to sleep in & listen to records!!!
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