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.
» Browse 695 features
An in-depth discussion with a band or artist, generally in the form of a straight Q&A – no editorializing.
» Browse 341 features
Album streams, our Set List "top five..." features, our year-end "best of" lists and other music-related miscellany.
» Browse 160 features
Contributions on a range of topics from a range of industry figures: musicians, filmmakers, editors and more.
» Browse 53 features
A melting pot of mixed content: movie, book and even video game reviews. Updated sporadically, but eclectically.
» Browse 12 features
A semi-regular column exploring new and rising local bands and artists deserving of attention.
» Browse 9 features
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 20 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 13 features
Guest column by T of Vegas Browse 12 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
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
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 annual round-up of the best music of the year 2017. Browse 2 features
Our coverage of the annual Fest extravaganza. Browse 1 features
A regular series by Robert F. Browse 1 features
There’s so much music released, whether physically or digitally, that keeping up with what’s going on becomes almost like a full time job. With Only Death Is Real, the aim is to bring together a selection of Browse 1 features
A semi-regular column where we choose a specific area and give a local scene report. Browse 1 features
Brandon Helms, guitar (From Oceans to Autumn) SPB: Whose idea was it to make an album based on Pareto analysis? Helms: Pareto Analysis was our guitarist Brandon's idea. It is a concept that more can be done in less time. That was the main basis for volume 1 of the series: 5 songs in 5 minutes; volume 2 was about stretching time constants, with the upcoming volume 3 being the two extremes of time.
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.
Solveig Matthildur (Kælan Mikla)
SPB: How do fine arts, besides music, influence your approach to making music?
Matthildur: Art for me is like taking something from everyday life, a landscape, a situation, a thought, a dream or whatever you want to take, process it and put it out in another form. And I see it like all art and creations are divided by the senses. You can see them in fine art, films and performances, listen to them in music and poetry, feel them in sculptures and enter installations, live music performance and more. So artists are maybe a lot like instruments or a processor of reality. You put an idea or a thing to the input of the artist, they process it and from the output comes another version of that idea or a thing.
SPB: In my opinion Abstracter has adopted a more and more bleak sound over time. Do you perceive the development of Abstracter in the same way? What influences this development?
Mattia: It is undeniable that the sound has gotten bleaker. This was the band's fate all along in some way. We just needed the right people in the lineup and sharpen the right weapons over time to make it happen and those people finally came along after some trial and error. Abstracter is a band with multiple different influences coming into play all at the same time and sometimes some overpower other ones.
It has always been like that, but now finally most of our influences have a voice and can express themselves. It's an ever-changing thing. We have a "problem" with repeating ourselves or beating the same path so we always shift and try out something new. In the first album His Hero is Gone and Jesu were dominant influences, in the second one Godflesh and Amebix and Corrupted had more a role in helping us find our sound there, and in this one Celtic Frost, Triptykon, Khanate, Blut Aus Nord, and Sutekh Hexen came to play their role in the mix, along with all the older influences still very relevant as well. Who knows, what will lead us next and where....
SPB: What stood out to you the most the first time you performed as a solo musician?
Avola: My first solo performance was in 2009. It was a Sunday afternoon. I remember a lot of anxiety. I no longer had a band of hairy folks and too many amps to distract people with. Just me hunching over my table of gear. I knew if I botched something I had better be quick to recover because I had no one to blame. I remember reminding myself how cathartic playing live had been in the past despite minor stage fright and how at the end of the set I would likely have shed some layer of pent up bad stuff through high volume noise.
At the end I pulled it off, and the support was amazing. All these years later, I still have the same worries and anxieties I did that first time, but ultimately getting loud and weird with friends and strangers around, is fun and exciting. I look forward to many more years.
SPB: How does a musician’s politics affect your appreciation of them? Does it factor in, or can you separate the two ideas?
Ruby: I feel like using the word 'politics' as opposed to morals and values adds to the great divide that we are currently living in, I want to know where a musician stands on things like saving the planet, treating each other equally and with love and compassion, believes in equality no matter of you race, gender or sexual preference. I think that you can sit on either side of the political fence and still embrace the kind of values that work towards decent humanity. So yes, if a musician’s values work against that then it absolutely factors in because as artists we are given a voice, and make no mistake, words are more powerful than any other tool or weapon on this earth.
Eric Martinez (Dezorah)
SPB: What kind of guitar do you use (and why did you make this choice)?
Eric: I play a Mexican made Fender Duo Sonic (Surf Green). I chose this guitar because I wanted something tonally versatile that would not leave me completely broke. So far it has given me everything I want in a guitar and in my opinion highly compliments the bands musical style.
Tony Gonzalez (Barren Womb)
SPB: There was very little time between the first couple of Barren Womb releases. We have had to wait a bit for Old Money/New Lows. What caused the wait?
Tony: There are a couple of reasons for the gap between "Nique Everything" and "Old Money / New Lows". First of all, we were touring more in that period than we had previously, which made it more difficult to find time to write new stuff. We managed to release an acoustic EP last year though, so it wasn’t a complete dry spell by any means. Secondly, we wanted to make sure we didn’t retread familiar ground, that the material felt fresh and exciting. This gets harder to do with each subsequent release, but it’s really important for us to keep pushing into the unknown and out of our comfort zone.
SPB: Sun-0-Bathers sounds very true to one particular scene or sound (and mocks a couple of others just by naming the band as you did). The more truly a band presents itself, the more it makes me wonder: what guilty pleasures are hidden? So: what are your guilty pleasures outside of your general style?
Redmer: Our guilty pleasure is not really a guilty one but more a pleasure.
We love: Wham! – “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”
It’s the perfect party song.
Frank Meriwether (Dark Oz)
SPB: What is the weirdest description you’ve heard of your music? Could you see where the commenter was coming from?
Frank: I really can't think of any weird descriptions, unfortunately, but the weirdest comparison I got was comparing our music to Genesis. I started listening to music (in a way so as to form opinions) in the early ‘90s, and even before I was ten years old I distinctly remember thinking Genesis was definitely uncool. I still think that, but I also think Peter Gabriel (especially his solo work) is an interesting songwriter. It's still pretty hard for me to listen to Peter Gabriel for an extended period of time because I don't really enjoy that type of music or production, but I can appreciate his abilities as a lyricist.
Sarah Shook & the Disarmers
SPB: Which venue has the best food for touring artists?
Sarah Shook & the Disarmers: The Grey Eagle in Asheville, NC, those cats make dope tacos and have vegan options.
Travis (The Penske File)
SPB: Has your band ever been robbed on the road? (Did you recover any of your losses?)
Travis: I would love to answer no to this question and be done with it, but that wouldn't be truthful. Last winter we were on tour in Europe. A few shows in, we stopped off in Milan, Italy for a gig. We found a gravy parking spot a few strides from the venue and loaded in our gear and set up for sound check as we do nightly. Following sound check, a few of us went back to the van to grab some things and noticed two windows on our rented Ford Transit had been smashed in, panic and dread set in as we rummaged the remaining remnants in the van. All of our personal bags were stolen except mine oddly enough. Jokes were immediately fired off about my bag smelling too rancid even for petty thieves. This did some good in softening the blow of the communal violation.
At the end of the day we were lucky as all that was stolen from us was clothes and toiletries: necessities, but easily replaceable ones. The biggest kick in the pants ended up being the two broken windows which we were unable to fix, despite daily attempts, for the next two weeks. We drove through cold nights and colder mornings with the winter air assaulting our senses and were forced to load in and out the contents of the van multiple times daily and often had to leave someone in our troupe to serve as van watchdog while others went for meals, walks etc.
Along with our clothing, the thieves robbed us of a lot of the fun down time on tour, but alas did not steal our determination. We eventually were able to find a temporary solution to the windowless conundrum and finished the tour with high spirits ... more or less ;)
Barrence Whitfield & the Savages
SPB: What is your favorite restaurant to visit on tour?
Barrence Whitfield & the Savages: BBQ anywhere southern U.S.A
Sean Bohrman (Burger Records)
SPB: What is the most touching or memorable thing a fan has told you about the label?
Sean: It's happened a few times, but inspiring people to start their own labels is really gratifying. I feel inspirational in a "if these guys can do it why can't I?" type of way. Like when the Ramones toured in the early days and people were inspired to start their own bands.
That's an awesome feeling for me.
Ojo Por Ojo
SPB: How likely are you to pick up a record based off its cover with no knowledge of the band or music?
Ojo Por Ojo: I have done it several times with good and bad results but it's always entertaining and fun. As a kid and before the world paid so much attention to old Mexican punk, I remember I saw at a flea market this weird looking record with an eye on the cover, very German expressionist looking and it mesmerized me. The back cover had a bat and some guys looking very late ‘80s new wave and almost goth then somewhere you could read it was made in México. The guy in charge of the stand didn't care much for the record and he sold it to me for less than 50 pesos. Playing it at home was one of the most incredible musical experiences I ever had. Back in those days Mexican music was overlooked by Mexicans thinking it wasn't as good as stuff from USA or Europe and here you had a band challenging that stupid conception. That was the first Las Animas Del Cuarto Oscuro LP.
SPB: Who is your favorite lyricist?
Shannon: Vi Subversa of Poison Girls. The way that she weaves the personal into the political until they are indistinguishable from each other is somehow subtle and biting all at once. Her lyrics were usually playful without ever making you question her seriousness. I think a lot of the imagery she uses is meant to draw the listener in and invite comparisons to their own lives, as opposed to making a didactic proclamation. If you're writing about alienation, gender roles, love and sex, etc. in a punk band without being familiar with her work, you're doing yourself an insane disservice. One of the greats.
Jeffrey Tucholski (Gentle Leader XIV)
SPB: What was your favorite band in high school? Do they influence your songwriting or ethics in any measurable way today?
The three of us all went to high school in the mid to late ‘90s so, as one might guess, there was no shortage of legit terrible music to listen in that era that has since fallen through the cracks of time into irrelevancy. We recently just unloaded all our old CDs in a move and the vast majority from that timeframe are literally worthless* (I know because we tried to trade them in, ha!). People in college around that same time with more discerning ears had better options as the whole indie / college rock scene was really taking off. GBV, Pixies, Sonic Youth, etc were all major label bands at that point but you needed some semblance of an attention span to listen to them. Those all would have been better influential options but my 16 year-old skate-punk self skipped straight from grade school grunge to the endless cacophony of west coast "punk" and fake ass rude boy nine-piece ska bands. Music that truly has not stood the test of time. The only take away for me at this point is an acute awareness that tastes change through time for the artist and the listener and that good music stays good and bad music stays bad, whether you liked it or not.
Dave Rohm (Radon)
SPB: What’s your favorite 1990s Radon song to play live?
Rohm: My favorite 1990’s Radon song to play live is called “Exhaustra.” It’s a house-rocking metal song that reminds me of the bands that we grew up listening to in Gainesville, FL. It mostly reminds me of one of my favorite bands from Gainesville called The Doldrums. The Doldrums played in the late ‘80s and were mixing punk and metal in a way that was different than thrash and different than metal-core. It sounded Southern and badass. It had real soul but it was aggressive at the same time.
I like “Exhaustra” because it really gets things started at a show. It unifies the band by the way the beat lays out. And it also hooks the crowd into what we are doing.
The first two studio sessions we did as a band were released on two separate four-song 7”s that came out around 1991 or so.
If you can find them definitely pick them up because there were not that many pressed.
These songs are also on our purple album (called We Bare All on No Idea Records). This album has our first two studio sessions and a bunch of live tracks from the early ‘90s in Gainesville.
You can also hear them at our bandcamp site at Radon1.bandcamp.com
Kyle Shutt (The Sword)
SPB: How did you choose your weapons in the NES-inspired “Used Future” video?
Kyle: Creating that video was a really fun experience. I came up with the story and Bryan (Richie, The Sword’s bassist) called up a friend we had at Rooster Teeth, who brought the idea to life.
I wanted the weapons that each of us were equipped with to reflect our personalities as well as fall in line with classic JRPG attack patterns.
One of JD’s (The Sword’s vocalist) favorite sci-fi characters has always been Han Solo, so he got the blaster, capable of doing strong damage to one enemy per attack. People are always telling me that I melt their faces, so I got the flame thrower, capable of doing moderate damage to multiple enemies per attack. Bryan is the best technical engineer among us, so he got a computer for debuffing enemies and hacking into locked doors. Jimmy (Vela III, The Sword’s drummer) is definitely the berserker of the group, so he uses his bare hand to pummel enemies. He even suplexes the train boss as a nod to Final Fantasy 6.
But you can’t have a JRPG without a limit break, so when our powers combine we destroy the evil robot overlord with... The Sword.
It’s my favorite music video ever, check it out!
Photo by Jack Thompson
SPB: There are all kinds of anniversary album/compilations out there. How did you choose this approach to celebration the milestone?
Martin: I didn't really see the milestone coming. Maybe it's because the date of that first Eno recording is an odd year - 1981. It wasn't until I got assaulted outside the studio, and bandmate Oliver Drew wanted to do a crowdfund for my expenses, that I added up the years and realized there was something there. Oliver had proposed we do a "recording of the century," where a crowd of us would make a hellish racket that wouldn't be "good" but would "sound great."
We ended up tweaking that concept, but the core of it being focused on individual members of bands, as opposed to proper bands remained, as a collective spirit. And Genevieve Fernworthy and I went through the long process of allocating people with each other wherever they didn't self-select – JG Thirlwell and Dana Schechter (Insect Ark) chose each other, for instance. Even exceptions to the 'no band' rule didn't start out that way. I suggested to Dave W and Ego of White Hills that they do something different, not like their normal band, and not called that. But then it was obvious that it was still White Hills, Dave just has his way of playing. And with New Old Skull, Rich Hutchins told me he'd like to do something with Marnie Greenholz. I later realized, "holy shit we got a Live Skull reunion here!"
So I think the large group of people, all spontaneously doing things with other people who have this space in common, is what's different from other anniversary comps – and we're not even done. There's a Volume 2 coming because so much was recorded – a whole weekend's worth. We had to break it in two. And there'll be a BC40, BC50 – Maybe BC100!"
Photo by Joan Hacker
Johnny Iguana (The Claudettes)
SPB: How did the band come to combine the different musical styles that make the Claudettes so unique?
Johny: I had every intention of making the Claudettes a pretty straight-up blues-piano band, but as I wrote even the first three or four instrumentals, I found the Tin Pan Alley stuff I'd been playing late (Hoagy Carmichael, Irving Berlin...) creeping in...those melodramatic chord changes...and then little bits of Schumann classical passages (a la Kinderszenen) and some punky Minutemen endings (as on our instrumental "Hammer & Tickle") and trippy Meat Puppets echoed-out peyote-fueled excursions; some of our bluesy/rootsy instrumentals ended up collapsing into dreamy, classical-esque bridges. I just find that my ear takes certain keys and chord changes and wants to take them to dreamland for a while before returning them unharmed. I must listen to these urges. I'm writing first and foremost for myself, to be as honest and expressive as I can be--and I know that sounds funny when speaking of instrumental music (which our first recordings were), but I do think that chord progressions can be honest or dishonest, just like lyrics.
Over time, I've started writing specifically for the band members who are with me, and that means writing for Berit and Zach. Their personalities and temperaments and skills define where we're going musically, 'cause I'm writing for them now. I love those two and I love writing for them. We have found a Claudettes sound--call it blues-punk-soul-a-billy or whatever--and it stands apart from so much else because it's not synth- or guitar-driven...it's really piano- and voice-driven.
Miski Dee (City Mouse)
SPB: What is the most irritating thing that reviewers say about your band or that you overhear in the crowd?
Miski Dee: I think the most annoying thing is hearing us being compared to another band just because there is another female in it when the band has absolutely nothing in common with us musically.
Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:
Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.