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 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 12 features
Guest column by T of Vegas Browse 11 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
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
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 semi-regular column where we choose a specific area and give a local scene report. Browse 1 features
Laura Stevenson SPB: What is the biggest thing you’ve learned about performance since moving to a solo approach? Stevenson: So the biggest thing I've learned about performance since I began a solo-approach. I'd have to say pacing. I used to be oblivious to how important that is, and I would fly through songs when I played solo because I was nervous and not focusing on the whole. I was just like, in my head, "Okay you got through that verse and didn't forget anything, next verse hope that'll be okay"…and that would be my ...
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.
Daniel Feldman (Yo No Say)
SPB: What is the worst stereotype you encounter when people find out you’re in a band?
Daniel: To be honest people are generally pretty supportive and intrigued when they find out I’m in a band. I’d say the worst stereotype through, is that we must be broke because we’re musicians, even though it’s pretty spot on. It hurts even more when it’s true!
Jordan Guerette (Forêt Endormie)
SPB: Who is your favorite 1990s artist?
Jordan: Among the hundreds of artists that I continue to cherish from the 1990s, if I must choose one it would be Jeff Buckley. His sole completed album, Grace, completely changed my life when I was a teenager - I was obsessed with every aspect of the record. I bought a telecaster, studied his vocal technique, and my lifelong love for reverb was born. His one-in-a-generation voice can cause listeners to overlook his inventive and technically accomplished guitar playing, which continues to surprise me when I return to the record. Andy Wallace's production sounds both anchored in time and timeless. Buckley's unfinished second album Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk is almost as magical, particularly with the reverb-drenched "Morning Theft", "Vancouver", and "Opened Once." He has been gone for over twenty years now, and many have attempted to emulate his style, but no one to my knowledge has struck the balance between vocal virtuosity and emotionally impactful songwriting as effectively as Jeff Buckley.
Karl Eifrig (The Mons)
SPB: What was the first punk show you attended?
Karl: The first punk show I attended was February 28, 1986 at Cabaret Metro (now just Metro) in Chicago. The lineup was Killdozer opening, Dead Milkmen second, and Die Kreuzen headlining. Being a high school freshman in a small town in northwest Indiana, I was there to see Dead Milkmen, since "Big Lizard In My Backyard" (which they were touring on) was a huge favorite. Since that's where my head was as far as what "punk" was, seeing Killdozer's sludgey pigfucker plodding and Die Kreuzen's insane otherwordly riffing blew my little mind and showed me how many different kinds of things could be lumped into that genre. My big sister and her cool friends had taken me to the show, and I borrowed an eyeliner pencil from one of them so I could get an autograph from Rodney Anonymous. He signed it "Dear Karl, Thanks for all the drugs and hookers." I was so proud.
James Farwell (Bison)
SPB: Can you enjoy a musician’s work if you when you disagree with their politics? Are you able to make the separation?
James: I generally separate the art from the artist, unless the art itself contains some politically or socially offensive content - racist, homophobic, misogynist, xenophobic, etc. If the artist was someone I had respected and enjoyed prior to some new distasteful project or crime, I will generally enjoy the early work, as it stands alone in time as something I aligned myself with.
There is a large part of me that would be disappointed, disgusted and heartbroken with someone I had respected being outed as a predatory sociopath with little respect for others, a fraud, or have some other unsavory alignment, yet there is some part of me that thinks that a person's wrongdoings may not define them, in some cases.
However, some people are indeed pieces of shit and deserve to be banished from society, and their art should not be popularized, nor should they receive social status or financial or other benefits from it.
SPB: What is the weirdest venue/setting you’ve ever played a show at?
Kelly: The strangest setting is tied for either a fighting ring in the basement of a bar in Kansas or one of my best friend's wedding. I'm not sure the basement was actually used as a fighting ring, but it felt like we were in one. The "ring" in which we played was in the center of the room barred off from the audience and we were placed at the four corners facing inwards at each other as we played, which was a lot of fun. The wedding was also a great time, very laid back, and probably the most nontraditional show setting we've ever performed at. We played our material as opposed to any covers, and it was in the backyard of the bride's home.
Timo Ellis of Netherlands
SPB: What is the weirdest description you’ve heard others say of your music? Do you think it’s accurate or can you see where the idea came from?
Timo: “You’re like the Sybil of music, with some sort of dissociative identity... I feel like you’re dancing on some sort of “post-sensibility” ledge. Often with regard to visual art, there’s this notion of 'removing the hand of the artist' and those who attempt it, often do it in an overly rational way -- scrubbed and antiseptic. I feel like your musical equivalent is not about removing the hand, it's about having more hands than a Hindu god.”
IMO, this is kind of the best compliment I’ve ever received in regards to my work, overall. (And perhaps it’s a little grandiose of me to want this uncritically reprinted in full... but hell, why not??) For me it’s an intuitively brilliant and accurate reading of my entire M.O... I have hugely varied tastes, advanced level skills (not expert... yet) and want to comprehensively explore, and express them… so I do (and IMO, not in a fuckin’ dilettantish way, etc.)
Recently more people are (maybe) more familiar with my work in the context of my sludge-rock band (NETHERLANDS)... but I also have a reasonably gigantic catalog (25+ solo albums, under several different pseudonyms) of other kinds of work, ranging from field recordings, country, noise, Italo-classical, electronics, minimalist and ambient adventures, disco, “pop”, punk/ hardcore/metal, and (so far)... three baritone ukulele records... among many others. And if I may be so bold, NONE of these records fucking suck, aiight??? My point being: check me out! It’ll be well worth the investigation, I assure you! Thank you. #nofalsemodesty #fuckbranding
SPB: What’s a record you love that would surprise people?
Spotlights: Gonna go with – Braid’s The Age of Octeen. We love this band and especially this time in their career.
SPB: Given your long list of collaborations, which is the one band/artist not around anymore that you would have wanted to collaborate on a release with and why?
Jarboe: The artist with whom a collaboration both adventurous and outside all comfort zones would have been a role in a film by Henry Kenneth Alfred "Ken" Russell.
The why ? based on his masterpieces such as The Music Lovers, The Devils, Savage Messiah, Mahler, Tommy, Listomania, Valentino, Altered States, Gothis, Salome's Last Dance, The Rainbow, etc etc etc
Edward Ricart (Monotrope)
SPB: Who is your favorite band to see live (currently active)?
Edward: Portland, Oregon's U Sco are an awesome band. These guys deliver all the muscle, power, and propulsion anyone could ever want, and essentially always have since we first saw them six years ago. Ryan Miller is an amazing, blistering guitarist, and Phil Cleary + Jon Scheid are a killer rhythm section. The music is deceptively complex, built on really intricate guitar lines, and brimming with shifting, contrasting time signatures. The music is expressive, so nothing seems forced- no vapid musical non sequiturs here. The overall vibe is really genuine and organic, the sound is expansive and unique. The overall tones they dial in are killer too - their record is packed with so many killer guitar tones, massive drums and a monster, throaty distorted bass tone. There are so many awesome bands I would love to see, but I just haven't had the chance to check them out - Upsilon Acrux, Stern, Big Brave... and so many awesome bands like Yowie, the Conformists, Man Forever, Poison Arrows, Microwaves, Hex Machine... Old favorites like Uzeda, Shellac, Soulside, Savak, Bellini... killer improvisers like Marc Ribot, Desertion Trio, Marshall Allen, Peter Brotzmann, or the total party rock experience of mighty Hot Snakes. It's not an easy choice, but U Sco come to mind immediately, and they've been a favorite for years now.
SPB: What is a city or country that you would love to play but never have?
Lawrence Zubia: Tokyo, Japan
Mark Zubia: Paris!
SPB: In the past you have mentioned that religion is one of your main inspirations. What is your opinion on the influence of religion on the arts? Do you believe that great works of arts, like Michelangelo’s Last Judgement or Dante’s Divine Comedy would never come to be if it was not for the influence of religion, or would they simply find influence from a different source to create something equally monumental?
Father Murphy: In our opinion, artists are simply media that see transcendence in small things, such as Beauty and Pain, and they offer a chance to feel them and experience them through their vision.
Religions fill this world with such a heavy and oppressive atmosphere to a point that they push artists to open windows between this world and another, offering a way not to suffocate. So, for us, it is not about how much art is influenced by religion, but how much art comes as a reaction to it. To religion or any other form of oppression and control.
Nate Erickson and Jordan Compton (After Hours Radio)
SPB: What was your first CD (or record or tape, as applicable)?
Nate Erickson: Greg, our bass player, and I both got our first CDs as gifts from our parents so they aren't very representative of our music taste at the time. Most of my music exposure growing up was from sharing MP3s with friends. Now I try to buy all my music at shows to support the artists I like more directly. The first CD I bought at a show was Trampoline by Steel Train. A friend of mine had an extra ticket to go see Gomez at St Andrew's Hall in Detroit when I was in 8th grade so I went along. Steel Train opened for them and they were by far the best act of the night. The CD definitely lived up to the live show and had some great guitar tones and pop/indie songwriting. I still have it, although the case is completely broken at this point.
Jordan Compton: Our Keyboard/Synth player, bought his first album on Vinyl:
The first album that I bought myself was a used vinyl of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon in the 8th grade. I used to go on family vacation every year to Gatlinburg, Tennessee and it was there, hidden away in a flea market. I actually bought the vinyl a year before I had a record player to listen to it on. The next album I picked on my own was Brothers by The Black Keys in the same town but at a small record shop. The smokey mountains seem to have its own special vibrations.
Chris Moore (The Rememberables)
SPB: Playing in more bands can be complicated planning wise. What will happen with your other bands if The Rememberables will really take off? Or the other way around?
Chris Moore: Haha. The question of the ages! Well fortunately out of the six bands I play in (Coke Bust, Repulsion, D.O.C., Guilt Parade, Sick Fix, Rememberables) none of them are really doing stuff "full time." What usually happens is while one band is more active, the others focus on writing new stuff while I'm away or planning tours. Inevitably, I end up pissing some of my bandmates off, haha. Fortunately, I play music with some of my best friends and they are very forgiving...for now.
Eddie Roxy (Department S)
SPB: What do you remember of playing your first live show?
Eddie: The first Department S concert was at the MUSIC MACHINE (now KOKO) in Camden. I was playing keyboards in those days. My main memory was having Boy George standing next to me dancing, he was wearing his Romanesque/Britannia costume with a roman helmet with pink feathers on it. I had only joined the band a few weeks before so was trying to remember my bit and not be distracted. It was a great night, we went down well and support was Theatre of Hate……at the time our singer Vaughn Toulose, Boy George, Gary Crowley, Kirk Brandon, guys from Stiff Little Fingers, girls from Bananarama all lived at various times in the same squat.
Mike McGinnis (Plaque Marks-guitar/vocals)
SPB: Has being on a stage regularly changed your social interactions? Are you more/less social because of your stage experience?
Mike: Not in anyway that's very noticeable. I'd say if it has changed my social interactions then it's happened like a callous that slowly builds over time. You would think it would make someone more outgoing or less socially anxious, but I would guess for some the dose of social interaction playing live music provides might be all they need. For me, I'd say it's a wash and it depends on my mood. Either way, I'm usually down to have a beer and talk some shit, but I still avoid shopping malls like the plague.
SPB: What is the most touching or memorable thing a fan has told you about your work?
Becca: A fan sent me a video of her daughter singing along to one of my songs in the car and it was pretty adorable.
Sally Grayson (Black Swift)
SPB: What did participating in The Voice bring you, both personally and artistically?
When the talent scout approached me asking if I would audition for The Voice of Germany, I was very skeptical. I honestly really didn't think that this was something for me. I'm more of a punk rocker and not a pop singer. But, I decided to give it a go and try it out nonetheless, and I have to say, I'm very thankful I made that decision.
The crew at The Voice of Germany are fabulous people and I was treated very respectfully as an artist. They want their "talents" to be and stay authentic and that was very important to me. As it was my first television performance I grew and learned about performing in all different environments. As I progressed in the show, the stages got bigger, as did the crowds. Minus the moment in between, when I sang a song privately to Michi and Smudo from Die Fantastischen Vier and Robbie Williams. I gained some great fans through being on that show, and I think probably subconsciously have set my goals higher after mingling with the stars and getting a taste of those bright lights. Artistically, I remain who I was before--meaning authenticity remains intact, but personally, it was a great gain for me and for Black Swift!
Will Prinzi (Broken Bellows)
SPB: What drummer (not your own band) stands out to you the most?
Will: Thomas Haake (Meshuggah) is the greatest drummer of all time. That is all.
Perry (The Travoltas)
SPB: Should more punk bands listen to Beach Boys and use their influences? And which album would you recommend to start listening?
Perry: That's an absolute yes. If you want to be schooled in songwriting and come up with great harmonies, this is it. Especially with the early records it's just back-to-the-basics: bare-bones production with great hooks and melodies. And don't limit yourself to just the Beach Boys, but pretty much the whole 60's pop scene. There's a reason why these songs are still around.
I'd start with the early Beach Boys records like Surfin' Safari and Surfin' USA. Then work your way up to Pet Sounds and Smile, that's where things get more adventurous. If you go through the albums like that, you really start to get a good picture of what's going on in Brian Wilson's head, and how he's maturing as a person and as a songwriter.
Whit (Fallow Land)
SPB: How do you choose your album art?
Whit: Fallow Land chose the album cover of Pinscher to mirror the overall attitude I had when writing it. My friend Andrea Calvetti is a fantastic photographer and videographer. I saw a photograph of his dog he had taken and posted on Facebook and I knew it had to be the cover of our EP. One of dog’s characteristics that I find interesting is that even though they have been domesticated and live in our houses, there is a wild animal living inside all of them. I think the photograph exemplifies this balance. Pinscher was written in an attempt to quell the chaos I felt inside of me. I felt this image was a fitting portrayal of that struggle.
The images in the liner notes were created by Caitlin Boyce. Caitlin has been an essential member of our team. She does almost all of the visual art for the band including show posters, merch design, and some album art. Caitlin is an insanely talented artist and a good friend. Caitlin is responsive to what Fallow Land is trying to do auditorily and has found ways to recreate that aesthetic visually. Her artwork for the EP references our music video for “Faux.” Her images portray how others can influence one’s identity and self-image. In addition to creating the visual art for Fallow Land you can frequently find Caitlin manning the merch booth at our shows. She is a fantastic artist and an awesome person!
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