Will Hoge almost got the dream.
In 2015, the independent Nashville-based recording artist seemed poised to win the country music lottery. He and his band had been picked by a major radio conglomerate as a spotlight artist, to be introduced on a mass scale to radio listeners nationwide. Looking back now, Hoge says the slot was virtually a guarantee of a top 10 record in the country music sphere. “This is exactly what the program is for,” the radio group told him and his band: spotlighting new artists or independent acts and helping them find a home in the infamously commercialized world of country radio.
For Hoge, being picked as a next big thing was the realization of a long-held dream. He’d released his first record—as part of the band Spoonful—in 1997, before going solo with 2001’s Carousel. What followed was a series of well-liked and respected records that melded country, southern rock, and heartland rock into something that sounded like a twangier Springsteen. For 2003’s Blackbird on a Lonely Wire, Hoge got scooped up by Atlantic Records, but the album failed to take off and it was back to the independent musician game after that.
Still, Hoge kept trucking and was eventually rewarded for his persistence. In 2012, Eli Young Band recorded a version of “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” a song from Hoge’s 2009 record The Wreckage. The song was the opening track and second single from Eli Young Band’s Life at Best album, and it ultimately reached number one on the Billboard country chart. Suddenly armed with a number one song to his name, Hoge landed his 2013 track “Strong” in a widely syndicated ad campaign for Chevrolet Silverado. The song charted modestly on country radio, but it was enough to convince Hoge that if he really tried to play the game, he might just be able to make some magic happen.
I recently hit up Alternative Press’ Music Awards and interviewed a whole bunch of artists on the red carpet. You’ll find links to all of the video interviews below. Enjoy!
On the eve of the release of their sophomore album, I sat down with the trio from Sir Sly at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles to discuss their excitement about the new music, the breakout success of “High,” the personal events behind the album, and why they never want to be outworked.
I recently attended Warped Tour and interviewed a whole bunch of artists. You’ll find links to all of the video interviews below. There’s quite a few!
Jimmy Eat World’s sixth studio album, Chase This Light, turns ten this year. To celebrate, I spoke to vocalist and guitarist Jim Adkins about the writing of the record, the expectations placed on the band, and stepping out of their comfort zone.
Holy Pinto are gearing up to release a very special double A-side single, King/Very Adult, and in preparation I spoke with guitarist/vocalist Aymen Saleh about the band’s creative process and plans for the future.
The indie pop band Misterwives just released their sophomore full-length album Connect the Dots. It’s a technicolor shot of adrenaline to the music industry and quite simply one of the most fun listens of the year. Just before their explosive set at Firefly Music Festival, we got a chance to sit down with Misterwives’ Mandy Lee, Jesse Blum, Etienne Bowler, Marc Campbell and Will Hehir, to discuss a variety of topics. In our discussion, we touch upon how some politicians have a tendency to hide immoral action under party politics, why the music industry is a tough place to work, and just how many drummers is too many drummers in a band.
A Lot Like Birds from Sacramento, California are self-described as “Progressive/Post-Whatever/Experimental.” The band recently released their fourth album, DIVISI, via Equal Vision Records and I had a chance to catch up with them at Baltimore’s Metro Gallery to talk about their new album.
Emarosa are stronger than ever and lead singer Bradley Walden is as impressive vocally as he is a showman. His vocals bound around almost as much as he does across the stage, on top of the stage, and in the crowd.
Since releasing 131 last year, fans have anxiously been awaiting a rumored EP of remixes. The band are taking a break from the craze of Warped Tour this summer to work on the remixes. In my latest interview the band also mentions they will begin recording in June. They have no preconceived notions going into the studio. Songs could go jazz, gospel, or full-on MJ (more so?).
Pierce the Veil have been going strong for ten years now. The band is comprised of singer Vic Fuentes, guitarist Tony Perry, bassist Jaime Preciado, and drummer Mike Fuentes. The band has endured exactly zero line-up changes. This is a testament to the bond this fun-loving four piece has. While some old bands are back doing ten year album anniversary tours, Pierce the Veil are playing songs from their first album A Flair for the Dramatic on its We Will Detonate Tour.
This new interview is a retrospective of sorts. In under twenty minutes the band discusses their inception, their side projects, sources of inspiration, their song writing process, and what’s next.
Guitarist Chad Gilbert talks about switching things up on New Found Glory’s ninth album Makes Me Sick, writing 100 percent on instinct, what coming out of Florida was like in the ‘90s, and why the band has no plans of going away anytime soon.
Angelica Garcia has a voice wise beyond her years. The twenty-two year old was uprooted from her Los Angeles home when her family moved to Accomac, Virginia. The Garcia’s moved into a two hundred year old gothic brick home, whose spirits clearly had an affect on the burgeoning singer-songwriter.
Angelica Garcia embraces the solitude to write and record demos for what would become her debut album Medicine for Birds. The album delicately meshes Americana and blues though tales of bad dating (“Orange Flower”), growing up (“Little Bird”), and dealing with otherworldly spirits (“The Devil Can Get In”). Garcia’s demos featured shoebox drums, harmonica improv, and creaking doors. Her next album will focus more on the singer’s Latin roots.
I had the chance to talk with Angelica for a new video interview.
Incubus guitarist, Mike Einziger, details the inside challenges making the band’s new album 8, why working with Skrillex proved instrumental in sparking the band, his career-long curiosity with creativity, and how advances in technology have impacted modern music.
Born Without Bones will release their new album, Young at the Bend, on May 12th. I recently sat down with vocalist Scott Ayotte about the difficulties of writing music, starting his own label, and what it means to be young at the bend.
In the fall of 2016, Touché Amoré released their fourth album, Stage Four, on Epitaph Records to critical and fan acclaim. In January of 2017, the band released a video for the song “Benediction,” further detailing the loss lead singer Jeremy Bolm experienced when his mother passed away from cancer.
I had the chance to talk with the band before their recent show at The Fillmore in Philadelphia.
Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness will release their sophomore LP, Zombies on Broadway, later this week. I spoke with McMahon on the phone about the new record’s pop-leaning direction, his ever-evolving sound, the way family has defined his last few albums, and whether or not he’d ever consider writing a memoir. We also spoke briefly about next year’s 10-year anniversary of Jack’s Mannequin’s The Glass Passenger and whether or not fans can expect any special tours or reissues to mark the occasion.
Keane frontman Tom Chaplin reflects upon his debut solo record The Wave, why he felt the time was right for a change, his personal road to getting healthy, discovering a newfound place of creativity, and how music connects us all together.
P.O.S. goes into the journey behind his first solo record in five years, Chill, dummy, the challenges of writing about yourself versus politics, the things necessary for real change to happen, and why he’s still baffled people like his music.
Lead singer Myles Kennedy discusses Alter Bridge’s latest album The Last Hero, his interest in writing about heroes in the first place, why exploring the theme of disillusionment is particularly relevant today, and his continuing evolution as a musician, including how he got his musical start.
All Get Out’s new album, Nobody Likes a Quitter, is now in stores. I recently had the chance to talk with frontman Nathan Hussey a little about the release. This interview is a little on the shorter side, as he and the band were readying themselves for their nationwide tour, but we talked about the writing of the album, some of the recurring themes, and the possibility of a solo album.