Interviews

Interview: Diet Cig

Diet Cig

Earlier this week, I had the chance to talk with Alex Luciano (guitar and vocals) and Noah Bowman (drums) of the band, Diet Cig. We chatted about how they write songs, artists they admire in today’s music scene, and their recording plans for after their tour wraps up.

Interview: Justin Courtney Pierre

Justin Courtney Pierre

I recently had a chance to chat on the phone with former Motion City Soundtrack front-man, Justin Courtney Pierre. Below are the highlights from our conversation, and we chatted about everything from his preparations for his solo tour, his personal life, and what went into making his new record, In the Drink. Justin’s debut solo album is now available everywhere via Epitaph Records.

Interview: Typesetter

Typesetter

Typesetter recently signed to 6131 Records and announced their sophomore record – it’s called Nothing Blues and it’s a masterclass in anthemic punk rock. I spoke to Alex Palermo, bassist/vocalist, and Marc Bannes, guitarist/vocalist, about writing the album and what the band did in the four years since their debut. Nothing Blues is out October 26 and is available for preorder through 6131’s store.

Interview: Matt Nathanson Is the Most Nostalgic Guy in the Room

When Matt Nathanson started writing his new record, he had a vision. He wanted it to be political. He wanted it to be uplifting. He wanted to inspire his listeners to see a brighter future.

The songs that came out of him had other plans.

Sings His Sad Heart, the follow-up to Nathanson’s 2015 LP Show Me Your Fangs, is personal instead of political, sad instead of uplifting, and lost in thoughts about the past instead of looking forward to the future. It is a complete contradiction of the album that Nathanson wanted to make. And yet, it’s also the most at home he’s sounded on a record since 2010’s breezy Modern Love.

Then again, Nathanson has always been an artist defined by his contradictions. He’s a riotously funny and jovial live performer who makes crushingly sad records. He’s a guy who exudes confidence and charisma onstage but admits he isn’t very confident as an artist. And he’s a songwriter who’d name the happiest song on his record “Sadness.”

When I spoke to Nathanson in August, I called him “the most nostalgic guy in the room.” It’s a role I often find myself playing: the guy who digs through TimeHop every day and sends pictures and “remember this?” messages to old friends, or the guy who spends entirely too much time thinking about people he lost touch with, wondering if they ever think of him too.

Interview: Black Dog Prowl

Black Dog Prowl

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Washington, DC-based band, Black Dog Prowl, in their practice space in the heart of Maryland. They will be releasing a new series of EPs this Fall, and will headline the DC Music Rocks Festival on August 18th at the legendary 9:30 Club. In this interview, we chatted about each of the four band members’ influences, touring plans, and what this next gig means to them.

Interview: Warped Tour (Video Interviews)

I went out and talked to a variety of people and bands at Warped Tour this year. I also had some fun with some of the artists and had them respond to YouTube comments and, for fun, sing some public domain songs as well. I’ve broken up all of these interviews for your viewing pleasure.

Regular Interviews

Bands Respond to YouTube Comments

Bands Sing Public Domain Songs

Interview: William Beckett and Frank Zummo (Video Interview)

I had the opportunity to interview a few people at Emo Nite Baltimore last Saturday.

First up is Frank Zummo, drummer of the legendary band Sum 41, and he talks about inspiring young people through the “Drum Tour,” meshing genres in his set at Emo Nite, and new music from Sum 41.

I also spoke with William Beckett, formerly of The Academy Is…, and he talks about his band’s legacy in emo, making new music, and crushing on The Cure.

Interview: Adam Turla of Murder By Death

Murder by Death

Writers, much like normal human beings, have a bucket lists. The difference is, our bucket lists contain people – personalities, creators, and yes, other writers that have inspired, comforted, and confounded us with their talents. Many of them will likely remain names on our lists until the day we type our last words, but occasionally, we’re lucky enough to spend a little time with the artists who have influenced us most.

Murder By Death, the Indiana-based kings and queen of gothic folk-rock, have been on my bucket list since I first discovered their catalog a decade ago. I was 14 then, a freshman in high school stealing his older brother’s CDs  based on album artwork alone, and the idea of an album telling stories about devils and deserts was already inconceivably cool to me; the fact that this same album featured guest vocals from both Gerard Way and Geoff Rickly only cemented its importance in my mind.

Now, nearly 20 years into their career, Murder By Death exist in the kind of vacuum that contains a dedicated fanbase and a fearlessness to tell any tale they can conjur. It was then my great pleasure to speak with frontman Adam Turla about his penchant for Western-influenced storytelling, the band’s songwriting process, and of course, Murder By Death’s eighth, glam-rock inspired space opera (of sorts), The Other Shore.

Interview: Sherri DuPree-Bemis of Eisley

Eisley

I had the opportunity to interview Sherri DuPree-Bemis from the band Eisley.  We chatted about how she has developed as an artist, her family life on the road, and took a deeper dive into their upcoming acoustic record, I’m Only Dreaming…Of Days Long Past, available everywhere on July 20th via Equal Vision Records.

Interview: Late Bloomer

Late Bloomer

Late Bloomer is about to release their third-full length album, Waiting. I caught up with the band — bassist Josh Robbins, guitarist Neil Mauney, and drummer Scott Wishart – to talk about how things changed writing this album, which is out June 29th via 6131 Records, and available for purchase through their webstore.

Interview: Pat DeFrancisci of Tru

I recently had the chance to chat with frontman and guitarist Pat DeFrancisci from a band called Tru, located in New Jersey. The group has recently released an EP called Growing Pains that reminded me a lot of a mix between Weezer’s instrumentation and Stone Temple Pilots’ vocal-approach. In this interview, Pat discusses their approach to songwriting, their key influences, and the story behind the creation of the EP.

Interview: Bonnaroo Festival Video Interviews

Bonnaroo

The 2018 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival did not let weather or controversy damper its spirit. In every great show, a little rain must fall and a little angst must reign. Sunday’s festivities were delayed but not hampered after heavy rains pummeled middle Tennessee all morning. Eminem’s pyrotechnics that sounded like gunshots drew concern. (I personally was quite close, at the main rails, and ducked the first time the sonic blast happened–but not during the other two.) Some critics argued that main acts Eminem, Muse, and The Killers were not enough to pull in fans; another dig since the show was bought by Live Nation, but attendees seemed to disagree. Next year’s festival is slated for June 13-16, 2018 (purposely the weekend after the Country Music Awards).

You’ll find video interviews with a bunch of artists that played the festival below.

Interview: Travis Hawley of Night Riots

Night Riots

Night Riots are an alternative rock band who have toured extensively since the release of their debut album, Love Gloom. The band has also released two EPs prior to the LP, as well as two singles from their sophomore album. Last week, I had the chance to sit down with front-man Travis Hawley (front/center in picture) from the band Night Riots prior to a show on their Dark Violet tour. This interview took place at a small venue in Washington, DC where the band has played several times before, but this was their first official headlining stint. Travis talked about how they prepare for a tour and also their upcoming full length album.