Frontman Mike Kerr talks about the natural origins of Royal Blood, how not having a guitarist is similar to making a pizza, and what the band’s first time in the studio was like recording their debut.
I still remember the first time I heard American Idiot in full. It was my 14th birthday, and I’d been waiting for the better part of two months to finally give the album a spin. The record dropped on September 21, but as was the norm when I was young, broke, and trying to cut back on downloading, I often had to wait awhile to buy CDs or ask for them as gifts. Such was the case with Green Day’s first full-length album in four years, which I scrawled on my birthday list between other 2004 albums like Keane’s Hopes and Fears and Sister Hazel’s Lift.
Jean-Philip Grobler chats about his lifelong musical journey, from a boys choir in South Africa to commercial writing in New York City to then starting St. Lucia, as well as the tension of his ‘80s influences and what his version of perfection sounds like.
Kimbra discusses the unusual influences behind her second record The Golden Echo, why songwriting is like making a tapestry, and the importance of balancing the technical with the creative.
Guitarist Randy Strohmeyer talks about reuniting for Finch’s first album in over nine years, why he doesn’t like What It Is to Burn being referred to as nostalgic, and how the band always tries to keep things mysterious and tongue in cheek.
Frontman Adam Duritz shares how Counting Crows were reenergized on the new album Somewhere Under Wonderland, why it’s important to play cover songs, how he finally made peace with his mental illness, and the reason the band has lasted so long.
Jack Antonoff discusses starting Bleachers, the lyrical and musical ides behind debut album Strange Desire, writing with others, and why it’s hard for some people to accept a person being in two bands at the same time.
Frontman Christo Bowman talks about the process behind Bad Suns’ debut album Language & Perspective, not following trends by making your own path, and why chemistry is the most valuable thing to have in a band.
Guitarist Christian McAlhaney compares his experiences in Anberlin and Acceptance, remembers first joining the band and fitting in right away, recalls working on Dark Is the Way and Vital, and clarifies why being a touring musician can be simultaneously joyous and difficult.
Lead singer Stephen Christian discusses Anberlin’s final album Lowborn, the excitement of the first two records, how being in the band taught him not to be scared to fail, and why leaving behind a legacy of responsibility is important.
Drummer Nate Young explains why 2014 will be Anberlin’s last year, sheds light on those weird album covers, reflects upon Cities and New Surrender, and talks about how starting in the band at the age of 15 molded him into the man he is today.
Frontman Bear Rinehart explains the personal struggles behind Needtobreathe’s fifth effort Rivers in the Wasteland, why this is their most vulnerable album yet, and the irony in seeing the music industry come to embrace the folk-rock Southern sound.
Frontman Daniel Layus provides an inside look into Augustana’s new album Life Imitating Life, describes his decision to zero in on sincerity, wrestles with the cyclical nature of human existence, and explains the benefits of going back to writing with pen and paper.
2013 saw my tastes drift from pop to punk to hip-hop and back again. What a great, and diverse, year for music.
Incubus singer Brandon Boyd discusses his new musical project Sons of the Sea, working with producer Brendan O’Brien, curating his stream of consciousness writing style, and looks back on his career so far.
Mark Hoppus touches on a little bit of everything – including life in the U.K., the next Blink-182 record, the future of (+44), a new musical project with Chris Holmes, his obsession with the octopus, the differences between him and Tom, exploring dark lyrics, and why he thinks he will never write another good song again.
Lead singer Dan Marsala reflects upon the 10th anniversary of Page Avenue, reimagining the record on Ten Years and Counting, and the crossroads Story of the Year currently finds itself at.
Lead singer Matt Thiessen and guitarist Matt Hoopes address Relient K’s divisive new album Collapsible Lung, the stigma of co-writing, and why after 15 years it feels like a rebirth of the band.
It’s always been astounding to me the way that songs, albums, lyrics, melodies, instrumental lines—even album titles or cover art—can become more than the sum of their parts when they collide with the right listener at the right time. In a world full of critical acclaim, “best of the year” lists, and verbose Pitchfork reviews, it seems that we have stumbled into an age of relative consensus. How many publications ranked Frank Ocean’s Channel ORANGE or Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D.City at number one last December? Or went with Bon Iver the year before? Or Kanye West in 2010? Few collective outlets, at least within the inner circle of the big critical players, venture too far beyond the same five or six favorite records at the end of any given year. Sure, those same publications review hundreds and hundreds of albums and hand out great scores to a lot of up-and-coming obscurities, but from looking at the top ten lists scattered across the web each year, it seems like the idea of an objective “best album of the year” is becoming more and more corporeal.
Frontman Jim Adkins discusses Jimmy Eat World’s new album Damage, his approach to writing adult breakup songs, being a band for nearly 20 years, and when it becomes necessary to throw all cares out the window.