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.
Michael Shepard chats about his new Boys on the Radio project, writing poppier music, the future of Lovedrug, and whether he regrets never making it big.
Drummer Matt Frazier talks about graduating to arenas as openers for Kings of Leon, the importance of percussion and melodies in crafting the Local Natives sound, and the next step in following up Hummingbird.
Frontwoman Ritzy Bryan talks about the science vs. nature concept behind The Joy Formidable’s sophomore album Wolf’s Law, recording in Maine during the dead of winter, and the balancing act between the live show and studio recordings.
Guitarist Christian McAlhaney discusses Anberlin’s latest album Vital, major label troubles, reuniting with producer Aaron Sprinkle, and the past and future of Acceptance.
Guitarist Jack Antonoff talks about fun.’s big Grammy night and performance, transitioning to a larger scale, staying in Some Nights mode, and what’s next for the band.
Well, 2012 was an interesting year.
But now it’s come to a close and I have to figure out how to rank everything from the past year and get a list together. I’ve been procrastinating on this one for a while, but, alas – here we go … in reverse order.
Composer Nathan Johnson talks about creating the score for Looper, his nontraditional approach to recording and arranging instruments, his musical background, and working with his cousin, director Rian Johnson.
Lead singer Dan Reynolds talks about assembling Imagine Dragons’ first full-length Night Visions, how much Imagine Dragons has progressed in its short life span so far, and finding inspiration in dreams and personal demons.
Stephen Christian talks about the fragmented process of making The Quiet Life, getting back to a family vibe with Anchor & Braille, the instability of being a musician, and what to expect on Anberlin’s upcoming album, Vital.
Mike Shinoda discusses the detailed process behind Living Things, building songs out of Legos, and bridging the gap between the old and new styles of Linkin Park.
Frontman Tim Skipper discusses why House of Heroes’ record Cold Hard Want comes from a desperate place, going after massive-sounding moments, and the legacy of staying true to who you are.
Frontman Justin Pierre discusses the different ideas Motion City Soundtrack pursued when writing Go, being obsessed with mortality, and how his dark past continues to play a role in his lyrics.