Interview: January Jane and Matt Pinfield

January Jane

Recently I was able to schedule a Zoom interview with BMG’s newly signed pop rock band from New York City, called January Jane. The band is comprised of vocalist Pat Via, guitarist Mitch Mitchell, and keyboardist Peter Scialla. This great new band was discovered by music scene legend, Matt Pinfield, and in this interview I learned how January Jane got started and the crazy circumstances that led to Pinfield working closely with the band. I asked January Jane about their strengths as artists, their songwriting process, and how they would describe their live show. The band released a new music video today for their single ”Versions of You” off of their upcoming EP Your Drug, that will be released everywhere music is sold this summer. Read our full conversation where I describe January Jane as being one hit song away from being at the tip of everyone’s tongue.

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Interview: Tanner Merritt

Tanner Merritt

A lot has changed since I caught up with O’Brother last year. For one, touring again is a possibility for the band – over 105 million Americans have been fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, which brings the country closer to post-pandemic normal. For vocalist Tanner Merritt, he has written a ton of new solo material due to monumental personal loss. Last year, O’Brother was riding high: They had released their long-awaited fourth album, You and I, to unanimous praise and incredible sales for a newly independent band. 

The album relished space and classical guitars while intentionally leaving vague lyrics to listeners’ imaginations. As beautiful as You and I is, there was a dark undercurrent beneath the track “What We’ve Lost.” A kind of follow-up to Endless Light’s “Black Hole,” Merritt needed an outlet to write about his father, Cyrus’s decade-long fight with Alzheimer’s disease. Then COVID hit, and Merritt spent most of the year in total isolation alongside his mother, watching his father’s condition worsen until he passed away on November 4, 2020, two days after his 63rd birthday. 

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Interview: Brett Detar of The Juliana Theory

Juliana Theory

This week I was excited to connect with Brett Detar (vocalist) of The Juliana Theory to discuss what went into making their expansive re-imagining of past songs called A Dream Away, out everywhere today. In this interview I asked Brett about the longevity of the band and its legacy, what stood out from the recording process of these songs that made the album, as well as the band’s relationship with their new label Equal Vision Records.

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Interview: Cameron Walker of Twin XL

Twin XL

This past week I was able to chat with Cameron Walker (vocalist/guitarist) of the alternative rock band Twin XL. We discussed how he and the band has stayed active during the pandemic, their process for writing songs lately, and what he and his bandmates’ are most looking forward to once he’s able to tour again. Twin XL has steadily been releasing new music this year, and they look forward to what the future holds for them.

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Interview: Adult Mom

Adult Mom

It’s been quite a long journey for Stevie Knipe to release their third album, Driver. After calling out royalty discrepancies and other issues with former label Tiny Engines and being granted the release from their contract, a pandemic shut down our world and further delayed the release of the album. But armed with a new perspective and a new label in Epitaph Records along with the support system of their partner (and drummer) Olivia Battell and guitarist Allegra Eidinger, Knipe is ready to unleash Driver to the masses – a record that elevates Adult Mom’s knack for infectious and poignant indie-rock to new levels. Here, Knipe and I discuss Driver’s sonic diversity, being a non-binary role model, and our favorite show Grey’s Anatomy.

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Interview: Ben Walsh of Tigers Jaw

Tigers Jaw

Tigers Jaw’s new album I Won’t Care How You Remember Me serves as a re-introduction to the Scranton, PA band. For starters, guitarist Colin Gorman and drummer Teddy Roberts were made permanent members, solidifying the band as a quartet once again. But the biggest wrinkle was including Gorman and Roberts in the songwriting mix with original members Ben Walsh and Brianna Collins – fostering a more lively and collaborative setting for the record and resulting in Tigers Jaw’s most ambitious and personal album in their discography. Tracks like “Can’t Wait Forever” and “Lemon Mouth” showcase the new writing dynamic while the title track serves as an all-time highlight – a song that uses its slow build and Andy Hull guest vocals to set the tone of the record. “I think having a group dialogue about each song, and what ideas we had to make each one special and have a distinctive place on the record, was super beneficial to creating something that sounds fresh but still feels authentically like Tigers Jaw” says Walsh. Below, we discussed working with Will Yip, how the Andy Hull collaboration came about, and I Won’t Care How You Remember Me’s writing process.

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Interview: Brian McTernan of Be Well

Be Well

Recently I had a chance to talk with Brian McTernan (producer, vocalist) of Be Well. McTernan has a storied past of producing legendary records from bands such as Thrice (Illusion of Safety, The Artist in the Ambulance), The Movielife (Forty Hour Train Back to Penn), and Senses Fail (Still Searching, Life is Not a Waiting Room). These are just a few of the many producer credits to McTernan’s name, and we discussed his process for producing bands as well the advice he would give to young producers looking to make their unique stamp on an album. Not to be lost in the shuffle, Brian McTernan also released a solid album from a project called Be Well this past summer, and he shared his favorite tracks from The Weight and The Cost, and what he’s most looking forward to once its safe to tour again.

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Interview: J.R. of Less Than Jake

During the week of the release of the new Less Than Jake record, Silver Linings, I had the chance to sit down with J.R. to discuss everything that went into the recording process of the new album. The conversation also captured J.R.’s perspective on looking back on his band’s album anniversaries, what he misses most about touring and the venues he’s played at, as well what he draws inspiration from to continue his growth as an artist.

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Interview: Stephanie Ashworth of Something For Kate

Something for Kate

Something For Kate should be held with the highest regard for what makes the city of Melbourne so great, alongside our coffee, world-class research facilities, and richly diverse communities. The trio was formed in Melbourne in 1994, with singer and lead guitarist, Paul Dempsey; drummer Clint Hyndman, and Julian Carroll on bass guitar. After the release of the band’s 1997 debut album, Elsewhere for 8 Minutes, Carroll left the band after recently getting married and relocating to rural Australia. He was then replaced by Toby Ralph, who wasn’t the best fit for Something For Kate. In 1998, Stephanie Ashworth joined the band after the disbandment of the short-lived indie rock band, Sandpit. Upon early recording sessions with the lineup of Dempsey, Hyndman, and Ashworth, Dempsey remarked, “We’ve just been lucky because we’ve got this really natural chemistry between the three of us… We’ve finally got the right combination of people and we’re collaborating the way a band should.” 

To date, Something For Kate has released seven albums. The first album recorded with Ashworth on bass, Beautiful Sharks (1999) reached the top 10 of the ARIA Albums Chart; as did Echolalia (2001) and Leave Your Soul to Science (2012). The Official Fiction (2003) and Desert Lights (2006) sat pretty atop the ARIA Albums Chart. Their first album in eight years, The Modern Medieval; released last month, debuted at #4 on the Albums Chart. I chatted with Stephanie Ashworth on a surprisingly chilly day in Melbourne last week, and it’s a conversation I won’t soon forget. 

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Interview: Jeremy Bolm of Touché Amoré

Touche Amore

After the emotional toll 2016’s Stage Four took out of Jeremy Bolm, Lament feels like the Touché Amoré vocalist finally coming up from under the weight of that record for some much needed air. “Stage Four was a mandatory record for my well-being,” explains Bolm. “I wasn’t as focused on doing everything perfect as I was doing it to feel better.” Lament is the band putting in the best work of their decade-plus career – if there’s been one constant about Touché Amoré, it’s that the Los Angeles-based band has always given a shit. From the art direction to the visuals to the actual music, nothing about this band is ever half-assed, so it makes total sense why the quintet would seek out “The Godfather of Nu-Metal” Ross Robinson (a man who’s had his hands on little-known records like Korn’s self-titled album, Iowa, Relationship of Command, Worship & Tribute – just to name a few of the records that completely changed aggressive music) to produce the band’s fifth album. Robinson pushed Touché to their absolute best, resulting in some of the most challenging yet rewarding, genre-pushing music of 2020. “I can comfortably say I’m proud of this album more than any other in our discography,” says Bolm. Below, we discussed working with Robinson, how the Andy Hull collaboration came about, and the genesis behind the best Touché Amoré songs ever.

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Interview: Ali Tabatabaee of Fear No Empire

Fear No Empire

A few days ago I was able to have a conversation with Ali of Fear No Empire, and we chatted about why he decided to form a new, politically-charged rock band after so many years with pop-punk band Zebrahead. Fear No Empire is Ali Tabatabaee – Vocals (Zebrahead,) Ben Ozz – Bass (Zebrahead,) Dan Palmer – Guitar (Zebrahead, Death By Stereo,) and Mike Cambra – Drums (The Adolescents, Death by Stereo and Common War). Their new single, “Revolt” captures their punk rock spirit with some hip-hop elements thrown into the mix. During my conversation with Ali, we discussed the formation of this new band, what makes Fear No Empire unique, and the recording process of their new self-titled EP that will be released this October.

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Interview: Alex Basovskiy of Only Sibling

Only Sibling

A couple weeks ago I was able to chat with Alex Basovskiy (Vocalist/Guitarist) of a new band called Only Sibling. We talked about his band’s new album Get Well Soon, the struggles of promoting a new record during a pandemic, unique memories from the recording process of the LP, and what fans can expect from the band when they’re able to get back on the road. Get Well Soon will be available everywhere music is sold this Friday via Other People Records.

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Interview: Tom Mullen

Tom Mullen

This past week, I was able to have an enlightening conversation with Tom Mullen (of the Washed Up Emo podcast) ahead of him releasing the next Anthology of Emo book. In this interview, Tom and I chatted about what the word “emo” means to him today, the process he goes through for preparing for an interview or podcast, and vivid memories Tom has of experiencing emo culture. As much as I know about emo and punk music, Tom Mullen puts my knowledge to shame with his expansive understanding and first-hand experience of the scene, and I learned a great deal from just a short conversation with him.

The first volume of Anthology of Emo was wildly successful and it sold out its initial run of physical copies. Volume Two features exclusive interviews from his Washed Up Emo podcasts with artists such as Jim Adkins from Jimmy Eat World and Chris Conley from Saves the Day, among many others. Both Volume One (reprinted) and Volume Two are available for pre-order here.

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