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Tag: Q&A (11-20 of 104)

Spacehog's Royston Langdon on getting the band back together, auditioning for Velvet Revolver, and one fateful motorcycle ride

If you remember 1995, you remember the neo-glam modern-rock radio smash “In the Meantime” — and the band that made it, the Langdon-brothers-helmed Spacehog.

After the breakout success of their debut, Resident Alien, the group followed with a critically-beloved cult classic, The Chinese Album, that failed to catch on commercially, and then The Hogyssey before going their separate ways. Along the way, they experimented with different bands, went over rocky personal paths (including frontman Royston Langdon’s marriage and subsequent divorce from actress Liv Tyler), and generally tried to find their way.

Now older and wiser but still obsessed with glam sweetness, Spacehog are back. They released their long-awaited fourth album As It Is on Earth last month, and they’re currently on the road in support of it. EW caught up with frontman Royston Langdon to discuss his long hiatus, how he nearly became the singer of Velvet Revolver, and how he feels about “In the Meantime” nearly two decades later.

Entertainment Weekly: The Hogyssey came out all the way back in 2001. How did Spacehog dissipate?
Royston Langdon: It was a lot of things. We’d spent a lot of time touring intensely for the first two or three years, after the release of Resident AlienThe Chinese Album came pretty easily and was a similar kind of experience to the first record, and it was pretty critically well-received but not so well-received commercially. So then we spent some time in the wilderness without a label. When we finally made The Hogyssey, there was a lot of creative differences with the label and within the group. I’ve never really been happy with that record, so touring that record in 2001 was hard work. We were pulling in all different directions, which is not good for a band. Our show final show was supposed to be on the eighth of September in 2011. READ FULL STORY

Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump on being back at No. 1, hanging with Elton John, and why he loves Shostakovich

Fall Out Boy hadn’t released an album in nearly five years, but that didn’t stop Save Rock and Roll from debuting at No. 1 a few weeks back.

Though they’ve reached that pinnacle before (the group’s 2007 album Infinity On High also debuted in the top spot), it remains a major accomplishment for a band whom many in the industry had dismissed as kings of a genre whose time had passed.

Still, frontman Patrick Stump isn’t letting it go to his head. “I think there’s a lot of outside pressure to be focused on [numbers], but we try to focus on making the music,” Stump says. “When you’re No. 1 or No. 300, you still get to play and write the songs.”

In an extended conversation with EW, Stump talks about the creation of Save Rock and Roll, what it’s like to work with Pete Wentz, and why Elton John knows more about music than just about anybody.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was the first song that came together for Save Rock and Roll?
PATRICK STUMP:
“Where Did the Party Go” was the first one. Pete and I had been throwing around a lot of ideas, and sometimes Pete speaks in really funny kind of riddles. That’s one of the classic things that used to frustrate me, when people would complain about our long song titles that don’t make any sense and don’t have any relation to the song. I always thought, “You need to talk to Pete Wentz, because when you hang out with him for 10 minutes, you realize that’s how that guy talks.” He threw this puzzle at me, and he wanted me to combine a whole bunch of songs and feelings that were so disparate. As a trained musician, I thought, “Those things literally can’t go together.” But in trying to do it, not only did I surprise myself, but he was going, “Yeah, that’s it!” It was the first song that felt like the band. It’s a great song and an important song to have on the record, but the most important thing is the story behind it because it was the song that really opened up the record for us. And there’s a hint of where we wanted to go on that, because it sounds a lot like old Fall Out Boy and nothing like old Fall Out Boy.

Your records have really evolved quite a bit over time, so what do you consider “old” Fall Out Boy?
One of the things we wanted to toy around with was taking those hallmarks that people identified with us and taking them out of the superficial definitions. People talk to me all the time about emo, and I have no problem with having been identified with that, but make no mistake, we never planned on being an emo band. That was never a talk that we had. When Pete got that haircut, it was just him doing his own weird thing.  Everything about it was kind of accidental. So there’s a temptation to focus on recapturing that spirit we had in 2003, and I can’t disagree with that, because that’s when the band discovered themselves. But I think we really tried to make a Fall Out Boy record without any of the genre involved. READ FULL STORY

Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan on 'Delta Machine,' inspiring Frank Ocean, and what his band has in common with Led Zeppelin

Depeche Mode just released their 13th album Delta Machine, their strongest outing of the 21st century. Though they’ve been at it for over three decades, they show few signs of slowing and remain as relevant as ever: They’re constantly being covered (“Just Can’t Get Enough,” the band’s first single, showed up this season on Glee), and as frontman Dave Gahan points out, also regularly providing inspiration for a new generation of boundary-pushing artists.

EW: Your new album Delta Machine was made both in New York, where you live, and in California where Martin Gore has his studio. How does Depeche Mode work being a bi-coastal operation?
Dave Gahan: Depeche Mode is a bit of a revolving door when it comes to other people that work on our record since Alan Wilder left the band 20 years ago. We’ve had to adapt to different ways of working on things. This time we worked with Chris Berg who is a Swedish musician, and he’s worked with bands like Fever Ray and the Knife. He does sort of hardcore electronic stuff. He fit right in, he knew exactly what he was doing, he was very bold, he had great ideas. Martin and I both need a different angle, and that’s what makes it interesting. But to answer your question, yes, Martin’s out there in California, I’m here in New York, so basically we just the recording in half. He has a nice studio in his house, too. This record was really kind of a pleasure to make with Martin. He’s in great shape, he’s writing great songs. He’s as positive as we get as musicians. We’ve come a long way together, we see our strengths and we’ve come to this place where we have a very strong musical bond. I think that just happens with time. Being in a band, you spend the first 10 years chasing something. You spend the next 10 years trying to hold onto it. We’ve spent the last 10 years just kind of doing our own thing. I think there’s a great strength in having the courage and also having the support to do what you want to do when you’re an artist in any way shape or form. And we’ve been lucky to have some great people working with us.

You say you and Martin are positive, but Delta Machine is still pretty dark. Where does that come from?
That’s just in us. READ FULL STORY

Paramore's Hayley Williams on new album, moving to Los Angeles, and Blondie

In December 2010, Paramore members Josh and Zac Farro abruptly left the group, leaving a lot of questions hanging in the air. Would they continue on? Would charismatic singer Hayley Williams embark on a solo career? Would the band’s sound change completely?

Today, those questions are finally answered. The just-released Paramore, the band’s fourth album, pushes the now-trio’s vision forward. Though the band—Williams, guitarist Taylor York, and bassist Jeremy Davis—hasn’t entirely left its snotty pop-punk roots behind, they’ve fully embraced elements of New Wave, garage rock, and bubbly electro-pop.

The key to Paramore‘s coherence is Williams, whose voice has picked up more colors and whose lyrics are at their most direct and expansive on the new album. EW caught up with Williams via phone a few weeks back, where she talked about her bouts of writers’ block, the weirdness involved in choosing a producer, and the importance of the Warped Tour. And be sure to check out their just-released video for “Still Into You” at the bottom.

Entertainment Weekly: What was the first song that came together for Paramore?
Hayley Williams: “Proof” was the first song that we came up with. It was one of the first sets of lyrics I came up with, and I had this melody idea for it and I took it to Taylor, and like the next day we had the song. So that one came really easily, but then we had two and a half months of the worst writers’ block you could possibly imagine. That’s when we wrote the interludes. We needed something to laugh about and soften the blow that we couldn’t write any songs that we loved. And it was weird, because as soon as those interludes were done, the songs started happening. We realized we don’t need to take ourselves so seriously.

What was driving that writers’ block? What were you thinking while in the midst of it?
I was in this crazy depression about it. READ FULL STORY

Mad Season's Barrett Martin on the new reissue of the grunge classic 'Above'

Back in 1995 when grunge was arguably at its height, a Seattle supergroup dropped its first — and what would turn out to be their only — album.

Though it consisted of 75 percent scene luminaries (Alice in Chains vocalist Layne Staley, Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, and Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin), Mad Season were actually more of a next-generation blues band.

That album, Above, went gold on the back of the single “River of Deceit,” and was vital to the development of the four musicians in the group (bassist John Baker Saunders rounded out the lineup), all of whom had struggled with substance abuse but managed to clean themselves up. “There was a spiritual elevation that we all felt when we played together,” Martin tells EW. “Part of that was because we were all sober at the time. There was a real heightened awareness in that band. Everything seemed to awaken within us when we played together.”

The group only played a handful of shows, and though they began work on their second album in 1996, Above was Mad Season’s only album. (Saunders passed away in 1999; Staley passed in 2002.) But a handful of recordings from those second sessions have made it onto Above: Deluxe Edition, the new multi-disc package celebrating one of the great all-star acts of the alt-rock ’90s. In addition to a handful of previously unreleased bonus tracks, with vocals provided by Mark Lanegan in place of the late Staley, there is also a live recording of a legendary live performance in Seattle from 1995, as well as a DVD featuring video footage of that show plus a handful of other thrilling live moments.

Martin, who worked with McCready and original Above producer Brett Eliason on the reissue (and also wrote the extensive liner notes), talked to EW about the band’s origins, its legacy, and its unusual chemistry.

Entertainment Weekly: How did Mad Season first come together in 1994?
Barrett Martin: Mike called me and said he wanted to do a side project with this bass player that he had met when he was in rehab, and I said absolutely. READ FULL STORY

Lisa Loeb on her new album, the science of songwriting, '90s nostalgia, and the importance of desiring baked goods

Lisa Loeb first ascended to national prominence in 1994, when her single “Stay (I Missed You)” (from the soundtrack to the grunge-era comedy Reality Bites) made Loeb the first (and to date, only) unsigned artist to score that top slot on the chart.

Since that breakthrough, Loeb has released a steady stream of top-shelf singer-songwriter jams that have evolved along with her but still maintain a certain amount of that classic pre-millennial angst.

Her latest album, No Fairy Tale (out today), is her first grown-up album since 2004′s excellent The Way It Really Is. (In the interim, she released two albums’ worth of songs aimed at kids.) It’s perhaps her punchiest album, buoyed by the lively, brisk production at the hand of New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert.

Entertainment Weekly: The title of the album No Fairy Tale sounds kind of dark. Is it meant to be?
Lisa Loeb: It’s not the intention at all. I wrote the song called “No Fairy Tale” with Maia Sharp, and I think the whole point of the song is that life with all its ups and downs is better than this perfect life that a lot of us are raised to think we’re supposed to try to attain—a storybook life, which, who knows what that even means anymore? It doesn’t really mean anything in the end. What really gives you a rich life is living the ups and downs of a normal, real life. So it’s more about the boldness of how much better real life is than a safe fairy tale life. And you have to be sort of adventurous to live life that way. I like to make the album titles somewhat philosophical even if I’m the only one who gets it. Like my album Cake and Pie, with “and” underlined. Yes it’s cute that I get to put cake and pie in a title and it’s delicious sounding, but also it’s the idea that you can have everything. You shouldn’t have to have one or the other.

This is your first proper album since 2004. Since then, you’ve produced a reality show, did a bunch of voice work, put out two kids’ albums, got married, started an eyewear line, and had two kids of your own. What got you back into a place to make this kind of album?
I had never really stopped making these songs. READ FULL STORY

Greg Dulli on curating All Tomorrow's Parties, getting the Afghan Whigs back together, and why Louis C.K. is like a pretty girl

Greg Dulli has spent the first decade and a half of the 21st century as the mastermind behind the Twilight Singers and the Gutter Twins, dressing up after-hours reveries in blues riffage, goth leanings, and tales of love gone awry. But that footprint began back in the ’90s with the Afghan Whigs, his cultishly-adored group of funk-loving, soul-stealing rockers from Cincinnati.

That band called it quits nearly 15 years ago, and now Dulli has reconstituted the group, which will make its grand return at this year’s All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in Asbury Park, New Jersey—an event that Dulli also happens to be curating.

In addition to the Whigs, his eclectic lineup includes the Roots, stand-up comic Louis C.K., Sharon Van Etten, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and frequent collaborator Mark Lanegan. We spoke with Dulli about the reunion, the festival, and the haze of the ’90s.

EW: Which came first: The reunion or the call to curate All Tomorrow’s Parties?
Dulli: The best way I can describe it is that it was sort of a perfect storm of events. I did an acoustic tour a year and a half ago and John Curley, my dear friend and bass player in the Whigs, joined me for the show in Cincinnati, which we’ve done before when I pass through there. But then, I asked him, “Do you want to come up to Chicago and play?” He came up to Chicago and people freaked out. I finished up that tour on the west coast and I called him and I was like, “Hey man, do you want to do the west coast with me?” And he said yes. That was a great time. At that point, we began to play a few more Whigs songs in the show and I really enjoyed it. I rediscovered some songs that I had forgotten about and how much I enjoyed playing them. Then, when the Twilights tour last spring, we played Minneapolis where [Afghan Whigs guitarist] Rick [McCollum] lives. I had lunch with Rick. I hadn’t seen Rick in three or four years. We didn’t even talk about playing together but we had a really nice time at lunch. Then, he came to the gig and hung out. We were never at odds anyway so we didn’t have to get over any animosity. There were no hatchets to be buried. So when [All Tomorrow's Parties founder] Barry Hogan came around this last time was like, “Hey, do you want to?” I’m like, “Maybe.” My stance had just softened on the hardline and it seemed like if we were ever going to do it, this seemed like the right time to do it.

This can’t be the first time somebody has floated that idea. READ FULL STORY

Blondie's Debbie Harry tells the stories behind hits old and new -- an EW exclusive

Blondie came up in the New York punk scene, made the transition to New Wave, brought hip-hop to the pop masses, and even danced with disco for a while.

That constant push for innovation, along with their irrepressible melodies and singer Debbie Harry’s chesty croon, has kept the band cool for over 30 years.

Still foxy at 66, Harry talked to EW about the stories behind some of her band’s most iconic hits, as well as the one behind the current single from the just-released Panic of Girls.

“Rip Her to Shreds” (1976)
“Chris [Stein] and I were big fans of the Velvet Underground and Lou Reed, and that has a very threatening, kind of down and dirty beat to it. ‘Rip Her To Shreds’ is what we all do when we’re getting catty. New York can be a very tough place but with all that toughness there’s also a great deal of affection among the people. It’s like being roasted.”

“Heart of Glass” (1979)
“That was an exciting period because all this new technology was available, and we became more sophisticated about what a song on the radio should be. When we first started recording, we worked with Richard Gottehrer, who was a real purist. He took us as we were and we were very raw, and very inexperienced and very minimal, as far as instrumentation was concerned.  Then we got hooked up with Mike Chapman, this hit-meister from Europe who had had hundreds of pop songs and worked with different pop artists.  He had a more sophisticated idea of what a song on radio should be and made us sort of understand that. It was like going to school again. It really was an exciting period in that respect, that these sounds became available. It was the overlap between analog and digital. People were upset because it was a disco song, but they were even more upset that I said ‘ass’! We got banned a few places because of it.” READ FULL STORY

Anthrax's Scott Ian on playing Yankee Stadium, getting inspiration from 'Lost,' and facial hair

As any devil-horn devotee will tell you, metal is forever.

There will always be a cadre of kids looking to bang their heads, which is why hard and loud music has endured the ups and downs of the musical marketplace in the 21st century.

Case in point: The biggest concert event of the fall concerns a quartet of bands who were all founded in or before 1983. After a well-received weekend in Indio, California, earlier this year, Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax have come east and will take the stage at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night, September 14. It will be a huge, loud spectacle, the kind that only metal veterans can deliver.

It’s an extra-busy week for Anthrax, who not only have the hometown show to look forward to (the founding members of the band are all from New York) but also their tenth album to promote (it’s called Worship Music, hits stores today and features the first recordings with singer Joey Belladonna in two decades).

EW caught up with guitarist Scott Ian to talk about the new album, the Big Four, and why he no longer buys Rolling Stone.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: With the Yankee Stadium show and the new album out, is this the busiest week in Anthrax history?
SCOTT IAN:
It very well could be. It started last Tuesday, and now it’s really ramping up.

How did Worship Music come together?
We spent most of the time working on this record last fall. Joey rejoined the band in the beginning of 2010 and we spent most of the year on the road doing Big Four shows and then another tour with Slayer and Megadeth, which we called the Almost Big Four. We spent pretty much every day in the dressing room working on that record. We had something like 14 tracks, and it was just a case of listening to them and nitpicking the hell out of them. Once we finished that tour, we were ready to go back in and re-record stuff and let Joey go in and sing everything.

The song that really stands out to me is “The Constant.” Can you tell me where that came from?
That was one of the first songs that came together, at least musically. It went through a couple of different rewrites. The idea initially came from an episode of Lost called “The Constant.” READ FULL STORY

Kelly Clarkson on the soundtrack of her life: Read her exclusive EW interview here

With a new album, Stronger, due Oct. 24, and its first single “Mr. Know It All” freshly released just yesterday, Kelly Clarkson is officially ready for her 2011 closeup.

That wasn’t quite the case earlier this summer, when a number of songs—many of them old, written for other artists, and not at all intended for the final tracklist of Stronger—leaked online without her knowledge or permission.

Clarkson recently described the feeling to EW, saying, ““Oh my God, have you ever been robbed? I have. I’ve been physically robbed a couple of times, but this is much worse.”

Thankfully, she’s now got happier things on her mind. Among them? Talking to EW about some of the songs that shaped her as a woman and as an artist.

You can find some of her favorite picks in the issue of EW on stands until this Friday, and read on below to learn even more about the soundtrack of Kelly Clarkson’s life: READ FULL STORY

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