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Tag: Q&A (31-40 of 107)

Lee DeWyze Q&A: EW talks to the 'American Idol' champ about this year's batch, what he's up to, and defending his season

It’s been almost one year since former paint salesman Lee DeWyze became the ninth victor of American Idol—and the last winner crowned with crotchety Simon Cowell piloting America’s top-rated TV show.

After DeWyze performed his latest single “Beautiful Like You” for the new panel of Idol judges a few weeks ago, Live It Up returned to the Top 100 albums chart. Currently on a lengthy tour, the 25-year-old Illini spoke with us about his favorite singers from this season, how his life has changed, and what he has to say to those who criticized his season. READ FULL STORY

Rebecca Black Q&A: EW talks to the 'Friday' viral video star about getting compliments from Gaga, donating her song profits to Japan, and using her dad as a 'bodyguard'

In the two weeks since since it began its viral rise to Internet infamy, Rebecca Black’s “Friday” music video has amassed a staggering 42 million views on YouTube and shows no sign of slowing down.

That’s an absurdly high number of hits for any singer, but it’s jaw-dropping when you consider that Black is an unsigned 13-year-old from Orange County who only made the video for fun with her friends (and a little help from a vanity production company).

With her song in the iTunes Top 40 and a guest spot on The Tonight Show under her belt, we caught up with Rebecca (after she got finished school for the day, naturally) and talked to her about what she’s doing with all this money, how her dad scares off gawkers in public, and how she felt to hear Lady Gaga call her a “genius.”

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: On Leno you said that you are donating most of your YouTube and iTunes proceeds to earthquake and tsunami disasters in Japan. That’s really cool. What made you decide to do that? I don’t think anyone would hold it against a 13-year-old for keeping the money from her first hit record. READ FULL STORY

Beady Eye: Liam Gallagher talks about his new band's CD, the last time he spoke to Noel, and why he 'likes the Gaga'

BeadyEyeImage Credit: Steve GullickIt has been eighteen months now since Oasis broke up following a backstage blowout between singer Liam Gallagher and his guitarist brother Noel before a scheduled show in Paris.

That’s a long enough period of time for Liam to form a new band, Beady Eye, with Oasis members Andy Bell, Gem Archer, and Chris Sharrock, and for that act to record their debut CD, Different Gear, Still Speeding, which was released March 1. However, a year and a half is apparently not a lengthy enough period for the Gallagher brothers to have kissed and made up.

In fact, Liam says that he hasn’t spoken to his brother since that night in Paris, and that there wasn’t a lot of “speaking” going on then. “We screamed at each other,” he recalls. “It wasn’t speaking, but sort of shouting at each other. And that was it. Never mind.”

After the jump, Liam and Andy Bell talk about the debut Beady Eye CD, the royal wedding, and Lady Gaga.


Slash talks about his tour with Ozzy, the search for Velvet Revolver's singer, and Axl's latest accolade

slashImage Credit: Paul BrownBreak out the top hats and Les Pauls: Slash kicks off a tour with Ozzy Osbourne on Jan. 16 in Omaha, Neb., in support of his 2010 solo album, Slash. Before he hit the road, the Velvet Revolver guitarist and ex-Guns N’ Roses axeman riffed on a variety of music topics with EW.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What can fans expect from the set list this time around? It sounds like you’ve been playing a wide swath of material from your career.
The tour started last March and we took a break, and now we’re starting up again. We’ve been doing a lot of songs off this new record, some Guns stuff, some Velvet stuff and a couple Snake Pit songs. And it’s really cool when we’re doing a headlining set [Slash will perform on his own in some cities] because we really f—ing dig in there and pull out these cool gems. But for the Ozzy tour, it’ll be combinations of those things. It’s a 50-minute set, so it won’t be a lot of either. But at the same time it’s going to be a really cool, very entertaining, dynamic 50 minutes.

Any surprises you can tease?
There are a couple songs that I broke out for this next leg which we haven’t played on the whole tour, so there will be a couple surprises if you went to any of the other shows. If you’ve never been to a show, the whole thing’s a surprise. But give you hints? No.

Will you play with Ozzy? READ FULL STORY

Josh Groban speaks on his musical tribute to Kanye West's tweets: The Music Mix Q&A

groban-kanyeIt’s the viral hit of the week: Josh Groban crooning selected bons mots from Kanye West’s Twitter account in his most sonorous tones. Since airing on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! and being posted on YouTube, the hilarious skit has racked up more than 1.2 million views.

“I’ve been blown away by the response,” Groban tells the Music Mix. We spoke with him today to find out how “Josh Groban’s The Best Tweets of Kanye West” came to be. Hit the jump to see the clip again and read our Q&A. READ FULL STORY

Trent Reznor on his Golden Globe nomination, what's wrong with the Grammys, and what it really means to be 'independent': An EW Q&A

Trent-ReznorNine Inch Nails may be on semi-permanent hiatus, but Trent Reznor—erstwhile prince of sonic darkness, emperor of industrial, master of non-metric measurements—has hardly been sitting on idle hands.

Among other things, the past year saw him forming a new band, How to Destroy Angels; welcoming his first child; and garnering a Golden Globe nomination for his film score for David Fincher’s The Social Network (due on DVD Jan. 11), with longtime collaborator Atticus Ross. Will he be wearing a tux to the Jan. 16 ceremonies in Los Angeles? “For sure,” he says. Does that mean his famously tetchy stance towards industry awards shows has changed? Read on.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First off, congratulations on being nominated for a Golden Globe—you are now officially a multi-hyphenate.

TRENT REZNOR: Oh, thank you very much.

How does it feel to be recognized in an area of entertainment you’re not generally known for?

It’s been surprisingly nice to see this stuff go down. I’m really thinking about how to proceed from here, because the experience of working with David Fincher couldn’t have been better. It was just working with a really smart guy with a really smart team that challenged us, the work was rewarding, and it was a cool experience not being the boss for a change, realizing you’re working in a supporting role. David knows what he wants, and when we started this thing I went into it with that in mind—he’s not winging it. [The feedback] wasn’t all “yes yes yes yes great,” there was some back and forth. But it was fun to witness, and it was an education.

His next project of course is The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and I’m sure that movie needs a soundtrack, too. You seem like you might be a good candidate…

[Benevolent pause] Well, we’ll see how that plays out.

On a sadder note, we were speaking about what’s on your iPod [for a piece in this week’s EW print issue], and you mentioned [legendary experimental outfit] Coil, which I’m guessing may be in part because of a recent death

Yes. I just lost a dear friend, Peter Christopherson. We’ve known each other over the years to varying degrees, and I reached out to him this spring, because I wanted to make sure that it was OK that I pilfer the name to use for my new band because a) I love Coil and b) I just thought that was a really cool name, and I wanted to get his blessing on that before I moved forward, so we touched base. He had stayed with me in New Orleans for a while back in the mid to late ’90s, and I always had an immense amount of respect for the guy, not only as a musician but as an artist. He has a very big influence on my life; he did some videos for us way back, and I was just really saddened to hear about his passing.

I only heard that he died in his sleep, no other details… READ FULL STORY

Avril Lavigne talks about her new album, (sort of) working with Rihanna, and where she'll be New Years Eve: An EW Q&A

Avril-LavigneImage Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.comWhen EW last talked to Avril Lavigne in July 2009, the Canadian pop-punk star spoke happily of collaborating with her then-husband, Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley, on her fourth album, scheduled for release that November.

Some seventeen months later, Lavigne and Whibley are no more, but the long-delayed Goodbye Lullaby is very much on—with an official release now slated for March 8, 2011.

We caught up with the 26-year-old singer as she finished recording a pre-taped segment for Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, the annual year-end TV tradition whose bicoastal Dec. 31 celebration will also include the likes of Drake, Willow Smith, Jennifer Hudson, La Roux, Far East Movement, Fergie, Natasha Bedingfield, and Train.

EW: So you just finished performing the first single from Lullaby, “What the Hell,” for the first time in public—can you tell me about it?

Avril Lavigne: Yes! The song is more pop and uptempo and kind of reminiscent of my old stuff, and the rest of the record is more stripped and raw and a little deeper. So this album is less pop-rock than the previous stuff, but the first single is a more like that.

EW: So is it true that the album has been done for over a year? You sounded pretty frustrated in a letter to fans last month…

Yeah, pretty much. [laughs].

Has that been hard for you, to stand by, or did you just set it aside?

Yes, somewhat. I’ve been really anxious just to get back out there and to sing and to tour, so I know that the fans were all really waiting, being super supportive, and I really appreciate that. You know a lot of people run into complications with their record companies sometimes where they have their vision, but I’ve always had my own vision for my music and I put my foot down, and you know, had to be strong about that, and overall I made the record that I wanted to make, so I’m very happy with it and very excited to finally be putting it out.

Are you tempted, when you have this lagtime, to go back and keep messing with it? READ FULL STORY

Fefe Dobson talks return to music with new album 'Joy': 'I'm so stoked, I can't explain it to you.'

Fefe-DobsonThere was buzz around Canadian pop-rocker Fefe Dobson when she debuted her self-titled first album in 2003: The effort premiered at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Heatseekers Chart, sold about 300,000 copies domestically, and spawned one minorly successful single, “Take Me Away.” But then Dobson virtually disappeared, and it came to pass that her sophomore album—Sunday Love, which was to hit in 2006—would not be released by her label, Island Records. Until recently, Dobson had stepped away from the studio—or at least singing in the studio—and could mostly be found writing songs for other artists, everyone from Miley Cyrus (“Start All Over”) to Selena Gomez (“Round & Round”). But now, after more than seven years, Dobson has got a couple of new singles—“Ghost” and “Stuttering,” which she recently performed on The CW’s teen cheerleading drama Hellcats—and is finally ready to release another studio album. The disc, Joy, hits retailers today, in fact. To celebrate her return, EW got Dobson on the phone to talk about her scrapped album and the last few years; her new album; who she’s been writing for; and who’d she love to collaborate with in the future. Rock—or rather, read—on.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s talk about your new album, Joy. It’s been a while since you released anything. How are you feeling about getting back out there?
So excited. I’ve been waiting for this release for forever. I tried to get it to a point where we’re all happy, and I’m happy, and I think we’re ready. I’m ready. I’m so stoked, I can’t explain it to you. I’m smiling right now.

When somebody says, “Give me the pitch for what Joy is,” how do you answer that?
to me is a reflection of the life experiences that I’ve had throughout the first record and kind of having some time and a hiatus. It’s just like all of those experiences that I had during that period—that growing up period. I made my first record when I was 17, and I’m in my early 20s now, so I kind of had some time to figure stuff out.

You grow and change a lot during that period.
Exactly! You grow and evolve and as you do that, your art hopefully reflects that change and that growth. Musically, it’s still rock and roll, but there’s elements of pop because I love pop music. I love rock music, I love country music—I love all music, let’s be honest! But it reflects that and my interests. It’s a really raw record.

Raw in the sense that you feel like you put yourself out there? What does that mean?
Yeah, definitely because I put myself out there and just kind of expressed what’s going on and what’s been up. And it’s raw because, musically and sonically, there’s two sides of the album. There’s the indie side and the pop side, and the indie side is musically very raw, and sonically, and the pop record is more raw lyrically.

Wait, so the pop side is more raw lyrically and…
Basically, what’s happening is that I made this album for like three years. It’s a concept record, and half the record is indie rock and half the record is pop because that’s who I am as an artist. So we kind of wanted to make it more literal, and in a way poke fun, but also just say, “Here it is,” and put it on the table.


Huey Lewis on his new record, fickle crowds, and being a gay crush: A Music Mix Q&A

Image credit: Paul Morigi/

It’s been nine years since Huey Lewis and the News released a new CD. But the band who scored twelve top-10 hits (including “The Power of Love” from Back to the Future) during the ’80s has just released Soulsville, a tribute record to the ’60s soul songs of the Memphis-based Stax record label. Once I got over the fact that Lewis is now 60 years old (!), I quizzed him on his new sound…and whether he knew he was MTV VJ Dave Holmes’ childhood crush.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You recorded much of Soulsville in Memphis. How else did you get into the mood besides being there?
First of all, you listen to the songs a lot by yourself. You do all that work by yourself, like an actor would. You develop a whole backstory of what this character’s going through and you find a voice for the guy who’s going through this, who’s singing this song.

A lot of the songs on the record involve physical and emotional turmoil. Yet your persona is very happy-go-lucky and positive.
It’s true, I do like cheering people up. A buddy of mine in the Tower of Power horns used to say to me, “It’s a big job, cheering up the world, No. 1.” He calls me “No. 1.” I’m unapologetic about the happy part of it, and I would submit to you that many of these songs—“Never Found A Girl,” “Just the One (I’ve Been Looking For)”—are in fact happy.

So have you always been a frustrated soul singer doing pop music? Or do you feel like you were able to infuse some soul into your pop records?
Rather than record chestnuts like “Knock On Wood” or “In the Midnight Hour” and give them a modern interpretation, we thought it would be cooler to go into the catalog a little deeper and find songs that people hadn’t heard and capture them faithfully. And oddly enough, when it was all said and done, I had this amazing feeling—and several critics have pointed this out—that it wasn’t all that dissimilar from Huey Lewis and the News [music]. So I realized, “S—! I really was influenced by this soul!” I never heard that in our music. I thought our music was more rock ‘n’ roll. But there you go.

You avoided some very well-known songs like “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay,” but you were willing to follow Bruce Willis, who had a hit with “Respect Yourself.”
I never heard his version. I really didn’t.

Do you now feel like you’re a part of the Memphis soul community? Or are they hesitant to admit a blue-eyed member?
Well, I was just in Memphis, and this guy comes up to me and says, “I was James Brown’s road manager for 15 years, and I want to tell you something.” And he whispers in my ear, “You were the only white boy James ever liked.” That’s awesome. Get out of here!

With Elton John and Rod Stewart in the top 10 of the album chart, it’s a good time for artists in their 60s. But it’s still hard to sell records after a certain age, isn’t it?
There’s people out there that don’t buy a CD all year. The market has just shrunk. Ten million people bought the Sports record when there were 200 million people in America. One out of 20 owned the stupid thing. So there’s got to be a market out there. But how you get to them, I have no idea. And you know what? I’m not interested.

How do you keep from getting depressed that you can’t play the big concert venues that you used to?
I got a very good life. I sold plenty of records, I get recognized plenty, I can always have somebody call up and get me a fine table at a restaurant. What do you really need, ultimately? The only part that’s surprising to me is I always thought if you have a sold-out house of 20,000 people and you do a fabulous show, that they’re going to come back and see you every time you play. I’ve had many people tell me that they saw me at Blossom [outside Cleveland] in ’85 and it was the best rock ‘n’ roll show they’ve ever seen. And so I say to them, “When did you last see us?” And they say, “That was it.” It’s like, “We’ve played there every year since!” But that’s the way it happens. That’s the part of it that I never understood. But I do now.

Did you hear about the “It Gets Better” video that the former MTV VJ Dave Holmes posted, where he said that seeing you at the beginning of the “I Want A New Drug” video made him realize he was gay? Here, I’ll play it for you.
That’s cute. I’m flattered! That’s sweet. I remember when I filmed that scene, I didn’t wear a shirt, I wore boxer shorts. It was the Paul Newman scene in The Sting; that’s where I swiped it. Paul Newman wakes up and he’s hung over and fills the sink with ice and puts his head in the ice. So that was just a rip-off of that scene.

Check out Huey and the boys performing the album’s title track:

Quincy Jones on Michael Jackson's Thriller scraps, Amy Winehouse, and American Idol: A Music Mix Q&A

Quincy-JonesImage Credit: Stefanie Keenan/Getty ImagesLegendary producer Quincy Jones is the man to thank for loads of classic records. By crafting hits with iconic artists like Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, and countless others, his track record speaks for itself. But even at 77, Jones isn’t slowing down a bit. Two weeks ago his book with intimate stories studio experiences, The Quincy Jones Legacy Series: Q on Producing, hit stores. And next week (Nov. 9) he’ll release Q: Soul Bossa Nostra, an album featuring today’s pop stars covering their favorite Quincy cuts. The Music Mix caught up with Jones to chat about why his unreleased Michael Jackson songs will stay that way, what he thought of the reclusive Amy Winehouse’s “It’s My Party” cover, and why he’s not paying haters any mind.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You were known to hold some pretty huge talent searches for musicians and singers decades ago. What do you think of shows like American Idol?
I think the attraction of American Idol is about the basic human nature attitude that is, “We can put you up there. But we can take you down.” That’s been around a long time. If you’re asking me what the one component that gets them millions of viewers, that’s it. Even more than the songs, I think it’s to see that the audience can control the popularity of the artist.

Would you ever be a judge on one of those…
No, that’s not what I do. I’ve got too much to do. That’s getting up every day at seven in the morning. That’s not my thing. But it has got its value. It gets people to pay attention to songs. It’s ironic because I hear songs on there like Moody’s “Mood For Love.” Which the first vocalese record James Moody did in Sweden in 1949, man. So it’s exposing people to music they’ve never heard before. That’s the good part. It’s a double-edged sword there.

When the track listing for this album came out, people were excited to hear how Amy Winehouse would cover “It’s My Party.” That was a huge record for you almost 40 years ago. How do you think she did?
I did the first one in 1963 with Lesley Gore. She was 16. They said that I couldn’t do rock & roll. I love challenges, man. And we had 18 hits with her. “It’s My Party” was the first hit. Amy, at first, was going to do “You Don’t Own Me.” She hadn’t recorded in four years. And then she decided to record “It’s My Party.” Everybody just went with what they wanted to go with.

Did you like Amy’s?

Check out the rest of the interview after the jump.


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