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Tag: Q&A (51-60 of 100)

Lilith Fair co-founder Terry McBride on the tour's travails: 'No matter what the media says, there won't be any more cancellations'

Lilith-Fair-Sarah-BaduImage Credit: David Bergman/Getty ImagesThe initially triumphant return of Lilith Fair has been hampered this summer by low ticket sales, cancelled shows — 10 cities were dropped yesterday — and headliners like Norah Jones and Kelly Clarkson pulling out of the fest. We spoke to Lilith co-founder Terry McBride today in hopes of figuring out what’s plaguing these ladies, if there’s more trouble yet to come, and whether it’s really as bad as it looks.

Entertainment Weekly: There had been some speculation that the shows you cancelled yesterday had been cancelled for a while, at least according to Norah Jones’ manager.
Terry McBride: No, see, this is where the press creates its own situation. Some of the media in Calgary said the Calgary show was cancelled, and then the media promptly got on Lilith because there was about an hour and a half line to get into the venue. The venue, having read the press, thought no one was going to show up, so they’d cut back on staff. So the media is sitting there criticizing Lilith for having long lines, that they themselves created. So I just sit there and go, Unless Lilith Fair says something is cancelled, it’s not cancelled. But if the media says it, it becomes truth.

Then what was the truth? When were those dates cancelled?
We had let certain camps know that we were looking at cancelling shows. Just as a heads up. It’s the professional, polite thing to do. Hey, you might want to look at other options. These shows are not cancelled yet, but we’re looking at them on a daily basis. So rather than just catching everyone by surprise, we were very professional about it. So then a journalist goes in there thinking she’s being an investigative reporter, and ultimately comes out and says these shows are cancelled, which they’re not. Probably the most bizarre thing for us is that some of those shows, the ticket sales were actually quite brisk. Then that news story gets picked up by the local media as truth, and ticket sales just stopped.

READ FULL STORY

Nada Surf frontman Matthew Caws on 'if i had a hi-fi' (and surviving the agony of Laffitte): A Music Mix Q&A

Nada-SurfImage Credit: Autumn de WildeToday is the day for all you Nada Surf fans to dash out to your local independent record stores and pick up a copy of if i had a hi-fi! The venerable trio has compiled a collection of covers from unexpected artists like Depeche Mode (“Enjoy the Silence”) and Kate Bush (“Love and Anger”), all handled in characteristic peppy-pop style. There are some inside jokes, too, like Spoon’s “The Agony of Laffitte,” an ode to the end of days at Elektra Records — and a couple of disappointing executives Nada Surf themselves knew all too well.

We sat down with frontman Matthew Caws backstage at Sasquatch(!) over Memorial Day weekend to get his thoughts on reinterpreting the work of others, as well as discovering the unexpected upside — now seen clearly in hindsight — of being dropped by a major label after one really popular song.

Entertainment Weekly: So why a covers record?
Matthew Caws: Because Louie Lino, our keyboard player, couldn’t come on our final tour for Lucky. He’d just built this recording studio in Austin, and he really needed to get it off the ground. And during the course of the 30-second conversation we had about this, like, “Can you do this tour?” “No,” I was like, “Is there anything we can do?” And he said, “Well, you could make a record here. That would help.” So I suggested a covers record, and then we went down there last September for three weeks and did it. Secretly, I wanted to avoid the eight-ball of coming home from tour for a while. Cause it’s not like we’re on this super tight album-tour-record-album-tour-record schedule — but kinda. I mean, I have other parts of my life, too, as an adult. The intent was to do it quick, cheap, without worrying too much. None of this happened. We took it as seriously as an album of our own. I think we just have one gear.

READ FULL STORY

Gorillaz creators Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett on the cartoon band's past, present, and future: The Music Mix Q&A

gorillazImage Credit: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty ImagesNot many musicians can hang with the likes of Harry Potter, Homer Simpson, and Carrie Bradshaw. But when EW assembled its list of the 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years for the cover story now on stands, we had to include Gorillaz, the fictional cartoon quartet that’s fronted three real albums (2001′s Gorillaz, 2005′s Demon Days, and this spring’s Plastic Beach, all stellar). I spoke with Gorillaz’ human creators — Tank Girl visual artist Jamie Hewlett and Blur singer Damon Albarn (pictured, seated left to right) — about the project’s past, present and future. Read on after the jump for our full Q&A.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: A good place to start might be the late ’90s, when you first hit on the idea of making a cartoon band. What was the initial spark for that?
JAMIE HEWLETT:
We shared a flat in London, and I think we were just sitting watching MTV. We felt that you had to wait a long time before anything decent came along. There would be the odd Spike Jonze video or Hype Williams, and then the rest would be pretty bad. So we had the very simple idea: Let’s do an animated band. There was no great formula or great plan. We started messing around for about six months. I was doing designs, Damon was doing demos. It sort of grew from that. And it’s still growing now, 10 years later. It’s a project that is growing larger all the time. For me, definitely I don’t feel it’s complete. I don’t know about Damon’s thoughts on that. But I think it’s something that can continue to grow until it reaches a point where we can’t really go any further with it. We haven’t reached that point yet. I don’t know if we will. READ FULL STORY

Meet Travis Garland, the new discovery from Perez Hilton performing on tonight's 'American Idol': it's a Music Mix Q&A!

Travis-GarlanImage Credit: Chris PolkTonight’s American Idol results show will feature a special performance from Travis Garland, a former boy band member — he was in short-lived group NLT, which (fun fact!) also featured Glee‘s Kevin McHale — now striking out on his own with a new single called “Believe.” But Garland’s not alone in his solo quest: he’s also got the support of the world’s biggest gossip blogger-turned-music mogul, Perez Hilton, who brought Garland to the attention of Idol producer Simon Fuller. We got the two lads on the phone for a quick convo about their collaboration, and Garland’s plans for world domination.

Entertainment Weekly: Travis, how are you feeling walking up to the big Idol performance?
Travis Garland: I’m feeling excited, anxious, nervous, but mostly ready. Ready is the strongest feeling I’m having right now.
Perez Hilton: He’s ready. I’ve been going to rehearsals. It’s so amazing. They’re just perfecting it now.

Jason Derulo set the Idol performance bar pretty high this year — Travis, are you going to top it?
PH: Who?

Jason Derulo had a pretty great performance on the show earlier this season.
PH: Who? [giggles] I’m only kidding. READ FULL STORY

Brad Paisley is surrounded by 'Water': Q&A with country star whose H20 Tour was nearly swept away by the Nashville flood

brad-paisleyImage Credit: Ethan Miller/ACMA2010/Getty ImagesCountry superstar Brad Paisley was supposed to start gearing up rehearsals for his H20 Tour today in Nashville. Instead, he’s scrambling to replace instruments, amplifiers, and components, and clean what survived after the 100-year flood in Music City washed out the storage and rehearsal facility where he kept his gear.

We got Paisley on the phone late last week to check in on the status of what we’re pretty sure he should start calling “The Gold Doubloons Tour” or something now, and discovered he’s pretty chipper, even in the face of the worst case scenario. And although we are by no means the most important phone call he received last week — o hai, President Obama —  we decided to go ahead and post this anyway.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How are you?
BRAD PAISLEY: I’m hanging in there. I’m all right. We were scheduled to start rehearsals Monday here, and obviously that’s pushed back. We were going to be in the [Bridgestone] arena, which ended up underwater. The top three places where we could set up our gear and rehearse and do it right were the arena, and the Municipal Auditorium, and somewhere else I’m trying to remember — and they all had water. It’s crazy. But they’re loading in today in another building. We’ve got about two-thirds of our gear. We can rent more of what we need. We’ll make it to the first gig. I don’t know if it’ll look exactly like I wanted it to, but it’ll be a show. We lost a lot of stuff over the weekend. My entire guitar rig that I take on the road — they’re all in the SoundCheck [storage] locker. We have yet to get in there but pretty much we know they’re done. [NOTE: Paisley has since posted photos of the swamped gear on his Twitter page.] READ FULL STORY

Pearl Jam's Mike McCready on composing music for 'Fringe', taking singing lessons, upcoming PJ reissues: A Music Mix Q&A!

Mike-McCready-fringeImage Credit: Rick Diamond/Getty Images; Justin Stephens/FoxI do not know if you are watching Fringe over on the Fox network, but if you are not, may I ask why? Are you afraid to let yourself be happy? Do you like Glee? Well, Fringe did a musical episode last week that was sort of like if Glee and Raymond Chandler went on a date to a Tim Burton movie. No? Still not into it?

Hmm.

What if I told you that Pearl Jam guitar wizard Mike McCready wrote some music for last night’s episode? Is that something you might be interested in? Yes? Oh good. Then here is a Q&A with McCready where we talk about that, as well as his new hobby (singing lessons!) and some ideas being tossed around for the upcoming reissue of PJ’s second album, Vs. And if you missed last night’s Fringe, you can watch it after the jump. Because now you want to! READ FULL STORY

Chely Wright on her decision to come out: 'I won't be a whisper. I'm too proud of who I am.'

Chely-WrightImage Credit: Howard BragmanOn Monday, country star Chely Wright (“Single White Female”) revealed on People.com that she’s gay. As she explains in her new autobiography, Like Me, she’s known about her sexuality for a long time, but she guarded the secret so intensely it brought her to the brink of suicide after a breakdown in 2005. Now, with her memoir and a new album, Lifted Off the Ground, on shelves, she’s talking for the first time about what she calls her “truth.”

EW.com sat down with Wright three weeks ago to discuss her decision to come out, and how this revelation will affect her future as a tremendous supporter and regular entertainer of the U.S. military — as well as her future in country music. “I want my country fans to stay with me,” Wright says. “I’m not giving the finger to country fans. By all measure, they already like me. They voted me ‘most philanthropic,’ ‘country star with the biggest heart,’ People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful, Kansan of the Year. I’m still all those things. I just happen to be a lesbian. And I have been the whole time. I wasn’t confused. I’ve been gay the whole time.”

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: [we are engaged in some pre-interview chit-chat about live performance and big arena spectacle.] On the flip side, I went to go see Patty Griffin a couple nights ago, and…
CHELY WRIGHT: The Patty? Living with Ghosts changed my life, changed how I write songs. It perhaps saved my life. My guitar, my bike, and Patty Griffin. There’s a song I didn’t record for this record called “Love for Patty Griffin.” It’s one of the ones I played when I went to [Lifted producer] Rodney [Crowell]’s house with my broken guitar and my broken self and said, “I think I’m dying,” and played him the songs that came to be Lifted Off the Ground.

How did she save your life?
Because she knew me in her songs. “Sweet Lorraine,” “You Are Not Alone,” “Nobody’s Crying,” “Mary.” I was reaching for God at this time in my life, and when I heard “Mary” and the Living With Ghosts album, I felt like God was whispering in my ear.

She’s been duetting with a lot of male country stars lately. Could she survive a career in mainstream country?
No. I think she’s so good she just doesn’t have to tolerate what the rest of us have to tolerate. Like getting your ass grabbed by a radio guy. Why would Patty Griffin ever walk into a room of drunk radio guys and get her ass grabbed? It’s a really broken template, because the labels are imploding. I’m not happy about it. I don’t look at that and go, ha ha ha. It’s heartbreaking to watch the labels close, because all my pals, they’re out of jobs. But you can’t do it the way we’ve been doing it.

I think it’s interesting you’re still saying “we” when you refer to the country music industry.
I still consider myself a part of it. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the successes of it. And I still very much consider myself a part of the Nashville community. I don’t feel like an outsider yet.

Yet? Is that what you’re predicting?
Rodney said it best. Someone was talking to him about what it’s going to be like for me and they said, “They won’t publicly hate her. They will freeze her out.” I wrote about it in my book. It’s the secret haters who do the most harm, historically. And that’s the thing with the internet. Somebody wrote a really nasty Twitter about me lately. And I thought, you know what? I can’t wait until I’m in charge of that rumor, that whisper. I’m proud of who I am. I’m not necessarily proud of being gay. I’m proud that I’m about to live my life honestly. I won’t be a whisper. I’m too proud of who I am. I’ve been too good a steward of my life. Why should I allow someone else to write a nasty Twitter about me? At least in high school you knew who the bully was. You knew who was kicking your ass. I wrote about that in my book, that I looked online at something nasty written about me, and I vomited. It made me sick. Not what I read, but that I couldn’t defend myself. That I couldn’t say, “Yes I’m gay, but I’m not a f—ing whore. It doesn’t make me promiscuous or deviant! I had a partner! We had a home! We had a garden! We had dogs and fish!” And it made me so angry that I was not in charge of my story. That’s the most compelling reason why I decided not to just do a video blog and say, “Hey! Ta-daaa! [sing-song] I am a gaaaaaay!” I wanted to tell my story.

If you hadn’t decided to be true with people about who you are, could you have put out another album?
Yes.

Would it have been any good?
It would have been this album. It wouldn’t have had “Like Me” on it. I know what it looks like from the outside. It appears that I decided to come out and wrote an album about being gay, right?

It does seem very personal.
I had my breakdown on the last day of 2005. And I swear to God, these songs were pouring out of me. And annoying the s— out of me. To answer your question, I think — some country stations are playing my single now. I think my record will get dropped.

Dropped?
Not played anymore. The stations who are playing it. We’re not really working it to country radio. READ FULL STORY

Limp Bizkit on their reunion album-and who exactly was to blame for their break up in the first place

Limp-BizkitImage Credit: Bernd Mueller/Redferns/Getty ImagesWhen Limp Bizkit revealed in February 2009 that they were reuniting the band issued a statement which explained the quintet were “more disgusted and bored with the state of heavy popular music than they were with each other.” Frankly, EW has heard more heartfelt declarations of brotherly love—and the historically troubled relationship between frontman Fred Durst and guitarist Wes Borland, who has departed from the band on a couple of occasions over the past decades, did not augur well. But more than a year on, they have finished a new album, Gold Cobra, and this week announced that they will be heading off on an extensive summer tour. After the break, Durst and Borland discuss the platinum-selling nu metal act’s fractious past, peaceable present, and the phallic implications of their new CD’s title. READ FULL STORY

Drake tourmate Francis Farewell Starlite: A Music Mix Q&A

FATL-tour-photoFrancis Farewell Starlite’s hairstyle—a James Dean-esque pompadour—and chic style scream “Star!” His vocals are vintage, like a raspy-smooth Joe Cocker, and onstage, his moves are grand, seemingly pulled and remixed from James Brown’s good-foot arsenal. As leader of his indie pop band, Francis and the Lights, he’s a fascinating eccentric. Don’t tell Starlite any of this, though. The 28-year-old isn’t a fan of comparisons.

In the few interviews Francis has given, writers inevitably wind up describing him as an elusive, coy character. He’s reserved. His words are brief, guarded even. “Let me think about how I want to answer that,” he’ll respond to a few questions during our interview. He doesn’t mind letting several moments pass before he gets out exactly what he wants to say. It’s refreshing in an era where most artists blurt out outrageous quotes and eventually cry foul after reading and eating their words.

The group has two stellar, five-song EPs, 2007’s Striking and 2008’s A Modern Promise. The introspective sets with bouncing, spacey beats have earned him a dedicated cult following. This summer the band’s set to release their third effort, It’ll Be Better.

Currently on tour with hip-hop’s young stud, Drake, Francis called in from his West Virginia-bound tour bus to introduce himself. Among other topics below, he opens up about why he’s curt, who or what “the Lights” are, his legal name, and how he found his life’s purpose on a train.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How are you enjoying the tour experience so far?
FRANCIS FAREWELL STARLITE:
It’s been wonderful. I’m very thankful. It’s a very exciting tour. It’s an experience.

Drake fans are expecting a hip-hop show. How has the crowd been reacting to your performances?

It’s hard to say. In general, it’s been positive. We haven’t felt any negativity.  I think there have been a couple of shows recently, once we’ve gotten our bearings straight, that have gone over very well. At least it felt that way, where we were able to bring people into our world. But it is a challenge, no question about it. I feel like every night we do a show, I have to just go out there and go to work. READ FULL STORY

Jack Ingram Q&A: 'The rest of my career, however it plays out, I guarantee it will be my voice.'

Jack-IngramImage Credit: David McClisterOne of the best performances on Sunday night’s Academy of Country Music Awards was Jack Ingram‘s “Barbie Doll,” a raucous throwdown with pal Dierks Bentley that ended with two dozen girls mobbing the men on stage and rubbing up against them in all sorts of inappropriate ways.

“Barbie Doll” first appeared on Ingram’s 1999 Hey You, a terrific album from the days when Ingram was a superstar in Texas and nowhere else; it was repurposed on last year’s Big Dreams & High Hopes, Ingram’s first record after winning Top “New” Artist at the 2008 ACMs, 13 years into his 15-year career. For old-school Ingram fans, his transition from Texas to Nashville has been more than a little awkward to watch, like a perfect junkyard dog after a trip to the groomers: it’s not that we don’t want him to be clean, we just fell in love with him dirty. I took him to task for Big Dreams & High Hopes, but thankfully, Ingram’s still speaking to me, and we caught up backstage after his ACM rehearsal for an honest conversation about why he’s currently touring smaller venues, what he hopes the “Barbie Doll” performance will accomplish, and why up until now, his mainstream country career has just been “small talk.”

How do you feel about where you are in your career, and how things are going? I know you’re out playing bars and small clubs, and it’s a return to where you started. Where are you hoping that leads?
It’s kinda just coming back around. Making a run through and hopefully coming back out the other side again. There’s a certain intimacy that you get in a bar show that  you can’t get opening for people in front of thousands. And I’ve got so many fans in the last five or six years that haven’t been in that scene with me, so I feel like they maybe missed out on a certain energy that might create separation between me and other artists that are doing as well as I am. It’s still a business on some level. I’m not selling as many records as I want to, and I’m not headlining yet. So I still need to figure out how to make that big move that I came here for. And I think part of that is making a deeper connection with my existing fans, and letting them know why — I mean, in music we try to pretend that it’s not competitive or whatever. But there needs to be some separation, me saying why I’m important to you in a different way that Artist #17 is. READ FULL STORY

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