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Tag: Q&A (51-60 of 104)

Mike Posner talks graduating college, scoring a summer smash, and who 'Cooler Than Me' is really about

MPosnerImage Credit: Timothy SaccentiWhen this year began, Mike Posner was just another Duke University senior — albeit one who happened to have a major-label record deal and several buzzy mixtapes under his belt. Today, two months after picking up his diploma, he has one of the biggest songs in the country with top 10 hit “Cooler Than Me.” I recently caught up with the amiable bro, whose debut album, 31 Minutes to Takeoff, hits Aug. 10. Read on for our conversation.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Was “Cooler Than Me” inspired by anyone in particular?
MIKE POSNER: Yeah. There’s a girl at Duke that it’s about. But she’ll remain nameless. I don’t think she deserves any notoriety.

Does she know the song is about her?
I think so. I’m not really in contact with her. But when I went back to Duke to graduate, she made a pass at me and she got rejected.

Was it hard to finish those last couple of semesters at Duke knowing that your music career was starting to take off?
Yeah, it was incredibly difficult. But I knew it was going to be hard when I made the decision to go back [as a senior]. I signed the record deal after my junior year in school. I realized that a lot of people in my family had sacrificed for me to have the opportunity to go to a place like Duke. I owed it to them to finish. I graduated with a 3.6. I hope you’re reading, Mom! READ FULL STORY

Radiohead drummer Philip Selway preps a surprising solo debut: The Music Mix Q&A

phil-selwayImage Credit: Kevin WestenbergMillions of fans worldwide know Philip Selway as Radiohead‘s drummer, the steady rhythmic anchor for the British band’s most daring experiments. But for the better part of the last decade, unknown to all but a select few, Selway has been quietly developing his own voice as a singer-songwriter. We first got an inkling of this side of Selway last year, when he contributed two mostly acoustic tunes to an album by 7 Worlds Collide, the supergroup led by New Zealand rocker Neil Finn. He’ll kick off his solo career in earnest on Aug. 31 with the release of Familial, a delicate folk-rock set recorded over the past two years in between his work with Radiohead. (The band is currently on a summer break from completing their eagerly awaited eighth album.)

I met Selway, 43, in a downtown Manhattan hotel yesterday to hear all about it. Click over to his official site to listen to “By Some Miracle,” Familial‘s excellent opening track, and read on for a lightly edited transcript of our full Q&A.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Are you excited about people getting to hear your album?
PHILIP SELWAY:
Yeah! I mean, it’s been a very guarded secret for quite some time from practically everybody. So that whole process of putting it out to people is exciting. There’s a deal of apprehension in it, as well. But suddenly, it makes it real in a way. There’s actually a record that people are listening to, and it’s finished. READ FULL STORY

'Jar of Hearts' singer Christina Perri on getting her break from 'So You Think You Can Dance': A Music Mix Q&A!

christina-perri_240.jpg Image Credit: Lani LeeThree weeks ago, an unknown, unsigned 23 year old café employee named Christina Perri found her life changed by So You Think You Can Dance — without dancing a step. Billy Bell and Kathryn McCormick danced to Perri’s mournful “Jar of Hearts” on the June 30th telecast, and after overwhelming response on the singer-songwriter’s MySpace, the ballad was rushed to iTunes, where it’s since sold more than 100,000 copies. Perri’s already gone to New York to meet with record labels and perform on the CBS Early Show. Tonight, she’ll sing “Jar of Hearts” live on SYTYCD. We caught up with the Philly native to talk about what she calls her “rollercoaster ride.”

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Tell me the story of how this happened. You were having the worst day ever at your café job?
CHRISTINA PERRI: Yes. The Friday before the show, I was having the worst day ever at work. I was getting yelled at, and there were terrible things happening, almost to where I thought I was in some show. I’m like, “Okay, this isn’t real.” I quit in my head like 17 times. I imagined this big, grandiose storming into the office and quitting. Which I didn’t do. But I got in my car at the end of the shift, and was really defeated. And I got the call that they’re using the song on that Wednesday’s episode. Can I just go backwards a second? Just about ten days or so before that happened is when my best friend on the planet, Keltie Colleen, sent my song to [SYTYCD choreographer] Stacey Tookey and was like, “Hey, I think this song would be great on your show.” Stacey and Keltie went to school together in Canada, and they’re good friends. Stacey heard the [rough demo] and loved it, but was like, “I gotta put you through to my producers, so don’t get your hopes up.” So it was like this weird kind of in-between stage where we didn’t know what was going to happen, but we thought, “Oh, we should probably record the song now.” READ FULL STORY

Jersey Shore's Pauly D talks DJing, haircare, and making his first song: An EW Q&A

Pauly-DImage Credit: Scott Gries/Picture Group/MTVA Jersey boy cannot live on GTL alone. Paul DelVecchio, a.k.a. DJ Pauly D, the man with perhaps the most architecturally impressive coif in all of Shore-dom, will graduate from standing behind the decks to, quite possibly, taking his own place on the pop charts with the July 20 release of the inaugural Jersey Shore soundtrack, featuring his first official foray into creating juicehead jams for the masses.

EW spoke to Pauly (Mr. D?) to find out, in his own words, how the magic happens. Read on:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So tell me about your contribution to the soundtrack.
PAULY D:
I have a bonus track that’s gonna be on there, and it’s entitled “Beat That Beat.” It sorta sums up the whole Jersey Shore experience—you know, beatin’ that beat, letting you know what we do in the club.

So does that mean going into the studio for you, or doing it on GarageBand? Did you do vocals? Explain!
It was in the actual studio, Universal’s studio, and I did the production and vocals, all that.

Had you done this before? Have you been hoarding a lot of ideas for an opportunity like this?
Oh yeah, tons of ideas, just pourin’. I been DJing my whole life, but this is my first track on a major record label, you know?

OK, so tell me who’s on your playlist this summer, other than, obviously, Enrique.
For sure David Guetta, a lot of DeadMau5, Lil Jon, Paul Oakenfold, a lot of those guys.

I read that it takes you about a half hour to do your hair. Do you have a soundtrack for that, or do you prefer to do your grooming in peace and quiet?
[Laughs] Nah, I always have music on at all times, so the second I wake up I throw music on, just whatever the mood of the day is, and get ready. So there’s always music goin’ when I’m doing my hair. READ FULL STORY

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

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