wed 10/08/2022

New Music Interviews

10 Questions for Howling Bells' Juanita Stein

Lisa-Marie Ferla

Howling Bells have come a long way in the 10 years since they settled on a name and direction for their musical project, both physically - the four-piece uprooted themselves from Sydney, Australia to their adopted hometown of London to record and promote their self-titled debut album - and philosophically.

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10 Questions for Drummer Billy Cobham

Matthew Wright

Drummer Billy Cobham has been an innovative and influential figure since the 1960s across jazz, Latin, funk and the areas of fusion between. He has played with Horace Silver, Miles Davis, Randy and Michael Brecker, and in 1971 was a founder-member of John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra, widely considered to have been the greatest jazz-rock fusion group of all.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Eels' frontman Mr E

Russ Coffey

Mark Oliver Everett, AKA Mr E, is the voice and brain behind US alt-rock heroes, Eels - a band that has been described as "frank, thunderous, and unusually uplifting”. That's some achievement given their overriding themes of loss and angst. But this band's unique approach to life's set-backs gives them a very wide appeal - their fans range from arthouse hipsters to the audience of Shrek (whose soundtrack interprets “My Beloved Monster” rather literally).

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10 Questions for Zara McFarlane

Matthew Wright

Zara McFarlane’s rise to jazz eminence has taken the scenic route, especially in these days of the super-educated jazz prodigy. From a Jamaican home where reggae was always in the air, via a love of musical theatre, and a degree in pop performance, McFarlane studied jazz and improvisation at the Guildhall. With the support of Gilles Peterson, who signed her to his Brownswood label, she released a debut album, Until Tomorrow, in 2011.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Singer Belinda Carlisle

Thomas H Green

Belinda Carlisle (b. 1958) grew up in Los Angeles, one of seven siblings. In her late teens she was lured into California’s nascent punk scene, becoming briefly involved with one of its premier bands, The Germs. She went on to form The Go-Go’s with singer-songwriter Jane Wiedlin (and eventually a long-term line-up consisting of Charlotte Caffey, Gina Schock and Kathy Valentine, the last leaving last year in acrimonious circumstances).

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theartsdesk Q&A: Saxophonist Julian Siegel

Matthew Wright

Julian Siegel’s urbane, generically layered voice has, as both reeds player and composer, forged a unique and revered position in the jazz world. He leads a quartet of pioneering drive and technique, featuring pianist Liam Noble, bass player Oli Hayhurst and drummer Gene Calderazzo. Their 2011 album Urban Theme Park was widely praised for its improvising ambition, diverse sound worlds and smouldering virtuosity.

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10 Questions for Fringe Magnetic's Rory Simmons

Matthew Wright

Trumpeter and composer Rory Simmons is one of the most innovative and diversely talented musicians on the contemporary jazz scene, genre-hopping with startling agility across its many cutting edges. Fringe Magnetic, Simmons’ acclaimed 11-piece band, has been blending the compositional rigour of classical music with the freer playing style of jazz for nearly five years now.

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10 Questions for Drive-By Truckers' Mike Cooley

Lisa-Marie Ferla

For almost 20 years, Drive-By Truckers have been one of Americana's most consistent and enduring voices  – and, since 2001’s breakthrough double album Southern Rock Opera, probably the quintessential southern roots rockers too. Formed in Athens, Georgia in 1996 by Alabama natives Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, the five piece specialises in catchy melodies with more than a hint of the southern gothic, vivid characters and wickedly witty lyrics.

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theartsdesk Q&A: DJ Kerri Chandler

joe Muggs

Kerri Chandler is quite simply one of the most revered figures in dance music, as much now as when he emerged from the New Jersey club scene onto the international stage nigh on a quarter of a century ago. True to the spirit of the disco, he has only ever released three albums in that time, but has made over 100 12” singles, and maybe twice that number of remixes of other people's work, as well as untold performances as one of the most consistently popular DJs in house music.

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Simple Minds and Ultravox, NIA, Birmingham

Guy Oddy

Age can do interesting things to musicians who have once been regular fixtures in the media and who reappear in the public consciousness some years later. Time, it has to be said, has been kind to the two remaining members of Simple Minds’ original line-up. The band’s guitarist, Charlie Burchill, may look like Stan Smith, the star of the cartoon American Dad but he looks good with it. Jim Kerr also seems to be ageing gracefully.

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