tue 11/08/2020

New Music Interviews

Interview: U2 Producer Steve Lillywhite on the Alchemy of Hit-Making

graeme Thomson

Record producer Steve Lillywhite has been awarded a CBE in the 2012 New Year Honours list. Born in 1955, Lillywhite started his career in the late 1970s working with new wave and post-punk bands such as XTC and Siouxsie & The Banshees. He went on to produce everyone from Peter Gabriel and Talking Heads to Morrissey and Kirsty MacColl, to whom he was once married. His most enduring relationship, however, is with U2.

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Catherine Ringer: Life After Les Rita Mitsouko

Kieron Tyler

Asked what attracted her to the music of South America, Catherine Ringer says, “C’est comme ça. Boom-ta-ta-boom, ta-ta-boom, ta-ta-boom-da boom, boom-da-da-boom.” She begins singing. “Boom-da-boom-da-boom, doo-doo-da-doo. It’s the rhythm of rock'n’roll,” she concludes. Ringer still exudes the spontaneity that defined Les Rita Mitsouko, whose first French hit, "Marcia Baïla", was fuelled by Latin rhythms.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Musician Lemmy Kilmister

Thomas H Green

Lemmy Kilmister (b 1945) was born Ian Fraser Kilmister in Burslem, near Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, but spent his formative years in Anglesey. His father, ex-RAF padre, left when he was an infant and he was raised by his mother, who worked as a librarian, and his grandmother. He was interested in rock and pop from an early age and formed various local bands, most successful of which were The Rockin’ Vicars who had a CBS recording contract.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Singer Gregory Porter

peter Quinn

Born in Los Angeles, raised by his mother in Bakersfield, and now living in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, Gregory Porter's resonant baritone is one of music's wonders. Porter's Grammy-nominated debut album, Water, has earned him praise from critics and fellow artists alike. Released in the UK in April this year to coincide with his appearance on Later... With Jools Holland, Water leapt to Number One in both the UK's iTunes and Amazon charts.

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Interview: Roy Haynes, Jazz Drumming Giant

Nick Hasted

The man who played with everyone, Roy Haynes earned his Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Grammys, in a career even his 86 years hardly make credible. He was 21 when he got the call to drum for Louis Armstrong in 1946. He was at the drum stool as Billie Holiday played her last club gig, crying at the pain of her dying body. Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, Miles Davis, Archie Shepp and Pat Metheny are among the names who’ve enjoyed his sympathetic touch.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Singer-Songwriter Feist

joe Muggs

Nova Scotia-born Leslie Feist is the very model of a 21st-century artist: independent in spirit yet able to work the mainstream industry to her advantage, technologically savvy and au fait with all the means to build and sustain a profile and sales while still maintaining some sense of artistry and dignity.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Musician Cosmo Jarvis

Thomas H Green

Cosmo Jarvis (b 1989) was born in New Jersey but grew up in Devon. He has produced two albums, Humasyouhitch/Sonofabitch (2009) and Is The World Strange or Am I Strange? (2011), that combine incisive lyricism, goofy humour, rap, rock, terrace-chant choruses, studio orchestration and an unlikely fusion of musical styles, sometimes more jovially eccentric than hip.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Musician Judith Owen and Actor Harry Shearer

Russ Coffey

You may know Harry Shearer better as Montgomery Burns from The Simpsons. His wife, Judith Owen, is as well known for her recent stage show with Ruby Wax, Losing It, as her own albums. But though they may have limited street recognisability, in the three cities they call home they are legendary for their hospitality.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Musician Esperanza Spalding

peter Quinn

Bassist, vocalist and composer, Esperanza Spalding is one of the most exciting things to happen to jazz in recent memory. Born and raised on what she has called “the other side of the tracks” in Portland, Oregon, Spalding grew up in a single-parent home.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Musician Seasick Steve

Thomas H Green

Seasick Steve Wold (b 1941) has achieved widespread popularity over the last five years with his raw, rootsy, blues-flavoured sounds. He's also renowned for his customised guitars, such as one featured on his new album, You Can't Teach an Old Dog New Tricks, that's made from Morris Minor hubcaps, and for his stage patter which combines US Southern charm with hobo lore and anecdotes.

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