FEATURES

This category contains 0 posts

Interview: Jeremy Clyde


Jeremy Clyde was one half of Chad and Jeremy, a musical duo on the softer end of the British Invasion spectrum. Their hits included 1963′s “Yesterday’s Gone” and 1964’s “A Summer Song”, featuring pleasant harmonies and lush orchestration. As the ’60’s unfolded, they became more experimental with the albums Of Cabbages and Kings (1967) and The Ark (1968), which are now considered cult classics amongst baroque-psych fans, many of whom are at least one generation removed from the creators. Clyde has also had a long-time collaboration with lyricist David Pierce which has thus far produced four albums worth of songs in the series The Bottom Drawer Sessions. Clyde has also had a notable career as an actor.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Jeremy Clyde’s performance with Peter Asher at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara on 11/11/18. It was done by phone on 11/1/18.

Interview: Scott Kirkland

The Crystal Method – originally made up of sonic adventurers Scott Kirkland and Ken Jordan – first made its mark on the electronica scene with the 1997 album Vegas, a classic of the genre which sold over one million copies in the US. This was followed by the 2001 album Tweekend, which incorporated rock elements into the mix, and had guest appearances by singer Scott Weiland from Stone Temple Pilots and guitarist Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine.

More albums followed, the most recent being The Trip Home which came out in September and was the first Crystal Method album produced after the retirement of Mr. Jordan. But have no fear – Mr. Kirkland took the reins and produced a fine album with lots of danceable parts, a bit of open space, and some great retro synth sounds.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the show by The Crystal Method at EOS Lounge in Santa Barbara on 11/9/18. It was done by phone on 10/29/18. (Graham John Bell photo)

Interview: Todd Rundgren 2018

Todd Rundgren has worn many musical hats. He was the principal songwriter and guitarist for the 1960’s Anglophile band The Nazz, the solo pop star who wrote the 1972 hit “Hello, It’s Me” and co-wrote the 1983 anti-work anthem “Bang the Drum All Day”, and the leader of the prog-rock ensemble Utopia. He also produced the mega-hit Meat Loaf album Bat Out of Hell, and albums by many other artists including the New York Dolls, Patti Smith, and Grand Funk Railroad. This year, he was nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Todd’s concert in San Luis Obispo on 11/9/18. It was done by phone on 10/24/18.


Interview: Michael McDonald 2018

Michael McDonald is a 5-time Grammy winner who sang with Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers, and has also had a notable and successful solo career. Highlights of his catalog include “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near)”, “You Belong To Me”, “It Keeps You Runnin'”, “Minute By Minute”, “What A Fool Believes”, “Takin’ It To The Streets”, “Yah Mo B There”, “Sweet Freedom”, and his cover of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for a benefit concert on 11/7/18 at the Lobero Theatre for The Rhythmic Arts Project (TRAP). It was done by phone on 10/27/18. (Timothy White photo)

Interview: Luke Spiller


The first Struts album Everybody Wants came out in the UK in 2014, with a glam rock sound that features some of the best rock vocals this side of Freddie Mercury. A highlight of this album was “Could Have Been Me”, with a singalong chorus that sums up the band’s philosophy of living life to the fullest. This album and the band’s energetic live performances earned them the blessing from bands like The Rolling Stones, The Who, Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue, and the Foo Fighters.

The second Struts album just came out on October 26 of this year, and keeps the magic going with songs like “Body Talks” and “Primadonna Like Me”. There’s glam, there’s anthems, there’s even a power ballad. The Struts continue to show us that rock and roll is alive and well.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the 11/4/18 concert by The Struts at the Majestic Ventura Theater. It was done by phone on 10/18/18. (Anna Lee photo)

Interview: Mike Garson, Part 2

Pianist Mike Garson performed over one thousand concerts with David Bowie, more than any other person. He joined Bowie’s band for the Ziggy Stardust tour, and played on the Aladdin Sane, Diamond Dogs, and Young Americans albums. He re-entered Bowie’s orbit in the 1990’s, and played on Bowie albums including Outside, Earthling, and Reality. You can hear Garson’s diverse piano skills on Bowie songs ranging from “Aladdin Sane” featuring his avant-garde solo, to “Young Americans” and its Philly soul splendor, to the frenetic “Battle For Britain (The Letter)”

Garson has also recorded and toured with a number of other notable artists, including Nine Inch Nails and The Smashing Pumpkins, and has released a number of solo albums. He has composed over 5,000 pieces of music in virtually every imaginable style.

This interview with Mike Garson was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the concert “Cancer: The Urgency of Now ” at the Lobero Theatre on 11/2/18. It was done by phone on 10/19/18. It complements a previous interview with Mike Garson, available here.

Interview: Graham Nash

Graham Nash is famously part of the on-again/off-again group Crosby, Stills, & Nash & sometimes Young, and he wrote some of their best-known songs including “Teach Your Children”, “Our House”, “Wasted on the Way”, and “Marrakesh Express”.

But that’s only part of the story. Nash was also in the British Invasion band The Hollies, co-writing “Carrie Anne”, “King Midas in Reverse”, “On a Carousel”, and “Dear Eloise”, and singing on many other Hollies hits including “Bus Stop”. Other notable Graham Nash songs include “Immigration Man”, “Chicago”, and “We Can Change the World”.

This interview with Graham Nash was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for his solo concert at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara on 10/9/18. It was done by phone on 9/27/18. (Amy Grantham photo)

Interview: Mike Garson

Pianist Mike Garson performed over one thousand concerts with David Bowie, more than any other person. He joined Bowie’s band for the Ziggy Stardust tour, and played on the Aladdin Sane, Diamond Dogs, and Young American albums. He re-entered Bowie’s orbit in the 1990’s, and played on Bowie albums including Outside, Earthling, and Reality. You can hear Garson’s diverse piano skills on Bowie songs ranging from “Aladdin Sane” featuring his avant-garde solo, to “Young Americans” and its Philly soul splendor, to the frenetic “Battle For Britain (The Letter)”

Garson has also recorded and toured with a number of other notable artists, including Nine Inch Nails and The Smashing Pumpkins, and has released a number of solo albums. He has composed over 5,000 pieces of music in virtually every imaginable style.

This interview with Mike Garson was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the concert “A Bowie Celebration” at the Majestic Ventura Theater on 9/26/18. It was done by phone on 11/6/18. (Steve Rose photo)

Interview: Tommy Stinson

Tommy Stinson has quite a musical resume.

He played bass guitar for The Replacements, a Minneapolis rock band which still has a cult following decades after their albums were released and their legendary concerts often left wakes of destruction and baffled fans. Their 1984 album Let It Be is regularly ranked as one of the top albums of that decade.

After one more album, Tommy’s brother Bob was fired from The Replacements because of substance abuse issues, and he passed away a decade later. The band released several more acclaimed albums before calling it a day in 1991. Singer Paul Westerberg and Tommy reunited The Replacements in 2012 for a successful string of shows, but they broke up, apparently for good, in 2015.

Also, from 1998 until 2016, Tommy played bass guitar for Guns N’ Roses, including on the Chinese Democracy album which took a decade of recording to finish. Along the way, he has released well-regarded albums with Bash & Pop and as a solo artist.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the Cowboys in the Campfire concert on 9/14/18 at Gone Gallery in Santa Barbara. It was done by phone on 9/1/18. (Jeff Moehlis photo)

Interview: Al Anderson

If you’ve heard Bob Marley’s music, then you’ve almost certainly also heard Al Anderson on guitar. That’s him on “No Woman, No Cry” (both the live and studio versions), and many other Bob Marley classics.

Anderson joined up with Marley for the breakthrough 1974 Natty Dread album, contributing guitar with a bit more of a rock feel than was common at the time in reggae. He also played on the Live!, Rastaman Vibration, Babylon by Bus, Survival, and Uprising albums, and was an integral part of Marley’s band for five major tours. Anderson also recorded and performed with the legendary Peter Tosh, including on his first solo albums Legalize It and Equal Rights.

For the last ten years, Anderson has kept the music alive with The Original Wailers. This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for a concert by The Original Wailers on 9/7/18 at Discovery Ventura. It was done by phone on 8/9/18.

Interview: Christopher Thorn

You probably remember Blind Melon from their infectious hit song “No Rain”, and the video for the song which featured the “Bee Girl”. This came from their remarkable self-titled debut album, which turned 25 years old last year. After extensive touring, the band followed up with the 1995 album Soup, which replaced the debut’s jam-based sound with a darker, but still compelling vibe. Sadly, Blind Melon’s lead singer Shannon Hoon died shortly after Soup was released from a drug overdose. The music, however, has stayed alive.

This interview with Blind Melon guitarist Christopher Thorn was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the band’s 9/5/18 show at SLO Brew in San Luis Obispo, and 9/8/18 show at Discovery Ventura. It was done by phone on 8/23/18.

Interview: Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson is a surfer turned singer-songwriter whose laid-back tunes have made him a favorite well beyond the surfing world. To date, he has released four Number One albums: Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George (2006), Sleep Through the Static (2008), To the Sea (2010), and From Here to Now to You (2013). His best-known songs include “Upside Down”, “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing”, and “You and Your Heart”. He is also known and respected for his support of environmentalism and sustainability.

This article came from spending time on 3/17/18 with Jack Johnson and the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade, which included a tour of the damage from 2018 Montecito mudflow. It originally appeared in noozhawk.com on 3/18/18. The “bonus” questions and answers, and most of the photos, are published here for the first time. (Photos copyrighted by Jeff Moehlis, all rights reserved)

Interview: Emily Saliers

Emily Saliers and Amy Ray have been together as the Indigo Girls for over three decades. Their career took off with their 1989 self-titled album, with key songs like “Closer to Fine” and “Kid Fears” reminding us that music can be simultaneously beautiful and thought-provoking. Both Saliers and Ray are amazing songwriters, with some additional song highlights being “Strange Fire”, “Secure Yourself”, “Galileo”, “Least Complicated”, “Power of Two”, and “Shame on You”.

Over the years their music has evolved – perhaps most notably they started plugging in their guitars more often – but their wonderful lyrics and harmonies have always continued to shine. Their next album – a project with the University of Colorado Symphony Orchestra – will be released at the end of June.

The Indigo Girls are also politically active, and have long supported environmental, Native American, and gay rights causes.

This interview with Emily Saliers was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for their 6/30/18 concert at the Fremont Theater in San Luis Obispo. It was done by phone on 6/11/18.

Interview: Peter Asher

Peter Asher has such an impressive resume, it’s hard to believe that one person could’ve done it all.

He first came to fame as part of the British Invasion duo Peter & Gordon, whose 1964 single “A World Without Love” by Paul McCartney (attributed to Lennon/McCartney) went to Number One in the UK, US, Canada, New Zealand, and Ireland.

The Beatles connection continued when he become the head of A&R for Apple Records, and in this capacity Asher signed James Taylor to his first record deal and produced his first record. When Taylor decided to move back from the UK to the US, Asher came along as his manager, and produced and contributed to Taylor’s acclaimed albums in the 1970’s and beyond.

Asher also became Linda Ronstadt’s manager, and produced a number of her hit albums including Heart Like a Wheel, Hasten Down the Wind, What’s New (recorded with Nelson Riddle), and Canciones de mi Padre (Linda’s first mariachi album).

As if that wasn’t enough, he also produced albums by Cher, 10,000 Maniacs, Neil Diamond, Robin Williams, and many others. And he co-founded the notable 1960’s counterculture Indica Bookshop and Gallery in London, and the Roxy Theatre on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. Oh, and he was the inspiration for the look of Austin Powers.

This interview with Peter Asher was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for his 6/23/18 show with Albert Lee at SOhO in Santa Barbara. It was done by phone on 6/12/18. (Joe Carducci photo)

Interview: Ian Anderson 2018

Ian Anderson is the frontman / singer / songwriter / flautist / acoustic guitarist / musical mastermind for Jethro Tull, which is celebrating its 50th year. Anderson is the only member who has been with the band since its beginnings.

Next up was Jethro Tull’s classic album Aqualung, released in 1971 and regarded by many to be the band’s best. This included the signature tunes “Aqualung”, “Locomotive Breath”, and “Cross-Eyed Mary”.

Jethro Tull followed with two concept albums, both of which reached No. 1 in the US charts: 1972’s Thick as a Brick, and 1973’s A Passion Play. They released many more albums, notable ones including the compilation Living in the Past (1972), War Child (1974), Minstrel in the Gallery (1975), Songs from the Wood (1977), and Crest of a Knave (1987) which somewhat controversially beat out Metallica for the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Performance.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Jethro Tull’s concert at Vina Robles Amphitheatre in Paso Robles, CA on 6/3/18. It was done by phone on 5/1/18.

Interview: Lonnie Jordan

Keyboard player/singer Lonnie Jordan is one of the founding members of the band WAR, a melting pot of soul, funk, Latin, and jazz influences whose songs include “Low Rider”, “Spill the Wine”, “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”, and “The Cisco Kid”.

WAR’s fortunes took off when singer Eric Burdon asked them to back him up after leaving the Animals. They recorded two albums together, and had a huge hit song in 1970 with “Spill the Wine”.

WAR raged on after Burdon’s departure, and in 1972 they released the Number One album The World Is a Ghetto. More ’70’s success followed, with “Low Rider”, especially, striking a chord which resonates to this day.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the 5/27/18 WAR concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl, a show with George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic also on the bill. It was done by phone on 5/7/18.

Interview: Mark Hosler

Mark Hosler is one of the founding members of the experimental music collective Negativland, which has pushed the boundaries of sampling and appropriation in ways that have led to artistic triumphs and legal headaches.

Negativland’s first album came out in 1980 while Hosler was still in high school, and the band broke through to college radio with the 1987 album Escape From Noise. They gained some noteriety when they claimed that one of the songs from that album inspired an axe murderer’s rampage, a hoax which the band actually created to avoid having to go on tour.

Along the way, Negativland coined the term and advanced the notion of “culture jamming”, an anti-consumerist movement to subvert mainstream cultural institutions. This came to a head with their 1991 release of an EP called U2, which led to four years of legal battles after they were sued by U2’s record label for unauthorized sampling of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and misleading artwork.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the 5/24/18 visit by Mark Hosler and fellow Negativland conspirator Wobbly to the University of California, Santa Barbara. Sponsored by UCSB’s Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music, this visit includes a Roundtable Workshop and a concert. The interview was done by phone on 5/11/18. (Stefan Müller photo)

Interview: Al Stewart

Al Stewart has written songs about World War I pilots (“Fields of France”), an English sailor (“Lord Grenville”), and the German invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II (“Roads to Moscow”).

Oh, and then there’s that one about a cat. Well, not really. “Year of the Cat”, which got its name from a book on Vietnamese astrology, is based on the movie Casablanca. This was a huge hit single in America over 40 years ago, and remains in the rotation of many classic rock stations to this day.

Before all this, Stewart was an English folk singer who wrote songs about love lost and found, including the 18-minute epic “Love Chronicles”. (Incidentally, “Love Chronicles” is believed to be the first recording with the word “fucking” in it, but it is used in a descriptive rather than pejorative sense.)

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Al Stewart’s concert at the Libbey Bowl in Ojai, California on 5/12/18. It was done by phone on 5/2/18.

Interview: Verdine White

With a catalog that includes hits like “Shining Star”, “September”, “Fantasy”, and “Boogie Wonderland”, Earth, Wind & Fire truly is a force of nature.

Bassist Verdine White has been laying down the groove for Earth, Wind & Fire from the very beginning, now approaching 50 years. Along the way, he has anchored landmark albums like 1975’s That’s the Way of the World and legendary live performances that back in the day included magic, theatrical effects, and pyrotechnics, all in service to the music of Verdine’s brilliant brother Maurice. Maurice retired from touring in 1994 due to health issues, and passed away in 2016, but his music lives on.

This interview with Verdine White was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the Earth, Wind & Fire concert at the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara on 5/8/18. It was done by phone on 4/26/18.

Interview: Billy Howerdel

When Billy Howerdel was working as a guitar tech for the band Tool, he played some of his songs for singer Maynard James Keenan, and got some good news – MJK liked them, and eventually joined up with Howerdel in the band A Perfect Circle.

The first APC album Mer de Noms came out in 2000, revealing a potent mix of heavy and atmospheric sounds. This was followed up in 2003 by Thirteenth Step – a favorite of many fans of the band – and in 2004 by the covers album Emotive. APC’s eagerly awaited next album, Eat the Elephant, comes out on April 20.

This interview was for noozhawk.com for A Perfect Circle’s concert at the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara on 4/17/18. It was done by email, with answers received 4/9/18. (Tim Cadiente photo)

Interview: Sin Quirin


Sin Quirin plays guitar for the industrial metal band Ministry, and has played on the albums The Last Sucker, Cover Up, Adios… Puta Madres, Relapse, From Beer to Eternity, and the recently-released album AmeriKKKant. He also has played guitar with the Revolting Cocks and various other bands.

This interview with Sin Quirin was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the 3/23/18 Ministry concert at the Majestic Ventura Theater. It was done by phone on 3/1/18. (Marie Anthony photo)

Interview: Henry Rollins

Henry Rollins was the frontman for seminal hardcore punk band Black Flag from 1981 to 1986 – a period which included their acclaimed album Damaged. After that band broke up, he formed the Rollins Band which released a number of albums including the 1994 album Weight with the song “Liar”.

Along the way, Rollins started giving impassioned spoken word performances, and has also acted in various movies and television shows including FX’s Sons of Anarchy.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Henry Rollins’ spoken word performance on 3/21/18 at SOhO. It was done by email, with answers received on 2/19/18.

Interview: Tim Butler

From their post-punk beginnings to their MTV-driven success, boosted popularity from the Pretty in Pink soundtrack, and extended touring reunion, there have been two constants for the Psychedelic Furs: brothers Richard Butler on lead vocals and Tim Butler on bass guitar.

The Psychedelic Furs started in 1977, and they released their first album in 1980. The rougher edge of their debut was softened for their second album, 1981’s Talk Talk Talk, which included the original version of the song “Pretty in Pink”, a re-recording of which later became part of the soundtrack of the movie of the same name. They hit the US Top 40 with “Love My Way” in 1982, and followed up with songs like “Heaven”, “The Ghost in You”, and “Heartbreak Beat”. The band broke up for most of the 1990’s, but eventually reunited and now continues to tour.

This interview with Tim Butler was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the Psychedelic Furs concert on 3/9/18 at the Fremont Theater in San Luis Obispo. It was done by phone on 2/28/18.

Interview: Steve Hackett

In prog-rock circles, guitarist Steve Hackett is revered for his time in Genesis from the 1971 album Nursery Cryme to 1976’s Wind & Wuthering. His tenure included the recordings of classic Genesis songs like “The Musical Box”, “Dancing with the Moonlit Knight”, “Firth of Fifth”, and “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway”. During this period he also innovated the two-handed tapping guitar technique, which was widely used Eddie Van Halen and other guitar shredders in the ’80’s and beyond. Hackett has also recorded several dozen solo albums, from 1975’s Voyage of the Acolyte to last year’s The Night Siren, and was one of the guitar heroes, along with Steve Howe, in the short-lived band GTR.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Steve Hackett’s concert at the Fremont Theater in San Luis Obispo on 2/23/18. It was done by phone on 2/8/18.

Interview: Ronald Isley

Of the many amazing things about The Isley Brothers, perhaps the most remarkable is that they have had hit songs in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and 2000’s. And we’re talking about songs that are in our collective DNA like “Shout”, “Twist and Shout”, “It’s Your Thing”, and “That Lady”.

Only one person has been with The Isley Brothers throughtout the entire history of the band: singer Ronald Isley, who also wrote or co-wrote most of the band’s original music. With his brother Ernie, Ronald continues to carry the Isley Brothers torch, with their latest release being the 2017 collaboration with Santana called Power of Peace.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the Isley Brothers concert at the Chumash Casino on 2/16/18. It was done by phone on 2/6/18. (Tracy Isley photo)

Interview: Ernie Isley

Ernie Isley’s first recording experience with The Isley Brothers was playing bass on the hit song “It’s Your Thing” – at the tender age of 16! He never looked back, becoming the band’s lead guitarist and contributing blistering fretwork to songs like “That Lady” and “Summer Breeze”. He also co-wrote such Isley Brothers classics as “Fight the Power”, “Harvest for the World”, and “Take Me to the Next Phase”. Ernie also co-founded Isley-Jasper-Isley, which had a hit song “Caravan of Love”.

With his brother Ronald, Ernie continues to carry the Isley Brothers torch, with their latest release being the 2017 collaboration with Santana called Power of Peace.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the Isley Brothers concert at the Chumash Casino on 2/16/18. It was done by phone on 2/6/18. (Tracy Isley photo)

Interview: Keith Howland

In terms of hit singles, album sales, and longevity, Chicago is one of America’s top rock bands. Their first album came out in 1969, and introduced the world to their horn-driven sound with songs like “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?”. They followed with hits including “25 or 6 to 4”, “Make Me Smile”, “Saturday in the Park”, “Just You ‘n’ Me”, “If You Leave Me Now”, and “Baby, What a Big Surprise”. The band adapted to the 1980’s with songs like “Hard to Say I’m Sorry”, “Hard Habit to Break”, and “You’re the Inspiration”. And in 2016, we finally got to stop asking the question, “Why isn’t Chicago in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?”

Keith Howland has been the guitarist for the band Chicago since 1995, approaching half of the band’s history. The following interview with Howland was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Chicago’s concert on 2/11/18. It was done by email, with answers received on 2/1/18.

Interview: Engelbert Humperdinck

The year 1967 is arguably most remembered nowadays for the Summer of Love. But, ironically, one of the top songs from that year was about love which had run its course: “Release Me” by Engelbert Humperdinck, which spent six weeks at Number One on the British charts. This was Humperdinck’s first and most enduring hit, and famously prevented “Penny Lane / Strawberry Fields Forever” from being The Beatles’ twelfth straight British Number One single. “Release Me” launched Humperdinck’s career, and other hit singles followed including “The Last Waltz” and “After The Lovin'”. He has sold over 150 million records.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Engelbert Humperdinck’s 2/9/18 concert at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, California. It was done by email, with answers received on 1/31/18. (Jamie Overton photo)

Interview: Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson is a truly amazing guitarist. But while he certainly has the ability to blow you away with six-string flash and speed, he’s much more about feel, tone, and serving the song.

Such an approach allowed his 1990 guitar-heavy album Ah Via Musicom to become a crossover hit, selling over one million copies. This album included his signature song “Cliffs of Dover” and other gems like “Trademark” and “Righteous”. Other acclaimed albums followed, most recently the 2017 album Collage.

Johnson is revisiting Ah Via Musicom on tour, joined by Kyle Brock on bass and Tommy Taylor on drums, both of whom played on the original album and toured with Johnson after the album first took off. This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the tour’s 1/24/18 concert at the Majestic Ventura Theater. It was done by phone on 1/8/18. (Max Crace photo)

Interview: Derek Trucks

Derek Trucks is recognized as one of the all-time great slide guitarists, and after a long tenure in the Allman Brothers Band is now co-leader of the Tedeschi Trucks Band along with his singer/guitarist wife Susan Tedeschi.

One might say that music is in Trucks’ blood: his uncle, the late drummer Butch Trucks, was a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, and the name “Derek” came from “Layla” band Derek and the Dominoes, which featured Eric Clapton and original Allman Brothers’ guitarist Duane Allman. For the curious, in Dominoes-speak, Derek = Duane + Eric. Fittingly, the young Derek Trucks shared the stage with Eric Clapton, plus many, many others.

The Tedeschi Trucks Band released their third studio album Let Me Get By in 2016, and their second live album Live from the Fox Oakland in 2017.

This interview was for the 11/7/17 Tedeschi Trucks Band concert at the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara, California. It was done by phone on 10/24/17. (Stuart Levine photo)

Interview: Judy Collins

Judy Collins is a true treasure, a singer whose angelic voice made her a key figure in the Greenwich Village folk music scene and beyond.

She has written her own great songs, but Collins is best known for her interpretations of songs written by others. Notably, she was the first to record songs by Leonard Cohen (including “Suzanne” on her 1966 album In My Life), and amongst the first to cover songs by Joni Mitchell (a 1967 hit version of “Both Sides, Now”) and Bob Dylan (including “Masters of War” in 1963). She also recorded hit versions of “Amazing Grace” and “Send in the Clowns”.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the Judy Collins / Stephen Stills concert at the Arlington Theatre on 10/28/17. (Stills, of course, wrote the song “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” about Collins.) It was done by phone on 10/9/17. (Anna Webber photo)

Interview: GRiZ

GRiZ is a 27-year-old sax-playing DJ and music producer from the Detroit area, and describes his music as “future funk” – an apt name for his tasty mix of classic funk, electronic music, and soul, with some touches of jazz and hip-hop thrown in for good measure. He has released five albums, including his 2011 debut End of the World Party, 2015’s Say It Loud, and last year’s Good Will Prevail. Check him out, and you’ll agree that his music truly is a funky good time!

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Griz’s concert on 10/15/17 at the Santa Barbara Bowl. It was done by phone on 9/28/17.

Interview: Peter Noone


We are blessed that there are many notable musicians who call our community home, and we are doubly/triply blessed that many of them share their time and talents to benefit our community. One of them is Montecito resident Peter Noone from the British Invasion band Herman’s Hermits, who will be hosting the Unity Shoppe Finale Celebration of 100 Years of Community Service at the Lobero Theatre on October 10 – more information and tickets are available here.

With Herman’s Hermits circa 50 years ago, Noone sang such hits as “I’m Into Something Good”, “There’s a Kind of Hush”, “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter”, and the zany “I’m Henry the VIII, I Am”. There must be something in the water here, because he still sounds and looks great all these years later. He also oozes charm and wit, and probably could’ve had a successful career as a comedian if the music thing hadn’t worked out so well. Put all these ingredients together and you have a host with the most! (L. Paul Mann photo)

This is a copy of a preview article for noozhawk.com

Interview: Martin Barre

When you think of Jethro Tull, the first thing you probably think of is the guy with the flute. But pretty soon you also think of all those cool electric guitar parts and sounds, and when you think of that you’re thinking of Martin Barre.

Barre joined Jethro Tull in time for their 1969 album Stand Up, which steered the band away from its blues origins to an new sound which incorporated elements of English folk music. Other classic albums followed: the harder rockin’ Benefit, the multiplatinum Aqualung, the prog rock concept album masterpieces Thick as a Brick and A Passion Play, and many more. Barre’s tenure with Jethro Tull lasted until 2012, and since then he has focused on a solo career. His most recent album is 2015’s fantastic Back to Steel.

This interview was for Martin Barre’s concert at SOhO in Santa Barbara, California on 9/13/17. It was done by phone on 8/9/17. (Martin Webb photo)

Interview: Albert Lee

albert_lee_small

If you’re the sort of person who pays attention to liner notes, you’ve probably seen the name Albert Lee pop up so many places that you think that it can’t possibly all be the same guy. Could the guitarist who recorded and toured with Eric Clapton really be the same one who played with Emmylou Harris’ Hot Band, and who played with the Everly Brothers for their Albert Hall reunion show (and stayed on for 26 more years), and who also shows up on recordings by Joe Cocker, Jackson Browne, Bill Wyman, Chris Farlowe, and Deep Purple’s Jon Lord?

Well, it is the same Albert Lee who did all these things, and more. And somehow he has also found time to lead his own smokin’ hot bands over the years.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Lee’s 8/19/17 concert at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara. It was done by phone on 7/31/17.

Interview: Bryan Ferry

bryan_small

Bryan Ferry has been making fantastic music for over four decades. It all started with Roxy Music’s 70’s art/glam rock period (“Virginia Plain”, “Do The Strand”, “Love is the Drug”), which evolved into the lushness of 1982’s Avalon album (“More Than This”, “Avalon”). Yes, Roxy Music is truly “For Your Pleasure”.

Along the way he also has had sexy solo hits (“Slave To Love”, “The Right Stuff”) and plenty of cool covers (“The ‘In’ Crowd”, “Jealous Guy”, “Let’s Stick Together”). And throughout, Ferry has been the epitome of the suave, stylish, and sophisticated rock star.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Ferry’s concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl on 8/19/17. It was done by email, with answers received on 8/4/17. (Simon Emmett photo)

Interview: Greg Kihn

kihn_cropped

Greg Kihn kihn-tinues rocking and rolling with the recent release of his album Rekihndled, his first set of new songs in over 20 years. And he’s clearly still got the magic touch. Fun-filled songs like “The Life I Got” and “Big Pink Flamingos” jump out of the speakers, and fit smashingly with Kihn’s acclaimed body of work.

Kihn got his start with the legendary Beserkley Records, with his first solo album coming out in 1976. Things really took off when “The Breakup Song (They Don’t Write ‘Em)” went Top 20 in 1981, and two years later “Jeopardy” hit Number Two, aided by a clever and memorable video that received lots of airplay on then-young MTV. “Jeopardy” was denied the top slot by Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” – no shame there! Kihn has also written six novels, and he spent 16 years as a popular DJ in San Jose.

The following interview with Greg Kihn was done by phone on 7/25/17.

Interview: Hans Zimmer

zimmer_crop

Hans Zimmer has composed incredible music for some incredible movies: The Lion King, Pirates of the Caribbean, Driving Miss Daisy, Gladiator, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Interstellar, Inception,… The list goes on and on, up to this point including over 150 movies. His most recent score is for the movie Dunkirk, currently out in theaters.

Zimmer’s early musical career involved working with the rock ‘n’ roll bands The Buggles and The Damned, but under the mentorship of Stanley Meyers he transitioned to writing music for movies. As a measure of his success, he has thus far been nominated for nine Academy Awards, and won the Oscar for Best Original Score in 1995 for The Lion King. He has also won two Golden Globe Awards (for The Lion King and Gladiator), and four Grammy Awards (two for The Lion King, and one each for Crimson Tide and The Dark Knight). Over the years, he has worked with notable directors including Christopher Nolan, Ron Howard, Ridley Scott, and Barry Levinson.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Zimmer’s concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl on 8/13/17. It was done by phone on 7/21/17. This was a group interview, of which the highlights were included in the preview article for noozhawk.com (also copied below). Zimmer’s full answers to questions asked by yours truly are given here. (Ed Robinson photo)

Interview: Steve Harwell

steve_harwell
There have been many possible paths to Smash Mouth. Maybe you heard their groovy first hit “Walkin’ on the Sun” when it first came out in 1997. Or maybe you couldn’t avoid their infectious smash hit “All Star” a couple of years later. Or, if you’re younger or have children, maybe you were introduced to the band from the Shrek soundtrack which featured “All Star” and their cover of “I’m A Believer”. Or maybe you first heard about the band from the various Smash Mouth memes floating around the internet.

This interview with Smash Mouth singer Steve Harwell was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Smash Mouth’s concert at the Ventura County Fair on 8/3/17. It was done by email, with answers received on 7/19/17. (Jay Blakesberg photo)

Interview: Bill Kirchen

bill_kirchen

Guitarist Bill Kirchen is known as the “Titan of the Telecaster” for good reason. Exhibit A: Check out his smokin’ signature tune “Hot Rod Lincoln”, which became a Top Ten hit for country rock hippies Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen in 1972, a couple of years after Kirchen and his bandmates migrated from Ann Arbor, Michigan to the Bay Area.

The Airmen flew their own ways in 1976, and since then Kirchen has recorded and performed in various line-ups and styles, from country to rockabilly to honky-tonk to the catch-all style he calls “dieselbilly”.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Kirchen’s 7/29/17 show at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara, California, along with Texas country singer-songwriter Jimmie Dale Gilmore. It was done by phone on 7/21/17. (Valerie Fremin photo)

Interview: Tommy Emmanuel

tommyOne can describe the playing of finger-style guitarist Tommy Emmanuel with words like “dazzling” or “stunning”, but really he has to be seen (and heard) to be believed.

Born in Australia, Emmanuel started performing professionally at the age of six as part of a family band. He went on to play session gigs and was part of the rock group Dragon in the 1980’s, but his career really took off when he embarked on a solo career as an acoustic guitarist extraordinaire. In this mode, he has released dozens of albums and wowed audiences at thousands of shows. His most recent album Live! At The Ryman! documents a triumphant 2016 concert at the famed Grand Ole Opry theater.

It’s worth emphasizing that Emmanuel is not just about technical mastery. He’s also an incredibly engaging showman, so you don’t have to be a wannabe guitar hero to enjoy a Tommy Emmanuel concert.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the 7/22/17 Tommy Emmanuel concert at the Marjorie Luke Theatre in Santa Barbara, California. It was done by phone on 6/6/17.

Interview: Bill Cunningham

bill_cunningham

There was definitely something special in the air 50 years ago in 1967, arguably the greatest year of rock ‘n’ roll music. The bands, albums, and songs from that year are truly far out, man!

One of the Number One songs from 1967 was “The Letter” by The Box Tops, a Memphis-based band which released it as their first single. Sung by the late Alex Chilton, this slice of blue-eyed soul was popular worldwide, including amongst the soldiers fighting in Vietnam. The Box Tops went on to release other singles such as “Neon Rainbow” and “Cry Like a Baby” before disbanding in 1970. The currently line-up for The Box Tops includes original lead guitarist Gary Talley and bassist Bill Cunningham.

This interview with Bill Cunningham was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for their 7/14/17 performance at the Chumash Casino as part of the Happy Together Tour. It was done by phone on 6/16/17. Also on the program for the concert are two other bands with Number One songs in 1967 – The Turtles (“Happy Together”) and The Association (“Windy”) – plus Chuck Negron from Three Dog Night, The Cowsills, and The Archies.

Interview: Chris Stein

stein

The band Blondie got its start in the fertile mid-to-late 70’s New York City punk rock / New Wave scene, and went on to mainstream success with hits like “Heart of Glass”, “Rapture”, “Call Me”, “The Tide Is High”, “One Way or Another”, and “Dreaming”. They recently released their 11th album called Pollinator.

Along with singer Debbie Harry and drummer Clem Burke, guitarist Chris Stein has been with the band since the early days. He co-wrote some of the band’s best-loved songs including the aforementioned “Heart of Glass”, “Rapture”, and “Dreaming”, plus “In The Flesh”, “Rip Her To Shreds”, and “Fade Away and Radiate”.

This interview was for noozhawk.com for the 7/7/17 Blondie concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl, with co-headlining alt-rockers Garbage, and openers John Doe and Exene Cervenka from the band X. It was done by phone on 6/9/17. (Alexander Thompson photo)

Interview: Terry Bozzio

terry

It’s well known that Frank Zappa had the highest standards for musicians in his band, so drummer Terry Bozzio’s membership in that select group starting in 1975 is a true badge of honor. Bozzio can be heard on Zappa albums including Bongo Fury, Zoot Allures, Zappa in New York, and Shut Up ‘n Play Yer Guitar.

Bozzio went on to co-found the band Missing Persons, which fused top-notch musicianship with New Wave sensibilities to give us songs like “Words”, “Destination Unknown”, and “Walking in L.A.” A quintessential ’80’s band, they released three albums before breaking up in 1986.

Another notable gig for Bozzio was playing on Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop album, which is widely regarded as one of the guitarist’s best.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Bozzio’s collaborative performance on 7/1/17 with poet Todd Griese at Studio Channel Islands in Camarillo, California. It was done by phone on 6/5/17.

Interview: Walter “Clyde” Orange

clyde

Formed in the late ’60’s in Tuskegee, Alabama, The Commodores toured with The Jackson 5 before finding their own songwriting voices. Their early music was super funky, for example the songs “Machine Gun” and “Slippery When Wet”. Later on, they still could funk it up in songs like “Brick House”, but they also became known for their ballads like “Easy” and “Three Times a Lady”, and smooth R&B like “Nightshift”.

Drummer/singer Walter “Clyde” Orange has been part of The Commodores since the early days of the band, and sang lead vocals on “Brick House” and “Nightshift”, both of which he co-wrote. This interview with Orange was for for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the concert by The Commodores on 6/9/17 at the Chumash Casino. It was done by phone on 6/2/17.

Interview: Gary Pihl

gary_pihl

Guitarist Gary Pihl’s musical resume extends back to the 1960’s with the San Francisco band Day Blindness, which opened for notable artists including Janis Joplin, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Eric Burdon and War. He later joined Sammy Hagar’s band, playing with him from 1977 until 1985 including on the songs “I Can’t Drive 55” and “There’s Only One Way to Rock”.

After Hagar joined Van Halen, Pihl got a call from Tom Scholz from the band Boston to lay down some guitar on the song “I Think I Like It”, which was released on the Third Stage album. This was the beginning of Pihl’s tenure with that band, which continues to this day. Pihl’s guitar can also be heard on the Boston albums Walk On, Corporate America, and Life, Love & Hope.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Boston’s concert on 6/11/17 at the Santa Barbara Bowl. It was done by phone on 5/12/17. (Kamal Asar photo)

Interview: Brian Wilson

brian_wilson_small

The story by now is well known: genius songwriter has a panic attack and stops touring with his acclaimed band, then retreats to the studio and writes and records one of the greatest albums of all time. That, in a nutshell, is the story of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys album Pet Sounds, an album that Wilson is currently revisiting on tour.

With a songbook that includes the likes of “Good Vibrations”, “California Girls”, “God Only Knows”, “I Get Around”, “Fun, Fun, Fun”, “Surfin’ Safari”, and “Help Me, Rhonda”, there can be no dispute that Brian Wilson is a musical genius, and many believe that Pet Sounds was his crowning achievement. For example, Rolling Stone Magazine ranks it as the second best album of all time, behind only The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which itself drew inspiration from Pet Sounds.

The rest of the story is also by now well known: genius songwriter tries to follow up Pet Sounds with an ambitious album called Smile, but can’t because of deteriorating mental health, an issue that plagues him for the rest of his life. Happily, Wilson did revisit Smile with a new recording in 2004 and the release of the original sessions in 2011. Even more happily, he is still performing his songs in concert.

This interview was done for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the Brian Wilson concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl on 5/28/17. It was done by phone on 5/12/17.

Interview: Rodriguez

rodriguez_crop

Until 2012, Detroit singer-songwriter Rodriguez was largely unknown in the United States – but then the Academy Award-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man was released. It turns out that, unbeknownst to Rodriguez, his music had become extremely popular in Apartheid-era South Africa, at the level of bands like The Rolling Stones. A highlight of the film is the footage of his triumphant first tour of Australia in 1998.

Searching for Sugar Man effectively relaunched Rodriguez’s career, and finally he was appreciated in his home country – over four decades after his original recordings were released. His albums are now considered lost-and-found classics, and he sells out large venues in the U.S. and around the world.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the concert by Rodriguez on 5/20/17 at the Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara. It was done by phone on 5/10/17. (Doug Seymour photo)

Interview: Dale Bozzio

missing_persons_small

The band Missing Persons grew out of Frank Zappa’s stable of musicians after being part of his rock opera Joe’s Garage, fusing top-notch musicianship with New Wave sensibilities to give us songs like “Words”, “Destination Unknown”, and “Walking in L.A.” A quintessential ’80’s band, their music came paired with a revolutionary image courtesy of singer Dale Bozzio, whose crazy hairstyles, over-the-top make-up, and outrageous outfits have led many to call her the original Lady Gaga. The band – with founding members Terry Bozzio and drums and Warren Cuccurullo on guitar – released three albums before breaking up in 1986. In 1988, Dale released a solo album on Prince’s Paisley Park record label.

Dale is back in action, with a new Missing Persons album being released a couple years ago and a new line-up which revisits the band’s glorious catalog in concert. This interview was for a preview article for the 5/20/17 concert by Missing Persons at the California Strawberry Festival in Oxnard, California. It was done by phone on 4/26/17.

Interview: Robin Trower

trower_crop2

Robin Trower first gained fame as the guitarist for Procol Harum, playing on their classic late ’60’s and early ’70’s prog-tinged albums. When he left after 1971’s Broken Barricades, he followed the direction hinted at on that album’s “Song for a Dreamer” and his earlier Procol Harum song “Whisky Train”, namely Jimi Hendrix-inspired blues-based rock.

He has gone on to release more than 20 albums in this vein, including 1974’s acclaimed Bridge of Sighs – with songs like “Too Rolling Stoned”, “Day of the Eagle”, and the title track – and the brand new album Time and Emotion.

This interview was for the Robin Trower concert at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara, California on 5/17/17. It was done by phone on 5/10/17.