In singer/songwriter Freedy Johnston’s hometown of Kinsley, Kansas, there’s a sign which says that it’s 1,561 miles to New York City and to San Francisco. In pursuit of a career in music he took the first option, eventually selling part of his family’s farmland in Kansas to finance his acclaimed second album, 1992’s Can You Fly. A couple years later he released This Perfect World, which featured the single “Bad Reputation” and resulted in him being named songwriter of the year in 1995 by Rolling Stone magazine, ahead of some guy named Kurt Cobain. Other well-regarded albums followed, most recently this year’s Neon Repairman.
This interview was for a preview article for Johnston’s 8/15/15 concert at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara. It was done by email, with answers received on 8/6/15. (Dina Regine photo)
Scott McCaughey (pronounced Mc-Coy) is the leader of The Young Fresh Fellows, an often humorous alt-rock band that formed in the 1980’s, and the pop collective The Minus 5, an often more-serious venture which formed in 1993. From 1994-2011 he also played with R.E.M., both live and in the studio.
McCaughey is also a member of The Baseball Project with Peter Buck, Steve Wynn, and Linda Pitmon. This interview was for the Baseball Project show at Velvet Jones in Santa Barbara on 9/7/14. It was originally scheduled to be at the Lobero Theatre, which is why there are several references to that. The interview was done by phone on 8/27/14. (L. Paul Mann photo)
Garbage at the Santa Barbara Bowl, KJEE Summer Roundup, 6/1/12 (L. Paul Mann photos, copyrighted and all rights reserved)
Don Fleming is a musician and producer who has had his hands in an amazing number of projects, mostly in the alt rock universe. As a musician, he was a member of the Velvet Monkeys, B.A.L.L., Gumball, and Half Japanese. As a producer, he has worked with Sonic Youth, Hole, Teenage Fanclub, Alice Cooper, The Dictators, The Posies, Screaming Trees, and more. Don recently released a cool EP called Don Fleming 4 which includes contributions from Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon.
This interview was conducted by email, with answers received on 10/10/11.