Interview: Tired Pony (Peter Buck)

Tired Pony  Super group or well-known buskers? You can take your pick, of course, but the way Tired Pony’s honorary member Peter Buck (who was once in a little known band called REM) tells it, the fruitful extra-curricular project is just a bunch of musician friends doing what comes naturally.

Interview: Jake Bugg

Jake Bugg  He looks a surly type with his Jagger lips, ciggie slipped in between nicotine-stained fingers, 19-year-old insouciance/insolence and sunglasses perched just-so, but if you’re prepared to sift through the obvious you’ll soon discover that Jake Bugg (real name Jacob Edward Kennedy) is something very, very close to the real deal.

Interview: Jason Pierce/Spiritualized

Jason Pierce  What’s all this, then? Music in a church? Coffee and cream backing singers, dressed in whiter shades of pale? A band made up of twanging guitarists and a banging drummer? And in the midst of it all, a middle-aged man, looking ever so slightly the worse for wear and tear, singing words we have now forgotten over a music bed of blessed, blissed-out melodies and lacerating guitar solos.

Q&A Interview: Amanda Palmer

 Amanda Palmer Contrary to some warped sense of popular opinion, you’re not some freaky avant-garde outsider, are you?   “My most recent record, Theatre is Evil [credited to Amanda Palmer & the Grand Theft Orchestra] is practically a pop album. I also feel like it’s one of my most liberated records so far because it’s exactly the kind of album I wanted to make.

Interview: Kodaline

Kodaline It isn’t often that a teenage band, fresh of face, wide-eyed with enthusiasm and naiveté, bunking off school, makes Irish chart history, but that’s exactly what Co Dublin quartet 21 Demands did almost five years ago, when their song Give Me A Minute reached the top spot in the Irish charts from sales of downloads alone. 

Interview: Laura Marling (Pt 1)

Laura Marling “What these moments led me to consider, between the bastardisation of the manifestation of a day dream of the brain of an architect, and the simple bliss of hearing the scratch and turn of the long antiquated yet once more desirable record, it occurred to me that mediums change, and are often too long dictated and stunted by their history.”   Laura Marling is thinking, talking out loud about how things change, how the formats of recorded music mutate and, sometimes, return to the point of origin.

Book: 101 Essential Rock Records – the Golden Age of Vinyl

101 Essential Rock Records – the Golden Age of Vinyl from The Beatles to the Sex Pistols By Jeff Gold (Gingko Press, 240pp, £34.50 (hbk)   101 Essential Rock Records  The ongoing debate about the monetary value of music notwithstanding, there seems little doubt that its cultural currency is still held in high regard.

Interview: Depeche Mode

Depeche Mode  There are survivors and there are survivors. Travelling along the same time path and flightplan as U2, electro-pop pioneers Depeche Mode have come through the actual ravages of 35 years as a group reasonably intact.   A little history might be useful: skipping out of Basildon, Essex, in the late 70s as a quartet of working class, cherub-faced teenagers – their songcraft sculpted by synthesizers rather than guitars, influenced by pop rather than post-punk – their first hits were bright synth-pop tunes, penned by original member Vince Clarke.