Interviews

Interview

DEATH VALLEY GIRLS: HOLD HANDS WITH AN ALIEN

June 30th, 2016

(Before you read this interview, listen to Iggy Pop’s The Idiot—I’m not kidding! Do it!) Death Valley Girls are the resilient few who believed in rock ‘n’ roll in a way reminiscent of New York’s 70s punk scene and Patti Smith, Television, Dead Boys and Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers. (Who were all and still are my music heroes.) Their new full-length Glow In The Dark is available now from Burger and Death Valley Girls' record release show is June 30 at the Echo. This interview by Jacquelinne Cingolani with Kristina Benson.

Interview

MARTHA DAVIS: NOT TIED TO THE EARTH

May 20th, 2016

Martha Davis—the original ‘it girl’ of the New Wave—has been at this for 40 years. She’s still single-tracking her vocals, and writing music that can cut you. To hear her voice over the phone brings chills: L.A.’s ultimate femme fatale, one of the most gorgeous and enigmatic lead singers of all time, is talking to you. The girl who wrote “Total Control” and “Only the Lonely” is there, just a whisper away across a landline. In 1979 as L.A. punk was breaking, her band the Motels famously held court at Madame Wong’s and then shot to stardom. It only took them eight years on the Sunset Strip. The Motels perform Fri., May 20, at the Canyon Club and Sat., May 21, at the Yost Theater. This interview by Marion Belle.

Interview

HOLY GRAIL: METAL WILL ALWAYS BE THERE

May 11th, 2016

Pasadena’s Holy Grail wear their influences like a raggedy old back patch, deploying vocals as sharp and bright as polished steel and solos that sound like miniature symphonies in support of an uber-metal spectacle that owes its deepest debt to the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. But these dudes care at least as much about preserving metal’s hallowed past and they do about pushing their music forward: their long-anticipated new album Times of Pride and Peril shows a band balancing the sheer tonnage of their riffs with a focus on songcraft, and casting off a lot of baggage in the process. They perform on Mon., May 16, at the Regent. This interview by Chris Kissel.

Interview

SAMIYAM: KANGAROOS TRYING TO FIGHT ME

May 6th, 2016

After releasing his first two projects via Brainfeeder, Samiyam collaborated on a cassette with Leaving Records before moving on to the house that Madlib built. His Stones Throw debut Animals Have Feelings is yet another mostly instrumental experience, feeding his cult audience’s appetite for chunky skewed beats but adding a handful of curated MCs. Samiyam speaks now on his creative process, his experience being in the creative community of Los Angeles and just what role animals play in his day to day life. This interview by Le’Shawn Taylor and sweeney kovar.

Interview

VUM: EVERYTHING IS IN FLUX

April 28th, 2016

At 9:30 in the morning the hills around Topanga Canyon sparkle, and on the crest of one of those hills sits the cozy little house where Jennifer Pearl and Christopher Badger live and create their music. This is where Pearl and Badger wrote and recorded VUM’s latest Cryptocrystalline, a minimal yet lush set of electronic rock that’s a breakthrough in terms of both sound and vision. Together with drummer Scott Spaulding, they work to combine slinky metallic guitar riffs, vintage electronic sounds and slowly unfolding melodies—sometimes wistful, often menacing. We talked about the band’s grown-up sounds and grown-up priorities in their living room while a Pharaoh Sanders album played on the turntable. Cryptocrystalline is out now digitally and comes out on vinyl on May 3. Portions of the proceeds will benefit the Malala Fund. This interview by Chris Kissel.

Interview

COURTNEY BARNETT: WE’RE IN IT TOGETHER

April 14th, 2016

Courtney Barnett has been called the voice of her generation and Australia’s answer to Bob Dylan—and she was nominated for a Grammy, too—but there’s just no possible way to imagine any of that going to her head. Her debut studio album Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit is out now on Milk Records and she performs at the Glass House tonight, April 14, and at Coachella this weekend. This interview by Kristina Benson.