fri 22/06/2018

New Music Interviews

theartsdesk Q&A: Eels' frontman Mr E

russ Coffey

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10 Questions for Zara McFarlane

Matthew Wright

Zara McFarlane’s rise to jazz eminence has taken the scenic route, especially in these days of the super-educated jazz prodigy. From a Jamaican home where reggae was always in the air, via a love of musical theatre, and a degree in pop performance, McFarlane studied jazz and improvisation at the Guildhall. With the support of Gilles Peterson, who signed her to his Brownswood label, she released a debut album, Until Tomorrow, in 2011.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Singer Belinda Carlisle

thomas H Green

Belinda Carlisle (b. 1958) grew up in Los Angeles, one of seven siblings. In her late teens she was lured into California’s nascent punk scene, becoming briefly involved with one of its premier bands, The Germs. She went on to form The Go-Go’s with singer-songwriter Jane Wiedlin (and eventually a long-term line-up consisting of Charlotte Caffey, Gina Schock and Kathy Valentine, the last leaving last year in acrimonious circumstances).

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theartsdesk Q&A: Saxophonist Julian Siegel

Matthew Wright

Julian Siegel’s urbane, generically layered voice has, as both reeds player and composer, forged a unique and revered position in the jazz world. He leads a quartet of pioneering drive and technique, featuring pianist Liam Noble, bass player Oli Hayhurst and drummer Gene Calderazzo. Their 2011 album Urban Theme Park was widely praised for its improvising ambition, diverse sound worlds and smouldering virtuosity.

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10 Questions for Fringe Magnetic's Rory Simmons

Matthew Wright

Trumpeter and composer Rory Simmons is one of the most innovative and diversely talented musicians on the contemporary jazz scene, genre-hopping with startling agility across its many cutting edges. Fringe Magnetic, Simmons’ acclaimed 11-piece band, has been blending the compositional rigour of classical music with the freer playing style of jazz for nearly five years now.

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10 Questions for Drive-By Truckers' Mike Cooley

Lisa-Marie Ferla

For almost 20 years, Drive-By Truckers have been one of Americana's most consistent and enduring voices  – and, since 2001’s breakthrough double album Southern Rock Opera, probably the quintessential southern roots rockers too. Formed in Athens, Georgia in 1996 by Alabama natives Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, the five piece specialises in catchy melodies with more than a hint of the southern gothic, vivid characters and wickedly witty lyrics.

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theartsdesk Q&A: DJ Kerri Chandler

joe Muggs

Kerri Chandler is quite simply one of the most revered figures in dance music, as much now as when he emerged from the New Jersey club scene onto the international stage nigh on a quarter of a century ago. True to the spirit of the disco, he has only ever released three albums in that time, but has made over 100 12” singles, and maybe twice that number of remixes of other people's work, as well as untold performances as one of the most consistently popular DJs in house music.

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Simple Minds and Ultravox, NIA, Birmingham

Guy Oddy

Age can do interesting things to musicians who have once been regular fixtures in the media and who reappear in the public consciousness some years later. Time, it has to be said, has been kind to the two remaining members of Simple Minds’ original line-up. The band’s guitarist, Charlie Burchill, may look like Stan Smith, the star of the cartoon American Dad but he looks good with it. Jim Kerr also seems to be ageing gracefully.

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Tenacious D, second best spoof rock band

Jasper Rees

“There is a misconception that we have called ourselves the greatest band on earth.” Jack Black, the self-styled “lead singer” of Tenacious D, is all for dispelling a persistent rumour about a band which has, if he’s honest, done practically nothing to make him a famous name in Hollywood. “People have marketed us that way,” he explains. “You won’t find it anywhere in the albums. You won’t find it in any of our songs.”

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10 Questions for Cellist Oliver Coates

joe Muggs

Oliver Coates is the very model of a modern musical generalist – able to jump, or ignore, the boundaries between musical categories yet retaining deep understanding of the nuances of each category or genre. He has feet firmly in both the concert hall and the artier side of the electronica world, and has collaborated broadly over recent years – though is only now emerging as a solo artist.

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