Bruce Hornsby, legendary pianist, singer, and songwriter, discusses his humble beginnings in a Grateful Dead cover band and his graduation to a Doobie Brothers acolyte to his mega breakthrough with “The Way It Is” to his time as an actual member of the Grateful Dead and his resurgence, resonating first with hip-hop artists like 2Pac, and more recently with younger indie rock artists like Bon Iver and Vampire Weekend. His latest album is “Flicted.”
Cindy Blackman Santana discusses her journey as a drummer, from the NYC jazz scene, to Lenny Kravitz’s band, to performing with her husband, Carlos Santana.
Kira Roessler played bass in Black Flag for two years, during which time the legendary hardcore band put out seven(!) records. Now, at the age of 60, she's an Emmy- and Oscar-winning dialogue editor and promoting her self-titled solo debut. In this interview she discusses her new album, being in a band with Henry Rollins and Greg Ginn, as well as being in a band (and a marriage) with Mike Watt.
Arooj Aftab began getting notice with a viral cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” more than 15 years ago, but with two Grammy nominations, she has finally arrived (and quit her day job at Genius.com). Her 2021 “Vulture Prince” album is a stunning work that frequently reaches transcendence. In this wide ranging interview, she discusses playing White Stripes covers, how she composed some of her most poignant music, and taking classes with Berklee Online.
Bruce Sudano has written songs that have been sung by Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton, and his late wife, Donna Summer. He discusses coming up in Brooklyn and being taken under the wing of Tommy James, and meeting Donna Summer, writing "Bad Girls" and appearing on the album cover as a police officer. He also plays a stripped down version of that song, and talks about how he has been able to pave a solo career for himself in recent years.
José González discusses his life in music, beginning with his tenure as a bassist in a hardcore band, through his time with Junip, and up to his latest release, "Local Valley." He also shares his views on secular humanism and how he was able to be more productive with lyric writing.
Colin Blunstone began his career in music as a teenager with the Zombies. After a run of successful singles in the 1960s the group broke up, but not before releasing their masterpiece, “Odessey and Oracle,” featuring the mega-hit “Time of the Season.” A Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Colin and Rod Argent reformed the Zombies at the turn of the century and have been playing together for about four times as long as the band’s original run.
Don Letts provides an important lesson in the fact that even if you don’t play an instrument, you can still be a part of the music industry, and not just on the business side either. He got his start as a DJ, and is widely credited for introducing reggae into the burgeoning punk rock scene in London in the 1970s, but he doesn’t want all of that credit.
You know Butch Vig as the drummer and producer of Garbage, or you know him as the producer of genre-defining albums from Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins, but there is more to him than that. He has been working with most of the people he makes music with for more than 30 years. The new Garbage album, No Gods No Masters, is out now.
If you’ve heard any reggae music in your entire life then you’ve heard Sly Dunbar’s drumming, or at the very least, his influence. As one half of Sly and Robbie, he says he’s probably played on a million songs. Sly and Robbie got their start as the rhythm section for Peter Tosh in 1976, and after touring with him for a number of years started Taxi, where they would produce other artists and/or act as their rhythm section. Collaborators included the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Black Uhuru, Madonna, Grace Jones, Sinead O’Connor, Serge Gainsbourg, No Doubt, Britney Spears, and probably a million more.
Anna Bulbrook began studying violin at 4. She quit at 21, but a gig with Kanye West changed that. She helped found the Airborne Toxic Event the next week.
Hailu Mergia is a master accordionist and veteran bandleader, arranger, and keyboardist, originally from Ethiopia. He became famous in his homeland in the 1970s, playing with the Walias Band and the Dahlak Band. In the 1980s he defected to the US and did not play in public for decades. But all of that changed recently!
Margo Nahas and Jay Vigon are partners in life, love, and business, and have designed classic album covers by iconic acts like Prince, Van Halen, Fleetwood Mac, and Stevie Wonder.
Kamilah Marshall is a seasoned Broadway performer whose credits include Rent, Lion King, and Hairspray. From there, she toured with Bette Midler, Matthew Morrison from Glee, and is currently a backup singer for Taylor Swift.
Huey Lewis discusses his meteoric rise to fame in the 1980s, his struggles with Ménière’s disease, and everything in between (clothes shopping with Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy, soccer with Ozzy, etc.) in this wide ranging interview.
Steven Wilson has been a part of more than a dozen musical projects and/or bands, most notably Porcupine Tree. After 10 studio albums, they broke up in 2009. Wilson released his sixth solo album, The Future Bites, earlier this year, and he still involves himself in collaborative endeavors, including a podcast called The Album Years, which he co-hosts with Tim Bowness, who was one of Wilson’s first formative musical collaborators, beginning in the 1980s with the band No Man.
Lady A (the Seattle-based singer) discusses her life in music, and her ongoing legal battle with Lady A (the Nashville-based trio who formerly called themselves Lady Antebellum).
Kate Stables of This is the Kit discusses her new album, Off Off On, having fun with words, touring with the National, and turning her daughter on to Lizzo.
AJR are three brothers—Adam, Jack, and Ryan Metzger—who began their music career on New York City streets, where they busked daily for hours at a time. The two brothers who take part in this interview—Ryan and Jack—say that years of trying to get people’s attention off the streets was formative to their work ethic and the constant need to one-up themselves in songwriting and their live show, including their upcoming virtual concert, dubbed One Spectacular Night.
Gavin Rossdale had tracked all of the songs on what would become Bush’s multiplatinum debut, but he was still painting dentist’s offices. In this wide-ranging interview, he talks sudden (and enduring) success, his favorite Gwen Stefani tunes, and more.
Lee "Scratch" Perry on working with Bob Marley, inventing dub, and a lifetime of being "the Upsetter."
Ian Parton and Ninja of the Go! Team talk about how to turn a solo kitchen recording project into an energetic live ensemble that stays together for nearly 20 years.
Joe Wong talks to Pat Healy on hosting The Trap Set podcast, creating his solo debut, "Nite Creatures," and scoring for shows like Russian Doll and Master of None. Visit musicismylifepod.com and save $100 on a Berklee Online course.
Molly Tuttle’s brand new … but i’d rather be with you is a collection of seemingly disparate cover songs—running the gamut from Rancid to the Grateful Dead—that got the singer through tough times in her life. She recorded the album as a coronavirus lockdown project because everybody else is currently going through tough times of their own. She talks in detail about her upbringing, her punk rock roots, and her bluegrass background, as well as her time at Berklee, playing with the Goodbye Girls.
Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz on the eve of releasing Haunted Painting, her second album under the SAD13 moniker, discusses her life in music, words, and math. Math? Yes, math!