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.