Not only is Trevor Horn one of the singers and songwriters behind the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star," but he is also known for his work with Yes, and the iconic records he produced, including work by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, ABC, Seal, Belle & Sebastian, John Legend, and way too many others to mention. Trevor Horn is also a student! We spoke as he was just wrapping up in Berklee Online’s R&B Bass course.
If the name Michael Melchiondo does not ring a bell, it’s because he is known professionally by his stage name of Dean Ween, one half of the band Ween, who for nearly 30 years—along with Gene Ween (whose real name is Aaron Freeman)—have been releasing into the world a very unique style of music. Deaner (as he is also known) is currently touring with the Dean Ween Group—which features all of the touring members of Ween, minus Gener—and the Dean Ween Group have an album called Rock2, coming out in March.
The full lineup of Ween has also recently announced their first show of the summer at Red Rocks in Colorado on June 5th.
Melchiondo and Freeman met in 1984, adopting the Ween surname in their early teenage years, but for Melchiondo, his love for music began with his father.
The War on Drugs are up for the Best Rock Album Grammy for their 2017 effort, A Deeper Understanding. In this edition of the Music Is My Life podcast Charlie Hall, the drummer for The War on Drugs sizes up the Grammy competition—Mastodon, Nothing More, Metallica, and Queens of the Stone Age—and says of the other artists in the category, "It's a very different vibe. I'm glad we're recognized as a rock band, to be honest."
"Much respect, especially to John Theodore," Hall says, singling out the Queens drummer.
Hall also discusses the value of working in the service industry, how having an encouraging teacher meant so much to him, and the evolving ethos of The War on Drugs and Kurt Vile, in addition to his side unique men's choir project, the Silver Ages (see below), which also features members of Dr. Dog, mewithoutyou, Teen Men, The Spinto Band, Windsor For The Derby, Nightlands, and other Philly bands.
Mike Henderson (also known as ENDO) is a DJ who has pioneered harmonic mixing, developed the DJ-friendly apps AGNT and MIDI Monsters, worked in tour management for other DJs such as Dubfire and Felix Da Housecat, and developed Berklee Online's first DJ course, Learn to DJ with Traktor. On this edition of Music Is My Life, he discusses his beginnings as a drummer, his 22-hour days, and why he won't even drink coffee before a DJ set.
Stephen Davis has written nearly 20 books about music, including the legendary Led Zeppelin book, "Hammer of the Gods" and the brand new "Gold Dust Woman: The Biography of Stevie Nicks." He shares his personal memories of Bob Marley, Michael Jackson, and more.
Jen Cloher has been releasing music to critical acclaim in Australia for more than a decade, but is only now receiving the international attention she deserves, thanks to her support slot on the Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile Lotta Sea Lice tour. She is Courtney Barnett's partner in life as well as her partner in business, having co-founded the Milk! Records label. Cloher is also the founder of I Manage My Music, an organization dedicated to helping independent musicians.
Josh Kantor has been playing the organ at Fenway Park in Boston since 2003, and he hasn't missed a single home game. In this edition of Music Is My Life, Kantor discusses his musical upbringing and how improv comedy helped prime him to play for baseball fans, as well as his recent revelation that the best quality to have as a professional musician is to be a good person.
After 40 years in the music business, as one of the leaders of the B-52's, Cindy Wilson is finally releasing her solo debut! Change, on the Kill Rock Stars label marks a drastic, er, um, change for Wilson, as she trades in her "Tiiiin roof! RUS-TED!" exuberance of the B-52's for a breathier, dreamier, more psychedelic feel. She discusses how important parties have been to her musical expression, and how her latest solo work with Ryan Monahan has been a truly educational experience for her.
Lisa Roth wanted to be a ballerina. When that didn't work out for her, she studied nutrition. Then she was hired by a record label called the CMH Label Group, to be their nutritionist. That was when she came up with an idea to produce lullaby renditions of popular songs by rock, pop, and hip-hop acts. Now she's the vice president and creative director of the CMH Label Group and brand manager and executive producer of Rockabye Baby. The label is putting out "Lullabye Renditions of Justin Timberlake" on August 18th. Oh, and we almost forgot to mention, Lisa's brother is David Lee Roth of Van Halen.
Dr. Suzanne Hanser discusses her illustrious career in music therapy, and how her profession brought her back to Boston to teach at Berklee College of Music. She originally lived in Boston when she was a freshman Boston University, at the age of 15! She also discusses an emotional 180 regarding, "You Are My Sunshine."
Sam Amidon has been playing music as a career for most of his life. He takes us from his days of performing with his parents to a trio called Popcorn Behavior to his recent solo work, reimagining folk music. His latest, a collaboration with Shahzad Ismaily, Milford Graves, and Sam Gendel is “The Following Mountain,” on the Nonesuch label.
Jazz legend Gary Burton discusses his life in music, just as he is about to walk away from it. But what a full musical life it has been: 66 albums under his name, 7 Grammy awards, and many meaningful friendships. He discusses all of this as well as some rough times playing with Stan Getz, receiving a death threat from Miles Davis, and his career-long affiliation with Berklee College of Music. His farewell tour—featuring Makoto Ozone—begins in March.
In this podcast from Berklee Online, Nathan East shares his story. If you haven't heard the name Nathan East before, you have definitely heard his bass. He has played on upwards of 10,000 songs, many of them hits, by artists such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Beyoncé, Lionel Richie, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Bob Dylan, and thousands more! His new solo album, "Reverence" is out now!
In PT II of this podcast from Berklee Online, Prince Charles Alexander shares how he walked away from fame (but not fortune) and how Nile Rodgers helped set him on a path that would have him working hand-in-hand with Diddy, engineering iconic albums from Notorious B.I.G., Mary J Blige, and more. We also learn what led him to teach Vocal Production, Critical Listening 1, and Music Production Analysis for Berklee Online!
Prince Charles Alexander began banging on tupperware with chopsticks at the age of two, which would eventually lead him to performing for audiences of 30,000 screaming fans. In the third episode of this podcast from Berklee Online, Prince Charles shares how he came to fame that he walked away from and how Nile Rodgers helped him reinvent himself. He would later go on to become one of the top recording engineers for Bad Boy Records, and go on to teach Vocal Production, Critical Listening 1, and Music Production Analysis for Berklee Online, but you'll have to wait for PT II for his take on that!
Sarah Neufeld began playing violin at the age of three, and considers herself “half-classically trained.” In the second episode of this podcast from Berklee Online, she shares how she came to be a member of Arcade Fire, and how she and her husband Colin Stetson approach collaborating with one another.
On the first episode of this podcast from Berklee Online, Glenn Kotche, the man you know best as the drummer for Wilco, shares everything that happened in between the very first drum he destroyed—at the age of three—to his experimental solo work and how he got behind the kit, playing with Jeff Tweedy.