All posts filed under: Popdose Interviews

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Noelle Johnson’s ‘Beautiful Soul’ Tackles Healthy Body Image Issues, Beautifully

As part of an ongoing series, POPDOSE explores the positive portrayal of women in pop culture. Last year, we discussed how British teen pop star Cher Lloyd was strangely repackaged for US audiences. The hot topic also came up in our conversations with Gabriella Cilmi, Crystal Bowersox, Brittany McDonald and Orianthi among others. Joining the conversation is Noelle Johnson, a singer/songwriter from Sequim, Washington on the breathtaking Olympic Peninsula. Not only is her single ‘Beautiful Soul’ a timely and positive message, it’s also one of the best songs we’ve heard this year. I personally keep it on near constant iPod rotation. This is a song to be shared with all of the women and girls in your life — not to mention anyone who is into Mumford & Sons, Of Monsters and Men and the Lumineers. We absolutely love the video for “Beautiful Soul.” Was it inspired by your own journey, your friends, the media or a little bit of everything? NOELLE JOHNSON: First of all thank you so much for a chance to chat with …

Jim Horn

Legendary Session Man Jim Horn On Working With John Denver And Getting Inside The “Genius” Of Brian Wilson

At 72 years of age, there’s not much that Jim Horn hasn’t done. While his name might not be immediately familiar, you’ve definitely heard a lot of his work over the years. The session vet got his start playing sax and flute as a key member of Duane Eddy’s band in the late ‘50s (in fact, Eddy once turned down an appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, because they didn’t allow saxophones – which they called the “instrument of the devil”). His work with Eddy was merely the starting point of his professional career. From there, he would become one of the most in-demand session players (and a member of the well-known “Wrecking Crew”) during the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s.  He got the chance to work with all four Beatles. What else needs to be said? Okay fine, here’s more: You’ll find his work on songs like “Good Vibrations,” “God Only Knows by the Beach Boys, “Running on Empty” by Jackson Browne, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin” by the Righteous Brothers, music for the movie …

Rick Springfield

Chasing Good Songs: Rick Springfield On His New Music & The 30th Anniversary Of “Living In Oz”

If Armageddon is indeed lurking anywhere around the corner, at least there will be a soundtrack thanks to Rick Springfield’s newest album Songs For The End Of The World. Better still, Songs is a quality listen for your final trip into the great beyond, the latest in a string of solid albums that Springfield has put out in the past decade. At a time when many of Springfield’s peers are slowing down and either putting out no new music or recording sporadically, the Australian-born rocker keeps on charging ahead with seemingly limitless energy for a man who officially is 63 years young. Part of that is because Springfield wants to continue to make sure that people are aware that although he is well known for his successful acting career (and the related ‘80s teenage heartthrob status that came with that) and other side trips, it’s music that is always first and foremost in his heart. He’s still working to define how people view Rick Springfield, the artist. Even after selling more than 25 million albums …

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Sweeter in Her Story: The Ultimate Gabriella Cilmi Interview — Free MP3 Download

What would you say to one of your favorite musicians if you were given the chance to hang out for a while? For me, this would be Aussie singing sensation turned European pop star Gabriella Cilmi — for her, it would be Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin. Who fared better? Read on and judge for yourself. POPDOSE was given the opportunity to hang with Ms. Cilmi (pronounced “chill me”) via SKYPE from the recording studio where she’s putting the finishing touches on her third album. It was so refreshing to chat with an artist while she’s deep in the creative process — the results of which you can enjoy for free with a track giveaway below — instead of during the typical press junket. The absolutely charming Ms. Cilmi laughed throughout our 33 and 1/3 minutes together. Perhaps this was because of my sparkling wit and charm; more likely, she’s like this all the time. Then again, I bet her bandmates were miming to her though the studio glass. Even if you’re new to the …

Kevin Eubanks - photo credit: Raj Naik

The Popdose Interview: Kevin Eubanks

Kevin Eubanks is a guy that you’re probably most familiar with because of his 15 year stint as the bandleader for Jay Leno and the Tonight Show and that’s okay. But there’s so much more to know about Kevin Eubanks as a complete artist. For one, he’s a big fan of Swedish heavy metal. We’ll be honest — we didn’t know that either. It’s just one of many things that came up in conversation as we were discussing The Messenger, which is the latest solo release from Eubanks, available in stores now. The Messenger  finds the guitarist branching out and as he says “I didn’t want to be as concerned with the ‘jazz sound’ as much, I wanted to let out a little bit more of what I’ve been musically exposed to. Joined by members of his quartet, the album also features a guest appearance from Alvin Chea of Take 6, something that was a personal thrill for Eubanks who has been a longtime fan of the group. But The Messenger also has a family …

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Crystal Bowersox On Idol, Dylan, Portlandia… All That, For This

Crystal Bowersox was compared to Janis Joplin the moment she first stepped onto the national stage, and yet, she was still a bit ahead of her time. While her rich, powerful voice, rootsy outfits and bare feet helped her sail to the American Idol finals, it would be years before those cheeky Brits Mumford & Sons brought Bowersox’s home-base Americana sound back to the top of the charts. Recently freed from the shackles of major labeldom, Bowersox’s timing is right on the money for the release of her second album, All That, For This (out March 26, 2013). Even though Crystal and I are both from Northern Ohio (near Toledo for her, outside Cleveland for me), we both lived in Chicago and frequented Uncommon Ground café (she sang, I drank) and we both survived Hollywood Week (OK, my run was six years), our paths have yet to cross. We recently connected by phone from our respective homes in the Pacific Northwest (Portland for her, Seattle for me). There’s a lyric on the title track of …

Belinda Carlisle

The Popdose Interview: Belinda Carlisle

For the whole of the 1980s, singer Belinda Carlisle was the symbol of success, first as the lead singer for the groundbreaking band The Go-Go’s, then as a hitmaking solo artist. Lately we hadn’t heard as much from Belinda as we used to. This has recently changed for a couple reasons. Universal Music is releasing a Belinda Carlisle solo retrospective as part of their Icon series, and Carlisle put out an unflinching memoir titled Lips Unsealed in 2010. The latter openly chronicled all areas of her life, including harrowing details of her difficult childhood, her rise from Dottie Danger and role as one-time drummer for the punk band Germs, her eventual ascension to pop’s heights and concurrent depths behind the scenes. Popdose had the opportunity to catch up with Carlisle to talk about the Icon disc, her solo years, and to speculate on what life would be like for the Go-Go’s had they started in the Aughts instead of the Eighties. She responded with grace and was humble about her influence which, in the power-pop genre, is …

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David Schelzel of the Ocean Blue: The Popdose Interview

Hershey, PA’s the Ocean Blue rose out of the 80’s and soundtracked much of my greater 1990’s. Over the course of five albums and some terrific EP’s, they bridged the gap between new wave and the next Brit Pop invasion (Blur, Pulp, Oasis) while providing a soothing antidote to Nevermind Ear (the medical condition resulting from playing Nirvana, Soundgarden, NIN and Smashing Pumpkins on heavy rotation). As the century turned, the band became less prolific, but their legacy just just grew stronger. On March 19th, 2013, the Ocean Blue returns with a new album, Ultramarine (four and 1/2 stars out of five). It is a true return to form for fans of their two biggest albums while providing a perfect entry point for fans of heartbreakingly gorgeous, shimmering guitar pop. Last Thursday, on the eve of their concert in Seattle (see below), POPDOSE caught up with frontman David Schelzel to discuss the new album, the upcoming tour and everything that’s changed since the band last released a full-length album in 1999. POPDOSE: On the Ultramarine track, …

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The Popdose Interview: Peter Beckett of Player

Remember the band Player? Sure you do…and even if you think you don’t, it’ll only take three words to remind you who they are: “Baby Come Back.” That’s not by any means to suggest that there’s no more to the band than their biggest hit, mind you: they released four albums during their original run during the late ’70s and early ’80s, and despite regular claims to the contrary by the misinformed, they actually had two – count ’em – TWO top-10 hits (the other being “This Time I’m In It For Love”), and although the band’s line-up has fluctuated over the years, Player continues to reform on occasion for live dates and, believe it or not, even has a new album: Too Many Reasons, released on Frontiers Records. Popdose was fortunate enough to chat with frontman Peter Beckett about the band’s reemergence, along with a deep discussion of his past musical endeavors, including stories about opening for Jimi Hendrix and The Who, co-writing an Olivia Newton-John classic, and more. Popdose: You and Ronn Moss …

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Drew Holcomb on Songwriting, Fatherhood, and the NBA

You’ve probably heard a Drew Holcomb song before. His music has been featured on an endless amount of television shows: Parenthood, Justified, Deadliest Catch, How I Met Your Mother, House, One Tree Hill — and those are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head, so it’s ironic when the words “I don’t watch a lot of TV” come out of his mouth in the opening line of “Rooftops” from his latest release, Good Light. Because if he merely watched the shows that have featured his music, he’d be watching plenty of television. It will be hard for Holcomb to top 2012. His wife and bandmate, Ellie, welcomed their first child Emmylou, who has been out promoting their new record. Although playing Bonnaroo in 2013 won’t hurt, and for the next week, Drew and his band are on The Rock Boat cruise with Sister Hazel, Brandi Carlile and others. Normally here at Popdose, we pick up the phone and have a conversation with artists. But my day job makes that impossible. …

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Orianthi Finds Heaven at the Gates of Hell: The Popdose Interview

Most people only know axe shredder Orianthi for the company she keeps: Carrie Underwood on the 2009 Grammys, Michael Jackson’s doomed This Is It tour and Alice Cooper’s current jaunt around the world. Still, a feverish fanbase shares one of the best worst-kept-secrets in popular music: the blonde bombshell from Australia has also headlined two the best rock records of the past decade: Violet Journey and Believe Vol. #1 and #2. The blistering guitar-powered trilogy concludes when her Dave Stewart-produced third album, Heaven in this Hell, drops March 12. Popdose caught up with Orianthi — Ms. Panagaris if you Wiki — to discuss her new album, the horrors of touring with Alice Cooper and a musical dalliance she once had with Prince and Sheila E. POPDOSE: Thanks for taking the time to talk to POPDOSE. Are you calling in from Australia? ORIANTHI: Oh no. I live in Los Angeles. Though I am leaving for Las Vegas tomorrow. I’m playing a TV special with Michael Bolton. It’s a Motown special that also stars Smokey Robinson and Kelly …

Camper Van Beethoven - Jason Thrasher

The Popdose Interview: David Lowery

Hearing the stories behind how the new Camper Van Beethoven album came together, we’re not surprised to find out that God is a CVB fan. And as you listen to La Costa Perdita, the new Camper album which landed in stores on January 22nd via the fine folks at 429 Records, it’s a safe bet that He has a permanent spot on the guest list whenever the band comes to town. David Lowery and the members of Camper Van Beethoven were set to play a show at the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur in June of 2011 when rain — an unusual visitor for that particular time of the season — forced the band to postpone. With the unexpected opening on their schedule, the band decided to seize the opportunity to launch into the writing process for what would become their first album of new Camper material since New Roman Times in 2004. The moments of collaboration were fruitful, birthing enough material for an album and then some. There’s a distinctive Northern California tint …

John Denver

Tour Preview: A Look Inside “John Denver: A Rocky Mountain High Concert”

It’s been more than 15 years now since singer/songwriter John Denver passed away tragically while flying his personal plane. Every year since Denver’s death, former members of his band have gathered in Aspen, Colorado to pay tribute to the music and memory of their beloved friend. This year, that legacy is being celebrated nationwide with a unique touring experience called John Denver: A Rocky Mountain High Concert which will feature for the first time, video footage of Denver performing his greatest hits and also some album track favorites as well, backed live by members of his original touring band, including legendary saxophonist/woodwinds player Jim Horn, keyboardist Chris Nole and bassist Alan Deremo. Rounding out the group of performers will be musical director Jim Salestrom (handling a variety of instruments) and drummer/percussionist Nate Barnes. The tour, which is being produced by Denver’s estate, began last week and will run throughout the month of February (including a stop in the Cleveland area at the Stocker Arts Center in Elyria, OH on February 14) with additional tour dates …

leagues

The Popdose Interview: Thad Cockrell of Leagues

When describing Leagues music, I make an unfair comparison: “It’s like Maroon 5 without the douchebaggery.” At first I thought it was a disservice to the band. But maybe not. When I repeated it to lead singer Thad Cockrell, he said, “Don’t give me too much credit, because I can be a complete douche.” (he’s joking, of course) Thad Cockrell has released an album with Caitlin Cary in addition to three solo records. Jeremy Lutito (drums) and Tyler Burkum (guitar) have played in and with a laundry list of well known artists. They’re all fine and talented musicians in there own right, but something worked when the three of them found the studio together. They opted to not use Pro Tools on this record and put it straight to tape. Upon hearing the record on vinyl (I bought my copy via PledgeMusic), it’s clear they made a wise decision. The harmonies, drums, guitars, bass; they all just jump out at you. You can’t help but pay attention to Leagues. We talked to lead singer Cockrell …

Lisa Loeb

The Popdose Interview: Lisa Loeb

With the renewed popularity of female-fronted alternative rock, New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert saw a window of opportunity to bring ‘90s alt-rocker Lisa Loeb, a noted influence for many of those same artists, back around to file a new chapter in her own discography of work. Gilbert, a longtime fan of Loeb’s music, knew exactly the kind of album that fellow fans would want to hear from Lisa and he also knew that fans had been waiting for quite a while. Loeb had been wrapped up in a variety of projects which had carried her away from making the “adult” music that brought her name recognition, starting in 1994 with “Stay,” the  #1 Grammy-nominated hit which served as her musical moment of introduction to the outside world. Having developed a healthy career of his own outside of New Found Glory as a producer, Gilbert had the right resume and experience to tackle the job and he was bold in his approach. He emailed Loeb to say “I know you do these kids books, but …