Category Archives: music interview

An interview with Sasquatch is just some of the great content in the winter issue.

An excerpt from our interview with Larry and His Flask


Our Winter 2014 issue is now available for sale on our Current Issue page. Here is a little taste of what’s inside the issue – an excerpt of our interview with Ian Cook (guitar, vocals) of Larry and His Flask.

It’s an impressive list of artists you’ve played with. What have you learned from playing with Wanda Jackson and other artists?

It’s an eye-opening experience. It taught us about getting our stuff together. At first, we were kind of all over the place and we didn’t know what we were doing. We learned a lot from acts that have become a production. It’s an organized situation for shows. You have to get everything together. It was an eye-opener for us to see how some bands run their show. It’s an interesting aspect. Some people don’t realize how much there is behind the scenes at every show and how many people worked to make it happen. A lot of times, it’s a well-oiled machine. Playing a show with a legend like Wanda Jackson keeps you doing it.

What’s the best advice you can give to bands about being on the road?

We’ve been doing this for a while. We went on our first tour as Larry and His Flask 10 years ago. After doing it for a while, I think the key is maintaining your sanity and not burning yourself out. It happens. We did that for years and years. We still tour a lot, but lately we’ve been making sure we have one day off every week. It’s easy to lose sight of why you do this in the first place. Doing things to maintain your sanity and morale within the band is a really important thing while you’re on tour.
The flip side of that is if you don’t know where to start, just get on the road and go. It’s kind of contradictory to what I just said, but you really have to hit it hard until it picks up a little momentum.

Keep it simple: an interview with CUSSES

Help the band fund its second album

Help the band fund its second album

CUSSES is a three-piece indie rock band from Savannah, Georgia. In this edition of our weekly interview, Angel Bond discusses the band’s lack of a bassist, keeping entertained in the tour van, and why you should contribute to the band’s Kickstarter campaign.

Describe CUSSES for someone who has never heard the band.

A modern throw back to yesteryear rock n roll!

Why does CUSSES not have a bassist?

We like to overcome challenges for a unique sound and keep it simple.

What’s your favorite way to entertain yourselves in the tour van?

Listening to our merch girl’s OK Cupid messages and comedians on satellite radio.

Why should I donate to your Kickstarter campaign?

You should donate to our Kickstarter campaign because we’ve only just begun. You will be supporting a DIY band and a handful of great local artists that are involved in this project! We have a lot of music on hold that we are dying to share with you! Support CUSSES, and support the creative community that is here to keep us all inspired!

What would you be doing if you weren’t making music?

We would be in nut house! But seriously we would always find a way to play even if it was in our attic by ourselves. We would be building houses, sets for film, taking pictures, anything in the art world.

A healthy dose of harmonies: an interview with Saucy Monky

Saucy Monky is an indie rock band from Los Angeles. Annmarie Cullen (vocals, guitar) and Cynthia Catania (vocals, guitar) discuss the origins of the band, which one is most likely to end up in jail, and what they’ve learned from opening for artists like P!nk and Wilco.

photo of Saucy Monky by Trevor Gale

photo of Saucy Monky by Trevor Gale

Describe Saucy Monky for someone who has never heard the band.

Annmarie: A splash of the band Garbage and Alanis Morissette, a pinch of Aimee Mann with a healthy dose of harmonies.

Tell us about how you met and decided to start writing music together.

Cynthia: Our actual meeting was at a pub called St. Nick’s on Third St in LA. Annmarie reeled me in to help her promote a Sunday night musician’s jam, at her residency club in Santa Monica (O’Brien’s). It was there, at O’brien’s, when we started singing together, learning each others’ solo material, playing those songs with our friends. The joy of those get-togethers became the early beginnings of Saucy Monky. Once we started to write together, we knew we had something special. That chemistry trumped our solo careers.

Who is most likely to end up in jail? For what?

Annmarie: Cynthia. She has a problem with authority. She got pulled over for not having her headlights turned on once, and let’s just say that the back and forth between her and the officer almost had me preparing a call to the bail bonds man.  (laughs)

What have you learned from sharing the stage with artists like Pink and Wilco?

Annmarie: It’s inspiring. We were the opening act and we just aspire to have the recognition where THAT many people come out to see us. We also have learned that those artists have a way bigger entourage than Saucy Monky. We showed up lugging our own gear and driving our own van. Oh well.

What would you be doing if you weren’t making music?

Annmarie: Either video editing or accounting. I’m not sure. I have a degree in Economics but I really enjoy editing.

Cynthia: I’d love to direct films. Filmmaking to me is the ultimate marriage of art forms.

Saucy Monky’s albums Trophy Girl (Part 1) and Trophy Girl (Part 2) are available on iTunes.

Steeping in punk rock: an interview with Don Juan y Los Blancos

Don Juan y Los Blancos: an R&B/garage/rock n' roll monster

Don Juan y Los Blancos: an R&B/garage/rock n’ roll monster

Before I get to this interview, let me explain how I encountered Becky Blanca. I had posted my interview with Rachel Nagy of Detroit Cobras on Examiner and I received a message from Nicole of Zero Zero and The Love Me Nots that my next interview should be with Becky Blanca. Well, when I get a recommendation from someone whose music I dig, I take that recommendation to heart. After exchanging some messages with Blanca, I came to find out that she too is a Lebowski achiever and is well-versed in taking it easy. Now that you know the story of how I came to know her, Becky is a vocalist for Los Angeles band Don Juan y Los Blancos. She discussed the band’s sound, performing on Good Day L.A., and what album she’d like to perform live.

Describe Don Juan y Los Blancos for someone who has never heard the band.

I always have a hard time describing it, but if I had to I’d say it’s an R&B/garage/rock n’ roll monster that has been steeping in punk rock for an eternity.

What was your reaction when you heard you would be on Good Day LA? Describe your experience on the show.

We were way excited! Mar Yvette is a real cool lady with her ear to the ground. I was super nervous and tried drinking whiskey at 9 am, but it didn’t really work out. Steve Edwards won my heart that day.

With what band would you most like to be a guest vocalist? Why?

I would love to be a guest vocalist for any of my friends. I don’t think most of my music pals realize how much I listen to and adore their music. That should be my next party, have all my favorite friends’ bands play, except for their singers. Or harmonize with their singers, whatever.

If you were going to perform any album other than your own at a show, what album would it be? Why?

Blank Generation by Richard Hell & The Voidoids. Man, that album has everything. “Liars Beware”, “Betrayal Takes Two”….yeah. Oooh! Or Tom Waits’ Rain Dogs. I’d have to change all the keys, though.

What would you be doing if you weren’t making music?

Eh, I work a steady 9-5 at a sandwich shop. That’s probably what I’d be doing.

I can’t live without it: an interview with Rafael Buga of Abraskadabra

Abraskadabra is a Brazilian punk-ska band that we once featured on a Ska Saturday. Rafael Buga (guitar, vocals) discusses the album that made him want to play ska, Abraskadabra’s current projects, and what he’d be doing if he weren’t making music.
What bands or albums inspired you to start playing ska?

Man, I think it was first time I heard Life On A Plate from Millencolin, I dare to say this is the album I listened to most in my life – a big part of my skateboard life. Besides that, seeing Abraskadabra playing, before I got in the band, was what really made me want to play in a ska band and have fun with my bro’s.

What is essential to every Abraskadabra song?

Friendship, that’s the most important thing. First of all we are such good friends and we love what we do together. Then musically I think it’s the pair of vocals, the horn’s melody, and maybe our Brazilian energy.

What is Abraskadabra currently working on?

Now we’re focused on the tour of our first full-length album, called Grandma Nancy’s Old School Garden. In support of the album, we will be playing in a lot of Brazilian cities from now on. Then we have plans to tour U.S. and Canada and release our second video from the album. Our first was “Sing ’til The End”. And we just signed with a Brazilian label called Undermusic Records, home of Asado , Forus, and some great Brazilian bands: End Of Pipe, Running Like Lions. That’s a lot of stuff we’re working on. A lot of songs are just being composed for the second album we plan to release toward the end of the year or 2014.

If a flood wipes out your music collection, what are the first five albums you would replace? Why?

The first 3 albums of Green Day, Suffer from Bad Religion and Smash from Offspring. This albums got me into punk rock and made me what I am today. I have a lot of good memories hearing those albums.

What would you be doing if you weren’t making music?

Probably I would be working on stuff I don’t like and being a bitter and serious person (laughs). I don’t know. For sure I would be making another kind of art. My mother is a painter. I can’t live without it.

Mongrel runs on Dunkin: an interview



This hard rock band runs on Dunkin'

This hard rock band runs on Dunkin’

Mongrel is a hard rock band from Boston. Guitarist Adam Savage discusses the band’s sound, the artists whose music is not allowed in the tour van, and what keeps him going.

Describe Mongrel for someone who has never heard the band.

Mongrel is an aggressive rock band with punk and metal influences and a badass female singer who can truly hold her own on both the melodic and aggressive fronts. Think Guns N’ Roses, Motorhead, Misfits, old Metallica, Danzig, etc. but with a female singer that invokes Janis Joplin, Wendy O. Williams, and Otep.

What is it about Massachusetts that it produces so many hard-rocking bands?

Not sure really, I was a transplant to the area a while back (originally from upstate New York)…but I would guess that it builds upon the success stories such as Aerosmith, Tree, Shadowsfall, etc. over the years.

What is one artist or band you absolutely would not allow in the tour van? What would be the punishment for bringing that artist aboard?

Hmm…Creed. As much as I love Slash…anything with Myles Kennedy. Scandanavian death metal flute-core? The obvious and natural consequence would be sitting on the roof rack listening to your own CDs/iPod of said offending music.

What is the perfect beverage for listening to Mongrel? Why?

Iced coffee because that’s what keeps me functioning day in and day out! Mongrel runs on Dunkin!

What would you be doing if you weren’t making music?

I probably wouldn’t be doing this interview in that case (laughs). I’d be trying to find a job where i’m helping to let people be themselves and be more independent. I’d probably still be involved in the scene anyway whether as a club booker or as a publicist.

Check out Mongrel on ReverbNation.

Like a shaman on acid: an interview with Lightnin’ Woodcock

This is the part where I’m supposed to introduce Lightnin’ Woodcock. But you know something? This guy doesn’t really need an introduction. Besides, the man himself breaks it down a lot better than I ever could. Enjoy.

$atan's Work is Never Done (vol. 1) is available now

$atan’s Work is Never Done (vol. 1) is available now

How do you describe your music for someone who has never heard it?

It’s not the same old white bullshit. It’s bluesy, but it’s heavy, filthy rock’n’roll leaning toward metal and punk rock. It’s honest, personal and sexually explicit. Lightnin’ is like a fuckin’ shaman on acid when I play the goddamn geetar; sometimes I use my mouth on it like licking a creamy box. Unlike most motherfuckers I see out there, Lightnin’ is committed to giving an energetic performance each time I get onstage. I can even play Jimi Hendrix songs with an oven mitt on my hand, as per the agreement Lightnin’ made with dark forces at the crossroads.

Compare your new album to previous recordings you’ve done.

$atan’s Work is Never Done (Vol I) is a better representation of how Lightnin’ Woodcock & the Bad Muthafukkaz sound live. The range of musical styles on this album has broadened from the last two records, from the acid-rock-a-billy sound of “Help Me Jesus” to the boogie rock styling of “Voodoo Queen” and “Brains & Personality”. We went heavier with the stoner-psychedelic metal love song “Masterpiece” and got a little softer on songs like “Bad Man” and “(I’m Your) Smoochie Coochie Man”. I think the overall sound and production improved on this LP and the performances from all the players sound better.

If you were going to perform any album other than your own at a show, what album would you choose? Why?

Either Standing on the Verge of Getting It On or maybe Let’s Take it to the Stage by Funkadelic. Every song on those albums is a masterpiece, some of the best rock music Lightnin’ has ever heard, and it would be very satisfying to play that shit live with a skilled band. Otherwise, Lightnin’ would perform the first 5 Black Sabbath records all in a row; it would be an endurance test, like the devil’s Passion Play.

Who would be on your musical Mt. Rushmore? Why?

Lightnin’ would honor these musical forefathers as revolutionary bluesmen: Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, George Clinton, Captain Beefheart and Angus Young. They all propelled the blues into the future and created genius shit that nobody can touch, still to this day. If the mountain had enough room, I’d include Sabbath, DEVO and ZZ Top…but that’s like a dozen more faces to chisel.

What would you be doing if you weren’t making music?

Probably suffering a fate worse than death, like working an office job or wearing a name tag, working for the man somewhere. Higher education sounds appealing to Lightnin’. If they made me stop playing music, I’d become a full-time scholar, but hopefully not while behind bars. Also, if I wasn’t making music, Lightnin’ would be getting much more rest than I get. Satan’s work is truly never done.

Make friends with everyone: an interview with Gang of Thieves

New funky rock n roll coming your way soon

New funky rock n roll coming your way soon

Describe Gang of Thieves for someone who has never heard the band.

Well, we are five young dudes, a dog, and a roadie rampaging around the country together. We’re friendly, we laugh often, love to adventure, and we do dishes in exchange for a couch or floor more often than not.

We like to call ourselves a funky rock and roll band, but we draw influence from a lot of different musical backgrounds, from Rachmaninoff to Rage against the Machine. Our sound is a blast of rock and roll from the 70s and 90s, mixed with funky breakdowns, some reggae grooves, and plenty of guitar solos.

You’re currently working on an album. How is this experience different than other recordings you’ve done?

All of our previous recordings have been produced ourselves, excepting one day of production for Dinosaur Sandwich Party. For the new album, we’ve been in constant contact with our producer Michael Rosen since we first got the confirmation in December. We’ve been Skyping with him from rehearsals, sending him rough mixes of new songs, and just generally getting to know the guy. He’s a pretty awesome dude.
This is also the longest we’re going to have ever spent in the studio recording. Our first two albums we recorded in just a few days, and the same with our EP and the other demos we’ve put out. We’re planning on staying in the studio for two weeks this time, so who knows what kind of crazy sounds we’re going to be making in there!

One more HUGE part of this project is the Kickstarter we have launched to help make this album actually happen! We’ve received an amazing amount of support from our friends and fans and we are still pushing hard to reach our goal to cover the album costs and get it released in a reasonable amount of time. Check out our kickstarter for more info about the new album.

You’ve been known to be on the road nine months out of the year. What’s the best advice you can give about touring?

Make friends with everyone you meet! This is probably the most important thing about touring as an independent band. You never know who’s going to be at your next show; maybe that loud guy at the bar is your next big break! Also, you just might find a place to stay for the night (sometimes they will even make you breakfast in the morning!). We’ve made some of the best friends we have in the world just because we hung out and chatted up a few drunk people after a show. We meet so many wonderful people who open their homes to us when we’re on the road. Without them we’d be sleeping in the van, or wasting money on hotels, so always remember to be respectful to your fans, and hook your buddies up with a CD or T-Shirt!

If you could only have three albums in the tour van, what would you choose? Why?

There no conceivable way we could all agree on only three albums to keep in the van, so we each gave an answer.


The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper
Steel Pulse – Earth Crisis
Pink Floyd – Animals


I would choose AC/DC’s Back in Black, Van Halen’s Greatest Hits, and Queen’s Greatest Hits. Why? Because NOTHING beats good old fashioned rock n’ roll.


Allman Bros Band- Live at the Fillmore East
Black Sabbath – Paranoid
Wu-Tang Clan – Enter the 36 Chambers
Because: guitar solos, the devil, and fresh beats.


Miles Davis – Birth of the Cool
Rage Against the Machine – Renegades
State Radio – Us Against the Crown
I chose these albums because they are my perfect mix of driving music. Rage gets me riled up and excited before a show, State Radio keeps me going after a long day of driving, and Miles is the perfect way to end a night, or mellow into an evening.
And…I love the songs on those three albums so much; I could listen to them forever and never get bored. I feel like I hear something new almost every time I listen to any of them.


AC/DC - Back in Black
Sublime – Sublime
Rage Against the Machine - Evil Empire

What would you be doing if you weren’t making music?

We’re not sure what you mean. Honestly, none of us has any idea what we would be doing if we weren’t making music.

A funk band first and foremost: an interview with The SideTones

Proof that France has more to offer than wine and cheese

Proof that France has more to offer than wine and cheese

The SideTones is a funk band from Lyon, France. Bassist Jim Taylor discusses the origins of the band, the five albums he would replace first if his music collection were wiped out, and who he’d like to jam with.

You meet someone who finds out you’re in a band. How do you describe The SideTones to that person?

Well, we’re a funk band first and foremost. That said, our style of funk is influenced by everything from hip-hop, psychedelic rock and good pop music in general. We aim to keep that raw analogue sound and groove you find in classic deep funk cuts, but not be too generic or slavish to it either. So yes, soulful pop with a dusty funk drive to it.

What drew you to playing funk?

Well like all musicians we’ve all played in different bands and styles over the years, blues, rock, jazz and reggae especially. This project came out of DJing at parties and switching between contemporary beats and hip-hop to raw and gritty 60s and 70s funk – which always rocks a dance floor. We wanted to try and capture something of that with a twist to it.

If your music collection gets wiped out, what are the first five albums you’d replace? Why?

The Daktaris Soul Explosion – Love the sound and production plus it bridges that gap between old and new.

King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown – Just to take away the pain of loosing all our other albums we’d listen to this and drift away to a happier place.

Quasimoto The Adventures of Lord Quas – We’d have to have some hip hop in there. This album bursts with invention, humor and soulful samples. A hip-hop concept album that never tires.

Sly and the Family Stone There’s a Riot Going On – We’d all differ about which classic funk album to keep but this one gets me every time. A stone cold classic.

Marc Moulin Placebo Years - We’d need a bit of jazz in there. This compilation of Moulin’s work in the late 60s early 70s is years ahead of its time. Its a great combination of haunting melody lines underscored with killer breaks and synth-bass moments.

If you could jam with any artist or band, who would it be? Why?

Well that’s a tough one. As a bass player I’d love to have jammed with Jaco Pastorious before he was in Weather Report and was just playing funk and rock in small Florida bars. I heard a tape of his band jamming covers in some bar and it was insanely funky. Those guys could play like demons so I’d probably just sit back and watch in awe, (or tentatively play the tambourine or something).

What would you be doing if you weren’t making music?

If we weren’t making it we’d still be listening to it, buying it and playing it out as DJs.