In 2009, I challenged myself to interview 100 people in a year. One of these people was Artin who, at the time, was making music with a duo known as Purple Disco. (He currently works under the pseudonym “Martian Marlin”.) Artin is originally from Iran, and when I spoke to him he was working in a studio with refugees in Australia. Fast forward to 2015, I got a message on LinkedIn from Artin who I had since lost contact with. Our conversation was truly moving and I consider Artin to be one of the few musicians with the ability to truly bare his soul in conversation as well as in music.
I met Jonas a few years back at SXSW, on my walk from the hotel, where I was staying, to the bus stop. At that time, he was touring with Dena, another artist from Berlin. Since our first meeting, I have been following his work with other another group, Ballet School. Finally, this past fall the stars had aligned and I was in the same city as Ballet School. My second evening in New York for CMJ, I walked through Brooklyn to see Ballet School, unfortunately the conditions were too loud in the venue to conduct an interview. The next day Rosie and I were able to meet up for some peace and quiet, and had a chat in Central Park. This interview was one of my favorite of 2014 and I look forward to seeing them again.
The first morning I arrived in New York City for CMJ 2015, I stopped at a diner with some of my college radio colleagues and ran into Jared & the Mill. I cannot remember how the conversation was initiated but it resulted in this interview. Jared & the Mill hail from Arizona and were kind enough to interrupt their brunch at the Waverly Restaurant to chat with me.
If someone were to ask me to name one artist who best embodies the spirit of, and engages with, the people I would most likely answer, Frank Waln. Whereas most hip-hop artists I meet literally and figuratively put their city on their back, Frank holds it down for the entire continent and the patchwork of American Indian and First Nations therein. In our conversation, Frank shares his thoughts on a myriad of subjects and is genuinely one of the nicest guys I have ever had the pleasure of chatting with.
With my time at WXOU coming to an end, I decided it would be appropriate to attempt to interview one of Oakland University’s most renowned alum, Regina Carter. This past spring, I finally had the honor of speaking with her. Regina is a Detroit native and Artist-in-Residence at Oakland. Her passion for music is exemplified by her dedication to young musicians and her continued support of jazz music education. To say this was a bucket list interview of mine would be an understatement, because it was more than just an accomplishment during my time at WXOU, it was inspirational.
This past summer, I met a Aric at Guitar Center while having a conversation with one of his co-workers. He invited me to see his band, SRVVLST, that evening, and in my spontaneous fashion I went to go check it out. Before the band arrived, I ran into Matt from Psychedelic Horseshit, who was on his day job (which was technically a night job) as a sound guy for the venue. It was at this show that I realized that the Columbus music world is as small and overlapping as any of the other scenes I had inserted myself into. SRVVLST is comprised of Aric Jones, Ryan Douglas, William Ong, and Zack Holloway. Besides being my first interview with a math rock group, which was interesting in and of itself, each member of the group had fascinating histories to share with me. I think you will find the group as interesting as I did.
It is a rare occasion when I get to interview artists that I grew up listening to. This was one of those occasions. Since their album Connected was released ten years ago, I have been listening to Foreign Exchange. The group is comprised of Phonte, of Little Brother, and Nicolay, who I have had the pleasure of interviewing on two prior occasions. In the spring of 2014, I finally had the opportunity to speak to both of them.
Early in 2014, I met up with Cas Metah at Michael’s Goody Boy Diner in Columbus, Ohio. I had heard about Cas during my time in Columbus, and arranged to meet with him for lunch. Longtime member of the Scribbling Idiots and overall good dude, Cas had many great stories to tell about his time in the industry.
The first time I saw James Linck perform live I was unsure what to make of his personae. It was clearly unlike anything I had seen in such a small venue and I needed some time to process the night’s events. It wasn’t until this past winter that I can honestly say I had come to grips with just how large of a personality was embodied in his performance. I was at Trinosophes, a small art gallery in Eastern Market, when he made a brief guest appearance on Lights On Rider Anthem for CF Hustle’s Portrait of a Gentleman release party, along with Doc Waffles and Eddie Logix. This past spring, I had the pleasure of sitting down with James and discussing life and music. Besides his larger than life persona on stage, James has fantastic stories which are exemplified in his surreal lyrical styling. Take a listen and don’t forget to catch his live performance towards the end of the interview.
When Oakland University started their school year, in 2013, I decided to have some of my favorite former and current Oakland students on the show to share some advice for incoming freshman. This show included, Jose from Come Out Fighting, Drew 32, and L.A.Z. from Clear Soul Forces. All of these people have unique insights and wisdom for new students on campus and I was honored to have them share their thoughts.