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.
In May 2013, I sat down with Lainey, Cameron, Kayla, and April of Full Impact Theater Company. This was the second time I had the pleasure of speaking to some of the youth involved with this theater collective, and I continue to be impressed. This time around, the youth were involved with putting on The Good Person of Szechwan–a heavy story even for adults. If you ever needed your faith in the next generation restored look no further.
One evening, in the fall of 2013, I was heading into my show, without any interviews lined up, intent on playing music and nothing more. At the door, were a group of young men who called themselves Team Michigan Boys. In a conversation they had the night before with the station’s music director, they were told they could get on the air with me, entirely unbeknownst to me. I live for these types of interviews and was very pleased with the conversation that ensued.
At the end of 2013, I spoke with the legendary Count Bass D. Most people are probably familiar with him from his appearance on MF Doom’s 2004 release, Mm..Food, but Count Bass D has been releasing albums over the past two decades. In our conversation, we discussed topics like parenting, his life, and career as an independent musician. Take a listen and enjoy!