An interesting, yet laid-back interview with the Liars' frontman Angus Andrew in The New Cue. About releasing albums: "When I first put out the first record, I really had no expectation that anyone would listen to it. I wasn't worried about that. And, obviously, now, I'm more conscious of that. And in the whole technical sense, it just seems like when you put out a record nowadays, the music is a portion of it or something. It's not the whole thing, it's weird. There's so many different platforms and different things to do. It's a little bit overwhelming, to be honest. I definitely have worked through the time in which it’s gone from where putting out a record lost a lot of meaning at some point when things started to get digital to there being an onus on artists to produce works that lived beyond the digital. I suppose that's what we're doing. Even though it's all still digital". Liars' new album 'The Apple Drop' is out this Friday.

"It's maybe not as dramatic as an addiction story or a fallout or a premature death, all of the things that are in other music documentaries, a fallout and a reunion. The thing with them is to exist in the business for 50 years through changing times. It's like watching two people push a boulder uphill" - director Edgar Wright says in The New Cue interview about The Sparks Brothers. "It's one of the rare music documentaries about brothers in rock where the brothers don't fall out".

Warner Music Group‘s Chinese dance label Whet Records has signed a deal with Ha Jiang, in a first major label record deal with a virtual artist. "As with any form of fame, there are stars that cross over into music. ‘Virtual idols’ won’t be any different" - Jon Serbin, the CEO of Warner Music Greater China and Head of Whet Records tells in the MBW interview.

ZZ Top's bassist of 50 years, Dusty Hill has died on Wednesday at the age of 72, on Thursday the remaining member Billy Gibbons announced that the tour they just began would resume Friday after a brief lull, with their guitar tech of three decades filling in. It's what Hill had wanted, Gibbons says in the Variety interview: "But knowing that we can take his wishes forward and give him all due respect… You know, he was adamant. He said, 'I’m going to go down and see what’s up. In the meantime', he said, 'the show must go on. Don’t forget it'. And he was pointing his finger and shaking it".

"A voice is inherently communal. I learned how to use my voice by mimicking the people around me through language, through centuries of evolution on that, or even vocal styles. A pop music vocal is often you're kind of emulating something that came before and then performing your individuality through that kind of communal voice. So I wanted to find a way to kind of reflect that communal ownership" - experimental musician Holly Herndon says to The Fader about her audio deep-fake AI Holly+. Herndon encourages her fans to upload audio files so they can be sung in her voice. She goes into the metaphysics of it: "I mean, we've been able to kind of re-animate our dead through moving picture or through samples, but this is kind of a brand new kind of field in that you can have the person do something that they never did. It's not just kind of replaying something that they've done in the past. You can kind of re-animate them in and give them entirely new phrases that they may not have approved of in their lifetime or even for living artists that they might not approve of. So I think it opens up a kind of Pandora's box".

"Some people say kids can't feel the blues. I feel like kids can. You don't necessarily need to leave your woman or nothing like that – folks have got dramatic stuff that happened in their life all the time" - blues guitarist-singer Christone "Kingfish" Ingram says in the NPR interview. He played his first official gig at age 11, sneaking out of the bed (he's 22 now).

Graham Coxon has announced a new graphic novel titled' Superstate', which will be accompanied by a soundtrack of original music written and recorded by the ex-Blur guitarist. "I started writing that when David Bowie died, so it has a sort of David Bowie tinge" - Coxon says in The New Cue interview. However, "this isn't really a Graham Coxon album", he says, adding that "playing different characters helped with my singing. If I was pretending to be somebody else, I could actually say what I wanted to say. I just found I could be a little more honest if I was playing another character".

"Very little of the present, internet-wise, may survive. The paradox of today is that we chronicle mundane existence to a degree that no human beings have ever done before, but we do so on phones with short lifespans and via platforms that will one day be bought, folded into each other, and shut down" - freelance writer and blogger Chris O’Leary says in Music Journalism Insider interview. "The 2000s already are full of holes—there are so many dead websites, ghost message boards by now... You see this play out all the time on YouTube—one day you’ll have every musical performance on David Letterman on there, then two months later, half of those videos have been pulled. Maybe they come back, maybe they don’t. It’s all sandcastles, really".

"Ultimately you must be totally prepared but you must also be empty. Empty of pre-conceived ideas on what you practice or study at home. You can use these ideas which you practice and study but only if it serves the music at hand at the necessary moment. It's not much different from theater acting in that way" - corneter and composer Graham Haynes said in 15 Questions interview about improvising. His collaborative album 'Echolocation' witch producer Submerged is out now.

"In the last 15 years, everything has changed a lot. I don’t feel any hostility; in fact, just the opposite. There is a lot of interest and support: from the public, from orchestras, from managers, and from the critics" - conductor Oksana Lyniv says in the New York Times interview about female conductors. This Sunday, Lyniv will conduct a production at The Bayreuth Festival in Germany, becoming the first woman to conduct a production in the festival’s 145-year history.

"His endearing videos are part history lesson, part nerdy tech outlet, part philosophical soapbox" - Pitchfork writes lovingly presenting Hainbach, an old-machine enthusiast and music producer. "The project grew from his fascination with obsolete test equipment—everything from particle accelerator components to lunks of antique metal used in nuclear research to a dolphin-locating device once used by the U.S. Navy". When he collected plenty of those, he arranged them into towers, and recorded their sounds live, calling the album 'Landfill Totems'.

“What do they say? ​‘It takes 10 years to become an overnight success’” - Brighton raper Arrdee says to The Face about the fame he is experiencing right now. He has been rapping since the age of 12, but he blew up only this year, with his 'Cheeky Bars' freestyle. He's also on Tion Wayne x Russ Millions' song 'Body 2', also featuring 3x3E1 & ZT, Bugzy Malone, Fivio Foreign, Darkoo, and Buni. Arrdee's latest single 'Oliver Twist' needs to prove that he's “smiley, I’m fun and bubbly, and cheeky”.

"It's an album that was created during the pandemic but it's not about that" Chvrches singer Lauren Mayberry says in The New Cue interview. She goes on: "I think maybe lyrically and creatively living through those things and being shut inside with your own thoughts makes you have to think about things in a way that you don't want to and I guess that I feel like the 2020s reflected in it in that way, but it's not like the themes of these songs are 'the world as it stands in 2020'. It's more just like it was an enforced lyric-writing camp I didn't want but that I'm grateful to have had".

The New Cue writers really like Shaun Ryder's new album 'Visits From Future Technology' so they talked to the former Happy Monday, touching the issue of today's technology and the possibility to work remotely. 25 years ago "the only thing I would have been doing would have been crack cocaine and heroin", Ryder says. Speaking about time passing, he says "the thing is, as you get older time goes really quickly. If you think to the five years you spent from 11 to 16, that seemed like a million fucking years. It's 11 years since I was in the jungle, but to me that's five minutes ago. And it's five minutes ago when I made this album". About his lyrics: "There's loads of metaphors in that and I can't fucking remember what they were doubling up for. You sort of smuggle and cover up lyrics but now I can't remember what I was fucking metaphoring about!".

United colors of punkton
July 11, 2021

Worlds Apart: A photo-zine covering the world's punk

Stage dives, tattoos, piercings and lung-emptying howls decorate Worlds Apart, the photo-zine documenting the hardcore punk scenes around the world. It is the brainchild of London-based photographer Amber Valence, featuring punks from Bangkok, Thailand, Jakarta, Indonesia, Melaka, Malaysia and Singapore. “The hardcore punk scene is everywhere; people of all ethnicities, genders, identities, all united by a common bond. I hoped to reflect the difference of each city, celebrate their diversity, and to also give an insight to those who may have yet to discover some of the amazing bands and photographers out there” - Valence told The Face.

“Except during the writing process, we noticed that the riffs weren’t amping up into metallic sections—and everyone was okay with it” - Deafheaven vocalist George Clarke says in a Pitchfork interview about their new album 'Infinite Granite' (out August 20). The production on this album, judging by the two songs released by now, is post-punk big-rock sounding (somebody could mistake them for Interpol), whereas vocals are clean, and melodic. "There are all these little things that are personally satisfying about the switch, and that personal satisfaction was the reason we did it in the first place, you know?".

Freelance writer and former music editor of The Guardian, Michael Hann shares an interesting thought about music journalism with Music Journalism Insider: "I’d like to see rather more fun. Rather more acknowledgement that pop music is at heart a fundamentally joyful and ridiculous endeavour. Quite often, I feel like I am being forced to eat my greens by music writing, and denied my dessert. I need to stress I am not saying music writing should serve no social purpose—and evidently generations younger than mine, who rightly are dominating music writing now, want a lot of social purpose to their music writing—just that the balance has swung away from silliness and fun in a way I, speaking only for myself, regret a little".

"Woodstock itself wasn’t the life-changing event. The life-changing event was the Woodstock movie. I wonder if this film had come out and been held up in the same light and importance, would this have made a difference in my life?" - Questlove says to Pitchfork about 'Summer of Soul', his new documentary about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. "This film is potent enough now to work its magic in ways that it wasn’t allowed to 50 years ago. Black people and history - it’s a painful thing. That plays a role in why it’s easy to forget things. I’m very happy that people see this now. But it’s a deeper well that we have to dig, and this film might be just the beginning of it". It's in theaters and on Hulu.

An interesting interview by the Music Journalism Insider with Courtney E. Smith, the host, writer, and co-executive producer of Songs in the Key of Death, a new podcast about murder ballads. What is it: "A historiography—it’s a storytelling podcast that examines the true crimes that inspired a murder ballad, the people who wrote the song or popularized it by singing it, and the historic times that both of those things happened in. It hopes to give listeners context around what was happening historically and when one of the most notable versions was performed. It also aims to explore how we’ve talked about these crimes in the past and what new information we have now that we should consider. Many of the songs don’t tell the real story or reflect the victim’s point of view. Giving them a voice and some life is a way to look again at a violent history".

"I’ve always been a very sarcastic person and sarcasm just does not fly in Japan because everything is taken with a kind of surface sincerity. I feel like I’ve really lost my sense of humor by living in Japan (laughter)" - Japan-based producer, DJ, and cultural critic Terre Thaemlitz says in a very interesting Tone Glow interview. She goes on to define her work: "I consider myself a cultural critic, I guess if I had to label it. When I do audio work or video I refer to myself as a producer, not in a capitalist, funding sense of 'produced by', but in the constructivist sense of production over creation. I see what I do as an act of cultural criticism, music criticism, and media criticism while operating from within". Also, end of June Resident Advisor will release their latest film 'Give Up On Hopes And Dreams', a rare insight into the work and world of Thaemlitz.

"At the beginning of this year, Taiwan was suffering from its worst drought in the past 50 years. Despite a history of frequent rainfall and summer typhoons, reservoirs and lakes across the country were drying up. In an effort to inspire the skies and encourage reflection on environmental conservation, ANKR traveled to the largest reservoir in Dapu, Taiwan, at the time completely dry, to film a live performance in the heart of the basin with fellow Taiwanese musician A.P.R.A." - ex-directory introduces and interviews the former, Taiwanese team of film producers, sound artists, and photographers.

"Maybe I do think that we're all headed towards doom, but it's not personal. You can also have fun. The benevolence of the black hole is just like, celebrate when you can and find warmth, comradery, solace, and cope how you must on our journey into the dark. Also, on a personal level, everybody dies" - singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus says in Them interview about here incoming solo album 'Home Video'. She explains - "whenever I get [in that apocalyptic mindset], I'm like, 'Wait, wait, wait, how useful is this?' Some days it feels useful to think about the future of mankind, and then other days I'm like, 'Man, I'm just a girl. I don't need to think about this'. Am I going to spend three hours spiraling about this or could I go outside and live the life that I would hypothetically like to protect?". She also talks about her "internalized homophobia", queerness, being brought up in a Christian family, and her boygenius bandmates Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker.

Pushing her to Z
June 12, 2021

Lady A: I’m being erased

"Exactly what I said would happen is happening, I’m being erased. And that is something that this country is good at doing: Erasing black folks and disenfranchised people they feel do not matter" - blues singer Lady A says in the Rolling Stone interview a year after the country band Lady Antebellum effectively took her name. "The folks who made the statement that black lives mattered to them and the reasoning behind changing their name, I don’t want anybody to ever forget that". The two parties are counter-suing each other.

An interesting interview in Kerrang! with a new pop-punk star and Travis Barker (of Blink-182) collaborator KennyHoopla: “I love genres. Genre is very important, because there’s a certain language that only comes with certain genres. There’s so much stuff coming out right now that’s looking to blend genres, but I’m at a point where I want to make something real and not hide behind these undertones of doing something ground-breaking. I miss straightforward rock, pop and rap music... A lot of people think pushing music forward is just about blending a whole bunch of sounds together".

“I think Rick has created something really special. From what I’ve gathered, he’s really serious about communicating an energy and creating a space for people” Ron the Jewels' El-P says to Complex about Rick Rubin's Shangri La studio situated in his home in Malibu, California. “That’s all based on his ethos. That’s all based on his experience of what makes a good record. So everyone there is really focused on making sure everybody is comfortable and there’s a creative energy. It’s an empty palette you can really just fill with new energy" - El-P adds. The versatile producer "would come by, barefoot, cross his legs, close his eyes and just listen and really take it in and really give feedback".

Wickedly funny, as per usual, Noel Gallagher in The New Cue interview talks about the lockdown, his new studio, and a certain "fat c***". He went on to compare touring to being in lockdown: "You do live a bit of a Groundhog Day when you're on tour. It's kind of the same but it's different because you're traveling. You live in the same day but in a different country. This is living the same day in the same fucking house. I think I've seen the same dozen people for a year". Apart from watching the telly, he says he's been wasting his days by - wasting himself: "The biggest thing was the drinking... I'm on the go slow at the moment but there's nothing else to do".

Nothing compares to peace and quiet
June 07, 2021

Sinéad O’Connor is retiring from touring and recording

“This is to announce my retirement from touring and from working in the record business. I’ve gotten older and I’m tired” - Sinéad O’Connor wrote in a series of tweets. The Irish singer-songwriter’s upcoming album, 'No Veteran Dies Alone', will be her final release, she said, Deadline reports. TNC, inspired by the announcement, remembers her 1990 interview: "By the time 'Nothing Compares 2 U' happened I was almost in a state of shock. I was zapped mentally. I wasn't eating properly, just drinking coffee and smoking hundreds of cigarettes and getting totally stressed out... man, I just didn't know how to deal with the fame and the American fans and the horseshit British press. 'Shoeless Sinead' and all that bollocks. I was never prepared for what it did to me. I couldn't have been prepared for that kind of success. Let's face it, what other record has really done that? I thought it might do OK? But not this".

"Having lived most of my life under military occupation – and therefore lockdown – music has always given me a place to escape from reality, as well as a safe space to express myself. Whether I’m creating, listening or dancing to it, music has the power to take me somewhere else mentally and I’m forever grateful for that" - Palestinian DJ/producer Sama’ Abdulhadi told The Face about what music means to her. She had also trouble because of it - she was arrested by Palestinian authorities on Dec. 27 and held in a Jericho jail for eight days after coordinating and playing a livestream event for Beatport at a site called Maqam Nabi Musa, the tomb of the prophet Moses.

"Morrissey -  I’m proud to be one of what he calls his seven friends - says being alone is a great privilege. Not only is it a privilege but it is a great privilege of an affluent society because two thirds of the world you cannot be alone because you have to be in a huge team just to survive daily" - The Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde tells to The New Cue looking back on how she wrote the song 'Alone'. However - "let us not in any way diminish the fact that loneliness is an epidemic in our society. I have been alone most of my life. As has Morrissey and I know for a fact that he fucking hates it too. We hate it but it is a privilege. We hate it and we don’t want to be alone but on the other hand we accept it because it affords us a lot of freedoms that otherwise we wouldn’t have”.

"If you have financial privilege, you’d better be paying it forward — and if you are a white, straight person who is making money from music, you’d better be donating money to LGBTQ causes and Black Lives Matter and others that help marginalized people, because without marginalized people, music is gonna get really bad, really quick" - Justin Tranter says in a very interesting Variety interview. Tranter is the author behind Justin Bieber’s 'Sorry', Selena Gomez’s 'Lose You to Love Me', Imagine Dragons’ 'Believer' and dozens more. They also founded and run Facet Records and Music Publishing, which launched late in 2018.

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