It's a reassuring sight to see an Australian band successfully take on the world in the way Tame Impala have over the last few years. Their lush, psyche-pop sound feels like it was born between the grooves of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, evolving inward and outward, feeding on a wealth of influences and dreams
Divine Fits may be an unfamiliar name, but the people behind it no doubt lurk in your record collection under their original outfits. Better known as Britt Daniel from Spoon, Dan Boeckner from Wolf Parade, and Sam Brown of New Bomb Turks, Divine Fits is the band du jour for these gentlemen and A Thing Called
Riding the crest of the dream-pop insurgence that brought with it bands like Beach Fossils, Twin Sister and Still Corners, was that of Jack Tatum and Wild Nothing, who' s debut album of 2010, Gemini was an exquisitely crafted record brimming with 80's melodies and accompanying themes of nostalgia and romanticism. It was an album
photo by Angel Ceballos From her isolated upbringing in rural Wisconsin, combined with a passion for opera, philosophy and industrial music, Nika Rosa Danilova aka Zola Jesus has created a name for herself as being a successor to the great Diamanda Galas and Lisa Gerrard with her haunting, otherworldly vocal style. Over the past
San Francisco's Girls self-titled debut of 2009 garnered widespread acclaim based on its fancy-free and free-love attitude that offered irresistible pop gems bathed in x-rated video clips ("Lust for Life" anyone?). Sex and pop, what more do you want out of music these days? For their sophomore album Father, Son, Holy Ghost, the Girls duo of Christopher Owen and Chet "JR" White have upped the songwriter stakes to put together an album that's impressive straight out of the blocks. Static's Chris Berkley spoke with Girl's JR over the phone in the midst of a very suspect (if you're to believe what he says) video shoot.
Quietly released last year was the first proper solo album by Stereolab's Laetitia Sadier. A touching tribute to her sister, who in Sadier's words "went on a million year trip/and left everthing behind", The Trip saw Sadier step out from the shadow of Stereolab to make a very revealing album, not only in the way she dealt with her loss, but in how she paid tribute to artists that influenced and inspired her. An album that sparkled in its minimalist approach, The Trip showed a side of Sadier unseen, one that was filled with warmth and emotion, and those little philosophical quirks that you've come to expect.
It's been said by Webcuts in the past that Destroyer's Dan Bejar is the Woody Allen of pop music. His idiosyncratic, poetic touch is less that of a lyricist but a storyteller with a revolving cast of characters (mostly women), and picking up on the ripples and waves they create to make them a part of his own interior monologue. An essential eighth of the mighty New Pornographers, Bejar has been recording as Destroyer since the 90's. Kaputt, his ninth album is a sumptious, rhapsodic slice of 80's melodrama, immersing itself entirely in the era from the vintage instrumentation to Bejar's own penchance for seeking the sublime out of what some might find the ridiculous.
Dynamite Steps the new album from Greg Dulli's The Twilight Singers is an extraordinarily cohesive album in every aspect: from production to the vocals, the masterful songwriting to the clever sequencing. Grunge guitar workouts give way to piano balladry, shoegaze meets folk and punchy rock. These are all anchored by that remarkable voice which ranges from ragged roar to velvety tenor to strained falsetto singing of love, libido, mortality and the devil. A couple of weeks before the release we spoke with Greg, a man who has seen more than his share of highs and lows in his twenty odd year career, clearly relaxed and affable, about all things dynamite and twilight, from the gutter to the (guest) stars.
To say expectations were high for Foals' second album Total Life Forever would be stating the exceedingly obvious but from the grandeur and exquisite melancholy of “Spanish Sahara” to the frenetic indie-pop of “This Orient” to the dance funk of “Miami” it met and exceeded them with uncommon ease. Total Life Forever elevated Foals further from their peers and into the rare league of artists who maintain credibility with a more accessible sound and thus gaining a larger listening base whilst still remaining true to their experimental pop principles. We spoke to bassist Walter Gervers while the band was in Australia for the St. Jerome’s Laneway festivals and some recording on the sly.
Even with the worldwide chart-smash of "Bang Bang Bang" under her belt as part of Mark Ronson's Business International, Amanda Warner aka MNDR is still something of an underground unknown to the general populace. Having spent the last 10 years making music with psychedelic oddities Triangle, or more recently as MNDR, it's been a non-stop battle that's about to pay off for this Fargo, North Dakota farm girl. With the media baggage ascribed Ronson in the UK from to his work with Amy Winehouse and his own Versions album, MNDR's French-slinging co-write on "Bang Bang Bang" arrived at the right time for everybody to sit up and take notice.
Is there anything more cliched than the rock and roll break-up? Secret meetings in dark alleys. The guitarist that suddenly pops up on other people's records. The singer who doesn't return their calls. You either see it coming a mile away, or it creeps up on you like old age. It happens to the best and it happens to the worst, and eventually it will happen to them all. Piss and moan about it all you like, but what's done is done. The latest induction to the rock and roll hall of "fuck this shit for a laugh" are Webcuts' favourite punk sons, The Scare.
Villagers is the nom de plume of one Conor O'Brien, the young Irish gent with the piercing blue eyes positioned above these words. Having released his debut album Becoming A Jackal on Domino Records last month to widespread acclaim (surely topping the album charts in Ireland is nothing to be sneered at), O'Brien has been steadfast in moving his Villagers around the country like a pack of wayward Irish gypsies.
New York has definitely handed over its crown as being home to earthshaking epicentre of what's hot, hip, and happening. These days all eyes are firmly focused on the eclectic sounds of the West Coast -- as it seems that every single band we talk right now calls the place home. With Katy Perry (of all people) singing the praises of California Girls, just like the Beach Boys did in the 60's, so are we with Los Angeles' Dum Dum Girls.
We hunt down Ed Droste from Brooklyn's Grizzly Bear and get our claws into their move from a studio to live band, how they keep songs fresh, and how they came to record with Yacht rock legend Michael McDonald: "Michael McDonald is one of the coolest Yacht rockers around. We let him know we were fans and he ended up coming to a show and we really liked him and approached him with the idea and he was totally excited to do it."
The Dead Weather are a band that more than live up to their name. Dark and bluesy, malevolent and loud. Given the rock credentials brought by each of the musicians attached, you expect nothing less. A multi-headed musical beast comprised of Alison Mosshart, the chain-smoking siren from The Kills, Jack White, leader of the status: in hiatus White Stripes, Dean Fertita of Queens of The Stone Age and Jack Lawrence of The Raconteurs. With a new album Sea of Cowards about to be released, we speak to Alison, Jack, and Dean.
We chew the fat with The Horrors on their recent Australian tour about last year's remarkable second album Primary Colours, and their thoughts on cover versions: "I think it’s a funny idea that this is a conversation you’re more likely to have now than at any other time in the history of rock ’n’ roll, considering most bands really started playing cover versions, being The Beatles or The Stones or even the Sex Pistols. It was something that was just kind of part and parcel of being in a group and part of a live repertoire."
A firm favourite last year with those of a pop persuasion was the debut album of Brooklyn four-piece, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. An example of youthful exuberance and melodic indulgences, The Pains (is it ok to call them that?) were as easy to swallow as a chocolate sundae with all the toppings -- and just as addictive and in no way fattening. Recently on tour in Australia, we spoke with guitarist Kip Berman.
From the Dresden Dolls to her solo album, Amanda Palmer has never been less than a bold and intriguing character in American rock music. In Australia for a slew of live dates we talk to the force of nature herself about her engagement to Neil Gaiman, her Golden Globes outfit switch-a-roo, the controversy surrounding her new Evelyn Evelyn project, what's on her bed side table and a dream involving Anna Pavlova wearing a spacesuit... and God.
You've probably seen the x-rated video clip for "Lust for Life". The 'penis as microphone' image is something you really don't recall seeing in pop videos these days, either then or now (and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong). As vague and internet-search challenging as calling your band Girls is, Christopher Owens and Chet "JR" White are both neither, and are, so to speak.
...And we got them. Darren Lackie drummer from Glasgow's anthem driven rock band We Were Promised Jetpacks does the honours - "We've learnt from our mistakes recording the first album though so who knows with the next one (please let us have a next one, I don't want a job)"
Recently setting the stereo at Webcuts HQ on fire with their debut release A Brief History of Love, we speak to Robbie Furze of The Big Pink as he explains the power of love and offers us a brief history of this incredible electronic/shoegaze duo.
Folk songstress Alela Diane having crafted one of the most delicate and beautiful albums of the year with To Be Still takes time out of a North American and European tour schedule to answer Webcuts' questions about the Newsom connection, the move from Cali to Portland and Saturday Night Live.
Having first dipped her toes in the solo waters for the soundtrack to the movie Suburban Mayhem in 2006, Adalita Srsen has remained steadfast fronting Melbourne's mothers of sonic invention, Magic Dirt. Webcuts catches up with Adalita to discuss her transition into the solo arena.
Touring Australia on the bequest of the all-conquering Coldplay, Mercury Rev stopped into visit Static's Chris Berkley to talk about their latest album Snowflake Midnight and an impressive career that cannot be reigned in by simple film analogies.
Second Splendour line up in full and interview with Splendour promoter Jess Ducrou about the tremendous success of the festival, the process for picking the line-up and this year's bands, future expansion of the site and the improvements in ticketing technology.
The Blue Depths which focussed on ambient old school synths and majestic, dreamy mood-scapes yielded great dividends resulting in Odawas' most cohesive album to date. We recently spoke to Michael Tapscott about the beautiful depths of The Blue Depths, the Odawa live experience including SXSW, soundtracks and the mystery of the sea.
Having just released the second single "Summertime Clothes" from their acclaimed eighth album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Chris Berkley from Static spoke to David Portner from Baltimore, Maryland's favourite sons, Animal Collective and asked, among other things, what lurked behind the eye-catching artwork and whether or not they had been invited to play the venue they
As predicted Metric have blown up, but not blown away, big time. Fantasies reached number eight on the Canadian charts and crept into the Australian Top 40 and US Top 100, while incessant touring in Europe and North America has further strengthened their fan base. Webcuts emailed Metric guitarist and half of Metric's lead songwriting
A collaboration between Benjamin Curtis of Secret Machines and twin sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza of On-Air Library, the School of Seven Bells (founded in name from a mythical South American pickpocket academy) that surprised all with their ethereal, haunting charms that found them in perfect company of shoegaze/dreampop acts like M83 and Prefuse 73.
The Veils' recently released third album Sun Gangs displayed astounding depth, warmth and honesty across its ten tracks. Ranging from emotive ballads ("It Hits Deep", "Sit Down By the Fire") to epic Velvet Underground/Nick Cave art-rock ("Three Sisters") and something in-between ("The Letter") it provides further proof of the compelling voice of main man Finn Andrews. Chris
Having pulled up a chair with the The Stills in London to have a drink and talk about their most recent album Oceans Will Rise late last year, we continue to follow their adventures as The Stills join the Kings of Leon on tour in Australia, where Chris Berkley of Static catches up with both
Arriving on the scene way back in 2002 with the gritty Black Rooster EP, The Kills took the garage rock aesthetic and beat it down, creating a skin and bones strut that stank of sex and cigarettes. In the following years, The Kills haven't strayed too far from their original lo-fi blues/rock blueprint, yet still
Flowers and chocolates? We brought neither but Brooklyn three-piece the Vivian Girls graciously didn't hold that against us.
Capping off an incredibly busy year with a singles compilation for 2008, Nashville native Jay Reatard has been relentlessly touring the globe and still hasn't stopped to catch his breath. Recently blowing away audiences in Australia with his demented hair-shaking garage rock, Chris Berkley caught up with Jay in Sydney and spoke to him about
Having released one of Webcuts favourite albums of 2008, the tsunamically stunning Oceans Will Rise, we caught up with vocalist/guitarist Tim Fletcher from Montreal's The Stills whilst in the middle of a brief European tour late last year.
Having just released one of the stand-out (and Webcuts approved) albums of 2008 with the awe-inspiring brilliance of Dear Science, Static's Chris Berkley spoke to Jaleel Bunton, drummer of Brooklyn's roof-raising TV On The Radio as the band embark on their American tour. Webcuts was on hand recently to see TV On The Radio debut their
Back in the UK touring their latest album Kensington Heights, Webcuts managed to square away some interview time with Constantines guitarist/vocalist Steve Lambke before their recent headline show at London's Wilmington Arms. Constantines - Live at the Wilmington Arms, London - 18th September 2008 You played last night with Shearwater. From where I stood both
It may come as some surprise that for a band who always seem to be on the cutting edge The Faint have actually been in existence for over a decade, combining punk attitude and guitars with a hellava lot of synthesizers and electronics. Static's Chris Berkley sits down with The Faint's keyboardist, Jacob Thiele, and
This August Sweden was graced by a visit from San Diego's finest, Louis XIV, a band that shocked parents groups in Alabama and who have enticed numerous girls with their classic rock'n'roll moves. But behind the media image the band is bursting with creativity and musical ambition. Louis XIV not only have lots of attitude
Dev Hynes was once a teenage Test Icicle but now goes it alone under the name Lightspeed Champion. This year's Falling off the Lavender Bridge surprised many, especially Test Icicles fans, as its charming mix of Britpop, folk and alt.country was a significant departure from the indie meets hardcore of his former band. Static's Chris
Living proof that great bands and great songs endure all, Sydney's Hoodoo Gurus are the epitome of the walking jukebox, with a back catalogue of classic singles and albums that have become as much part of the Australian consciousness as any other. From their conception in 1981 they have been captivating audiences the world over
Hailing from Helsinki Husky Rescue are the brainchild of songwriter/bassist Marko Nyberg assisted by the magnetic Reeta-Leena Korhola on vocals, Miika Colliander on guitar, Ville Riippa on keyboards, and Anssi Sopanen on drums. Webcuts questions Marko, one of Finland's finest, about the new album, Ghost Is Not Real, the Finnish countryside, blueberries and all things
After a break of five years since their last album Amazing Grace, and a near crippling bout of double pneumonia, Spiritualized are back and in perfect health with their finest album to date with Songs in A&E. Chris Berkley of Static spoke to Jason Pierce about his illness, working with Harmony Korine, and the effect
In Webcuts' short history we've had the pleasure of publishing many enjoyable and informative interviews, but few have matched the humour and insight pervasive in this feature with DC from Melbourne's ROOT!. The band's history, debunking the misconception that having good lyrics equates to bad music, the sycophantic cult of Nick Cave, politics and much, much more are covered.
Forming in 1990 Coventry's Adorable had the confidence, the drop dead cool, and most importantly the songs -- epic, emotional, dynamic songs -- of a great rock 'n' roll band. Fourteen years after their untimely demise we feature an in-depth interview with all four former members to celebrate the release of the first ever Adorable
You can't keep a good man down: Pete Fijalkowski former frontman for two of England's finest, yet criminally ignored bands Adorable and Polak, answers my email inquisitions about those bands and his solo album Broken Heart Surgery. For the record when did The Candy Thieves become Adorable was it September 1990 as indicated in Footnotes?
Austin post-rockers Explosions in the Sky have been weaving their instrumental magic for almost ten years now, releasing four revered albums and one soundtrack over that time. During their recent Australian tour Static's Chris Berkley talked to Chris Hrasky drummer with the band about creating their last disc, All of a Sudden I miss Everyone,
We talk with Tindersticks keyboardist and founding member David Boutler about version 2.0 of The Tindersticks, the stunning new album The Hungry Saw, the re-issue of their back catalogue, Songs for the Young at Heart and more. It's been half a decade since the last Tindersticks album, Waiting for the Moon, a fine record and
All my favourite bands break up too soon. Some dissolve and leave no trace they ever existed, others leave behind a body of work, be it that beguiling debut or just one crucial single that will go on to stand the test of time. The reasons may be acrimonious, incongruous or ingenious. From the other
Anthony Gonalez is the driving force behind French band M83. Since 2001 M83 have released several albums of hypnotic electronica combined with effects laden guitars, and softly sung vocals. Static's Chris Berkley managed to track down Anthony on his first Australian tour and discussed airline mishaps, growing up on the French Rivera, the new M83