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Talkhouse Podcast

Talkhouse

Talkhouse is a media company and outlet for musicians, actors, filmmakers, and others in their respective fields. Artists write essays and criticism from firsthand perspectives, speak one-on-one with their peers via the Talkhouse Podcast and Talkhouse Live events, and offer readers and listeners unique insight into creative work of all genres and generations. In short— Talkhouse is writing and conversations about music and film, from the people who make them.

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Jonathan Davis (Korn) with Danny Brown
3d ago
Jonathan Davis (Korn) with Danny Brown
On this Talkhouse Podcast, we’ve got one of those chats that feels like it’s going to lead to something bigger down the road: Jonathan Davis and Danny Brown. Neither of these guys probably needs an introduction, but here goes anyway: Jonathan Davis is the frontman of the band Korn, which basically invented a sound and subsequent genre about 30 years ago. I’m not sure if people still say “nu metal,” but whatever you want to call it, it never really seemed to leave the cultural zeitgeist once it took hold. Korn always seemed to have a wider variety of influences than some of their peers, taking bits and pieces from goth, metal, and hip-hop to make a strange new brew. They’ve released an impressive 14 albums, taking stylistic turns like 2011’s The Path of Totality, which incorporated dubstep and drum-and-bass elements. The band’s latest is Requiem, which was written and recorded during Covid’s enforced ban on touring. It’s a bit of a return to their classic sound, and it’s gotten incredibly positive reviews from fans and critics. Danny Brown is a rapper and, more recently, a comedian who broke out of his hometown of Detroit around 2010, and has released a series of groundbreaking, incredible records that never seem to sit still—just like him. He’s had huge singles and collaborated with everybody from Eminem to Purity Ring to Kendrick Lamar to A$AP Rocky. And though he hasn’t put out a proper album since 2019’s killer U Know What I’m Sayin’, Brown has kept busy making music, making his stand-up comedy debut, doing the hilarious Danny Brown Show on YouTube, and allegedly prepping a new record with the working title Quaranta. He’s described the record as “all over the place,” which makes sense considering Brown’s varied list of influences—one of which is Korn, which is how we got here in the first place. This genesis of this conversation, Davis and Brown’s first, was Brown covering Korn’s classic “Freak on a Leash” live in concert last year. Like I said, this is the first real conversation that Brown and Davis have ever had, and they get along great—great enough that they’re instantly talking about meeting up in person to collaborate at Davis’ Bakersfield, California studio. They get into Korn’s songwriting process, Covid-inspired depression, and how the internet provides the kind of instant rejection you had to work harder for in the old days. It’s a great chat, I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Jonathan Davis and Danny Brown for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please subscribe via your favorite podcasting app, and while you’re already there, go ahead and rate us. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!
Jonathan Davis (Korn) with Danny Brown
3d ago
Jonathan Davis (Korn) with Danny Brown
On this Talkhouse Podcast, we’ve got one of those chats that feels like it’s going to lead to something bigger down the road: Jonathan Davis and Danny Brown. Neither of these guys probably needs an introduction, but here goes anyway: Jonathan Davis is the frontman of the band Korn, which basically invented a sound and subsequent genre about 30 years ago. I’m not sure if people still say “nu metal,” but whatever you want to call it, it never really seemed to leave the cultural zeitgeist once it took hold. Korn always seemed to have a wider variety of influences than some of their peers, taking bits and pieces from goth, metal, and hip-hop to make a strange new brew. They’ve released an impressive 14 albums, taking stylistic turns like 2011’s The Path of Totality, which incorporated dubstep and drum-and-bass elements. The band’s latest is Requiem, which was written and recorded during Covid’s enforced ban on touring. It’s a bit of a return to their classic sound, and it’s gotten incredibly positive reviews from fans and critics. Danny Brown is a rapper and, more recently, a comedian who broke out of his hometown of Detroit around 2010, and has released a series of groundbreaking, incredible records that never seem to sit still—just like him. He’s had huge singles and collaborated with everybody from Eminem to Purity Ring to Kendrick Lamar to A$AP Rocky. And though he hasn’t put out a proper album since 2019’s killer U Know What I’m Sayin’, Brown has kept busy making music, making his stand-up comedy debut, doing the hilarious Danny Brown Show on YouTube, and allegedly prepping a new record with the working title Quaranta. He’s described the record as “all over the place,” which makes sense considering Brown’s varied list of influences—one of which is Korn, which is how we got here in the first place. This genesis of this conversation, Davis and Brown’s first, was Brown covering Korn’s classic “Freak on a Leash” live in concert last year. Like I said, this is the first real conversation that Brown and Davis have ever had, and they get along great—great enough that they’re instantly talking about meeting up in person to collaborate at Davis’ Bakersfield, California studio. They get into Korn’s songwriting process, Covid-inspired depression, and how the internet provides the kind of instant rejection you had to work harder for in the old days. It’s a great chat, I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Jonathan Davis and Danny Brown for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please subscribe via your favorite podcasting app, and while you’re already there, go ahead and rate us. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!
Stuart Murdoch (Belle and Sebastian) with Ramesh Srivastava (Voxtrot)
Jun 23 2022
Stuart Murdoch (Belle and Sebastian) with Ramesh Srivastava (Voxtrot)
On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got a pair of musicians who both suffer from the effects of LSD—that’s lead singer disease—Stuart Murdoch and Ramesh Srivastava. Ramesh was and is now again the lead singer and chief creative force behind the Austin, Texas band Voxtrot, which burned bright but maybe too quick in the early 2000s. They released a series of rapturously received EPs and one LP that were beloved by fans of deeply British institutions like Sarah Records and The Smiths. But the band had split by 2010, and Ramesh went on to release a pair of solo albums that didn’t quite have the impact his band did. For a while, he was content to leave Voxtrot in the past, but gathering material for two reissues gave him the spark to get thing going again. The next few months will see the release of both Early Music—which gathers the band’s beloved EPs—and Cut from the Stone, which features rarities and B-sides. And then, like some unstoppable force of nature, Voxtrot will tour the U.S. again. Dates can be found at voxtrot.net. And in case you’re not familiar, here’s a great Voxtrot song called “The Start of Something.” Do you hear a bit of Belle and Sebastian in that song? They’re a pretty clear influence on Voxtrot, and Srivastava met Stuart Murdoch while living in Glasgow in his younger days—you’ll hear about their meet-cute in this conversation. Belle and Sebastian, of course, have had an incredible career over the past quarter century or so. They started life as a school project for Murdoch, a shy young man whose feelings spilled out into his gentle songs in a way that seemed then—and now—to be almost magical. Over the years, Belle and Sebastian developed from a sort of bedroom-pop project to a massive pop machine, while never losing that spirit of playfulness and sincerity that Murdoch has always projected. The band recently released their ninth studio album, called A Bit of Previous. The title is a bit tricky in that it seems to reference the good old days but also Murdoch’s longtime interest in Buddhism, which he explored in greater depth during the pandemic. In this conversation, you’ll actually hear a bit about how both Ramesh and Stuart approach spirituality, both Christianity and Buddhism. You’ll hear how being a “gay brown person” pushed Ramesh away from religion for a long time. They talk about the aforementioned “lead singer disease,” and how that affects everyday life. And we get to hear about a young Stuart Murdoch making his way to the London flat of one of his musical heroes, but then deciding not to actually knock on his door. Enjoy. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Ramesh Srivastava and Stuart Murdoch for chatting. If you like what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite social channels and check out talkhouse.com for lots of great written pieces, too. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time.
Martin Courtney (Real Estate) with Tim Darcy (Ought, Cola)
Jun 16 2022
Martin Courtney (Real Estate) with Tim Darcy (Ought, Cola)
On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got a pair of songwriters who are meeting for the first time, which we haven’t had in an episode in quite a while. Martin Courtney and Tim Darcy. Until recently, Darcy was the frontman of the band Ought, which released three fantastic, brainy art-punk albums from their home base of Montreal—despite the fact that Darcy is, in fact, “secretly American.” Ought split up pre-pandemic but that wasn’t really public news until the announcement of the existence of Darcy’s new band, Cola, which he started just a couple of years ago along with Ought bassist Ben Stidworthy and Weather Station/US Girls drummer Evan Cartwright. Just last month, Cola released their debut album, Deep In View, and it feels like a sort of back-to-basics take on their old band—but still fresh and exciting. Darcy is a guy who takes his lyrics seriously, and though he clearly had a great time making the record, there’s a darkness to it that recalls the best post-punk and trebly art-rock of the past 40 years, from Talking Heads to Parquet Courts. Martin Courtney is the singer and guitarist of Real Estate, the New Jersey-born band that has released five albums of songs that battle gently the urges toward pop-song structure and a slight psychedelic haze. Real Estate had particularly bad timing luck with regard to that worldwide pandemic we’ve all talked so much about over the past couple of years, releasing an album just weeks before the world shut down, resulting naturally in canceled tours and other plans. Instead of diving into another Real Estate album during the lockdown, Courtney decided to take a path of less resistance and record his second solo album. As he jokes in this conversation, most solo albums tend to be an excuse for an artist to indulge their more out-there impulses, but his impulses tend to lead him back toward more structured pop songs. He came up with a killer batch for this record, which is called Magic Sign. Darcy and Courtney hadn’t met before this chat, but that doesn’t stop them from getting into a great conversation: They talk about how podcasts might be boring—and how that’s okay (!?). They get into Courtney’s slight sense of disillusionment with music in general. Then they bring it back to creative desires: They are both guys itching with ideas and ready to get them out to the world. And, as fate would have it, both are going to be touring this summer, god willing. So get out there and see them, but first, check out this chat. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Tim Darcy and Martin Courtney for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcast platform, and check out the great new records by both of this week’s guests. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!
Revisited: Michelle Zauner (Japanese Breakfast) with Rostam
Jun 2 2022
Revisited: Michelle Zauner (Japanese Breakfast) with Rostam
Hello Talkhouse listeners; this week we’re resurfacing a talk featuring a frequent Talkhouse contributor who seems to be having yet another career moment: Michelle Zauner, aka. Japanese Breakfast. You may have caught Zauner and her band on the season finale of SNL, or playing your local theater, or on every playlist worth a dang. This talk, which originally ran on June 3, 2021—around the time the latest Japanese Breakfast album, Jubilee, came out—features Zauner in conversation with Rostam, the musician and producer best known as part of Vampire Weekend. If you like what you hear, there are two more Zauner-led Talkhouse Podcasts in the archives, one with Alex Cameron, and the other with Rachel Goswell of Slowdive. --------  Today’s Talkhouse Podcast started with a little bit of serendipity in the form of album release dates: Both of our guests, Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast and producer/musician/former Vampire Weekend guy Rostam, have excellent records coming out on June 4. They’re also fans of each other’s work, so we figured it made plenty of sense to put them together. Zauner’s album, her third under the Japanese Breakfast name, is called Jubilee, and as you’ll hear in this conversation, it took a deliberate turn toward slightly happier themes than her first two. It comes hot on the heels of Zauner’s first book, a heartbreaking memoir called Crying In H Mart, that deals with her mother’s death—also a theme in her early music—and food, lots of food. It’s a really touching read, and an ideal companion to her musical catalog, which grew in really compelling ways with Jubilee. Rostam is best known as a founding member of Vampire Weekend, and even though he officially left the band a few years ago, he still contributes some songwriting and production work. He’s kept plenty busy otherwise, producing records and writing songs with an incredible array of other artists, from Hamilton Leithauser to HAIM to Clairo. His first proper solo album is the gentle, string-filled, fantastic Half-Light, which came out in 2017, and now he’s releasing Changephobia, which as you’ll hear ditches the string section and brings in a sax, among other things. These two jump right into a conversation that flits around from silly to deep: On one hand, they talk about childhood loves of chess and fencing and the importance of song five on an album. On the other, Zauner gets rightfully annoyed at interview questions she gets that other people don’t, and Rostam talks about being Persian in a band that was sometimes pegged as particularly white. It’s a funny, smart chat. Enjoy. This episode was produced by Melissa Kaplan. The Talkhouse theme was composed and performed by The Range.
Sofi Tukker with The Knocks
May 26 2022
Sofi Tukker with The Knocks
On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got a pair of electronic-music duos whose histories, as you’ll hear, are intimately intertwined: The Knocks and Sofi Tukker. The Knocks—consisting of James Patterson and Ben Ruttner—just released their third album, and it’s once again dancefloor-ready and heavy on the collaborations with indie icons. It’s called History, and it’s their first since 2018’s New York Narcotic, which featured the massive Foster the People collaboration “Ride or Die.” The guys used the extra time granted them by the pandemic to refocus and make History exactly what they wanted it, and it shows. The album includes guest spots from Cold War Kids, Cannons, and another jam with Foster the People. Check out “Slow Song,” which features Dragonette. Speaking of features and collaborations, The Knocks have worked with Sofi Tukker—the duo consisting of Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern—a bunch over the years, and as you’ll hear in this conversation, Sofi Tukker might not even be a chart-topping outfit at all without the help and influence of James and Ben. Together they scored a bit hit with “Best Friend,” though if you only know one Sofi Tukker song it’s probably the massive “Drinkee.” But the duo has a brand new record out with the provocative title Wet Tennis, and they’re about to embark on a massive tour that includes two huge California shows with the Knocks as special guests. Check out “Kakee” from Wet Tennis. In this conversation, these four talk about their shared history in New York, right down to a specific building that the Beastie Boys used to own. They talk about the old days playing college shows and the new days playing the massive Greek Theatre. And you’ll hear them graciously compliment each other on their latest songs. It’s a regular lovefest. Enjoy. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Sophie, Tucker, Ben, and James for chatting. If you like what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite social channels and podcasting platforms. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!
Dana Margolin (Porridge Radio) with Joseph Mount (Metronomy)
May 19 2022
Dana Margolin (Porridge Radio) with Joseph Mount (Metronomy)
On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got a pair of musicians from the UK who recently collaborated for the first time, Dana Margolin and Joseph Mount. Mount has been the driving force behind Metronomy since 1999, and he’s found success not only with a series of winning electro-pop records, but also by remixing tracks for big names like Franz Ferdinand, Gorillaz, and Lady Gaga. If you’re unfamiliar with Metronomy, a good place to start is 2008’s Nights Out, which is a sort of concept album about, as you might guess, a night out. But Metronomy’s catalog is intriguingly all over the map; the band’s latest is called Small World, and it features a much gentler side of Mount’s songwriting personality overall. It also features a stunning duet with the other side of today’s conversation, Dana Margolin of Porridge Radio. Like Metronomy, Porridge Radio really started out as a solo project but grew into more of a band situation—though each is still the brainchild of one person. Margolin started recorded under the Porridge Radio name back in 2015, but it was her second proper studio album, 2020’s Every Bad, that really made the world stand up and take notice. It’s a powerful, intense record that stands alongside current heatseekers like Dry Cleaning and Wet Leg, but that has a stamina all its own. Margolin is just about to release the follow up to Every Bad, an equally bracing and incredible set of songs called Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the Sky, once again on the Secretly Canadian label. In this conversation, Mount and Margolin talk about their collaboration, about the time that Mount almost but didn’t quite catch Margolin performing, and about the importance of lyrics—you’ll hear how eczema factors into a new song. They also get to Kierkegaard, Michael Stipe, and Margolin’s desire to—but inability—to write a “nice little love song.” Enjoy. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast and thanks to Dana Margolin and Joseph Mount for chatting. If you like what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcast platform and all social media channels. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!
John Doe (X) with Shirley Manson (Garbage)
May 12 2022
John Doe (X) with Shirley Manson (Garbage)
On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast, we’ve got a pair of guests who I can call legends without hesitation: Shirley Manson and John Doe. Doe is a founding member of the insanely influential punk band X, which started life way back in 1977 Los Angeles. They were part of a scene that leaned into hardcore punk, but X set itself apart by sneaking elements of country and Americana into their blistering records and live sets. And the chemistry between Doe and his co-lead singer Exene Cervenka was legendary: In fact, it still is. Though the band has split a few times over the years, they’re still actively rocking all these years later, and in fact released a really great record in 2020, called Alphabetland—it was their first in about 20 years. Doe has also been an active solo artist as well, and he’s got a great new album coming out May 20, 2022: It’s called Fables in a Foreign Land, and it’s a concept record whose tales take place in the 1890s. It’s dark and folky, and includes some songwriting help from a bunch of amazing folks, including today’s other guest, Shirley Manson. Manson of course is the singer and frontperson of Garbage, which she’s been a part of steadily since the early 1990s. Garbage was formed by producer Butch Vig—he of Nirvana’s Nevermind fame—and was a massive success right out of the gate, with hits like “Queer,” “Stupid Girl,” and “Only Happy When It Rains.” They even did one of the best James Bond themes in recent memory, “The World is Not Enough.” The band has released a steady stream of great records over the years, including last year’s No Gods No Masters. A bonus track from that album, “Destroying Angels,” was written with and features both John Doe and Exene Cervenka, and an entirely different version of it also appears on this great new John Doe record. In this chat, Manson grills Doe on his intentions as a songwriter, and he asks her about Garbage’s process as well. Manson wants to know whether Doe considers himself a singer or songwriter first, and she refers to Butch Vig more than once in her charming Scottish accent as "Butchie." They also talk about the afterlife, and how playing new music for the people closest to you can be a little deflating. Enjoy. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Shirley Manson and John Doe for chatting. If you like what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcast platform and all social media channels. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time! CORRECTION: May 12, 6:17 PM Shirley claims via Twitter that she never referred to Vig as “Butchie,” and upon further review of the tapes, it seems I was misinterpreting a breath as another syllable. Apologies to Ms. Manson!
Mike Campbell with Margo Price
May 5 2022
Mike Campbell with Margo Price
On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got a legendary guitarist and songwriter in conversation with one of our favorite repeat guests: Mike Campbell and Margo Price. Campbell is best known as Tom Petty’s right-hand man, a position he proudly held for five decades until Petty’s untimely death in 2017. Together they wrote some of the Heartbreakers’ best known songs, including “Refugee,” “Here Comes My Girl,” and “You Got Lucky.” Campbell also produced a bunch of Petty solo and Heartbreakers songs, and has contributed his playing and writing skills to lots of other artists, too. I was surprised to learn just recently that Campbell co-wrote Don Henley’s massive “Boys of Summer,” too. Who knew? But even before the end of the Heartbreakers’ run, Campbell would spend time with his side band, the Dirty Knobs, where he not only plays guitar but also sings and writes the lyrics. The band recently released their second studio album, External Combustion, which is where today’s other guest comes in. Margo Price is a firecracker of a singer and songwriter who doesn’t exactly fit neatly into the world of country—which is perhaps why she’s been so embraced by folks outside of that world. Jack White’s Third Man Records released Price’s first two albums, including her killer debut from 2016, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, and though she lives in Nashville, her sound is more old-school country than new. Her last album is 2020’s That’s How Rumors Get Started, though as you’ll hear in this chat, she’s been working on both new music and an upcoming memoir. She pulls no punches, so both should be great. Oh, and she found some time to help out with some vocals on The Dirty Knobs’ latest, specifically on a song called “State of Mind.” As a longtime fan of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, she was excited as hell to work with Campbell, and the feeling was mutual. Check out “State of Mind” here. Classic sounding, right? In this chat, Campbell and Price talk about getting back on the road after so long away. They talk about songwriting with other people: Price thinks it can be more personal than sleeping with someone. Campbell gets Price excited by revealing that he’s being joined on some dates by old-school Heartbreakers drummer Stan Lynch. And the two make plans to meet up on the road, specifically when they’re both opening huge amphitheaters for Chris Stapleton in June. Enjoy! Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Margo Price and Mike Campbell for chatting. If you like what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platforms and social media channels. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!
Melody Prochet (Melody's Echo Chamber) with Lila Ramani (Crumb)
Apr 28 2022
Melody Prochet (Melody's Echo Chamber) with Lila Ramani (Crumb)
On this week's Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got two leading lights of modern psychedelic indie-rock, Melody Prochet and Lila Ramani. Prochet is the creative force behind Melody’s Echo Chamber, whose evocative name is taken from a dream she once had. Her debut album under the name, which Prochet recorded with help from Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, was released in 2012. She has since released two more full-lengths while bouncing around the planet and raising children. The new one, Emotional Eternal, was partly inspired by Prochet’s move from Paris to the idyllic quiet of the Swiss Alps. It features assists from members of the Swedish band Dungen, though it’s more spare and stripped down than that might suggest—and more spare than her past work, too. There are bits of psych in there, along with echoes of bands like Stereolab. Lila Ramani of the New York band Crumb shares some of those influences, and Melody Prochet’s music influenced what Ramani wanted to do in her band, too. Crumb got going while its members were still in college in 2016, but really picked up speed with their debut full length, Jinx, which came out in 2019. Crumb released a second album, Ice Melt, in 2021, further incorporating jazzy rhythms into their psychedelic stew. In this conversation, the mutual admirers talk about their personal lives, including Prochet’s side gig as an art therapist as well as Ramani’s childhood growing up near the Gowanus Canal. They chat about Coachella, “grinding vs floating,” and Prochet’s favorite American city—which will almost certainly surprise you. Enjoy. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Melody Prochet and Lila Ramani for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please subscribe to Talkhouse on your favorite platform, and tell your friends that we’re the best. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time! View the full transcript of this podcast here.
Joe Goddard (Hot Chip) with Eno Williams (Ibibio Sound Machine)
Apr 21 2022
Joe Goddard (Hot Chip) with Eno Williams (Ibibio Sound Machine)
On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast, we’ve got a lovefest between two musicians who came together to create one of the year’s most electrifying records: Eno Williams of Ibibio Sound Machine and Joe Goddard of Hot Chip. Ibibio Sound Machine has been mashing up sounds for just under a decade now, blending elements of Afrobeat and electronic music into a fierce combination that inspires dancing, chanting, and sweating—at least when they’re allowed to hit the road. Williams is a force of nature on their newest album, Electricity. She was born in London but grew up in Nigeria—specifically the Ibibio region—and was exposed to those incredible regional sounds before moving back to London for school and steeping herself in the electronic music happening there. Electricity captures her vision pretty perfectly, thanks at least in part to today’s other guest, Joe Goddard of Hot Chip. As you’ll hear in this chat, Goddard was a fan of Ibibio Sound Machine, having seen one of their incredible live performances at a festival, and the feeling was mutual. Goddard and his Hot Chip collaborators came in to produce Electricity, which was the first time Ibibio had used an outside producer. You can hear the Hot Chip fingerprints all over the record; it’s an amazing collaboration that both sides are clearly very happy with, as evidenced by this chat. And just moments ago—for me, anyway, it will be later for you—Hot Chip announced a brand new album as well. Freakout/Release will be out in August, and Hot Chip will play the second weekend of Coachella this Saturday.  In this podcast, Goddard and Williams get deep into musical influences, including Nigerian electronic music pioneer Wiliam Onyeabor, Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti, and more. They also talk about how sometimes the audience doesn’t know you’re having a bad show, and about the “super synth power” they found while working together. Enjoy. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Eno Williams and Joe Goddard for chatting. If you like what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time! View the full transcript of this podcast here.
Blake Schwarzenbach (Jawbreaker) with J. Robbins (Jawbox)
Apr 14 2022
Blake Schwarzenbach (Jawbreaker) with J. Robbins (Jawbox)
On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast, we’ve got two veterans of ‘90s rock who went on to form bands that referenced air travel in their name and whose biggest bands both start with Jaw: Blake Schwarzenbach of Jawbreaker and J. Robbins of Jawbox. Sorry if that was confusing, I’ll clear it up for you. Blake Schwarzenbach was and is the singer and guitarist of the band Jawbreaker, which had its initial run from 1986 until 1996, at which time they acrimoniously splintered after longtime fans turned their backs on 1995’s Dear You, mostly because these dogmatic listeners were mad that the band had signed to a major label. These things were a big deal then, which seems kind of quaint now. History was incredibly kind to both Jawbreaker and Dear You, so much so that in 2017 they reformed to headline Chicago’s massive Riot Fest, and they’ve been playing together on and off ever since. In the intervening years, Schwarzenbach also played in other great bands, most notably Jets to Brazil, which is what I was referencing earlier. Jawbreaker is on tour now, and they’re bringing along some of their favorite bands to open, which brings us to… Jawbox, which followed a sorta similar trajectory to Jawbreaker. They came together in the late ‘80s, released a couple of incredible albums for a respected independent label, and then moved into the big leagues, with all the baggage and joy that might bring. Jawbox split in 1997, and Robbins went on to form Burning Airlines—are you seeing a pattern here?—but Jawbox reconvened in 2019. Those two bands certainly aren’t the beginning and end of Robbins’ amazing contributions to the world of music, though: Prior to Jawbox he was in Government Issue—you’ll hear them referred to as GI in this chat—he’s served as producer for a number of bands over the years, including Jets to Brazil, the Promise Ring, the Dismemberment Plan, Against Me, and other bands that make my 1990s heart sing. I hope you’ll notice I haven’t said emo once yet. In this conversation, J. and Blake talk about what it feels like to play shows together again after all these years—and all this pandemic. Blake compliments J. on his psychedelic guitar playing, and J. isn’t sure what to make of that. And we learn—I think for the first time—that Jawbox briefly considered calling themselves Jawbreaker, before J. discovered Jawbreaker’s first single at a record store and crossed it off his list. Enjoy. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to J. Robbins and Blake Schwarzenbach for chatting. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range.
Sondre Lerche with AURORA
Apr 7 2022
Sondre Lerche with AURORA
On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast, we’ve got a pair of Norwegian friends who both have excellent new records out this year: Sondre Lerche and AURORA.  Lerche started writing gorgeous pop songs while he was still a teen in the suburbs of Bergen, Norway. It wasn’t too long before his music started finding its way out into the world, and he’s released a bunch of albums since the early 2000s. Though clearly starting from a pop background—his songs are incredibly catchy—Lerche has nimbly moved through various permutations over the years, flirting with jazzy sounds, more intimate acoustic numbers, touches of Brazilian sounds, and the occasional out-and-out new wavey rock. Not long before the pandemic, Lerche recorded Patience, which he intended to tour behind, but instead he ended up moving back to Norway from Los Angeles and recording another excellent album, called Avatars of Love. For this one, his tenth, Lerche recruited a bunch of friends to help out, including another Norwegian star from a younger generation, AURORA. Here’s a bit of the sensual duet they performed together for the album, it’s called “Alone in the Night.” As you can hear, AURORA has a kind of otherworldly quality to her voice, though on her own records it’s more often set against a more electronic backdrop: You may have heard her killer single “Cure for Me,” which came out last year and appears on her latest album, which came out earlier this year. It’s called The Gods We Can Touch, and she’s once again—like Lerche—supremely interested in lyrics, this time around going heavy on love and relationships.  You’ll hear the two of them chat about the importance of love in this podcast, as well as their native Norway, earlobe hair, and more. One minute they’re deep into how music can help us overcome grief, and the next they’re talking about how religion and music are both like penises, in that they are beautiful and lovely, but you shouldn’t shove any of them in someone’s face. Enjoy. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to AURORA and Sondre Lerche for letting us listen in on their fun. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse wherever you get your podcasts. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!
Ben Folds with Neil Hannon
Mar 31 2022
Ben Folds with Neil Hannon
On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got a pair of songwriters who share a serious dedication to the craft, a slightly sardonic outlook on life, and deep, incredible catalogs: Neil Hannon and Ben Folds. Neil Hannon is from Northern Ireland, and it’s safe to say that he and the band that he’s fronted for the past 30 years, the Divine Comedy, are a bit better known in Europe than in the States. Under the Divine Comedy name, Hannon has released a dozen delightfully clever albums, the latest of which is 2019’s Office Politics. If you’re a newbie and that seems far too much to catch up on, you’re in luck: Just this year, the Divine Comedy released a fantastic greatest-hits set called Charmed Life. Hannon has also kept himself busy over the years writing an opera of sorts, as well as composing the theme songs to two beloved British sitcoms, The IT Crowd and Father Ted—the latter show comes up at the beginning of this conversation. Another thing you’ll hear Hannon reference in this chat is “Wonka money”—he’s referring to the fact that he’s composing the music for the upcoming Willy Wonka movie starring Timothee Chalamet. Not too shabby. Here’s a little bit of the Divine Comedy’s “The Best Mistakes.” Ben Folds, as you’ll hear in this conversation, is a huge fan of Hannon and his music. They’ve played together in the past and they plan to again; you’ll even hear them chatting about an orchestral series of concerts that Folds helps produce at the Kennedy Center. Folds, of course, is the piano-playing maestro who led the Ben Folds Five during the ‘90s, then struck out on his own for a vastly varied career in music. In addition to more pop-oriented albums, he’s collaborated with everyone from William Shatner to Weird Al; he’s written a piano concerto for the Nashville Symphony, released a well received memoir, and started a podcast in which he interviews interesting folks from various walks of life. Another guest who makes us all feel lazy. Damn it, Folds! For this chat, the old friends were in vastly different time zones: Hannon in Ireland and Folds in Australia, the former ready for bed and the latter just waking up. They talk about their admiration for each other—and how they don’t really understand current pop music, because they know they’re not supposed to. They talk about the downsides of ProTools and the upsides of the pandemic. And you get to hear Ben Folds say the phrase “getting on fucking Talkhouse and kissing ass,” which made my week. Enjoy. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Ben Folds and Neil Hannon for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!
Steve Albini with Max Collins (Eve 6)
Mar 17 2022
Steve Albini with Max Collins (Eve 6)
On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got a funny pairing that proves that good things do occasionally result from the existence of social media: Steve Albini and Max Collins. You almost certainly know Steve Albini’s name and probably some of his work, too, but I’ll share this brief summary anyway: As a musician, he has played in some incredibly influential bands, most notably Big Black and Shellac. As a producer/engineer/studio owner, he has helped make records by thousands of small independent bands and several huge mainstream ones, most notably Nirvana, with whom he recorded In Utero. (Other notable credits include PJ Harvey, Pixies, and the list goes on.) Albini is also a poker enthusiast who holds a World Series bracelet, though that part of his life doesn’t come up here. Throughout his career, Albini has been an outspoken champion of independence from the major-label system, and even penned a widely shared essay way back in the day about the general shittiness of the mainstream music business. Which makes it kind of funny that he’s speaking today with Max Collins, frontman for the band Eve 6, who were sort of a prime example of the major-label machinery in the ‘90s—though through no fault of their own. Signed to a huge deal just out of high school, the band had a pretty massive hit with a song called “Inside Out,” whose chorus features the phrase “heart in a blender.” Eve 6 largely disappeared after the turn of the century, but Collins found a hilarious new way to connect with fans during the pandemic: Twitter. His no-holds-barred tweets are funny and self-effacing, and they gained him an instant following. He refers to himself frequently—even once during this podcast—as the “heart in a blender guy,” and he openly shares his stories about other alt stars of the ‘90s, his opinions on current and older bands, and even some of his personal life. Albini, no stranger to no filter himself, became a fan after the two started playfully sparring about the relative merits of Counting Crows. A Twitter beef was born. If you don’t like that phrase, this is not the episode for you. Eve 6 has since started recording and releasing new music, and the two talk a bit about that in this episode. They also get into Eve 6’s financial history, the evils of major-label deals in the ‘90s, and for brief moment of non-playfulness, the idea of art as the antidote for the hellscape we all live in. Then there’s talk of starting a new beef, this time with Dave Grohl. Enjoy. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Steve Albini and Max Collins for chatting. If you liked what you heard, follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and please rate us—it actually does help. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!
Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie) with Meg Remy (U.S. Girls)
Mar 10 2022
Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie) with Meg Remy (U.S. Girls)
On this week’s Talkhouse episode, which we recorded as part of the On Air Festival, we’ve got a kind of unusually focused conversation about another person entirely: It’s Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie along with Meg Remy of U.S. Girls, talking at length about legendary artist Yoko Ono. It’s not just out of nowhere, though: Ben Gibbard, who you almost certainly know as the frontman of Death Cab For Cutie, whose impressive catalog has shaped indie-rock over the past two decades, recently curated a compilation that pays tribute to Ono’s music. He’s a man on a mission, which as you’ll hear is not to re-evaluate Yoko Ono’s vast catalog, but really to evaluate it in the first place. What people tend to know about Ono’s music doesn’t reflect the variety of her output, and her narrative as the villain in the Beatles story is ridiculous. To that end, Gibbard gathered a killer lineup to cover Ono’s songs for an album called Ocean Child. Musicians features in the collection include David Byrne with Yo La Tengo, Sharon Van Etten, Jay Som, Japanese Breakfast, the Flaming Lips, and of course Death Cab for Cutie themselves. Also included on Ocean Child is U.S. Girls, the musical project of Meg Remy. She’s been making music under the name for the past 15 years or so, amassing an impressive collection of records up to an including 2020’s Heavy Light–a Pitchfork best new music designee. She’s a perfect fit for a tribute to and conversation about Yoko Ono, since she’s not only a huge fan but clearly influenced by Ono’s sonic and political fearlessness. Before they get to chatting Yoko, Gibbard and Remy talk about Covid—there were some positives in it for Remy, who also gave birth to twins recently—and hotel notepads. Then it’s on to Yoko, whom they both deeply admire: They talk about her records, her art, and how the recent Get Back documentary kind of exploded the narrative on her vis a vis the Beatles. It’s a great chat about a worthy, misunderstood subject. Enjoy. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Meg Remy and Ben Gibbard for chatting. If you like what you heard, check out Ocean Child. And if you enjoyed the podcast, please follow, like, and rate Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time! View the full transcript of this podcast here.
Lou Barlow (Sebadoh, Dinosaur Jr.) with Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses)
Mar 3 2022
Lou Barlow (Sebadoh, Dinosaur Jr.) with Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses)
This week's Talkhouse Podcast features a bit of a lovefest between two titans of the indie-rock world, Lou Barlow and Ben Bridwell. It’s a cliche, sure, but Lou Barlow probably doesn’t need an introduction around here. A founding member of Dinosaur Jr., he played on that band’s formative 1980s albums before not very amicably parting ways with frontman J Mascis. But Barlow found plenty of subsequent success in the 90s with Sebadoh, whose 1994 masterpiece Bakesale is referenced in this chat. Barlow also, weirdly, had kind of a mainstream hit with his side project Folk Implosion—and there’s some very interesting, unexpected Folk Implosion news in this podcast that I won’t spoil for you. Barlow eventually rejoined Dinosaur Jr. in 2005, and the band has found a fruitful third life, making vital new records. Speaking of vital records, the prolific Barlow has also found time to make new Sebadoh music and solo records. The latest Lou Barlow record came out just last year, and it’s called Reason to Live, and there was also an excellent Dinosaur Jr. album from 2021 called Sweep it Into Space. As Ben Bridwell points out in this chat, Lou Barlow has been making music in public for damn near 40 years, while the group that Bridwell leads, Band of Horses, is approaching 20 years now. As you’ll hear in this conversation, Bridwell moved from the South to various other cities, ending up in Seattle—and specifically at the legendary Crocodile Cafe—where he played in bands and listened to lots of music. He loved Sebadoh, as did pretty much everybody in the 90s, and it was one of the inspirations for Bridwell to launch Band of Horses, which subsequently found its own substantial fanbase—no surprise considering Bridwell’s passionate voice and fantastic songs. Band of Horses hasn’t put out a full length in more than five years—blame the pandemic for at least some of that delay—but is just now releasing a great new record that feels a bit more like their early stuff, and they’re about to head out on a huge tour supporting the Black Keys. The new album is called Things are Great. It’s clear from the very start of this conversation what a huge fan of each other these two guys are—and also that neither of them are very good at accepting compliments. Barlow talks about the magical moment he connected with Bridwell’s voice, Bridwell talks about discovering the power of that voice, they talk about how a Camel cigarettes tour brought them together, and eventually, Bridwell makes up his own segment for the Talkhouse Podcast called “rapid fire.” It’s a delight. Enjoy. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Lou Barlow and Ben Bridwell for chatting. If you like what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform and social media service. Oh, and rate us, too—it really does help! This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!
Chris Carrabba (Dashboard Confessional) with Jim Adkins (Jimmy Eat World)
Feb 24 2022
Chris Carrabba (Dashboard Confessional) with Jim Adkins (Jimmy Eat World)
As a music fan of a certain age, I can be a bit partial to the 1990s, and to that era’s emo-rock in particular, so this week’s Talkhouse pairing speaks to me: It’s Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World and Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional. Jimmy Eat World started life in 1993 in Arizona, pretty much straight out of high school. Before they knew what hit them, they had a major label deal with Capitol and a hearty underground following for their catchy, raw songs. A rollercoaster of a career eventually led to a massive radio hit in 2001: “The Middle”—you know it, believe me—which launched them to new heights but didn’t really change the band’s fundamentals. They’ve continued making excellent records since, up to and including 2019’s Surviving. One of that album’s best songs is the focus of part of today’s podcast, too: “555.”  Dashboard Confessional, which is the product of singer-songwriter Chris Carrabba, started life a little later in the ‘90s, but also with a bang. His heart-on-sleeve lyrics almost immediately inspired sold-out shows and tear-stained singalongs. In other words, the “emo” tag actually makes some sense for once. The pandemic cut short Carrabba’s touring look back at 20 years of Dashboard Confessional, but it allowed him to finish a brand new album called All the Truth That I Can Tell. Now Carrabba and Adkins aren’t just here because they’re pals and they come from similar backgrounds. They’re also bringing their bands together through March on a co-headlining tour dubbed “Surviving The Truth" and then both bands will be part of the When We Were Young festival in Las Vegas in October. All the dates can be found on either band’s website, naturally. Adkins and Carrabba chat a lot about songwriting here, specifically about techniques for letting a song find itself. They also ponder whether it’s better to have a big radio hit, like Jimmy Eat World did, or to be associated with a huge Spider-Man movie, as Dashboard Confessional was. And both seem delighted, even after all this time, to be able to make music their living. Enjoy.  Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Chris Carrabba and Jim Adkins for chatting. If you liked what you heard, check out Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform and social channels. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!