Musician Interviews

More punch to the gut

Ben Johnson holds the unique position of watching rock shows for a living and occasionally gracing the same stage. He has walked through the door at the Casbah hundreds of times to clock in for ...

Sans anesthesia

“Wang Dang Sweet Poontang” wrecked Sam Lopez

“Piercing shards of explosive feedback. Dissonant swirls of mutilated musical notes. Guttural shrieks of broken guitar.”

Zeppelin on steroids

Seventrain’s roots in ’80s Van Halen.

“I had so much fun jumping around in the crowd, I nearly lost consciousness twice.”

Plays well with others

When J Mascis, Dinosaur Jr. frontman, was preparing to record his new solo album, Tied to a Star, released on August 26, he searched for musicians capable of not only singing backup vocals but people ...

Pure Daniel

“He wanted to stay around Southern California, you know he never ventured into New York. That’s where you’ve got to go to get an international reputation. Had he been exposed to a larger audience, he ...

Late-night Nirvana

RedRumsey’s hazy and macabre memories of old SD.

“I found a dead body in the doorway. It was gone in the morning, and no one believed me.”

Grammy man

Jazz player Kamau Kenyatta says he’s still learning.

When San Diego musician Kamau Kenyatta learned that his protégé Gregory Porter had won Best Jazz Vocal Album at the 2014 Grammy Awards for Liquid Spirits (an album Kenyatta produced), he was momentarily indisposed: “I ...

Like a sloppy Loggins

High Mountain Tempel creates soundscapes for seekers.

“I’d like to be like Edith Piaf and say, ‘Je ne regrette rien,’ but that wouldn’t really hit the mark.”

Muff for life

Kim Shattuck pummel you, too?

“It would be weird having my grating, aggravating-sounding voice on ‘Here Comes Your Man.’ It would be really awkward.”

Potluck with Tori Amos

“I usually am backstage furiously learning something before I walk on.”

Devo from the ground up

“We were self-effacing metrosexual Yoni worshipers who always left our hotel rooms clean.”

Forged in the horror of the Kent State shootings, bolstered with bracing irony and a handful of religious and pseudoscientific screeds, Devo (short for “de-evolution”) took showmanship, synthesizers, and science fiction to the masses. They’re ...

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