Interviews

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Mike Mettler  |  Mar 21, 2024  |  4 comments

Eleven days ago, we lost another good one. Karl Wallinger, the visionary bandleader, singer, songwriter, composer, and all-around sonic Svengali of the alt-pop-leaning British collective known as World Party, sadly passed away on March 10, 2024, at the still young age of 66. In a recently unearthed, previously unpublished interview with AP editor Mike Mettler from 2012, Wallinger discussed the importance of how to properly sequence song cycles on LPs, why he once wanted to open his own record store, and his early proclivity for listening to progressive artists like Yes, Pink Floyd, and ELP on vinyl — plus, he shows us, on video, his unique DIY double-tracking vocal technique. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Mar 10, 2024  |  0 comments

If there’s a musician who’s taking better advantage of that figurative Dorian Gray picture on their wall than singer/songwriter/guitarist Dion DiMucci, we haven’t met them. The eternal Bronx-born Wanderer is still going strong at age 84, having issued three all-new 180g 2LP sets in the past four years. The most recent of which is Girl Friends, a four-sided, 12-track affair that celebrates Dion’s collaborative spirit and spark with a plethora of female artists, and it was just released by Keeping The Blues Alive this past Friday, March 8. In a recent Zoom interview with AP editor Mike Mettler, Dion discussed why he sequences his LPs like a live show, how “The Wanderer” is one of his definitive “bragging rights” songs, and why he’s considering resurrecting some of his personal favorite songs from years past on vinyl. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Mar 03, 2024  |  1 comments

Paula Cole didn’t want to wait any longer to take full control of her career — so the acclaimed, heart-on-her-sleeve singer/songwriter started her own 675 Records label a little over a decade ago, and she hasn’t looked back since. The latest fruit of Cole’s vinyl-centric labors is a new 2LP studio set, Lo, her 11th solo album, which was released on 675 on March 1. Produced by Cole herself, Lo teems with the caliber of songwriting depth and arrangement breadth she’s long been known for as an artist. In a recent Zoom interview with AP editor Mike Mettler, Cole discussed why listening to vinyl is a “full body” experience, why Lo had no choice but to be spread across three LP sides, and why she feels passionate about reclaiming the rights to re-release her first three albums on her own label.. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Feb 15, 2024  |  6 comments

Whenever the calendar turns, almost inevitably, new Steve Hackett music is on the horizon — and thus we have before us the British guitar maestro’s 30th solo album, The Circus and the Nightwhale, which is being released tomorrow, February 16, 2024, as a 180g 1LP set via InsideOut Music. In a recent Zoom interview across the Pond with AP editor Mike Mettler, Hackett discussed the genesis (pun intended) of Nightwhale music, the importance of deploying volume dynamics whenever possible, and why Genesis was in no way going to compromise the depth and the integrity of the song arrangements they came up with for the initial vinyl release of their groundbreaking 1972 LP, Foxtrot. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Jan 19, 2024  |  3 comments

The impetus for Sleater-Kinney’s powerful, personal, and punishing new LP Little Rope — out today, January 19, 2024, on Loma Vista — emerged from a devasting event experienced by one of their co-founding bandmembers. During a recent Zoom interview with AP editor Mike Mettler, Sleater-Kinney vocalist/guitarist Corin Tucker discussed why listening to test pressings remains such an important part of the band’s process, who the “bigger” audiophile in her family is and which high-end turntable proves the point, and why gauging the correct microphone distance is absolutely crucial for how her commanding vocal range is captured in the studio. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Dec 19, 2023  |  3 comments

Even though they initially took flight in the burgeoning digital age as the calendar turned to the 1990s, The Black Crowes have always had an analog-centric mindset. During a recent Zoom interview with AP editor Mike Mettler, Black Crowes lead vocalist Chris Robinson and lead guitarist/vocalist Rich Robinson, alongside producer George Drakoulias, all came together to discuss how finding the original quarter-inch master unlocked the Southern Harmony vinyl collection, which vintage turntables both Brothers Robinson swear by, and why sequencing the album for vinyl playback was always of primary consideration. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Nov 08, 2023  |  4 comments

David Rawlings had a clear mission ahead of him. His dream was to release Gillian Welch’s acclaimed June 2011 alt-rural album The Harrow & The Harvest on reel-to-reel tape — but just how would he go about doing it? One word: DIY. During a recent phone interview with AP editor Mike Mettler, Rawlings discusses how The Harrow & The Harvest made its transition to tape, why making tape duplicates is a challenging process, why he also still loves cutting lacquers, and which Welch album might just make its reel-to-reel debut next. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Nov 03, 2023  |  2 comments

Phil Manzanera is quite the worldly musician. Lately, the guitarist/composer has been on a tear with his Roxy Music bandmate, saxophonist Andy Mackay, with three LPs en route: AM PM, Roxymphony, and Christmas — plus a fourth with Tim Finn, a limited edition 3LP set. During a recent Zoom interview with AP editor Mike Mettler, Manzanera discusses how AM PM instinctually came together, the differences between composing instrumentals as opposed to music accompanied by lyrics, and which Roxy Music album he feels is perfectly sequenced for vinyl playback. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Oct 06, 2023  |  2 comments

Trevor Rabin is a truly cinematic artist — and we don’t just say that because he joined a band called Cinema that soon enough brought its name back around to Yes before they released November 1983’s 90125. In the interim, Rabin has scored over 50 films and television shows, continued to work on and off with various Yesmates (hello, ARW), and he’s also released a number of wide-ranging solo albums to boot. His latest effort, Rio, is being released today in various 2LP configurations via InsideOut Music. During a recent Zoom interview with AP editor Mike Mettler, Rabin discusses the vinyl-centric impetus of Rio, why it’s important for him to personally attend as many mastering sessions as he can, and why he feels Bob Ludwig’s mastering “saved” 90125. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Aug 22, 2023  |  2 comments

Jamie West-Oram is a master of texture. Forty-plus years ago, the long-tenured guitarist of The Fixx forged a signature soundscape bed for the band’s chief lyricist and lead vocalist Cy Curnin to weave his timeless tales around, typically buttressed by adventurous keyboard figures from Rupert Greenall and more often than not buoyed by the studio acumen of producer Rupert Hine and engineer Stephen W. Tayler. During a recent Zoom interview with AP editor Mike Mettler, West-Oram discusses the genesis of his new solo album Skeleton Key, why The Fixx couldn’t just leave Side D of their 2022 2LP set Every Five Seconds blank, and how their 1983 breakthrough LP Reach the Beach retains such palpable resonance on vinyl to this very day. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Jul 12, 2023  |  6 comments

You can’t keep a good man down, especially when his name is Peter Frampton. It’s no accident Frampton’s current 27-date summer tour is titled — semi-tongue-in-cheek, mind you — Never Say Never. While Frampton continues touring, he is also on the cusp of the release of a historical new box set on July 28 via Intervention Records — namely, the all-analog Frampton@50: In The Studio 1972-1975 180g 3LP numbered, limited edition box set that tops out at 2,500 copies. During a recent Zoom interview with AP editor Mike Mettler, Frampton discusses his hands-on approach with the test pressings for what ultimately went into the Intervention box set, how he’d like to see his iconic 1976 double-live album Frampton Comes Alive! make it back to vinyl, and the one album in his catalog he’d rather not be reissued on vinyl at all. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Jun 22, 2023  |  10 comments

Stewart Copeland has always followed the beat of his own drum — or, rather, he’s always been the consummate rhythmatist who’s unwaveringly laid down his own style of drumming perpetually in service of the song at hand. And now, the sonic fruit of his latest twisted muse, if you will, has manifested itself in a solo project somewhat cheekily dubbed Police Deranged for Orchestra, consisting of ten classic and deep-cut Police tracks rearranged — or “deranged,” in Copeland’s titular parlance — as released in its 1LP form by Shelter/BMG this Friday, June 23. During a recent Zoom interview with AP editor Mike Mettler, Copeland discusses how he opened up the dynamic range with all the Derangements he came up with for this album, how he shepherded the “perfect” snare, and just how meticulous he got when he wrote out the entire Deranged score for each orchestra member to follow. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Jun 07, 2023  |  3 comments

After a decade-long battle with cancer, pioneering pianist/instrumentalist extraordinaire George Winston sadly passed at age 73 on June 4, 2023. For his part, Winston begat an instrumental artform initially known as “folk piano,” best exemplified by seasonally flavored LPs like 1980’s Autumn, 1982’s December, and 1982’s Winter Into Spring. In a previously unpublished interview with AP editor Mike Mettler, Winston discusses how he first came up with that folk piano playing style, how The Doors became one of his major influences in addition to his favorite New Orleans jazz players, and the key differences between what his left and right hands were charged with doing on the piano. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Jun 02, 2023  |  2 comments

Rufus Wainwright has pretty much followed the beat of his own musical drum since Day 1. Over the course of his multi-decade career, his impeccably ingrained singer/songwriter chops have often fused alt-rock proclivities with the compositional scope of George Gershwin and Franz Schubert. And now, Wainwright has returned to his other true roots with a new 2LP set dubbed Folkocracy, which was released via BMG today, June 2. The four-sided, 60-minute song cycle runs the gamut of a modern-yet-vintage blend of traditional folk and more contemporary fare alike. In a recent Zoom interview with AP editor Mike Mettler, Wainwright discusses why Folkocracy belongs on 2LPs instead of one and confirms the only song on the album he knew he had to go back and redo the vocal for, emphasizes the importance of maximizing his family connections on the second LP, and reveals his “secret dream” for how he’ll be able to thwart A.I. artistically. . .

Mike Mettler  |  May 25, 2023  |  1 comments

Certain albums serve as defining statements of a band’s career trajectory — and when it comes to the British melodic progressive rock band Wishbone Ash, 1972’s Argus is the shining example. To celebrate the golden anniversary of this milestone album, Wishbone Ash recently released the Argus 50th Anniversary Edition 1972-2022 multidisc box set via Madfish on April 14, 2023, with a special anniversary edition run of 5,000 copies that includes the remastered Argus on black vinyl and five tracks of Argus Live on yellow vinyl. In a recent phone interview with AP editor Mike Mettler, Wishbone Ash guitarist/vocalist Andy Powell discusses why the multiple movements in the lengthy album opener “Time Was” were absolutely critical for how the sound of Argus unfolded on vinyl, how the band pioneered the use of twin-guitar harmonics, and the specific sonic elements added to Argus they felt were lacking on previous albums. Read on to get Powell’s inside takes on why Argus continues to throw down the sword on vinyl. . .

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