Ready, Steady, Still Going: An Interview with Shonen Knife

Now here’s an opportunity that doesn’t come around every day. Japan’s premier all-girl punk-pop noisemakers Shonen Knife are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year, and they’re doing so by releasing an album of Ramones covers. Osaka Ramones has got to be one of the most plain fun records put out by anyone all year and I was lucky enough to have Shonen Knife frontwoman Naoko Yamano answer a few of my questions about the project.

Read the full interview at The 405 here

Interview: “Not the Beginning of the End” For Laura Veirs

Laura Veirs’ song “July Flame” is one of my favourite things of the last few years – there’s something about that vocal and the atmosphere it creates that is incredible. When its parent album proved to be a real critical success for the Oregon-based singer-songwriter, she didn’t choose to simply do the same thing all over again: instead, Veirs has just released an album of songs intended for children. A while back I gave her a call and asked all about the background and recording of Tumble Bee, which has earned some glowing reviews over the last couple of weeks. My interview is now up over at PopMatters.

Read the full interview at PopMatters

“One Million Percent Serious”: An Interview with Florian Lunaire

Signed to the wonderfully named Records Records Records, Florian Lunaire is frontman of the elusive London band Disappearers but also an artist in his own right. This year he has already released two EPs, Spring and Summer 2011, which are to be the first in a series of seasonal recordings Lunaire plans to keep going until he dies. I had the chance to email over some questions to the ambitious man himself, and he got in touch to tell me how he is “one million percent serious” about the project.

Read the full interview at The Line of Best Fit

Mayhem – An Interview with Imelda May

Playing for Barack Obama in her native Dublin was just the most recent squirt of icing on the cake of Imelda May’s success, and it was just after that event that I was able to interview the rockabilly heroine herself for PopMatters. She’s currently promoting the belated US release of her invigorating album Mayhem (reviewed for PopMatters here) and that process was one of the topics discussed, along with her presidential gig and her musical heroes. As she went right back to Johnny Burnette and Wanda Jackson, Imelda displayed a real love and knowledge of classic music and was a pleasure to speak to.

Read the full interview at PopMatters here.

New and Introduced For TLOBF: Fixers

Eclectic and electric local Oxford chaps Fixers are much-hyped at the moment; declared a Guardian band of the day in November (“potentially huge homegrown purveyors of the new US psych-pop”) and with an EP out on Rough Trade, they’re hotly-tipped and on the radar and all those other clichés.

They’re also featured on TLOBF today; I was lucky enough to see their show at Stoke’s Sugarmill the other week and my Introducing feature including quotes from an interview with frontman Jack Goldstein is live for your delectation. Go on, go get a fix.

New Interview: Alexander

As the new album appears, heralded by its beguiling but infectious lead single ‘Truth’, Alexander is entering a new phase in an already labyrinthine musical career that has covered the better part of fifteen years.

It’s been a while since I’ve interviewed anyone for TLOBF, but the drought is over. Today my email Q&A session with Alexander Ebert – of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – went live on the site. Ebert is releasing a debut solo album on Rough Trade under the name Alexander and rather fine it is too; I’ve penned a review of it which should be seeing the light of day soon. Speaking of reviews, I’ve recently been confirmed as a music critic for PopMatters, so expect to see some more of my music work there, too.

When I Met Goldheart Assembly

It’s taken a while to go up, but at last my interview with ace London band Goldheart Assembly has appeared on TLOBF. Joe Collins and I met the band after their Saturday set at Summer Sundae in Leicester a few weeks back, and we had a good long chat about various subjects, especially what’s good and bad about what’s on the wireless these days.  You can read the interview here; the photo above is part of one of Joe’s photos of the band from the weekend, more of which can be seen on his Flickr. Much more TLOBF stuff to come next week, remember…

// Thought

"There's a flaming red horizon that screams our names..."

Jeff Buckley - "Eternal Life"

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