They’re back now, but for several years, the Kills were largely off the scene. In a career-spanning interview, Yahoo Music learns the story.
Touring is an unavoidable rite of passage for any baby buzz band, and life in the van isn’t always so glamorous; it’s a far cry from the chartered jets that established pop stars use to get from gig to gig. But a few creature comforts can make all the difference on the road.
“People always tell us that what we’re doing isn’t popular – like, ‘Why are you doing it?’ But I don’t think any of us really care,” says Conor Behrle, guitarist for the Hollywood glitter-rock brigade Hammered Satin, sitting at Yahoo Music with his platform-soled, leather-sheathed, rivet-studded, bell-bottomed bandmates. “I do not want anyone to be confused and think that’s what we’re about.
“‘Disco’ now has a very different connotation than even five years ago,” says Eugene Cho, founder of the Brooklyn indie-dance collective Escort, sitting with his bandmates Dave Sharma (drums) and French-born style icon Adeline Michele (vocals, bass) after bringing their block-rocking beats to the Yahoo Music studio. Escort – whose lineup features anywhere from seven to 17 members, depending on the live setting – have been making effervescent, alternative, analog dance music for a decade now. “The whole ‘disco sucks’ thing was the rock ‘n’ roll monolithic establishment… but even now, Fall Out Boy has a dance record out now,” Sharma points out, jokingly comparing today’s dance/rock crossover hits to the one-off disco singles that the Rolling Stones, KISS, and Rod Stewart released back in the day.
Blues-rock is having a moment right now, with artists like Gary Clark Jr., Alabama Shakes, Chris Stapleton, and of course the Black Keys introducing a whole new generation to real roots music and authentic analog instrumentation. Los Angeles power trio the Record Company, who just released their debut album Give It Back to You on Concord Music, fit right into that scene with their swampy, sweaty sound – but they eschew the idea that they’re part of some revival moment or are limited to a certain retro genre. “We’re influenced by everything from early electric blues, early punk, early country, gospel music,” says singer/guitarist/harmonica virtuoso Chris Vos.
“’Psychedelic violence’ is the way we describe our sound, because we’re your dad’s acid records mixed with your older brother’s punk and metal records,” says Josh Landau – the hirsute, badass frontman for headbanging L.A. three-piece the Shrine – as he sits with his equally hirsute and badass bandmates Courtland Murphy and Jeff Murray after playing a sweaty set at Yahoo Music. Somehow the Shrine (the group, not the venue) manage to pack the energy of all three classic bands into their own increasingly buzzy – and crazy – live shows, whether they’re playing for an intimate gathering of friends at Yahoo Studios or for “1,200 people crawling on each other and throwing s—“ at their recent party to celebrate their third album, Rare Breed. “I looked over and a friend of ours was making out with two girls,” recalls Landau of their wild, stuff-of-legend record release bash, which was attended by everyone from Father John Misty to Daniel Lanois to Shepard Fairey.
There is a striking intensity in the singing voice of Lacey Sturm that is both captivating and instantly memorable. Sturm, formerly Lacey Mosley, first captured our attention a decade ago in Flyleaf–the platinum selling, Texas hard rock band that connected commercially with their self-titled debut LP. When the singer departed in 2012 and had two children while Flyleaf carried on with a new vocalist, it seemed a possibility we’d not hear from her again.
It is a fascinating collection of pulsing, pounding, gritty, fabulous new rock and roll that evokes the sound and spirit of Texas legends the 13th Floor Elevators, puts a strong backbeat to it, and then—ah, youth—throws a little Hawkwind in for good measure, though they might not even realize it. “Moving from Texas to Seattle was kind of a change of speed,” says the band’s guitarist and singer Danny Lee.
“We didn’t think that people were going to listen to it, “ says Girlpool’s Cleo Tucker of making Before The World Was Big–her band’s first album, released last summer and still impressing people all these months later. Enjoy it, and them.
“Everything’s like a perfect storm in life,” says pregnant drummer and maraca shaker Julie Edwards, re-explaining Deap Vally’s origins yet again. The very loud, very colorful, and starkly creative pair that comprises Deap Vally are visiting us during an interesting point in their career.
Together, they are Au Pair, and their fine new debut album One-Armed Candy Bear could not sound fresher, more inspired, or simply more emerging than most of what you’ll hear this year. While Louris’s pioneering work with the Jayhawks have been largely loved and appreciated since that band’s formation in the mid-‘80s, Haskins’ might be a tad less known to some. “The Jayhawks once got a review in a local City Pages magazine years ago,” remembers Louris.
Russell Simmons, who’s already spoken out against Donald Trump’s tumultuous campaign for president, just shared an open letter addressing his concerns about the polarizing rhetoric of his “amazing friend,” as he describes Trump. Who Said It: Morrissey or Donald Trump?
John Lennon with Yoko Ono outside the Dakota apartment building in 1980 (photo: Vinnie Zuffante/John Lennon Archive)
A sharp sense of self-awareness and intelligence permeates the music and the lyrics of Omaha band The Good Life, whose recent album Everybody’s Coming Down—their first in eight years—could not be a more exemplary example of rocking, thoughtful stuff. “I guess we enjoy using the double entendre of giving the impression of ‘Everybody’s coming down to the party,’” says band frontman and lyricist Tim Kasher. Kasher is sharp, witty, and wry, as are the songs of The Good Life–and, for that matter, his other, better known band band Cursive, around since 1995, celebrated, and just another part of a career that has since grown to encompass screenplay writing, solo albums and much more.
It’s officially December, and country superstar Carrie Underwood is ready to give her fans an early holiday present: Namely, the video for her new single “Heartbeat”! Yahoo Music is excited to premiere this in its entirety to get the good-feeling seasonal vibes going.
Longtime fans of Nashville rock ’n’ rollers Moon Taxi will likely find the band’s recent performance in our studio a special treat. Because their tour bus broke down, they had a gig at LA’s Troubadour club later that night, and, troupers that they are, a gig is a gig. “We really enjoy playing live, and that’s how we’ve turned most people on to our music,” says the band’s singer Trevor Terndrup.
“I think a million pounds might ruin this band,” says James Wignall of UK-based band Cheatahs, considering that improbable scenario wherein someone plops a bundle of money at their feet and tells them to make the album of their dreams.
After a 13-year hiatus, Minneapolis post-punk female icons Babes in Toyland reunited in late 2014 and have been touring ever since, playing everywhere from a much-hyped comeback show at Los Angeles’s Roxy this year to Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London to, most recently, the Voodoo Music Art Experience in New Orleans. At the fest, they gave a performance the Toyota Tent held in conjunction with SPIN, delivering their eruptive sound that vacillates between calming psychedelic energy to explosive rock stylings – Kat Bjelland’s screeching lead vocals, Lori Barbero’s pacing drums, and humming bass from new member Clara Salyer.
Welsh-originated and London-based dreampop trio the Joy Formidable (consisting of Ritzy Bryan on vocals and guitar, Rhydian Dafydd on bass, and Matt Thomas on drums) were one of the lucky acts at New Orleans’s Voodoo Music + Art Experience who didn’t experience inclement weather. In fact, their Friday set was marked by sunshine and an equally sunny crowd eager for some rocking sounds.
Yahoo Live will stream the iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina concert at Miami’s American Airlines Arena on Sat. Nov. 7 featuring Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez, Prince Royce, Don Omar, Wisin, Natalia Jiménez and more. Tune in HERE to watch! Pitbull long ago updated his nickname from “Mr. 305” — after his home area code — to “Mr.
The robustly talented and colorful Detroit-based combo, known to the world as pals Daniel Zott and Joshua Epstein, have grown significantly since their 2011 debut album It’s A Corporate World and its 2013 follow-up The Speed Of Things. Formerly Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr—like the famous stock car racing driver, but with an extra “Jr”—the band recently dropped the first half of their name. Zott and Epstein were talkative, upbeat, pleased with their new album—as they should be, as it’s solid, impeccably produced, and loaded with catchy tunes—and a great taste of the talent emanating from the Motor City circa 2015.
There is a look and feel and—dare we say it—vibe to Phases that evokes the ‘80s in a colorful, festive, highly danceable way. The well-pedigreed Los Angeles-based band may have collectively cool credentials verging on the ultrahip—Rilo Kiley, Bright Eyes, Phantom Planet, the Like, etc.—but in their heart of hearts, they are creating a soundtrack to an ancient San Fernando Valley all-ages dance club that is long since gone. “We sat down with our manager now, the first time we met her,” recalls Z Berg, one-time member of the Like, “and the first thing she said to us was, ‘Oh my God, I love this record. All I can think when I put it on is being a teenager in the mid-‘80s in Canoga Park and going into this underage dance club called Phases…and I just hear you guys playing in it.”Photo: Vincent Perini Berg has an enthusiasm that is contagious, and it is reflected in the music of her band, and the demeanor of her band mates, in Yahoo’s Santa Monica studio recently and giving us a sampling of their fine new album For Life.
Robert DeLong fans know him as an electric dance musician, but those in attendance at San Francisco’s Outside Lands festival over the weekend got to see him unplugged.
The wackiest and most lovable Liverpudlians to transport quirky powerpop across the Mersey since John, Paul, George, and Ringo first headed to Hamburg,