Category Archives: Interviews

Ohio Film + Music Fest Begins Tonight!

Donewaiting had some early coverage of this locally born, Ohio-centric festival a few months back, but as details have emerged and the hour drawn near it’s time for an excited reminder. The festival kicks off tonight (8PM) at Bourbon St Cafe with a series of short documentaries and live footage from several historical Columbus and Dayton bands. Following the screenings, the first of three nights of live music shows begins next door at The Summit. The bills for all three nights of music are excellent, showcasing some of Ohio’s premier homegrown talent. Of note is the live debut of RJD2′s Icebird project, a resurgent Kelley Deal in R Ring, and a return to the motherland by Heartless Bastards. I doubt any folks around here need to be introduced to New Bomb Turks, Nick Tolford, Blueprint, EYE, or Envelope, but yeah, they are all (along with others) performing as part of this over the next three nights.

While the collection of musical performances is going to be great, the film offerings are proving to be the real rare treat. There is more happening than I have time to highlight, so I really encourage a review of the festival website for a thorough rundown of what’s showing. Highlights for me will definitely begin on Friday with The Garage Tapes, three never-before-screened short films featuring a musing and performing Tom Waits, as shot by Jim Jarmusch. In the vein of music-related films, the documentary Outside In delves into the often difficult life of Akron artist Alfred McMoore, who was befriended by Dan Auerbach and was the source for Auerbach’s band name- The Black Keys. 45365, a winner of the Grand Jury Prize at SXSW, is a portrait of Sidney, Ohio and describes both the simplicity and depth of life and relationships small-town America. Columbus ex-pat and festival co-founder Eric Mahoney is screening is own contribution- North Dixie Drive, about the eccentricities of one particular Dayton neighborhood and the characters found within it. Also on my must-see list is Oscar-nominated The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant and 4192: The Crowning of the Hit King about the career of Pete Rose. Tickets are still available for all these events, check the festival website or Facebook page for showtimes. Movies will be screened at the Arena Grand Theater (they have beer) downtown. Get on it!

Video: Envelope, Adam Smith, & Jacoti Sommes Detail Making An Analog Hip Hop Record in 2011

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Columbus’s favorite son Envelope‘s upcoming EP, This Could Go Either Way, took a page from early Wu-Tang during the recording and editing process.   The analog Hip Hop record was produced by Jacoti Sommes, and recorded/engineered by Adam Smith at Columbus Discount Recordings so the three of them detail the #rare technology, process, and reasoning used for making an analog rap recording in 2011.

Envelope will perform at the Ohio Film and Music Festival this Saturday in Columbus, October 8th.

This Could Go Either Way will be released October 15th during Envelope & DJ Detox’s tour of Columbus Record Stores.

(video shot by Jared “Path” Young and his friend Logan)

Interview: Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big)

If you’ve over the age of 30, you’ve heard Mr.Big’s 1991 chart-topping, power-ballad “To Be with You”. Some 20 years later, you can still hear the song on a variety of satellite radio stations, from the ’90s channel to the hair metal channel to the lite rock channel. It’s also featured in the Broadway musical Rock of Ages.

The original lineup – Eric Martin (vocals), Paul Gilbert (guitars), Billy Sheehan (bass) and Pat Torpey (drums) – released 4 albums between 1989 and 1996. After Gilbert left in ’97, ex-Poison guitarist Richie Kotzen joined the band and played on two Mr.Big releases before the band broke up in 2002.

A 2009 reunion – to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Mr.Big’s self-titled debut – proved successful and in 2010 it was announced that the band would be releasing an album of new material. What If … was released earlier this year and Mr.Big hit the road to promote the first new album in 10 years.

On Saturday night, Mr.Big will play at the Alrosa Villa with Lynch Mob (featuring ex-Dokken guitarist George Lynch). This is the only date on Mr.Big’s tour where the two bands are playing together so it’s sure to be a memorable evening.

Paul Gilbert took some time last week to answer some questions I sent via his publicist.

The venue in Columbus where you’ll be playing, the Alrosa Villa, is billing the show as it’s “37th Anniversary Show”. When you see the tour itinerary, are you aware of these types of things? Not that you’d necessarily plan anything special, but there might be a little bit of additional buzz because of the anniversary.

PG: Well, first of all, a hearty congratulations to the Alrosa Villa for keeping it together for 37 years. That’s a long time to survive in the entertainment business, so they must be doing something very right.

My job is to play guitar, and I’ve been practicing and playing my guitar like a madman for over three and half decades, so hopefully that will give people something good to remember about their experience in the venue.
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Waka Flocka Flame Interviews Tyler the Creator

Last year, I interviewed Waka Flocka Flame. I told him that punk rock and metal kids love his music because its rowdy-as fuck.

And I asked him if he fucks with punk or metal

This year Odd Future blew the fuck up because of the same sentiment. I think Tyler’s record Goblin is damn near 100,000 on an indie(bout it like Master P in ’96 indeed). Mellowhype’s reissue on Fat Possum of Blackendedwhite broke the Billboard Top 100. Breakin’ the Rules is cool again.

So I am really stoked that Interview Magazine had Waka Flocka Flame interview Odd Future’s Tyler, the Creator.

In this excerpt Waka Flocka asks Tyler, the Creator if he considers himself punk rock or metal:

FLAME: So would you describe Odd Future as a hip-hop heavy-metal group? Or a punk-rock rap group? How do you describe what you and your crew do?

TYLER: I don’t like either description. I don’t like being put in a box. I just make music, you know? When you’re put in a box, people have a set mind-state of what your music could sound like before they even look into it. Like, if no one ever heard of me, but I’m hip-hop-metal-rock, then they’re already gonna have an expectation of what the music will sound like. Then, when they go in and finally listen to it, it might be different from what they thought, and they could automatically hate it because they already had expectations.

FLAME: I dig it. You gotta create your own genre.

TYLER: Yeah.

FLAME: So what inspires y’all then?

TYLER: When I’m on stage, it’s, like, Ian Curtis and Sid Vicious—like, real punk rock and shit. I’m like a big 10-year-old when I’m on stage. I just go up there and do whatever I think is cool at the moment. And then, when it comes to rappin’, I like watchin’ a lot of cartoons and movies and shit. Usually, when I’m rappin’, I’m creating a big story or a concept song that sounds like a movie to me.

Read the whole Interview here.

Read my review of a Waka Flocka Flame show in the Other Paper too while your are at it!

Interview: Let’s Wrestle

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MP3: Let’s Wrestle – Dear John

While the indie/DIY scene continues to over saturate itself day after day with “really cool bands”, I can’t help but feel that most of these bands are missing the point. These days you can be hard pressed to find artists putting more effort into the quality of their music than their general aesthetic.

Thankfully, gems like London-based Let’s Wrestle (vocalist/guitarist Wesley Patrick Gonzalez, bassist Sam Pillay and drummer Darkus Bishop) shine through all the flimflammery and leave you with charming, unpretentious rock.

Upping the ante since their first full-length in 2009, In the Court of the Wrestling Let’s, the trio recorded their sophomore album with Steve Albini at Electrical Audio. Nursing Home was released last month on Merge.

I caught up with Wes last week to find out more about the band and their experience with Albini.

Wikipedia tells me (and genuine sources confirm) critics have compared you to The Fall and early Wedding Present. While I’m sure it’s partially because they must be influences of yours, how do you feel about comparisons like this when you read about bands?

I think these are reviews of early singles or something before the 1st album. People haven’t really said this much recently. I will analyze each reference way too much. For instance, with those two Mark Smith can’t sing. I think I can. the guitar sounds on early Fall records are really cool but I don’t think my guitar playing is like that and they also may be talking about the last Fall album which would be horrible. As for being compared to The Wedding Present, I don’t like them I think they are lacking songs. I don’t give a shit about how we sound. I mainly want people to acknowledge that it is pop music.
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Interview: Dawes (@ The LC Wednesday night)

Riding high on a wave of Southern California sunshine and smooth harmonies, Dawes is no stranger to Columbus having graced the Rumba and Basement stages a handful of time during the last 12-18 months. With a sophomore album set to hit stores and the internet the day before the band opens for Bright Eyes at The LC (indoor stage … BOO … this type of music is made to be heard under a starry sky), Dawes already has a summer full of touring plans including opening for the likes of My Morning Jacket, Brett Dennen, and Alison Krauss and Union Station.

Nothing is Wrong is a mature sounding album for a group that’s only been together for about five years. Already, comparisons to artists ranging from Crosby, Stills and Nash, Jackson Browne, and The Band have littered reviews in magazines and on the web and all are justifiable. Without a doubt, there’s been a lot of care put into crafting these folk-rock-inspired tracks and just as you could spot a grunge band from Seattle in the early ’90s after hearing a few guitar chords, you can tell that Dawes hails from the Laurel Canyon area of Southern California within moments of hearing the sweet and warm harmonies on Nothing is Wrong’s opening track, “Time Spent in Los Angeles”.


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Interview: Tony Allman and Mat Bisaro on tour with Dan Melchior und Das Menace

Wednesday night I hit up East London to catch the brilliant Dan Melchior perform songs from his latest record, Assemblage Blues (released by Siltbreeze). Aside from a keen interest in hearing his live show, I was proud to witness it feature two musicians well-known to the Columbus scene. Mat Bisaro (Guinea Worms, Necropolis) and Tony Allman (El Jesus de Magico) were chosen by Melchior for this ten date European tour through five countries.

I caught up with Mat and Tony for a bit after the show to chat about the tour and playing with Melchior.

DW: Did either of you work on Assemblage Blues?

Tony: He sent me stuff a long time ago, probably over a year ago now and some of it he’s gonna record hopefully with us at some point for and LP on Columbus Discount. One of the songs we played on was one of those. But normally he records everything himself.. the guitar, the vocals, the drums, the bass. So eventually we’re gonna try to do live recordings in Columbus.

DW: How did the two of you get hooked up with him to do this tour?

Mat: He put out two records with Adam and BJ on CDR and ended up being in town for their barbeque last year. Continue reading

Interview: Strand of Oaks


Note: A shortened version of this interview appears in this week’s Other Paper. Pick it up for free at newsstands or visit TheOtherPaper.com.

Strand of Oaks put out my favorite album of 2010, Pope Killdragon. The group’s second full-length, it’s staggeringly beautiful and more than a little bizarre. The band is essentially the solo project of Philadelphia’s Timothy Showalter, who will play the support slot for Joe Pug at the Rumba Café on Tuesday (along with local act Dolfish). Reached on the road recently via email, Showalter answered questions about how the album’s songs–which touch on subjects like Dan Aykroyd and a 12-foot giant–came into being. He also talked about his decision to include “Giant’s Despair,” an instrumental doom-metal track, on the album.

How did you end up writing a song from the perspective of Dan Aykroyd about the death of John Belushi? It’s not typical folk-song fodder.
Actually, a friend of mine from Scranton, Pa., was putting together a Dan Aykroyd compilation (for some unknown reason) and asked me to contribute. Like all things Strand of Oaks, I took a funny idea and somehow made it into something really sad. I was staying up late thinking about Dan and suddenly began to sympathize with how he must have felt after losing John Belushi.
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Interview: Mazes

MP3:Mazes – Vampire Jive (live)

Many apologies for my absence from Donewaiting in the past few months. Now that I’m comfortably settling into English life in this massive city, the time has arrived to continue contributing my two cents…

London-based Mazes have been generating quite a buzz. Between being signed to Fat Cat Records in November (making them label mates with recent Fat Cat addition Psychedelic Horseshit of Columbus), getting some badass BBC Radio 1 airplay and prepping for their new record (releasing on April 11th), they’re well on their way to having a busy and exciting year.

Coming from a tight-knit network of musicians and ambitious youngsters, they are just the kind of band a city like Columbus can really get behind. (And much to our glee they cite Guided by Voices as a major influence; just listen to the song in the video.) I recently caught up with vocalist/guitarist Jack Cooper who told me a little more about the band and their role in the London DIY scene.

DW: So Mazes has been going for a couple of years. How has it evolved since the beginning?

Cooper: In the beginning it was just Jarin and I. I suppose the Adam and Eve of Mazes. The analogy stops there but we did give birth to a lot of good stuff and some bad stuff as well. We found Conan and Neil along the way and so much the better. It’s better having four of us, but y’know, more stuff can go wrong now.

DW: You come from a strong DIY scene. How has it nurtured bands like yours?

Cooper: The people, labels and bands that we’ve been involved with from the start are incredibly supportive and helpful. If we have some sort of problem, someone else has always been there to offer advice. It’s nice and comforting having friends with similar hopes and goals maybe…but saying that, people are usually friends with dudes who have similar interests. Continue reading

Interview: Sharon Van Etten and Aaron Dessner of The National

Sharon Van Etten’s seven-song release of 2010, Epic, appeared on many best of the year lists, including NPR’s and Mr. Duffy’s, and she opened the Pitchfork Music Festival in July. Her personal, confessional songs have won her enthusiastic fans. She’ll perform with Julianna Barwick at the Wexner Center on Friday (Jan. 21). Catch her with her band as she shares songs from her latest release, and maybe a few new ones. Below she highlights the way the songs have changed over time and gives us a glimpse of the future.

Also, the bottom of the post has some thoughts from Aaron Dessner of The National, who is producing Van Etten’s next record (“At the moment I hear walls of organs and some weirder guitar textures/noise…”).

I chatted with Sharon as she was walking around on a “beautiful blue sky, freezing day” with Brad Cook of Megafaun, who was in New York for her Bowery Ballroom show January 8th. The sold-out show included a cover of REM’s Strange Occurrences. Sharon explained the cover: “I am really psyched for their new record to come out. I recently found an old album, Monster, and that song is my favorite on that record.”

Are you and Brad sharing new songs you have been working on?

Yeah, he’s been playing me new songs, and I have been playing him new songs, and it’s been a nice way of catching up.
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