Interview: Eyelids (@ Comet Ping Pong, 3/26/22)

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Eyelids perform at Black Cat on Nov. 19, 2017. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

The last time Parklife DC talked to Chris Slusarenko of Eyelids was back in February 2019. At the time, Eyelids had started a musical project with Larry Beckett, famed poet and lyricist for singer songwriter Tim Buckley, slated to become “The Accidental Falls” (Jealous Butcher Records). Released at the beginning of 2020, the band was on the verge of mounting an extensive tour in support of the new album when the world shut down. We all know what happened next: tours were canceled, music venues shut down, and audiences went into isolation.

Now as music venues open and audiences return, Eyelids is once again heading out on the road, this time with a new bandmember and a renewed sense of gratitude, awareness, and optimism. After the stress and chaos we’re experienced since March of 2020, most of us have come to appreciate just how precious is the gift of music, and the joy of live performance — a feeling not lost on Eyelids’ members. In addition to Chris, we also had the pleasure of speaking with guitarist John Moen and new bass player Victor Krummenacher (Monks of Doom, Camper Van Beethoven).

Mark Caicedo of Parklife DC caught up with Chris Slusarenko, John Moen, and Victor Krummenacher of Portland-based power pop band Eyelids, prior to the group’s performance at Comet Ping Pong on Saturday, March 26!

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Interview: Joshua Radin (@ The Birchmere, 3/18/22)

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Joshua Radin (Photo by Catie Laffoon)

Joshua Radin is a singer-songwriter, originally from Shaker Heights, Ohio, who has been writing songs, performing, and recording music for the last 17 years. He’s appearing at The Birchmere on Friday, March 18. Josh and talked to Parklife DC’s Mark Engleson about their shared Ohio roots, finding your creative heart, and life on the road.

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Interview: Rick Allen of Def Leppard (Appearing @ Wentworth Galleries — 10/23 + 10/24/21)

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Rick Allen of Def Leppard behind his famous drum kit. (Photos courtesy Mad Ink PR)

This weekend, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and legendary drummer of Def Leppard Rick Allen will make two special appearances in the Washington, DC area to display his art work in two separate exhibitions. First, on Saturday, Oct. 23 in the Wentworth Gallery at Tysons Galleria, in McLean, Virginia, and again on Sunday, Oct. 24 in the Wentworth Gallery in the Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Maryland, fans and art collectors alike will be able to browse Rick Allen’s artwork, including “Wings Of Hope 2021,” one of his newest pieces.

Best known for being the drummer on major hits such as “Pour Some Sugar On Me,” “Photograph,” “Hysteria,” and “Rock Of Ages,” the British drummer will have art of an entirely different genre on display. His new and extraordinary collection houses originals, limited editions, the painted drum series, mixed media originals, plus the Legends Series, featuring new portraits of Eddie Van Halen, Kurt Cobain and Johnny Cash.

Rick Allen took time out of his schedule to speak with Parklife DC’s Chris Smyth in advance of his shows. In an enjoyable discussion, Rick explained the variety in his artwork, a piece that he is currently working on, the influence and inspiration his youngest daughter had on his work, and how a trip to Walter Reed Army Medical Center influenced his charitable endeavors.

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Interview: Bob Mould (@ 9:30 Club, 9/18/21)

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Bob Mould Band (Photo courtesy Big Hassle)

When he plays the 9:30 Club on Saturday, Bob Mould will be making a homecoming of sorts. For nearly a decade, he lived in the District, and he has a long history with the club. For a number of years at 9:30 Club, he DJ’ed at a dance party (called Blowoff) for DC’s gay community.

Over his 40-plus year career, Bob covered wide ground and left an indelible imprint on the American musical scene. A native of upstate Malone, New York, Mould left to attend Macalester College in Minneapolis, where he would found the seminal band Hüsker Dü in 1979. A fast, aggressive punk trio, their music was a bridge between the punk era and the alternative and underground scenes that formed in the early to mid ’80s. Their influence was especially potent in their base in the Twin Cities (on the Replacements, Soul Asylum, and Guided by Voices) but extended to bands as diverse as, on the one hand, Dinosaur Jr. and Nirvana, and, on the other, Uncle Tupelo and Whiskeytown. New Day Rising was listed in Rolling Stone’s top 500 albums, and several of their albums are considered classics.

After the breakup of Hüsker Dü, Bob embarked on a solo career, moving into more singer-songwriter oriented territory with the well-received, mostly acoustic Workbook. In the early ’90s, he helmed the alternative band Sugar to some of his most commercially successful work. In the 25 years since Sugar disbanded, he has continued to grow and expand his range, running the gamut from his completely self-made, distortion-filled, eponymous 1996 release, to explorations in electronic music, District’s Lines variety of styles and genres, and more pop-oriented material like Life and Times. As he describes in this interview, his latest record, last year’s Blue Hearts, is a return to his punk roots.

Parklife DC’s Mark Engleson recently spoke with Bob Mould in advance of his show at 9:30 Club on Saturday, Sept. 18. They touched on a number of subjects, including his history with the venue, his creative cycle, and what still keeps him creatively refreshed and moving forward in his career.

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Interview: Scott Terry of Red Wanting Blue (@ The Hamilton Live, 9/17/21)

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Red Wanting Blue frontman, Scott Terry, performing at City Winery DC, June 19, 2018. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Red Wanting Blue will kick off its “25 and Still Alive” fall tour at The Hamilton Live this Friday Sept. 17. Before the show, lead singer Scott Terry spoke with Ari Strauss about reaching the band’s 25th anniversary, the upcoming tour, and the inherent philosophies in appreciating live and studio albums.

Ari had the opportunity to interview Scott once before in April 2020, and that is referenced in the dialog below. Red Wanting Blue was scheduled to perform at City Winery DC later that year but, of course, COVID-19 made that impossible.

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Interview: Myles Kennedy (New Album: The Ides of March)

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Myles Kennedy performs at the Baltimore Soundstage on May 16, 2018. (Photo by Chris Smyth)

As the United States continues its process of opening back up and getting back to normal, the world of music is working to do much of the same. Records are being released and tours are starting back up. What had grinded to a halt is moving once again.

But in the downtime without live music, many musicians used that time to write and record new music. That includes Alter Bridge — and Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators — frontman Myles Kennedy, who will release his second solo record, The Ides of March, on May 14. In a conversation with Parklife DC’s Chris Smyth, Myles discusses the process of creating his new record, what a return to the stage will look like for him, plus what lies ahead for both of his bands.

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Interview: John Notto and Justin Smolian of Dirty Honey (New Album: Dirty Honey)

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After garnering national acclaim off of their 2019 EP, hard rock band Dirty Honey are finally set to release their first full-length album on April 23. Originally scheduled to record the album in Australia in the spring of 2020, Dirty Honey were forced to put their plans on hold after the travel restrictions were implemented due to Covid-19.

In a conversation with Parklife DC’s Chris Smyth, Dirty Honey guitarist John Notto and bassist Justin Smolian explained how the forced downtime actually helped them become a better band, and in turn allowed them to create a better record. The pair spoke about the entire preproduction and recording process, which famous musician was recording in the studio beside them, and their plans for potential upcoming tours.

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Interview: Jed Elliott of The Struts (New Album: Strange Days)

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Jed Elliott (left) with The Struts (Photo by Beth Saravo)

On Oct. 16, The Struts released the band’s third album, Strange Days. Managing to record a new album in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic proved difficult. But after a round of tests to ensure everyone’s health and safety, the band moved in together and recorded the entire album from a home-studio over the course of just 10 days. Recording in a way they hadn’t before, during a time unlike any other, The Struts managed to capture the emotions of this moment in history, while balancing it with the fun escapism that many seek through their music.

With the addition of multiple major artists featured throughout the album, and even a cover of a Kiss deep-cut, The Struts pulled off an album that is true to their style, while simultaneously advancing their sound to levels not heard before.

Soon after the album’s release, The Struts bassist Jed Elliott spoke with Parklife DC’s Chris Smyth about all things Strange Days and how the band has been keeping busy during the pandemic.

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Interview: Midge Ure Chats About 40 Years of Ultravox’s “Vienna”

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Midge Ure (Photo courtesy Erika Tooker)

The brilliantly talented Midge Ure inaugurated his Backstage Lockdown Club — a series of live performances, presentations, and chat — via his Patreon site over the last few months. The gregarious singer-songwriter takes requests, performs acoustically, shares tales, greets guests, and more several times a month for a very reasonable subscription fee! In a time of very few concerts due to the pandemic, Midge has thrown us a live music lifeline, and it’s an absolute pleasure to be greeted in song or story by his distinctive Scottish vocal.

During the concert series, Midge performs songs from his solo back catalogue as well as covers and selections from his other bands, including of course Ultravox, the influential New Romantic band he fronted from 1979-1988 (and again circa 2008-2013). Parklife DC’s Mickey McCarter caught up with Midge via Skype to chat about Backstage Lockdown Club, the 40th anniversary of Ultravox’s breakthrough album Vienna, and more.

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Interview: Luke Lalonde of Born Ruffians (New Album: Squeeze)

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Luke Lalonde (left) and Born Ruffians (Photo courtesy Yep Roc Records)

Canadian post-punks Born Ruffians are known for their high-energy shows, full of bright guitars and biting lyrics. Frontman Luke Lalonde formed the band with his collaborators in 2004, and they have released seven full-length albums and at least another three EPs. In 2020, Born Ruffians released two albums — Juice and Squeeze via Yep Roc Records — after crafting a bunch of songs prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Usually, Born Ruffians are often on the road, including regular stops in DC, where they appear at venues like Black Cat and Rock and Roll Hotel. Indeed, Parklife DC considered Born Ruffian’s 2015 show at the Rock and Roll Hotel to be one of our Top 10 Concerts of the Year. While the pandemic has sidelined touring bands, Luke has been passing the time at home, and he chatted with Parklife DC about the lifeline of touring, creative writing, and the two new Born Ruffians albums.

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