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

BobMould
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.

Continue Reading

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

RedWantingBlue
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.

Continue Reading

Video Interview: Dear Daria (Debut Single: “Best Life”)

DearDaria
Dear Daria (Photo art courtesy of the band)

DC indie music fans may well be familiar with the music of Maryjo Mattea, the effervescent local musician known for her love of The Beatles and wry lyrical observations on life and love. Over the pandemic, her solo act has grown into a band called Dear Daria, a power pop quartet that offers a catchy sonic mix of elements.

Parklife DC recently interviewed the band via Zoom about their origins and their pending debut album.

Continue Reading

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

Myles Kennedy
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.

Continue Reading

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

Dirty Honey 10

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.

Continue Reading

Video Interview: One Way Out (New Single: “Black Lungs (and a Broken Heart)”)

credit to Carter Louthian (CarterLouShoots)
One Way Out (Photo by Carter Louthian)

One Way Out recently released “Black Lungs (and a Broken Heart),” the latest single from their upcoming album, and the gents took the time to chat with Parklife DC’s Mickey McCarter about their new music, their methods, and their 2021 Wammie nominations!

Continue Reading

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

struts_press_shot
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.

Continue Reading

Interview: Foreign Air (New Album: Good Morning Stranger)

Foreign Air
Foreign Air (Photo by Elizabeth Miranda)

A little over a week ago, Foreign Air released debut album Good Morning Stranger, a smooth collection of 15 songs that will keep you dancing along whether in the club or more likely today in your home.

Based in Los Angeles and DC respectively, Jesse Clasen and Jacob Michael formed the band more than five years ago, and they started working on the full-length debut album three years ago. The result was clearly worth the effort, as the new music swells with dynamic melodies and towering electronics.

Both gents formed Foreign Air fresh from other acts, and their natural chemistry kept them together while working across the country. Jesse and Jacob still collaborate from across the country, perhaps making them the perfect band for the pandemic times in which we live. Parklife DC’s Mickey McCarter caught up with the duo to explore their working arrangements, the achievement of the new album, and living up to expectations.

Continue Reading

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

MIDGE_URE-0371A_BW
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.

Continue Reading

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

BornRuffians
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.

Continue Reading