Condivisione Di Sentimenti, O Non, Con Kaki King – Un Colloquio.

January 25, 2011

Some guitarists reach levels many others will spend their entire lives aspiring to, but won’t. Kaki King is one of those guitarists, though if you tell her that, she’ll be quick to disagree. Kaki’s style is as eclectic as her Brooklyn surroundings, ranging from jazz to flamenco, folk, rock, percussive and more, all fused with various non-traditional tunings and even some lap steel guitar just for good measure.

Ms King was kind enough to take some time out of a recent trip up to Woodstock, NY to talk to me about the past, present, and future of all things Kaki. So without further ado, I give you…

The Kaki King Interview

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Jeffrey Cain and the Romance of the Deep South- An Interview.

December 11, 2010

You may know Jeffrey Cain from his band Remy Zero, and thier contribution of the song “Fair” on the Garden State Soundtrack. Or if you were lucky enough, you may have even caught them opening for Radiohead on the “Bends” tour. You may also have heard the Emmy Nominated theme song to FX’s Nip/Tuck… also his.

The following is an interview I conducted on 12/6/10 with Jeffrey, a man who is equal parts humble as grateful.   

The Jeffrey Cain Interview

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Doomtree- Rap Won’t Save You, An Interview.

November 29, 2010

Doomtree is a record label. Doomtree is a rap crew. Doomtree is a family. Over the past five years Doomtree has become one of the most highly regarded hip-hop collectives in the Midwest, thanks to our innovative recordings, explosive live shows, and tireless work ethic. By combining the blueprint of hip hop with the DIY ethos of punk and a slew of disparate artistic and musical influences, Doomtree has won the favor of a broad range of audiences. We are as likely to find fans at indie rock shows as we are at rap shows or basement dance parties. In the past several years the collective has grown to include the lyrical and production talents of more than a dozen core members. The members of Doomtree come from a wide variety of backgrounds and musical interests, but join together to create some of the most forward-thinking beats and rhymes this side of 1987. (doomtree.net)

The following interview was conducted on 11.27.10 at the Middle East Night Club in Cambridge, MA. I am very grateful to all of Doomtree, especially Dessa (and Teal) for their help coordinating this.

The Doomtree Interview

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Gary Mader Of Eyehategod- Take As Needed For Pain.

November 17, 2010

The first time I saw Eyehategod live was sometime in the late 90’s. I had just joined an old CT band and was playing probably my third or fourth show with them at the Pearl St Nightclub in Northampton, MA. We opened the show, then  there was maybe one or tow more bands before Today Is The Day took the stage. They were amazing and my night was pretty much complete at that point. I honestly hadn’t really gotten heavily into EHG at that point, and I’m sure some of you are scoffing at me right now. I really can’t say why. They were just one of those bands that while I was familiar with the name, had sort of slipped under my radar. Well that changed about five seconds into their set. I don’t remember the song they played, but what I do remember is singer Mike Williams immediately smashing a beer bottle over his head and the blood began to flow. I sat sort of in a trance for the remainder of their 45 minute set and have been a fan ever since. I had the chance to speak with bass player Gary Mader about EHG’s upcoming album, their side projects, what scares him the most in life, and more.  The following interview was conducted on 11/17/10 while in the throws of some crazy sickness. Seems only fitting I suppose. (To enhance this interview, read Gary’s answers in a slow, thick, Louisiana accent.

The Gary Mader Interview (more…)
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Aaron Turner Of Isis Talks With The Indie Spiritualist.

November 6, 2010

Aaron B. Turner (near) Seattle, Wa – Artist/Musician. Involved with/founder of/sometime participant: hydra head records, isis, house of low culture, mamiffer, greymachine, jodis, old man gloom, lotus eaters, drawing voices, vacation vinyl, twilight, etc. (Taken from http://aaronbturner.blogspot.com/).

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk a little about Aaron Turner the man. While I’ve met Aaron on various occasions, I can’t say that I know him well at all. He was a pleasure to interview. He’s a very smart, friendly & articulate person, beyond that, I can’t say much more from experience. So I’ve enlisted the help of prior Indie Spiritualist contributor, and member of the band Cable (Hydra Head Records) Bernie Romanowski to shed some light on the man behind the man…  – Chris Grosso (*NOTE- This interview was conducted on 10/30/10)

You know this, but Aaron Turner is a multi-dimensional man.  I first met Aaron when I would pay visits to Jeff (Cable’s former bass player and Isis’ bass player) when Jeff moved to Boston in the mid-1990’s.  Jeff moved into Aaron’s apartment and unfortunately for Aaron, Jeff came with some baggage. Jeff’s baggage included 4-5 friends from CT with varied degrees of drinking and violence problems.  Over the next 2 years, I was present while Aaron’s apartment paid witness to a stolen mannequin being lit on fire in his living room, a cinderblock and wood coffee table being smashed against a wall, graffiti being written on his laundry room walls (including the ominous line “It’s not over” from the song “Ochre”), and seeing blatant urination take place on Aaron’s living room floor at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve.  Happy new year.

Bernie Romanowski

While this madness was going on, Aaron was usually (and wisely) not present.  While the rest of us were testing the limits of the Boston legal codes, Aaron was gone.  I’m not sure where he went, and I’m sure some of the time was spent in his bedroom deep in thought or engrossed in a Masonna record.  Aaron had a padlock on his door and whenever he was home and I walked by, his room was usually barely lit.  This next sentence is going to sound a little strange, but humor me:  I finally got into Aaron’s bedroom after he allowed me to sleep in there while he was out of town.  After all those months of wondering what was behind the padlocked door, I finally got my answer: a very clean and very normal room.  Rather anti-climatic, really.  Lots and lots of records, a few piles of drawing paper, 1.5 million black band t-shirts, and a clean bed.  Clean beds were hard to come by in that apartment.  I was too overwhelmed by his music collection to choose anything new to listen to while I went to sleep, so I listened to Massive Attack’s “Mezzanine.”

The walls of Aaron’s apartment were painted blood-red with various figurines pained on the walls and ceilings.  It was like living in a rough-draft of Aaron’s Bloodlet “Entheogen” album cover.  Hydra Head was starting to take shape and his living room eventually became full of Cave-In and Botch records.  The boxes started to fill the living room, so the hallway started to fill up, then the shelves came, then a dedicated bedroom was filled with record label stuff.  Maybe Aaron would really make something out of this record thing… 

I got the sense that Aaron’s brain didn’t work like most people’s brains.  When Cable and Isis toured in the late-1990’s, Aaron didn’t find much humor in our shenanigans.  He was usually polite and he DOES have a sense of humor, but he has boundaries that we didn’t have at that time.  They are the same boundaries that I’ve developed in recent years, about 12 years later.  There was a lot of common ground between our two bands and plenty of musical enthusiasm, but it was clear that Aaron and Isis envisioned their band as a butane lighter compared to Cable’s riot-fire.  A controlled burn that would intentionally ebb and flow.  Over the last decade, Isis has crafted an aesthetic that is true to who they are as people — it’s not an act or a pretension.  I have a lot of respect for what Isis has accomplished over the years and I hope you do too. – Bernie Romanowski

The Aaron Turner Interview (more…)
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