Mar 24

Episode 14: John Waite

John Waite

This week our guest is John Waite.

You know John from his work with The Babys, Bad English and of course, his extensive solo career.

He’ll put all of that music to good use with his upcoming Wooden Heart Acoustic tour, which kicks off on April 2. Check out John’s website to see all of the tour dates.

We spoke with John to talk about the tour, the Wooden Heart EP which helped to inspire the idea for doing these shows — and he also shared with us where he’s at creatively these days. He’s got some fun projects in the hopper as well.


Mar 9

Episode 13: Michael McDermott

Michael McDermott

This week our guest is Michael McDermott.

Michael’s been making music for the masses for 25 years now. He released his major label debut 620 W. Surf in August of 1991.

I first met Michael 20 years ago when he was touring in support of his third album, the self-titled Michael McDermott album. We’ve traded the occasional email, Myspace message and Facebook message over the years, but I’ve never had the chance to sit down and have a proper conversation with him about music until now.

The way this conversation came together was kind of interesting. Five years ago, I had mapped out questions to do an interview for the 20th anniversary of 620 W. Surf. At that time, the interview didn’t happen. As the end of last year was approaching, it occurred to me that I could resurrect that idea for this year and take another swing at getting it done.

And then Michael caught me by surprise and released XXV this past December, a two CD collection of his work over the past 25 years rounded out with a few choice unreleased nuggets.

At the time that it was released, McDermott said, “I may start to tour and only bring this album, because it has everything I want people to hear in one package.”

So that gave me the idea that he and I should do a podcast and go track by track through the entire compilation.

Michael was game for the idea and we began working to schedule something. That was early December and as you can see now, here we are in early March. Things got busy. So by the time we got it scheduled, I made the decision to shift the focus a bit.


Feb 23

Episode 12: Dan Baird

Dan Baird

This week our guest is Dan Baird.

Dan has certainly taken plenty of my money over the years. Albums, cassettes, CDs, concert tickets, DVDs, t-shirts, you name it, I’ve bought it.

For a lot of folks, Dan comes onto their radar in the ‘80s as a member of the Atlanta rock and roll band Georgia Satellites. He was the frontman and one of the principal songwriters in the group.

They scored plenty of airplay on rock radio with songs like “Battleship Chains,” “Open All Night” and of course, “Keep Your Hands To Yourself.”

Dan was with the Satellites for three albums between 1986 and 1989 before moving on to begin a successful solo career which began officially in 1992 with the release of his solo debut Love Songs For The Hearing Impaired.

He’s made a good stack of albums since then including releases with The Yayhoos, The Bluefields and his current project, Dan Baird and Homemade Sin, a dangerously rockin’ musical collective that features Dan paired with Jason and the Scorchers guitarist Warner E. Hodges, former Satellites drummer Mauro Magellan and bassist Micke Nilsson.

Dan and the Sin recently released their third studio album Get Loud and they’re in the midst of a rare set of U.S. headlining shows to support the new record.


Feb 18

Episode 11: Ian Astbury

The Cult

Our guest this week is Ian Astbury of The Cult.

The band just released Hidden City, which marks their 10th studio release in a career that now spans over three decades. It is the third and final part of a trilogy of releases that began in 2007 with the release of the Born Into This album and was followed in 2012 by the Choice of Weapon album.

They’ve worked with a total of three different producers on the three albums. They worked initially with Youth on the Born Into This album and then moved on to work with Chris Goss of Masters of Reality for Choice of Weapon. By the time that album was completed, a familiar name had come back around as Bob Rock came in to finish up the album sessions.

That brings us to this new Hidden City album, one which finds the band once again working with Bob Rock. The Cult’s relationship with Rock goes way back — he produced their landmark Sonic Temple release and this marks the fifth Cult album he’s been associated with.


Feb 11

Episode 10: Rick Springfield

This week we welcome Rick Springfield to the podcast.

We spoke about the Stripped Down show he’s going to be playing here in Cleveland on Valentine’s Day and also his new album, Rocket Science. The album finds Rick experimenting with some country sounds and instrumentation and features collaborations with Tad Kubler of the Hold Steady and Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts on a couple of songs.

Rick wrote the bulk of the album with longtime collaborator Matt Bissonette and as you’ll hear in the interview, he tells us, “It’s still a pop album, what I’ve recorded. But there’s a lot of layers and there’s some very cool things, pedal steel and banjo and some fiddle stuff. You know, the guitars are still a dominant thing, but there’s some interesting textures that the [other instruments] add.”


Feb 5

Episode 9: Alex Dezen


On this week’s show, we welcome Alex Dezen of The Damnwells.

Alex has a new self-titled solo album, his first full length solo debut, which will be released on February 12 via Rock Ridge Music.

I’ve been a fan of Dezen’s music for quite a while, starting with his work with the Damnwells. When the band released No One Listens To The Band Anymore in 2011, I did an interview with Alex, along with my Popdose comrade Michael Parr, to talk about the album.

Since then, Alex went on to record a series of four solo EPs and make a new album with the original lineup of the Damnwells and that same grouping of players also toured for the first time in a number of years.

Now, we’ve got this new solo album, a release that was once again funded by a PledgeMusic campaign and you can still pre-order the album now via Pledge. If you pre-order the album prior to the release date, you can receive an interesting incentive — a download of all of the music that Alex has released to date, both solo and with the Damnwells.


Jan 25

Episode 8: Steve Poltz

Steve Poltz

This week, my guest is singer/songwriter Steve Poltz and I’m guessing that you’ve heard his music at least once — he co-wrote Jewel’s “You Were Meant For Me,” which of course, got a boatload of radio airplay when it was released in the mid-’90s and it continues to get played on radio stations all over the place to this day.

Steve first landed on my radar in the early ‘90s when he was a member of the San Diego-based band The Rugburns, who got some minor radio play in some markets with their single “Hitchhiker Joe.”


Jan 13

Episode 7: Matthew Sweet

IMG_2666_photo credit Matthew Sweet


This week, we’re dipping into the interview archives for a previously unheard chat that I had last year with ‘90s alternative veteran Matthew Sweet.

I’ve done a couple of interviews with Matthew over the past couple of years. When I spoke with him in 2014, he was in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds for his new album. During that interview, we talked about his plans for that new album, and touched on some choice moments from his past history, including the Girlfriend album and also the follow-up, Altered Beast. We also spoke about his friendship with J.J. Abrams and the art that he was working on using 3-D printing technology.

At the time that we talked, the Kickstarter was heading towards completion and he still had a ways to go as far as raising the necessary funds, so he was understandably a bit nervous. The day after the interview, USA Today mentioned his Kickstarter in a story online and within 24 hours, his album had successfully funded.

That brings us to the interview you’re going to hear today, which was recorded in June of last year and I had the chance to get up to date with Matthew on the progress that he had made on the new album. We also spoke about the direction of the new material and I asked him for his thoughts about working on an album with a Kickstarter deadline where you know there are all of the people who pledged for the album waiting on the other end of that deadline, and how that compares to working with a traditional record company deadline.


Jan 5

Episode 6: Eye of the Hurricane director Steven Flynn


Our guest this week is documentary director Steven Flynn, who joins us from his home in Ireland to talk about the new film that he just released, Eye of The Hurricane.

Eye of The Hurricane is a film that has been a long time coming. When I found out that somebody was working on a documentary about folk singer/songwriter David Wilcox, I was intrigued. I’ve been a fan of David’s music for nearly 25 years, starting with the moment that I was working in a record store and got a promo copy of Home Again, David’s new album at the time, which had been released in August of 1991.

Looking at the album cover, I saw the title, Home Again, but then below that in smaller letters, I saw the words, “For the first time.” I put it in and heard David’s solo performance of “Burgundy Heart-Shaped Medallion,” which is the leadoff track on the album. As I listened and looked at the track listing for the record, I saw “Chet Baker’s Unsung Swan Song” and knew that this album was going to take me to some interesting places and leave me with some things to think about. And it certainly did. I worked backwards from that point and picked up a copy of David’s previous album, How Did You Find Me Here and stuck with him as he released his next album, Big Horizon.


Dec 28

Episode 5: Tony Visconti

Tony Visconti and Holy Holy

This week, we welcome legendary producer Tony Visconti to the podcast.

Tony joins me to talk about Holy Holy, the all-star lineup featuring Tony with drummer Woody Woodmansey, vocalist Glenn Gregory of Heaven 17 and a bunch of other cool folks. In the fall of 2014, Tony and Woody shared the stage together for the first time since 1971, performing David Bowie’s classic The Man Who Sold The World album in its entirety. Tony gives us the story on how all of that came together.

At the same time, he continues to work with David Bowie — he was behind the boards for Bowie’s surprise album The Next Day, which was released in March of 2013 and he was there again working as co-producer on Blackstar, Bowie’s brand new album, which will be released on January 8th.

Tony and Woody will bring Holy Holy to the U.S. for a string of 11 shows beginning on January 7th in Portland, Maine at the Asylum and the tour will wrap up on January 21st in Boston at the Wilbur Theatre.