Interviews with Musicians

1. Jay-Z

Jay-Z is one of the most successful hip-hop artists of all time. On Fresh Air, he discusses growing up in Brooklyn surrounded by drugs and violence, and the stories behind many of his famous songs.

2. Questlove (The Roots)

Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, the co-founder of and drummer for the hip-hop band The Roots, has been a musician since he was a teen. In Mo' Meta Blues, he explains how his musician father groomed him for a life in show business from an early age.

3. Tom Waits

The darkness of Tom Waits' lyrics is accentuated by the rumble and rasp of his voice, which sounded old even when he was young. On Bad As Me, Waits reflects on loneliness, life, death and heartbreak. Here, he talks to Terry Gross about performing, being a father and writing his haunting melodies.

4. Thom Yorke

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and Marc meet up at The Mansion, the famous recording studio in Laurel Canyon. They talk about the evolution of the band, as well as Thom's solo projects and collaborations with other musicians. Plus, Thom reveals his most important influences and explains why he gets so much pleasure out of noise. This episode is sponsored by GoToMeeting. The fast and easy way to meet and collaborate - wherever, whenever.

5. ?uestlove And Elvis Costello

Costello has teamed with hip-hop legends The Roots for one of the more unusual, invigorating musical partnerships of the year. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Costello and Roots bandleader Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson about the new album Wise Up Ghost.

6. John Zorn

At 60, New York City composer John Zorn is wiser, sure, but no less prolific, thoughtful and antagonistic than before. He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that, at his age, "there are no more doubts."

7. Neil Young

Singer, songwriter and guitarist Neil Young has a new memoir titled Waging Heavy Peace. It's about his music, raising two sons with special needs, and his own medical conditions, which have included polio, epilepsy and a brain aneurysm.

8. Henry Rollins

The forever-punk Henry Rollins crams into the garage to talk with Marc about his confrontational style, why forgiveness isn't his thing, how an act of violence shaped his life, why he worked with Charles Manson, and what kind of relationship he has with his microphones. This episode is sponsored by - click here for the special Valentine's Day WTF offer.

9. Elton John

The pop star has a flair for the extravagant, to say the least, but his new album is stripped down. He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross about the "Elton John excess," his fear of sex as a young man, and how Liberace's example encouraged John to make the piano a star instrument.

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