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45 minutes | Jan 15, 2022
Fontaines D.C. - Grian Chatten
Fontaines D.C.’s leader, Grian Chatten, joins LSQ to talk about the Irish post-punk band’s newly announced third studio album, Skinty Fia, which is f*cking excellent, btw. (It’s not out until April, but I was lucky enough to hear an advance, in preparation for the interview.) Of course we also delve into his formative creative experiences — from setting up a makeshift drum kit with boxes and pots and pans to recreate a drum fill in Bad Religion’s “American Jesus” (“There was something so symmetrical about it — it reminded me of a dolphin jumping out of the water and creating an arc in the air…”) to memorizing poems in exchange for football cards (an inspired parenting idea from his dad), to playing in a group that actually won their local battle of the bands, to realizing during early gigs as a frontman that he felt an uncanny sense of calm while performing. Skinty Fia comes out April 22nd via Partisan Records and you can pre-save or pre-order it HERE.
26 minutes | Jan 3, 2022
Wet Leg / Kevin Morby & Hamilton Leithauser
Have you heard the song “Chaise Longue” by U.K. duo Wet Leg? Are you as obsessed with it — and with them — as I am? Great! In episode 70, get to know Wet Leg’s Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers, who talk about how they overcame their own shyness to become fearless leaders of one of the most exciting young punk bands in years. (Their self-titled debut album comes out April 8 via Domino.) Episode 70 also features an on-the-road catch-up with LSQ alumni Hamilton Leithauser and Kevin Morby, during their co-headlining “Fall Mixer” tour. Hear them talk about what they view as each other’s strengths as a performer, and share news about the music they’re working on currently.
39 minutes | Nov 19, 2021
Courtney Barnett, on the unpredictability of inspiration: “Sometimes I just sit down on the couch, and I’m watching TV, and a whole idea will come to me in one. I never know what’s gonna happen, and that keeps it really exciting. It’s sometimes very frustrating, when I feel like I don’t know the answer, and I feel like I’ll never be able to write another song again. And then a week later, I just accidentally write a song I love. There’s inspiration in everything, that’s the most important lesson I’ve ever learned. You can’t just sit down at a desk and bang your head against a wall for six hours and assume some grand idea will come, because the greatest ideas do come when you’re getting a blood test at the local medical center, and you’re sitting in the waiting room reading a magazine — that’s when the best ideas come.” We talk about the poetry of Hendrix’s lyrics, covering Foo Fighters at a high school talent show, the Australian singer-songwriter's awesome new album, Things Take Time, Take Time, and more, in episode 69 of the LSQ podcast. Courtney is on tour extensively during the coming months. Get tickets here.
48 minutes | Nov 5, 2021
The War On Drugs - Adam Granduciel
The War On Drugs’ Adam Granduciel remembers feeling the electricity through the floor and the house shaking, the very first time he played an electric guitar. It was at his friend Jeff’s house, on a rig he admits he's been chasing ever since, and it ignited an obsession whose evolution he discusses in episode 68 of the LSQ podcast. We talk about Nirvana and Bob Dylan and songwriting and being a perfectionist in the studio, and his band’s brilliant new album, I Don’t Live Here Anymore. (There’s a fascinating story about an epic mixing session he and producer Shawn Everett undertook in the album’s eleventh hour; he describes it as one of the best creative experiences of his life.) The War On Drugs tour extensively next year. Get tickets here.
53 minutes | Oct 18, 2021
“When I used to be in Oingo Boingo, I was constantly battling these impulses to go in opposite directions,” says film composer Danny Elfman of his earlier career. “First, I was in weird musical cabaret theater for eight years and suddenly I hear ska music out of England and I say, I want to be in a band. Every two years I wanted to be in a different band, but you can’t do that when you’re in a band. And then suddenly I become a film composer out of the blue, and I realized these competing influences worked in my favor, rather than torturing me. Because you can go from one extreme to the other. You can go from really intense grinding music to something very small and minimal and touching to something very lush and romantic to something completely absurd and ridiculous. And that appealed to me, both sides of me settled down because they each got their turn.” Hear Elfman discuss the film scores that fascinated him as a child, how Tim Burton and Pee Wee Herman got him into doing movie music, what it was like working with Elliott Smith on the score and soundtrack for Good Will Hunting, the inspiration behind Big Mess - his first solo album in 37 years - and why he relates so strongly to his famous Jack Skellington character in The Nightmare Before Christmas. (Elfman reprises his role as Skellington for a live performance of Nightmare in Los Angeles on October 29th.)
39 minutes | Sep 17, 2021
Goo Goo Dolls - John Rzeznik
Goo Goo Dolls' John Rzeznik discusses the music that inspired him as a kid (The Cars, Springsteen, Petty, the Kinks) and how it taught him the importance of melody and each song telling its own story. We also talk about Goo Goo Dolls' early days, touring in a van and crashing on couches (he always brought along blank cassettes so he could copy some of his host's music); what it felt like to have a huge mainstream moment that also alienated some of their original fans; and why he's taking his approach to writing and recording back to basics for the new Goo Goo Dolls album, out in 2022.
31 minutes | Aug 27, 2021
On the heels of her fantastic new album, Home Video, singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus describes the path that led to it -- growing up in Richmond, Virginia, finding a passion for creative writing early on, discovering musical favorites like Yo La Tengo and Broken Social Scene, playing her first gigs at house shows, developing her songwriting practice, and beyond.
44 minutes | Aug 6, 2021
Manchester Orchestra - Andy Hull
Manchester Orchestra's Andy Hull talks about early influences (Death Cab For Cutie, Modest Mouse, the Beatles, the classical music his mother played around the house); his evolving approach to songwriting; how his band's sound has grown to cinematic new heights; what advice he gives young artists who come to him for wisdom about surviving the music business; and more! Manchester Orchestra's new album, The Million Masks of God, is out now, and they are on tour in the U.S. this fall, as well as next year. Get tickets here!
44 minutes | Jul 12, 2021
As a producer, writer, recording artist and entrepreneur, Poo Bear is always searching for collaborators who bring out the best in him, and vice versa. "Do you believe in me?," he'll ask an artist who wants to record one of his songs, because for him, the best work arises when there is that mutual passion for each other's work. He's definitely found that zone with Justin Bieber, his most extensive song partner over the past several years. But his prolific work includes hundreds of tunes, for artists as varied as Jill Scott, the Zac Brown Band, J. Balvin and FKA Twigs, to name just a few. In this conversation, we talk about his earliest projects (as a kid, singing in R&B groups in Atlanta, and writing professionally from the time he was 16), how he has evolved his songwriting formula, where he sees pop music going in the future, and more.
29 minutes | Jun 18, 2021
Tegan and Sara & Lili from Beach Bunny
Tegan and Sara Quinn rejoin the podcast for a fun, roundtable-style conversation with Lili Trifilio from the up-and-coming Chicago indie band Beach Bunny, on the heels of their recent collaboration on a new version of Beach Bunny's viral hit "Cloud 9." We talk about how the collaboration - where each chorus features alternate pronouns -- came to exist, Lili's early musical experiences, and Tegan & Sara's next book (on twins), and Lili gets some big sisterly advice from T&S about how to deal with trolls.
42 minutes | May 24, 2021
Tame Impala - Kevin Parker
Tame Impala mastermind Kevin Parker delves into his earliest musical endeavors -- learning to play his brother's drums, writing songs on one guitar string, playing with his first band at the high school talent show -- and how his attitudes toward songwriting and creativity have evolved since then. He also talks about plans to get back into collaborating with other artists, now that social distancing has relaxed. Tame Impala will also be getting back on the road in the coming months, playing festivals including Bonnaroo and Outside Lands.
38 minutes | Apr 23, 2021
Flaming Lips - Wayne Coyne
Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne on the profound influence of punk rock in his life: “Previous to that, you didn’t know that art was fucked up. To be a musician meant, ‘You’ve gotta know music. If you don’t know music, you don’t belong here.’ When really, some of the greatest musicians would say just the opposite — ‘Don’t worry about that, fuckin’ do your thing.’ But in this world, when you’re young and surrounded by a bunch of know-it-alls, everybody wants to tell you, ‘This is how it works and you don’t know nothin’.’ And you’re innocent, you believe them and say, ‘Well, I wanna try to do it my way.’ I was lucky punk rock came along. And I really did relate to John Lydon, I really did relate to the guys in Duran Duran and even Anthony Kiedis and Red Hot Chili Peppers. They just said, ‘Fuck it, we’re gonna do it our way and we don’t care.’ Beastie Boys. Having that inspiration, you can’t know how valuable that is. Suddenly what you thought might be true, they’re living it saying, ‘Yeah, it’s true.’ We started to do more and more shows and Black Flag came through here and played and the Minutemen came though here and played and the Replacements. And all these people, Sonic Youth came here and they would sleep on our couch and we’d talk to them and it’d be like, ‘We’re not alone.’ And I think that’s such a powerful bond, and it’s even more of a bond than just doing music. To know that there’s this thing, that you can do it, you can be a part of it. They’re inspiring you and you’re inspiring them, and it’s amazing. It’s knowing, ‘I’m not stupid for thinking this. I’m not purposely being an outsider.’”
33 minutes | Apr 5, 2021
Oneohtrix Point Never
Experimental electronic composer and producer Daniel Lopatin of Oneohtrix Point Never delves into key influences from Chick Corea to Rush to My Bloody Valentine to Nirvana to DJ Premier, in a conversation about his evolving creative process. He talks about growing up as the child of Russian immigrants, recollecting the “beautiful red velvet walls” of the Russian restaurant where his father’s rock band played weekly covers gigs; his early adventures in sampling while working as a video store clerk; his fascination with “the way melody emerges from texture, how an incidental sound can be a rhythm,” as well as “the hallucinatory experience of music” and the “hidden frequencies of life.”
40 minutes | Mar 15, 2021
The three members of Houston, TX trio Khruangbin — bassist Laura Lee, drummer Donald “DJ” Johnson, guitarist Mark Speer — share insights into their individual and collective creative journeys. “LL,” as her bandmates call her, talks about learning to read by studying Beatles liner notes, her teenage obsession with Radiohead, and how her approach to art has evolved since she joined Khruangbin. DJ shares memories of being three years-old, playing Barry White songs on his little kids' drum kit, how gigging in a church band with Mark developed into playing in Khruangbin, and which of the band’s recent achievements he’s proudest of. And Mark describes learning how to use his older brother’s abandoned synthesizer as an early songwriting tool, his experiences working at a drumstick factory, his philosophy for Khruangbin’s sound, and more.
47 minutes | Feb 18, 2021
Vampire Weekend - Chris Baio
“I didn’t like curse words when I was real young, so my dad would read Spin and get black ink and blot out the curse words for me,” says Vampire Weekend bassist Chris Baio, explaining how his father helped shape his early interest in music. “He would bring home records he was interested in and it always ran a wide gamut. His favorite musician is Jimi Hendrix and we would listen to so much Jimi Hendrix, but at the same time, I would have been ten years old when he bought his first Guided By Voices album and we would have had that on in the house. Always having music around in the house, reading the Saturday or Sunday paper, that’s how I grew up. There wasn’t one defined sensibility. My dad would buy A Tribe Called Quest, he’d buy Green Day, and so I’d listen to a fairly wide gamut. It’s definitely a huge reason why I’m a musician today.” Baio’s new solo album, Dead Hand Control, is out now.
41 minutes | Jan 29, 2021
Fleet Foxes - Robin Pecknold
“I’d write terrible songs constantly, and I just loved it so much,” Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold says of his early years exploring songwriting — a process he began by elaborating on Joni Mitchell and Elliott Smith tunings he’d learned on the internet. “I felt so passionately about it as a teenager that I think every other possibility started to seem unlikely. I just felt like that was what I was going to do.” Episode 56 features a conversation about Pecknold’s creative journey, favorite artists of his including Nirvana, John Prine and Joanna Newsom, how his songwriting has evolved since those teenage years, Fleet Foxes’ beautiful 2020 album Shore, and more.
53 minutes | Jan 12, 2021
Beach House - Victoria Legrand
Victoria Legrand, on writing music for Beach House: “It’s like something magical happening. And I believe in that, there’s love, but it’s not just love between us, it’s the whole universe around us and all the things we’ve been reading about the stars and the movies we’ve seen and the pain I’ve felt from talking to people about their loss. It all sucks down into this one moment of pure reaction. I’ve always said music is very personal to [bandmate] Alex [Scally] and I, but it’s not just that I got my heart broken by this guy or girl, it’s I got my heart broken by the whole world. Or all the things I ever heard about somebody’s heartbreak, it’s in me somehow. It’s like this stain and it’s coming out because I hear these tones and these chords and these notes and they make me feel like crying or they make me completely euphoric. That’s the thing that hasn’t changed, but I think it’s become amplified. And that is why I don’t think we’re done making records. Because if that ever stopped, if that really innocent reaction, where all of the angst and all of the sorrow and beauty didn’t just get triggered into something beautiful or something that takes us out of the news or the car-crash, then we would stop, I always said that. But it’s not stopping.”
37 minutes | Dec 4, 2020
King Tuff - Kyle Thomas
The dude behind the King Tuff moniker, Kyle Thomas, talks about the punk music he discovered as a kid, growing up in Brattleboro, Vermont; learning to shred by studying Jimi Hendrix; playing in the band Witch with one of his heroes, Dinosaur Jr.'s J. Mascis; how his songwriting has developed since he started King Tuff; the ways that learning a new instrument inspires new song ideas, and more! Support the LSQ podcast at anchor.fm/jennylsq
33 minutes | Nov 17, 2020
The Charlatans - Tim Burgess
Tim Burgess, frontman for The Charlatans, talks about how his lifelong music fandom fuels his popular "Tim’s Twitter Listening Party," and more.
54 minutes | Oct 27, 2020
The National - Matt Berninger
On the occasion of releasing his debut solo album, "Serpentine Prison," The National's Matt Berninger talks about key moments in his creative journey.
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