Dan takes a field trip to Spice House Sound to talk to house engineer Alex Santilli about being a incessantly questioning child, the joy of taking things apart (and mostly putting them back together), and the drive to create a studio space where bands can do their best work. They chat driving in Connecticut, their mutual love of electronic music, and how to stay relevant as a studio these days. Check out spicehousesound.com to see their amazing studio.
"One of the bands I interviewed came back and said 'So, do I have to pay you?' I [said] 'What? Look, if anybody tells you that you have to pay to be interviewed, run!'" -Shane Weller
Shane is the creator and host of Know Love Philly, a podcast about Philadelphia artists, musicians, and creators. Sound familiar? Shane and Dan dive right in, talking podcast gear, interviewing, their love of the Philly DIY Collaborative, and the joy of being the captain of your own ship (the ships being our respective podcasts).
"[W]e've written songs and we're like 'Oh shit! We have our bridges, everything makes sense!' It falls into place because [our] glue has finally dried."
- Kelly Derrig, on Canyon Ride's new line up and songwriting process
Canyon Ride are Kelly Derrig, Ryan Kosinski, Chris DeSaye, and Cam Clark (who you might remember from Ep79) are a country-rock group that's gone through a lot of changes over the last couple of years. They were gracious enough to let me interview all of them at once as a sort of part conversation/part mini-concert. The band plays songs off their new EP, 'Wasting Time With Ghosts', and talks about their origins, their new beginnings, and how a band is, at it's core, a group of good friends.
The show is back! Welcome back! Dan talks with bassist and all out charming son-of-a-gun Jonathan Colman about his work in the face-melting dance band Muscle Tough, his many day jobs (eg. "Lunch Lady Man"), and his approach to creating, practicing, and how the next gig is the always the best gig.
"[There's] no such thing as a bad piece of gear. There's a right piece of gear. And a really nice piece of gear can do a lot of things well, but even the worst piece of gear can do one thing really well. And you just gotta find what that is."
-Kyle Pulley on recording
Kyle and Dan sit down and get right to it, talking about the need for editing, bass playing tips (Kyle plays bass for Thin Lips, a stellar Philly band), forming The Head Room with friend Joe Reinhart (Hop Along), and how he's worked very hard to become a better and better producer with every session. Kyle produced the most recent Pine Barons record, as well as worked with Bill Moriarty (Dr. Dog), and is a key part of the Philadelphia music scene.
Note: The show is taking a brief late summer/early fall break, and will be back with new episodes in mid to late September. In the meantime, check out the archive at 25oclockpod.com for episodes you may have missed. See y'all real soon.
"I just like how [the blues are] open to interpretation. I'm terrible at playing songs like they're supposed to be played. I just kind of learn them and just start doing my own thing."
The first thing Dan and Cam start talking about is the Rolling Stones, so you know they're in good company together. Cam hails from the great state of Minnesota, spent some time in Boston, and has been part of the Philly scene for quite a few years now. He talks about his many albums with Midwestern Exposure, the evolution in style over the years, and how taking part in some folk workshops helped him focus on making their latest release, 'The West'.
"I think performance is a muscle on some level. I was really, really bad at it when I started out. I would shake, my hands would shake, and I'd have a complete nervous breakdown and still manage to do it. [...] And now, that's not a thing. Mostly."
Last time Dan and Alec talked, it was Ep25 as part of the first live show ever. Two years later, they finally get back to it. A more casual, careening episode than most, Dan and Alec converse about music both in and outside of Philly, the craft of playing and writing, the importance of a good open mic, and reminisce about their time in the city's music scene. It's a great, candid talk between two guys with some history, who mutually admire and respect each other as musicians as well as just being two nerdy music dudes.
Dan does the show in front of a crowd at Bridgeset Sound as part of the 5th Annual Philly Podcast Fest. On deck is Drew Mercadante, electronic musician, composer, producer, and all out schmoozer. Following Drew is Bruno Catrambone of Former Belle and Cruisr, talking about his new music, his touring, and the ever-present struggle of being onstage. Huge thanks to the Philly Podcast Fest organizers, Bridgeset Sound, the guests, and the outstanding audience.
"I have three band rules for our band, and one is 'Failure to rock is not an option.'"
- Hawk Tubley
Dan and Hawk talk about Hawk's amazing journey through the world of music, which took him from California to Montana to New York City to Alabama to Philadelphia, where he resides today. Along the way, Hawk (also called George) played with bands like the Freeloaders, Partial to Mabel, and his own group, Hawk Tubley and the Ozymandians. Hawk explains the difference between free jazz and free improv, the many modes of Sun Ra, playing with Oteil Burbidge and Marshall Allen, being on Letterman in 1984, and that's just the start. He's got a new record out called 'Pond Kings In April', so go get it.
Sophie Coran is a smart, witty songwriter with a big ol' voice and things to say with it. Dan and Sophie talk about her travels in Europe, where she wrote and released her last EP, her year in a songwriting 'boot camp' in London, her return to her home in Philadelphia, and how she went about making her upcoming EP with the Philly band Darla. Go to sophiecoran.com to get all things Sophie.
Dan sits down with three (of four) members of the band Madame Jones: Steve Gudelunas, Maura and Tyler Blanchard. They all talk about the dynamics of being in a band, writing together, and the joy of the live show. A truly delightful conversation, and a soulful, roots-rock band. Go to madamejonesband.com to check out their EP.
Paloma Gil and Louise Hayat-Camard are The Dove and the Wolf, a couple of Parisian musicians who have found a home in Philadelphia over the last few years. Dan, Lou and Paloma talk about their different upbringings, Paris as the place that formed them, their differing (but complimenting) personalities, and how their friendship has been the core of everything they've done. They have an EP out on Fat Possum Records, 'I Don't Know What To Feel'.
Hayden had to come twice to the studio, but in the end, it was all worth it for a great conversation with the man behind the Deadfellow personae. Dan and Hayden talk about his antics going to school in Florida (disclaimer: no animals were harmed), his need to create a body of work that meant something to him, and how the current immediacy in our culture makes it hard to have a proper reaction to anything. The newest Deadfellow record, 'Mescalifornia: A California Dream' is out on 6/23, go to his his website at deadfellow.com to get it.
Bill Lambusta and Brian Erick join Dan for a long overdue visit to the table to talk about their very successful podcast, 'The Great Albums'. Having known each other since college, playing in bands together, it makes perfect sense that these two music aficionados have a show like this, and stick to the maxim "Fans, Not Critics". The three talk about their favorite records, how they got into podcasting, and what the importance of music is to them all these years later.
Ash and Dan met at a networking thing a while back, and proceeded to play phone/e-mail/Facebook tag for nearly half a year. Ash sat down at the table a couple of months ago, and talked about his troubled youth, his love of music, using music as a means of social activism, and becoming a music lawyer after years and years of playing in bands. Ash is a passionate artist, and a passionate human when it comes to helping other artists feel their way through the complicated music business world. Also, we're supported by West Philly Porch Fest, this Saturday, June 3rd. Go to westphillyporchfest.com for more info.
Owen and Bobby are Driftwood Soldier, a roots-folk duo that is so much more than a simple genre tag. Their music is dark, brooding, and alive with characters and stories that are seemingly out of our realm of experience, but really not that far. Dan has a great time talking with them about their new record, 'Blessings and Blasphemy', and their upcoming West Philadelphia Porch Fest.
When she's not managing four of the best bands Philly has to offer (including The Districts and The Dove and the Wolf), Marley has been known to stop moving for a second or two. She stops by the show to talk with Dan about working with the bands she truly loves, how there's no magic formula to a band's success, being backstage at the Rolling Stones (she still can't believe that happened), and turning down a more stable career as a publicist for some pretty big names so she can concentrate on being part of the Philadelphia scene. We're brought to you again this week by West Philly Porch Fest, happening Saturday, June 3rd. Go to westphillyporchfest.com for more info.
Dan and Raphael talk about not-music as much as they talk about music. Raph leads a rich and full life outside of fronting/performing as Hezekiah Jones. He loves his garden, he's constantly digging things out of his back yard that the previous homeowner buried there over the decades, and he really likes to listen to Glenn Miller and The Singing Nun. All this and more brings about one of the odder but most enjoyable conversations Dan has had with a guest. Also, we're sponsored by West Philly Porch Fest, happening on June 3rd. Go to westphillyporchfest.com for more info.
Nick and Dan both came from a love of punk rock, and both of them moved outward to embrace many other elements, but still hold true to their origins. They talk about Nick's first real band, Left Behind, and his late teens and early 20s touring with them, the start of The Danger O's, and his new band WAX WAV. Is it possible to write a political song that can also be universal? Do we cry at more things now because we're older, or because the world seems to be going to hell? How scary is it to front a band when you're used to being behind the kit? All these questions and more are answered.
Dan had to go get some lawn chairs to seat everybody around the desk, but it was all worth it to talk to James, Jake and Samoeun of Ju-Taun. These guys have been singing together since they were kids, and it shows. They talk about their origins: James and Jake working behind the scenes at concerts for their father, a Philadelphia producer and promoter, Samoeun coming to America as a child, escaping the Khmer Rouge with his parents. They detail their beginnings as a band: hustling their CDs and performing to crowds on the street, and running afoul with the law more than once. And that's just the first 20 minutes or so. Capping it all off with a phenomenal performance, Ju-Taun are a force of nature. Also, Dan offers a call for support of Pharmacy, a DIY Philly venue and coffee shop that needs your help to keep doing their great work.
Sonja and Dan talk about her new record, 'Patterns We Know', and so much more. PJ Harvey, Kim Gordon, how Bob Dylan could benefit from an editor, their love of the Philadelphia music scene, and how when you hang around long enough, you end up meeting everyone you need to. Dan confesses what a bad podcast listener he is, and they discuss the difference between engaging with a work as a creator or as a fan, their many mutual friends, and are bonded by their love for the heady arrangements of Steely Dan.
When two friends start a studio, that's big. When that studio lasts 10 years, that's bigger. And when they start a charity-based record label, that's even bigger. Matt and Mike have been friends since they were kids, have run a business together for a decade, and are now launching The Giving Groove, their new Philly based record label. Dan talks with them about their own Sine Studio, their roles in the Philly music scene, the secret to staying friends while also owning a business together, early "advice" from acclaimed producer Obie O'Brien, their time at boarding school together, and they announce the first crop of artists on their label (spoiler: all three are a big deal).
Jonas is a regular Philly music man about town. He hosts Fergie's open mic, drums for Purples, tours with Work Drugs, DJs, runs sound, and on and on. Dan and Jonas talk many of Jonas' projects, their time in the restaurant industry, and the joys of doing a lot of different things to not only keep busy, but to keep interested.
Josh and Dan go through the list of their favorite Philly venues, talk about how to make a live show fun for everyone, nerd out about Beck's 'Odelay', and highlight some of the projects Josh is engineering and producing at Hi5 Studios. They also talk about his upcoming tour as drummer for Philly mainstays The Lawsuits, and how they never do a record the same way twice.
Back on Episode 25, Scott was Dan's first live guest on his first live show. It was only fitting that he come back for a full episode. Scott talks about his unique approach to songwriting, which includes writing songs fully improvised from the top down. Dan and Scott talk inspiration, improvisations, Guided By Voices, Ween, those people at open mics who aren't performing (and why they're there), and their love of the Philly music community.