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An Interview with Taylor Rice of Local Natives PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jordan Knight   
Sunday, 06 April 2014 22:31

The Local Natives have been hitting it hard. Everywhere you look, they have already been. It's almost like tracking a famously elusive ghost. Their fans are wild and ready and quickly scoop up every ticket available and their festival stops have become something of legend. When not traipsing around the planet...wait, they are always doing that. Last years Hummingbird was released to a hail of wonderful press. The long awaited release has them currently on the road with Kings of Leon and shortly, on their way to Knoxville for a sold out show at The Bijou Theater on April 18, 2014. Recently we caught up with Taylor to discuss hair care, middle school and the ways of the road.

To look out across a sea of screaming fans, sold out show after sold out show, must be breath taking. For Local Natives, these moments can sometimes be harrowing, each day bringing a new twist.

Two thing come into my mind. Both are sort of negative experiences. We were playing a show in Hamburg, Germany where we barely fit our gear on stage. This one couple, who were so close that I could probably touch them, were making out so hard core and pornographically the whole show, that it was kind of jarring. It was like alright, they feel comfortable in this environment, somehow. It was a very striking thing to see from the stage. The second is a lot more recent. We just played in Mexico City, the last show of 2013, at the end of December. At the end of the set, I went into the audience for the last song. As I was coming back, to come over the barricade on to the stage, it felt like somebody had grabbed my foot. I thought they were just f***ing with me and were going to pull me back in to the audience. As I looked back, my boot was caught in this girls super frizzy hair. I had all these security guards hold it up and sort of cut her hair. It was during the most intense moment of the set. I asked if she was okay and she said, yeah I'm okay and smiled. Immediately after the show, I had someone go check on her but she was already gone.”

An Interview with Brad Wilk of The Last Internationale (Rage Against the Machine & Audioslave) PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jordan Knight   
Monday, 31 March 2014 10:58



Beginning with Rage Against the Machine, followed closely by Audioslave and now, blowing both audiences and critics away with The Last Internationale, Wilk has lead an eventful life. The formation of his newest project picks up, in content, where the former left off, but this time with a blissfully soulful female voice and a bluesy guitar riddled backdrop. With a debut album and tour starting, and in the opening slot for Weezer none the less, The Last Internationale is fast on their way to worldwide phenomenon. Recently we caught up with Wilk to discuss rubber bullets, seduction and crystal balls.

The Last Internationale is a different take on what has become a standard theme in Wilk's life and music. “What first drew me to them was a text message from my old bandmate (Tom Morello), asking what I was doing. His friends needed a drummer to go into the studio to record a couple of songs for their record. I got some of the songs that they were recording. That's really what drew me to the band, the music. It had nothing to do with the politics. I really wanted to do something different. It was really hard competing with both Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, for that matter. As far as I am concerned, those are two of the best singer/songwriter/performers. I just happened to be lucky enough to be in bands with both of those guys. When I first heard this music, it was such a breath of fresh air. I always wanted to be in a three piece and have an incredible female singer, like Delilah. When I got in the room with them, there was a chemistry forming right away. Originally, I was going to do two songs with them, but after a week they asked me to join their band and (laughing) who was I to say no? And so I didn't, I said okay. We wound up making a record in December, while everyone else was sitting at home by their fireplace and christmas tree. It felt really good. There was just something about it that felt good and right. Making this record, I felt like every song that we recorded was better than the last. I am really proud of the record we made, and am really excited to play it live.”

An Interview with Mystery Skulls PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jordan Knight   
Thursday, 03 April 2014 09:23

Photo by Frank Maddocks

Voodoo Music and Arts Festival is amazing. Halloween is a blur of the unexpected, but down here on the Bayou, people are dressed like every other day. Half naked, half crazy, the men are women and the women are creatures of the night. Our first interview of the weekend was with Luis Dubuc, the man behind Mystery Skulls, and we couldn't be more stoked. Dubuc was in Las Vegas prepping for his huge Halloween show before heading over to the Big Easy for day one of the debauchery.

“I decided to drive to Vegas, because I'm weird like that. (Laughing) I'm probably making harder on myself than it should be. I'm playing tonight at a place called “Insert Coins.” It's like a dance club, but it's also filled with old, vintage, arcade machines. (Laughing) It's definitely my kind of nightclub. They booked me to do a Halloween show and I was like “That's amazing.” I'm pretty excited about that.”

Red Bull is becoming more and more heavily involved with the world of music. They are constantly helping bands, through sponsorship and promotions, to get themselves out there. For Mystery Skulls, they are offering a festival day pass and backstage passes. This is a copy of the Tweet.

An interview with Katie Toupin of Houndmouth PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jordan Knight   
Thursday, 20 March 2014 17:08


In a time when breaking out as an artist poses all sorts of new obstacles, Houndmouth has fought through them all. Their breakout record, “From the Hills Below,” has gained them international success. From Late night television to their own festival, they are moving at a record setting pace towards superstardom. Recently, we caught up with Katie Toupin to discuss body paint, surprise performances and armed robbery.

Festivals are always interesting. The people wandering around can leave you guessing as to what exactly it is that they are doing in everyday life. “The wildest thing...there was a guy who came to Lollapalooza and he was wearing body paint that said “I love Katie.” So that was weird...(Laughing) and I have a picture with him to prove it.”

If you haven't checked out Houndmouth's video for “Bad Things” (, take a moment and do that now. Ok, now that you are back, lets talk about it. “There was a contest that we did to make a video. We had 30 submissions and that was the one that we chose. Most of them were really literal and they went with the story line of the song. We got to that one, and by this time are very burnt out on watching videos, are were dying laughing at these girls. I'm not sure what they did (with the mask at the beginning). It just seemed like that they didn't have anything better to do, so they went nuts and let loose and robbed a candy store. We just loved the idea of it. It's quirky and it's fitting.”

Sometimes, in the life of a band, it becomes apparent that this is the only thing that makes sense. That chasing a dream is the only option. “It started before the band. When we got together, we liked the art that we were making and the sound that was coming out and we still do. We still love to do it. More so than when we started, we have a passion for playing live shows. I wouldn't say that there was a moment, but that there was a moment, long before the band, when we decided music was going to be a part of our lives forever. All the boys had been a band for about a week before I joined. I got into that first practice and things were really, really rough. I remember leaving practice. I was in the car with Matt, and we said this is it, this is how we want it to sound. Without a thought of it growing and becoming our full time career, we knew that we had found the sound that we wanted. On that note though, the sound that you are looking for is going to constantly change as your grow as a musician and as a person. There is never really a stopping point when it comes to making music.”

In the song, “Coming 'Round Again,” the feel of something much older is present, as is with a lot of Houndmouth's music. “I think a lot of our songs have that feeling, because we romanticize about a different time. I think that is natural. If you have ever seen “Midnight in Paris,” that is what humans do. They romanticize about a time that was before them. At the same time, when you do write a fictional song, there is something that comes out in you. The whole idea of selling cocaine and making money and kind of being the scum of the earth, coming from a suburban lifestyle is intriguing to us. Songs that we listen to, all sort of romanticize the same thing. That song and “Penitentiary” were written about the same time. They were written a year before Houndmouth and they were written acoustically. There was a banjo in it when we first wrote the song. We had a song called “Tex-arcana Nights” that we have dropped. It was a murder song. A lot of those really old folk songs are murder songs. We really like the idea of that too. Robbery and murder and old time gangs and things like that all kind of appeal to us.”

Big things are coming. Houndmouth has a lot in the works and it is going to blow you away. “Right after tour, we are going to head off to Portland, Oregon to work on the next record, which we are excited about. It probably wont come out until 2015. We are working on all the songs for that. We are recording with Richard Smith, who was the drummer for The Shins and he did Foxygen's record. He was just on Ray Lamontagne's record which comes out in May. It has that gritty sort of sound to it that appeals to us.

Over the Summer, we have a lot of festivals that we are doing that I am really excited about. We have a festival that we are curating in our hometown in May. It's a small street festival. We will have a nice, mid level, nationally touring act headline the outside stage and a lot of local bands. There is an outdoor flea market, over the river in Louisville every weekend, and they are going to come over and set up. What I am really excited about, is the Humane Society is going to be there and I am going to give away puppies all day. At night, there will be an indoor show at The Grand, which is a 1,300 person room, which sold out in two days, which as pretty incredible. We are thrilled about doing that. We are also doing Red Rocks with Iron and Wine and The Head and The Heart. We are really excited about doing that.”

This has been quite the year for Houndmouth. So much has changed. So many new opportunities have arisen. “I have enough of those to last a life time. Letterman and Conan, Newport Folk Festival, The show at Newport Folk Festival with Dawes, Jim James of My Morning Jacket sang “This Magic Moment” with us at our last hometown show. We have always respected him and looked up to him, and for him to come out and sing with us... It was like him putting his stamp of approval on us. It meant the world. He is a personal friend of mine, but for him to come out professionally, is more than he ever needed to do. Touring with the Alabama Shakes, and playing to their 10,000 people crowds. Touring with Grace Potter. We went to Europe twice last year. (Laughing) I think that's enough...And we now get to curate a festival in our hometown.”

Houndmouth is playing The Bijou Theater on Saturday night, March 22nd, 2014, at 8pm with Rayland Baxter. For ticketing information and all tings Houndmouth, check out

An interview with Ricky Skaggs PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jordan Knight   
Thursday, 20 March 2014 17:02


Few people have kept us captivated over the years like Ricky Skaggs.

His lifetime full of music is covered in tales that only someone so personable and so experienced could communicate. He has 12, #1 singles, 14 Grammy Awards, 11 IBMA Awards, 8 ACM Awards and 8 CMA Awards, just to touch the tip of the iceberg. In his 50 years in music, he has recorded 30 albums and is currently working on adding to the list. This man is packed full of genuine talent. Recently, Skaggs took some time to regale us with his wonder filled world of music.

Skaggs has played with an incredible array of performers from nearly every background of music. He has reinvented a genre and continues to change the world of music through his magnificent collaborations. Even now, he is hard at work on the next big thing. “Sharon (Skaggs wife) and I are working on a duet project right now. We were duo of the year back in '86 or '87. She was on a label and I was on another label and they were kind of arch rivals with each other. They didn't want to share each others artist. We've recorded about five songs already.”

“Peter Frampton and I have done a few things here lately….but I don't know if it would be a whole duet project, like Bruce Hornsby and I have done. He is one of the most explosive musicians that I have ever been around,” Skaggs raved. “He blows up on stage when he starts to play. Notes come flying out of this bomb he drops. His ability to hear the music that he is playing at the moment is really incredible.

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