Brooklyn’s funky Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings bring their fiery live show to Santa Cruz this weekend. Before her bus pulls out of town, Sharon had a chance to stop by KZSC’s little log cabin in the woods to join DJs LC and Soul Patch for a session on Not So Distant Relatives. If you couldn’t make it to her sold-out show, hopefully you’ll enjoy a podcast of her interview on The Great 88. Check our podcast archives soon for the soulful scoop.
Occasionally in life, you meet someone who you feel you could sit down and have a mind-blowing conversation with for hours upon hours. That man, for me, is Devin Townsend. I recently saw him play in San Francisco and got the great opportunity to interview him after the show. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to spend nearly as much time as I wanted with him, as the venue was waiting on me to shut down for the night. However, the questions that I did ask got very well thought out answers. Also, he looks damn sexy in a suit. The interview is below for everyone to read in all it’s glory. Enjoy!
Bröötalisk: I had a nice little chat with Mikael Akerfeldt last week, and he told me that while you two don’t see each other often, you’re like a brother to him. Is the feeling mutual?
Townsend: Oh yeah. Definitely. I remember we would sometimes call each other up at night. Well, it’d be night for me in America, and it’s 2 in the afternoon over in Sweden. We would talk over the phone getting drunk off of wine and playing each other demos. He’s one of the few people out there that I feel like I can do that with.
“The cheeseburger was honestly as big of a ‘fuck you’ to the world as I could possibly give.”
Bröötalisk: You’re latest album, Deconstruction, features numerous artists, ranging from Tommy Giles all the way to Fredrik Thordendal. What was it like working with these people, and would you ever want to do it again?
Townsend: It was a lot of fun. I picked the artists that I wanted to work with based on how well I liked them as a person, and not necessarily on their music. I remember the record label trying to make a really big deal about the album because of all the “A-listers”. They wanted to throw a huge sticker on the cover that listed all the artists featured. I had to talk them out of it because I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it. I was making the album simply because I wanted to see if I could do it. I wouldn’t want to do it again though. I feel like I’ve already done what I wanted to do, and now I want to try something new.
Bröötalisk: Speaking of Deconstruction, I have to ask: how did you come up with the plot of the album? Where did you get the idea to make a cheeseburger the meaning of life?
Townsend: It was one of those things where, again, I wanted to see what I could do and how far I could go musically. I feel like a lot of artists do the whole “Main character goes on a quest to find the meaning of life” thing, and this was kind of my take on that. As for the cheeseburger, I wanted to basically say that we have no idea what the “answer to life” is, and we as human beings cannot even begin to comprehend what it is. And that’s my problem with religion as well. How do you know there’s a higher power? I believe that we cannot even fathom what the “big picture” is because our minds aren’t that complex. The cheeseburger was honestly as big of a “fuck you” to the world as I could possibly give.
Bröötalisk: I’ve heard a lot of rumors about your next album. Is it going to be Z2?
Townsend: Could be.
Townsend: Could be.
Bröötalisk: Ghost II?
Townsend: Could be. I really have no idea. With every album, I write one or two songs where I go, “Okay that’s the direction that I want to go with this album”. I have a few songs written, but none of them really stand out to me yet. I honestly just need a month off. I’ve been touring and writing like crazy and now I’m going to Europe where I’m not even fully prepared…I just need some time off *laughs*.
Something very special happened on the night of Tuesday October 18th: I, Bröötalisk, earned my Metal Stripes (the secret ingredient is the blood of my enemies) by interviewing the legendary Mikael Akerfeldt. If you are somehow unaware of this man, please proceed to jump out of your window (after reading this of course). Akerfeldt is the front man of Opeth, taking on the duties of vocalist and guitarist. Not only is he the last founding member, but he also writes almost, if not all, of their songs for every instrument. Yes, you should be impressed. The band itself has been around for quite some time: they formed in 1990, debuted an album in 1995, and just recently released their newest album Heritage. Despite its old age, Opeth is showing no signs of slowing down. They’re currently finishing up their U.S. tour supporting Heritage, of which they will continue afterwards in Europe and Australia. Fortunately (for me at least), the interview is so long that I cannot fit it all here on text. However, using my great mysterious metal prowess, I have linked the interview here:
Also, if you’d rather have a text version, I have a word file available here: OpethInterview (pdf format). Below is an excerpt from the interview, detailing Akerfeldt’s new project with Steven Wilson, Storm Corrosion. Oh, and here’s a picture of them. Enjoy!
Bröötalisk - I’m a huge fan of both you and Steven Wilson, which makes me very excited over the news about Storm Corrosion. Care to shed light on this mysterious project? Perhaps an album date, what we can expect, etc?
Åkerfeldt – It’s one of those projects where you have to head it to understand what it is. You can talk about certain things and say what it’s like musically and stuff like that but it really doesn’t give much of a clear picture of what it is. We’ve been thinking about working together for such a long time and this is the result finally happening. We recorded 6 songs I think and they’re different from anything I’ve ever been involved in. Some of those songs are some of the most beautiful type of music that I’ve ever been involved in. And it’s a big relief. I’m happy it happened. It’s great. *laughs* What can I say? I love it. But if you’re a diehard metal fan, you might have problems with it. That is, if you’re not open minded. If you just listen to metal music then it’s not for you.
For the last 12 years I’ve been hosting radio programs at KZSC and I look forward to going much longer. Along the way I’ve learned a few things about myself and life which have proved to be invaluable yet what I cherish most about being at KZSC as a volunteer are the different friendships that get forged over time. Granted, students don’t stay around long (“College: the best 8 years of my Life”) but it’s always a pleasure to see someone blossom while exploring radio as part of their creative expression. Then there’s the surprising gifts that come from doing my show “Conciliation Sunday” which strives to inspire listeners to ‘unite mind, body, spirit, and emotion’ so they can fulfill their unique individual ‘soul purpose’ in life. That part is always a bit miraculous to me; I get to interview some amazing human beings who are already doing what they love then get called to do this as their work in life. My biggest joy in doing radio is the intimacy that comes out in interviews and from there the very real heart connection that happens, leading me to feel I’ve just made another new friend. So it was last Sunday interviewing Gary Dolowich, M.D. and Acupuncturist who wrote the groundbreaking book ‘Archetypal Acupuncture’. Learn more about Gary by going to the Jade Mountain website. Our conversation will be available soon in our KZSC Podcast Archives. “Conciliation Sunday” is aired every Sunday morning from 6-9 on KZSC.
Tandy Beal talks about her contribution to the theater performance “Here After Here: A Self-Guided Tour of Eternity” with KZSC’s Nada Miljkovic on August 15th. Nada hosts “Artists on Art”, which airs live every Monday at noon on KZSC.
The KZSC Sports Department will commemorate Maris’ achievement by interviewing Tom Clavin, author of ‘Roger Maris: Baseball’s Reluctant Hero.’ In this interview, Clavin will detail Roger Maris’ life, baseball career, and pursuit of the single season homerun record. The interview will air on SLUGTALK today between 4 and 5 PM on KZSC. Another programming reminder sports fans: SLUG TALK will be moving to a new day & time for the fall program schedule-Wednesdays nights a 7, starting next week!