That time Rob Thomas told me that what sets Matchbox 20 apart from all the other rock bands with debut albums is “penis size”

By Steve Newton I’m not the biggest Matchbox 20 fan in the world, but when I interviewed 25-year-old frontman Rob Thomas in June of 1997 the band was touring behinds its debut album, Yourself or Someone Like You, which would go on to sell over nine-million copies in the U.S. alone. So what do I … Continue reading That time Rob Thomas told me that what sets Matchbox 20 apart from all the other rock bands with debut albums is “penis size”

That time back in ’84 when Judas Priest’s Rob Halford told me that metal was a young musical force

bev davies photo By Steve Newton I did my first interview with Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford back in May of 1984, when Judas Priest was touring behind its Defenders of the Faith album. At one point in the conversation I mentioned how one of Priest’s songs from two years earlier, “You’ve Got Another Thing … Continue reading That time back in ’84 when Judas Priest’s Rob Halford told me that metal was a young musical force

That time I asked Alain Caron how he felt about UZEB being called “the Van Halen of jazz”

By Steve Newton Way back in May of 1985 I interviewed Alain Caron, the phenomenal bassist for Quebec jazz-fusion band UZEB. His group was touring behind its second studio album, You, Be Easy, and headed to Vancouver for a two-night stand at the Commodore Ballroom. At one point in the conversation I asked Caron about … Continue reading That time I asked Alain Caron how he felt about UZEB being called “the Van Halen of jazz”

That time Geddy Lee told me that Rush had 4,000 albums

By Steve Newton Back in April of 1997 I did my first interview with Rush bassist-vocalist Geddy Lee. At the time the group was touring behind its Test for Echo album, and that tour marked the first time Rush had taken the “An Evening With” approach, where there is no opening act and it’s just … Continue reading That time Geddy Lee told me that Rush had 4,000 albums

That time I asked ex-David Lee Roth bassist Billy Sheehan if he would jump at the chance to join Van Halen

By Steve Newton Back in August of 1989 I interviewed American bass god Billy Sheehan, who was promoting the new, self-titled debut album by his latest band, Mr. Big. The previous year Sheehan had been playing with Steve Vai in David Lee Roth‘s band, so as the conversation was winding down I asked him whether–if … Continue reading That time I asked ex-David Lee Roth bassist Billy Sheehan if he would jump at the chance to join Van Halen

That time Alex Lifeson told me that Rush had considered expanding to a four-piece in the ’70s

By Steve Newton Back in January of 1992 I interviewed Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson. At the time Rush was touring behind its latest album, Roll the Bones, and was headed to Vancouver for a show at the Pacific Coliseum. At one point in the conversation I asked the 38-year-old Lifeson if the band had ever … Continue reading That time Alex Lifeson told me that Rush had considered expanding to a four-piece in the ’70s

That time Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars told me that the music he loves most is blues-based stuff like Edgar and Johnny Winter

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Mick Mars a couple of times. The first time was way back in 1985 when Mötley Crüe was touring behind its Theatre of Pain album. The following excerpt is from my second interview with Mars, which happened in March of 1999, when the original lineup had reunited after recording one … Continue reading That time Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars told me that the music he loves most is blues-based stuff like Edgar and Johnny Winter

That time I asked Neil Finn what inspired him to write one of my all-time favourite tunes, Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over”

By Steve Newton I did my first interview with Crowded House frontman Neil Finn back in August of 1998, when he was touring behind his debut solo album, Try Whistling This. I’d been a fan of Crowded House since the 1986 release of its first album, which featured one of the most beautiful pop songs … Continue reading That time I asked Neil Finn what inspired him to write one of my all-time favourite tunes, Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over”

That time King’s X guitarist Ty Tabor told me that he wasn’t into chops for chops’ sake

By Steve Newton I interviewed King’s X guitarist Ty Tabor back in June of 2001, when his funky prog-rock trio was touring behind its ninth studio album, Manic Moonlight, and headed to Vancouver for a club gig. Tabor’s solo career had recently seen him putting on several guitar clinics in Southeast Asia, where he was … Continue reading That time King’s X guitarist Ty Tabor told me that he wasn’t into chops for chops’ sake

That time I asked Bruce Dickinson what the backwards message was on Maiden’s new Piece of Mind LP

By Steve Newton Way back in June of 1983 I did my second Iron Maiden interview, following up the previous year’s chat with the soon-to-be-replaced drummer Clive Burr with a conversation featuring 24-year-old frontman Bruce Dickinson. At one point in the interview I asked Dickinson about the backwards message that could be heard between the … Continue reading That time I asked Bruce Dickinson what the backwards message was on Maiden’s new Piece of Mind LP

That time the Headstones’ Hugh Dillon told me about his fascination with the characters in “Tweeter and the Monkey Man”

By Steve Newton Back in January of 1994 I did my first interview with Headstones vocalist Hugh Dillon. At the time his group was touring behind its debut album, Picture of Health, the one with that supercool version of the Traveling Wilburys’ “Tweeter and the Monkey Man”. At one point in the conversation I asked … Continue reading That time the Headstones’ Hugh Dillon told me about his fascination with the characters in “Tweeter and the Monkey Man”

That time Mick Ronson told me that Steve Jones got pulled from the Hunter-Ronson tour because his album fell off the charts

By Steve Newton Back in December of 1989 I did my second interview with Mick Ronson, one of the greatest rock guitarists ever. At the time he was touring with Ian Hunter in support of their amazing YUI Orta album, released two months before. At one point in the conversation I asked Ronson how it … Continue reading That time Mick Ronson told me that Steve Jones got pulled from the Hunter-Ronson tour because his album fell off the charts

That time I asked Albert Collins which blues artists he liked listening to, and he mentioned three biggies

By Steve Newton Way back in September of 1985 I did my one and only interview with blues legend Albert Collins, the “Master of the Telecaster”. He was getting ready for a tour that would bring him to Vancouver for two nights at a Gastown nightclub called the Town Pump. At one point in the … Continue reading That time I asked Albert Collins which blues artists he liked listening to, and he mentioned three biggies