That time Justin Townes Earle told me that it was Jason Isbell’s songs that made him a big Drive-By Truckers fan

By Steve Newton Very sad to hear the news tonight of the passing of Americana artist Justin Townes Earle. He was a helluva singer-songwriter. I only got to interview him once, back in May of 2009, when he was touring behind his third album, Midnight Movies. Having interviewed his father Steve Earle numerous times, I … Continue reading That time Justin Townes Earle told me that it was Jason Isbell’s songs that made him a big Drive-By Truckers fan

That time Jason Isbell told me he was in a Ford Econoline E350 van and his band cracked up at that

FSimani photo By Steve Newton The Drive-By Truckers are probably my favourite band right now. They were also my favourite band back when Jason Isbell was in the lineup. I did my first interview with him in 2007, after he’d left the DBTs and was promoting his debut solo album, Sirens of the Ditch. I … Continue reading That time Jason Isbell told me he was in a Ford Econoline E350 van and his band cracked up at that

Alabama’s joys and troubles inspire Jason Isbell’s songs

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 8, 2011 By Steve Newton Being from Alabama certainly has its benefits, one being the fact that you can really put your heart into it when you sing the chorus of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s biggest hit. But for Jason Isbell, one of the joys of growing up in northern Alabama was … Continue reading Alabama’s joys and troubles inspire Jason Isbell’s songs

That time Jason Newsted told me that Black Sabbath were “the inventors” and they could do anything they want

By Steve Newton Jason Newsted is best known as the bassist who played with Metallica for 14 years, during the peak of their popularity, on discs like …And Justice For All and The Black Album. I interviewed him back in July of 2013, when he was fronting his own group, Newsted, three weeks before it … Continue reading That time Jason Newsted told me that Black Sabbath were “the inventors” and they could do anything they want

That time Jason Bonham told me that his famous father in Led Zeppelin was “just dad to me”

By Steve Newton When I did my first interview with Jason Bonham back in 1989, I asked him what it was like growing up with a father who was world-famous for being the drummer in Led Zeppelin. Turns out it wasn’t that big of a deal to him. Have a listen: To hear the full … Continue reading That time Jason Bonham told me that his famous father in Led Zeppelin was “just dad to me”

That time Jason Bonham told me about taking Bonzo’s spot to jam with Led Zeppelin as a teen

By Steve Newton Led Zeppelin freaks may recall the first time John Bonham’s son Jason performed with his dad’s old band, back in 1988 as part of the Atlantic Records 40th anniversary concert. But that was only young Jason’s first “official” performance with Zeppelin. When I did my first interview with 23-year-old Jason a year later he … Continue reading That time Jason Bonham told me about taking Bonzo’s spot to jam with Led Zeppelin as a teen

Bonham tours behind The Disregard of Timekeeping and Jason reflects on his dear old dad

By Steve Newton On December 22, 1989, Bonham played the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, opening for the Cult. The group was named after 23-year-old drummer Jason Bonham, the son of legendary Zeppelin skin-basher John. In advance of the concert, Bonham called me from Toronto to chat about his current album, The Disregard of Timekeeping, and his … Continue reading Bonham tours behind The Disregard of Timekeeping and Jason reflects on his dear old dad

Ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted says that, with his new band, you work twice as hard for half as much

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JULY 25, 2013 By Steve Newton When a veteran rocker calls in the midst of doing a major North American tour, it’s pretty common for him to use terms like amazing and awesome in response to the journalist’s tried-and-true icebreaker: “So, how’s the tour going?” But when Jason Newsted rings in … Continue reading Ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted says that, with his new band, you work twice as hard for half as much

Ex-Trucker Isbell heeds the siren call of the ditch

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JULY 25, 2007 By Steve Newton When the Straight hooks up with former Drive-By Truckers guitarist-vocalist Jason Isbell on his cellphone, he and his backing band are trying to escape from Manhattan, searching for the Holland Tunnel enroute to a gig at Pennsylvania State College. A casual query about the type … Continue reading Ex-Trucker Isbell heeds the siren call of the ditch

Nick Rhodes talks new Duran Duran spinoff Arcadia, working with David Gilmour and the “wild” Grace Jones

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON FEB. 21, 1986 By Steve Newton I went to a Duran Duran concert once. Once! But I didn’t stay very long; the noise in the Pacific Coliseum was unbearable. And it wasn’t because the band was playing too loud. It was their fans who were making all the racket: several thousand young … Continue reading Nick Rhodes talks new Duran Duran spinoff Arcadia, working with David Gilmour and the “wild” Grace Jones

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”

Midnight Oil’s inspiration helps Seattle’s Candlebox to ignite with chart-topping debut

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON JULY 15, 1994 By Steve Newton In 1983, Midnight Oil released an album called 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1, which included a song called “Tin Legs and Tin Mines”. Within that tune was the lyric “boxed in like candles”, which struck a chord with a young Seattle rocker by the name of Kevin Martin. He decided … Continue reading Midnight Oil’s inspiration helps Seattle’s Candlebox to ignite with chart-topping debut

Paul Shaffer says that jamming with James Brown was the highlight of his career

By Steve Newton Sometimes it’s the little things in life that matter. Or the stories behind them. Like Paul Shaffer’s barely noticeable appearance in the 1988 Christmas comedy Scrooged. At one point in the film Shaffer is seen performing in a New York City street band, playing keyboards along with saxophonist David Sanborn, guitarist Larry … Continue reading Paul Shaffer says that jamming with James Brown was the highlight of his career

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

That time ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist John Sykes told me about being fired from Whitesnake by David Coverdale

Sykes (right) and Coverdale in happier times By Steve Newton Back in May of 1989 I interviewed English guitar hero John Sykes, who you may know for his fiery fretwork on the final Thin Lizzy album, Thunder and Lightning. Two years before we did that interview Whitesnake had released its self-titled album, the one that … Continue reading That time ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist John Sykes told me about being fired from Whitesnake by David Coverdale

Metallica announces new album to be released on my birthday, but won’t play Vancouver on world tour

By Steve Newton Metallica, arguably the world’s greatest-ever heavy-metal band, has announced that it will release its next album on my birthday. The Bay Area headbangers will unleash their 12th studio album, 72 Seasons, on April 14, 2023. “72 seasons,” says Metallica singer-guitarist James Hetfield in a press release. “The first 18 years of our … Continue reading Metallica announces new album to be released on my birthday, but won’t play Vancouver on world tour

That time Tommy Aldridge called me up from the Whitesnake tour and explained how it was different working for David Coverdale than Ozzy Osbourne

By Steve Newton In April of 1990 hard-rock drum legend Tommy Aldridge called me up from the road in Minneapolis, where he was playing that night with his latest band, Whitesnake. The group was touring behind its eighth studio album, Slip of the Tongue, the one with “Fool For Your Loving 89”. I actually preferred … Continue reading That time Tommy Aldridge called me up from the Whitesnake tour and explained how it was different working for David Coverdale than Ozzy Osbourne