Matthew Sweet channels Phil Spector, goes session-player crazy on In Reverse

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 4, 1999 By Steve Newton Matthew Sweet is best-known for stripped-down, three-and-a-half-minute pop-rock tunes that require no more than five people to perform. But on his new CD, In Reverse, the Nebraska native goes hog-wild in the personnel department, lining up as many as 17 musicians to play … Continue reading Matthew Sweet channels Phil Spector, goes session-player crazy on In Reverse

Album review: Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs, Under the Covers Vol. 2 (2009)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 16, 2009 By Steve Newton Back in 2006, power-pop stalwart Matthew Sweet and sometimes-Bangles singer Susanna Hoffs collaborated on Under the Covers Vol. 1, in which they performed versions of ’60s hits by groups like the Beatles, the Who, and the Beach Boys. On Under the Covers Vol. 2 the … Continue reading Album review: Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs, Under the Covers Vol. 2 (2009)

Matthew Sweet still searching for that elusive SNL appearance

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 17, 1997 By Steve Newton When Matthew Sweet calls in the afternoon from a Manhattan hotel room, he’s just hours away from taping an appearance on Late Show with David Letterman. That night, through the wonder of TV, Sweet’s new single, “Where You Get Love”, will be transmitted … Continue reading Matthew Sweet still searching for that elusive SNL appearance

Matthew Sweet wishes his records were as loose as Neil Young’s

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 6, 1995 By Steve Newton When Matthew Sweet checks in from his L.A. abode for an afternoon chat, I’ve got a fair supply of questions lined up. I want to uncover the acclaimed pop rocker’s thoughts about his place on the Another Roadside Attraction megatour, which comes to … Continue reading Matthew Sweet wishes his records were as loose as Neil Young’s

That time Aerosmith’s Tom Hamilton told me that he smoked a big bone right before thinking up the bass lick for “Sweet Emotion”

By Steve Newton The first time I interviewed Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton was back in 1983, during the period when Joe Perry and Brad Whitford were out of the band, and the group was touring behind its Rock in a Hard Place album. The second time we chatted was when the original lineup had been … Continue reading That time Aerosmith’s Tom Hamilton told me that he smoked a big bone right before thinking up the bass lick for “Sweet Emotion”

That time Dickey Betts told me how sweet the buses were that the Allman Brothers toured in

By Steve Newton Hey, how about another audio excerpt from an old interview I did with one of my fave guitarists, Dickey Betts? Back in 1992 I was talkin’ to Dickey about the Allmans’ latest album, An Evening With the Allman Brothers Band: First Set. The disc’s cover photo, taken by the inimitable Kirk West, … Continue reading That time Dickey Betts told me how sweet the buses were that the Allman Brothers toured in

Matthew Good and the great Radiohead controversy of 2000

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 28, 2000 Matthew Good is a loud rocker. That’s easily discernible from a quick spin of his band’s latest CD, Beautiful Midnight. Matthew Good is also a loud talker, as I discover for myself when he calls the Straight from his West End apartment prior to his five … Continue reading Matthew Good and the great Radiohead controversy of 2000

Bittersweet Gin Blossoms encounter UFOs and Alice Cooper in their ‘hood

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 29, 1996 By Steve Newton If there were such a thing as a Webster’s Dictionary of Pop Music, you could probably look up the word bittersweet and find a picture of Arizona’s Gin Blossoms nearby. Like fellow southerner Matthew Sweet and local buddies the Odds—who will tour with … Continue reading Bittersweet Gin Blossoms encounter UFOs and Alice Cooper in their ‘hood

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

That time Joey Molland told me about the “crooks” that stole a ton of royalty money from Badfinger

By Steve Newton Thirty-five years ago today–on  November 26, 1987–I did an interview with Joey Molland of Badfinger. I’ve loved Badfinger ever since I first heard them doing that 1969 song that everybody thought was the Beatles, “Come and Get It”, from the film The Magic Christian. Joey Molland wasn’t in the band then, but … Continue reading That time Joey Molland told me about the “crooks” that stole a ton of royalty money from Badfinger