America’s Dewey Bunnell says “A Horse with No Name” is all about the feeling of the desert

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 16, 1983 By Steve Newton America, the masters of mellow, have just released their 13th album. Produced by Russ Ballard, Your Move continues the collaboration between Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley that began in 1970 when--along with Dan Peek--they had a huge hit in their first single, "A … Continue reading America’s Dewey Bunnell says “A Horse with No Name” is all about the feeling of the desert

Henry Fambrough says he could never think about being without the Spinners

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 22, 1983 By Steve Newton The last time the Spinners were in Vancouver was way back in the sixties, when they came through here with the Marvin Gaye Revue. But lovers of the group's unmistakable brand of funky R&B still have a chance to catch the spirit of … Continue reading Henry Fambrough says he could never think about being without the Spinners

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

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 “penis size” was what sets Matchbox 20 apart from all the other rock bands with debut albums

Dan Hartman flying high 12 years after taking his “Free Ride” with the Edgar Winter Group

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 18, 1985 By Steve Newton Dan Hartman likes to pull people's legs. That's why, for the video of his big 1984 hit "I Can Dream About You", he had four black guys doing the song, singing and dancing and sliding around. The first impression is that one of … Continue reading Dan Hartman flying high 12 years after taking his “Free Ride” with the Edgar Winter Group

Train’s Pat Monahan says that whatever sounds like Stevie Wonder is great

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 16, 2006 By Steve Newton It was on the strength of adult-contemporary hits like "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)" and "Calling All Angels" that San Francisco's Train managed to score Grammy Awards and multiplatinum sales in recent years. So it's no surprise that, when Train singer-lyricist Pat Monahan … Continue reading Train’s Pat Monahan says that whatever sounds like Stevie Wonder is great

The Strokes’ Albert Hammond Jr. says that the healthier you are, the more fun it is to fuck yourself up

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 11, 2006 By Steve Newton Apparently, no one ever told Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. that you shouldn't speak with your mouth full. When he hooks up with the Straight from his band's management office in Manhattan, the 26-year-old rocker communicates around a bulging mouthful of salad from … Continue reading The Strokes’ Albert Hammond Jr. says that the healthier you are, the more fun it is to fuck yourself up

Tony Rombola says Godsmack has a lot of fans in the military: “Males 18 to 25 like the hard rock”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 22, 2006 By Steve Newton How many big-league metal CDs can you name that have sold more than 3.5 million copies yet cost less than three grand to make? The only one I'm aware of is Godsmack, the 1998 debut by the Boston-based metal quartet of the same … Continue reading Tony Rombola says Godsmack has a lot of fans in the military: “Males 18 to 25 like the hard rock”

That time Brian Blush told me about the Refreshments recording the “King of the Hill” theme song

By Steve Newton The Refreshments were a great rock band from Tempe, Arizona that was around for a few years in the mid-'90s. I interviewed lead guitarist Brian Blush in October of 1997, two weeks after the release of the band's third and final album, The Bottle & Fresh Horses. The Refreshments are perhaps best … Continue reading That time Brian Blush told me about the Refreshments recording the “King of the Hill” theme song

The Elvis Brothers on hangin’ with Carl Perkins and hoping Big Country don’t throw them off the tour

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 25, 1983 By Steve Newton "The name Menudo was already taken," quips Rob Elvis, "and the Three Dog Night Brothers--we didn't figure that would go over as well." High up in a Century Plaza Hotel room, just hours before their opening set for Big Country at the Commodore, … Continue reading The Elvis Brothers on hangin’ with Carl Perkins and hoping Big Country don’t throw them off the tour

That time 24-year-old John Popper told me that touring with the Allman Brothers was like studying “the masters”

By Steve Newton I did my first interview with Blues Traveler singer and harmonica slinger John Popper in September of 1991, when he was just 24. That was three weeks after the release of Blues Traveler's second album, Travelers and Thieves, and three years to the month before the band released its multiplatinum Four album, … Continue reading That time 24-year-old John Popper told me that touring with the Allman Brothers was like studying “the masters”

That time back in ’88 when Jeff Keith told me why his band took its name from Nicola Tesla

By Steve Newton Back in June of 1988--which was a pretty rockin' summer, if I recall correctly--I did an interview with Jeff Keith, the lead singer of a Sacramento band called Tesla that was making waves with its platinum debut album, Mechanical Resonance. The band was headed to Vancouver on tour with Def Leppard, which … Continue reading That time back in ’88 when Jeff Keith told me why his band took its name from Nicola Tesla

That time I asked Dewey Bunnell why his band named itself America

By Steve Newton If you've been reading this blog for a while, you might have figured out that I'm not the world's biggest soft-rock fan. But when it's time to take a break from the Blue Oyster Cult and Thin Lizzy I've got nothing against throwing on America's Greatest Hits and mellowing out with easygoing … Continue reading That time I asked Dewey Bunnell why his band named itself America

That time Nathan Followill told me that the Kings of Leon didn’t know a right way or a wrong way to play rock ‘n’ roll when they started

By Steve Newton I interviewed Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill on September 19, 2003, exactly one month after the release of the band's debut album, Youth and Young Manhood. Exactly five years after that--on September 19, 2008--the band released its fourth album, Only by the Night, which spawned the hit single "Sex on Fire" … Continue reading That time Nathan Followill told me that the Kings of Leon didn’t know a right way or a wrong way to play rock ‘n’ roll when they started

That time I asked legendary tunesmith John Hiatt if writing songs came easy for him or if it’s always been hard

ron baker photo/wikipedia By Steve Newton John Hiatt has written some of my favourite tunes. Sometimes he records them himself ("Paper Thin", "Tennessee Plates", "Perfectly Good Guitar"), sometimes people like Jeff Healey ("Confidence Man") and Bonnie Raitt ("Thing Called Love") cover them. It was a real honour to chat with a legendary songwriter of John … Continue reading That time I asked legendary tunesmith John Hiatt if writing songs came easy for him or if it’s always been hard

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 Steve Earle raved to me about the influence of Elvis and the generosity of Springsteen

By Steve Newton I've interviewed Steve Earle five times, 'cause he's one of my favourite all-time songwriters. The first time was back in May of 1987, two weeks before the official release of his second album, Exit O. ("It's Exit Zero", he explained to me when I tried pronouncing it "Exit Oh".) At one point … Continue reading That time Steve Earle raved to me about the influence of Elvis and the generosity of Springsteen

That time the Cadillac Tramps’ Gabby Gaborno told me that if he feels something he does it

By Steve Newton The Cadillac Tramps were one of the wildest live bands around in the early nineties. They were right up there with the Beat Farmers. Matter of fact, when I interviewed Tramps frontman Gabby Gaborno in November of 1991 the punk-rockers from Orange County, California were on tour opening for the Farmers. Now … Continue reading That time the Cadillac Tramps’ Gabby Gaborno told me that if he feels something he does it

That time the Goo Goo Dolls’ John Rzeznik told me that his big sister first turned him on to music

By Steve Newton I did my first interview with Goo Goo Dolls singer-guitarist John Rzeznik three months after the release of A Boy Named Goo, when the band was headed to Vancouver for a club gig. This was just three months before the release of the hit single "Name", which shot the Goo to the … Continue reading That time the Goo Goo Dolls’ John Rzeznik told me that his big sister first turned him on to music