Chris Brokaw on the time he played a show with GG Allin in drag and under an assumed name

Categories: INTERVIEWS

Joshua Lindenmayer

Chris Brokaw has had a career in underground music that sounds like it can't possibly be true: He went to Oberlin College in the '80s, where he met Sooyoung Park, Liz Phair, John McEntire and Stephen Immerwahr. After graduation he played drums briefly with GG Allin, and from there he more or less helped to found the influential cult band Codeine. In doing so, he pioneered an expressive, textural drumming style oft-imitated.

See also: Chris Brokaw, with Mono at the Larimer Lounge, 9/27/12

More »

Nightwish's Tuomas Holopainen on symphonic metal and the band's new film, Imagineaerum

Categories: INTERVIEWS


Formed in 1996, Nightwish gained instant popularity in its native Finland with the 1997 release of its first album, Angels Fall First. Eventually, Nightwish achieved international success with album sales in excess of over eight million worldwide, yet the group has struggled to achieve popularity and recognition here in the States. Nightwish delivers chugging distorted guitars, double-bass kicks, fast tempos and time changes -- the signature traits of any metal band. But the act's songs also include classical structures and arrangements and have featured an orchestra and a choir, bolstering a classically trained female vocalist -- all of which has earned it a "symphonic metal" designation, a tag its members are comfortable with.

See also: Nightwish at Ogden Theatre, with Kamelot, 9/28/12

More »

Aaron Saye of Seventh Circle Music Collective on making the transition from Blast-O-Mat

Categories: INTERVIEWS

Geri Saye
Aaron Saye of Seventh Circle Music Collective.

Seventh Circle Music Collective is the new name for the former Blast-O-Mat space, which, until its recent closing, had been one of the longest-running DIY spaces in Denver. Originally a host to heavier and more extreme music, in the last couple of years, Blast-O-Mat became home to numerous other branches of underground music as well. This past summer, Ethan McCarthy, the long-running lease-holder and former proprietor of Monkey Mania and Kingdom of Doom, announced he would be leaving his involvement with the venue and opening a new place called Aqualung's Community Music Space. That announcement left the future of the space up in the air. Fortunately, one of Blast-O-Mat's volunteers, Aaron Saye, had the resources, drive and compatible ideas to take over the space and keep it running.

More »

Marilyn Manson on post-Columbine death threats and Hunter S. Thompson being the worst possible father figure in the best way

Categories: INTERVIEWS


Marilyn Manson, even more than one of his inspirations, Alice Cooper, has become a lightning rod of controversy for his provocative lyrics and visual style. The guy had an album called Antichrist Superstar, after all, and he's been fairly open about his drug use, what more conservative members of society might call deviant sexual behavior, and his unapologetic in his critique of what really is sick in our culture. He has also put on some of the most entertaining live shows of anyone in the history of popular music.

See also:
- Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie at 1STBANK Center, 10/2/12
- Rob Zombie on Pee-wee's Playhouse, and how he's not on tour to party and to fuck around

More »

Rob Zombie on Pee-wee's Playhouse, and how he's not on tour to party and to fuck around

Categories: INTERVIEWS

Rick Fagan

Rob Zombie originally came to prominence with his first band, White Zombie. With a penchant for campy horror imagery and music that was the perfect mutant blend of an industrial aesthetic with trashy metal and punk, White Zombie was one in a handful of bands that crossed the alternative-rock world and the metal world at a time when the former was going out of vogue. After the band broke up, Zombie embarked on a "solo" career under his own name. Over the past decade or so, he has also become something of an acclaimed filmmaker, starting with his classic debut House of a Thousand Corpses and its far less cartoonish sequel, The Devil's Rejects.

See also: Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson at 1STBANK Center, 10/2/12

More »

Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu on non-Western sounds and his affinity for Suicide (the band)

Categories: INTERVIEWS

Jeremy Lange
Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu

Xiu Xiu got its start in 2002 when Jamie Stewart and his friend and longtime musical collaborator Cory McCulloch started writing songs in a more experimental vein, making extensive use of non-Western percussion and tones. The group's debut album, 2002's Knife Play, anticipated more widespread use of non-western instruments in underground bands by a few years, and it quickly became a classic record and subsequent tour in the band's history. Since then, Xiu Xiu has set a high bar for challenging itself creatively while still having fun with the music and working with a wide array of its peers in the underground musical world and beyond.

See also:
- Tonight: Xiu Xiu at the Gothic Theatre, 9/24/12
- Michael Gira of Swans on the new album and his time as a bassist
- Win tickets to see Swans tonight at the Gothic

More »

Goldrush Festival co-founder Crawford Philleo on how this year's festival will be different

Marcus Renninger
Goldrush Festival co-founder and occasional Backbeat contributor Crawford Philleo.
By Leya Lynnette

Goldrush Music Festival is the brainchild of Jake Martin, occasional Backbeat contributor Crawford Philleo and Ryan Pjesky. The three friends all knew each other from going to local shows and writing about experimental music on the internet. At some point, they began exchanging e-mails and hashing out the details of a festival that would tie in to their blogs. "There was a lot of music we were writing about that we'd never seen live, so it just seemed perfect," says Philleo. "Let's invite our friends to get really excited about seeing the bands that we're really excited to be writing about."

See also:
- Goldrush Festival 2 at Deer Pile | Fri-Sat, 9/21-22
- Review: Goldrush Festival, Night One, 9/16/11
- Review: Goldrush Festival, Night Two, 9/17/11
- The Organizers of Goldrush Festival on the festival and blogging

More »

Dragonette's Martina Sorbara on writing songs about cheating without actually cheating

Categories: INTERVIEWS

Dragonette Westword.jpg
Kristin Vicari
Dragonette (Joel Stouffer, Martina Sorbara and Dan Kurtz) play the Larimer Lounge this Friday, September 21.

Dragonette has been hot on the underground pop music scene for years, but only last year did they come charging out of the gate onto mainstream radio with "Hello," a global party-starter that saw Dragonette collaborate with French DJ-producer Martin Solveig. Almost overnight, Dragonette went from pop's consistently great, best-kept secret to Canada's first pop export this side of the 21st century that is cool to play at house parties.

See also: Dragonette at Larimer Lounge on Friday, September 21

More »

Amanda Palmer on being criticized for enlisting fans to perform and paying them in beers, hugs

Categories: INTERVIEWS

Shervin Lainez

Update 9/20/12: Local string quartet Per Vita is slated to back Amanda Palmer this Friday at the Gothic Theater. The group reached out to Palmer immediately when she put out the initial call, knowing full well that it was volunteer only.

"We didn't care at all," says Laena McDonald. "We play a lot of different events, but the majority are classical. We fight to get paid what we're worth, though it's always a struggle with how little people value musicians. That said. I don't think it's about Amanda Palmer not valuing the volunteers' time/skill; it's a completely different thing. It's an opportunity to have fun and do something different. We love what we do, but always welcome opportunities to have fun on the side."

That in mind, McDonald and company considered it a bonus when they found out earlier this week that they'll indeed be getting paid for their efforts. Although McDonald declines to reveal how much her and the other musicians are getting paid, she says that, "Considering that we are only playing for a couple of songs, it's more than enough, especially since we are just doing it for the fun of it."

She also notes that Palmer offered her and her crews free tickets to the show, "in case the controversy had pissed us off and we didn't want to participate anymore," she concludes, adding, "I thought that was pretty cool of them."

Keep reading for our full interview with Amanda Palmer.

See also:
- 9/21/12: Amanda Palmer & the Grand Theft Orchestra at the Gothic Theatre
- Amanda Palmer pens Dear John letter to Roadrunner
- For the Dresden Dolls, home is where the art is

More »

Groovie Mann of My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult on the act's emotionally charged live shows

Categories: INTERVIEWS


My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult began as a film idea that Frankie Nardiello and Marsten Daley had that never fully came to fruition. The two met while touring with Ministry, and in 1987, inspired in part by disco, exploitation films, the industrial scene happening around them in Chicago and a mutual love for campy horror movies, the pair formed a creative partnership that produced something better than any movie they could have made. With Nardiello taking on the stage name of Groovie Mann and Daley performing as Buzz McCoy, the two larger-than-life characters have been making larger-than-life music and putting on incredibly entertaining and gloriously colorful (in every sense) shows ever since.

See also: My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult at Bluebird Theater, 9/19/12

More »