On this episode of Analog Smile, Sherry speaks with James Campion, the author of Take a Sad Song: The Emotional Currency of Hey Jude. Music columnist and podcast host Campion shows why the Beatles' epic 1968 single "Hey Jude" transcends time, taking readers through the song's riveting personal story, its importance during the fractious days of a pop culture phenomenon, and its impact on the most turbulent year since WWII. He is a syndicated columnist and contributing editor for The Aquarian Weekly, where he's reported on and interviewed several and varied musical artists and reviewed concerts and albums for twenty-three years. His long-form music essays are featured in the webzine Dog Door Cultural. His work has also appeared in NY Newsday, North County News, Hackwriters, and other periodicals. He is also the co-host of the popular music podcast Underwater Sunshine with Counting Crows frontman, Adam Duritz. The two host an annual music festival in New York City by the same name. They chat about the new book, The Beatles, Alice Cooper, journalism, and much more! Please visit jamescampion.com for more information.
On this episode of Analog Smile, Sherry speaks with Mike Skill. The Detroit native and celebrated rock guitarist has been a working musician for more than four decades. His roots lay in 60's Motown, Traditional-Garage Blues, and the New Wave Punk movement, spending his early days in New York City with one of his first bands playing clubs, such as the historic CBGB’s. Best known as a founding member, guitarist, and principal songwriter for The Romantics, Skill co-wrote the band's chart-topper “What I Like About You”. He also created the heart-thumping bass groove and co-wrote the global #1 hit “Talking in Your Sleep.” The Romantics were part of the early days of MTV with energetic videos featuring their infectious new wave pop hooks. In 2011, The Romantics were inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame. Today, Skill continues to write and record in Detroit at Pearl Sound Studios with producer Chuck Alkazian and from his current home in Oregon in addition to performing around the world. He has a new solo album called 'Skill... Mike Skill'. They chat about his influences, the formation of The Romantics, his solo career and much more! Visit mikeskill.com for further details.
On this episode of Analog Smile, Sherry speaks with Michael Millard, the director of 35000 Watts: The Story of College Radio. 35000 Watts is the untold story of college radio brought to life by the students behind the mic and the bands they made famous. It’s the story of the youth and music culture that originated, and later flourished, on the airwaves of American colleges and universities, establishing a new generational voice and a new path to success for many alumni and artists. Highlighting an era where college radio’s influence was at its peak, 35000 Watts: The Story of College Radio also examines its humble beginnings and how it evolved to create hugely impactful experiences for local and regional communities, students finding their voice, and the musicians seeking their shot at hitting it big. The film dives deep into the music that was the heart of college radio programming, exploring the symbiotic relationship between artists creating music that did not fit into commercial radio formats and the student-run radio stations that were more than happy to play it. The film features interviews with iconic big-name acts and smaller regional bands who lived their rock-and-roll dream for a short while, as well as discussions with former college radio alumni who spin on about their role in college radio and why college radio is still relevant in today’s media-saturated landscape. Despite this positive impact, college radio stations seem to be forever locked in a battle to justify their existence and stay on the air in an increasingly crowded landscape. Threats can come from any direction and every station has a handful of heroes who have fought to keep their stations from shutting down. The stories they can tell about their efforts are sometimes worthy of entire films on their own. Without the efforts of those who started college radio stations and kept them alive, we might never have seen the talents of David Letterman, Billy Crystal, Howard Stern or Bob Odenkirk. We might never have heard the music of R.E.M., The B-52s, U2, Pixies or The Cure. These artists and entertainers, plus many more, all found their audience first on college radio. This film is a celebration of the independent spirit that created so many culture-defining stations and kept them on the air for generations. 35000 Watts: The Story of College Radio delves into the ongoing impact and legacy of those who were at the epicenter of this radio revolution. They chat about the documentary, the college radio experience, and much more! Please visit Kickstarter to donate or 35000watts.com for more information.
On this episode of Analog Smile, Sherry speaks with Acey Slade. Acey Slade was born in Pennsylvania, but bred in Brooklyn, NY. Acey has a career of mythical proportions that seemingly has no end. Cutting his teeth in the Philly rock scene, he moved to NYC and joined the band Dope who released two albums on Sony records. Acey co-wrote the song ‘Now or Never’ and the song ‘Die MF Die’ (which is currently at over 100 million spins on Spotify alone). From there he joined Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison in the Murderdolls. After several world tours with everyone from Papa Roach to Iron Maiden, the band gained a large international following. The Murderdolls were constantly cleaning up every poll in every music magazine in the UK and performing on Top of the Pops and BBC1 radio shows. After this whirlwind of touring, Acey took time to work on his own band Trashlight Vision, and then another project called the Dark Party. In the winter of 2010 Acey joined rock and roll royalty by playing bass for Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. They recorded the ‘Unvarnished’ album which saw them appear on all of the major late night and daytime TV talk shows. Worldwide touring ensued, supporting the Foo Fighters and by 2015 Joan Jett and the Blackhearts were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of fame. By 2016, a few other legendary punk rockers had their eye on Acey as he joined the reunited Misfits as 2nd guitarist for their prodigious return. This coincided with a reunion tour for his alma mater Dope and he’s split his time between the two bands ever since. In the midst of all the craziness that was 2020, Acey and his wife seized their opportunity and started Catfight Coffee. When they aren’t visiting coffee plantations in Latin America, Indonesia or elsewhere, they catch a break at their home in Taipei, Taiwan before heading back to the East Coast hustle. They chat about his career in music, coffee, and much more! Please visit his websites aceyslade.org and catfightcoffee.com for details.
On this episode of Analog Smile, Sherry speaks with Tim Smith (The Lickerish Quartet, Sheryl Crow, Umajets, Jellyfish, etc.). Ex-Jellyfish members Roger Joseph Manning Jr. (Beck, Air, Cheap Trick, Imperial Drag), Tim Smith (Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, The Finn Brothers, Sheryl Crow, Umajets) and Eric Dover (Imperial Drag, Slash’s Snakepit, Alice Cooper, Sextus)—released their third and final child, Threesome Volume 3, May 20, 2022 on Stranger Danger Records and Tapes, distributed by Burnside and the Orchard in the U.S. and by Lojinx in the U.K. and Europe. It’s available now on digital outlets and on the band’s official website. Threesome Volume 3 makes its way into the world via remote writing, recording, and mixing. The challenges we’ve all faced these last years forced Roger, Eric and Tim to finalize this EP through a series of emails, and phone calls. Home recording studios were redesigned and outfitted to complete the final four songs that were originally written together in 2017. Threesome Volume 3 completes the trilogy started with the release of Threesome Volume 1 in 2020, which was called a “masterpiece” by many critics and fans alike. Threesome Volume 2 was released in early 2021, and its first single, “Snollygoster Goon,” showed another side of the band and its versatility as writers, singers and musicians. “Fortunately,” the EP’s first single and video, is a bouncy tune sung by Tim Smith that drips with the signature harmonies and melodic structures The Lickerish Quartet have been known for, alongside a deeper, darker lyric that speaks to the universal ideas of heaven, hell, dogma and belief. As a co-write with their executive producer, Adam W. James, Eric’s slide guitar soloing, Roger’s keyboards and string arrangement, and Tim’s melodic bass lines combine for the listener to perhaps harken back to early FM radio hits of the ‘70s. “New Days” was released as the second single and video on April 22. As sung by Roger, it’s a tale of remembering the past with the longing psychedelic hope of the future. Eric’s lyric touches pastoral images of optimistic youth and shaping moments with the desire to keep moving forward, onward, and probably westward. Lush reverb guitars, grooving bass and drums with evolving vocal harmonies celebrate the hope we all share for new beginnings. “You All Alone” starts with a jarring string ensemble as Eric’s lead vocal then weaves a story of obsession and pursuit. Jagged drums and bass, razor wire guitars and another excellent string arrangement by Roger leads our hero towards satisfaction, but at what cost? Who is the hunter, and who is the hunted? “In The Meantime” rounds out the EP. Sung by Tim, the song ponders where do YOU go when you are feeling the crush of a world you no longer recognize? Topical, but also timeless, “In The Meantime” proffers to float rather than sink or swim. The theme of burying down deep is married to a pulsing, shouting wall of guitar sound and fury, but with a non-violent narrative. Those most precious things that bring us happiness--to love someone, do something, or have something to hope for--are sung about with fearlessness. They continue to engage with their fans via their website and “Experiences”--a series of collaborative connections of writing together with folks, performing on songs submitted to the band, personalized songs and messages, lessons in songwriting and production, as well as numerous Zoom-hosted breakdowns of their songs in-studio followed by a Q&A with the fans about the process, choices made, and equipment used to create their music. Meanwhile, Sony Japan recently partnered with them to release all three EPs on June 29, as a collection entitled Fables From Fearless Heights, which will include two previously unheard cover songs, as well as a special “best of” vinyl LP in that region. Sherry and Tim chat about The Lickerish Quartet’s new EP and much more! Please visit thelickerishquartet.com for more information.
On this episode of Analog Smile, Sherry speaks with Damian MonteCarlo from the band MonteCarlo. “After dropping a handful of singles, MonteCarlo has officially released their debut album Super Double Fine. MonteCarlo‘s evolution from pandemic project to full blown band has shown the group’s dedication to craft a hard-hitting rock record after spending the last year developing themselves. Super Double Fine includes ten songs, opening with an instrumental track titled “il Ornti'' and closing with a cover of Duran Duran‘s “All She Wants Is”. The namesake of the group is Damian MonteCarlo of MACH22 fame, best remembered by their stints opening for legendary acts Guns N’ Roses and Bon Jovi. MonteCarlo officially consists of Damian MonteCarlo (drums, vocals), Albert Lepore (vocals), Dan Parsels (guitar, vocals), Ahmed Smith (guitar, vocals) and Joe Mal (bass). In MonteCarlo’s words, the band has a “Velvet Revolver meets Alice In Chains kind of vibe” and hones in on Saigon Kick being a major influence of their sound. These musical comparisons are heard throughout Super Double Fine while still maintaining their own original sound. They chat about the band, the new album, the podcast Mix Tapes and Tasty Cakes, and much more! For more information visit their Facebook page.
On this episode of Analog Smile, Sherry speaks with Connor Gotto. Connor is the owner of Irresistible Publishing and the Founder and Editor of Retro Pop Magazine. Retro Pop is a joyous celebration of pop music, fêting the biggest hits, hottest sounds and signature styles of the past five decades – and the artists who stood at the center of it all! Every month, they bring you 100 pages of pop nostalgia, featuring exclusive chats with the world’s premier acts, who candidly open up about their extraordinary successes and detail their latest projects. With one foot in the past, Retro Pop also looks to the future, spotlighting current chart acts and rising stars whose work is heavily influenced by classic sounds and upholds the legacies of eras gone by. We chat about the magazine, Rick Astley, why we should post items on social media after coffee and before wine, and much more! Visit retropopmagazine.com for more information.
On this episode of Analog Smile, Sherry speaks with Joseph Lekkas (Vocals, Bass, Keys) with the band Palm Ghosts. The sound of an 80s prom in a war zone…located in the dead heart of country music, Nashville, TN. That is the sound and spirit of Palm Ghosts, as far from the honky-tonks and pedal taverns of their adopted city as one can get. More at home in rainy Manchester or blustery Berlin, the quartet weaves early cinematic dream pop and new wave with brooding post punk. Palm Ghosts has a long history, as Joe has carried the name since his Philly days when the project had an indie folk sound. But, it is the current iteration of the band that sounds more like a clap back to the sound for which Nashville is notorious. Embracing their 80’s idols, like New Order, The Cure, David Bowie, John Carpenter and even Divine, these Nashville transplants released 2018’s Architecture. With a steady stream of singles and EPs, the band has continued to write music that sums up the lot of their 80’s youth, but their most cohesive effort is now. We chat about Palm Ghosts, the Nashville music scene, Duran Duran, and much more! Visit palmghosts.net for more information.
On this episode of Analog Smile, Sherry speaks with Peter Argyropoulos with the band Sons of Silver. Put the five members of Los Angeles-based Sons of Silver in a room together and they feed off of a collective face-to-face creative energy. They plug in and unlock a flood of emotions energized by unbridled guitars, fluid percussion, and a distinct vocal howl. In the summer of 2020, the band unleashed the aptly titled Doomsday Noises to widespread critical acclaim. American Songwriter deemed the band a "Supergroup," along with praise from Consequence of Sound and Paste Magazine. The songs from Doomsday Noises have amassed over five million views on YouTube, with three out of the five tracks on the EP garnering spots on Billboard Active Rock Chart. Sons Of Silver—Pete Argyropoulos [vocals, guitar], Brina Kabler [keys, vocals], Kevin Haaland [lead guitar], Adam Kury [bass], and Dave Krusen [drums] continue to project the power between them louder than ever on their Universal Music Group/4L Entertainment 2022 EP, Ordinary Sex Appeal. “Our vision is always to put five people in a space, trade ideas, and let the process be very human,” says Argyropoulos. “It’s not manufactured. It’s not autotuned. It’s not done from separate locations. We capture inspiration in the moment. It’s an old-school way of doing things.” We chat about Sons Of Silver, their new EP 'Ordinary Sex Appeal', Greek food, and so much more! Visit their website sonsofsilver.com for more information.
On this episode of Analog Smile, Sherry speaks with Leonard Cerzosie Jr. from the band LeNNe. They released 'A Sympathetic Antipathy', via Imagen Records on April 8, 2022. Their debut EP is the culmination of a few years of musical collaboration. The project was produced & co-written by Morgan Rose along with Leonard Cerzosie Jr., Corey Lowery, and Jim Taylor. In its various stages of recording, engineering talents include Jose Urquiza, James "Fluff" Harley, and Mike Ferretti. The initial inspiration was the passing of Lenny's mother after years of battling ALS. Tracks like "Miracle" were written about that struggle. Rose & Cerzosie have a history of writing & recording together and included a remastered version of a song they wrote with The Infinite Staircase in 2013 called "No Amends". Other musicians featured on the EP include Chris Caffrey of Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Justin Taylor of Alborn. Lenne has plans to play in support of their new EP throughout 2022. The current band line up consists of heavy hitting, Maryland musicians Mike Slaski, Rob Landon, and Stephen Hybdzinski; alongside Evan Crider ,Taylor from PA and Cerzosie from NY. "This was originally supposed to just be a session in Atlanta with Morgan & Corey. The plan was to do a song in honor of my mom. We ended up having such cool, sometimes borderline morbid chemistry. Funny fact? The original song that started this whole thing didn't even make the EP. We went along this darker, heavier path while still maintaining all the melodies we initially created" says Leonard Cerzosie Jr. We chat about the EP, collaborations with musical luminaries and legends, and much more! Visit lenne.bigcartel.com for more information.