THE S&V INTERVIEW

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Mike Mettler  |  Apr 18, 2018  |  0 comments
When the time comes to record new music, veteran bands often run the risk of being trapped trying to replicate their past successes to a sonic T by playing it safe and serving up a relatively pale companion to the recognizable sound they’ve established over their careers.

It’s something that was clearly permeating the brainwaves of Simple Minds frontman Jim Kerr and his songwriting foil, guitarist/keyboardist Charlie Burchill, as the pair began to construct the tracks that would comprise their new studio album, the aptly named Walk Between Worlds (BMG)...

Bob Ankosko  |  Apr 11, 2018  |  0 comments
15 Minutes with Graham Alexander, President, Victor Corporation of America

Graham Alexander is a talented musician but he’s also an entrepreneur, historian, and music-label exec who has undertaken the enormous (and laudable) task of resurrecting Victor Records, the iconic brand that dates back to the earliest days of recorded music. We’re talking the label that recorded the likes of Sergei Rachaninoff and forged an exclusive recording deal with the legendary opera singer Enrico Caruso. More than that, Alexander has created a delightful live-performance space called The Vault in the small town of Berlin, NJ, about 20 miles from Center City Philadelphia and even closer to the site of the original Victor Talking Machine Co. in Camden. The venue is unique in that it’s home to the official Victor Records archive as well as an assortment of historical artifacts and memorabilia dating back to the earliest days of recorded music. We sat down with Alexander to learn more about his multi-faceted operation.

Mike Mettler  |  Apr 04, 2018  |  0 comments
Steve Gadd is the true drummer’s drummer who’s also quite well-respected by the audiophile community. We recently got on the line with the man who's backed the likes of Eric Clapton, James Taylor, Steely Dan, and Paul Simon to discuss the dynamics of the tasteful jazz that permeates the 11 master-class tracks on the recently released self-titled Steve Gadd Band.
Mike Mettler  |  Mar 21, 2018  |  4 comments
No one had ever seen or heard anything like it before. When Roxy Music released their self-titled debut in June 1972 — ironically enough, on the exact same day their spiritual brother-in-creative-arms David Bowie released The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars — the art-school-tempered British sextet instantly ushered in an immediate sea change for both the style and sonic character of an already sagging rock scene...
Mike Mettler  |  Mar 07, 2018  |  0 comments
David Duchovny is no weekend music hobbyist. The original music of the noted actor/director/writer (The X-Files, Californication) is now on full display on his second album, Every Third Thought. I got on the line with Duchovny to discuss the importance of vocal enunciation, leaving what he feels sounds “real” in final mixes, and why you’ll never hear his singing voice on The X-Files — even though you’ve heard one of his songs appear on the show.
Mike Mettler  |  Feb 21, 2018  |  0 comments
All photography: Jeremy Danger (2017).

Nancy Wilson doesn’t like being idle. The noted Northwest-bred guitarist/vocalist was up for tackling new challenges while Heart, the band she and her sister Ann Wilson made famous, decided to take an extended break — and she found exactly what she was looking for with her new six-piece collective, Roadcase Royale.

Mike Mettler  |  Feb 07, 2018  |  0 comments
Legendary Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry has been a hands-on Monster gear user for decades, ever since he first plugged one of their patch cables into his live rig. At CES, Perry and I sat down together exclusively to discuss why he personally must use anything he puts his name on, why reproducing true bass content is critical, and how he insisted everyone who worked on his new solo album Sweetzerland Manifesto utilize the same Elements headphones to establish a sonic baseline.
Bob Ankosko  |  Jan 28, 2018  |  19 comments

15 Minutes with Apple’s Phil Schiller

On Friday, Apple announced that it will begin taking pre-orders for the HomePod. We reached out to Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, for an inside look at the company’s entry into the burgeoning smart speaker space.

Mike Mettler  |  Jan 17, 2018  |  2 comments
Photo by Neil Zlozower

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of 1987’s mega-multimillion-selling Whitesnake — the album that spawned such massive FM hits as “Here I Go Again” “Is This Love,” and Still of the Night” — Rhino has uncoiled an exhaustive 4-CD/1-DVD box set featuring a disc of demos titled 87 Evolutions, properly mastered live bootlegs, and four of-era videos remastered in surround sound on DVD. Singer/frontman David Coverdale discusses a critical change in his vocals, how Tina Turner came thisclose to singing “Is This Love,” and why those core Whitesnake songs retain such universal appeal.

Bob Ankosko  |  Jan 04, 2018  |  3 comments
15 Minutes with Astra Insights’ Shawn DuBravac

Stop for a moment and think back to home entertainment 10 years ago. You were starting to build a library of Blu-ray titles, thankful that HD had finally made its way to disc, but 4K at home was a technology of the future and streaming was still a curiosity. Netflix was a hugely successful DVD mail-order company with a billion discs delivered but could see the writing on the wall when it started offering movies on demand over the internet in February 2007. Today, streaming is commonplace and home audio and video have reached unprecedented levels of quality, raising the question of what comes next? Looking ahead to the future, we reached out to Dr. Shawn DuBravac, founder of the Washington, DC-based consultancy Astra Insights, former chief economist for the Consumer Technology Association, and author of the New York Times Best Seller (Regnery, 2015). A well-regarded futurist and trendcaster, DuBravac writes frequently about technology with a focus on deciphering disruptive shifts.

Mike Mettler  |  Jan 02, 2018  |  First Published: Jan 03, 2018  |  0 comments
Photo: Jim Summaria

British blues-rock pioneers Savoy Brown continue to fly the flag quite mightily on their current album, Witchy Feelin’. Kim Simmonds, their bandleader/guitarist/vocalist for over 52 years and counting, got on the line to discuss the importance of incorporating hooks and riffs together in songs, what he specifically listens for in order to garner creative inspiration, and why he can never relax as an artist.

Mike Mettler  |  Dec 20, 2017  |  0 comments
Career songwriters often find themselves on a perpetual quest to add new tools to their creative toolboxes in order to keep things fresh. Such has been the case for Mike Scott, chief architect of British alt-rock stalwarts The Waterboys, who turned to GarageBand and some interesting plug-in choices to fuel the almost two-dozen songs that comprise his band’s expansive new double-disc effort, Out of All This Blue (BMG).
Mike Mettler  |  Dec 06, 2017  |  0 comments
Photo: Joseph Guay

The five men in the fine Atlanta-bred alt-rock collective known as Collective Soul had a very specific mixing rule for Collective Soul – Live: “There are no overdubs here,” confirms Collective Soul frontman, vocalist/guitarist Ed Roland. To further delve into the sheer liveness of Live, Roland and I got on the line to discuss the balance of dynamics in the band’s live mixes, why their biggest hit “Shine” comes across so well in a live setting, and which classic live albums they referred to as inspirations.

Mike Mettler  |  Nov 22, 2017  |  0 comments
Is there a more hallowed Thanksgiving tradition than the annual spinning of Arlo Guthrie's magical 18-minute tale about one fateful Thanksgiving Day encounter that's also celebrating its 50th birthday this year, “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”? Guthrie and I discuss the song’s sonic origins, what had to be done to ensure it fit perfectly onto one album side, and the Guthrie family’s storied annual holiday tradition of playing Carnegie Hall in New York.
Bob Ankosko  |  Nov 22, 2017  |  0 comments
15 Minutes with Origin Acoustics CEO Jeremy Burkhardt

Spend a few minutes on Jeremy Burkhardt’s LinkedIn page and you quickly gain an appreciation of his passion for custom installation and desire to create products that simplify installation and push the boundaries of performance — to “innovate,” as he would say. You also find an executive who is anything but your typical corporate CEO — a man who talks about breaking “all the corporate rules” in describing his work history as CEO for SpeakerCraft, the pioneering custom-installation company he helped build before leaving in 2012. Today, Burkhardt is at the helm of Origin Acoustics, the architectural speaker company he founded in 2014, and his desire for innovation is as strong as ever. Origin was the talk of CEDIA 2017 with the launch of its Valet amplifier, which provides an ingenious way to integrate voice control into a whole-house music system. We caught up with Burkhardt to learn more about the system and get his take on the future of voice control.

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