THE S&V INTERVIEW

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Mike Mettler  |  Oct 11, 2017  |  0 comments
Photo: Mary Ellen Matthews

I had the privilege of interviewing the late Tom Petty for Sound & Vision on three separate occasions. In these previously unpublished back-and-forths culled from my sitdown with Tom in Malibu in 2010, Tom tells me how The Heartbreakers truly got their start, how the band worked together to create new material, and shares his hopeful thoughts toward the band’s future.

Mike Mettler  |  Sep 27, 2017  |  5 comments
Ronnie Montrose. Photos courtesy Bill Towner.

“His guitar speaks for itself.” It’s a phrase that could be applied to many a dominant and influential guitar player of the rock era, but it’s no accident it was also stickered on the front of albums bearing the name of Bay Area guitar legend Ronnie Montrose. Montrose initially made his mark laying down indelible riffs for the likes of Van Morrison (“Wild Night”) and The Edgar Winter Group (“Free Ride,” “Frankenstein”), but when he joined forces with a then-unknown Sammy Hagar to form Montrose in 1973, he shepherded a band immediately described as America’s answer to Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple, all rolled into one. (“Rock the Nation,” indeed.)

Mike Mettler  |  Sep 12, 2017  |  First Published: Sep 13, 2017  |  0 comments
When Can began releasing their structurally challenging, progressive/electronic music out of Cologne, West Germany in 1968, they essentially ushering in the movement that came to be known as Krautrock, and their far-reaching influence has been cited by such convention-defying artists as David Bowie, the Talking Heads, and Radiohead. Can keyboardist Irmin Schmidt called me to discuss the band’s new The Singles collection and their singular improv-compositional style, when surround sound mixes are (and aren’t) options for their catalog, and what Can song avant-garde German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen gave his rarely handed out seal of approval.
Mike Mettler  |  Aug 16, 2017  |  0 comments
Call singer/songwriter Steve Earle a curator/progenitor of the music movement known as outlaw country, and the man also known as the “hardcore troubadour” bristles at the thought. “You know, I’ve always been kind of uncomfortable with that term,” Earle admits. “I’ve been called that for a long time, and it’s a lot to do with where I came from [San Antonio, Texas]. What I actually think outlaw music is all about is artistic freedom. That’s what it’s really about.”
Mike Mettler  |  Aug 02, 2017  |  1 comments
The very idea of an Isley Brothers–Santana mashup appears to be quite the sonic dream team on paper, and I’m more than pleased to report the proof is abundantly clear in the grooves of Power of Peace’s baker’s dozen of tasty tunes. I sat down exclusively at the fabled Electric Lady Studios in the heart of Greenwich Village in New York City with both families — i.e., the Santanas (Carlos and Cindy) and the Isleys (Ernie and Ronald) — to discuss the best way to listen to Power of Peace, the DNA behind the album’s sonic template, and what each family plans on doing next.
Bob Ankosko  |  Jul 19, 2017  |  3 comments
15 Minutes with ATSC President Mark Richer

ATSC 3.0 is hailed by its proponents as a revolution in technology that will transform TV broadcasting by bringing together internet and over-the-air signals with a common IP backbone. We reached out to Mark Richer, president of the Advanced Television Systems Committee, to learn more.

Mike Mettler  |  Jul 19, 2017  |  0 comments
Believe it or not, even Little Steven—Bruce Springsteen’s longtime guitar foil and songwriting soundboard in The E Street Band, and the decorated Godfather of the Underground Garage and Outlaw Country radio formats—feels the need to recharge the creative batteries every now and then. “This record turned out to be a really wonderful reset, reintroduction, and rebirth of myself,” Little Steven admits about his first solo album in 18 years, Soulfire (Wicked Cool/UMe). “It was a wonderful opportunity to start again, and really show my roots in a way I had never done before. I mean, I never put a blues song on a record before, I never did a doo-wop song before, and I never did a cover of anybody before I did this thing!”
Mike Mettler  |  Jul 05, 2017  |  0 comments
Sonny Landreth is the consummate slide player’s slide player. His smoky, swampy, down-home, Nawlins-certified slide playing carries such a unique blend of influences and originality that the phrase “slydeco” was coined just to describe it. I got on the horn with Landreth to discuss his SQ aspirations for the double LP Recorded Live in Lafayette, respecting and building on music history, and how learning to play wind instruments influenced his guitar style.
Bob Ankosko  |  Jun 22, 2017  |  1 comments
15 Minutes with the Society for Information Display’s Dr. Taka Tsujimura

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the OLED display, we reached out to Dr. Taka Tsujimura at the Society for Information Display (SID) to discuss the past, present, and future of a TV technology whose future looks nearly as bright as it did three decades ago when researchers cobbled together the first practical OLED device.

Mike Mettler  |  Jun 14, 2017  |  0 comments
John Mellencamp has never been known to pull his punches. “I saw through the music business very early, with the ‘Johnny Cougar’ thing,” he says, referring to the cringeworthy stage name given to him by a former manager in the 1970s. “I had the reputation of being very difficult—but I’m not, really. I’m just doing what most guys don’t do, which is stand up for yourself.”
Mike Mettler  |  Jun 01, 2017  |  0 comments
It was 50 years ago today that. . . well, you, of course, know the rest, don’t you? For on this storied day of June 1, 1967, The Beatles transformed the album format into an artform virtually overnight when they released the long-anticipated Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. To get a relatively balanced perspective on Sgt. Pepper at age 50, I spoke with both producer Giles Martin and Little Steven Van Zandt about the album's impact on both sides of the Pond.
Mike Mettler  |  May 18, 2017  |  0 comments
Richie Kotzen is a human dynamo. The prolific triple-threat songwriter/guitarist/vocalist has just released his, yes, 21st solo album, Salting Earth, on his own custom label, Headroom-Inc., but he doesn’t view that somewhat stunning stat as any kind of milestone. “I started making records when I was 18 [circa 1988], so it all makes sense to me. I’m persistent and consistent.” I got on the horn with Kotzen, 47, to discuss how microphones and preamp choices are critical for getting the sounds you want in the studio, why compression is a good thing, and his views on streaming.
Bob Ankosko  |  May 16, 2017  |  0 comments
You may not have heard of Bruno Putzeys but if you’re an audiophile and have purchased a high-performance power amplifier in the recent past, you might know his work. Putzey’s ground-breaking NCore Class D amplifier module, created under the aegis of Netherlands-based Hypex Electronics, is used in amplifiers from ATI, Marantz, Jeff Rowland, and Bel Canto, to name a few. That Morris Kessler, founder of ATI and long-time champion of Class AB amplification, chose NCore for his new AT527NC and AT524NC amplifiers, is telling. Both models received Sound & Vision’s Top Pick designation, earning five stars in the Performance category, suggesting designs that are a far cry from Class D devices of just a few years ago. We tracked down Putzeys, now CTO at Kii Audio, to learn more about the new Class D and the apparent revolution he has started.
Mike Mettler  |  May 04, 2017  |  2 comments
“It’s just part of our audio culture,” believes Saturday Night Fever director John Badham, who supervised the 4K 1080p print restoration and English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD surround sound updates for the film's Director’s Cut, which was released by Paramount on Blu-ray on May 2 in celebration of the film’s imminent 40th anniversary. Badham, 77, called in from Southern California to discuss how to maintain a gritty look in 4K, matching song tempo to what was being filmed, and the song originally used during the infamous dance-contest rehearsal that had to be replaced at the literal last minute.
Bob Ankosko  |  Apr 19, 2017  |  6 comments
15 Minutes with HDMI Forum Chairman Chris Pasqualino

When HDMI hit the scene in 2003 it was welcomed as a godsend, enabling enthusiasts to replace a rat’s nest of audio and video cables with a single connection. The specification has evolved steadily over the years to keep pace with the ever-changing AV landscape and encountered a few bumps along the way. In January, the HDMI Forum announced Version 2.1, a forward-looking upgrade of the current HDMI 2.0b spec. We recently caught up with HDMI Forum Chairman Chris Pasqualino to learn about the implications of HDMI 2.1 now and in the future.

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