Mike Mettler

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Mike Mettler  |  Nov 08, 2017  |  0 comments
As defined as the sound of legendary new-wave icons Blondie may appear to be on record, it’s how they’re able to open things up onstage while supporting their buzzworthy new album Pollinator that keeps things interesting for the bandmembers themselves. Drummer Clem Burke and I got on the line to discuss Blondie’s special chemistry on record and onstage, how to be creative while working with click tracks and drum machines, and the special kick he added to the back half of “Heart of Glass.”
Mike Mettler  |  Oct 25, 2017  |  1 comments
Photo: Sarah Lee

David Gilmour’s July 7 and 8, 2016 concerts at the storied Pompeii ampitheatre marked the first time anyone had performed there in front of a live audience since the gladiators put on their own special brand of swords & sandals entertainment back in 79 A.D. Director Gavin Elder and I recently got on the line to discuss the logistics of filming in such a historic locale for Blu-ray, the goals for the concert’s color palette, and how his team figured out a way to accommodate Gilmour’s lone specific visual wish for the production.

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 In these previously unpublished back-and-forths culled from my sitdown with Tom in Malibu in 2010, Tom tells me how The Heartbreakers truly got their start, how the band worked together to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  |  Oct 04, 2017  |  0 comments
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These days, when it comes to surround sound mixing, most in-the-know producers and musicians’ respective collective first thought inevitably turns to the maxim, What would Steven Wilson do? Indeed, the man also known as the once and future king of hi-res and 5.1 production has long staked his claim as the No. 1 go-to guy for any artist interested in obtaining a top-shelf mix that takes full advantage of the vaunted six-channel, 96-kilohertz/24-bit (and sometimes higher!) audio spectrum offered via DVD and/or Blu-ray. (And yes, a hi-res download option is on the master main menu as well.)
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 15, 2017  |  1 comments
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Much as 1955’s Rebel Without a Cause and 1969’s Easy Rider defined the youth-culture zeitgeist of their respective decades, 1977’s Saturday Night Fever deftly captured the me-decade essence of the 1970s, instantly catapulting John Travolta to the A-list in the process.
Mike Mettler  |  Sep 12, 2017  |  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 23, 2017  |  0 comments
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It was one of the most galvanizing live experiences of my life. The instant WNEW-FM announced Midnight Oil would be performing live on a flatbed truck on Sixth Avenue in the heart of New York City in front of the Exxon Building around noontime on May 30, 1990 to protest the mishandling of the March 1989 Exxon Valdez oil-spill disaster in Prince William Sound, Alaska, three colleagues and I sprinted the entire length of the two long city blocks from the Stereo Review and Audio offices at 50th and Broadway to get as close as we could. Success! Each of us wound up standing no more than 10 people deep from the flatbed’s perch upon our out-of-breath Sixth Avenue arrival.
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 09, 2017  |  0 comments
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Let there be Kraut! So goes the Kampfschrei, or battle cry associated with the Krautrock movement of the 1970s. If you’re unfamiliar with this relatively experimental musical form, it probably won’t surprise you to learn Krautrock’s origins are rooted in, of course, Germany. Rather than follow the more blues-based framework that served as the springboard for much of the rock that came out of the U.K. and U.S. during that era, the progenitors of Krautrock sought to build their music more on the avant-garde and progressive fringes, laying down a free-form template for the post-punk, improv jazz, electronic, ambient, and even New Age tuneage that would follow. Incidentally, the scene also has been referred to as kosmische Musik, or cosmic music—and rightly so, since its practitioners often seemed to shoot for the stars.

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