Recent Posts in interviews

December 4, 2012

by Ben Wilkes

Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes @ NXNE 2012 (more by David Andrako)

Of Montreal began recording music in 1996, the same year TuPac got shot for the last time and Yasar Arafat was still a player in the peace process. Since then, Kevin Barnes, the band's primary songwriter and lead singer, and his troupe of avant-poppers have released 11 full-length records, 9 EP's, and 7 compilation albums. All of this by the muse of a musician who told us, "I have no idea how to be commercial." Such prolific, enduring, and yes, popular output excites curiosity about the creative mode behind it.

I had the chance to talk to Kevin about just that. In the process, we found out why the band rarely play old (pre~2007) songs anymore, why he likens Of Montreal to gospel music, and how the group has attempted to break out of the "indie mold." Kevin also quite frankly told us what to expect from their next release and what we will hear on this tour. Obviously he has no plans to slow down - intimate spiritual exiles at his home in Athens, GA might just be what keeps him going.

Legendary live performances fit with theatrical skits composed by Kevin's brother David and glam costumes rivaling Bowie himself greet Chicago on Sunday, December 9 at Metro. Advance tickets for the show are still available.

Our chat begins below...

Continue reading "an interview with Of Montreal frontman Kevin Barnes ---------- they play Metro this Sunday"

November 6, 2012

Tim Rutili @ the IL Centennial Monument in 2011 (more by Grant MacAllister)

Longstanding experimental folk outfit Califone welcome a double LP reissue of Sometimes Good Weather Follows Bad People today (Tuesday, November 6) via Jealous Butcher. Sometimes Good Weather Follows Bad People is an expanded version of a CD of the same name. That CD collected the first two Califone EPs and features two previously unreleased songs. On this reissue, the Good Weather... songs appear on vinyl for the very first time and are backed by outtakes from the final Red Red Meat recording sessions. Purchase a copy of the reissue package via Jealous Butcher's webstore.

We recently spoke with Califone leader Tim Rutili about the reissue, the group's songwriting and recording processes, and what's in store for the future.

Our chat begins below...

Continue reading "an interview with Califone's Tim Rutili, who welcomes a reissue LP today"

October 6, 2012

by Mark Gerafir

Jozef Van Wissem with Jim Jarmusch

New York City-based Dutch composer and lutenist Jozef Van Wissem is gearing up for the release of his second collaborative album of 2012 with Jim Jarmusch, titled The Mystery of Heaven, which is due out on November 13 via Sacred Bones. In support of that album, Van Wissem is set to play a few select US shows. One of those performances takes place at the Empty Bottle this Sunday (10/7), as part of the closing show of the Adventures in Modern Music festival. Advance tickets for that show, which also features Micachu & The Shapes, Holy Other, and Lee Noble, are still available.

We spoke with Jozef earlier this week about composing for visual works, the process of his collaborative projects with Jim Jarmusch, and some of the music he's been recently inspired by.

Our chat begins below...

Continue reading "an interview with Jozef Van Wissem, who will help close out Adventures in Modern Music @ the Empty Bottle on Sunday"

October 5, 2012

by Parker Langvardt


Nick Zammuto is on tour with his project Zammuto, in support of their self-titled debut LP. It's their first headlining tour after supporting Gotye and Explosions In The Sky earlier this year. They'll be performing at Schubas this Tuesday (10/9) and tickets are still available.

Nick and I spoke earlier this week about transitioning from The Books to Zammuto, his family and lifestyle, and how he relates his chemistry degree to the creative process of music.

Our chat begins below...

Continue reading "an interview with Nick Zammuto, who plays Schubas next week"

October 2, 2012

by Milos Markicevic
Nick Zanca has been producing ambient electronic music under the moniker Mister Lies for roughly a year. With only a couple of EPs and a handful of shows under his belt, he's garnered much attention and critical acclaim. The positive buzz helped Zanca to secure a record deal with Lefse, who release his Dionysian 7" today (Tuesday, October 2). He'll also be welcoming his debut full-length album via the label in early 2013.

We recently sat down to talk about how he got his start, the music that makes him tick, and his creative process... among other things. Our chat begins below, and you'll also find a stream of his Dionysian 7" down there...

Continue reading "an interview with Mister Lies, who has a new 7" out today"

September 15, 2012

by Ben Wilkes

Wild Nothing at a recent show in Austin (more by Tim Griffin)
Wild Nothing

It's the archetypal indie success story. A soft-spoken, fashionably dressed kid from small town, USA gets discovered for his musical talent and uproots to Brooklyn to bloom. This sort of discovery has been made possible by a revolution in technology and culture that has broadened our scope of what a rock star can be, to include the isolated songwriter making pop music out of a hole-in-the-wall apartment in an anonymous town. Sampling, programmed drums, the remarkable versatility of the synthesizer, and the Internet have enabled musicians across the globe to record well-produced tracks from the bedroom. Youth Lagoon, Washed Out, Bon Iver, King Krule, Toro Y Moi, and now Wild Nothing epitomize this quiet dream.

I had the chance to catch up with Jack Tatum, the latest incarnation of this story and the artist behind Wild Nothing, about the past few years and how his music fits into the current climate. The band's been on tour the past two months and will be for another two with label-mates DIIV. They play Chicago's Empty Bottle this Sunday.


Coming from Blacksburg, Va - "sleepy town" might be a severe understatement - and suddenly getting picked up by Brooklyn's Captured Tracks, featured at Pitchfork Fest 2012, and managed by We Are Free (Yeasayer, Dirty Projectors, Beach House, among others); what is that transition like?

Jack Tatum: Actually, for me, it's felt like a really slow, gradual process - though a little bit shocking at first, especially when I still lived in Blacksburg. I wrote the first album there while I was still in school and things didn't really start picking up until that first summer after I graduated [summer 2009]. So, at that point, I was already kind of on my way out of Blacksburg. It all happened one thing at a time; I guess the first was Captured Tracks picking up the record. I actually hadn't even started work on the album until they got in touch. They asked if I wanted to do a record and I said OK, of course. I can look back on that time and it does seems a little strange, but I guess it's all settled into some form of normalcy for me now.

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Continue reading "From the Bedroom to The Bottle: An Interview with Jack Tatum of Wild Nothing"

June 14, 2012

by Parker Langvardt


Though probably not his busiest year in music, Trevor de Brauw has been working on a diverse array of projects. His heavy instrumental group Pelican released their EP Ataraxia/Taraxis and toured Europe in April, playing Bonnaroo last week. After a pair of Southern Lord showcases in California, they will be performing at Lincoln Hall on June 29 with Anatomy of Habit and Redgrave. Tickets are still available.

De Brauw's ambient collaboration, Chord, also shared a bill with Anatomy of Habit on June 12 at The Hideout. They released their album Gmaj7 on June 5, along with recordings of their performance at the Empty Bottle that led to the album. Miracle Condition collaborated with Chord on the second track of Gmaj7 (Empty Bottle - 11/20/10), and their drummer Pat Samson is featured on the studio recording "Gmaj7 (Kinesis)". Gmaj7 is available on vinyl via English label M.I.E. Music.

He also performed solo for the first time in several years with an ambient set at the Empty Bottle on March 26, which was recorded and posted to his Soundcloud with the title "Don't Be an Asshole." He will be playing again on Tuesday (6/19), with Sweet Cobra, Old Baby, and Electric Hawk at Lincoln Hall. Tickets are still available.

Trevor and I spoke yesterday about one-chord jams and not being an asshole, among other things. Our chat begins below...

Continue reading "an interview with Trevor de Brauw of Pelican, Chord"

May 14, 2012

by Parker Langvardt


Featuring former members of Montreal's Lesbian Fight Club, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan is an art collective that uses music, theatrics, and visual art to subtly communicate their worldview through a constantly expanding story, tied together by the recurring characters within each of their works. The group broke into the music world last fall with their debut self-titled LP, which combines the Asian characteristics of their art and theater with psychedelic pop and rock. Earlier this year they performed an experimental theater piece called 33 at Rhubarb Festival in Toronto, which they are planning a new incarnation of later this year. Both their debut album and 33 were developed in conjunction with their opera, Star, which is still in the works. They kick off their first-ever headlining tour with a show at Schubas this Friday (5/18). Tickets are still available.

I recently spoke with Yamantaka // Sonic Titan cofounder Ruby Kato Attwood. Our bvChicago exclusive interview starts here...


bvChicago: Have you ever been to Chicago?

Ruby Kato Attwood: Never, but I do know that [Chicago] has the largest square footage of green roofs in all of North America, so I'm very excited to go there. I had a friend who was studying international development and sustainable development a few years ago, and I became really interested in green roof technology because in Montreal there are all these old 1950s buildings, which they used to call pancake buildings. They're totally flat, one level. They're over-engineered. They're really strong, so they're a very good candidate for a layer of succulent plants. There aren't as many as in Chicago and I was really interested so I did all this crazy research, and it seems like the university community was really working with the mayor in the early and mid 2000s and they were able to lower their heat island effect by like 3 degrees or something like that, which is really huge, and they save all this water.

Funnily enough, I don't know much about the art scene there other than a few artists, but I'm definitely psyched to play the show. I haven't traveled very much in the states, so I'm really excited.

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Continue reading "an interview with Ruby Kato Attwood of Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, who are kicking off a tour @ Schubas on Friday"

March 7, 2012

by Zach Pollack


This past weekend, we sat down with Chicago's Hollows to discuss their forthcoming sophomore LP, Vulture, out April 10 via Trouble in Mind. Along with the interview, we've got a premiere of the album's first single "V Is For Vulture," which can be heard below.

Our chat starts here..


BVC: Maria and Emma, how's it going?

Maria: Great.

Emma: Same here!

BVC: So, I know you've probably been asked this in every interview.. ever, but can you tell us how the band came to be? Introduce yourselves!

Maria: We get asked this a lot, actually. I posted something on Craigslist and Emma answered it. We picked up some friends as we went along and eventually wound up with our current lineup. Emma - if you want to get more specific, feel free.

Emma: Sure. When Maria and I met, she was playing in this awesome band called Parsley Flakes and had written bits of songs that I guess didn't fit that band?

Maria: Yes, I was writing pop songs that didn't fit in with other things I was doing.

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Continue reading "an interview with Maria Jenkins & Emma Hospelhorn of Hollows (plus a song premiere)"

March 2, 2012

by Rachel Angres

DOWNLOAD: A Place to Bury Strangers - So Far Away (SOSB remix) (MP3)

A Place to Bury Strangers @ BV-SXSW 2011 (more by Tim Griffin)

A Place To Bury Strangers recently released a remix of their song "So Far Away" by School of Seven Bells (who just celebrated their own new record in NYC). Grab that MP3 above.

APTBS will be touring in support of their recent EP: Onwards To The Wall, across North America starting on March 7. That tour, most of which is with the Joy Formidable, hits the Empty Bottle with the Big Sleep on March 21st. Tickets are still available for the Chicago show. All tour dates, Metallica's new festival in NJ included, are listed below.

I sat down with the band's front man Oliver Ackermann to discuss, among other things, dinosaurs and robots. Our BVChicago exclusive interview starts here...


Rachel: Is it okay if I call you Ollie?

Ollie: You can call me Tony if you want

Did you always want to play music?

Tony: No I wanted to be a painter industrial design; as a band we build our own instruments.

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Continue reading "an interview with Oliver Ackermann of A Place To Bury Strangers (and more tour dates too)"