Interviews Archive

BirmingFAM Fest Preview: The Blips

BirmingFAM Fest Preview: The Blips

This weekend, the first annual BirmingFAM Festival will go down at TrimTab Brewing Company with a incredible assortment of local bands, vendors, and fun to be had by all. Tickets can be bought here for the festival, which is happening September 11 & 12, and you can use the code MUSICBHAM to get 20% off of your purchase!

The Blips exploded onto the scene in early 2020 in a big way, forming one of Birmingham’s most impressive supergroups featuring Eric Wallace of Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, Chris McCauley of Holy Youth, Wes McDonald of Vulture Whale, and the singer-songwriters Taylor Hollingsworth and Will Stewart. After taking a pandemic-fueled break, they released their self-titled album in April of 2021 that accentuates all of their individual strengths into a tight-knit rocker of an album. Ahead of their performance at the BirmingFAM Festival this weekend, I talked to Eric about the band’s formation and the power of music to create inclusivity and accessibility through The Firehouse Community Arts Center:

So, my first question is simple… [read more…]


BirmingFAM Festival Preview: Dree Leer

BirmingFAM Festival Preview: Dree Leer

This weekend, the first annual BirmingFAM Festival will go down at TrimTab Brewing Company with a incredible assortment of local bands, vendors, and fun to be had by all. Tickets can be bought here for the festival, which is happening September 11 & 12, and you can use the code MUSICBHAM to get 20% off of your purchase!

Dree Leer is the trio made up of Birmingham rock royalty Jackie Lo, Mikey D, and Mandy Graffeo. Their debut album Throw Hands was released in April of 2021 and combines everything you loved about the 90s into a compact, fierce, LP. With Jackie’s powerful lyrics exploding amidst the thunderous noise of Mikey’s drums, and the lockstep movements of Jackie’s guitar and Mandy’s bass, Throw Hands is one of the most well-crafted albums to come out of Birmingham in recent memory. I chatted with Jackie about the upcoming festival and the experience of making Throw Hands:

With your involvement in so many other areas of the Birmingham music scene, what inspired you to start Dree Leer? How did the band come together?
I found myself writing songs that didn’t fit with… [read more…]


An Interview with Anderson East

An Interview with Anderson East
Photo by Brooksy Flynn
Interview by Sara Jane Overby at Sloss Fest, 2016

Michael Cameron Anderson, known professionally as Anderson East, was born in Athens, Alabama. Currently, he is based in Nashville, writing and singing his take on Country music — a rhythmic blues with a rock-and-roll edge. Talking with Michael was something like sitting down with an old friend. Read on to see what all he had to share. Don’t miss your chance to catch him at the Shaky Knees Festival coming up May 13th-15th!

(Sara Jane) You just got off stage a moment ago. How was it?

(Anderson East) It was great. It was really, really hot. But it was fun.

That’s definitely been the statement of the day — how hot it is.

Yeah, I’ve lost some weight, which I’ve needed to. Sweated out all my indiscretions.

(Laughing) I’m sure Miranda will appreciate that.

I hope so.

Well, let’s jump right in. Tell me about the artist or the song that inspired you to write, and supplied you with the desire to become an artist.

I don’t know if there was ever a song,…

[read more…]

Interview – Adia Victoria

Interview - Adia Victoria

An Interview with Adia Victoria

Words by Lindsay McDuffie
Photography by Darrell Nance

Standing around The Syndicate Lounge, I could hear Adia Victoria before I could see her. She talked loud and quick, sometimes in exaggerated Southern twang, sometimes in exaggerated Ghetto-speak. “I’m such a Black girl,” she added after one such occurrence. Draped in a zip-up white moo-moo, a sleek honey-brown wig, her steps accented by yellow Converse, Adia (Uh-DEE-uh) pulled her guitar over her shoulders for soundcheck. Cue “Smells Like Teen Spirit”–after, of course, dialing in a few originals.

She stopped, smiled, looked up from her guitar, joked about playing the next song. “Like uh, with Grateful Dead pedals!” she said, with exaggerated gestures. The guitarist next to her, Mason Hickman, tapped his foot across his board, began playing wah-wah sounds à la Jerry Garcia. Having played two of my favorite bands consecutively, two that had no earthly business being played consecutively, all I could think about while reviewing my questions was, “Try not to gush. Try not to gush.”

“Hey, are you Lindsay?”

Try not to gush.  “Yes.”

“Hey, I’m Adia,” she said with an outstretched hand. “Are you ready?”

“Yes! Let’s go back to the greenroom.”


 

Welcome to Birmingham!

Thank you!

The last…

[read more…]

Interviews – The Struts

Interviews - The Struts

by Sara Jane Overby

There is a rush of anticipation and excitement that comes with watching artists walk your way to sit down and speak with you. So naturally, when The Struts “strutted” their way into the media tent at the Hangout Music Festival, “rock stars” was the epitomizing term that came to mind. With all the aesthetics of “cool” going on–black denims, black leather, bandannas, lead singer Luke Spiller donning a black cloak with retro circular shades–it was a nice surprise to peel back the leather layers and see what’s underneath.

 

Mother Plug Music (MPM): Hey guys!

Luke (lead vocalist): Hello.

Jed (bassist): Hey!

Gethin (drummer): Yo, yo, yo.

Adam (guitarist): How are you?

MPM: I’m good, thanks for sitting down with me. So tell me guys, is this your first Hangout?

Jed: Yes, it is indeed.

MPM: What do you think about this crazy weather? The festival has had to call Code Red twice now!

Jed: So far, it reminds us of a seaside day in Great Britain, in the rain.

Gethin: We love it!

Jed: We got locked into artist catering. We thought there could be worse places at a festival than there .

Luke: It’s nice, it’s like being younger and you have a giant power cut out throughout the whole…

[read more…]

Interview – Mothers

Interview - Mothers

Mothers: Nurturers of Process

By Lindsay McDuffie

Mothers, from left to right: Drew Kirby—guitar; Kristine Leschper—vocals, guitar; Matt Andereggdrums; Patrick  Morales—bass (Photo by Secret Playground) 

Record Store Day 2016 was a busy one for Birmingham. Athens-based Mothers came to town, so talented our city booked them twice: once at Seasick Records, once at The Syndicate Lounge later that evening. Standing up to critical acclaim from Stereogum, Brooklyn Vegan, and Consequence of Sound, Mothers began as a solo project of Kristine Leschper and has since evolved into a four-piece, playing together for only a year and a half–a small amount of time for their level of artistry.

Mothers’ debut album, When You Walk a Long Distance You Are Tired swells with feeling and precise instrumentation. Existential lyrics, somber vocals, and languid melodies transition into rousing, though altogether brief, experimental/indie-rock jams. A quick denouement–and it’s back to “the way things were.” When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired reincarnates every step of the way, endearing listeners to the wearier sides of life and, at the same time, encouraging us to maybe get out of bed before the sun goes down.

We got a chance to hang out with the band, ask…

[read more…]