As the seventh season of the Music is My Life podcast approaches, now is a great time to catch up on past episodes. If you haven’t had the chance to listen yet, Music is My Life is a Berklee Online podcast that explores the careers of notable musicians and music industry professionals.
In one of the most-listened-to episodes of the year, Huey Lewis discusses his meteoric rise to fame in the 1980s with Huey Lewis and the News, whose mega-hits include “I Want a New Drug,” “The Power of Love,” and “Hip to be Square,” among so many others. In this wide-ranging interview, he shares anecdotes about playing soccer with Ozzy Osbourne and the rest of Black Sabbath, going clothing shopping with Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy, and politely declining an offer to play on Elvis Costello’s first album. He also shares his struggles with a hearing disorder called Ménière’s disease, and how he pushes on with new projects like his latest album Weather.
Quoted: “Music’s kind of like food. There’s foie gras, and then there’s hamburgers. And if your song is a hamburger, you want a guy who’s going to cook that hamburger like it’s foie gras.” — Huey Lewis
It’s impossible not to feel charged up after listening to this interview with Seattle-based singer and performer, Lady A. At a peak in the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, the Nashville trio Lady Antebellum announced that they were going to retire their band name, due to its racist connotations. In doing so, they co-opted the name Lady A, overriding the Seattle singer’s 20-year catalog on music streaming services and search engine platforms.
Lady A expresses her deep frustration about how Lady Antebellum’s name change did exactly the opposite of what they set out to do by negatively impacting the music career of a Black woman, and failing to make things right. Lady A details her long career in music and discusses her latest single, “My Name is All I Got.”
Quoted: “They are trying to erase me, which is what white people have done for centuries to Black people, to Indigenous people of this land, and to people of color. You erase us, you erase our culture, our language, you appropriate our music.” — Lady A
Brothers Adam, Jack, and Ryan Metzger, who make up AJR, began their music career on New York City streets, where they busked daily for hours at a time. In this interview, Ryan and Jack detail the hustle that took their 2012 hit “I’m Ready,” to new heights with the help of Sia. The brothers said “I’m Ready” becoming a hit was misleading in a way, because subsequent success didn’t immediately follow. So they regrouped and came back stronger with more personal statements in their lyrics and experimental production techniques.
Quoted: “Writing a lot of bad songs, it’s really just a totally okay thing to do. It’s frowned on a lot, especially now in a culture where everybody’s interested in going viral RIGHT NOW. Like, ‘Wow, this is the first song I ever made and it went viral on TikTok!’ Okay, but now you don’t have any of the tools to make a follow-up. … Us writing probably a thousand bad songs before ‘I’m Ready’ has equipped us to fail well, ya know, when we’re writing songs now.” — Ryan Metzger
Gavin Rossdale founded the band Bush in the 1990s, and discusses the band’s long run, as well as their revival in 2010, and now 25 year anniversary. Bush’s debut album Sixteen Stone went six-times multiplatinum, and their follow-up album Razorblade Suitcase reached No. 1. Married for 14 years, Rossdale has three kids with Gwen Stefani. He shares which No Doubt and solo Gwen Stefani songs he still loves, and how his kids enjoy late-night jams and are taking to music like their parents.
Quoted: “Most bands seem to find a way to exist, even if it’s not in a big way. We found a way to still be on radio, to do this podcast. We’re very lucky. Also at the same time, I don’t know if people are aware of us . . . It’s hard. You can’t expect to be anything but a working musician after a certain time. And we’re lucky that we have this catalog.” — Gavin Rossdale
In an interview featured in Pitchfork, members of The Go! Team, Ian Parton and Ninja, discuss what it means to stay together as a band since the early 2000s. Ian talks about his beginnings as a BBC videographer, and how that transitioned into his music career, and his pursuit of an idyllic, colorful, and punchy musical project that became The Go! Team. Ninja recalls answering Ian’s Craigslist ad for a rapper and how she’s been fronting the band ever since.
Quoted: “I’ve always thought the band was kind of Utopian, in a way. It’s the world in a way that I wish it was. Multiculturalism and socialism and technicolor and cool hobbies and cool films: All the best things in the world all rolled together.” — Ian Parton
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