Please Support Kreative Kontrol on Patreon

I’m wading into crowdfunding to keep my own show sustainable. If you enjoy the Kreative Kontrol podcast and want to support it with a monthly pledge, please visit You can pledge $1 a month, or $4, $10, $30, $50, $100 a month—whatever you like. There are gifts and incentives to pledge but more than anything you can keep this show going. There’s no other revenue stream for this podcast; I’ve been doing it for my own fulfillment and to contribute to culture but it’s time to see if I can generate some kind of salary from all of this work. So, if you appreciate Kreative Kontrol, again, please consider pledging a monthly amount. All of the info you need is at


p.s. there are now shirts available to those who pledge at least $10 a month! Visit the Patreon page for details.

Kreative Kontrol t design by Gillian Wilson

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Ep. #217: Do You Compute – The Story of Drive Like Jehu

Drive Like Jehu is a rock ‘n’ roll band from San Diego, California consisting of guitarist and vocalist John Reis, drummer Mark Trombino, bassist Mike Kennedy, and vocalist and guitarist Rick Froberg. On August 31, 2014, they played a free show in San Diego’s Balboa Park, which was their first public performance in 19 years and has led them to play select festivals and club shows ever since.

They were originally only around for five years and that run, between 1990 and 1995, yielded two classic albums: 1991’s self-titled masterpiece and its stellar 1994 follow-up, Yank Crime. Merge Records also released a two-song single in 1992. Other than a compilation appearance, that was pretty much it.

But something about their sound—post-hardcore maybe, but definitely loud, fierce, emotive rock ‘n’ roll—and mysterious legacy has taken on mythological proportions among underground music aficionados. Where did they come from? How did they end up on a major label? What role did Reis’ band Rocket From the Crypt play in the fate of Drive Like Jehu? Why did they disappear in 1995 and why did it take them almost 20 years to contemplate a reunion? Now that they’re touring again, what does the future of the band look like?

Some of these questions will be answered here, right now. Featuring interviews with all four band members, as well as collaborators like Rob Crow, producer Donnell Cameron, and former Interscope A&R woman Anna Statman, this is the story of one of the greatest rock and roll bands that very few people seem to know anything about.

This is the story of Drive Like Jehu.


Related playlist: “Do You Compute” Drive Like Jehu | “Happy Days” Jim Haas & Co. | “Police Truck” Dead Kennedys | “Johnny’s Theme” NBC Orchestra | “Act Naturally” The Beatles | “Brother James” Sonic Youth | “After the Massacre” Iconoclast | “Burn Pigs Burn” Pitchfork | “Sick Animal” Night Soil Man | “Foxy Lady” The Jimi Hendrix Experience | “I Don’t Care About You” Fear | “What For” Night Soil Man | “Drop Dead” Pitchfork | “French Guy” Rocket From the Crypt | “Lives of the Saints #135 (Naked Wife)” Honor Role | “Anonymous Cave (7” version)” Honor Role | “Atom Jack” Drive Like Jehu | “Step On Chameleon” Drive Like Jehu | “Caress” Drive Like Jehu | “Spikes to You” Drive Like Jehu | “Hand Over Fist” Drive Like Jehu | “Bullet Train to Vegas” Drive Like Jehu | “Hippy Dippy Do” Rocket From the Crypt | “O Pencil Sharp” Drive Like Jehu | “Nosferatu Man” Slint | “Sinews” Drive Like Jehu | “Negativland” NEU! | “Luau” Drive Like Jehu | “Super Unison” Drive Like Jehu | “I Hate the Kids” Hot Snakes | “Gar Forgets His Insulin” Hot Snakes | “New Intro” Drive Like Jehu | “Here Come the Rome Plows” Drive Like Jehu

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Ep. #216: Russell Mael & Alex Kapranos of FFS

Russell Mael and Alex Kapranos are talented musicians who are part of a new band called FFS. Mael originally hails from Culver City, California. Along with his brother Ron, he formed the pioneering electro-pop and prototypical new wave band Sparks in the early 1970s, which went on to achieve chart success and develop a loyal following. Musicians in particular have been drawn to the instrumental and lyrical daring of Sparks, who frequently set trends just by operating outside of the conventions of rock music and experimenting with sounds and theatricality. Kapranos originally hails from Glasgow, Scotland. In 2002, he co-founded the band Franz Ferdinand who remain one of the most popular and influential rock bands in the world. Among their fans are Ron and Russel Mael of Sparks and this mutual admiration has led to the remarkable collaboration FFS, whose self-titled debut came out this past June via Domino Records and will certainly stand as one of the finest albums of 2015. FFS are on a world tour that brings them to Toronto’s Phoenix on September 30. Here, in separate interviews, Mael and Kapranos discuss the Tokyo to Zurich commute, playing to a festival audience instead of a Sparks audience, the reception to FFS, how this collaboration was executed, the song “Piss Off,” mutual admiration, past collaborations with bands like Faith No More, overcoming boring music, working with Giorgio Moroder, making unsuspecting new fans after releasing 23 albums, the scene in California when Sparks began, how we know too much about the music business now, metrics, the Mael’s theatrical backgrounds, their upcoming musical and feature film projects, the long-rumoured Tim Burton/Sparks collaboration on a cinematic musical, infusing music with humour and the perception of such music’s substance, love songs and clichés, “Johnny Delusional,” the FFS Glastonbury performance and performing with Franz Ferdinand, Russell’s impressive singing, finding common ground with Alex Kapranos and Franz Ferdinand, unreleased FFS songs, the song “Johnny Delusional,” seeing Nardwuar the Human Serviette, trading song ideas with Sparks, secretly making the FFS record, unsuccessful super groups, the song “Collaborations Don’t Work,” how music with humour is regarded, the song “Johnny Delusional” and capturing the light and darkness in life, self-seriousness, discovering Sparks at a flea market in Glasgow, why Sparks isn’t as big as they should be, fortunate collaborations, singing with Russell and performing with FFS, the song “Police Encounters,” and then we piss off.

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Ep. #215: Destroyer

Destroyer is the music-making moniker of Dan Bejar, a very gifted lyricist and musician who originally hails from Vancouver, British Columbia. He has been creating an idiosyncratic kind of pop music as Destroyer for almost 20 years and can also claim membership in bands like the New Pornographers, Swan Lake, and Hello, Blue Roses among others. His latest work as Destroyer is a startlingly great new album called Poison Season, it’s out now via Merge Records, and has prompted him to tour the world over the next few months, including Canadian stops in Toronto at the Danforth Music Hall on September 30 and in Montreal at Theatre Fairmount on October 1. Here, Dan and I discuss sitting in a park in Vancouver, gearing up for tour, inspiration from the road, fiction and film, plays and theatricality, American songwriting and show tunes, whether pop or rock music is inherently theatrical, banal music, writing and performing, Bruce Springsteen and/or Meat Loaf, things Springsteen likes, Joseph Shabason’s sexy sax, Dan’s history with musicals, surreal Indian movies, how Poison Season is a reflection of his true interests, Brecht’s Threepenny Opera and “Mack the Knife,” “I Loves You Porgy,” singing other people’s other songs, Five Spanish Songs, the song “Forces From Above,” salsa disco, bringing the string sections to life, word countometre and sparse vocals, Poison Season is a weird, emotional roller coaster, Times Square as a place and a muse, a second look, evolution and iterations, Taxi Driver, thinking about New York, “Times Square” as an anchor notion on Poison Season, the song “Bangkok,” and scene.

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