Ep. #176: Rob Lind of The Sonics

Rob Lind is a well-regarded saxophone player currently based in the state of North Carolina. In the 1960s, Lind co-founded the Tacoma, Washington-based band the Sonics, and rock ‘n’ roll was never the same again. Their first two albums, 1965’s Here are the Sonics and 1967’s Boom are considered classics that represent the birth of garage rock. While other groups of the time might have let a few grains of grit infiltrate their pop songs, the Sonics infused originals and covers with a particular kind of menace and charge that anticipated punk, metal, and any other kind of music with danger in it. 50 years since their first album, the Sonics are back with a fiery new record called This is the Sonics, which is out now via their own Revox Records, and they’ll be touring the U.S. in April and May with a Toronto stop at Lee’s Palace on April 26. Here, Rob and I discuss living in Charlotte North Carolina with its sweet air, serving as a Navy attack pilot during the Vietnam War, flying for commercial airlines and missing his time as a pilot, what might be happening with all of this mysterious and horrific airplane accidents of late, these planes aren’t coming down because of climate change, when and why the Sonics stopped playing together in late 1967, how the Sonics were a pretty popular band in the Pacific Northwest, when singles like “The Witch” and “Psycho” began to take off, opening for bigger bands at the local coliseum in Tacoma as teenagers, why younger bands really made records in the late 60s, the story of “The Witch,” officially not making it to number one on the charts but actually being number one, where the sound of the Sonics came from, getting people rockin’, the Kinks, the Wailers, having no idea that the Sonics might have been influential on louder bands or the garage rock scene, befriending Bob Seger, making Sonics music, the excellence and reverence of the Hives, why someone might pursue the saxophone in a rock band, jamming with Gerry Roslie at 15 years old and never looking back, Clarence Clemons, why the Sonics came back in 2007, working with Jim Diamond on This is the Sonics, making a record instead of going to bingo, riff-based rock ‘n’ roll with no messages, what’s up with Revox Records, you can’t mess with the Sonics, the song “I Got Your Number,” loving women, and then we end up leaving here.

Related links: thesonicsboom.com vishkhanna.com

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