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Ep. #170: Andy Gill of Gang of Four

Andy Gill is a legendary musician, songwriter, and producer who lives in the United Kingdom. Towards the end of the 1970s, Gill co-founded the remarkable post-punk band Gang of Four whose jagged, dance-able, politically outspoken songs influenced one million musicians and earned them a loyal fanbase. Though the band has gone through many members over the past 30 years, Gill has been a constant and, as the only original member, he spearheaded the latest album by Gang of Four. The record is called What Happens Next, it’s out now via Metropolis Records, and the band is on tour now, including a stop at Lee’s Palace in Toronto on March 9. Here, Gill and I discuss his home studio in London, a mandatory mention of the Jesus Lizard on this show, how there’s a bit of Blue on What Happens Next, clear sounds, the song “Obey the Ghost” and the lyric “we’re Facebook friends with celebrities,” collecting each other, electronic or industrial ambient musical tones on this record, James Brown and the Velvet Underground, having no desire to replicate Entertainment! or anything else from the past, when Jon King quit and almost dissolving Gang of Four, the song “First World Citizen” is actually 30 years old, z, a dancing parrot, a one-legged dog that barks at carrots, having multiple singers, King will not return, the song “First World Citizen,” and then we’re in the ether.

Related links: gangoffour.co.uk vishkhanna.com

GO4 - Photo Credit Leo Cackett

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Ep. #156: Owen Pallett

Owen Pallett is a tremendously gifted multi-instrumentalist, composer, and singer who currently lives in Montreal. Pallett was initially acclaimed for his string arrangements for artists like Jim Guthrie, Arcade Fire, Fucked Up, and many others and, particularly when he lived there, he was viewed as a true leader and champion of Toronto’s underground arts community. Since releasing his own music, Pallett’s profile has risen considerably. He won the inaugural Polaris Music Prize and has been nominated for each of his subsequent solo records; he was nominated for an Academy Award for his work scoring the film Her; and his fourth and latest album, In Conflict, has appeared on many best of 2014 critics’ lists. He is a sharp, clever, outspoken young man and he’s playing the Hillside Inside festival on Saturday Feb. 7 at 3 PM with Jennifer Castle. Here, Owen and I discuss living in Montreal, the year that was, musicians managing this particular age of media consumption, seeing the content of private Facebook posts go viral, playing with Arcade Fire during the backlash about their latest record, maybe people don’t like aging rock and pop bands, provocative extracurricular activities don’t necessarily lead to bigger box office sales, turning down a CBC Radio hosting gig, having sex with men, Pitchfork, Slim Twig is a wise person, Win knows best, some people should quit, why we make things, the trajectory of creative lives, people keep talking to me about Blink 182, why Michael Gira might have reformed Swans or Kathleen Edwards might have opened up a coffee shop, playing Hillside during a torrential rain storm that shortened the set, befriending Buffy Sainte-Marie, fortunate Owen, the plan to make a new, dense acoustic record that sounds electronic, Jennifer Castle’s “Sparta,” and that was it.   

Related links: owenpalletteternal.com hillsidefestival.ca vishkhanna.com

Owen_Pallett_by Peter Juhl_HIGHRES-5 low res

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