Tag Archives: Wilco

Ep. #197: Nels Cline

Nels Cline is an American multi-instrumentalist and one of the world’s most renowned and inventive guitar players. Best known these days as a member of the popular Chicago band Wilco, Cline has collaborated with hundreds of musicians, most often within the realm of jazz or improvised music, but also touching upon almost every music genre human beings currently comprehend. Near the beginning of this century, Cline started a new free jazz ensemble called the Nels Cline Singers, featuring drummer Scott Amendola, bassist Trevor Dunn, and percussionist Cyro Baptista, and to date, they’ve released six albums, including 2014’s Macroscope. The Nels Cline Singers are playing at Guelph, Ontario’s Hillside Festival during the weekend of July 24 and here, Nels and I discuss being back in New York City after playing Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival, MassMoCA and the state of Massachusetts, Chicago music festivals, 318 Canadian music festivals, catching up to Europe, music and social skills and community building, punishment, curating Solid Sound, Jeff Tweedy and Tony Margherita, the new Solid Sound documentary Every Other Summer, when the Nels Cline Singers get together to play, the expanded NCS, Marc Ribot’s open letter to Steve Albini about copyrighting art, the vague notion of making the latest NCS album Macroscope, the 1970s and high school, the Weather Report, Herbie Hancock, MIles Davis, Yuka Honda and Cibo Matto’s new record Hotel Valentine, playing in Cibo Matto, being a dad and not knowing or being able to do anything, proteck ya neck, a terrible nerve pinch, being there when ‘there’ is in Wilco, more people are coming out to see Nels play outside of Wilco these days, the Grand Canyon Suite by Ferde Grofé, hearing classical Indian music in grade 10, hearing Jimi, an entire side of Ravi Shankar goes a long way, visiting India, touring modern, his guitar style or lack thereof, classical Indian sitar elements within his playing, various influences, drones, rising music stars and great younger guitarists, buying new CDs, Julian Lage, the forthcoming double-album of orchestrated ballads called Lovers that Nels has been working on for two decades, at least one of these ballads is by Sonic Youth, it should be out by January, working with John Zorn, new Singers stuff, scoring a new documentary about veteran suicide with Yuka, trying to guess how many records Nels has appeared on, new Wilco recordings and their state of completion, the Mack Avenue record label, the song “Respira,” and so the raga is over.

Related links: nelscline.com vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #63: Pat Sansone + John Stirratt of The Autumn Defense + Wilco

Pat Sansone and John Stirratt play together in the bands Wilco and the Autumn Defense. The pair met in New Orleans and began working together in 1999, when the Autumn Defense was formed. Sansone eventually joined Wilco in 2004 and that band has kept both men incredibly busy. Still they find time for the Autumn Defense and on Jan. 28, 2014, Yep Roc releases the band’s new album Fifth. Back in July 2013, Sansone and Stirratt met with me at Toronto’s Molson Amphitheatre, where Wilco was playing a date on the Americanarama tour featuring Bob Dylan, My Morning Jacket and, that night, the amazing Richard Thompson. Hours before the show began, we discussed breakfast at Amphitheatres, the impact of Wilco’s busy schedule on the Autumn Defense’s productivity, the social element of this band and its evolving sound, some recurring themes on Fifth such as the harsh living conditions in the “extreme city of Chicago,” a horrible story of a drive-by shooting near the studio the band was working in on a frigid January morning, the U.S. gun problem, how the Autumn Defense began and how Pat ended up joining and even influencing Wilco, how Wilco influences the Autumn Defense, an album highlight, some behind the scenes scoop about the Americanarama tour, and more. You can also hear the song “None of This Will Matter” at the end of the interview.

Related links: autumndefense.tumblr.com yeproc.com vishkhanna.com

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