Matt Mingus & Will Swan of Dance Gavin Dance: The Heavy Blog Interview

Thanks to the editor gods, I was given an opportunity to talk to the two founding members of my favorite band of all time, Dance Gavin Dance. For me, this is a dream come true. For you, it’s an insight into the minds of drummer Matt Mingus and guitarist Will Swan, two essential components that are integral to one of the most unique bands of the last 15 years. On the last day of their tour with Underoath and Veil of Maya (the only other band I’ve interviewed), we had a chat over Skype. We talked about how they select album titles, how they view bands getting softer as they get older and the legendary Paul Blart.

Bent Knee Are Good At Naming Obscure Land Animals, Want You To Take Them On Tour

Of the many bands I became familiar with and wrote about in 2017, few meant more to me than the Boston art-rock/prog rock/whatever you want to call it collective Bent Knee. I’ve written about them several times this year, including a lengthy interview and profile of the band with frontwoman Courtney Swain. Frankly, by the time we were ready to roll out our album of the year list (where they ranked #17) I didn’t think I would be writing about them again for a while. But they were stopping through Brooklyn again in December, this time with the always amazing prog force that is Thank You Scientist, and I knew I had to come out and see them.

Land Animals: How Bent Knee’s Fierce Eclecticism, Emotional Honesty, And Work Ethic Are Paying Off

I am at Rough Trade in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for the Boston-based art-rock band Bent Knee, both to interview them and to see them play live for my first time. I would love to say that I had been following the band for years and have already seen them a handful of times, but somehow their head-spinning mixture of heavy-hitting Faith No More energy, proggy theatrics, and off-kilter pop/rock experimentations somewhere between Björk and St. Vincent had escaped me until only just this year when a fellow Heavy Blogger introduced me to them through their 2014 sophomore LP Shiny Eyed Babies. Upon hearing tracks like “Way Too Long” and “Being Human” I was instantly hooked. The blend of jazz influences with the bite of heavy rock and metal, extensive incorporation of violin, and the powerful siren sounds of vocalist Courtney Swain were more than enough to grab my attention, and I quickly did all I could to catch myself up on their (at the time) 3 albums.

Always Riled Up: War On Women and Making Festivals Safer

We have countless examples from (the original) Woodstock to Glastonbury that sexual assault is an ongoing problem at our shows and festivals. Every year there is at least one reported rape or sexual assault at a major music festival in the U.S. Europe has become concerned enough with the issue that Sweden, as a nation, are proposing new laws and in the UK promoters are actively working to get not only their festivals but their artists on board with calling out this behavior. With a new festival season around the world looming, promoters, artists, and allies are taking it upon themselves to speak out and up to attempt to educate concert-goers about this issue in a renewed effort to stem, and eventually turn, the tide of sexual violence (among other things) in our shared show spaces.

Arms of Tripoli – The Heavy Blog Is Heavy Interview

As I wrote in my review of LA post/math-rock enclave Arms of Tripoli’s recent sophomore album Daughters, I have a particular soft spot for the band not only because they clearly pull influence from so many instrumental and progressive bands that I already love, but also because they were the first band I came to know and love specifically through writing for Heavy Blog back in 2014 for their debut full-length Dream In Tongues. In my mind the band are just about everything that is good about instrumental post-rock without any of the bloat, mediocrity, and tediousness that plagues so much of the genre and its heavier cousins in post-metal. I’ve been following them closely since and eagerly awaited their next release. So when Arms’ bassist Mike Bouvet reached out to me personally about the upcoming release of Daughters, I knew that I wanted to talk to them about a whole bunch of things. Over a few e-mails we discussed their formation, their collaboration and improv-focused writing process, what sets them apart from most post-rock bands out there, and, of course, eggs.

Dan Briggs of Between the Buried and Me — The Heavy Blog Is Heavy Interview [Part Two]

Back in March, I spent the better part of an hour speaking with Between the Buried and Me bassist Dan Briggs to discuss his myriad of projects and his development as a musician and evolution as a bass player. The first half of our talk was published last week, wherein we discussed collecting vinyl, the prog aesthetic, and the records that inspired him to first pick up a guitar — and eventually, bass and keyboards. In this second half of our interview, we discuss his new project Nova Collective and its place in the genre of jazz fusion. We also discuss the process of revisiting their modern classic Colors, and where the band goes from here.