Q&A Category Archive

!! OMG, a Q&A with Michael Stipe !!

Michael Stipe Polaroid portrait

Despite his apparent radio silence, Michael Stipe has been anything but idle since the dissolution of his legendary band R.E.M. in 2011, keeping himself busy as a visual artist based in New York City, but last October, he re-emerged in a surprising return to the music world with new solo material.

Without warning, one of the most iconic vocalists and performers of our time presented an entirely personal communiqué via his new single, “Your Capricious Soul,” released in conjunction with and in support of a mass protest held by the UK based non-violent environmentalist group Extinction Rebellion, with all proceeds from the single going to the organization.

In addition to unveiling his solo musical endeavour, Stipe also recently published a second book of visual work, Our Interference Times: A Visual Record, created in collaboration with Canadian artist Douglas Copeland.

Michael Stipe Our Interference Times with Douglas Copeland

And, in a near-comical torrent of activity, Stipe’s former band R.E.M. are simultaneously celebrating the 25th anniversary of their divisive and pivotal glam rock stomper of a record Monster with a special edition re-release. Following R.E.M.’s ascension to superstardom and celebrity with the release of their 1992 album Automatic For The People, Monster was the twisted, feedback-soaked response that saw the band confronting rumours around Stipe’s sexuality as well as the mindfuck of sex and death in the arena of rock stardom.

Having just returned from a jaunt in the UK and Europe promoting all three projects, Michael Stipe chatted with OMG.BLOG about his new work, his many transformations, and how it feels to be a Queer icon for more than thirty years.

Read the full Q&A after the jump!

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!! OMG, a Q&A with Amy Douglas !!

Amy Douglas

Anti-diva Amy Douglas is a delightful, brash New Yorker whose versatile vocals are popping up all around the club world and we were fortunate enough to snag a cheeky interview with this wild woman.

You might know Amy from her pitch-perfect DFA Records release “Never Saw It Coming,” which features her incredible vocal range in a thumping disco package.

For our Toronto readers, Amy will be performing at the Hotnuts Halloqween Streamed Buns party this Saturday, and we encourage you to turn a look and let Amy guide your swirl.

Read the full Q&A after the jump!

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!! OMG, a Q&A with Robert Alfons of TR/ST !!

Robert Alfons of TR/ST

Photo by Elliot Lee Hazel

This past April brought us The Destroyer Part 1, the latest release from TR/ST, the synth-soaked brainchild of Los Angeles-based artist Robert Alfons. Since releasing his first record in 2012 with then-band member Maya Postepski, Alfons has evolved the project into an ever-shifting musical and visual endeavor as a solo artist with bludgeoning synths, a beguiling range of vocal styles, and emotionally driven live shows.

After a five-year gestation period, The Destroyer is the band’s third full-length release and reunites Alfons with Postepski on a series of tracks that contribute to what has become an epic two-part project, the latter half to be released this November.

We spoke to Alfons about the emotional meat and creative genesis of The Destroyer along with his thoughts on L.A. and whether it’s possible to be too emo. Read the full Q&A after the jump!

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!! OMG, a Q&A with Orville Peck !!

Orville Peck

Photo by Carlos Santolalla

Blue-eyed crooner Orville Peck recently cruised into listeners’ hearts with his two singles “Big Sky” and the recently rereleased “Dead of Night.”

His debut album Pony will be released on the iconic Seattle-based Sub Pop record label on March 22. With minimal information floating around about the artist or his past, we got down to the nitty-gritty with Orville about his new record and what we can expect from the future with this sometimes heart-breaking, and often heartbroken cowboy.

Peck speaks about his queer experience of love with such intelligence and sensitivity, it’s the perfect Q&A to publish on Valentine’s Day. Take it all in after the jump, and don’t blame us if you develop a crush!

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!! OMG, a Q&A with Jennifer Castle !!

Jennifer Castle

Canada-based songwriter Jennifer Castle has been writing and recording music since she was a child and has been part of many bands and collaborations over the years. Her unique skill with the written word first disarmed listeners with the release of her debut record You Can’t Take Anyone (Blue Fog Records) in 2008.

Often cited for her humorous directness and honesty, her latest effort Angels of Death continues her exploration of profound themes around the human condition in her familiar and unpretentious way.

Castle has the voice of a friend who knows the right thing to say because she, like us, doesn’t know the answers. This trait in her writing is both comforting and strangely empowering when met with her ability to transform her particular and peculiar relationship to the word into song. Her work is sometimes fun, sometimes gut-wrenching, but always a celebration of the undeniable togetherness we share in life’s bliss and tragedy. In their bravest moments, her songs explore where those two elements overlap.

Having just wrapped a year of touring in support of Angels of Death, we caught up with Jennifer — now five albums deep into her catalogue — to discuss how she uses themes like death and nature to fight the ways in which the transformative power of words has become so threatened, because of, you know, the patriarchy and stuff.

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!! OMG, a Q&A with Special Interest !!

Special Interest

The synth-punk band Special Interest tore a hole in this year’s Not Dead Yet festival in Toronto last month.

The band’s appearance at the annual punk festival was preceded by their reputation for aggressively breaking down the audience/performer dynamic. With song titles like “The State, The Industry, The Community, and Her Lover,” they have a clear motivation to create a conversation about the performer versus the systems of control they are forced to operate within.

While using old-school punk tropes such as physical and lyrical aggression, the band also rejects many of the politics put in place within the punk community itself, in order to create an entirely new — and very overdue — conversation within it.

The New Orleans-based band may be here to party, but they are not here for that passive shit. Their disposition is refreshingly reminiscent of a time when the term “punk” was motivated by a distinct urge to radicalize its surroundings, while also throwing a really good party.

We got to chat with band members Alli Logout, Maria Elena Delgado, Ruth Ex, and Nathan Cassiani about their relationship to the punk community, and how in 2018, identity politics around queerness and race may be causing more trouble than progress. Read the full Q&A after the jump!

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!! OMG, a Q&A with Seth Bogart !!

Seth BogartPhoto by Abdi Taslimi

Seth Bogart is a musician and artist who’s been making, and basically living super gay art since he popped onto the Oakland music scene in 2001 with his first band Gravy Train!!!!

Since then, Seth’s career has centred largely around his music career both as a solo artist and with his band Hunx & His Punx (we interviewed Seth in his Hunx days back in 2011).

On top of being a prolific songwriter and performer, Bogart’s work as a visual artist has allowed him to bring his DIY, pop-inspired work into the physical realm. Whether making large sets for his LA-based store Wacky Wacko or his TV show Feeling Fruity, which shares a network with RuPaul’s Drag Race – Bogart’s aesthetic is a unmistakably trashy and  familiar to him alone. He recently was the subject of several solo gallery shows where he showed his ceramic versions of everyday consumer goods such as toothbrushes, hair combs, and  of course — poppers!Photo by Beth B

!! omg blog !! tracked Seth down on the eve of his debut performance as one third of his newest band, which he shares with punk goddess Alice Bag and pioneering Riot Grrrl Allison Wolfe. The as-yet-unnamed supergroup were set to perform their first show the night of this interview!

We got to talk about everything Seth’s been up to, but also made time to complain about boring straight guys we think stink! More after the jump!

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