"Playing in side projects sometimes is just what you need to clear your head. That’s exactly what I needed last year. I was done with all the ‘next Bruce Springsteen, saviours of rock and roll, blah blah.’ I was just into playing songs. I don’t care about all that hype."

Brian Fallon tells Exclaim! how playing shows with the Horrible Crows and the Revival Tour changed his outlook on playing with the Gaslight Anthem.

"I think if I had kept my mouth shut ― easier said than done ― more and let the music do the talking, I’d probably be in a better place today musically. Not internal musically ― in the way the music is perceived. Often times my big mouth has overshadowed the accomplishments of my bands, but it’s a little late for that now."

— Billy Corgan takes our Questionnaire and shares a rare moment of personal reflection in the July issue of Exclaim!

Caribou

Caribou is currently opening for Radiohead on a North American tour, and with two Canadian stops coming up in Montreal on June 15 and Toronto on June 16, he took some time off from rehearsing to talk with Exclaim! about his highly anticipated followup to 2010’s Swim LP.

Lotus Plaza

Lockett Pundt of Deerhunter and Lotus Plaza sat down with Exclaim! for a Web Exclusive interview. He reveals his struggles with stage fright, hints at a possible Lotus Plaza/Atlas Sound collaboration and discusses the differences between this year’s Spooky Action At A Distance and 2009’s The Floodlight Collective. Read it here now!

Interview: Odd Future’s Hodgy Beats

By Chris Dart

Fans who pick up Odd Future’s new release, The OF Tape Vol. 2, looking for more of the scatological violence and general misanthropy that filled Tyler, the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt’s solo work won’t be disappointed. What may surprise fans who aren’t familiar with OF’s already vast library of solo material is what else is on the album. The group have spent the last year saying that they’re more than suicide references and violent sex rhymes. On OF Tape Vol. 2, they prove it. If The OF Tape Vol. 2 proves one thing, it’s that Odd Future aren’t just a product of the Internet hype machine. They’re a talented group of oddballs who aren’t afraid to be strange and who have a frighteningly high ceiling.

Why’d you guys opt to start your label and then get distro with Sony, rather than straight-up signing with Sony?
Hodgy Beats: We won’t fuck with nobody; we’ve always dreamed of having our own label and shit. For us to actually have it and just be able to do what we wanna do, I believe that’s the way it was supposed to happen. Otherwise, we’d be signed and just trying to make mainstream hits when, like, our new album ― this whole album knocks.

How much are you personally producing right now?
I produce when I’m on the road and I write when I’m back home. A lot of these niggas, they don’t even rap over my shit; it’s me that raps on my shit. It takes a while for me to showcase my production. I’m not bad ― I’m not such an amateur that I can’t make a tight ass tight beat ― I just want to be comfortable enough to where I have enough tracks of my own, recorded, on my shit that I can be like, “Tyler, rap on this. Now!” LeftBrain actually rapped on some of my shit ― a song we made called “Crap.” I made that beat and then just randomly released it.

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Interview: Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo

By Vish Khanna

Sonic Youth fans clamouring for more than a couple Lee Ranaldo songs per record will be ecstatic about Between the Times and the Tides, a stellar rock’n’roll debut from the gifted songwriter. Ranaldo has been prolific beyond Sonic Youth, but until now, his discography has primarily reflected his interests in noise, jazz and exploratory guitar experimentation. As a published poet with a keen ear for language, Ranaldo has a knack for conveying cool ideas without sounding detached. Airy, vaguely psychedelic and meaningful, Beyond the Times is a gorgeous exhibition from a thoughtful, voracious artist relishing a whole new outlet.

In your liner notes, you suggest that these songs came together rather organically and unexpectedly. Clearly a lot of thought has gone into the lyrics, arrangements and sounds though. Can you clarify what the process was like?
I was invited to do a concert in the south of France in the spring of 2010 and they requested specifically an all-acoustic concert, which was kind of an unusual request. I don’t do that often, even though I’ve always been an acoustic player. While I was practicing for the gig, “Lost” just kind of popped out of the guitar one day and I thought, “Well, that’s interesting.” Two weeks later, I started the concert with it, which was fun and empowering. Somehow doing that opened up a faucet and all summer songs just kind of popped out of the acoustic guitar and I kept collecting and working on them, and by the end of the summer, I had a group of songs I was pleased with. By the fall, I was in our studio making demos and really thought I’d make a guitar and voice record — something simple I could do on my own. As I started getting into it, I thought, “This song could use a rhythm section” and I got a little more serious about it, calling in favours from people to play on it. It just built up really gradually; it was a very pleasurable process, in that I didn’t have any assumptions at any point. I was just following behind these songs and one thing led to another.

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"I’m in a dangerous place because we play in bars and people want to party with us all the time. That’s fun, but it can very easily become problematic and it can be an escape to not think about life. It’s a scary part of being on the road, and it’s something I’ve never really talked about before, but I think a lot of touring musicians struggle with this ― it’s numbing so it makes being away a lot easier."

— Gavin Gardiner, the Wooden Sky

(Source: exclaim.ca)

Watch an interview with A$AP Rocky for Exclaim! TV

(Source: exclaim.ca)

"When you’re leaving yourself open for embarrassment and you’re making yourself vulnerable, I think that’s when you’re really starting to make something true."

— Nick Thorburn, Islands

(Source: exclaim.ca)

Montreal songstress Grimes graces the cover of the March issue of Exclaim! She discusses her new album ‘Visions’ and talks about her idea of what pop music should be. Read the full story online.