Audacy Check-In

Audacy

Listen as our favorite artists Check In for candid conversations about music and more.

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Twenty One Pilots | Audacy Check In | 5.24.24
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Twenty One Pilots | Audacy Check In | 5.24.24
Twenty One Pilots’ Josh Dun and Tyler Joseph joined host Brad Steiner for a special Audacy Check In at the Hard Rock Hotel New York to celebrate the release of their 2024 album, Clancy, upcoming tour dates, and more. The duo’s new offering, Clancy, is named after the protagonist introduced on 2018's Trench, and marks the final chapter in Twenty One Pilots' intricate story told across multiple albums, beginning with the band's 2015 breakthrough, Blurryface. Throughout the four album series -- which also includes 2021’s Scaled and Icy -- everything from art details to music videos had been specifically chosen for a reason. “The story, I guess it was a bit of a hybrid in the overall arc of it was written out from the beginning, but there were a lot of twists and turns inside of the journey that we made,” Tyler says. “I guess in a way, we were really inspired by our own fans. As the story was being told, there were certain details that came out of the story because of watching how people reacted to it and what they were drawn to.” “We knew what we were gonna say and what we wanted to accomplish with the story,” he adds. “Basically, the album ‘Blurryface’ is a reference to a character in the story that we've been telling, who's kind of the antagonist. We find out his real name is Nico and he's constantly -- basically, the lead character of ‘Clancy’ is constantly hunted down by this character. A lot of details go into where they're from and how they got there, and I'm really excited to tell how it all ends -- and that's what this, this album is gonna do.” The idea to build a world around their music, Tyler says, arose when he realized that inside of his and Josh’s common goal of making music together, there were “so many artistic opportunities, whether it's the colors you use to tell the story, the font that you use, the band name, the album title, the album cover…. So, where it just starts out as ‘I just wanna make music and maybe perform some of it in front of some people,’ you quickly realize, ‘Oh wait, there's a ton more opportunity to be creative other than just making the music.'” “We have some awesome people on our team too,” Tyler adds. “They've been helping us on the creative side for a long time. Shout outs to our crew of creatives that help us. ‘We'll be like, OK, hold on, what is the weather supposed to be like in this world in the city of Dema?’ I’ll remember we established that, you know, it's cloudy here and there's a sound that happens at night -- there's a lot of details of the world that you create, and sometimes you need to be reminded of, ‘What was this character's motivation, and what were we trying to do again?’ To have a few people to help you kind of collect and archive all of the story that you've been telling has been really important.” “Like Tyler said earlier,” Josh adds, being inspired by fans has been a major driving force, “because when we started, we were playing in clubs so we didn't know. We had kind of like visions and dreams of what this would turn into, but we didn't know how deep we could get into it. Even starting the story, it's kind of just like, ‘OK, well, I hope people care enough to look into the story.’ As time's gone on and we've seen people do like find things and understand things, then that gives us more freedom really to be able to expand on that and have different areas in which we can share those visuals.” As far as intricate fan theories go, Tyler admits, “Sometimes we'll text each other, we'll see something where someone's theorizing… they spend a lot of time coming up with that theory, you want it to be right for them. So I would say, ‘Should we tell them that's not right?’ There have been times where we've wanted to jump in and be like, ‘It's close, but not right.’” “I can't think of anything particularly that's made it in,” he says of the many fan theories that have evolved. “If anything, they brought a lot of clarity to who these characters were and what their motivations were.” In celebration of the new release, Twenty One Pilots’ has plans to hit the road on The Clancy World Tour this summer, set to kick off in Denver, CO on August 15 and make stops across the U.S. and Canada before heading overseas to Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and finally ending with two nights at London’s O2 arena in May of 2025.  “We've always talked about, when we write songs, it's hard not to imagine what it's gonna feel like to perform the songs live,” Tyler explains. “In a way, a lot of times the decision-making when you're writing the song can be impacted and influenced by the fact that it will happen live. So, I think I'm just really excited to play some of the new songs.” “I've been to shows where an artist has a new project or a new album,” he says, “where I've felt a little disappointed in the show because the artist put so much emphasis on the new stuff that it almost felt like they were turning their back on some of the old stuff. We want to balance out what is kind of a delicate thing, which is the setlist: ‘How much of the new stuff do you put in? How much of the old stuff do you keep in?’ I was doing the math the other day, we've got over 90 songs that we've released. So to pick a set list out of there -- it's getting harder and harder each round. I guess it's hard for me not to just get excited about the new stuff, so I have to kind of remind myself that you got to balance it out.” While breaking down some of the album’s lyrics, Joseph acknowledged, “We're so lucky to be here having done this for, you know, 12-plus years now and a lot has changed since we started doing it. We've personally changed… maybe live music is the thing that's changed the least. But the way that people listen to music has changed, the way that people share music has changed, what people are writing about in music has changed a lot. When I first started writing music, I didn't think anyone would hear it, so there was a honesty just naturally there that is hard to recreate, because now I know that if we write a song, people are going to hear it. Because people resonated with it early on, the honesty, I realized that honesty was really important.” “So, we started writing songs honestly, hopefully that's at least how they were perceived and accepted. I do think that we now live in a time of music where culturally it's way more common, in a good way, for people to be writing about mental health and about their own personal struggles and what they're going through. That seems to be a part of our overall musical culture more than it was when we first started doing it,” he adds. “Because of that, I feel less inclined to articulate what a song is specifically because I think we all know, we're all familiar with the terminology of depression, and what it could mean, and how it could impact someone we know. As a culture, we're more aware of diagnosing it personally, or with someone we know. I feel comfort in that knowing that we're now in a culture that feels way more accepting of that conversation.” Words by Joe Cingrana Interview by Brad Steiner
New Kids On The Block | Audacy Check In | 5.22.24
Hace 3 días
New Kids On The Block | Audacy Check In | 5.22.24
New Kids On The Block is celebrating the release of their first new album in 11 years, Still Kids, and they stopped by the Hard Rock Hotel New York for an Audacy Check In with Foxx & Annie to chat all about it. Released May 17, Still Kids, features 14 new tracks including everything from pop anthems and dance tracks to love songs and grooves that have all become fast favorites for their Blockheads fan club. “We’re excited it’s finally out, people can listen to it and we can share the experience,” shared the band’s Joey McIntyre. “It’s something we’re proud of. It’s a good mix of back in the day, but talking about things that are going on in our lives now.” With a little bit of old and a little bit of new, what makes the guys most proud is the cohesiveness of the project allowing fans to reminisce on the days of listening to an album from top to bottom — no skips. “I think what we’re most excited about… is we think we made an album you can listen to like we did in the old days,” said Donnie Wahlberg. “Nowadays you go on iTunes and you skip around, but when we were young, we put in a CD [or] an 8-Track of an album and listened to everything.” He continued, “I remember listening to [Michael Jackson’s] Thriller from front to back — I didn’t skip a song. We wanted to make an album where you don’t skip a song and I think we accomplished that... Every song means something, there’s no filler, there’s nothing that’s just there to take up space and after 11 years, the fans deserve that.” To celebrate their new music further, the guys have revealed plans for a brand new tour, The Magic Summer 2024 Tour. Kicking off June 14, the trek will visit more than 40 cities and feature members Jonathan and Jordan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg and Danny Wood.  While bringing fans some of their greatest hits from the past, the guys also look forward to sharing their new music that has already proven to be a hit with fans everywhere. “The album is authentic,” said Wahlberg. “It’s still New Kids, it still sounds like New Kids, feels like New Kids — it has the feels — but is very genuine from all of us and is a very genuine love letter or ode to the fans, but also real stuff that we’re talking about, real experiences related to the journey of the band, some related to personal life stuff that, because it’s authentic, the fans are relating to it in a tremendous way.” Hear about the new music, the album-making process, what they’ve been up to the past 11 years and so much more by checking out Audacy’s Check In with New Kids On The Block, above. Words by Monica Rivera Interview by Foxx & Annie
Train | Audacy Check In | 5.20.24
Hace 5 días
Train | Audacy Check In | 5.20.24
As Train gets set to hit the road on their 2024 Summer Road Trip, lead singer Pat Monahan checked in with Audacy’s Mike Adam at the Hard Rock Hotel New York to talk music, the magic of albums, Taylor Swift covering his songs, and more. Before getting into the music, Mike had a question for Monahan. First, noting that while he was looking over “the bullets and the stuff they send me over before we do the interview,” one of the notes included a list of all of Train’s “timeless classics” listing all of their hits. “I was thinking about that," Mike expressed, asking Pat — “Do you think that's a thing that's no longer obtainable for new artists now, a timeless classic, because of you know, our deteriorating attention span?” Noting that “it's a good question,” Pat admitted, “I don't know the answer to it.” Adding, “I do know that we just came back from the UK and Europe,” and referring to the crowds they performed for, he said, “they are still a very album oriented group of people collectively. So we can play, you know, deep cuts from albums as long as the albums did well in those places, they will know every single song.” “And today's world is so quick, you can't even get a song, an entire song out. You have 30 seconds to get people hooked on whatever it is. And then possibly you'll inspire people to listen to the entire song," Monahan added. “So, an album is gonna be, that'll be a difficult thing for younger artists to do. But hopefully they can do it because we need to keep inspiring kids to want to do this.” Continuing to discuss the “magic” of listening to an entire album and discovering songs in that way, Pat mentioned that “if you really research, you know, old music or older music or classic music, sometimes it's the sixth song that was the biggest song, you know, not number one. So… it will be interesting to see where the whole world takes us. But it's gonna be up to young artists to demand that they make albums and have them heard.” Moving on to discuss Train’s latest single, “Long Yellow Dress,” Mike shared that he was scrolling through the lyric video comments on YouTube, sharing one he found particularly interesting that pointed out the drums on the track were giving The Beatles vibes. “Oh cool, I’ll listen differently,” Pat replied. Going on to praise his drummer, Matt Musty, calling him “a really gifted kid.” Revealing how the song came together, Pat said, “You know, we are always writing, like we have a musical that we're three years into writing and, you know, we'll just get together three days a week over Zoom and knock things out… But I hummed a melody into a Dictaphone or an iPhone and sent them my humming and then it turned into ‘Long Yellow Dress.’” Also discussing Train’s iconic album Save Me, San Francisco, featuring their global smash “Hey, Soul Sister,” which is commemorating its 15th anniversary in October, Pat shared his thoughts about things he loves, or would change about the album. Before chatting about joining forces with REO Speedwagon on their 45-city co-headlining Summer Road Trip Tour, which according to Pat, will definitely feature Save Me, San Francisco songs on the setlist. When it comes to music, Pat shared that aside from obviously needing to perform past songs at shows, he doesn’t really like looking back, and rather focus on going forward. That being said, Pat did look to the past when making the Led Zeppelin cover album. Talking about that experience, he said, “we wanted to record Led Zeppelin II, and the reason that I wanted to do it is because I think my band is incredible. It's not the band I started with. And so I wanted people to see how gifted they are.” As for which Train cover Pat considers his personal favorite, Monahan shared. “Well, you know, Taylor Swift back when she was much younger. She was on the Red Tour I think, and would play both, 'Hey, Soul Sister' and 'Drops of Jupiter.' That was a pretty cool thing for me, I think. You know, that was before she was who she is now, but she was still pretty massive.” For all that and more, listen to the entire interview above. Words by Maia Kedem Interview by Mike Adam
Kate Hudson | Audacy Check In | 5.17.24
17-05-2024
Kate Hudson | Audacy Check In | 5.17.24
After dabbling in the music biz for many years, Kate Hudson is finally releasing her very own album, Glorious, officially out now, and she checked in with Audacy’s Mike Adam at the Hard Rock Hotel New York to chat all about it, and a whole lot more. Opening up the conversation with the album opener “Gonna Find Out,” that Mike noted gave him “old school Sheryl Crow vibes," which Kate was totally flattered by, noting “I love her so much.” “I was going to write with Linda Perry and Danny (Fujikawa) my fiancé, it was like just starting from a blank slate. I really wanted to approach it completely without any concept in mind.” She continued, “I remember… it came from me wanting to do something kind of swampy. It didn't end up being so swampy, but… I wanted like a swampy kind of blues and then of course, then you start writing and things kind of come out of that.” Because of this, “every day would be different,” which inevitably helped steer the album to its eclectic sound. Which is “important to me,” Kate expressed "because I don’t know if I really want to fit into a genre.” “I just love music so much, and since I'm writing it, and it's the first time I'm making an album, I wanted it to feel totally honest from where I'm at right now. And that's what came out.” In fact, Kate made sure this album was such a thorough representation of self, the 12-track project has zero features. With that being said, while it wasn’t right for this particular album, Kate did hint she has a few names in mind for possible future collaborations. “I would love to [do features,] but I think for this, it was simple. I didn't want it to feel like that I was doing that because I wanted the exposure… I already have some people that I'm like, ‘Will you do a song with me?,’” though she refused to name-drop. Why? “Because there’s one girl in particular who wants to do something, and it makes me really excited. I can't tell you because then I'll jinx it and it won't happen or something,” Kate said. Back to discussing the no feature decision she made for her debut album, Kate said, “I just wanted it to feel like old school and pure and intimate. I didn't want a lot of writers, even though, I love writing with people. I wanted it to just feel like it was a small little group of us putting this album out. So, it was just me, Linda, Danny, and Johan Carlsson producing.” While writing the album, Kate admitted she had no idea “Glorious” would end up being the title track, though, “it always sat with me as one of my top options.” "That song in particular, Linda and I wrote… on piano… in like 10 minutes," Hudson revealed. "It was such a big chorus and we kinda looked at each other when we were done, kinda like ’That was intense. Where did that come from?’” “When I was just riffing with the melody, that word ‘glorious’ just kept coming to me, so I wrote the song around that word.” said Kate. “Then as the album started to find its way and figure out what songs were gonna end up on the album it really came down to that word. It just embodies everything and the experience has been for me and how I feel about music. It's like, if someone was to say like, what's the most earnest word to describe music? It would be glorious.” Kate went on to open up about how the fear of sharing her own work has held this project back so long, and how yet, she still has no set expectations for the album. Hudson also talked about a possible tour, more albums and acting roles she wants to try, like “a real action movie or comedy action movie” as well as “a traditional musical.” To catch it all and more, listen to the entire interview about. Words by Maia Kedem Interview by Mike Adam
Gracie Abrams | Audacy Check In | 5.16.24
16-05-2024
Gracie Abrams | Audacy Check In | 5.16.24
Sad girl songstress of the moment, Gracie Abrams checked in with Audacy’s Mike Adam at the Hard Rock Hotel New York to talk all about her highly anticipated sophomore album, The Secret of Us (out June 21), her latest single “Risk” (out now), her writing process, and more. Gracie started off by spilling some deets about walking the Met Gala red carpet with Chanel, hanging with Troye Sivan and Charli XCX inside the event, and sharing how “rad” it was getting to witness Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo perform. Abrams then delved into her own “rad music,” discussing her new single “Risk,” which Mike described as “the perfect Pop song,” and also talked about it’s “terrifying” music video. Going on to discuss what it is about songwriting that allows her to open up about things she wouldn’t even divulge to a best friend in a private conversation, Gracie shared, “writing has always been my outlet and it’s always been my instinct when I’ve had feelings that I don’t wanna talk to people about, to just put it down on paper.” “I think the more experience I have, and the more my personal relationships have deepened and developed… I’ve gotten better at intimacy with people and vulnerability.” Noting that she believes “this album was a pretty significant turning point, just of tangible proof of my, just like, personal evolution, which I’m relieved about. I’m actually happy to talk about tricky experiences or tougher feelings with people. It’s at least for right now, the most effective way to work through things, cause I’m lucky to know some really wise people who I have a lot to learn from. So this album kind of came from real friendship and safe environments to really talk about everything.” Answering whether she’s a lyrics first, or beat first type of artist, Gracie revealed, “Typically lyrics first,” however recently, “they kind of happen at the same time for me. I feel like melody, I’ve had a lot of fun writing more whatever would be considered Pop, with more tempo. I’ve been looking for ear-worms and I feel like that’s been a really sweet thing to start with, and that’s newer for me, because I used to always start with lyrics. And now, I think the more that I’ve gotten into producing, the more I know how to use what I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by in the studio and that really helps inform melody.” As for if there were any lyrics she hesitated about including, Gracie admitted, there “totally” was, “but actually I felt like because I was writing with my best friend,” she felt the freedom to include any lines she might have not if otherwise. “The whole process with this album is really about being able to, not laugh at situations, but through them, and being able to really laugh at ourselves in the process,” Abrams continued. “Both Audrey and I love dramatic writing, and we do it outside the context of music as well, so there’s lots of characters in this album, there’s some exaggeration sometimes but, starting from seeds of truth. We know each other the best, and I wasn’t telling her and she wasn’t telling me, we can’t say that that’s nuts. It was more like we’re laughing… maybe someone else will think it’s funny, let’s include it.” For all that and more, check out  Gracie’s entire interview above. Words by Maia Kedem Interview by Mike Adam
Royel Otis | Audacy Check In | 5.7.24
07-05-2024
Royel Otis | Audacy Check In | 5.7.24
Joining host Brad Steiner is Australian guitar-pop duo Royel Otis (Royel Maddell and Otis Pavlovic) for an Audacy Check In from the Hard Rock Hotel New York to discuss their current tour, new music, and plenty more. Currently on the road in support of their 2024 debut album Pratts & Pain, Royel Otis will be making stops in the U.S. until the end of May before heading overseas for the summer, and returning again to make their way across North America this fall. Amid their travels, the duo also decided to release a couple of bonus tracks from Pratts & Pain -- "Claw Foot" and "Merry Mary Marry Me" -- available for streaming now. A fan of the duo since the arrival of their 2023 single “Sofa King,” Brad admits he subsequently tried to tell everyone that he knew about them, but never could quite describe what they sounded like. “We stole the drumbeat from a Stone Roses song,” Royel admits. “It definitely has to have a little bit of that” -- and just like Stone Roses with their signature gang vocals, he and Otis both agree, "just us shouting.” Though Royel humbly says he places full faith in his writing partner, who he feels has a firmer grip on how to actually get things onto tape, Otis says their writing process is still similar to their early days of sending each other demos. “One of us will have an idea and then we just start working on it. It's the exact same,” he says as Royel adds with a stretch, “more sleep-deprived with them all.” Life has been a little bit more hectic for the duo these days, touring in support of their debut Pratts & Pain. “We just had a nice experience everywhere, and the crowds have been incredible It's really hard to differentiate all the shows,” Royel says of their time on the road.  The most memorable part, he admits, was visiting our neighbors up north. “We had to go through a border and s*** our pants while we were getting searched and stuff,” he laughs. “I don't know if it's the timing or anything, but the crowds have been louder and much more enthusiastic again,” he adds. Tickets for Royel Otis' 'Glory To Glory' North American tour are on sale now. Don't miss our full Audacy Check In with Royel Otis above, and stay tuned for even more conversations with your favorite artists on Audacy.com/live. Words by Joe Cingrana Interview by Brad Steiner
Dua Lipa | Audacy Check In | 5.3.24
03-05-2024
Dua Lipa | Audacy Check In | 5.3.24
To celebrate the release of her highly anticipated third album, Radical Optimism, Dua Lipa checked in with Audacy’s Mike Adam at the Hard Rock Hotel in New York to talk about getting the album's cover shot, her Service95 platform, and more. Jumping right into the deep end (pun very much intended), Dua divulged some details about the tranquil yet dangerous album cover. “We shot all the images for the album on film, and so I was waiting a little while for them all to get developed to kind of see what was gonna come out,” Dua shared. “And I remember when I saw this picture,”  of herself wading in the ocean’s deep waters, just feet away from a shark, “it immediately said radical optimism to me.” “'Cause in my head, it's so much about moving gracefully through the chaos, you know, having that flare of optimism when things aren't going right. The idea that remaining calm and graceful while there's a shark nearby, like nothing screams radical optimism to me more than that. So that felt very fitting for the album cover to also encapsulate the meaning of the songs.” Praising her platform Service95, Mike noted that through it we get to see another side of Dua we don't necessarily see from the music. And further inquired how she plans on expanding on that as the years go on. “As it stand and something that I want to continue the newsletter and commissioning stories from all around the world,” Dua expressed. “I would love… to go deeper into production, whether that's film or TV. I just co-produced a documentary about Camden in London, which is going to come out at the end of May on Disney+.” Dua continued, “That was my first taste of getting into something like that, and I enjoyed the behind-the-scenes so much, so I’d like to do more of that.” Adding, “and I feel like Service95 really ties me to all of that.” "And my book club, it's the same,” Dua lastly mentioned, “maybe publishing in print, or something like that for other authors. We'll see, I have big dreams for it.” If you didn’t already know, those stories Dua shares on Service95 can be heard via podcast interviews, a part of Service95 that required Lipa to add interviewer to her resume. Talking about how she honed in and developed that skill, Dua said, “allowing yourself to be vulnerable in the moment and open makes you good at it.” “For me it was important that at no point did any of my guests feel like they were about to get called out or whatever. It's like asking them questions that really are of service. I guess maybe [it’s] a bit of a hidden talent, but it's hard work. Doing what you do, there's so much research and time that goes into it with every single guest. I respect it a lot. It's a real craft.” Opening up about how she approaches asking her guests questions, Dua shared, “I have my set questions, but I love going off piece, like naturally depending on where the conversation goes, whether it's leading into like transcendental meditation and how that helped somebody in their mental health journey or whatever it is. When those off pieced questions come along, that's when I know I'm really in it because it's a real conversation rather than just question and question-and-answer kind of thing.” When it comes to pre-interview jitters Dua admitted “I get nervous before all of them, because it’s so out of my comfort zone to interview someone, you know to be on the other side of the interview. So I get nervous every time and I wanna do a good job.” Adding, “It’s quite  interesting when somehow it ends up [with] me being interviewed or something. I remember doing a conversation with Esther Perel and she kept asking me questions back and I was like, ‘Whoa, this a new experience,’ which I enjoyed.” Moving on to discussing how Dua’s father has also become the singer’s manager, a role he took on in 2022. Lipa joked how it was “very kind” of him to “take me on as a client.” Sharing a bit about their dynamic with this added element to their relationship, Dua expressed, “we've had hangout time where we could just be boys basically and then we work time, and that was always there before he was my manager.” Adding, “he’d always be my soundboard and someone who I'd go to for advice. So now it's perfect 'cause we just get even more time together, but we make sure that not everything's about work.” As a proud Albanian, a part of Dua’s identity any real fan already knows, Dua talked about how representing for and doing right by the Albanian community comes as second nature. “It's something that comes easily to me," the singer expressed. "I lived in Kosovo, I go there every year, we do a festival, all those things are just such a big part of my life. It’s a community that gave me so much, but I don't see it as a pressure, it’s more just a very natural flow.” Radical Optimism is now available everywhere.  Words by Maia Kedem Interview by Mike Adam
Mötley Crüe | Audacy Check In | 4.29.24
29-04-2024
Mötley Crüe | Audacy Check In | 4.29.24
Joining host Remy Maxwell today for a special Audacy Check in today are Tommy Lee and John 5 of Mötley Crüe to discuss "The World’s Most Notorious Rock Band" returning with the brand new single “Dogs Of War,” their upcoming tour dates, and much more. Mötley Crüe just rocked fans with their first new release since 2019, “Dogs of War,” ushering in a brand new era after recently signing to Big Machine Records and a return to form after 35 years with Dr. Feelgood producer Bob Rock at the helm. "Yeah, dude… Always f***ing pushing the envelope on how drums should be heard and felt. I love him so much,” Tommy says emphatically about working again with Bob. “He's always on the forefront of like hot, you know, ‘How do we get this to sound like it's thunderous, man?' And he does it with guitars. He does it with vocals. He does it with everything. He's a sonic beast.” “I use these aluminum sticks live because they're not impossible, but really hard to break,” Tommy explains. "But you can't use them in the studio. They don't record as well. So, I use wood and I'm just going through sticks. Just like wood choppers, just chips flying!” Guitarist John 5 is no stranger to working in the studio and on stage with absolute heavyweights in the scene, including David Lee Roth, Marilyn Manson, Judas Priest, and Rob Zombie -- on top of his prolific solo work over the past 30 years -- but never had a chance to work with Bob Rock until this point. “I was so excited to work with Bob. You know, of course, watching documentaries and all that stuff because I love studio documentaries... reading interviews,” he says. “So, It was a real pleasure to work with him for sure and I was beyond excited. I was, of course, the first to get there and last to leave.” With the exit of longtime guitarist Mick Mars, John 5 stepped in to fill the spot, which, according to Lee, “F***ing injected the Mötley with everything f***ing insanely wonderful… He can f***ing play anything. Like, play me a little bluegrass with some Chopin… Like, how does he know all this? How is this even possible? But you know what, at the end of the day, I'm gonna say this because you can be the best f***ing guitar player on the planet and be an a**hole. He is the sweetest man.” “I just treat people how I want to be treated and that's how I've always been since like middle school,” John says. “You know, these guys, it's the same. It's the same thing, we just treat each other how we want to be treated.” “Yeah, when is everyone gonna get that?” Tommy wonders. “F***!” Check out the brand new music video for "Dogs Of War" now streaming, and don't miss our full Audacy Check In with Mötley Crüe above. Plus, stay tuned for even more conversations with your favorite artists on Audacy.com/live. Words by Joe Cingrana Interview by Remy Maxwell
St. Vincent | Audacy Check In | 4.26.24
27-04-2024
St. Vincent | Audacy Check In | 4.26.24
Alt-icon St. Vincent (Anne Clark) has finally unveiled her full 2024 album All Born Screaming, and Audacy's Kevan Kenney is joining her in studio on release day to talk about the making of the new collection and much more. Join us right here as we celebrate with St. Vincent during our Audacy Check In. St. Vincent's seventh studio album and the follow up to 2021's Daddy's Home, officially arrives today, April 26, featuring the previously released singles "Flea," "Big Time Nothing," and "Broken Man." You can take a look at the full track listing below and pick up your copy NOW. Plus, grab your tickets for her upcoming supporting tour dates, on sale now. Brought to life with the aid of a highly curated roster of friends — Rachel Eckroth, Josh Freese, Dave Grohl, Mark Guiliana, Cate Le Bon, Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Warpaint's Stella Mogzawa, and David Ralicke — the album is “an unadulterated expression of St. Vincent’s singular vision.” “The record is 41 minutes and 14 seconds…, I'm obsessed with all of it in terms of production and performance and all that stuff, but I knew that the master was perfect and that all the spaces in between the songs were perfect when it came back as a palindrome,” Clark explains. “41 minutes and 14 seconds. I was like, ‘OK, it is done.’ I love making records. I love the art form of a record… that's about what you want to spend, you know, 45 minutes, right around 45 minutes. That's kind of a digestible experience I think.” Even the spaces in between songs help continue the story and world she’s created. “I think as a producer, every sound has to have a meaning and it has to matter,” she says. “It has to add up to the bigger meaning of the song -- and there's just nothing that is superfluous. There's no sound that's just there just to be there.” Speaking of influences and some of her musical contemporaries, Clark says “I love things and records very deeply, but I might not know every single record of even my favorite artists. But I also have a couple of people in my life, heads like Questlove I'll hit up, or Justin Meldal-Johnsen if I need to know everything about Detroit House -- tell me everything Then I can get the real deal on these interesting subgenres of stuff.” Any calmness that you may sense in Annie's tone she admits comes from “a level of brain meltedness, two weeks straight of rehearsals for putting the show on and it's full on just like psychedelic decision fatigue.” That being said, she does acknowledge that now that she has seven solo records under her belt, "I got to learn how to be a person while learning how to be a better artist, and because my career was sort of slow and steady, like every single record, some more people were paying attention... So, I never had the crazy young fame or anything that. That, I think, can sometimes stunt a person's emotional growth, so I'm just kind of like, 'Keep it simple,' right?" “I'm just always trying to make music that is exciting to me that makes me feel something that matters, that's exactly about what's going on in my life at any given time and try to take all the chaos of life and put it into some kind of, I don't know, order in music and find out what I think and how I feel,” Clark adds. “I do that through music, so I have an outlet for it. But as far as critical acclaim…It's certainly nice to have, you know, be a sort of critical darling at times, but of course, that's gonna turn. The Sword of Damocles is just hanging over your head. They're going to have to, at some point, say you fell from grace and they're going to have to, again, at some point say you returned to form and you're back. That has nothing to do with me.” St. Vincent's 2024 North American tour dates kick off in May, making stops in Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, NYC, Toronto, and more before wrapping up on September 20 in Minnesota. Openers will include Momma, Yves Tumor, Spoon, Dorian Electra, and Eartheater on select dates. Don't miss our special Audacy Check In with St. Vincent right here on her All Born Screaming release day -- April 26 -- and stay tuned for more conversations with your favorite artists on Audacy.com/Live. St. Vincent - All Born Screaming tracklisting:1. Hell Is Near2. Reckless3. Broken Man4. Flea5. Big Time Nothing6. Violent Times7. The Power's Out8. Sweetest Fruit9. So Many Planets10. All Born Screaming (featuring Cate Le Bon) Words by Joe Cingrana Interview by Kevan Kenney
Usher | Audacy Check In | 4.23.24
23-04-2024
Usher | Audacy Check In | 4.23.24
To celebrate all things Usher, the icon himself stopped by Audacy Atlanta’s V-103 studios to check in with Greg Street. The duo discussed everything from his early ATL days, his majorly successful Las Vegas Residency, his new album Coming Home, and everything in between. After the longtime associates chopped it up and reminisced about Porsches and car shows, Usher went on to praise his mother for raising him to not only be creative, but also business savvy and entrepreneurial. After acting as his manager for many years in a male dominated industry that’s also “not necessarily welcoming to parents,” Usher admitted he picked up a few things. “She managed to learn the business and then be successful in the business. Then we launched an amazing career that, gave album after album, after album, and then eventually, [we were] able to just celebrate that look back over the years and realize that this was all a dream,” the “Confessions” singer expressed. “She inspired me to become the entrepreneur that I am today. After having been with record companies and being within this system for so many years now, coming back as an independent with my label Mega, and now I’m going back to the person who I started it with, which is L.A. Reid… We kicked it off here in Atlanta. Now here we are once again, after all that time we're back home.” Obviously a major figure in Usher’s journey, his mother wasn’t the only one to help shape Usher into the icon he is today. Taking a trip down memory lane, and dropping some names along the way, Usher looked back at all the amazing people he’s worked with that helped him become the artist he is now. “I’ve worked with incredible people,” Usher acknowledged, “including Jermaine Dupri, who helped me really find my voice, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis who helped me find my pen. Also working with incredible musicians like Emmanuel Seal and Bryan-Michael Cox, Johntá Austin.” Gaining “incredible inspiration from people who were the pioneers in this city like Rico Wade,” Usher added, going on to note, “Not many people know this side. I don't even know if you know this Greg, but I'm an honorary member of the Dungeon Family. I was there in the early days down in the dungeon, before OutKast was OutKast when it was Sleepy Brown and Marques.” After delving into his origin story, which he began with meeting, AJ Alexander, who introduced him to Bryant Reid, “who discovered me at the talent search at EarthLink Live,” Usher got into how things began to really pop off once he met Jermaine Dupri. “Well, I think I had had enough of people attempting to try and make me an artist. It was JD who really took the time to listen… At that point of my life, I was working with these producers, Tim and Bob, and I was working with JD. So I would either be in there with, you know, Phil Tan and Emmanuel Seal, and we'd just be working through things. But it was JD who was really listening,” Usher confessed. “It would be in those conversations that we had in passing, they'd begin to help me craft what my story was and find something that was authentic, that would give me a brand of my own. It didn't feel like I was just kind of putting on a suit that was tailor made for me, but didn't necessarily work for me.” “This was my tailor made suit. This is when I actually established what Usher was, and it was authentic, it was from the South," he continued. “Even though I came by way of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Atlanta gave me an identity. It gave me something that I was proud of. It gave me something that I felt like I could represent. It gave me something of a style. It gave me something that was our own, you know what I mean? In the way we dress, in the way we sang, in the way we were able to articulate Hip-Hop and R&B in a way that wasn't like everybody else.” While originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee, for Usher it’s very clear, “I represent Atlanta.” Declaring, “when I tilt that A hat to the right, it's because I found something here that was significant for me. I figured out what I wanted to do in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and then I found the reality of what that passion was in Atlanta… I figured out how to do it and who to do it with… that would then create hit records and we continued to keep that legacy.” Noting that “even though we had moved out of Atlanta and made our way up to New York with Arista Records, it was still that homegrown idea of how we would create these melting pots of artists and artistry to create a body of work that was an album.” “My Way was clear because it was really me and Jermaine Dupri's vision,” Usher began. “8701 became a little bit more of a collective working with Darryl Jones, Mark Pitts and Kawan “KP” Prather. We began to just try and build a more expansive idea of what Atlanta was, even though it was a worldwide recognized album. Was it an R&B album or was it an album that was popular because people gravitated toward it? It became something that the entire world would begin to understand. It wasn't until Confessions that I was able to tie it all together, where people understood — this is a story that's relevant. It's a story that's cultural, is my own, it's a story that creates legacy for me.” “Now, I'm celebrating the 20th anniversary of that album here in Atlanta,” Usher exclaimed, noting “I broke these songs with Greg… So here now, coming home, having that real-world experience that took me all around the world, that's what that Coming Home name means. It is being able to come back now after having that world of experience and now be that guy.” Discussing what it was like working on this new album, and it’s “collaborative process,” Usher continued to name drop, listing off some familiar names, and a few new ones as well. “Working with L.A. … Keith Thomas… Jermaine Dupri… Bryan Michael Cox… Johntá Austin… even new producers. Pheelz was an artist and also producer that I wanted to work with,” whom he teamed up with for "Ruin." "And also being able to bring some of that ATL evolution out with Dream.” “All of these songs, this music, is a melting pot of an experience. One — is some things that I lived out, but also an experience that feels very where I am. When I hear songs like ‘I Love U,’ songs like ‘I Am The Party,’ songs like ‘Bop,’ that's a culture that if you in Atlanta and you at Cascade, you know what bopping is.” Going on to note that he’s the “luckiest man in the world,” for “being able to express love in a way that is a celebration,” Usher paused to mention he got married over Super Bowl weekend, ahead of his Halftime performance (as if we didn’t already know). “That is all within the story. Working with the producers that I chose to on this album and being able to collaborate it's always been a collaborative experience. It's never just been one way of doing what I do. Working with some of the people that I've worked with my entire life… and trying new ideas based [on] where I am in my life. It’s been an incredible year, man — two years.” A major part of the last “incredible” two years includes Usher’s Vegas Residency, which according to him was on his mind, but not something he was really interested in doing quite yet, until Beyoncé inspired him otherwise. “The idea of residency in itself had kind of been condensed to just parties. And while it's great to be able to go out there and celebrate, no hate… I was advocating for an underserved dynamic and audience. The dollar that was in Las Vegas was coming from all over the place. Some people from London… Australia, but not as many Black people. The black dollar wasn't as strong and relevant until I started doing these levels of residency. And while I ain't trying to pat myself on the back, it was a real deliberate decision that was really put on my mind many, many years ago.” Revealing, “My mother told me, ‘Yo, we need to go to Las Vegas after Confessions.’ And I was like, ‘I'm not quite ready to do it right now. I just don't think that playing in Las Vegas would represent who and what I am right now. It may be perceived as, ‘Oh, this is the finale.’ I wanted to go do more, so I traveled the entire world.” “Then Beyoncé played the Wynn in Las Vegas, and when I saw her show that she put together, then this light bulb went off. I was like, ‘You know what? When I'm ready to play Las Vegas, I want an experience.’” Unfortunately Usher’s realization came to him at a rather inopportune time, “when the entire world had stopped.” “We were all locked away… we weren't gathering for concerts… all of these incredible venues were just empty. No basketball games, no nothing." Giving Usher “a grand opportunity to do two things. One, show how powerful the Black dollar is for this level of performance. When I look out in that audience every night, and I see a mixture of people, but the majority of it bring minorities, Black people who chose to get on a plane, take care of themselves, doll up, look beautiful for the night, put it on, and come out here and treat themselves. That was the purpose in point. I didn't want to be, an after-party. I wanted to be the party, I am the party. So I was like, this is what we're gonna do, we’re gonna go to Las Vegas and we're gonna elevate.” Eventually a plan was made and the show came together. And then just days before opening night, the ish hit the fan. Calling it “the craziest s*** you could ever experience in your life," Usher went on to detail how, “48 hours before we actually opened the curtains, my entire cast sat down.” Explaining how some sat down due to health standards, masks, vaccines, etc. While understanding to those who felt this way, Usher still had a show to put on. “Thank God I had invested in something that was different, which was an experience because, underneath my stage, there was an immersive experience that I wanted people to feel. So I took that entire immersive staff and we re-choreographed the entire show within 48 hours. I brought in three of my snipers, [that] I danced and performed with across the United States and even the world. We picked out a lot of choreography that we worked on before, and we managed to put together a show.” And “no one would ever know any of this,” in fact, “it was probably the best show that we'd ever put on.” We’ll leave it to Usher to tell you why. “That was the opening,” he went on to add, “Now we eventually got it together and continued to craft some of what we found in that moment. It was something you would never experience in your life. It was the hardest thing I think I ever had to experience.” Usher also discussed getting the Super Bowl halftime spot while running his residency, calling it “the craziest decision I ever had to make.” As well as his decision to launch his independent label with L.A. Reid. And that’s not even the half of it folks, for the entire in-depth conversation, press play on the interview above. Words by Maia Kedem Interview by Greg Street
Chris Janson and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson | Audacy Check In | 4.19.24
19-04-2024
Chris Janson and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson | Audacy Check In | 4.19.24
Chris Janson is celebrating the premiere of his music video for his current single, “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get,” with some help from his new friend — and global superstar — Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and they both visited with Audacy to share all the details. The video shows the pals in their element cuttin’ up donuts in a pickup, raisin’ a cold one, and enjoying the great outdoors all while in their Bass Pro gear. “I did this and I asked him [to be in the video] because we’re friends and I thought it made sense, and I figured he’d like it because he’s a ‘Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get’ guy and we have a ‘Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get’ friendship,’” Janson told Audacy’s Heather Froglear. “The video is really fun, it’s unscripted. You’ll see we’re having a ball in it.” The unscripted footage is a glimpse into the pair’s real-life friendship which all started in a parking lot where they bonded over a love for the outdoors, Country music, and humility. “We met in a parking lot,” Johnson shared before detailing that Janson asked for a photo. “We were waiting for our cars to come around at valet and I get a tap on my shoulder, I turn around and he said, ‘Hey DJ, my name is Chris, I’d like to introduce you to my son, can my son take a picture with you?’” Photo requests are nothing new to The Rock, who has one of social media’s biggest followings at 379 million, but little did he know, that the photo request would turn into a new, meant-to-be friendship. “I had no idea who Chris was, Chris didn’t tell me,” Johnson explained. “We were talking for 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, and finally, his wife, Kelly, when I met her… she goes, ‘I have to tell you, Chris is never going to tell you, but I know you love Country music, he sings Country music.” Crediting Janson for his humble ways Johnson explained, “It’s a reflection of Chris and his humility, and his grace and who he is as a human being… usually when I meet people who are celebrities in their own right, — from whatever industry — I’m going to know in about a minute. They’re going to find a way to tell me.” That evening in the valet lot turned into a lifelong friendship that is now captured in an upbeat, fun, Country music video that the pair hope will inspire everyone to be who they are and continue chasing their dreams. “At the end of the day, we just good ol’ boys, man,” Janson concluded. “I know that we hope to inspire people. When you watch the video, yes, it’s fun and yes, it’s awesome — holy crap, I can’t believe it’s happening — but we hope to inspire people… everybody in America. Young, old, or whatever walk of life you come from — The American dream is alive and well.” He continued, “If you don’t dream big, you can’t win big…. People say ‘I can’t believe you got The Rock to join you.’ Well, quite frankly, if you don’t ask, you can’t receive and what’s the worst that could happen in life? Somebody could tell you no and you just kick down another door and go on through it.” Check out more from Heather’s conversation with Chris Janson and The Rock above. Words by Monica Rivera Interview by Heather Froglear
Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder | Audacy Check In | 4.18.24
17-04-2024
Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder | Audacy Check In | 4.18.24
Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder joins us this week for a special Audacy Check In with KROQ's Nicole Alvarez discussing the band's brand new 12th studio album, Dark Matter, their upcoming world tour, and much more. For fans who know Pearl Jam’s music inside and out, it can be easy to track the evolution of the band as musicians and human beings by listening to their new album, Dark Matter. After hearing the finished product, frontman Eddie Vedder admits with a laugh that he was still surprised by “just how good it sounded.” Vedder goes on to expound on the masterful abilities of their producer this time around, complimenting “how good this guy Andrew Watt made our band sound and the performances he was getting out of us.” “It was moving very quickly,” Eddie explains. “It was recorded and written really quickly, and with the end of almost every night being just about a completed piece of music or, if not, very, very close. It just kept the momentum going, which, you know, we just hadn't recorded like that in a while.” The biggest surprise, he adds, was “the power that was coming out of the speakers… it held up that loud volume. And then the lyrics, I think that you're writing lyrics just to -- not keep up with the music -- but to be part of the fabric, to mesh. or if there's a song with a tempo.” Speaking specifically about the album track “Running,” Vedder explains how the lyrics for the song “are part and parcel with the tempo and performances of that song. It's a frenetic lyric to go with a frenetic song.” “Those are the things that, I guess, you're just surprised that you finish it,” he laughs. Vedder credits Watt’s passion for music in general for bringing out the best of his band, and making them feel excitement in new, almost embarrassing ways. “It's pretty over the top,” Eddie says. “But I'm telling you, it's so pure. He wouldn't mind me saying this; it comes from such a pure place that it’s just truly undeniable. And I'm sure The Stones felt the same way working with him. He's just really focused. He also has this strange kind of ADD ability to recall. You know, it would be a detriment to maybe some people that maybe had a little bit more of a normal occupation.” “He can remember a take that [guitarist] Mike McCreedy soloed 10 days ago, and he can remember that it was take number three,” Eddie continues. “He found the perfect occupation to put this kind of savant-like connection to music… he's using his powers for good. It’s pretty stunning and it bodes well for keeping things moving. Momentum is huge, and it also turns into positivity and confidence and flexibility… and then it's the ability to create an atmosphere where you feel like you can experiment, or try something, or, work harder to make it better. You’re not like, ‘OK, I think that's good enough.’” “There was no ‘good enough,’” Vedder says. “It had to rise to the level… the guitar had to match the level of performance of Matt Cameron on the drums. The vocals had to match the high intensity of the guitar. It was just kind of, everybody keeps stepping up to reach kind of a peak or pinnacle of what is possible. You're always trying to do your best, but it turns out you could do even better.” Eddie had a chance to work with Watt on his 2022 solo album Earthling, and remembers another trick that Andrew had up his sleeve for those sessions, which seem to have seeped into the new Pearl Jam offering as well. “What you could say about the mix is, everything's louder than everything else. Meaning, if you want to focus on what the bass is doing, it's more just attenuating your ear to the bass and all of a sudden that's the loudest thing. And then you say, ‘Well, what's the kick drum doing?’ Then that becomes the loudest thing, just by directing your brain, moving your ear like as if you were a horse catching up. Just tuning your radar, whatever you want to tune it into could be a background vocal or a guitar melody that you think is kind of in the back. But when you focus in on it, it's right there.” “Every instrument kind of has its own lane,” Vedder adds. “I don't know where he maybe picked up on that, even through some of the more Pop music that he did, but it certainly can apply here.” Fans can expect all killer and no filler on Dark Matter as well, Eddie says. “The only trick,” he says that needed to be applied to choosing the album tracks and sequencing of songs “was kind of telling the story, if there is one. Really, it was just quality piece of music after quality piece of music.” “If I could say it without sounding too self-aggrandizing, but, a lot of records, there's a couple of songs that maybe you put in the more difficult listening category or something… There was no lack of good material,” he adds. “That doesn't always happen.” Forced to pick a favorite, "I think the whole record feels personal," he says. "There's a song called 'Something Special' on there, which is really kind of a parenting, mom and dad seeing their kids grow up and leaving the nest -- either going to college or going to high school -- and hoping you did a good enough job to know that they're gonna be okay out in the world. That's where they're gonna learn their lessons, and no matter [the] love and support that you raise them with -- and discipline -- there's gonna be a bunch of lessons out there. The world's gonna hand them difficulties, hopefully not on a daily basis, but you hope that you've given them the tools to navigate through the good times and the pitfalls. So, I could say that one's a little bit more unabashedly personal." As the band’s Dark Matter world tour continues to take shape before kicking off this May, some of the nerves behind introducing these new tracks to fans have begun to subside and morph into genuine excitement. “If you would ask me four days ago, I would have been maybe a little more nervous, but we've just had our first couple of days of practice and I think everybody worked hard on the songs coming into practice, as opposed to learning them once we get here.” “It felt a little daunting,” he admits, “as we said, the sound of the record is galvanized and has a lot of strength to it. So, can we do that live? That question has been answered in the last couple of days.” “There’s a different kind of focus that happens,” he says when taking the stage, “and it's kind of being ready to find that or to be conscious of what might happen tonight… It could be a reaction from the crowd, it could be locking eyes with somebody and you can tell they're going through something… I have a pretty good vantage point and I can kind of find those things and that inspires me.” “Another great pleasure of being in this band is standing right in front of Matt Cameron, who's just, you know, there's a lot of great, great drummers out there these days. It's a particularly healthy time to be listening if you appreciate drummers and what drummers can do behind the kit. But he's just so extraordinary. There's horsepower there… Literally, it feels like you're riding a racehorse and it's wild, and it's always different. The way he locks in with Jeff and then the way Jeff [Ament] and Stone [Gossard] lock in… and then it allows Mike a canvas to do his. It could be very technical and perfect and it could be Jackson Pollock as well.” Given the chance, Eddie agrees with Nicole about grabbing the new PJ album and retreating to the best place to listen to new music: In a car, with the windows closed “whether you're moving or just still,” he says. “I mean, I do it in the driveway. I think my neighbors heard this record before me. But also, being out on the road with the windows open, that's pretty good too.” “Some of my best listening experiences have been with Walkman's on a hike at the top of a mountain,” Vedder adds. “There's something about the outdoors, or on the shoreline. It's like nature has a hand in it… and I think probably because lyrically nature is in there. Nature and the ocean, and waves… whether it's a calm sunset or a storm… I think nature informs a lot of the lyrics as well.” Giving us a preview of what's to come, KROQ's Nicole Alvarez had Eddie Vedder talking about Pearl Jam's fast-approaching Dark Matter world tour, namely their shows in Los Angeles on the 21st and 22nd of May at the Forum. “But the other one,” he revealed, would be the Ohana Festival in Dana Point, CA happening this September. “This year it's September 27th-29th and as of today, I can tell you the headliners on the 27th and 29th are gonna be our group.” “So, Pearl Jam on the seashore… that's something to look forward to for us, certainly," Vedder adds. "And then in the middle on the 28th, we have Neil Young and Crazy Horse. The whole rosters are very impressive and inspiring and exciting… it should be good!” After making their return earlier this year with their new album's title track, the Seattle Alt-rock faves officially revealed 2024's Dark Matter was set to arrive on April 19, produced by multi-GRAMMY award-winning producer Andrew Watt, marking the band’s first release since 2020’s critically-acclaimed Gigaton.  Don’t miss our full Audacy Check In with Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder above -- and stay tuned for more conversations with your favorite artists on Audacy.com/live. Words by Joe Cingrana Interview by Nicole Alvarez
Girl In Red | Audacy Check In | 4.12.24
12-04-2024
Girl In Red | Audacy Check In | 4.12.24
Girl In Red joins host Brad Steiner for an Audacy Check In to discuss her brand new sophomore album, I'M DOING IT AGAIN, BABY!, available everywhere April 12. Girl In Red's 10-track follow-up to her 2021 debut is out now, featuring the previously released singles "Too Much," "I'm Back," "You Need Me Now?," with Sabrina Carpenter, and plenty more. Norwegian-born singer, songwriter, and producer, Marie Ulven Ringheim, better known as Girl In Red, sat down with host Brad Steiner at the Hard Rock Hotel New York to get into details about how the new record came together, what she's got planned for fans on her upcoming supporting tour, and more. In the past and documented on her first release, 2020’s If I Could Make It Go Quiet, Marie has admitted to not being the best when it comes to the dating scene, but these days she says she has a girlfriend now, “So I’m good. I’m set for life.” Now happily “in love,” this second album she says reflects how “I know everything I'm doing… I'm so professional.” Looking back on the track “hornylovesickmess” from her debut release, where Marie sings about feeling weird about how things have changed in her life, she says, in all honesty, “probably not that much,” really changed. “I was probably hyping myself up way too much in that song. But, you know, in that song, I'm talking about being in Times Square and I'm looking at my face on a billboard… I feel like something similar is gonna happen in the next couple of days.” “I have a girlfriend and I have a dog. I have a car, I have an apartment, and I'm touring the world. I didn't do that before,” she says of how things have steadily progressed. Overall, Marie is ultra-excited for fans to hear the new album mainly because she believes “all the songs are really f***ing sick. That's like my most prideful moment, because I just think they're all really cool and funny, and just they all have such strong identities, in my opinion. Obviously, I'm very f***ing biased.” Reflective of her own personality, fans can expect the new release to be just as eclectic as her debut, only this time she’s spelling it with all caps. “I think I've kind of regained some of my confidence the last couple of months, maybe the last year and a half, going into my twenties,” Marie says. After finding quite a bit of success with her first record, she admits, “I definitely lost a lot of my self-esteem. I was like, ‘Damn, I f***ing suck. I'm unlovable. I hate myself.’ I was in a really bad place and now that I have a girlfriend and I have physical proof that I'm not unlovable. Also, I've managed to find my way back to that playful self-esteem that I had when I was a teenager because you kind of lose that when you get older and you start seeing that you're not special and nobody gives a f*** and the world is ending.” “I think that's kind of where I found the confidence with all these capital letters,” she explains. "‘I’M DOING IT AGAIN, BABY!’ is kind of like I found my confidence again, I found my self-esteem, and I realized nothing f***ing matters. So let's f****ing go!” Getting to that happier place “takes a lot of time, and it takes a lot of hard work, and it takes a lot of realizing that you have to do the work yourself. And also, my go-to thing now is saying ‘yes’ to life…  Say ‘yes’ and stop being a p***y. That's what I did because I was constantly falling for my own kind of hinders. Life is really uncomfortable. So, I'm just gonna be uncomfortable, embracing the uncomfortableness and then just saying yes to life.” Saying "yes" when Taylor Swift asks you to open for her on her world tour would certainly be one of those times. “I opened for her at the tour in four different cities. Eight shows, best eight shows of my life, especially watching her shows,” says Marie. “When you talk about the confidence and the things that give you the shot of adrenaline and confidence like that… Just pure humbleness, pure I don't know, maybe just like shock. Just getting that recognition is beyond insane. I think I was more like, ‘Wow, is this even real?’" I’M DOING IT AGAIN BABY! is available everywhere -- and tickets for Girl In Red's 2024 world tour are on sale now. Words by Joe Cingrana Interview by Brad Steiner
Glass Animals | Audacy Check In | 4.8.24
08-04-2024
Glass Animals | Audacy Check In | 4.8.24
While it probably doesn’t seem like Glass Animals really ever escaped our ether and musical minds due to the sky-rocketing success of their song “Heat Waves,” the band did actually take a beat to make some new music, and now they’re officially back. On heals of sharing cryptic posts, making A LOT of references to what we now know to be their next album title, I LOVE YOU SO F***ING MUCH, and finally dropping their brand new single "Creatures in Heaven,” the band’s lead vocalist Dave Bayley checked in with Audacy’s Brad Steiner to chat all about it at the Hard Rock Hotel in New York. Discussing what it was like to put on the pressure of “Heat Waves” when going back into the studio, Dave admitted, “it was hard actually… It’s quite a surreal experience having that kind of song like that especially when it was, I’m gonna say the C word — COVID. We kinda watched it, we were spectators, we couldn’t go out into the world and like see it happening. We were kind of sitting in underpants at home… like just getting emails… like ‘people seem to like this song,’" which he noted was, “cool, wicked,” and “great.” “So coming back into the world,” he continued, “I think we’re all a little bit lost. And you know the natural place for us is to just hide in the studio, alone, be a little bit isolationist about it, in our underpants, yeah and that’s it. We just kept it as it always was, just sit down, focus, work on making the best thing that you can, without thinking about the past.” Wiping their social media and starting from scratch for this new era, one thing they’ve been able to do this time around is start this new musical phase with fan meet-up focus groups to introduce Glass Animals’ new sound with the lead single, "Creatures in Heaven.” At first joking that things went terribly, jesting that “someone threw up,” and that “someone flipped over a table and left the room,” and that he “got punched” and “that someone bit off my ear,” Dave then shared how things actually went down, expressing, “it was actually amazing, it was really emotional." As many artists have noted in the past, by they time we hear a song, they’ve listened to it so many times, “you get a little like immune to it.” And though “it’s really sad song, and when I wrote it I was really sad,” Dave admitted, he’d “gotten used to that feeling.” However, when “you get to the room, and you hear people listening, see people listening to it for first time, you hear that again and you feel it.” So the first one, we pushed play and I forgot how sad a song it was, everyone started crying and then I started crying and it was like ‘oh my God, this is more than I signed up for today.’” Recently sharing that every song on the album is “written for someone or the concept of someone,” Dave elaborated further that while some of them are very specifically about one person, "some are kind of more an amalgamation of people where similar thing happened.” The common thread is they’re all “very very personal.” Answering Brad’s question about if someone would be able to deduce if a song is about them, Dave conceded, “I think some people can probably work it out.” Revealing he’s feeling slightly nervous about the level of vulnerability on I LOVE YOU SO F***ING MUCH, Dave shared that while the last album was personal, "it was very much about things happened long time ago,” so there was this “level of detachment.” And with “Heat Waves,” “being such a personal song," along with “a lot of the other songs in the last record,” because of all the “positivity” and “kindness that came back from the people” it gave Glass Animals the “courage to do something, to push further,” which is “always the goal with the record.” Discussing his conceptual way of writing songs, Dave’s main goal is to do things differently, to do “something new.” Adding, “I’d hate to do something that’s been done before by someone else.” Also explaining what a peanut butter vibe is, something Brad has been wondering about for 10 years, Dave said the best way to describe it, is that childlike feeling of eating a big ole scoop of peanut butter off a spoon. He also delved into some of the bands more iconic and memorable lyrics, like “My girl eats mayonnaise / From a jar while she's getting blazed,” from “Season 2 Episode 3.” Brad asked Dave to share what he thinks will be the most unique lyric on the new album. “Oh, that’s a good question,” Dave noted, “There’s a song on the new album and the first line is  — what the H is happening? What is this? I just woke up in the trunk of a black out 99 Toyota Corolla.” Before concluding the conversation, being that they were in the Hard Rock Artist Lounge, and the Hard Rock is known for its unique collection of items. Brad inquired what would Glass Animals’ contribution be. And we can guarantee its not what you’re thinking… because it’s actually not a what, but a who. To find out, and listen to the entire interview, press play above. Words by Maia Kedem Interview by Brad Steiner
Zoltan Bathory (Five Finger Death Punch) | Audacy Check In | 4.5.24
05-04-2024
Zoltan Bathory (Five Finger Death Punch) | Audacy Check In | 4.5.24
Joining us for an Audacy Check In today is Five Finger Death Punch's Zoltan Bathory, talking with host Abe Kanan about the band's brand-new single featuring DMX, their upcoming summer tour, and much more. Five Finger Death Punch's ninth studio album, AfterLife, was released back in August of 2022. and their new deluxe edition with bonus tracks, including the single "This Is The Way" featuring late rap icon DMX is out now. “We always thought he's kind of the ‘metal head’ of Hip Hop,” Zoltan says. “His delivery, the dog bark, the whole attitude… There are obviously other Hip Hop artists that I really like, but we always thought, how cool this would be to do something with him, because of that attitude. This conversation of trying to do something together has been going on for years and years, maybe 5-6 years, and for obvious and more reasons, he was not available from periods of times that we could really work with him, and then when he was available, that's in the last couple of years. It never really came to fruition because, unfortunately, he passed. However, what came out of it, since the conversation continued, we had access to some of these masters that he recorded.” “Obviously people around him, the family, the estate, the producers, everybody, his friends, is super protective about his legacy, his art, everything [that] has to do with him,” he continues. “So we had to be super respectful and we worked through the channels, got the green light to use some of these songs, some of his lyrics, and then we arranged the song… it's a true collaboration. We have our part, and then where there's a part that both DMX and Ivan [Moody] sings the same thing, and there's a part that the verses are all DMX -- and we kind of tone down the guitars there so you can really hear what he's saying. His cadence, his flow is DMX, you can't mistake it… if you know DMX, there's no mistake.” Because of publishing issues and red tape, the band was unable to include the song on AfterLife as intended, but luckily fans get to hear it “as it was meant to be” on the record’s deluxe edition, which also includes “a couple of really cool acoustic bonuses that we had,” says Zoltan. “The feedback was incredible,” he adds. “Everybody thought this is super respectful to him, the arrangement and the song, everybody loves it. Everybody thought, ‘Man, this is a hit and this might be the last thing we hear from DMX. And if it's the last thing we hear from DMX, then it's a proper track.” “That's how Hype Williams got involved too… as this was making its way within the community, we thought, ‘OK, how are we gonna do a video for this song?’ Hype did the movie ‘Belly’, and he worked on [DMX’s] music videos. He was very, very close with DMX.” After sending Williams the track, he immediately responded saying he wanted to be a part of the project. Then he told me his whole story… how close he was and he was like, ‘You don't even know what you guys are sitting on, this is huge.’” 5FDP is about to hit North American cities this summer and fall with special guests Marilyn Manson and Slaughter To Prevail. With dates fast approaching, performing the song live would be the next logical step. “The way to do this I think would be, we would have to have guests,” says Zoltan. “We would have to have guest rappers,” he says, rather than incorporating a backing track. “We’re definitely working on figuring out how and who we could install as a guest to do it together.” Looking ahead to this fall’s Aftershock festival happening October 13-16 in Sacramento, CA, where 5FDP are co-headliners amongst metal titans Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Slayer, Pantera, Disturbed, Slipknot, and Mötley Crüe, as well as an opening spot for Metallica coming up, Zoltan says it’s “crazy” to think how many people will be seeing them for the first time, some who may not even give a band named Five Finger Death Punch a fair chance. “I can tell that we're turning them,” he admits. “I can tell that especially after the show… after every show there's a jump in visitors and a jump in downloads and jump in statistics. When you bring in new people, that's what you can really see. Festivals, same thing. There are people who came to see very specific bands, right? People who are not necessarily your fans. That's your chance to pick up people or expose your music to people that either didn't give you a chance, or didn't hear before, or they read it online… You gotta have haters though, because if you don't, then you're not doing it right.” Tickets for 5FDP's Summer/Fall tour are on sale now. Don’t miss our full Audacy Check In with Five Finger Death Punch's Zoltan Bathory above -- and stay tuned for more conversations with your favorite artists on Audacy.com/live. Words by Joe Cingrana Interview by Abe Kanan
The Black Keys | Audacy Check In | 4.5.24
04-04-2024
The Black Keys | Audacy Check In | 4.5.24
The Black Keys joined host Kevan Kenney at the Hard Rock Hotel New York, as we celebrate the release of their 2024 album Ohio Players, getting into some details and inspiration behind the release, including some of their favorite collabs. Getting straight into The Black Keys’ new album, Ohio Players, which features a number of collaborators, Dan admits, “it took us until this point to really be able to feel comfortable with ourselves, to get into a room and to be able to really collaborate. I think when we started, we were just kind of insecure, that was part of it. The other part was there was no one around us, really very few musicians that were interested in the same thing.” “Now that we got to this place,” he continues, “we reached out to a couple of people on the last album, some friends of ours, Greg Cartwright from the Oblivions, and our friend Angelo, and it went so well that we just decided to look into the Rolodex a little deeper. The first person we thought of was Beck and we invited him to the studio with us. The very first day we cut ‘This is Nowhere,’ and that just set it going… it took us 20 years to get to the point where we could really collaborate truly. This is the first time we've really dipped our toes in it… and we did those actually right before ‘Dropout Boogie’ came out… and then we went on tour. When that wrapped in the fall of 2022 we worked on the record kind of nonstop from November through June of 2023.” Oasis’ Noel Gallagher also makes an appearance on the new record, a “surreal” experience says Patrick after meeting only briefly in a small studio with very minimal equipment. “We wrote a song with him in a couple hours, and then we went back two days in a row. We end up getting three songs with him… We were writing songs from scratch with him… we could have made complete fools of ourselves and if anybody would let the world know what bozos we are, it would be Noel Gallagher.” “We've had a lot of practice [working with other artists], we just never really applied it too much to The Keys for whatever reason,” Patrick explains. “Once we started doing it, he had opened up this whole new world. Because it's an exciting thing when you bring someone into the fold, you can get, more than the sum of its parts, which I think on some of these tracks that we did with Noel [Gallagher] and Beck and Dan the Automator, and Greg Cartwright and Angelo and Lil Noid and Juicy J… I think that happened. Which is what you're looking for; which is why music is so cool, because it is a collaborative art form.” Their track with Juicy J for example stems from being “lifelong Hip Hop fans. We grew up in the era where Hip Hop was ‘top of the pops’ in America,” says Dan. “We played The Ghetto Boys at our middle school dance. I mean, it's like a part of us. And you know, we did do that ‘BlakRoc’ album with Damon Dash which was really amazing and influenced us hugely, especially going into ‘Brothers,’ which we did right after that. But over the last year, while we were making the record, I was really getting heavily into Memphis underground rap… it was only sold on cassette and it was like old school, like ‘90s… And Juicy J was a big part of that. Three Six Mafia is a big part of that, Lil Noid who Juicy J found when he was 16 was a big part of that.” Switching lanes abruptly, shock rocker Alice Cooper was also part of their latest sessions. “We made a lot of songs,” says Patrick. “We finished maybe 29 and we made a decision to hold a couple of the songs back, like that Alice Cooper song. It's called ‘Stay In Your Grave,’ we wrote it with Greg Cartwright and it's just kind of like a perfect Halloween song.” “There's a character in it who's essentially the devil,” Dan adds. “So, we're like, ‘Wow, wouldn't it be amazing if we get Alice Cooper to voice this character?’” “I think we're gonna hold it until closer to the season of the witch.” Don’t miss our full Audacy Check In with The Black Keys above -- and stay tuned for more conversations with your favorite artists on Audacy.com/live. The Black Keys’ new album, Ohio Players, featuring the previously released single "Beautiful People (Stay High)" and more, is out now via Nonesuch Records. Their upcoming North American trek will officially kick off in Tulsa, Oklahoma on September 17, with stops planned in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Seattle, Toronto, Nashville, New York, Boston, Chicago, and more before wrapping in Detroit in early November. The Head and the Heart will join them as support on most dates. Tickets are on sale now. Words by Joe Cingrana Interview by Kevan Kenney
Camila Cabello | Audacy Check In | 4.4.24
04-04-2024
Camila Cabello | Audacy Check In | 4.4.24
She’s back, she’s blonde, and she’s got a brand new single. Gearing up to drop her highly anticipated, yet to be titled, fourth studio album, Camila Cabello checked in with Audacy’s Bru to chat all about it. Just three months into the year, Camila is confident that 2024 will, “go down as one of the best years of my life.” And with the way things are looking we can’t disagree. A huge part in making that prediction become a reality, is the last year and a half Camila has spent in the studio, “making the album with El Ginjo and Jasper and Bart, my engineer.” “It's just been really, really fun, I've had the best time of my life,” Camila continued. “We had the best time making it, and now for it to start going out into the world and get some energy back from people is so cool.” Starting off her album rollout with the Playboi Carti assisted single “I LUV IT,”  Camila explained why she felt that track was the right choice to introduce this new era, “I think the energy of this whole project is very being bold and taking risks and kind of like being unpredictable and, you know, kind of just like pushing, I don't know, pushing my own boundaries and uncharted territory,” she began. “And I feel like this song is, it's like the perfect first thing because I don't feel like people expected, I don't know for me to do that. There was some confusion, there was some hatred even, but I think it's like people were like, ‘Whoa, what is this?’ And that's exactly the reaction that we wanted.” The hyperpop, furiously catchy tune, definitely sees Camila entering not only this bad girl behavior blonde babe era, but also a whole new musical vibe, and we gotta say — we love luv it. Discussing how the song is so different than anything she’s done before, both sonically and lyrically, Camila said, “A lot of my songs before, because… songwriting is so important to me and I love songwriters. You know, I've talked a lot about Taylor or Lana or whatever.” She continued, “and just like even having a hook where it's just three words repeating over and over and over again. It’s new for me and embracing that repetition and also just being influenced by a lot of Rap and Hip-Hop, just, I think made me kind of paint with different brushes.” “So, yeah, I feel like sonically lyrically, like with the music and then also just like, visually, you know, changing," she added, pointing out the obvious to Bru. “I don't think I was blonde the last time I saw you.” Admitting she went back and forth about if bleaching her hair was a “terrible mistake,” Camila is now very much on board with the decision. “I’m really like, oh no, I love this s***,” she said, “and I also feel like it's perfect for this chapter and for the music. I feel like I needed to like, shake it up a little bit.” Detailing how the track came to life, Camila shared a studio sesh story of how the songs repetitive chorus came together. “We were in Miami, and we were listening to a lot of Playboy Carti actually… We were kind of starting to dream up the track list and we were like, what would be the first song on the album?” She continued, “Jasper kind of played those four chords and I loved them… I was super inspired and I got in the booth and I started kind of trying some stuff, and the first thing was literally ‘supersonic, in your orbit…’ And I kind of did the verse and I saw the guys going crazy from outside the booth and I was looking at them and I was like, yeah, I love it, and then they were like, holy s*** that sounds so good. Because I guess the tune maybe put the note to the note without knowing it. It was like a happy accident.” Speaking of accidents, the single’s music video is filled them. Curious, Bru asked Camila if the underlying theme was self-sabotage. And while noting it was an interesting thought, Cabello did illuminate that her vision for the visual was “more kind of like this complex feeling of loving the pain of something or loving the messiness of something or loving the chaos of something, like, really kind of finding the beauty in that part of our humanity.” Also discussing some of the adrenaline boosting moments in the music video, Camila clarified that while she wasn’t drinking gasoline, but actually watered down apple juice. That wrestler really did have her in a real headlock, which she didn’t terribly mind, and she was really chased by dogs, and had to bear hug a palm tree, which she found to be scary, but an adventure. During her hiatus Camila occupied her time with “consuming art,” sharing, “I feel like it just makes me, makes you a better person even if you're not an artist. So I love seeing the latest sick films or classic films or reading amazing novels or listening to classic albums or whatever. I feel like that just makes your taste better and just makes you kind of, I don't know. I love that even for my growth as a person, but I think that does end up feeding into the music anyway.” And while music is always on the brain, Camila explained, “there’s definitely times where I'm like, I just want to go… be in nature or… watch an old Disney channel original movie with my friends… drink wine and have pizza and not do anything for artistic growth or creative growth or personal growth.” Having cleared out her feed for this latest era, Camila and Bru also went on to talk about the though process behind her social media activity. “A lot of times I post and then I'll delete or I'll be like, I don't know, I get a little messy sometimes on my social media but I don't know. I guess the vision for me is like, it's actually pretty easy because it's just the world of the album,” she revealed, going on to tease, “I wish I could say the album titled but I can’t. Sorry.” Annoying, but we get it. That being said, keeping things secret hasn’t stopped Cabello’s fans from putting on their detective hats, and sleuthing form some hidden clues. However according to Camila, while she loves “that they do that,” “they got a ways to go before they do that.” Guess we’ll just have to wait patiently as more things get revealed. Camila and Bru continued conversing, talking about things they’ve done once that they’d never do again, Camila shouted out Miami’s Pine Crest Bakery, and shared her excitement for her fans to hear more music from the album. To hear the entire conversation, press play on the interview above. Words by Maia Kedem Interview by Bru
HARDY | Audacy Check In | 3.29.24
29-03-2024
HARDY | Audacy Check In | 3.29.24
HARDY joins host Abe Kanan for an Audacy Check In to discuss bringing his Country songwriting skills fully into the Rock realm on his upcoming album QUIT!!, his biggest career influences, and more. Coming out of the last few years of turmoil within the music industry, from tour cancelations to venue shutdowns, “That was a point in time where I was like, ‘If this is our future, this is gonna suck,'” HARDY says. “It was like something out of ‘Black Mirror,’ you know?” Now, he’s fully loaded and ready to bring his live energy to fans again, this time with an all-new Rock album in the chamber. “My next record is zero Country songs,” he tells us. “ROCKSTAR,” his latest hard-hitting single, will be included on the release, set to be out this summer he says, although no solid date has been revealed just yet. “It's kind of all over the place. I'm not even gonna lie to you, it's just a look inside of my brain attempting to write Rock songs. There's a lot of it that's like ‘ROCKSTAR,’ which is like pop-punk, if you call it that, maybe Hardcore or whatever you wanna call that. But then there's some stuff that's similar to my old record that has a Country lyric over a really sonically Rock N’ Roll song. It's the most different, and just a hodgepodge of what's inside my brain. But it's up and down, and left and right, and all over the place. I'm really excited about it. There's gonna be some features on it, but no Death Metal, nothing like that. Not yet, at least. But there's a couple of songs -- like my heaviest song is on this record. It'll be the heaviest thing I've done so far.” Starting his career writing songs for others, HARDY says he had no intentions of being an “artist,” in the traditional sense, satisfied with penning tracks for Country artists like Morgan Wallen, Florida Georgia Line, Chris Lane, and Jake Owen. “I had started writing songs for them, and so my demos started catching their ear. Essentially, one day out of the blue, [Big Loud] offered me a record deal. And I mean, I was just a straight-up songwriter and that's all I wanted to be. Anyway, I held onto it and I thought about it for a month or so, and I finally decided to go for it.” Diving into his video for “ROCKSTAR,” which includes odes to some of HARDY’s biggest Rock influences, he says he chose to ride a line between some of the more obscure and most recognizable faces of the genre. “I mean, KISS was my second concert I ever went to when I was eight years old, on the reunion tour,” he says. “That was the first ‘farewell tour.’ It was like 2000/2001,” he laughs. “The one that, you know, lasted 30 years, whatever. I'm definitely a huge fan of all the bands that we [included] and my favorite one was Limp Bizkit, because that's not one that I don't think, when you think of the most classic rock stars, I don't think Fred Durst or Wes Borland or any of those guys are right at the top of the list. But my band and I are such big Limp Bizkit fans that I had to tip a hat to them, 'cause I love them.” “When I first started singing -- I'm obviously a huge Rock N’ Roll fan -- but I didn't know that it was possible. I just did Country because I knew how to write Country songs, and I grew up Country. But I didn't know that it was possible and I kind of had to ease into that world,” HARDY says, acknowledging some artists with similar backgrounds had been steered the same way in the past. “Go back to bands in the ‘80s; It was Alabama… Even Brooks and Dunn, or like Garth [Brooks] in the ‘90s. There were guys that really leaned -- and Brantley Gilbert even more recently -- guys that really have leaned into the Rock thing. But it never full-on went Rock, but could have probably pulled it off in their own way.” “It's a great time for music man, and there's just something about, I don't know, just the availability of music and just the freedom right now,” says HARDY. “I've always said, I don't think that music has rules, and you can do whatever you want, you can sound however you want, and you can make music however you want -- and right now it's just a really, really good time for that representation of that.” With a new sound naturally comes a whole new set of fans, and HARDY tells us he’s been feeling a “constant state of gratefulness knowing how lucky I am to have this life and this job… not resisting it or resenting it at all, and living more in the lifestyle and in the headspace of, ‘Wow, this is amazing.’ Just trying to do that more and more helps kind of stabilize the crazy concept behind fame and success.” Living fully in the moment and going with the flow, he says, “kind of means you're not really thinking about what you did or what you're about to do… you're just thinking about what you're doing now. And that's very big. That's really important.” HARDY is getting ready to rock fans this summer on his upcoming QUIT!! Tour with special guests Kip Moore, Travis Denning, and more kicking off in May to celebrate his upcoming album. Named after his December single, and as he just revealed officially, his upcoming album of the same name, QUIT!!, which centers around a bar-goer in his early days writing the word on a napkin and putting it in his tip jar. "I guess sometimes holding a grudge is a good thing. Thank you for inspiring me to be great," he's said of the motivation that one word provided. “If it hasn't officially been announced -- most people have probably figured it out, but yeah,” HARDY says of his upcoming album’s title. “Again, there's some stuff that sounds like the old Rock stuff that I've done, like ‘Jack’, and even ‘Sold Out.’ I've got Cody Quistad from Wage War that's played on the record. So, he's played a lot of the really heavy breakdowns and stuff like that. There's even a couple of love songs, which I haven't really done before in the Rock world… It's got a little bit of everything. it's across the whole spectrum as far as sound, but I don't see that as a bad thing. I think that I'm just experimenting and I'm just making the music that I like to make. If it sounds cool, then let's put it on the record. It's really different. It's really cool.” Don’t miss our full Audacy Check In with HARDY above -- and stay tuned for more conversations with your favorite artists on Audacy.com/live. Words by Joe Cingrana Interview by Abe Kanan
Lenny Kravitz | Audacy Check In | 3.22.24
22-03-2024
Lenny Kravitz | Audacy Check In | 3.22.24
Joining host Mike Adam today for a special Audacy Check In is the one and only Lenny Kravitz, here to discuss brand new music, his lasting musical legacy, and much more. Music and fashion icon Lenny Kravitz has just offered fans more music from his forthcoming 12th studio album --Blue Electric Light -- set for release on May 24, debuting the inspiring new single "Human" on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on March 20. Kravitz's new track was preceded by the album's lead single "TK421" back in October of 2023.  “I always wonder why they say 12,” Lenny says addressing his upcoming studio release, “because there's actually 13,” he reminds us. “But they never count the ‘Greatest Hits,’ right? Because there is one new song on that album again, which what the song was called, ‘Again.’” “Yeah, 12, 13… Whatever. It's been a minute,” he concedes. Lenny’s forthcoming album title, Blue Electric Light, fans may notice is a bit of a throwback to his early stage name, Romeo Blue. “There's a little nod in that direction for sure,” he admits. “When I started making the record, I realized after I was cutting the first maybe two tracks that it was reminiscent of what I was doing in high school, which I thought was really interesting because what I was doing in high school, I threw away, and I never went back to celebrate that time.” “I found my sound with my first album, ‘Let Love Rule,’” Kravitz continues, “and I never looked back. I think this all happened by virtue of, when the pandemic began, which is when I was doing all this recording. I had released a book called ‘Let Love Rule,’ which is about my life from birth to the first album coming out.” “In that book, I spent a lot of time exploring my teenage years,” he explains, “which I hadn't really gone in depth in, in that area of my life in a while. So I think, because I had done that, it was in my spirit and it began to come out. After I cut the first couple of tracks, I started pulling out pieces of equipment that I used to use back then that I thought would be fun to explore. So the record is a bit of that time and, of course, the present.” “I was in [the studio] for almost three years; I made like four albums worth of music,” he teases. “Some of it needs to sit and marinate, and this collection of songs on ‘Blue Electric Light’ felt like needed to come out first. It was immediate, it was ready now.” “As far as the songwriting goes, the beautiful thing is I receive that. I'm just an antenna,” Lenny tells us of his process. "I hear what's out there and then the work comes in, when you're transcribing what you're hearing in your head to the tape… it's a beautiful part of the work. It's painting, it's sculpting, it's constant refining until it sounds like what you heard in your head.” Three years of constant work certainly sounds like quite a schedule, but Kravitz also places a huge importance on stepping back to breathe and rejuvenate. “You have to chill,” he says. “I don't ever feel uninspired or dry… There's just breaks that need to happen where you need to have some recreation.” “You know, Prince taught me a really interesting thing," Lenny remembers. "He used to like to play with words and he said, ‘The word ‘recreation’ is re-creation, but the way we say the word, we don't think of the words for what they are: Re-creation. So, you got to step away, chill, and then it comes again.” Looking back on his prolific catalog of music, Lenny sees his 2004 album Baptism as “a really cool record,” that may have slipped under the radar for some. “It's got, I think, some really good songwriting on it. Songs like ‘The Other Side,’ and ‘What Did I Do with My Life?’ That record went quite deep regarding life and mortality, and destiny.” Although at first, he admits industry reviews at the time bothered him, he quickly realized, “I would read reviews about Led Zeppelin or Bob Marley or whomever… these s*** reviews, and I said, ‘OK, you know, not everybody gets everything at the time.’ It doesn't matter as long as you're doing creatively what is authentic to you, then great. People don't have to get it, or they can.” Someone who definitely “gets it” but still chooses to roast him tremendously is his daughter, Zoë Kravitz, who was on hand at her dad’s Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony to talk about his see-through shirts during her touching speech. “You can't touch her,” he says. “She's sharp. She's quite amazing, but she calls it like it is and I love that and, that's the relationship we have -- and that's the relationship we should have.” Zoë’s approval of her father’s fashion aside, Lenny still dresses to impress, and shouts out his friend, actor and model Alton Mason, as someone who also steps up their game at every turn. “Incredible style,” says Kravitz, “and wears clothes very well.” Throughout his career, Lenny has had the pleasure of working with superstars the likes of Aerosmith, Madonna, and David Bowie... and of them all, he looks back most fondly on singing beside The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger on his solo record, producing and writing for Michael Jackson, and playing with the ‘Godfather of Soul,’ James Brown. “These are people that you grew up with, they're your teachers,” he explains. “I have so much respect for these folks, and then when you're working with them, it’s always amazing because I'm still that 12-year-old kid. You know, I was just in L A., in the studio with Stevie Wonder, and it's a trip. It's wonderful to be able to work with the people that taught you, and that mean so much in the world of music.” Looking at the landscape of music as a prominent Black artist of the past 30+ years, Kravitz hopes to see others continue to break down stereotypes and break into different genres as he did before and as Pop queen Beyoncé is about to do with her Country era. Whether or not that has become an easier task today than when he was coming up, he admits he’d “like to think so,” while adding, “What's interesting is how all this color stuff gets filtered out. Because obviously, music is for everybody, right? There's no color when it comes to it.” “Now, your history is your history,” he continues, “Black people invented Rock N’ Roll and had a great deal to do with Country music. It's funny, when I was younger and I'd be bringing these tapes to these record labels and they’d say, ‘This is a white genre…’ I never understood it. You have the people that work at the record label,  A&R -- Artists and Repertoire -- and you would have your Pop, which meant ‘white’ and you'd have the Black side, and I never understood it. But everybody should be crossing the lines, it’s beautiful and [Beyoncé’s] killing it…. Walls are always being moved.” Pre-orders for Lenny Kravitz’s Blue Electric Light are available now. Lenny will also be hitting the road this year, with dates currently scheduled overseas. Don’t miss Mike Adam's full Audacy Check In with Lenny Kravitz above -- and stay tuned for even more conversations with your favorite artists on Audacy.com/live. Words by Joe Cingrana Interview by Mike Adam
Benson Boone | Audacy  Check In | 3.18.24
18-03-2024
Benson Boone | Audacy Check In | 3.18.24
Joining host Bru for a special Audacy Check In today is singer/songwriter Benson Boone to discuss his brand new chart-topping hit "Beautiful Things," upcoming tour dates, debut album plans, and more. "Sugar Sweet" singer Benson Boone has returned this year with his new smash single "Beautiful Things," and will be hitting the road on a massive world tour beginning this April. “I tried to be really good about setting goals this year,” Boone tells us of his year so far. “Before I'd be like, ‘I'm gonna work out eight days a week… No, it's just never gonna work.’ But this year I was really set on my goals, and two of my biggest goals were, one, to have a song over 200 million streams, and two, to get 20 million monthly listeners on Spotify, and month two -- done, and done.” “It blew my mind how insane this song took off,” he adds, “and then how people are taking it… I'm incredibly grateful for the support it's been shown. it actually is crazy to me.” “This song is definitely a lot different from every song I’ve released,” Benson explains. “It is a very different sound, a different part of my voice, and kind of like a little bit more near what my music will sound like in the future. I think a different audience took this song and obviously social media helped a lot with that.” “I think this song, in my opinion, is so much different than all my other music,” he continues, “and it's a lot better. It's just kind of new, it just feels like a new sound.” Getting into some specifics behind his new single, “Beautiful Things,” Benson says he’s proud of the soaring high notes that he hits throughout the chorus. “I've been working on training my voice to hit that and not die because when I was in the studio, I definitely did not sing it healthy,” he admits. “I tried to sing it so it would sound the best for the song. But I was like, tapping myself so I could hit those notes, trying to just do anything I could to make sure it didn't sound crazy.” Now seeing his song at the top of the charts amongst new music from Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, and Taylor Swift to name just a few, Benson says the last couple of weeks have been “hard to process.” “It like, genuinely blows my mind,” he says. “I still don't think I actually understand the weight of how the song is doing. There's been one moment, it was three weeks ago when I wrote the acoustic version for ‘Beautiful Things,’ and I listened to it after we had wrote it in the car… after listening to it, it was a very emotional moment for me. Like, like the one, two-minute period I've had in the past two months of actually thinking about what the song has done and how it's doing.” Looking ahead, Benson’s tour dates will kick off in just a couple of weeks, and he reveals, “An album is definitely in the near future.” “I'm honestly so stoked for tour," he says. "This will be, for sure, the biggest shows I've played, and to me, I love performing. That's where I'm in my element. So, I'm very, very excited to be on the road with the boys and just ripping every night.” “I have never been more proud of my sound,” Benson says of the tracks he’s been working on for his full-length debut. “The songs I've written and how they sound, how they feel, the melodies, the lyrics… I love the songs I've made recently more than any other songs I've ever created,” he says. “Do I know if other people will like them more? Like, no idea. But in my standpoint, I think I'm the most proud of the next songs that will be released for sure.” “I've talked to so many artists and everybody kind of says the first album is like your whole life up until that point,” he says. “That's why I really wanted this one to be perfect for me, like, just feel right for me. And truly, I mean, no song is similar to the next. They're all so, so, so different and I think that's what I love… every song is like a different mindset, me in a different period of my life.” Though he hasn’t revealed an official release date yet, he warns, “Whenever it comes out, whenever you guys want to listen to it in the near future -- in the very near future -- just like, definitely be prepared for, you know, screaming songs and slow songs… just every vibe.” 2024 is shaping up to be a big year for Boone -- the North American leg of his upcoming Fireworks And Rollerblades tour kicks off on April 3 in Chicago, making stops in Boston, Philly, NYC, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and more before wrapping up in Vancouver on May 4. After that, he's set to head to the UK and Europe and will finish everything off with dates in Australia and New Zealand through September.  Don’t miss Bru's full Audacy Check In with Benson Boone above -- and stay tuned for more conversations with your favorite artists on Audacy.com/live. Words by Joe Cingrana Interview by Bru