Music Is My Life
Music Is My Life is a podcast produced by Berklee Online's magazine Take Note.
info_outline 068: Kira Roessler of Black Flag 02/24/2022
068: Kira Roessler of Black Flag Kira Roessler played bass in Black Flag for two years, during which time the legendary hardcore band put out seven(!) records. Now, at the age of 60, she's an Emmy- and Oscar-winning dialogue editor and promoting her self-titled solo debut. In this interview she discusses her new album, being in a band with Henry Rollins and Greg Ginn, as well as being in a band (and a marriage) with Mike Watt.
info_outline 067: Arooj Aftab 01/19/2022
067: Arooj Aftab Arooj Aftab began getting notice with a viral cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” more than 15 years ago, but with two Grammy nominations, she has finally arrived (and quit her day job at Genius.com). Her 2021 “Vulture Prince” album is a stunning work that frequently reaches transcendence. In this wide ranging interview, she discusses playing White Stripes covers, how she composed some of her most poignant music, and taking classes with Berklee Online.
info_outline 066: Bruce Sudano 11/01/2021
066: Bruce Sudano Bruce Sudano has written songs that have been sung by Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton, and his late wife, Donna Summer. He discusses coming up in Brooklyn and being taken under the wing of Tommy James, and meeting Donna Summer, writing "Bad Girls" and appearing on the album cover as a police officer. He also plays a stripped down version of that song, and talks about how he has been able to pave a solo career for himself in recent years.
info_outline 065: José González 10/08/2021
065: José González José González discusses his life in music, beginning with his tenure as a bassist in a hardcore band, through his time with Junip, and up to his latest release, "Local Valley." He also shares his views on secular humanism and how he was able to be more productive with lyric writing.
info_outline 064: Colin Blunstone of the Zombies 09/13/2021
064: Colin Blunstone of the Zombies Colin Blunstone began his career in music as a teenager with the Zombies. After a run of successful singles in the 1960s the group broke up, but not before releasing their masterpiece, “Odessey and Oracle,” featuring the mega-hit “Time of the Season.” A Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Colin and Rod Argent reformed the Zombies at the turn of the century and have been playing together for about four times as long as the band’s original run.
info_outline 063: Don Letts 06/28/2021
063: Don Letts Don Letts provides an important lesson in the fact that even if you don’t play an instrument, you can still be a part of the music industry, and not just on the business side either. He got his start as a DJ, and is widely credited for introducing reggae into the burgeoning punk rock scene in London in the 1970s, but he doesn’t want all of that credit.
info_outline 062: Butch Vig of Garbage 06/14/2021
062: Butch Vig of Garbage You know Butch Vig as the drummer and producer of Garbage, or you know him as the producer of genre-defining albums from Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins, but there is more to him than that. He has been working with most of the people he makes music with for more than 30 years. The new Garbage album, No Gods No Masters, is out now.
info_outline 061: Sly and Robbie—Sly Dunbar 05/31/2021
061: Sly and Robbie—Sly Dunbar If you’ve heard any reggae music in your entire life then you’ve heard Sly Dunbar’s drumming, or at the very least, his influence. As one half of Sly and Robbie, he says he’s probably played on a million songs. Sly and Robbie got their start as the rhythm section for Peter Tosh in 1976, and after touring with him for a number of years started Taxi, where they would produce other artists and/or act as their rhythm section. Collaborators included the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Black Uhuru, Madonna, Grace Jones, Sinead O’Connor, Serge Gainsbourg, No Doubt, Britney Spears, and probably a million more.
info_outline 059: Hailu Mergia 05/02/2021
059: Hailu Mergia Hailu Mergia is a master accordionist and veteran bandleader, arranger, and keyboardist, originally from Ethiopia. He became famous in his homeland in the 1970s, playing with the Walias Band and the Dahlak Band. In the 1980s he defected to the US and did not play in public for decades. But all of that changed recently!
info_outline 055: Steven Wilson 03/08/2021
055: Steven Wilson Steven Wilson has been a part of more than a dozen musical projects and/or bands, most notably Porcupine Tree. After 10 studio albums, they broke up in 2009. Wilson released his sixth solo album, The Future Bites, earlier this year, and he still involves himself in collaborative endeavors, including a podcast called The Album Years, which he co-hosts with Tim Bowness, who was one of Wilson’s first formative musical collaborators, beginning in the 1980s with the band No Man.
info_outline 052: AJR—Jack and Ryan Metzger 12/06/2020
052: AJR—Jack and Ryan Metzger AJR are three brothers—Adam, Jack, and Ryan Metzger—who began their music career on New York City streets, where they busked daily for hours at a time. The two brothers who take part in this interview—Ryan and Jack—say that years of trying to get people’s attention off the streets was formative to their work ethic and the constant need to one-up themselves in songwriting and their live show, including their upcoming virtual concert, dubbed One Spectacular Night.
info_outline 051: Gavin Rossdale of Bush 11/23/2020
051: Gavin Rossdale of Bush Gavin Rossdale had tracked all of the songs on what would become Bush’s multiplatinum debut, but he was still painting dentist’s offices. In this wide-ranging interview, he talks sudden (and enduring) success, his favorite Gwen Stefani tunes, and more.
info_outline 048: Joe Wong (The Trap Set) 10/12/2020
048: Joe Wong (The Trap Set) Joe Wong talks to Pat Healy on hosting The Trap Set podcast, creating his solo debut, "Nite Creatures," and scoring for shows like Russian Doll and Master of None. Visit musicismylifepod.com and save $100 on a Berklee Online course.
info_outline 047: Molly Tuttle 09/28/2020
047: Molly Tuttle Molly Tuttle’s brand new … but i’d rather be with you is a collection of seemingly disparate cover songs—running the gamut from Rancid to the Grateful Dead—that got the singer through tough times in her life. She recorded the album as a coronavirus lockdown project because everybody else is currently going through tough times of their own. She talks in detail about her upbringing, her punk rock roots, and her bluegrass background, as well as her time at Berklee, playing with the Goodbye Girls.
info_outline 045: Martha Reeves 07/05/2020
045: Martha Reeves Summer’s here and the time is right for taking time to appreciate the legendary Martha Reeves, of “Dancing in the Street” fame! Along with her backing singers, the Vandellas, Martha Reeves recorded other mega Motown hits, including “Jimmy Mack,” “Nowhere to Run,” and “Love is Like a Heatwave.” She speaks to Pat Healy about the climate of social change then and now, the importance of having a teacher who believes in you, as well as her amazing career at Motown. Visit musicismylifepod.com to save $100 on a Berklee Online course.
info_outline 044: Janet Billig Rich 06/22/2020
044: Janet Billig Rich Janet Billig Rich became interested in music when she first saw the Replacements. After taking in about 100 shows she went on to sell merch at indie rock shows, intern at Caroline Records, and then move on up to manage acts like Nirvana, Hole, and Dinosaur Jr. She's now a music supervisor, clearing rights for Broadway shows like Rock of Ages, as well as for movies and TV shows. Visit musicismylifepod.com to save $100 on a Berklee Online course.
info_outline 043: Vanessa Carlton 06/08/2020
043: Vanessa Carlton Vanessa Carlton speaks candidly about the seedy underbelly of the music industry, and why followups to “A Thousand Miles” were more successful than the men on her team wanted her to believe. She discusses how her latest album, Love Is An Art, is a new beginning for her and how eager she is to tour, once touring is something people are allowed to do again. She also talks significant relationships with fellow musicians, from the magical (Stevie Nicks), to the amazing (John McCauley of Deer Tick), to the regrettable (Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind). Visit musicismylifepod.com now.
info_outline 042: Sam Hales of Jungle Giants 05/25/2020
042: Sam Hales of Jungle Giants Sam Hales is the songwriter, singer, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, and now the producer of most of Jungle Giants’ music. They have released three albums and two EPs, and for the first EP, Sam worked two jobs, one at a convenience store, the other at McDonald’s, just to make the money to fund the recording. He and the other members, Ceshira Aitken, Andy Dooris, and Keelan Bijker all met in high school, when some of them played in rival bands. Visit musicismylifepod.com now.
info_outline 040: Lisa Loeb 04/27/2020
040: Lisa Loeb Lisa Loeb shares how her parents encouraged her and her siblings' musical development, but cautioned them against going into the music industry. But now they are all musicians. She also shares how she wrote her mega-smash, “Stay (I Missed You)” while studying at Berklee. Her latest album, A Simple Trick to Happiness, is out now. Visit musicismylifepod.com now.
info_outline 039: M. Ward 04/13/2020
039: M. Ward Matt Ward discusses how a closeted $25 guitar and a Beatles book started him on a journey that led him to his latest album, Migration Stories. He also discusses collaborating with Zooey Deschanel in She & Him, songwriting, and how it might be nice if you called him m'lord. Visit musicismylifepod.com now.