I interviewed over 100 bands this year and narrowing it down to just 10 was tough
Chatting with a musician is unique. Musicians don’t have their publicist watching their every word. They don’t care if they get a bad reputation. In fact, they might want to be seen as unruly and wild. That’s rock ‘n’ roll, baby. Still, most of the time, they end up being total sweeties.
The rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle isn’t all trashing hotel rooms and crowd surfing (though there is a lot of that). Musicians are sensitive creatures who are just as lost as you and I, maybe even more so.
Tune-Up is a column that focuses on getting to know these rock stars and sharing their music while finding out what it all means to them at the core. The conversations are kept as casual as possible, aiming to make the reader feel like part of the conversation.
These top interviews from 2017 are based on how fun the conversation is and how awesome the music sounds.
Check the list below of the top Tune-Up interviews of 2017 and get to know your next favorite band.
No Nets Bares All In Touching New Video For ‘Lucky One’
This one was extremely emotional and, as it says in the headline, touching. We premiered the video for “Lucky One,” about the singer’s mother death during childbirth.
Favorite Quote: “Even though I never really knew her, I feel lucky to know what I do know and I feel like she’s made a profound impact on me.”
Cool Dads Everywhere Unite With Hearken
Hearken is a really cool band from my hometown of Pittsburgh. I only met them because my dad saw them play, heard they were coming to NYC to play a show, gave them my info and told them to hit me up. I went to their show and loved it. I did the interview right there in the bar and have since become friends with the duo.
Favorite Quote: “There’s a lot of dad rock—we’re trying to change that though. We’re professional and DIY, but not so cheesy.”
Wolf Diamond Prowls At Night
Wolf Diamond is an underrated solo artist who flies under the radar in the Brooklyn music scene. His music is something you’ve gotta check out. Plus, after this interview was published I bumped into him at a bar and he told me his parents were so proud of him and that just brought a lot of joy to my heart. This is why I do this.
Favorite Quote: “Wolf Diamond comes from a place of solitude, because I write and record everything in my room, usually late at night.”
Jonny Couch Will Haunt You In His New Music Video For ‘Haunting’
The video is just super fun. The ultimate power pop song, playing with industrial Brooklyn rolling in the background, while Jonny Couch gets stalked by a skeleton? Yes, please. Plus, he’s one of the nicest and most sincere guys in the NYC game, so everyone should get to know him and his music.
Favorite Quote: “After being the drummer in so many bands for so long, I must admit it feels damn good to be the frontman.”
Pow Pow Family Band Makes Everything All Right
I have a feeling this band is about to blow up, at least in the underground music scene. Their music is great and they seem like a bunch of sweeties. Remember, you got to know them here first.
Favorite Quote: “I began to believe that the universe was an all right place, where energy is conserved and where loss helps us grow.”
Freddie Nunez Channels Hank Williams In New Song
This musician is the only one out of everyone I interviewed (excluding Carlene Carter, of course) that is playing real country music, but is still rock ‘n’ roll. You just gotta read the interview to understand. Also, he’s just a fun dude to hang out with around NYC and see his live show.
Favorite Quote: “A lot of this album was inspired by an experience I had while listening to Hank Williams on mescaline—it reminded me of what I was doing at the core of being a songwriter.”
Escape Your Nightmares With The Night Screams
I met these guys at Meltasia by a bonfire while I was sharing a jug of Fireball whiskey with everyone. If you still say yes to an interview with me after that, you deserve some love. Their music is fun to jump around and crowd surf to and they’re a bunch of great guys. Check ‘em out.
Favorite Quote: “I mainly write clichés like, ‘I’m a misunderstood damaged man, down on his luck, but that’s kinda mysterious and sexy, right?’ And then it was like, ‘oh, it’s not? Well that’s understandable.’”
Balance Your Yin And Yang With Native Sun
Native Sun frontman Danny Gomez really knows the ins and outs of the NYC music scene, and he’s still so down-to-earth. Every musician should strive for that. Plus, he’s spitting out awesome rock ’n’ roll.
Favorite Quote: “ I love this city and am thankful for everyone that supports our music scene, but maybe we should take more chances and actually aim for equality. Who wants to listen to another band of four white dudes from Brooklyn all the time?”
The Otis Mountain Get Down Team
This isn’t a band, but this was still a fun interview. These guys put together a killer music festival in the Adirondack Mountains. It’s beautiful and super fun. Tons of up and coming bands get a chance to play to thousands of people. Plus, the crew who runs the festival is like a family and welcome new comers with open arms. I went and it was a blast.
Favorite Quote: “I take a lot of pride in the fact that we’ve built this event, keeping people in mind first. It’s never been about margins, it’s always been about doing our best to provide authentic memories and experiences to others.”
Bleeding Knees Club
I have a confession to make; I’ve been a fan of this band since high school. So when I got the opportunity to interview them I really had to figure out how to keep my cool. Honestly, they probably don’t even remember me specifically interviewing them, but they’re still awesome even almost a decade later. I even ended up hanging out with the frontman after a show my friends played in Williamsburg. He was pretty chill.
Favorite Quote: “I met the guys at a farmer’s market, we all were buying zucchini. I thought that if we all have that much in common, we would most likely have the same music taste.”