During each episode of this Berklee Online podcast, we talk to a different music industry mover and/or shaker who is making us take note. Our guests walk us through their musical journeys, beginning with their first exposure to music, continuing through their epiphanies and into their current positions, where the subjects can proclaim from the highest mountain, “MUSIC IS MY LIFE!”
065: José González
37:45José 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.
064: Colin Blunstone of the Zombies
53:30Colin 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.
063: Don Letts
42:35Don 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.
062: Butch Vig of Garbage
29:40You 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.
061: Sly and Robbie—Sly Dunbar
49:30If 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.
060: Anna Bulbrook
52:21Anna Bulbrook began studying violin at 4. She quit at 21, but a gig with Kanye West changed that. She helped found the Airborne Toxic Event the next week.
059: Hailu Mergia
48:03Hailu 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!
058: Margo Nahas and Jay Vigon
39:41Margo Nahas and Jay Vigon are partners in life, love, and business, and have designed classic album covers by iconic acts like Prince, Van Halen, Fleetwood Mac, and Stevie Wonder.
057: Kamilah Marshall
50:34Kamilah Marshall is a seasoned Broadway performer whose credits include Rent, Lion King, and Hairspray. From there, she toured with Bette Midler, Matthew Morrison from Glee, and is currently a backup singer for Taylor Swift.
056: Huey Lewis
59:57Huey Lewis discusses his meteoric rise to fame in the 1980s, his struggles with Ménière’s disease, and everything in between (clothes shopping with Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy, soccer with Ozzy, etc.) in this wide ranging interview.