Skateboarding and music have been forever intertwined. This week’s guest, Ray Barbee, while best known as a pioneering skateboarder, is also a serious musician. Ray tells Joe about: coming from a musical family; being consumed by skateboarding; going pro and sustaining a 30+ year career; his parallel passion for music and photography; and raising a family.
Jeff Parker—one of his generation’s preeminent guitarists—talks with Joe about: his aversion to formal education, despite having teachers as parents; attending Berklee; living in Chicago, “the creative music capital of the world”; Band Leader Syndrome; how environment affects art; and completing artistic works in the face of self-doubt.
Greg Anderson of Sunn O))) discusses the creation of the band’s massive sound; the evolution of the creative dynamic with his partner Stephen O’Malley; musical monogamy; collaborating with the legendary Scott Walker; running Southern Lord Records; and how being a father affects his relationship with music.
Hayden Menzies drums with a sense of controlled bombast; his beats are often as memorable as melodic hooks. He tells Joe about his musician parents; his tight relationship with his brothers; learning to navigate happiness; and balancing his work as a musician with his parallel career in visual art.
Mindee Jorgensen experienced a devastating loss at an early age and found solace in music. She tells Joe about: growing up in Iowa; marching band; making lifelong friends through punk rock; leaving home at 17; moving to LA; "The Hot Box", her weed-inspired podcast; and playing drums for one of her musical heroes, Dale Crover.
A consistently adventurous artist, Mary Timony inhabits the intersection of virtuosity and experimental abandon. Her diverse, decades-spanning body of work firmly establishes her as one of her generation’s preeminent songwriters and instrumentalists. She is also one of Joe’s closest friends.
Mary tells Joe about: growing up in DC; becoming a musician in spite of her traditional upbringing; battling depression; playing with Autoclave, Helium, Wild Flag, and Ex Hex; developing an acumen for the music business late in the game; and “big fat mamas”.
Today's episode is brought to you by SONOS.
Craig Wedren is a Midwest native whose father owned a fast food chain. He spent some time in DC, fronting the influential band Shudder to Think, while developing a career as a film composer, eventually moving to LA. In many ways, Craig’s life has the most parallels to Joe’s of any Trap Set guest.
Craig and joy discuss: divorce; Little Tavern; DC; Shudder to think; Musical Ecstasy; becoming “muted”; emerging the “muted” state via life coaching; vulnerability; and film composing.
Over the past forty years, Jay Bellerose has earned a reputation for musical excellence and rarified artistic integrity. He tells Joe about: growing up in large family in Maine; losing his father at a young age; working as a baker; the importance of being musically selective; and why he likes living at a deliberate pace.
Over the course of three excellent albums, Aldous Harding has distinguished herself as an incredibly compelling songwriter with a singular voice. Aldous and Joe discuss: impermanence, inner voices, the significance of standing up, and achieving exceptional feats as an ordinary person.
This week, we're hard at work recording new episodes, so we're sharing one of our all time favorite Trap Set conversations featuring the singular genius, Brian Blade.
Best known as the lead singer for LA band, Chicano Batman, Bardo Martinez has recently embarked on a solo career. Joe spoke to Bardo last year in front of a live audience at Ace Hotel, Palm Springs.
This week, we revisit one of our favorite episodes, featuring the great Mimi Parker of Low.
For 20 years, Tucker Rule's crisp, authoritative drumming has laid the foundation for the band Thursday. Tucker discusses: his childhood obsession with baseball; recording and touring shortly after learning to play; working with a boy band after Thursday went on hiatus; and why planking is an essential part of his daily workout routine.
The Zombies are, simply put, the greatest rock band in the world. This week, the band's co-founders Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone discuss: the formation of the band; why the group's initial tenure was so brief; why Colin was never jealous that Rod made more money as a songwriter; a day job with Mr. Smelly; the production of their classic Odessey and Oracle album; collaborating on Colin's revered One Year album; and why they are glad they evaded massive popularity in their youth. This episode was recorded in front of a live audience at Ace Hotel, Palm Springs.
This Week: Part Two of our conversation with Ian MacKaye.
Four years ago, we began The Trap Set with Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty. As we expand the show from drummers-only to all musicians, it only makes sense to begin with Brendan’s bandmate, Ian.
As a member of bands such as The Teen Idles, Minor Threat, Embrace, Fugazi, and The Evens—as well as co-founder of Dischord Records—Ian MacKaye has been involved in the creation and dissemination of an extraordinary amount of classic recordings. Ian met with Joe at The Dischord House in Virginia for a wide-ranging conversation that lasted nearly three hours. In this week’s installment, Ian discusses: his childhood in the Glover Park neighborhood of Washington DC; his grandmother’s advice column; his love of Ted Nugent and The Beatles; how skateboarding informed his view of the world; discovering punk rock; his lifelong entrepreneurial spirit; co-founding Dischord Records; and how he often doesn’t listen to music for the lyrics.
Four years ago, we began The Trap Set with Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty. As we expand the show from drummers-only to all musicians, it only makes sense to begin with Brendan’s bandmate, Ian. Tune in next week for Part Two!
Brooks Headley fell in love with music while listening to Dr. Demento on his grandmother’s radio. He’s also had a lifetime obsession with food, leading to a career working in--and eventually owning-- restaurants.
He talks to Joe about: having pragmatic dreams; being raised by an incredible, single mom; drumming for bands such as Universal Order of Armageddon, Born Against, Skull Kontrol, and (Young) Pioneers; cooking for the 1% at high-end restaurants; and how his love of fine food and punk rock converged to inform the creation of Superiority Burger, his vegan restaurant on Manhattan's Lower East Side.
To celebrate our 200th episode, past guest and friend of the show Patty Schemel returns, this time to interview Joe. They discuss how creating The Trap Set has affected the trajectory of Joe's life, and Joe talks about changes in store for the future of the show. Then, he answers listener questions. Thanks to all of you for listening!
Larry Herweg’s commanding drumming has helped shaped Pelican’s dense, longform compositions for nearly 20 years. He tells Joe about: growing up in Illinois; being a late (musical) bloomer; how a bad experience turned him off from lessons; the challenges and rewards of playing in a band with his brother; working at Whole Foods; and escaping retail to become a real estate agent.
In this bonus episode, Joe talks to John Good, vice president of Drum Workshop.
For 25 years, Zach Lind has carved a creative niche within the often rigid parameters of modern rock. He talks about: manufacturing pressure to force the creative process along; growing up with a professional baseball player for a father; being raised in a Conservative Baptist environment, and ultimately leaving the church; "musical monogamy" with the remarkably consistent Jimmy Eat World.
Mona Tavakoli is a modern polymath whose impressive versatility and fierce creativity have resulted in a 20 year tenure in Raining Jane, along with collaborations with artists such as Jason Mraz, Ebi, and Pat Benatar. She visited Trap Set HQ for a wide ranging conversation about: Strawberry Shortcake albums; a Tori Amos focus group; hanging out with Al Gore and Richard Branson in Antarctica; becoming Little Miss San Jose 1984; creating a signature cajon; and co-founding the non-profit Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls.
Budgie has the rare ability to metabolize influences ranging from taiko to dub, from gamelan to punk to Indian classical, all into a singular, uniquely fiery artistic identity. His poetic sense of rhythm has graced recordings by a range of iconic artists, but he is perhaps known for his partnership with Siouxsie Sioux. Budgie tells Joe about: a strange sense of freedom after losing his mother at a young age; his youthful attempts at abstract expressionism; why he thinks of music in visual terms; making a secret wax effigy of Siouxsie Sioux; working with The Banshees, The Creatures, The Slits, The Indigo Girls, and John Grant; hiding from his feelings and eventually—through sobriety—coming to terms with himself; and falling in and out of love.
We're closing out the year by revisiting a pensive conversation with one of the greatest drummers of all time, Steve Gadd. (This episode was recorded in 2015 and originally released in early 2016.) Thanks to all of you for making Trap Set a big success in 2018; here's to 2019!