Broken Record with Rick Rubin, Malcolm Gladwell, Bruce Headlam and Justin Richmond
Broken Record with Rick Rubin, Malcolm Gladwell, Bruce Headlam and Justin Richmond
About Broken Record with Rick Rubin, Malcolm Gladwell, Bruce Headlam and Justin Richmond
David Paich is a prolific musician and songwriter who’s perhaps most well known for writing and co-producing Toto's classic song, “Africa.” Before David co-founded Toto with drummer Jeff Porcaro in 1977, he was an innovative keyboardist and session player. David honed his chops early growing up in L.A. where he worked under the tutelage of his father Marty Paich—an esteemed composer who worked with artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles and Mel Tormé. While in college at USC David started playing keyboard professionally and touring with Sonny & Cher. From there he went on to co-write and play on Boz Scaggs’ multi-platinum album Silk Degrees. He also worked extensively with Quincy Jones, playing on multiple iconic albums including Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Bad. All throughout his work as a session musician, David also served as Toto’s principal songwriter and wrote chart-topping hits like “Rosanna,” “Hold The Line,” and of course, “Africa.” On today’s episode Justin Richmond talks to David Paich about what it was like to be such an accomplished player at such a young age. He shares crazy stories about working with Michael Jackson and Quincy on Thriller, and how he came up with the intro to Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature,” a song written by Toto’s drummer, Jeff Porcaro. He also plays parts from some of the best songs he’s written, and talks about how they came to be. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite David Paich songs HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
As a founding member of the iconic all-girl band The Bangles, Susanna Hoffs is perhaps most associated with 80s hits like “Manic Monday,” “Eternal Flame,” and “Walk Like An Egyptian.” After releasing three platinum-selling albums, in 1989 The Bangles broke up. Two years later, Susanna started to release solo material before reuniting with The Bangles at the end of the 90s. Over the years Susanna has continued to release music and act in movies. She even appeared in all three Austin Powers films as part of a fictional Mod band. This year Susanna has added another creative pursuit to her repertoire—she’s now a published novelist. Her first book, This Bird Has Flown, was released in April. And she put out her latest collection of cover songs on the album The Deep End produced by the great Peter Asher. On today’s episode Justin Richmond talks to Susanna Hoffs about how Bruce Springsteen helped The Bangles secure a record deal after seeing them play at an amusement park in Southern California. She also tells the story of first listening to Prince’s demo of “Manic Monday.” You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Susanna Hoffs songs HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Marty Stuart has dedicated his life to playing and preserving old country music. During his 40-plus years as a solo artist, Marty has released more than 20 albums and racked up numerous honors, including five Grammys, and an induction into the Country Music Hall Of Fame. Marty started his career at the age of 12 playing mandolin in a gospel band. By 21, he’d joined Johnny Cash’s touring band, and eventually became a solo artist who combined classic rockabilly sounds with bluegrass and cosmic country. His latest album has a sweeping, spacious feel that's meant to conjure up visions of desert horizons and endless stretches of two-lane highways. For today’s episode, Bruce Headlam met up with Marty Stuart at Bridge Studios in Brooklyn. Marty shared stories about first going on the road with the Sullivan Family Gospel Singers, and the very first show he ever played backing Johnny Cash where Marty pretended to know how to play the fiddle. Marty also talks about how a star-studded studio session with Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis gave him the confidence to pursue a solo career in country music. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Marty Stuart songs HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Lol Tolhurst, drummer and co-founder of The Cure, first met lead singer Robert Smith when they were just five years-old. Together with their other Catholic school friend Michael Dempsey, they would go on to make dark, brooding music that reflected the isolation they felt as the only punks living in their small English town. As The Cure’s sound developed in the 1980s, they released a string of three albums that Lol now defines as the band’s “goth period.” Today we’ll hear Lol talk in detail about making those albums. Last month Lol released the book “Goth: A History,” which explores the architects of the post-punk genre—bands like Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, and Bauhaus. In addition to his book “Goth,” Lol is also releasing a new album with his old friend Budgie, the drummer from the Banshees. The album’s called Los Angeles and it features an all-star guest list including U2's The Edge and LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy. On today’s episode Leah Rose talks to Lol Tolhurst about growing up an outcast in post-WWII England and how he and Robert Smith first bonded over a Hendrix record. Lol also talks through the creation of The Cure’s goth albums—Seventeen Seconds, Faith, and Pornography. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Lol Tolhurst songs HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The lead singer and keyboardist for Devo, Mark Mothersbaugh, is an avant-garde, new wave pioneer. Although critics sometimes classify Devo as a joke band, the Akron, Ohio art-punks’ ethos was created in response to a very serious event—the 1970 shooting at their college, Kent State. Following the incident, the band took on the name “Devo,” short for what they felt was organized society’s “de-evolution.” Throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s Devo helped lay the groundwork for DIY, anti-establishment bands by releasing bizarre and left-of-center music and conceptual films that helped usher in the music video revolution. In addition to his work with Devo, Mark Mothersbaugh has also created a long and successful career scoring for TV and film. His credits include, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, The Rugrats TV show and movies, and he’s scored several classic Wes Anderson-directed films including The Royal Tenenbaums and Rushmore. On today’s episode Justin Richmond talks to Mark Mothersbaugh about how he developed his quirky sensibility as one of five kids growing up in a chaotic household with exotic animals. Mark also tells a story about the time Richard Branson suggested that Johnny Rotten join Devo after the Sex Pistols broke up. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Mark Mothersbaugh songs HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Laufey’s fast rise to fame is a pandemic success story. During lockdown, the 24-year-old multi-instrumentalist built a substantial following on social media where she was known as “jazz girl.” Since then the Icelandic-Chinese singer/songwriter has released two studio albums that blend classical, pop and jazz. The first single from her most recent release, Bewitched, has been streamed over 20 million times globally since its release a couple months back. Raised in Iceland, Laufey started playing cello and classical piano when she was four years old. By 15 she was performing with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra as a cello soloist. The Chinese side of her family has been studying classical music for generations—Laufey’s mom is a professional violinist and her maternal grandfather taught violin at China’s Central Conservatory of Music. And while Laufey’s classical training runs deep, perhaps the most surprising thing about her ascent to stardom is the fact that she's now known as a singer/songwriter as much as a musician. On today’s episode I talk to Laufey about how she started singing jazz standards online, and what inspired her to write her own songs as well. She also talks about the great sacrifices her Chinese family made during the Cultural Revolution when there was a strict ban on playing classical Western music. And she sings two original songs for us including her single, “From The Start.” You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Laufey songs HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Hermanos Gutiérrez may be an instrumental guitar band, but they have zero interest in shredding. Instead the Swiss-Ecuadorian brothers, Estevan and Alejandro Gutiérrez, take a minimalist approach to playing. They create hypnotic, sweeping compositions inspired by classical Latin guitar and film scores from old Spaghetti Westerns. In 2022, after releasing three albums independently, Hermanos Gutiérrez signed to Easy Eye Sound, a label owned and operated by Dan Auerbach, guitarist and vocalist of The Black Keys. Last October they released the album, El Bueno Y El Malo to critical acclaim. The album features the song “Tres Hermanos,” where Auerbach joins the brothers on guitar. Today we’ll hear Estevan and Alejandro play that song, along with a couple other songs live from Auerbach’s studio in Nashville, TN. Justin Richmond also talks to Hermanos Gutiérrez about how their brotherly spats sometimes fuel their playing. Then they recall a recent performance in Mexico City where they played during a volcanic eruption. And how Dan Auerbach knew he wanted to meet with Hermanos Gutiérrez after seeing them play for just 15 seconds. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Hermanos Gutiérrezsongs HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Pete Townshend, the legendary guitarist and songwriter for The Who, is one of the most decorated rock stars alive. He’s been inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, received Kennedy Center Honors, and lifetime-achievement awards from both the Brit Awards and the Grammys. Pete's iconic power chord-guitar style and early use of synthesizers established him as a musical innovator in the '60s and '70s. After a string of chart-topping singles in the early '60s, Pete set to work writing the first-ever rock opera, a project that became the double album Tommy. Tommy is widely recognized as The Who’s breakout record, and is considered a masterpiece by many critics. Following its release, Pete started writing songs and a script for a sci-fi epic called Life House. After that project was scrapped, the songs wound up on different releases from the band over the next decade including their 1971 classic, Who’s Next. Last month The Who released an epic box set called Who's Next/Life House that contains 155 tracks, 89 of which are unreleased. The set also includes a graphic novel, unheard demos, complete live concerts, posters and collectable pins. On today’s episode Justin Richmond talks to Pete Townshend about how some of the ill-fated effects of technology that he predicted on Life House have come to pass. Pete also explains why he decided to target a specifically male audience when writing music for The Who. And he gives an unexpected take on the Grateful Dead and San Francisco’s music scene in the '60s. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Pete Townshend songs HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Today we are sharing a very special project we've been working on at Pushkin, a new podcast with the one and only, Sir Paul McCartney. The show’s called McCartney: A Life in Lyrics and it's full of insightful conversations between Paul McCartney and his friend, the Irish poet Paul Muldoon. Together they taped years of conversations digging into Paul’s lyrics and songwriting process. And because it’s impossible to separate the art from the man, a lot of McCartney's personal life gets revealed along the way, like insight into his family life in Liverpool, the success and breakup of the Beatles, Wings and so much more. McCartney: A Life in Lyrics dropped with two episodes today—one on The Beatles "Eleanor Rigby," and the one we're presenting here for you today on "Back In the U.S.S.R." If you love music and songwriting and have ever wanted to be a fly on the wall for in-depth conversations with a Beatle, then McCartney: A Life in Lyrics won’t disappoint. You can binge the entire first season now by subscribing to Pushkin+ on Apple Podcasts. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Amanda Shires is a Texas-born singer/songwriter who got her start at 15 when she joined Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys on fiddle. After starting her solo career in 2005, Shires continued to play with a number of other bands including her husband Jason Isbell's band, the 400 Unit. In 2019, she started the all-female country supergroup The Highwomen, which includes Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby and Maren Morris. After the 2022 release of Amanda Shires’ seventh solo album, Take It Like A Man, she released an album of covers with the late Bobbie Nelson—who’s primarily known for playing piano in her younger brother Willie Nelson’s band. Amanda initially enlisted Bobbie to play on her version of Willie’s classic, “You Were Always On My Mind,” but they continued to record together. The resulting collection of songs became the album Loving You, which was released this past June, nearly a year after Bobbie’s death. On today’s episode Justin Richmond talks to Amanda Shires about Bobbie Nelson’s unfortunate start in the music business. Amanda also talks about why she feels more comfortable singing about society’s big issues alongside The Highwomen. And she remembers the time she went to Vegas and gambled away all her band’s tour money—only to win it all back after playing craps through the night. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Amanda Shires songs HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Today we are sharing an episode of one of our favorite shows on the Pushkin network, Talk Easy, hosted by Sam Fragoso. In this episode Sam talks to the renowned Swedish music producer and composer, Ludwig Göransson. Ludwig is a Grammy and Academy award winning producer and composer who scored Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther, The Mandalorian, and most recently he scored Christopher Nolan's epic, Oppenheimer. He’s also produced records and wrote songs for HAIM, Rihanna, Adele, and Childish Gambino. He's a truly talented musician who's reenergizing modern films compositions. We hope you enjoy this chat as much as we do! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
DJ Drama is one of the most iconic mixtape DJs of all time. His legendary Gangsta Grillz tapes helped propel artists like T.I. and Young Jeezy to stardom. His classic Dedication series reinvigorated Lil’ Wayne’s career in the early and mid-2000s. By 2007, the underground mixtape market was booming. But in January of that year DJ Drama and his longtime business partner Don Cannon were arrested by federal agents and charged with bootlegging and racketeering. The much publicized raid only boosted DJ Drama’s profile. In the years since, DJ Drama has built a successful record label and he’s continued to make mixtapes. Tyler The Creator even crafted his latest album, Call Me If You Get Lost, with DJ Drama’s classic adlibs all over it. It won the Grammy for best rap album in 2022. That same year though, while DJ Drama was professionally at the height of his success, personally he was battling an addiction to opioids—an ongoing struggle he’s only recently started to talk about publicly. On today’s episode Leah Rose talks to DJ Drama about how he got sober after being what he calls “a functioning junkie” who spent six figures a year on opioids. He also tells the story of how Lil Jon recorded his iconic “gangsta grillz” drops in Drama’s laundry room. And Drama explains why he decided to sign Lil Uzi Vert and Jack Harlow to his Atlantic Records imprint, Generation Now. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite DJ Drama songs HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Johnny Marr is an acclaimed British guitarist who’s played with a ton of bands including, most famously, The Smiths. Marr started playing guitar as a young teenager growing up in Manchester. When he turned 15 he dropped out of school and moved to London to join the band Sister Ray. A couple years later he would help form The Smiths with Morrissey, Mike Joyce, and Marr’s friend and bassist, Andy Rourke. After The Smiths broke up in 1987, Marr went on to collaborate with an array of different musicians and play in bands like The Pretenders, The The, and Modest Mouse. In the early aughts, Marr started releasing solo material, and he’s on the brink of releasing a new album of his greatest hits. On today’s episode Justin Richmond talks to Johnny Marr about his exciting work scoring movies with Pharrell and Hans Zimmer. Marr also recalls the terror he felt performing live in front of stadiums full of fans with The Pretenders on U2’s Joshua Tree tour. And he talks about the time he bought a Fender Stratocaster while hanging out with Oasis’ Noel Gallager. That Strat has nine pickups and it eventually led to him writing one the best songs of his solo career. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Johnny Marr songs HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Today we are sharing an episode from one of our favorite podcasts, Norah Jones is Playing Along. Norah is a multi-grammy winning artist who loves to collaborate with other musicians, so she started a podcast to do just that. Today's episode features the legendary Mavis Staples. You’ll hear stories from her time as a member of the iconic Staples Singers. We will also hear Mavis and Norah play a gospel classic, as well as pay homage to Mavis’s father, Pops Staples, along with a few other surprises. Listen, follow, and subscribe to Norah Jones is Playing Along wherever you get your podcasts, to hear more great episodes, with fantastic guest artists. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Since his major-label debut in 2011, James Blake's haunting vocals and brilliantly edited, collage-style tracks have helped usher in a new sound in popular music. James has both produced and contributed vocals to a ton of artists including Travis Scott, Jay-Z, and Spanish megastar, Rosalia. He even earned a Grammy for best rap performance alongside Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock and Future on the song “King’s Dead” from the Black Panther soundtrack. This month James is releasing his sixth solo album, which is a nod to his electronic music roots. It’s called Playing Robots Into Heaven—a title inspired by the modular synth James built for the album that creates sounds meant to evoke a spiritual experience conjured by machines. It’s a heady concept that translates into some of the most heartfelt and energized tracks James has made to date. On today’s episode, Leah Rose talks to James Blake about how he and his longtime collaborator Dom Maker constructed key tracks on the new album. James also recalls how a conversation with Rick Rubin changed his life. And he reveals how he spent months making new music with Andre 3000 only to learn on this podcast that it may never be released. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite James Blake songs HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Of all the groundbreaking musicians to come out of the ‘60s, few were as engaged socially and politically as Joan Baez. A lifelong proponent of non-violent activism, Joan marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and has continued to advocate for non-violent, civil disobedience ever since. With the release of her debut album in 1960, Joan Baez became the preeminent female folkie. With just her exquisite soprano and her guitar, she reworked classic American folk songs and eventually wrote songs that helped fuel her activism. By the time she helped launch Bob Dylan’s career by inviting him on stage with her in the early ‘60s, Joan was already an international sensation. In 2019, after a career that spanned nearly six decades, Joan announced she was no longer performing live. In recent years, she’s turned her creative attention to visual art. Her new book of drawings titled “Am I Pretty When I Fly” features sketches rooted in humor, freedom, and sorrow. But, in classic Joan Baez style, her drawings defy convention—they were all drawn upside down. On today’s episode you’ll hear a live conversation Justin Richmond had with Joan Baez at the Chicago Humanities Festival in May. Joan spoke about the emotional catharsis she finds in drawing. She also talked about juggling music and activism as a young artist, and what happened when she handed over access to her personal storage unit to a group of documentary filmmakers who are making a movie about her life. And despite giving up live performance, she took a moment to serenade the crowd all with her beloved voice. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Joan Baez songs HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In honor of Robbie Robertson’s passing, we’re replaying an old episode of Broken Record featuring Robbie in conversation with Rick Rubin, Malcolm Gladwell and Bruce Headlam. When Robbie Robertson turned a house perched above a Malibu beach into a home studio in the 1970's, he had no idea it'd remain a refuge for artists decades later. In this episode, Robbie returns to Shangri La—now the home of our own Rick Rubin—to discuss creating the studio, helping Bob Dylan go electric with The Band, writing "The Weight" and collaborating with Martin Scorsese on his films. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Today we're sharing an episode from another Pushkin podcast we love called The Last Archive. The fourth season of The Last Archive just dropped and it's full of truly unexpected stories and big ideas. The episode you will hear today, "Player Piano," is an audio biography of one of the most famous composers of the 20th century who most people have never heard of: Raymond Scott. He wrote tons of hits in the '30s and since then his music has been sampled by Lizzo, J. Dilla and the Gorillaz. Aside from being an avid composer, Scott was also an inventor. And later in his life, he was hired by Motown Records to create a machine that could help people write songs. He called it The Electronium. Today's episode is a crazy piece of musical history, and just a wild story. Be sure to subscribe to The Last Archive to hear other episodes about time travel, invasive species panics, freelance wiretappers-turned-evangelists, and secret science fiction family histories, and more. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Santigold is an artist who exists at the cross-section of punk, dub, new wave and indie pop. Long frustrated with attempts like these to classify her style, Santi has always been a proud outlier among the restrictive categories used to divide music. Santi’s anti-establishment bent was in part a reaction to working as an A&R for Epic Records’ black music department. Frustrated with what they categorized as “urban music” in the early aughts, Santi left her job, went home to Philly, and started a punk band called Stiffed. After honing her chops for a few years as a lead singer, Santi released her debut solo album, Santigold in 2008. The album’s lead singles “Creator” and “L.E.S. Artistes” were a revelation when they came out, and led to Santi headlining tours around the world and even opening shows for Bjork, Coldplay, Jay-Z and the Beastie Boys. Now with three other albums to her credit, including last year’s soul-stirring Spirituals, Santigold is celebrating the 15th anniversary of her debut release. And today she’s expanded her artistic endeavors to include a podcast called Noble Champions where she mines the creative life with friends like Olivia Wilde, Questlove and Yasiin Bey. On today’s episode Leah Rose talks to Santigold about the unique path she took to build her solo career. Santi also shares why she decided to cancel her tour last year with a heartfelt public letter that shared insight into the financial and emotional toll of touring post-pandemic. She also recalls finding out that she was included in a list of influential black female artists on Beyonce’s “Break My Soul” remix. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Santigold songs HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Albert Hammond Jr. first rose to prominence as the lead guitarist of The Strokes—a band at the forefront of New York City’s indie rock renaissance in the early aughts. In 2007 Albert Hammond Jr. launched his solo career, putting his songwriting and abilities as a frontman to the test. He’s now released five albums, including, Melodies On Hiatus, which came out just a couple months ago. It’s a double album that he co-wrote with Canadian singer Simon Wilcox, and features collaborations with GoldLink and Matt Helders from the Arctic Monkeys. On today’s episode, Albert Hammond Jr. and Justin Richmond talk about how he was dramatically impacted by his parents’ recent divorce, despite the fact that he’s in his early 40’s. Albert also reminisces about his past life as a champion roller skater who was once scouted by Kristi Yamaguchi’s Olympic ice skating coach. And he explains why he’d never been a fan of Radiohead or Led Zeppelin. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Albert Hammond Jr. songs HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The podcast Broken Record with Rick Rubin, Malcolm Gladwell, Bruce Headlam and Justin Richmond is embedded on this page from an open RSS feed. All files, descriptions, artwork and other metadata from the RSS-feed is the property of the podcast owner and not affiliated with or validated by Podplay.