Broken Record with Rick Rubin, Malcolm Gladwell, Bruce Headlam and Justin Richmond
Broken Record with Rick Rubin, Malcolm Gladwell, Bruce Headlam and Justin Richmond
Om Broken Record with Rick Rubin, Malcolm Gladwell, Bruce Headlam and Justin Richmond
From Rick Rubin, Malcolm Gladwell, Bruce Headlam, and Justin Richmond. The musicians you love talk about their life, inspiration, and craft. Then play. iHeartMedia is the exclusive podcast partner of Pushkin Industries.
Arlo Parks is one of the most compelling voices of her generation. Born in London, the 22-year-old snagged the Best New Artist trophy at the Brit Awards in 2021 in part because of her breakout single “Eugene,” about an unrequited crush. Arlo’s songwriting is a vivid exploration of the euphoria and heartbreak that comes with being young and in love. This month, Arlo Parks will release her sophomore record, called “My Soft Machine.” She collaborated with producers who worked with Brockhampton, SZA and Frank Ocean. The album unpacks the anxiety of feeling lost in your 20s, and navigating the uncertainty of life with grace. On this week’s episode, Justin Richmond talks with Arlo about how seeing Black creators pushing the boundaries of popular music inspires her. She also explains how taking long drives around LA shaped the sound of her new album, and how she first started writing songs at just seven years old. Plus, we’ll hear Arlo play three of her singles live from the Village Studios in Los Angeles. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Arlo Parks songs HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Canadian-born singer/songwriter Feist has been one of the most dynamic indie voices of the last two decades. Last month she released her sixth album, Multitudes. She recorded it in the aftermath of tremendous personal loss and change. In late 2019 Feist adopted a baby just months before the pandemic started. About a year later, her father died suddenly. Multitudes is a raw, intimate look at how she grappled with deep-seated grief and a new kind of love. On today’s episode Leah Rose talks with Feist about how being assaulted in high school ultimately led to her gaining resilience. Feist also remembers the day her music career began when was asked to front a hardcore punk band, and how screaming on stage–and ultimately blowing out her voice–forced her to develop her intimate, career-defining singing style. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Feist songs HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds is a pillar of contemporary R&B. As a producer and songwriter, Babyface’s discography includes hits for powerhouse vocalists like Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Beyonce, Ariana Grande, and Stevie Wonder. Although Babyface’s career is most often associated with pop hits, he started writing songs in the singer/songwriter tradition, pulling influence from James Taylor and The Beatles. On today’s episode Justin Richmond talks to Babyface about the childhood crushes he had that continue to inspire his songwriting today. He also plays a song he wrote in high school that he considers one of the best songs he's ever written. And he reveals how he was on the verge of making new music with Whitney Houston a month before she died. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Babyface songs HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Today, we’re bringing you a preview of a new audiobook, So Many Steves. Steve Martin is more candid than he’s ever been about his creative life in this engrossing audio-biography centered around a series of conversations recorded over many afternoons at home with his friend and neighbor, writer Adam Gopnik. You can get So Many Steves, exclusively on audio, now at https://www.pushkin.fm/audiobooks/so-many-steves-afternoons-with-steve-martin or wherever you get your audiobooks. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Today we have part two of our run of interviews with The National in celebration of their new album, First Two Pages of Frankenstein. Last week Broken Producer producer Leah Rose talked to guitarist and composer Aaron Dessner, and today Leah picks up the conversation with the band’s lead singer, Matt Berninger. Matt, whose fear and anxiety are often on full display in his songwriting, talks about overcoming a debilitating bout of depression in the period before he started writing songs for the new album. He also explains how the combination of weed and iced tea help him spark creativity. And why he hopes his songwriting impresses Phoebe Bridgers and Taylor Swift. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite songs from Matt Berninger and The National HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Today we’re kicking off a two-part series of interviews with members of The National, who just released their ninth album, First Two Pages of Frankenstein. Today’s conversation is with Aaron Dessner, The National’s guitarist and oftentimes lead composer. Outside of The National, Aaron is also a prolific producer, having worked with a slew of artists, including, most famously, Taylor Swift. During the pandemic Dessner and Swift teamed up to write music that would eventually become Taylor’s critically acclaimed indie-leaning albums Folklore and Evermore. On today’s episode Broken Record producer Leah Rose talks to Aaron Dessner about how an invitation to open an arena tour for Bon Iver led to him writing the music that he would eventually share with Taylor Swift. Aaron also talks about how The National almost came to a breaking point after a grueling tour schedule, and he opens up about his battle with depression as a teenager and how his twin brother Bryce carried him through it. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite songs from Aaron Dessner and The National HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Roger McGuinn is best known as the driving force behind The Byrds. But McGuinn is also a preservationist of traditional folk music. For the past 27 years he’s been re-recording traditional folk songs and sharing them on a section of his website called The Folk Den. On today’s episode Rick Rubin talks to Roger McGuinn about his decades-long career, which started in the early ‘60s at Greenwich Village cafes where he played with the likes of Bob Dylan and Richie Havens. McGuinn reminisces about the vibrant music scene in LA, and he also talks about meeting his Byrd’s bandmate David Crosby. We’ll also hear Roger McGuinn play his guitar throughout the interview, and talk about how playing basketball with Bob Dylan helped inspire Dylan’s storied tour, the Rolling Thunder Revue. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Roger McGuinn and The Byrds songs HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Today, we’re sharing a fantastic episode from a podcast we love, Louder Than A Riot from NPR Music. Louder Than A Riot connects the stories of hip-hop's biggest artists to socio-political changes we’re going through right now. This season, Louder Than A Riot is tackling the connection between hip-hop and misogyny. Hosts Sidney Madden and Rodney Carmichael dig into the unwritten rules of rap that have marginalized Black women for decades, and highlight the rule breakers who refuse to play nice. Today's episode tells the story of the first female MC, MC Sha-Rock. She’s a rapper from The Bronx and former member of the Funky 4 Plus One More who laid the foundations of rap as we know it. But even though she’s a pioneer, Sha’s name often gets left out of conversations around the history of hip-hop. Why is that? Because decades ago, Sha-Rock had to deal with the hurdles that so many women in rap still face today: Getting tokenized by her own peers and played by the industry. You’re about to hear the story from the people who lived it: Interviews with Sha-Rock, along with rappers who she inspired like DMC and historical experts like author Clover Hope. This episode is a meditation on legacy: Who gets afforded a legacy in hip-hop? Who gets left out? And how can you reclaim a legacy stolen from you? We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did. You can listen to more episodes of Louder Than A Riot from NPR Music, wherever you listen to podcasts. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
George Clinton revolutionized funk music with Parliament Funkadelic, whose theatrical, sci-fi, performance art has captivated audiences worldwide for over five decades. P-Funk’s blend of psychedelic rock and deep, repetitive funk grooves helped bridge the R&B and rock worlds in the ‘70s along with acts like Sly and The Family Stone. Known as Dr. Funkenstein, George Clinton orchestrated multiple solo acts under the P-Funk umbrella. By the ‘80s, Clinton was also charting as a solo artist with hits like “Atomic Dog,” all of which would later lay the groundwork for hip-hop’s classic G-Funk era. On today’s episode Rick Rubin talks to George Clinton on Zoom about the origins of his original vocal group, The Parliaments. George also reminisces about the time he dared James Brown to do the splits 18 times in a row while on a music industry panel with Madonna and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic songs HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Today we have the second part of Rick Rubin’s conversation with legendary singer/songwriter Graham Nash. We dropped part one a couple of weeks ago, so definitely go check that out if you haven’t already. On today’s episode Graham tells Rick about the time the Grateful Dead were recording next to CSNY and how Jerry Garcia improvised a near-perfect pedal steel solo on “Teach Your Children.” Graham also describes a bizarre encounter with the judge who sentenced his father to prison, and he shares the inspiration behind his new solo album, Now. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Graham Nash songs HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
U2’s The Edge is one of only a handful of guitarists who's as recognizable as his band’s wildly successful frontman. U2 has been playing together since 1976, when they were all teenagers in Dublin. Nearing their 50-year anniversary as a band, U2 just released their latest album, Songs of Surrender—a 40-track collection of reimagined and stripped down songs that span the entirety of their catalog. On today’s episode Rick Rubin talks to The Edge about his theory behind the band’s longevity. The Edge also shares stories about writing U2 classics like “New Year’s Day” and “Where The Streets Have No Name.” And he explains why Bono singing at the top of his range can be a bit much. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite U2 songs HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
At 81 years-old, Graham Nash describes his life as, “a magic story from beginning to end.” Graham’s career began in 1962 as a singer/songwriter in the British pop band The Hollies. After a string of hits in the UK, Graham left the Hollies, and moved to L.A. to start a band with the former Byrds vocalist, David Crosby, and Stephen Stills, whose band Buffalo Springfield had just broken up. From the start, Crosby Stills & Nash were dubbed a folk-rock supergroup, and they went on to become one of the era's most revered bands, thanks to their gorgeous three-part harmony and exquisite songwriting. Following the death of David Crosby in January, Rick Rubin sat down with Graham Nash to talk about Graham’s deep love and admiration for Croz. On today’s episode we’ll hear the first part of Rick’s conversation with Graham, who reminisces about the day he met Crosby, who immediately rolled Graham the most perfect joint he’d ever seen. Graham also explains how it was actually Cass Elliot from the Mamas and the Papas who was responsible for bringing CSN together, and he recalls classic stories about Neil Young’s unpredictable early days in CSNY. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Graham Nash songs HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Today we're excited to share a preview of Justin Richmond's new Pushkin Industries podcast, Started From The Bottom. Every week on Started from the Bottom, Justin interviews successful people who grew up on the outside—women, people of color, anyone not part of the old boy's network—to find out how they were able to beat the odds. Today's episode features an interview with Charlamagne Tha God. Over his 25 year career, Charlamagne clawed his way to the top of the radio industry. On today's episode, the long-time host of The Breakfast Club tells Justin Richmond what it took for him — a young man suffering from anxiety, constantly in and out of jail — to become an icon of modern media. Listen, follow, and subscribe to Started From the Bottom wherever you get your podcasts. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Today we have part two of Rick Rubin’s conversation with producer and composer, Giles Martin. In part one, Giles talked about his delicate work remastering classic Beatles albums. Today we’ll hear Giles talk about his dad, Sir George Martin, who never second guessed his own genius. Giles also shares hilarious stories from his time as a teenager living at his father’s storied studio that was destroyed by a volcano in the Caribbean. Plus, he talks about the time he was fired and then rehired by Martin Scorsese. You can follow Rick Rubin's new podcast, Tetragrammaton, at https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/tetragrammaton-with-rick-rubin/id1671669052 You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Beatles songs remastered by Giles Martin HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Usher is one of few R&B acts from the ‘90s who has gone on to become a global superstar. Since the start of his 30-year career, Usher has sold over 65 million records worldwide. He’s also starred in the Broadway musical Chicago, been a coach on The Voice, and recently added a Las Vegas residency to his long list of artistic achievements. On today's episode Justin Richmond talks to Usher about why conflict has always been a big motivator in his songwriting—especially when working with producer Jermaine Dupri on his 2004 classic album, Confessions. Usher also explains how elder statesmen like Quincy Jones have helped him maintain a level of sophistication throughout his career. And he reveals why he thinks his first ever single was too raunchy. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Usher songs HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The legendary composer and songwriter Burt Bacharach passed away last week at 94. Today we are re-running an interview Bruce Headlam did with Burt and Daniel Tashian, who released an EP together in 2020 called Blue Umbrella. Justin Richmond also checks in with Daniel Tashian to talk about Burt Bacharach's tremendous skill as a composer. Danial shares the tips he took away from working with Burt, and he talks about how they were collaborating on new music right up until the end. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Burt Bacharach and Daniel Tashian songs HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Giles Martin may be the son of famed Beatles record producer Sir George Martin, but he’s also an acclaimed producer and composer in his own right. He’s worked on projects with The Rolling Stones, Elton John and Metallica, and is celebrated for his work remastering albums from The Beatles, including Sgt. Pepper’s, Abbey Road, and The White Album. Last October Giles’ remaster for Revolver was released along with never-before-heard home demos and outtakes from The Beatles. Giles was able to separate the original 1966 mono recording tracks with the help of director Peter Jackson’s audio team, who used AI technology. Giles' resulting mix allows listeners to hear the original recordings with clarity and precision like never before. On today’s episode Rick Rubin talks to Giles Martin about his approach to remastering the Beatles and the responsibility that comes along with it. Giles also talks about growing up in the music industry, why he didn’t have a stereo in his house as a young boy, and how he became his dad’s ears in studio sessions after his father lost his hearing. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Beatles songs remastered by Giles Martin HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Today we have part two of Rick Rubin’s conversation with proto-punk icon, Iggy Pop. If you didn’t catch part one last week where Iggy talked about his early days with the Stooges and the inspiration behind some of their most seminal songs, make sure you check that out. On today’s episode you’ll hear Iggy talk in-depth about the years he spent working and touring with David Bowie. He also explains how James Brown inspired his legendary performance style, and then Iggy recalls the ridiculous antics that led to him bleeding on stage for the first time. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Stooges and Iggy Pop solo songs HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Iggy Pop is one of the most outrageous rock ‘n roll frontmen to ever step foot on stage. As the lead singer of The Stooges, Iggy was known for bending and contorting his sometimes-bloodied body while feverishly pacing the stage like a wild animal. Iggy’s 50-year career has been as tumultuous as his performance style. When The Stooges first broke up in the mid-70s, Iggy went solo and recorded a series of albums, some instant classics, others more experimental. At 75 years-old he’s just released his newest album, Every Loser. On today’s episode Iggy shares incredible stories with Rick Rubin about his career. Their conversation was so great that we decided to split it into two consecutive episodes. Today we’ll hear Iggy reminisce about recording Fun House in Los Angeles, and the first time he saw the ocean. Iggy also talks about the tight-knit rock scene in Detroit and how it was in some ways led by a local writer, activist and music manager named John Sinclair. Also, stay put at the end of this episode to hear a song off of Iggy’s new album. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Stooges and Iggy Pop solo songs HERE. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Today the interviewer becomes the interviewee. In his nearly 40-year career as a producer, Rick Rubin has helped unlock creativity and inspire musical genius time and time again. The artists he’s worked with often say that one of Rick’s superpowers is his expert ability to listen deeply, and to help guide whoever he’s working with to find their deepest expression of truth. This month Rick released his first book, called The Creative Act: A Way Of Being. In it he shares practical principles on how anyone can generate creative authenticity and ultimately find their voice. On today’s episode Malcolm Gladwell talks to Rick about The Creative Act, and they explore the principles in the book that are applicable to feelings of stagnation beyond artistic life. Rick talks about why he believes creativity comes from external forces rather than internal ones, and he explains why he believes that self expression isn’t actually about you. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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