"[Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner] and I started making music in 2000, and we’d had a writing session the night before 9/11. There was this biblical storm that night, and the next day was beautiful. I’d stayed over at Nick’s Williamsburg loft because we’d been working late—he had a really huge room and I slept on a mattress there. He went to work that morning, and I woke up probably around 11, maybe even later than that. Everyone in the living room was watching the first tower go down on TV. I went on the roof and you could see the smoke coming from across the river. It felt like World War III was happening. It was the beginning of a different, less secure time."
— Karen O
"I could be an asshole, and that’s my right. People need to get over that. It’s not illegal to be an asshole. It’s not illegal to be racist, even. It’s not illegal to do anything."
— Ariel Pink
"I feel like it’s not about the music anymore—it’s about how many friends you have on Facebook and your Instagram pictures. I hate that. I feel so bad for the talented new bands that are working so hard, and they have to fight with these monsters where it’s all about the appearance, the way you look, the amount of posts you did this month. I don’t want to be a part of that—going to a festival and taking a selfie on stage and all the EDM shit. I feel like it’s such bad publicity for music and for true artists, and I’ll try to fight as hard as I can to not be like that."
— M83’s Anthony Gonzalez
"There’s so many millions of 7” records and albums, too, and I don’t see them rising to the top in a unique way. A lot of mainstream indie these days is too many steps removed from rock bands like the Velvet Underground—but that’s just our era now."
— Stephen Malkmus talks to Larry Fitzmaurice about the state of indie (and mainstream) music, and his forthcoming album with the Jicks, Wig Out at Jagbags.
"When I came to Interscope 10 years ago, the first thing they did was offer me the chance to work with Timbaland and Missy, to cross me over. They still offer me that. But this is what I am. ‘Paper Planes’ was an accident. It wasn’t a song we made for the masses."
— M.I.A. talks about the past, present, and future of her decade-long music career in Carrie Battan's feature interview.
"I never understood the theory of moving to New York or L.A. to make it—if you want to be noticed as a drop of water, why would you move to the ocean?"
— Neko Case doles out some life lessons in her 5-10-15-20 interview.
"We asked each other, ‘What’s more important: This relationship or this band?’ We both said ‘this band’ at the same time."
— Cults' Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin talk about breaking up… and then coming back together to make their forthcoming second album, Static.
"I am generalizing, of course, but in hip-hop, it’s like you get this shine for using the word ‘pussy’ a billion times, and I think that that’s weirdly healthier than not doing it at all— even though I really hope it ends soon because, you know, how many decades can we do that? And with white dudes in indie rock— generally speaking, once again— there’s this guilt: ‘Oh, we’re not going to talk about that.’ And there are plenty of people who don’t talk about those things who end up having really unhealthy relationships with sex."
— Justin Vernon talks to Ryan Dombal about sexuality in music, and how it relates to his work on the gorgeous new Volcano Choir album, Repave.
"People started to call my phone, I’m like, ‘How did you get my number? Who the fuck is this?’ People saying, ‘We’d like to have Baauer on ‘Good Morning America’ to do the ‘Harlem Shake’.’ I’m like, ‘fuck no!’ It felt invasive."
— Baauer talks about the dark side of the "Harlem Shake" phenomenon.
"At this point, with music in general, especially modern dance music like Skrillex or even ‘Gangnam Style’, there are these bended, twisted synth parts; those feelings that we were exploring has become completely mainstream. I don’t think it came from us, but we explored it first in a lot of ways. It’s a strong element, so because of that I still think we have to make more records and maybe by then a lot more people will get it."
— My Bloody Valentine mastermind Kevin Shields talks about his signature sound (and much more) in his first new interview since the release of this year’s mbv.
"I wanted to draw from Wagner to create an over-the-top love theme, even though masturbation is as close as you get to a love scene in this film."
— Drive composer Cliff Martinez talks about his score for the polarizing new film Only God Forgives— read Larry Fitzmaurice's revealing interview with Martinez and director Nicolas Winding Refn.
"If I had any advice for young musicians, it would be to use your own ears, your own common fucking sense, and pay attention to what’s going on around you before you listen to douchebags like me."
— The Dismemberment Plan’s Travis Morrison
"Kurt Cobain was a spirit guide in the beginning. I knew what all the fame would feel like already because I read about it in his journals. […] To be told that you’re the voice of your generation is such an incredible amount of pressure, and I haven’t faced that. Maybe by the time our third record rolls around, I will. My goals are to be a band like that in five years."
— DIIV frontman Zachary Cole Smith is a pretty ambitious guy.