Ep. 3: Joel Marquard | Gospel Claws + Dear and the Headlights

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Joel Marquard is one of my favorite musicians. He was an original guitarist in Dear and the Headlights – one of the best bands to ever break out of Phoenix – and he is the mastermind behind so many more projects: Gospel Claws (not a gospel band), the Through and Through Gospel Review (a gospel band), Samuel L Cool J, and Spiritual Warfare.

I have been a super fan of his since I was in high school and was lucky enough to get to know him throughout the years. His bands have produced some of my favorite musical memories and I wanted to get to know more about what drove him to make some of the best pop songs I’ve heard.

You can listen to and purchase Spiritual Warfare music here.

Listen to the latest episode of Internal Review below via Soundcloud or subscribe to iTunes. Be sure to follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,Soundcloud, et al.

Ep. 2: Tony Smith (Teem, ex-Sleeper Agent)

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It was a pleasure to talk to Tony Smith, the former guitarist/vocalist of Sleeper Agent. The alt-rock band from Bowling Green, Kent. released two albums. It was during the peak of the first album when I first met the band at DeLuna Fest in Pensacola, Fla. before interviewing them a few months later in Chicago as they opened for Cage the Elephant for a New Year’s Eve bash.


Ep. 1: Phillip-Michael Scales

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I’ve started a new podcast – for real this time – where I will be interviewing emerging artists ranging from musicians to authors as well as interesting people like brewers or comic shop owners. Its name is Internal Review. You can click the above image to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.


A conversation with Travis Mulhauser

Travis Mulhauser’s debut novel may be set in a fictional county in northern Michigan, but Sweetgirl reads very much like an Appalachian or Southern Gothic novel akin to Winter’s Bone. His eloquent prose describes the beauty in the harshness of Cutler County and softens the roughness of his characters.

The novel follows Percy, an intelligent, 16-year-old high school drop out on the search for her meth addicted mother. During the search, she finds an abandoned baby in the care of two passed out drug addicts, which sends the rest of her journey into a melancholy adventure.

What is most striking about Mulhauser is how he became a writer. His style is obviously strongly influenced by his time growing up in Michigan, but unsurprisingly has strong ties to the south due to his time at the University of North Carolina – Greensboro’s MFA program.

I spoke with him about his influences and the fortitude it took to quit the comforts of a forty hour a week job to become a full-time writer.


A conversation with Sari Wilson

Sari Wilson’s (rhymes with airy) debut novel was about a decade in the making. Wilson’s head was filled with images from her childhood as a ballerina: her hair up in a tight bun, blistered feet, and countless leotards. She knew she wanted to write about the world she spent so much time in, but, more importantly, wanted to write about the emotional truth of her time training in ballet and her childhood.

The story grew and grew and became the fanciful novel Girl Through Glass. In the debut, a young rising star in the 1970s ballet world meets a shadowy middle-aged man named Maurice who becomes fascinated with her. In the present, a dance professor deals with her past as a dancer, and must confront what happened to her all of those years ago.

I spoke over the phone with Wilson for her first ever interview as an author.


A conversation with Michael Bible

Michael Bible is an emerging American writer hellbent on stripping away the nonessentials of fiction. His provocative novella, Sophia explores an ambiguously spiritual reverend named Maloney. Throughout Sophia, Maloney and his best friend Eli flee the religious South they call home as they drink gallons of gin and have sexual fantasies about the Holy Ghost.

Bible’s jagged thoughts flow together to produce a dark comedy that will make readers think hard about the sins in the world around them.


Richard Edwards on his rotted gut and a decade of rarities

[Update: Richard Edwards is releasing his first solo album. Read about it here.]

Richard Edwards is set to release a box set of rarities recorded by his feverishly followed band, Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s. The Bride on the Boxcar – A Decade of Margot Rareties: 2004-2014 will provide fervent fans with demos of hit songs, tracks that were cut from albums and as well as different versions of fan-favorite releases from the band’s five LPs. It will be released December 4th via Joyful Noise.

Edwards, who has been suffering from stomach affliction for years, revealed that he “recently re-entered a pretty gnarly stretch with this stomach ailment” that he has been fighting and is “spending a lot of time at the doctor’s and in bed.” He asked if we could communicate via email. The following responses are unedited, and reprinted from his original email.


A conversation with J. Ryan Stradal

J. Ryan Stradal has a lot on his plate. He is the fiction editor at The Nervous Breakdown, an editor-at-large at Unnamed Press and on the advisory board of the non-profit writing and tutoring organization 826LA. On top of all that he has a New York Times Bestseller with his debut novel Kitchens of the Great Midwest.

The novel is an ode to Stradal’s love of his native midwest and the culinary world. He’s adamant on writing stories that dive deeper into underrepresented characters and finding the next interesting novel.

He spoke at length about the Los Angeles literary scene, the evolution of Kitchens and the beginning of what’s next.