Photo: Daniel Mendoza/Recording Academy
Alesso at Lolla 2019
Alesso On Lolla 2019, 'PROGRESSO VOLUME 1' & Making New "Hardcore Dance Music"
"For [the PROGRESSO VOL. 1] EP it felt great, kind of going back to my roots. I'm going to put out another one this year," the GRAMMY-nominated DJ/producer told us
Swedish DJ/producer Alesso has been turning up clubs around the world for the better half of the last decade. The GRAMMY nominee has released an extensive amount of big dance tracks and worked with a diverse group of big-name collaborators, all the way back to his 2012 breakout single, "Calling (Losing My Mind)" with Swedish House Mafia's Sebastian Ingrosso and OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder.
Between Las Vegas residencies and headline sets at festivals across the globe, Alesso doesn't get to slow down too often. We sat down with him a few days after his headline set at Tomorrowland in Belgium and just a few hours before his set at Lollapalooza 2019. In addition to telling us about his experience at both fests, he also talked about his latest music—including "Sad Song"—and the banger-filled PROGRESSO VOL. 1 mixtape.
You're about to headline here tonight. How are you feeling?
I feel pretty good. A little bit jetlagged, but I think I played the stage at the exact same set time four years ago, three or four years ago, and I love it so I'm looking forward to it.
I'm sure the crowd's going to be packed. What's your biggest hope for all the people at your set tonight?
I just hope that everything works in the production. We added a lot of production to it that cost a fortune, so it better be working. That's what I'm hoping, and obviously that people enjoy the show.
Do you get to enjoy Chicago or Lollapalooza at all while you're here?
Not really. I mean for the time I'm playing, that's pretty much what I get to see because then the festival is done. Today I had meetings and other stuff to do, but one day, hopefully. I mean, I would have stayed but I have other shows tomorrow and Sunday.
Making the most of the set then.
Exactly. I'll be like, "Can we stop? I want to go to this other stage."
Speaking of big shows, you recently played Tomorrowland, which looked pretty epic. What did the energy in that crowd feel like for you?
It changes a little bit every year. Sometimes it's great. Sometimes it's even more great and sometimes it's all right, but this year it was really good. I think it just kind of depends on what set time you have and how the weather is, and obviously what kind of music I play, of course. But I felt this year was one of the best ones.
That's awesome. One of the recent songs you put out was actually a remix of "Sad Song" that you did with TINI. What was it like working together and what was your creative vision going into that song?
I wrote that song like a year ago, with some really great songwriters in L.A. It's a [type of] song that I've never put out before. I've never put out that kind of style and just wanted to experiment with it. I think she had a great voice. She barely speaks English and she nailed it. And in order for me to play it on my shows, it needs to be more of an amped version so I remixed it myself, and I love that version, to play it out, especially. I'm going to play it tonight. Even if you don't know the song, I think you'll still appreciate the remix because it has so much energy and pretty cool melodies.
You remixed it so you can play it at your shows.
I mean I try to make originals original, and then if they need to be adapted to my shows I'll change that. Because before it used to be, you're trying to do both, both have a song the way it is, and it works on your shows. Or I mean, sometimes the song needs to be the way that it is and not trying to push it into another direction.
And one of your other recent projects, the PROGRESSO VOL. 1 EP, is super progressive house. It feels like some of the stuff you're probably bumping at your shows.
Was that project sort of, "These are like the dancefloor bangers I want to play at my shows"?
Yeah, exactly. I hadn't put out anything that sounded like what I've been known for in a while, and we live in this time where we think hits is everything that matters, especially for musicians. But now I feel, especially in dance music, what we need to do is go back and make club bangers and festival songs, because it needs it. That's why, honestly, I have way more effect in making those songs—I mean, I shouldn't say that because it's different with every song. For that EP it felt great, kind of going back to my roots. I'm going to put out another one this year. A lot of new music is on its way that's hardcore dance music.
Listening to it, it feels like this is where you started. Not going backwards though, just kind of like to the root of it.
Yeah. Thank you. It does so much for my live shows. It's like those are the ones that really take off when I play them.
Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com
Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors
Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it
Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.
McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award.
The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.
"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."
With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.
Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.
Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images
Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show
Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion
There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.
The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.
This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.
"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."
Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.
Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images
Lady Gaga Steps In To Support Youth Impacted By Hurricanes
GRAMMY winner pledges support for those impacted by hurricanes this year through Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program
On Oct. 10 Lady Gaga announced she is devoting her $1 million donation in support of those impacted by the recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico and the earthquakes in Mexico, to a specific cause — the mental and emotional well being of children and youth.
Gaga announced on her Born This Way Foundation website she will support Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program, which uses a variety of tools to help young people deal with trauma in the wake of natural disasters.
"Through a curriculum that includes cooperative play, discussion, art, meditation, and mindfulness practices, young people learn to recognize and understand their emotions and develop healthy coping skills," Gaga wrote. "Tens of thousands of youth have benefited from the program since it’s development in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Save the Children is working to bring it to hundreds of thousands more in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico."
The announcement came on World Mental Health Day, and the Fame Monster has invited all of us to step up and consider making a contribution to the Journey of Hope program to support to mental and emotional needs of children.
"Mental health is just as vital to our wellbeing as physical health. That’s true for each of us, everyday, but it’s especially important for those coping with disaster and recovering from trauma," wrote Lady Gaga. "We must do everything within our power to support the full, vibrant recovery of these communities, from meeting their immediate needs to helping them to rebuild sustainably."
Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards
Dreamville, Meek Mill, 21 Savage, Tyler, The Creator, and YBN Cordae all earn nominations in the category
The 2020 GRAMMYs are just around the corner, and now the nominations are in for the coveted honor of Best Rap Album. While we'll have to wait until the 62nd GRAMMY Awards air on CBS on Jan. 26 to find out who will win, let's take a look at which albums have been nominated for Best Rap Album.
Revenge of the Dreamers III – Dreamville
Dreamers III, the third installment in the label’s Revenge of the Dreamers compilation series, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and achieved gold status this past July. In addition to a Best Rap Album nod, Dreamers III is also nominated for Best Rap Performance next year for album track “Down Bad,” featuring J.I.D, Bas, J. Cole, EARTHGANG, and Young Nudy.
Championships – Meek Mill
In many ways, Championships represents a literal and metaphorical homecoming for Meek Mill. Released in November 2018, Championships is the Philadelphia rapper’s first artist album following a two-year prison sentence he served after violating his parole in 2017. Championships, naturally, sees Meek tackling social justice issues stemming from his prison experience, including criminal justice reform. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, his second chart-topper following 2015’s Dreams Worth More Than Money, and reached platinum status in June 2019. Meek Mill's 2020 Best Rap Album nod marks his first-ever GRAMMY nomination.
i am > i was – 21 Savage
Breakout rapper and four-time GRAMMY nominee 21 Savage dropped i am > i was, his second solo artist album, at the end of 2018. The guest-heavy album, which features contributions from Post Malone, Childish Gambino, J. Cole, and many others, has since charted around the world, topped the Billboard 200 – a first for the artist – in the beginning of 2019, and achieved gold status in the U.S. As well, nine songs out of the album’s 15 original tracks landed on the Hot 100 chart, including multi-platinum lead single “A Lot,” which is also nominated for Best Rap Song next year. 21 Savage’s 2020 Best Rap Album nomination, which follows Record of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance nods for his 2017 Post Malone collaboration, "Rockstar,” marks his first solo recognition in the top rap category.
IGOR – Tyler, The Creator
The eccentric Tyler, The Creator kicked off a massive 2019 with his mid-year album, IGOR. Released this past May, IGOR, Tyler’s fifth solo artist album, is his most commercially successful project to date. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, marking his first time topping the coveted chart, while its lead single, "Earfquake,” peaked at No. 13, his highest entry on the Hot 100. Produced in full by Tyler and featuring guest spots from fellow rap and R&B stars Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, Solange, and Playboi Carti, among many others, IGOR follows the rapper’s 2017 album, Flower Boy, which received the Best Rap Album nod that same year.
The Lost Boy – YBN Cordae
Emerging rapper YBN Cordae, a member of the breakout YBN rap collective, released his debut album, The Lost Boy, to widespread critical acclaim this past July. The 15-track release is stacked with major collaborations with hip-hop heavyweights, including Anderson .Paak, Pusha T, Meek Mill, and others, plus production work from J. Cole and vocals from Quincy Jones. After peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard 200, The Lost Boy now notches two 2020 GRAMMY nominations: Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song for album track “Bad Idea,” featuring Chance the Rapper.