Martin Atkins has had an incredible lifetime in and around music, listen in as he and Conan go into great depth on the historic and iconic Flowers of Romance record by Public Image Limited, including performing on American Bandstand (!) and doing everything the most difficult way possible with that group. Working with Killing Joke and non-relatable songwriting, the inception and continuing wild ride of Pigface, borne off of Ministry touring. Reveling in the unexpected and using the chaos as a change agent. Abandonment of ego to create a greater whole.
All of this plus his journey into academia and his excellent (and very funny) general advice for working smart as a band and finding what it is that makes the band special. Some of which can be found in his (FREE!) book: Band Smart: Succeed On the Music Business on Your Own Terms.
Ryan Parks fancies himself a blues man. But the songwriter behind Oakland rockers B. Hamilton is a lot deeper than just that… listen in on the crazy train of Oakland’s B. Hamilton. Songwriting, process, inspiration and history, the Gilligan’s Island of “covers of others”, and being part of the hit song from Sorry to Bother You.
Tad Doyle is a rock pioneer, who was around and working during the “gold rush days” of grunge and well after, as well as the proprietor of Witch Ape Studios. Hear about the rise and fall of Tad, a little bit of Hog Molly, the incredible rebirth with Brothers of the Sonic Cloth and everything else. This talk gets deep! From artwork cease and desists to serious discussions on mental health.
Ronnie is/was 1/3 of the mighty Muffs! He’s a raconteur of the highest order and has had an incredible career in music with the amazing Kim Shattuck (R.I.P.). Listen in on the tales of an incredible rock and roll career, from a surprise hit song in the movie Clueless as well as a detailed accounting of the final Muffs record. Which was completed during Kim’s two year battle with ALS.
It is another “stay at home” Protonic Reversal with special guest: drummer Mario Rubalcaba (Earthless, OFF!, Hot Snakes, RFTC, Clikitat Ikatowi)! This guy has done it all… six degrees of Rubalcaba. Hear about joining RFTC and Hot Snakes, punk rock basements and the wild and wooly path of the mighty Earthless! All this, a little pro skating stuff and some serious record geek talk. OK!
Hackedepicciotto are itinerant nomads making soundtracks for life, and it’s a pandemic. You may know Alexander from his other band Einstürzende Neubauten, this here episode is a talk with the duo about tour, the nature of performance and connection, and yoga music for people who hate yoga music. (apologies for less than ideal sound quality on Conan’s part, there was a bad piece of equipment, since rectified)
Lori Barbero is a living legend. As the power behind the propulsive drumming of Babes in Toyland, she was a participant in several incredible epochs of crazy music. Although she’s currently going through a crazy picture archive during the pandemic, she took time out to talk to Conan Neutron about all things Babes in Toyland, DIY, music and the year Punk Broke and well after.
Allen Epley is not only in the incredible Shiner and The Life and Times, he also hosts his own show called Third Gear Scratch. Oh yeah, and his day job is in the Blue Man Group. What? We talk about that and the BRAND NEW SHINER RECORD, as well as lots more on… PROTONIC REVERSAL.
Brian Walsby is a cartoonist, he also played drums in Polvo and in a band called Shiny Beast (which features a member that went on to be in Red Fang), he’s also known for running merch for the Melvins where his cartoon parodies of popular books, records, movies and tv shows are the delight of discerning music fan. He’s also written a book on being self-employed called “self empunishment”. Anyway, the guy has stories for days and is a treasure trove of music knowledge, even if he isn’t actively playing it now. Dig in!
Kate Wakefield is a cellist, vocalist and part of the incredible duo Lung. Lung tour hard, and have an unforgettable and powerful live show. An incredible and intense performer and an undeniable talent.
Kate took the time to talk to Conan about everything from touring, poetry, Brock Turner and the American patriarchy. There’s a lot to learn from this iconoclastic lady, listen in.
Iconic guitarist and composer, Mr. Mike Morasky comes on Protonic Reversal for an awesome freewheeling conversation centered largely around the enigmatic and mysterious Steel Pole Bath Tub and Milk Cult.
Chris Spencer is most known for the brutal, uncompromising and iconoclastic rockers UNSANE. Whose gory and explicit album art was equally as vicious as the music contained within. After 30 years of Unsane he’s teamed up with some friends and collaborators for a much different kind of band, the moody and often slow-burning Human Impact. Chris sits down with Conan to talk about all that during the pandemic.
The mighty bass man of the NC indie rock heroes, the Archers of Loaf comes back on Protonic Reversal to have a talk. It’s been what, 5 years? Time flies! How could it have gone long without an appearance from this swell fella? This time it is everything from the first inklings of “Go Loaf”, all the way to the end… and after! A new single and record, and a tour… right during the pandemic. It’s all discussed.
Oh yeah, he also plays in a band called Band of Horses that you may have heard of, did you know that? We talk about that too.
Jerry Casale is a legend. An iconoclast, a prophet and a pioneer who got scalped. As a founding member, and mastermind behind the incredible genre bending band DEVO, Jerry pushed the boundaries of music, music video and mainstream culture.
In these insane times, it is true. We are ALL DEVO. Jerry Casale sat down for a long form episode of Protonic Reversal.
(note, while this is a fully formed and fully produced episode there is another episode that began as an addendum and later became it’s own episode. You can find that here.)
The inimitable and unstoppable Andy “Falco” Falkous comes back on Protonic Reversal for another long term episode. Does this qualify him for guest host status? Nobody knows.
A freewheeler you will want to hold onto your hat for, key discussion points include an *ACTUAL* discussion of the American Left (if not the Future of it.) Covid-19 and Misfits beshirted minor villainy. All things *mclusky, and a little discussion of the last christian fitness record.
“So… You Are the Ambulance”
Toshi Kasai is back on Protonic Reversal! He has a brand new record/project called PLAN D!
–Plan D: Working with tons of different drummers to make a very cool record.
-Lieutenant tour (Nate Mendel)
-Solo sets opening for Melvins
-Working with a number of different bands/clients
-Overpreparing/underpreparing for recording.
-Making a band/artist feel comfortable
-bands arguing for 10 minutes over a part that is 5 seconds.
-Tracking at sound of Sirens vs. tracking in other places/studios.
-Upcoming bands recorded
-“the wrong end of adventure” with destination recording.
-“partying” in the studio/recording process
It’s Dale Crover! of the Dale Crover Band, Melvins, Altamont and… well, Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends! He’s been on before, but never in his own episode. And here it is. Awesome.
-Dale Crover Band – Sell Out
-The Who – Sell Out
–Being on a split single and being on both sides. (DCB/NeutronFriends)
-Drum record on JNR
-Bringing the Dale Crover Band into being an actual band.
-Recording with Mark Arm and Steve turner of Mudhoney!
-Collaborations (Helms Alee!)
-Sound of Sirens!
-A sense of adventure in the studio/trying new stuff with Toshi
-Working on others stuff vs. your own
-Nocturnal Habits record
-Different kinds of percussion
-The KISS style solo records
-Melvins @ Gilman/Covered Wagon (San Francisco Days)
-Lysol / Lice-all (copyright/trademark vs. generic term)
-Mark Deutrom/Lori Black
-Covering Going Blind/KISS and then later playing it live with Gene Simmons.
-Playing with KISS and playing with Rush.
-Double drums with Coady Willis and playing with Jared Warren
-Hold it In
-Mike and the Melvins
-Reconciling with Kevin Rutmanis
-P.I.L./Flowers of Romance/Martin Atkins/American Bandstand
-Setting up the Melvins space for Ministry
-Steven McDonald in Melvins
-General quarantine wrap-up, QUARANTIME!
Steven McDonald has been playing music since he was 12 years old and making records and touring with his brother Jeff as the band Redd Kross the whole time. He’s also played in such bands as OFF!, Melvins, and a live incarnation of Sparks. Redd Kross has a new album out called “Beyond the Door” and Steven and Conan talk about… well, a lot of stuff.
-Beyond The Door
-Dale Crover on drums
-Sparks Covers / “When Do I Get To Sing My Way?”
-Sparks talk with Conan and Steven.
-There really haven’t been that many Redd Kross records for as long the band has been around.
-40+ year career/starting in with Redd Kross as a kid!
-First show with black flag. (Keith and Robo era)
-Then playing with Keith in OFF! years later.
-Redd Kross being influence by rock and… well KISS.
-Neurotica and recording with Tommy Ramone (after learning to play along to the first Ramones record.
-Dale Crover interlude
-“Big Time Records”
-Major label stuff/the “Alternative era”/manuf
-Major or minor, anybody can be a dick.
-Right thing/right time and taking a 10 year break from actively being in a band.
-Getting out of ruts, overlooking things, liking things as identity (punk rock)
-Thrift stores over hardcore
-oh yeah… THE MELVINS
-Joining the Melvins.
-Superhero team logistics
-The wild world of the Melvins.
-Bringing the Rock ‘n roll show energy to the Melvins.
-“Don’t listen to the records!”
-Please do not throw things at Steven McDonald.
Tim Midyett returns to Protonic Reversal, for the first #StayHome edition of the show. Tim comes back with a brand new 2xLP Mint Mile record, as well as new experiences from recording and touring with legends of drone: SUNN 0)))
-Playing live vs. not
-Baroque elements and Showing Ambertron to a younger Tim.
-Listening to old stuff from way back when.
-Playing with people more skilled than you are/playing with people better than you.
-playing with and entering the world of SUNN 0))), a detailed journey!
-Michael Dahlquist tour diaries.
-Bottomless Pit revisited.
For the 150th episode, one of our favorite guests is back, the unmistakable and always interesting Mr. Steve Albini.
-Making ends meet in the age of quarantine.
-The American Health Care system
-The slow escalation of risk with a midwest Shellac tour
-Playing new songs live, 1/3 of the set is unreleased stuff.
-Live experience vs. vegas stage show (the art of surprise and stage expectations)
-Billiard Player Song and live evolution of songs
-Cheap Trick vs. the Ex
-Do the internal meanings of the songs change.
-Accountability for song content/flawed thinking
-Culpability v/ doubling down on dickery.
-Jokes vs. just being a jerk (comedians)
-Big Black art aesthetic (it was cheaper!)
-Big Black: Jordan, Minnesota
-Big Black: Seth (his DOG hated black people…)(race in America and privilege)
-The name of the band Rapeman
-Rapeman: “I have not been held to account”
-Dave Riley of Big Black remembered
-The Girl on the Third Floor soundtrack (with Tim Midget and Helen Money)
-The End of Radio Peel sessions
The one and only Billy Gould finally comes on Protonic Reversal! Billy and his coharts have an awesome new The Talking Book album. A project that evokes eno-like soundscapes as well as 70s film soundtracks. Conan and Billy talk about that, many things Faith No More and… Milk Cult?
-Talking Book II-70s film soundtracks
-9 year gap
-Structured but not structured
-“It’s not ready until it’s ready”
-Adding a member to a very subjective and subconscious enterprise
-Not the same as getting a new band member.
-Faith No More going into new directions the audience didn’t necessarily expect
-Being known as a “rock guy.”
-Old San Francisco
-(Men of) Porn
-Playing in Jello Biafra’s band
-Faith No More reunion and complex relationships.
-Songs with problems “We fixed ’em!”
-Getting the call from Wayne Kramer to play in the MC50
-Playing with Brendan Canty
-“If you do something, see it though
-Choose a journey where you don’t care about the destination.
-The many moods and styles of guitar players of Faith More.
-FNM as alchemy
-Slap bass demo tapes
-touring vs. recording
-Live shows with Talking Book
-Kool Arrow: the genre is “good”
Buzz Osborne returns to Protonic Reversal to discuss quarantines, the new acoustic(+) album Gift of Sacrifice, songwriting, gear and lots, lots more.
-EP, Acoustic Records and covering Six Pack
-Limited edition handmade stuff
-“You don’t HAVE to buy it.”
-Suiting songs to the player
-Steven McDonald in the band
-How people listen to music
-Vintage vs. useful
-Vinyl vs. cds
-Songwriting and “banking songs”
-Picking up a guitar to write vs. just to play.
-“You don’t want the fourth of july at all times.”
-Letting the lightning strike
Jonathan Nuñez of the mighty Torche joins Conan for a talk that includes:
-Nuñez Amplification and pedals
-The current “golden age” of small scale, handmade gear.
-Moving from bass go guitar.
-Parting ways with Andrew
-Parting ways with Juan
-The extended family of Miami rockers.
-The absolutely insane journey of Torche’s post-Russian/Greece Covid-19 tour
-Covid-19 lifestyle changes
-Torche “Part Time Punks” sessions
-Jonathan’s path into recording and playing music.
And tons more!
-Doing the video with Travis and Joe (and Donel!)
-Video with Jimmy the cab driver (reprising that character after years)
-Making the other video at the Salton Sea with still photographs
-“Don’t mind the crickets.”
-The book! “Sing Backwards and Weep” (and companion piece record)
-Recording the companion piece record to the book and linking the songs to it.
-“A pandora’s box of shitty memories.”
-Working with Rob Marshall of Humanist.
-Making a double record/great double records.
-Opening for Watt
-Meet and greets at the merch table and getting ghost pain from shaking hands.
-Complicated hand shake non-engagement
-Picking a setlist with so much material.
-Ripping off Leonard Cohen
-Rated R and joining Queens of the Stone Age
-Gutter Twins with Greg Dulli
-Playing on each other’s records, vs. working on things together.
-Meeting Greg Dulli (and initially wanting to kick ass ass)
-Josh Homme in Screaming Trees
-Walking the streets with Josh Homme, and Josh being misidentified as a cop!
-The Conner brothers.
-The story of the Screaming Trees.
-Publically learning how to make records
-Different crowds knowing different eras of the music.
-Artist vs. entertaintainer vs. guy who stands there and sings.
-Stooges and being in Iggy’s sights