All Souls is a fascinating newer band! Although he lives in Los Angeles now, running the excellent Eastside Rehearsal studios, Tony and Conan know each other from the bay area heavy/noisy rock world. All Souls is a bit of a different animal though. Hear all about their touring with the Jesus Lizard, Melvins and TOOL, the band’s origin story and concept. Erik Trammel and Matt Price! Whatever happened with Last Days of Ancient Sunlight? This episode has a good overview, if not totally comprehensive look attheTotimoshidiscography. Some background on Tony’s… well… background. Rig Rundown! All that plus Tony’s tales of tour managing and road crewing bands like Neurosis, High On Fire, Melvins and more.
San Antonio’s The Grasshopper Lies Heavy have been making uncompromising heavy music for over 10 years. They have a brand new one “A Cult That Worships a God of Death“ out on Learning Curve Records. The record is examined on a song by song breakdown, as well as hearing more about splits with Gay Witch Abortion, touring Japan, what does and does not sell t-shirts and the hunt for tuning pegs in a foreign land. Get heavy, people!
Pt 2! of Ep253’s Pt.1. Heavy focus on Only Ghosts and Ross Robinson, recording that record as a destination recording and then a detailed song by song breakdown of Arrows. Also taking bands on tour you like and paying it forward, deep dive on songwriting and lots more.
John Adams! Game of Thrones! Fury Road! Oscars and Emmys. The divided worlds of sound editing and music and a stunning career in a cool profession. Endurance contest BF practices. Instrumental Flag vs. with Vocals. Touring. Slip it in! Loose nut! Process of Weeding Out! DOS and Watt, Billie Holiday! Songwriting and idea jotting. The incredible story of Kira’s stolen (and recovered) bass. All of that and so very much more, Kira Also, Kira has a solo record coming out on Kitten Robot Records! Hey, it’s Kira, she’s an icon and a badass, dig in.
The one and only Johnny Temple! Not just the low end master at the mighty Girls Against Boys, but also proprietor of the incredible Akashic Books. Getting book advice from Henry Rollins and 2.13.61, Black Sparrow Press and what is different from the music biz vs. the book biz. Lots of talk of the stylish and sly house of GvsB. The specialness of Kill the Sexplayer, Reconvening in Prague in 2017 for Scott McCloud’s birthday and a whole lot more.
The iconic, unmistakable and mighty Erica Dunn of Mod Con and TFS stops in to chat many things musical, Covid and what not. The existential whiplash of hitting it hard on the road and playing music to the dead stop of the pandemic. Thrill to the brand new Mod Con single Ammo (and subsequent album!) and hear a bit about the tantalizingly mysterious new TFS album DEEP STATES. The path to playing music FOR REAL, playing live shows again, the origins of Palm Springs. What makes You Let My Tyres Down such a unique and cool song. Layers and layers, space in Mod Con and maximalism in TFS… all that and more, more, more!
Dana’s band Wavebreaker is an intersectional rock band centering the needs and lived experiences of girls, women, and femmes of color. A passionate advocate for progressive politics, Wavebreaker is explicitly political, pointed and ready to rock in the name of freedom and equality. Enter: Interdependence. Formed from the excellent Batwings Catwings and featuring members of Turbo Lightning at the Mae-shi, listen in as Dana talks about the overall game plan and strategy of walking the walk politically while still making great tunes, standing rock, rocking while being a female POC, skating and lots more.
One of Conan’s favorite front people in music returns to Protonic Reversal. The incredible and inimitable Lindsey Charles of The Cell Phones. Direct and honest lyricism, powerful presentation and the incongruity of a spazzy band with great pop hooks. Lesley Gore is discussed, Halloween albums, and a little bit of each one of the the three full lengths this uncompromising and badass band has released. INCLUDING 2020’s Best 20 of 2020 NUMBER ONE RECORD, Battery Lower. Song by song!
Exhalants are a great band from Texas. 2020’s ATONEMENT was on the Protonic Reversal Top 20 of 2020. We do a SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN of that very record (RICHARD! LAKE SONG)… as well as a roundup of Exhalants live experiences, the first record, split with Pinko, the value of a live record during a pandemic that people cannot experience live music. Gentrification, local band bills and lots, lots more.
The Gary have a new one out called FALLOW. Their first with drummer Anthony Castaneda. The long running Texas rockers have a unique sound and a unique voice. Check out bass player and singer Dave Norwood talk about taking the leap towards singing *AND* playing, what starts in the head vs. how the song turns out. Literary catnip. Chub, dust bowl, taprooms, “the Well(tm)”, National Parks, Valhalla! Fair Weatherer! Call The Dogs! All that stuff and lots, lots more. Including a song by song breakdown of the latest near the end. The Gary is a unique and iconically American band. It’s about dang time Dave was on.
Rye has an amazing arc! From sweaty basement post-hardcore/noise rock rippers, to anthemic big rock power houses. Much of this is outlined in the excellent documentary “Rye Coalition: The Story of the Hard Luck 5“, but listen in as Dave talks about everything from splits with KARP and the LAST SHOW at Princeton, John Sherman… wasted, touring with Queens of the Stone Age and Foo Fighters all the way to hobnobbing with the rock ‘n roll elite and going for the brass ring. Through it all: the friendship is the through line. Along with some killer riffs. And stay tuned for a very revealing protonic exclusive!
The enigmatic rocker Mike Lust has a brand new record called Demented Wings. We go deep into a song by song breakdown of that record, as well as a lot about the legendary doublealbum SILK PRISON by Tight Phantomz. Phantomz on Breaking Bad! Lustre King and about a million things more.
The mighty Red Fang is back with a brand new record called ARROWS. Listen it as Aaron speaks with Conan about: Party Time to Red Fang, Prehistoric Dog! Making a band that keeps the heavy, but spares the sextant, being handpicked by Metallica for Orion fest and still being able to be a little star struck. Thoughts on memories on the S/T, Murder the Mountains and Whales and Leeches and the in-depth story of Red Fang’s totally badass appearance on David Letterman. Also, check out PART 2!
From Come and Codeine, to The New Year and MVF, to his excellent solo albums, Chris Brokaw has done QUITE A BIT. In depth Codeine talk (the unreleased second record?!?), Come through the ages, The New Year origin and more, playing with Clint Conley of Mission of Burma in Consonant, the Martha’s Vineyard Ferries. So much! So much music talk. Oberlin! NY. All that plus a track by track run through of the excellent Puritan record that came out early this year. Let’s do it!
Eric of The Bismarck‘s comprehensive documentary on touring “Why Am Doing This?” has been setting the internet on fire! The harsh but hilarious focus on smaller bands, shared experiences, touring etiquette and where adventure can turn to compulsion and trauma. Eric and Conan get into all of the details of creating this wonderful document, what did and didn’t make it in. Unique challenges and pitfalls, and lots of other things.
Yes, you read that right. One of the founders of DEVO suggested turning the tables on Conan for the 7 Year and 250 episode milestone. What, we are going to say no? Although nobody could have predicted that Conan’s mother would be killed in a car crash that week. That is discussed, as well as what set Conan on his creative path. The complicated legacy and catalyst of Clay Wofford, the origin of Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends, Protonic in the time of COVID (a piece of wreckage after the shipwreck), getting on stage in front of people, the genius of Toshi Kasai and asking Dale Crover to be part of Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends. Lessons learned from all of that. New Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends plans, being too angry to write music. Hall monitors and following rules that don’t make sense. Getting out there and so much more. LOOK, it’s Jerry Casale of DEVO talking to Conan Neutron. Cool? Cool.
Critical thinking. Ephemerality v. Timelessness, Getting drunk on far more expensive wine. Songs of the Free, tracking and revising songs for Return the Gift. Trading creative control vs. bigger bucks. Top of the Pops! (“You’re welcome Duran Duran”) EMI and Warner Brothers, SOLID GOLD and Another Day, Another Dollar. ANTHRAX! The theatre of beating up the microwave. The massive undertaking that is the breathtaking Gang of Four box set 77-81, the tension of Entertainment! and the Band of Brothers of classic Gang of Four, URGH! A music war, PARALYZED, The passing of Andy Gill. Possible new Gang of Four activity. The should have been hit of To Hell With Poverty. Custom Premier kits and A&R. RtJ, Frank Ocean.
Power trios! New Day Rising (by Robert Palmer), The upcoming LIVE Husker album HÜSKER DÜ – LONGHORN TONIGHT-Double Album (protonic exclusive), the Savage Young Dü box set. The Mustache. The Great Gildersleeves show and the Replacements not getting paid. Album by album HD memories, Zen Arcade rock opera, 2 track live Reoccuring Dreams. and the Minutemen. Ice Cold Ice, major labels, Hüsker Düdes, Gang Font aging like fine wine and Porcupine.
The ultimate utility player arrives at the protonic reversal. Anita Lane. Serge Gainsbourg interpretations and covers, Autoluminescent and the many aspects of the mighty Rowland S. Howard. THE BIRTHDAY PARTY! Junkyard and not rounding off the corners. Murder Ballads! Red Right Hand! The somewhat contentious Henry’s Dream (and the eventual 5:1 mix and reissue?), The purposeful playing in PJ Harvey’s live band (assembled by personality as much as skill) and so very, very much more. Look: Mick Harvey has done it all. Let’s sit back and appreciate it, right?
New single, in a very S2T style fashion. You can blame the Marshall for that. My 90s and photographic time travel. Music cues for Reno 911, composition. Videos and vision. HIT LIQUOR as one of the finest “statement of intent” openers of any album. Shudder as the kind of band that played with fugazi and Pearl Jam. The high water mark of Higher and Higher (Wet Hot American Summer), and the Bowie like brilliance of Maxwell Demon (Velvet Goldmine), the timeliness and necessity of The Sabbath Sessions, all that and MUCH, MUCH MORE!
The mighty Eugene Robinson returns… after…140+ episodes and 4 years? We talk about Oxbow signing with IPECAC for the new record, his recent substack writing, a whole lot about the monumental Oxbow record Thin Black Duke and the Thin Black Book. The difference between BECOMING and being, playing OXBOW music and many other things. We get into the tale of BLACK FACE with Chuck Dukowski of Black Flag, Diamonda Galas capsule reviews and tons more.
Fookin’ Ferries are back with a kick ass full length record “Suns Out Guns Out“. Hear a bit about being a geographically disparate outfit, playing Brokaw chords, not thinking too hard about what the band sounds like, just sounding like it, the many ways a Ferries song comes together, Greens Fees, and a full on song by song breakdown of the new MVF record.
Silly riffs and other such tales. The mighty Part Chimp have a brand new record DROOL, available on Wrong Speed in the UK and Europe and on Learning Curve Records in the US. We go through Drool song by song, and talk of Truman’s Water, Live shows, being a cultural magpie. Part Chimp play along videos, sci-fi album covers and having some time to actually write lyrics ahead of time. Lyric book and all! Tune it down to B and listen in.
It is the one and only David Yow! Singer and frontman of The Jesus Lizard and Scratch Acid. Part time singer of Flipper, Qui… and star of stage and screen! Look, look, look, so much to get to here. We talk about acting. Also, since it is the 30th anniversary of The Jesus Lizard – Goat we go in depth into that record SONG BY SONG. Is Monkey Trick the best Jesus Lizard song? All that, Get Shorty, blues covers of TJL and lots and lots more.
Yes, yes! The unmistakable Falco returns to Protonic Reversal. We talk about GATEWAY BAND, the new mclusky* live record that comes with a demo of things to come. Creating and the act of creating. SONGS! SONGS! SONGS! More songs than a song convention? SING IT. They may be ones you may or may not get to hear. Christian Fitness, Future of the Left, back issues. Shipping records. Cardiff –> London —> Bristol. Kelson the dentist. Look, look… the man has been on at least 7 times over the years. There’s a good reason. A DELIGHTFUL CHAT. Chock full of delight, really.
Cheshire Agusta is a powerhouse drummer and living legend. The long running, uncompromising and utterly relentless Stinking Liz are the pride of West Philly and known the world over. Listen in as this relentless master of the drums and paragon of live performance breaks down the musical conversation where everybody is talking, all of the different exciting drum minutia you might imagine and so very much more. This is a far ranging conversation, and that’s without the antics of Dr. Fly.
It is the incomparable Matt Parish! Once front fella, guitarist and singer for the much loved Boston Noiserock band HO-AG, Matt relocated to Nashville, TN and has now put out a field recording/soundtrack style album of composed songs out as Stuffed Spider. Listen in to hear about THAT transition, keeping yourself engaged when you are the only bandmate and some distanced forensics on the very well earned weirdness of the mighty Ho-Ag who meant quite a bit to the people it meant something to.
Well hey! It is the third round with Greg Saunier of the incredible and iconic Deerhoof. We left things off last time with just arriving at the Ed Rodriguez era. This episode here is a detailed run through of everything from Offend Maggie to Future Teenage Cave Artists and Love-Lore. 2008-2020. Scorsese’s Vinyl, Awkwafina, installations, the many moods of distance recording. PHEW! All the excellent Deerhoof deets you can shake a shake at.
Rick Froberg is a fantastic vocalist, rock ‘n roll front man and a HELL of a visual artist. Join in for a very free wheeling conversation while we talk about, well… all of his various bands, as well as punk rock t-shirt bootleggers, Wire, Metallica, LUAU, Jehu reunions, Rocker blocks, Hot Snakes 1st and 2nd times, Obits and so many, many other things. Come on! Rick Froberg, people!
The mighty NONAGON of Chicago has a new record called They Birds. It isn’t an ep, it is an actual, honest to goodness full length record. It is also a corker! Listen in as we go through the origin of the band, the ever awesome People Live Everywhere and the Last Hydronaut and an in-depth song by song discussion of the new album. Delightful fellas and a delightful talk. #wherestony
Sam Paulsen (Aka: Avona Nova, Sam Shark, etc.) is a fantastic guitarist, singer and songwriter. Most known for being Athens Rock Royalty(TM), she recently pulled up stakes and moved to Bellingham, Washington. Listen is as we talk about reconvening with WVTS, and writing an awesome reunion/comeback record just in time for the pandemic. The rewards and emotional stress of her day job as a nurse during COVID, not being motivated to play guitar. Joining up with MOAM? and going from a fill in member, to a full fledged member. Wild shows, low ceilings, funny times in São Paulo and also a song by song breakdown of Goodbye Guitar by We Versus the Shark.
SILKWORM – Firewater! An iconic record at 25. Listen in as Tim Midyett returns to Protonic Reversal to tell stories of every song on this remarkable album. Lyrics, parts, memories, recordings, minutia!
The man behind the mighty Helmet should need no introduction. Multiple time signatures in the same song and boobs on TV. DROP D. Influence and influencing. ESPs and the Beatles (four geniuses). Prong. AC/DC and Branca! Harsh criticisms and nasty things that can’t be unsaid. Image and the Gold Rush 90s. STRAP IT ON to MEANTIME to BETTY. Composing music for film and tv vs. for a band. SOUNDTRACKING. Taking Playing in David Bowie’s band and the amazing “Hangover Hamilton.” story.
It’s been a bit since Danielle has been on the show. Her band, the perpetually touring Hackedepicciotto with Alexander Hacke of Einstürzende Neubauten came on right as COVID was starting up. She has a new solo record called The Element of Love that just came out on Valentine’s Day. Listen in as Conan and Danielle examine the record song by song and get into depth on everything from workflow and mindset, coin-operated trees and the moon looming large.
God Bullies: legend to some and nearly unknown to others. A unpredictable and engaging rock band whose besuited frontman, Mike, seemed to be coming apart from the inside. Here we talk about conspiracies, building stories around the music (Tommy Shannon, David Livingstone, etc.), and crafting lyrics to weave tales through the madness. The FULL story behind “Pretty on the Inside” on Kill the King, some assorted vignettes of the God Bullies catalog, Some Thrall talk, and They Never Sleep, revisiting old material while not looking too far back to the past. All of this along with the pranksterism of one Ron Asheton on the set of Mosquito, and so much more. It is Mike Hard! REJOICE.
Well hey, hey! It’s none other that the mighty Dale Crover of Melvins returning to Protonic Reversal after 75 episodes or so. Dale has an awesome new solo album called Rat-A-Tat-Tat! on Joyful Noise full of rock ‘n roll goodness and is fresh off the first installment of Melvins TV (Next episode up now!)
We go in depth through every song on the record, with deviations here and there as well as the new Melvins 1983 album “Working With God“, after that… DCB talk, Hostile Ambient Takeover reissue, Redd Kross, cover songs and setlist choices, Lysol, Leif Garrett, Wayne Kramer and… yeah, yeah. Lots of other stuff.
Come listen to one of rock’s greatest drummers, and member of Redd Kross, Shrinebuilder, Altamont (yeah, yeah and Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends) and so much more dish it all out.
It has been awhile since Scott was on Protonic last! (just shy of 5 years!) With a new KWC/Ken Mode/Shallow North Dakota benefit split release for SND’s Tony Jacome (who has stage 4 pancreatic cancer), there’s a lot to talk about. Each Kowloon Walled City album is discussed in depth, as well as studio and recording ideas and tactics, pedal building, collaborations and splits, quarantimes and assembly lines and lots, lots more. “Don’t bend notes and don’t play the little box pattern”
Making the move to politically oriented music with Wavebreaker. A slow and careful gestation period for a new band. and a possibly unorthodox method for getting it to people. Amplifying voices (figuratively and literally) The privilege of punk rock, being challenge by Slim Moon of Kill Rock Stars to be more political, The Mae-Shi! “Surprise music!”, “We Do This All the Time”, putting on a show, Terrorbird and Hllyh. Sobriety becoming a force multiplier for creativity. Composition, sound design and commercial music work… Writing the worst possible thing on purpose (to get to something good). Making a podcast as an avenue to learn more about crypto currency. Starting podcasts and starting an app (BandcasT) to make PODCASTING EASIER. All this and SO. MUCH. MORE. with this wildly creative fella.
RLND (Formerly Roland) is a wonderful SF Bay Area (and beyond) instrumental band with a great new record called Zealand. While their previous record evoked bands like Breadwinner and the Fucking Champs, the new one is more psychedelic, layered and vibey. Join Joe and Conan as they go through each of the tracks on Zealand one by one, and also just generally speak to the journey of an independent band. To say nothing of line-up shifts, riffs, quarantimes and all the rest of it.
The incredible Josh Newton hasn’t been on the show for a full episode since episode 79! That’s been almost 5 years. Oops! Lots has happened since then, not the least of which is Shiner recording and releasing their wonderful new record Schadenfreude. There is talk of that, the legacy and music of Shiner, some talk of Glazed Baby (RIP: Andy Newman), lots about Sie Lieben Maschinen, a touch about being a guitar tech/gear hound for a living and a few of “the hits” from last time. Such as playing with Fallout Boy in a field with a rotation stage and learning “Uptown Funk” and playing it on the BBC. It’s Josh Newton, he’s a delight… come on!
JP is relentless innovator in no compromise noisy business. Well known for the mighty band The Locust (Which didn’t sound anything like Crossed Out), you also may know Retox, or Planet B, or a little group with other members of doing their thing called Dead Cross. If you don’t know that, maybe Swing Kids! The mighty 31G. Busy fella that does a lot of cool stuff. Conan and Justin talk about a lot of things, bringing the DEVO into hardcore, Kool Keith memories that may not exist, soundtracking with beats that are and are not hard enough, some formative experiences in Tijuana, Extreme Elvis, John Waters, and tons and tons more.
Wot wot? It’s two of the fine fellows of Hey Colossus, Chris Summerlin and Joe Thompson. Dance/Curses, their THIRTEENTH record, is one of Conan’s favorites of 2020 and so a TransAtlantic quarantimes Protonic Reversal is the order of the day. THRILL to the sounds of every single song on this epic album gone over in forensic detail, DRINK every time Joe claims they won’t be playing one live, or you know… don’t. Fascinating record and band, lots of fun details and process, DIY, etc. Also, some needless (or NEEDED?) digressions into Soundgarden and mumble rap (?!?). Peace and love! Peace and love!
Well, look here! It’s SF dark and noisy rockers THE TUNNEL. Join a very special late night quarantimes edition of Protonic to hear these talented lads breakdown every track on their stellar Shapeshifter record (which appeared in the Top 20 of 2020 protonic reversal episode) as well as the Nightfall ep. Listen in to these innovative fellows speak to how they are staying creative during quarantine and where they fit in between the world of spooky death rock and grindy noisy rock. Ladies and gentlemen the hour groweth late, it is the tunnel!
It’s Birdstuff of MOAM? A noted raconteur and very funny man, oh yeah and a hell of a drummer! He runs a venue called the Saturn that “rips off” things he likes from other venues during years of touring. (A million dollar PA system costs a million dollars, and being nice is free). There is talk of aliases, and being inspired by dislike. Sending out postcards to fans, touring the world playing music that isn’t exactly HARD SURF, while maintaining a longtime pre-social network connection with highly engaged fans. Reminding Joel Hodgson of the words to the MST3K theme song live, usage of samples to differentiate the songs and tune and stuff. Estrus to Touch and Go and getting darker in the process. Also hear about SERVOTRON playing with Dave Pirner. Starcrunch, Birdstuff and Steve Albini sharing a bed heated by TV dinners (oh yeah, and recording with him too) and sooooo much more. IT’S GO TIME!
Eddie and Conan go way back, all the way to Eddie’s late-90s, early 2000s “noise-rock band” Leopold. Plenty to talk about just with that, but he’s also a member of the reunited Distorted Pony(!). A much missed band from the halcyon days of weird music, and a band he was an unabashed fan of. How does one approach playing in one of your favorite bands and what does that look like? From tone to space, to practices with one member in a different state, european tours and everything in between, to being ready to ramp back up in 2020 and pump the brakes because of COVID. Get an insider’s look at this very specific set of parameters in cool noisy music with Eddie Rivas.
It has been awhile since the enigmatic Darren Jackson (AKA: Kid Dakota) has been on Protonic Reversal. Last time was right after the reissue of So Pretty on vinyl, and before the sadly overlooked Denervation. This time it is a brand new record for 2020 (or at least a few weeks of it) Age of Roaches! We get into a song by song breakdown, as well as why some of this record has been kicking around for 14 years (!). Darren shares his process for working on the record and managing a day job teaching music, talk of dark lyrics, pastoral fetishism, and why is it that it might be inconvenient to the legend of Kid Dakota that he has continued making records. And in-depth look at an artist somehow shrouded in mystery and hiding in plain site.
Heather Smith is Bone and Bell, an artist who sometimes has a band sometimes doesn’t. Her new record To a Cinder is something to behold. Orchestral Folk? Apocalyptic Americana? None of that does it justice. The songs are dark and true and quite compelling. She comes from a world of noisier music but expressed her art her way. Listen in on a song by song breakdown of the record, as well as the real life story of having to relearn to play completely after a major accident. Turning tragedy into triumph. An excellent visual artist and musician, this has been a long time coming.
The mighty Greg Saunier of Deerhoof returns to Protonic Reversal! It has been over a year, and last time was pre-pandemic, uprising and election. Wow! Since we barely got through the first couple records last time with all the talk of San Francisco… this talk includes Defund the Police, and policing those that SAY Defund the Police, as well as all of the world events since then. It also gets us through the Chris Cohen era of Deerhoof and (almost all of) the 2000s. Many fine tales, including DAVID BOWIE, Thom Yorke slam dancing and putting together samples in the most torturous and labor intensive way possible. Work/life balance. All that. A DEEP DIVE into Reveille, Apple O, Milk Man, Green Cosmos, Runners Four and a little bit about Friend Opportunity.
Welcome to a round table discussion on the rock band AC/DC, with Brian Walsby, Tony Ash and Conan Neutron. Album by album thoughts and breakdowns by three smart ass rock dudes that really like the band, but also appreciate their total absurdity.
Formation of the 8G Band with Fred Armisen! Playing Late Night with Seth Meyers… guest drummers and adjustments. A new way of working and who does and does not have punk rock reference points. (Also, nobody cares if you don’t watch tv.) Les Savy Fav starting up with 3/5 and playing those songs years later, LSF, the Ft. Thunder house band. Frenchkiss Records! the Cat and the Cobra, and obsessing about a sample. Toko Yasuda! ROME (written upside down), Playing with Shellac. The long history of the Inches 7″ single project, the puzzle and planning it from day one. Half the band writing hooks, half trying to tear it down. Go Forth! and trying to make things bloom on demand. Let’s Stay Friends, Root For Ruin and playing suites of cover songs where you are so behind the beat you get lapped for a live album. All this and much, much more in this very special Protonic Reversal.
San Diego rock royalty Tobias Nathaniel is known to most for being half of the core of the iconic and influential Black Heart Procession. Excavating the maudlin, somber and longing of the human spirit and defining a sound. Now he lives in Belgrade Serbia and makes lively rock music with The Red Step. There’s still a color, there’s still a movement. We speak of him being a guitar player known for playing piano the most, AC30s (no pedals!), his contribution on Blonde Redhead’s Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons and one of those songs becoming a famous piece of music in Rick and Morty, working with David J, why The Spell is his favorite Black Heart record, learning to sing in a band after many years of playing music (finding a voice) and lots, lots more!
Greg has a new record (Child Soldier: Creator of God)! It is under his own name and most of it doesn’t sound much like Dillinger Escape Plan. Listen in as Greg and Conan talk about how directors and actors aren’t expected to do the same thing but musicians are. Boxes and rooms. Doing things because you have something to say vs. wanting to be heard. Spotify, categories and other prisons.
The founding of Federal Prisoner and putting out records that way, vs with a major label or established indie label. Making the decision to release the record under the same name he pays his power bill under, and removing the shield of band identity. Playing Alice in Chains songs with Jerry Cantrell in small rooms without volume to back up anything, and playing with people that make you step your game up. The ending of Dillinger Escape Plan, the origin story of Killer Be Killed (who also have a new record out!), and lots, LOTS more.
At LONG LAST! A conversation with one of the most mysterious and unsung guitar heroes of “weird music”. Listen in as Helios and Conan talk about taking inspiration from Hendrix and Sabbath live (and the acid), and making timeless records like Alien Soundtracks and Half Machine Lip Moves too. Model trains. The sad decline of Damon Edge, Overcoming illness and adversity, touring with Hawkwind members, common cause with Flipper and Dead Kennedys. Lactating Purple! Look: Helios has had an incredible career, and it is likely you aren’t familiar with all of it. So act accordingly.
Also, It is entirely likely that you will get a contact high from this episode.
Puscifer has a new record called Existential Reckoning. Conan talks with Agent Round and discuss: Arcosanti (live at…), Chapman Sticks, Fairlights and “people doing weird shit”, contrasting ideas (Fake Affront). Live vs. record and serving the song, Bob Dylan. New and surprising. Lyrics. Accept songs. “It’s wrong and it’s right, and it’s Puscifier”. Doing the work, even when it is divine. Nick Cave! Tears for Fears (what, seriously?)
Listen in on this talented artist talking about process, mindset and worldview.
The iconic guitar player and composer breaks down playing and recording songs written in high school in Humboldt with thrash heroes like Scott Ian and Dave Lombardo. Flexing different muscles on the lost Bungle “thrash record” and relearning those songs. The difference between the architect/director of a band like SC3, vs JUST being the guitarist. Repairing non-standard/esoteric instruments on the road. Time signatures that are not actually odd. Ches! Danny! Orthodox Theology and Byzantine Chant.
Oh yeah, and King for a Day… Fool for a Lifetime by Faith No More too.
All that and some high minded concepts, ideas and conception about composition, tones and what is and is not paint by numbers.
Listen in to THE GRAND INQUISTOR (Conan Neutron) break it down with Trey.
It has been 10 years since the release of the both groundbreaking and still somewhat lesser known Something for Everybody. As with many things DEVO, it came out just a little bit before its time. Sounding purposefully “modern,” and focus group approved, the energy hats were changed to the more pleasing color of blue, and everything from the mastering to the song choice was meant to shine a light on the world of music ala 2010.
Join us for a song by song breakdown, as well as a larger exploration of this fascinating record, with founding DEVO member Jerry Casale. A Protonic Reversal special.
AWESOME. Been wanting to do this talk for a long time. In this episode, you will find: Some talk about podcasts (on a podcast), Coriky! The ecosystem around record stores and pandemic logistics. Starting on piano and moving to bass and then guitar! Baritones! Suggestion! fugazi demos! Instrument (but just the jerks). Lack of interest in nostalgia. Sitting down and standing back up, memes and mortality, Ian’s memory palace, being made into “content” and for what reason, some discussion on the psychological effect of social media and what you can and cannot control and some very thought provoking advice and perspective on maintaining sanity in crazy times. Be enCOURAGED and don’t give them your joy.
An incredible career in music and an incredible catalog of songs. Sloan are a force to be reckoned with, an instrument switching band with equal parts songwriting duties and cut of the money. Major label rollercoaster and continuing work long after, we get some sloan songwriting power rankings, some details about the recording of the various records (NAVY BLUES!) and a whole lot of the Chris Murphy ethos. Oh yeah, a little bit about Scott Pilgrim, listen in on a music lifer who has forged a unique path forward and continues to do really cool stuff.
Running Punks! Punks! Running! It has become quite the phenom. Album reviews by a man running and shouting at his phone. An online community motivating people to run all around the world that have a shared interest in weird music. Jimmy also spent time in Future of the Left and the Vega Bodegas playing guitar, but this thing with the running seems to really connect to people.
Turns out sticking to running isn’t such a bad thing after all.
Not just one of the most iconic and Idiosyncratic front men of all time, Shannon Selberg has stories for days. Being “the heel” in the scene/support slot, cover choices, forcing the audience to be in the moment, WALTZES, musical “jokes”, Thor’s non-euclidian geometry guitar work, and eating a major label rep’s business card. All that and a wee bit of Heroine Sheiks too. Draw yourself a marker mustache and dig in.
Patrick was 1/4 of the incredible Poison Control Center, an indie psych band that presented live as a HELL ASS ROCK BAND like the Who or something. In recent years he has done the more cerebral, and baroque multimedia (and mostly one man) band Gloom Balloon. Who has a new record. “Bergman Uses Bach To Get His Point Across, I Feel Like I Have Chosen Rock But At What A Cost”on Grand Phony. What better time to discuss “Why we do, what we do?” right?? It’s in the dang album title. Anyway, a far ranging discussion with the pride of Iowa.
Ed started late in life, and moved to another continent to put together his dream band. He did and it is awesome. Heads. is a perfect exemplar of a working band that makes music far outside the mainstream that means a whole lot to who it is for. Great talk with a song by song breakdown of the most recent record “Push”.
The Crash and Ride Podcast is a unique and beautiful thing, uniquely dedicated to helping musicians survive depression and anxiety. We could JUST talk about that, but Patrick has also played in the incredible Five Eight, Pinky Doodle Poodle, the Powder Room, some incredible session work and… the Psychedelic Furs? Amazing.
Listen in on and as we talk about the real life mental health struggles of musicians, artists and beyond and take a journey through this incredible drummer’s storied career.
It is the 201st episode of Conan Neutron’s Protonic Reversal with the incredible Christopher Williams of Plastic Flame Press and Maple Stave. The creative and talented young man, who is launching the second season of his excellent interview podcast: The Operative.
It is the 200th episode! Conan has extended conversations with former cohosts Brenna Betts (ep: 7-88) and Josh Davis (ep95-129). As well as a montage of guests answering “Why do you what you do?” It is a very different and inward looking protonic reversal exploring the past of the very show itself!
RAW POWER, that should just be the description. But there’s a lot to James Williamson beyond just the Stooges. including a great new record called Two to One with Deniz Tek of Radio Birdman. Awesome! We talk a LOT of Stooges, and a lot about more recent stuff. Including his dual life working in tech before picking the guitar back up with Iggy, in a world where the Stooges are viewed VERY differently. Listen in to a guitar PIONEER!
Steve Von Till has an excellent new solo record and book of poetry. We talk about that as well as the various works and path of Neurosis, Neurot, Harvestman vs. solo work, teaching, live at Pompeii, stone circles, punk rock, and lots, lots more.
Listen in on an uncompromising artist that has forged his own path and has an unparalleled body of work. A great sense of self and a drive to push forward.
Von Wildenhaus is a band, and it is the brainchild of a fella named Ben. Ben also played in the incredible (and wildly underrated) Federation X. Christmas albums! Making low key music compelling! The out of phase history of Federation X. All of that and lots more is talked about with this interesting bi-coastal musician who is forging his own path and scoring his own future.
A living legend! That’s what Alain Johannes is, either you know or you don’t. An incredible player that has lived an incredible life, you have heard Alain’s work in many, many key records. At long lost: Alain and Conan break it all down for you. Including some quantum mechanics talk. Sha-MEN, or Sha-MON?
Buzz is from the Melvins, Trevor is most known for Mr. Bungle but has done a *LOT* of stuff.
Buzz Osborne & Trevor Dunn are today’s guests we talk about “Gift of Sacrifice”, Buzz’s new acoustic record w/Trevor on bass, fantomas! Mr. bungle! tomahawk! trio-convulsant! 50 states in 50 days! Melvins lite! Terry Bozzio! and lots lots more.
(administration note: this interview occurred several days before the two year old Buzz Osborne appearance with Gavin Mcinnes, and contains no references to that appearance. reaction or aftermath. It is the view of Conan Neutron’s Protonic Reversal that appearance has been addressed and clarified in other media.)
Whether it’s the heavy noise-rock of the pioneering Fudge Tunnel of Nottingham, England, the ever enduring side-project Nailbomb with Max of Sepultura, the uncompromising raucousness of Theory of Ruin or the storied and deep career of producing bands as diverse as at.the.drive.in, Death Cab for Cutie, bloc party and godheadSilo. Alex Newport has done a lot.
Check out this LONG OVERDUE protonic reversal with the man, where we speak at length about all of those bands as well his path into recording proper.
Hit So Hard is a book by the incredible Patty Schemel. Patty has led an incredible life, including her time as the groundbreaking (and hard hitting) drummer for the band Hole. This here episode is a walk through of everything from her finding her people in punk rock, the rise of a legit huge band during the alt-gold rush, a fall from grace and getting back up to rediscover what led her to drumming and music in the first place. Strap in!
Phil Manley is most known for the incredible band TRANS AM, but he also played in a latter version of the Fucking Champs, plays in Life Coach with Jon Theodore of Mars Volta and QOTSA and is in the awesome Terry Gross! Hear all about Phil’s relocation from east coast to west, a run down for all of the Trans Am records and… jamming with Zack De La Rocha?
It’s been 123 episodes since Phil’s been on the show, clearly a few things have happened since then! DIG IN!
Long before Vern Rumsey recorded my old band Replicator, long before I was crashing at his place on tour. LONG before HHG. I was listening to Unwound. Wearing out my cassette tapes rocking out to Repetition or New Plastic Ideas.
Put simply, they were one of the reasons I play music in the first place. Their unique and iconic sound was so immediate and compelling and it’s forceful presentation inspired me. I always held that in my head and heart, even as we created stuff together and approached things as musical peers. Vern didn’t seem to realize how much Unwound had touched and inspired people, as if Leaves Turn Inside You isn’t one of the best albums ever made in indie rock. Come on!
But Unwound did and he was a big part of that. Vern wasn’t a perfect guy, his demons are well documented, and shouldn’t be ignored. He was an alcoholic, let’s not short sell that.
He sought help and received it, and transcended that gross and destructive addiction for awhile. He dug deep and brought the thunder with us and found a light in the darkness to transcend for.
He was without a doubt the biggest advocate of Household Gods and was experiencing the deep high of creative satisfaction.
I was glad he got to have that. I am glad to have been in his life.
He was one of the most unique and interesting bass players of all time for my tastes, one of a kind. An icon. I remember watching him play in the unstoppable and incredible Unwound, just bearing down in that inexorable way. Smoking tough the entire time. A portrait of rock ’n roll cool, a viking.
The world is a sadder and quieter place without him in it and I miss my friend.
Rest in Power, Vern Rumsey
Unwound – Corpse Pose Unwound – Valentine Card / Kantina / Were, Are And Was Or Is
Unwound – Demolished Unwound – Side Effects of Being Tired Unwound – Broken E-Strings
Unwound – December Unwound – For Your Entertainment
Oslo of Olympia – Walk The Plank Blonde Redhead – Water
Unwound – All Souls Day Unwound – Terminus
Unwound – Lady Elect Unwound – Envelope
Long Hind Legs – Open Wide Unwound – Re-Enact the Crime
Unwound – Dragnalus Unwound – Off This Century
Red Rumsey – Big House Unwound – Arboretum
Household Gods – Rest In Power (Instrumental)/Unwound – Below The Salt
Jennifer Finch has lived an incredible life. Most known for being 1/4th of the powerful and incredible L7. We talk about photography, records, mindsets, the recording process, leaving L7 and coming back, and lots more. You know, Protonic Reversal stuff. Jennifer doesn’t do many interviews, so it was a blast to talk to her about everything from to Roy Thomas Baker and Voight-Kampff tests to answering machine message tapes that have Kurt Cobain on them.
David Pajo has played with everybody from Billy Corgan, Karen O, Neil Hagerty to… well, Conan Neutron. To this day, he’s still most known for being a member of the iconic, influential and genre defining band Slint. Listen in on a bit of all of that as well as talk of DEAD CHILD (the band), Papa M (of course), touring with Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Interpol, a smidgen of talk about Household Gods. The band with David Pajo, Vern Rumsey of Unwound, LKN and uh… another guy. He’s a suicide and motorcycle accident survivor, a master musician and a hell of a nice guy. It’s… David Pajo!
Australian pub/scum rock legends the Cosmic Psychos have blazed a trail of uncompromising working man’s punk rock, leaving both good times and empty beer cans in their wake for 38 years. The man at that helm is Mr. Ross Knight, a pleasantly rowdy fellow who literally lives on a farm, and is most certainly a bloke you can trust.
Listen in! Go the hack on this episode of Protonic Reversal down under.
NYC Band A Deer A Horse are quarantined, but they did manage to get in some touring first. This is a free wheeling conversation with a young, working co-ed band in the somewhat uniform (and largely male!) genre of noise rock. Best and worst shows, the nature of rock crit. All of that and more! Three very thoughtful and funny folks breaking it down.
From the Boys Next Door to Junkyard, Phill was on the drums in the mighty and majestic Birthday Party. From the earliest days, all the way to the iconoclastic and influential Junkyard. Listen in! Noise + Nick Cave at his most unhinged, post-punk history told straight from one of the fellas that made it. Dang!
Rick and Rose have had an incredible history in music, largely with their band the Poster Children. Navigating the original indie label movement, the early 90s gold rush, and the “I like it small” modern indie rock movement. All with an eye towards sustainability and making informed choices towards those goals. Rick and Rose have both appeared before, but this episode focuses on an album by album account, and all the sidebars that entails! It is like a Radio Zero crossover episode.
It’s ubiquitous, every show and thing out there is trying to work the algorithms to be heard, seen or otherwise recognized.
This episode is a 1 on 1 talk with Mr. Steve Albini about exactly that. This was meant as a 20 minute episode based on the single topic, but we expanded to other things, including monetization in general, commodification, etc.
Tony Visconti is a legend in recording, not just Bowie’s long time producer, but a member of his band in the Man Who Sold the World days. Listen in as we hear tales from almost all eras of Bowie, as well as his work with Marc Bolan/T. Rex, Iggy Pop’s the Idiot, and Thin Lizzy (!). WOW!
WAXEATER is a band from Louisville, KY. Rob is a teacher by day and noiserocker by night. He’s a good talker and has many opinions. He’s also very entertaining. They have a brand new record called Extra Medium, their first in *checks notes*, a VERY long time. Listen in, it’s a song by song breakdown and lots, lots more.
“One man noise-rock Aneursym from Oakland, California” Let that sink in. Reptoid sounds like the End of the World, but… you know in a good way. What kind of man embarks on an arduous endeavor like this? Jordan Sobolew.
KatieJane Garside is a bit of an enigma for some. She has a new album under the name Liar, Flower with longtime collaborator Chris Whittingham. We talk about that: all her various bands (like Queen Adreena and Daisy Chainsaw), living on a boat, meditation, sublimation and eradication of self in creative pursuits and and many other things.
Jared Warren has done a LOT. And with the recent release of the compendium of the “lost” band between KARP and Big Biz: The Whip, there’s even more to listen to now. Listen in as Jared and Conan talk about and around Scotty, the Big Business arc, the time in and around the Melvins and a little bit about the… KARP reissues?!
It might be the most detailed accounting of Big Business around!
Travis’s site Buddyhead is a name associated with iconoclastic irreverence to this DAY. In the days before everybody had a hot take, and the ability to take down sacred cows, Buddyhead ruled the school Now he’s pivoted towards making things himself.
Travis returns for his THIRD protonic episode, to talk about those days as well as the various zines, videos (Mark Lanegan!), shirts and things that he is up to with American Primitive. Oh yeah, and Amanda Palmer splitting up with Neil Gaiman over Patreon for some reason.
(this episode takes place BEFORE the recent uprisings)
Zak Sally is known best for being the bassplayer of Low or his comics, but he is also in an absolutely incendiary band called THE HAND with Dale Flattum of Steel Pole Bath Tub. All that is discussed, as well as general pandemic stuff.
The revolutionary and incredible electronic junk punk band BABYLAND was a huge influence on Conan, here they discuss that iconic band’s origin, moving from one off art project to DIY paragons. The world around early 90s weird music in LA. Moving on with Continues and quite a bit about the general state of everything in these Covid-19 times. (note: this episode takes place before the George Floyd killing and subsequent uprisings)
Here is a youtube version of the show (a grand experiment!)
Dave Scott Stone has done a *LOT*, being an auxiliary member of Big Business, Unwound and the Melvins. To joining LCD Soundsystem, to making soundtracks with a member of Duran Duran! Listen in on this talented man’s incredible journey in music and hear the true story of the falling out with Melvins.
Jerry Casale’s full length appearance in episode 159 was expansive in scope and covered quite a bit, but we didn’t get to everything. Soooo… Mr. Casale returned for what WAS to be a quick 20-30 minute followup.
Listen in as Jerry and Conan talk about the insane story of the movie Human Highway and DEVO’s association with Neil Young. The anniversary of the Kent State shootings. The Are We Not Men? / ChiChi Rodriguez artwork story, the 50 by 50 winery, the (still yet unreleased) DEVO documentary and yes… the source of “Show me some of what’s about to happen.” (Hint: Ben Orr of the Cars) and lots more.
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.
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!
Jason, Santiago and Victor are the Chicago rock band Salvation, they have a new record called “Year of the Fly” and are both affable and interesting fellas, and a band worth paying attention to. https://salvationrockandroll.bandcamp.com/