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Humans of Music

100 EpisodesProduced by A Jaxsta Podcast with Rod YatesWebsite

Former Rolling Stone editor Rod Yates sits down with some of music’s biggest stars and behind-the-scenes players and asks: How did they get where they are today? What made them who they are? How have they navigated the ups and downs of life and their career, and what have they learned along the way?… read more

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Alexander 23

October 5th, 2022


Alexander 23’s path to this point has been anything but a straight line. He was studying mechanical engineering at university before he quit to …

Ken Casey (Dropkick Murphys)

September 28th, 2022


Dropkick Murphys' 11th studio album is called This Machine Still Kills Fascists.

The record features a collection of Woody Guthrie’s unpublished …

Bartees Strange

September 21st, 2022


There aren't many artists touring the world right now who can say they were once part of the Obama administration. Bartees Strange can, thanks to his time as the Deputy Press Secretary for the Federal Communications …

Don Was

September 14th, 2022


My guest for this 100th episode is bona fide musical legend Don Was.

Don was a founding member of Was (Not Was), and he’s a GRAMMY-winning producer …

Marlon Williams

September 7th, 2022


Marlon Williams' voice has been turning heads since he was a teen singing in the church choir – it was enough to convince Bradley Cooper to cast him …

Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs

August 31st, 2022


When Orlando Higginbottom – AKA Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – releases his new album When The Lights Go on September 9, it will be 10 years since his previous LP, Trouble.

Orlando wasn’t completely quiet over …

Moonchild Sanelly

August 24th, 2022


In 2016, Moonchild Sanelly wrote down a list of goals she wanted to achieve in the next 10 years, and they included collaborating with Beyoncé, Diplo …

Alex The Astronaut

August 17th, 2022


Alex Lynn – AKA Sydney singer-songwriter Alex The Astronaut – is one of those people who can seemingly do whatever she puts her mind to.

She might be …

James Bay

August 10th, 2022


British singer-songwriter James Bay recently released his third album, Leap.

He finished recording it early in 2020, but – in an all too familiar scenario – the pandemic hit and put all of James’s release and touring …


August 3rd, 2022


mxmtoon is the definition of a modern pop star.

She grew up in Oakland making music in her bedroom and posting covers of pop songs she'd perform on …

Alfie Templeman

July 27th, 2022


Alfie Templeman is the very definition of a prolific artist.

He may have just released his debut album, Mellow Moon, but over the past few years he’s …

Caleb Harper (Spacey Jane)

July 20th, 2022


Spacey Jane have had a breakout few years. The Perth outfit's 2020 debut album Sunlight hit Number 2 on the Australian charts, and their …

Ben Lee

July 13th, 2022


Given that he’ll celebrate his 44th birthday in 2022, it’s crazy to think that Ben Lee has been part of the musical landscape for three decades. As a …

Conor Maynard

July 6th, 2022


Conor Maynard was one of the earliest artists to embrace the power of YouTube. While he was in his teens he started uploading covers to the platform, …

Sasha Alex Sloan

June 29th, 2022


Songwriting has been a part of Sasha Alex Sloan's life for a long time.

As a kid she struggled at school, but she would come home and dedicate hours …

Chris Messina

June 22nd, 2022


Chris Messina is a GRAMMY-nominated producer, mixer, engineer and songwriter, and one of Bon Iver's main creative partners.

They struck up a friendship when Chris was working on Bon Iver’s world tour in support of his …

Chris Cheney (The Living End)

June 15th, 2022


The Living End frontman Chris Cheney releases his debut solo album, The Storm Before The Calm, on June 17.

Worlds away from the bombast of The Living …

Pete Murray

June 8th, 2022


Pete Murray has been a mainstay of the Australian music scene since he released his major label debut album, Feeler, in 2003.

One of the interesting things about Pete’s story is that he didn’t even pick up a guitar …

Jaguar Jonze

June 1st, 2022


The debut album by Jaguar Jonze – AKA Brisbane artist Deena Lynch – is called Bunny Mode.

The record’s title may sound upbeat and playful, but the …

Stephan Jenkins (Third Eye Blind)

May 25th, 2022


Stephan Jenkins was cast into the spotlight when Third Eye Blind's  1997 self-titled debut album exploded around the world. On the back of hits like "Semi-Charmed Life" and "Jumper", the frontman achieved success beyond …

Matt Sorum (GN'R, The Cult, Velvet Revolver)

May 11th, 2022


Matt Sorum joined Guns N'Roses in time to play on their 1991 Use Your Illusion albums. At that point they were the biggest rock band in the world, …

Keli Holiday (Adam Hyde)

May 4th, 2022


Keli Holiday is a fictious character created by Peking Duk's Adam Hyde to channel a different side of his musical personality.

While Peking Duk deal …

Skylar Grey

April 27th, 2022


The name Skylar Grey might not be instantly recognisable, but you’ll definitely know the songs she’s co-written: "Love The Way You Lie" by Eminem, "Clarity" by Zedd, "I Need A Doctor" by Dr. Dre and "Last One Standing" …

Tex Perkins

April 20th, 2022


Tex Perkins is one of the finest and fiercest frontmen ever to stalk a stage, and the very definition of an artist who follows his instincts wherever …

Eric Pulido (Midlake)

April 13th, 2022


Midlake recently released their fifth studio album, For the Sake of Bethel Woods.

It’s their first album since 2013’s Antiphon, and the second to …


April 6th, 2022


Shamir’s new album Heterosexuality is an intensely personal record.

While in the past Shamir has sung about his identity as a queer, non-binary person, he says this is the first time he’s really tackled his relationship

Nilüfer Yanya

March 30th, 2022


As the daughter of two visual artists, art has always played a central role in Nilüfer Yanya’s life.

Discovered at 20 after uploading demos to …


March 23rd, 2022


New Zealand indie-pop superstar BENEE recently released her latest EP, Lychee. It’s the follow-up to her 2020 debut album Hey u x, which exploded …

Midnight Oil

March 16th, 2022


Midnight Oil recently released their 13th studio album, Resist.

It’s the Oils’ first full-length since 2002’s Capricornia, after which they disbanded …


March 9th, 2022


Foxes – AKA British singer-songwriter Louisa Rose Allen – recently released her third album, The Kick.

It’s her first full-length in six years, and …

March 2nd, 2022


Danish singer-songwriter MØ has just released her new album, Motordrome.

The record’s title refers to the hamster wheel MØ felt she was on for years, saying yes to everything, never taking a break, all the while dealing …


February 23rd, 2022


British artist Sam Gumbley – AKA S-X – first made a name for himself as a producer in his teens. He was 17 when he created an instrumental track called "Woo Riddim", which became a fixture on the UK grime scene.

From …


February 16th, 2022


Anders Trentemøller started playing in bands in Copenhagen in the early '90s before moving into club music a few years later. But ever since he started releasing albums as Trentemøller in 2006 he has in some ways merged …

Eric Gales

February 9th, 2022


In the years since he released his debut album as a 16-year-old guitar prodigy in 1991, Eric Gales has been to Hell and back. Prior to getting sober …

Adam Dutkiewicz (Killswitch Engage/Times Of Grace)

February 2nd, 2022


Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz is one of the most colourful characters in modern heavy metal. While his band's music is brutal and their …

Isabella Summers

January 26th, 2022


When Isabella "Machine" Summers met Florence Welch in the mid-2000s, they formed a deep connection that led very quickly to writing music together. One of the first songs they wrote was Florence + The Machine’s hit …

Twin Shadow

January 19th, 2022


In 2021 Twin Shadow – AKA George Lewis Jr – released his fifth full-length, called Twin Shadow.

It brings together many of the influences he absorbed …

Joe Chiccarelli

January 12th, 2022


There’s not much Joe Chiccarelli hasn’t achieved in music – as a producer, mixer and engineer he’s won 10 Grammys and Latin Grammys, and over the course of his 40+ year career has worked with artists as varied and …


December 22nd, 2021


At one point in this interview, LP says they’ve had nine lives. They’re referring to the fact that since they released their debut album in 2001, …

Curtis Harding

December 15th, 2021


Curtis Harding spent much of his childhood travelling with his family as his mother performed in churches and helped spread the word, immersing young Curtis in the world of gospel music. 

In his mid-teens they settled …

Lurine Cato

December 8th, 2021


If you’re a fan of Adele, Kylie Minogue or Hozier, there’s a good chance you’ve heard Lurine Cato sing, even if you didn’t know it. She was one of the backing vocalists on Adele’s 2008 album 19, she performed on …

Dan Hawkins (The Darkness)

December 1st, 2021


When The Darkness released their debut album Permission To Land in 2003, the biggest hits were coming from singer-songwriters like Norah Jones and rappers like 50 Cent.

The Darkness though were a throwback to the hard …

Jim James (My Morning Jacket)

November 24th, 2021


My Morning Jacket recently released their self-titled, ninth studio album. But for a while there, frontman Jim James didn’t know if there would ever …

Joan As Police Woman

November 17th, 2021


Joan As Police Woman – AKA Joan Wasser – has just released her latest studio album, The Solution Is Restless.

Featuring guitarist, songwriter and …

Gina Schock (The Go-Go's)

November 10th, 2021


When the Go-Go's released their debut album Beauty and the Beat in 1981, they became the first all-female band that wrote their own songs and played their own instruments to reach Number 1 on the Billboard Charts. But …

Nick Allbrook (Pond)

November 3rd, 2021


Pond came out of the incredibly fertile Fremantle scene of the mid-2000s. It’s the scene that gave birth to acts like Tame Impala – of which Nick …


October 27th, 2021


Amanda Warner – AKA MNDR – first came to mainstream attention in 2010 when she collaborated with Mark Ronson on the song "Bang Bang Bang". 

Her path …

Bob Marlette

October 20th, 2021


Bob Marlette has been making records quite literally for decades, performing, producing and writing with acts like Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Shinedown, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rob Zombie and more.

You might look at a resume …

James Vincent McMorrow

October 13th, 2021


James Vincent McMorrow recently released Grapefruit Season, his fifth album. It features contributions from producers and writers like Kenny Beats …

Natalie Imbruglia

October 6th, 2021


Off the back of her hit single "Torn", Natalie Imbruglia’s 1997 debut album sold more than seven million copies and earned her three GRAMMY …

Amy Taylor (Amyl and the Sniffers)

September 29th, 2021


When Amyl and the Sniffers came together in 2016, they didn’t so much form as they did fall together. They were sharing a house in Melbourne and had a jam one afternoon, and ended up writing and recording four songs in …

Matthew E. White

September 22nd, 2021


Matthew E. White's new album, K Bay, is a wildly diverse record that has no regard for current trends. But then that’s how Matthew has run his career from day one.

Not only is he a musician, he is also the founder of …

Ilan Rubin (Nine Inch Nails, Angels & Airwaves)

September 15th, 2021


Ilan Rubin has established himself as one of the top session musicians in the world, playing with artists such as Paramore, Beck and Angels & Airwaves, the project founded by former blink-182 guitarist/vocalist Tom …

Nick Murphy (Chet Faker)

September 8th, 2021


Nick Murphy recently released a new Chet Faker album called Hotel Surrender. It’s the first Chet Faker record since 2014’s Built On Glass, although Nick has released a couple of albums under his own name in between, …

Kim Thayil (Soundgarden)

September 1st, 2021


2021 marks the 30th anniversary of Soundgarden’s landmark album, Badmotorfinger. When they released that record the band were on the verge of exploding, with Seattle quickly becoming the epicentre of the music …

Joshua Radin

August 25th, 2021


How many interviews have you listened to where an artist has said they picked up an instrument as a kid, and they knew from that moment that they wanted a career in music? Well, that is not Joshua Radin’s story.

Joshua …

Gary Kemp (Spandau Ballet)

August 18th, 2021


Gary Kemp was the driving force behind Spandau Ballet's rise in the '80s, penning their biggest hits such as 'True', 'Gold', 'To Cut A Long Story …

Nick Littlemore (PNAU, Empire of the Sun)

August 11th, 2021


When Nick Littlemore was a teenager, his life changed when he discovered Sydney’s underground dance scene. 

Alongside school friend Peter Mayes he …

Billy Duffy (The Cult)

August 4th, 2021


Since forming The Cult with vocalist Ian Astbury in 1983, Billy Duffy has proven himself to be one of those guitarists who can shapeshift …

Emma Swift

July 28th, 2021


In 2020, Australian singer-songwriter Emma Swift released an album of Bob Dylan covers called Blonde On The Tracks.

She never intended to release the covers when she started recording them a few years ago, and only …

Richard Marx

July 21st, 2021


There was a time in the late '80s and early '90s when you couldn't turn on the radio without hearing Richard Marx. Songs like Satisfied, Endless …

Paul Field (The Wiggles)

July 14th, 2021


The Wiggles are one of the most successful children’s entertainment groups in history.

Guiding them for 24 years was Paul Field, brother of founder …

Erin Kelly-Burkett (Fat Wreck Chords)

July 7th, 2021


Since starting in a one-bedroom house in San Francisco in 1990, Fat Wreck Chords has become one of the world’s pre-eminent punk rock record labels, releasing hundreds of albums by some of the genre’s biggest punk bands.

Luke Steele (Empire of the Sun)

June 30th, 2021


Luke Steele was born into music – growing up in Perth his childhood involved watching his guitarist dad play in pubs and clubs and, when he was old …

Dean Lewis

June 23rd, 2021


Dean Lewis is one of those classic overnight success stories that was actually years in the making. At one point he was rejected by every single record company in Australia, until one day he finally got his lucky break …

Emily King

June 16th, 2021


When at the age of 16 Emily King decided she wanted to dedicate herself to music, she was in some ways picking up the family business – her mother and father were working musicians, and Emily and her brother grew up …

Emilio Castillo (Tower Of Power)

June 9th, 2021


Emilio Castillo has led Oakland soul/funk legends Tower Of Power since founding the band in 1968. Since then he's established the group as one of …

girl in red

June 2nd, 2021


girl in red is the pseudonym of 22-year-old Norwegian artist, producer and multi-instrumentalist Marie Ulven. Her recently released debut album, if I …

Craig Finn (The Hold Steady)

May 26th, 2021


The Hold Steady recently released their eighth full-length record, Open Door Policy.

It’s an album in every sense of the word, with ebbs and flows, …

Andrew Farriss (INXS)

May 19th, 2021


There’s a song on Andrew Farriss’s recent self-titled solo album called “Come Midnight”, which was actually written during the sessions for INXS’s …

Damon Johnson (Brother Cane, Alice Cooper, Thin Lizzy)

May 5th, 2021


Damon Johnson boasts one of the most impressive resumes in rock’n’roll. He first came to international attention in the early '90s as the frontman …

Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon)

April 21st, 2021


Kevin Cronin has written some of the biggest hits in music history, such as "Keep On Loving You" and "Can’t Fight This Feeling", while REO Speedwagon’s 1980 album High Infidelity was one of the highest selling …

Taylor Momsen (The Pretty Reckless)

April 7th, 2021


The Pretty Reckless's latest album, Death By Rock and Roll, is informed by the grief frontwoman Taylor Momsen felt following the passing of two …

Fat Mike (NOFX)

March 24th, 2021


NOFX have just released Single Album, their 14th studio record since forming in LA in 1983. At that point Fat Mike was known as Mike Burkett, and was still cutting his teeth in the LA punk rock scene.

As he explains …

Fantastic Negrito

March 10th, 2021


Born Xavier Dphrepaulezz in rural Massachusetts, by the time he was 11 the boy who'd come to be known as Fantastic Negrito was living on the streets …

Robbie Chater (The Avalanches)

February 24th, 2021


Late last year The Avalanches released their third album, We Will Always Love You.

It’s the follow-up to 2016’s Wildflower, an album that almost …

Frank Iero (My Chemical Romance, Frank Iero and The Future Violents)

February 10th, 2021


Frank Iero was born into a family of drummers.

When it came time to launch his own career, though, he chose guitar over drums, and hardcore and punk rock over the blues and jazz favoured by his father and grandfather.

Laura Jane Grace

January 27th, 2021


Musician, author and activist Laura Jane Grace is a trailblazer. Since 1997 she’s guided Against Me! from the Gainesville punk scene to the world's biggest stages, releasing a slew of critically acclaimed albums and …

Robin Pecknold (Fleet Foxes)

January 14th, 2021


Since forming in Seattle in 2006, Fleet Foxes have carved a singular path through the modern music scene, amassing a global following with their …

Richard James Burgess (President & CEO, A2IM)

November 4th, 2020


Richard James Burgess is often credited with creating the terms New Romantic and EDM. He also invented the world’s first electronic drum kit in the Simmons SDS-V; produced the first two albums by Spandau Ballet, amongst …

Conor Mason (Nothing But Thieves)

October 21st, 2020


Since forming in 2012, Nothing But Thieves have become one of England's biggest musical exports, touring the world, playing the late-night TV talk show circuit in America and hitting the Top 10 in the UK.  

But it’s not …

Amanda Palmer

October 7th, 2020


Amanda Palmer first gained widespread recognition in 2003 when her band The Dresden Dolls released their self-titled debut album. 

But it was in 2012 …

David Ryan Harris

September 23rd, 2020


David Ryan Harris has forged a career as a solo artist, songwriter, producer, session musician and touring guitarist.

His list of credits is long and …

Frank Turner

September 9th, 2020


Frank Turner first found acclaim fronting British hardcore band Million Dead. When they split in 2005 he picked up his acoustic guitar and hit the road, embarking on a new career as a singer-songwriter. As he says in …


August 26th, 2020


Adam Briggs is the ultimate multi-tasker. As a solo artist and with A.B. Original he’s become one of Australia’s most respected rappers, but he’s …

Thao Nguyen

August 12th, 2020


For many years, Thao Nguyen lived what she calls a divided life. As a young performer she played down her ethnicity, to the detriment of her sense of identity. And though she identifies as queer and was openly out in …

Michael Franti

July 29th, 2020


Over the years the name Michael Franti has become synonymous with hope, positivity and social activism. It’s there in the music he makes with Spearhead, it’s there in his new album Work Hard & Be Nice, and it’s …

Brett James

July 15th, 2020


Brett James was heading for a career in medicine before moving to Nashville in the early '90s to pursue music. But after seven unsuccessful years he …


July 1st, 2020


It may say Mark Landon on his birth certificate, but to the world at large he is M-Phazes, one of Australia’s most successful producers and …

Melanie C

June 17th, 2020


Melanie Chisolm experienced the kind of fame you just couldn’t prepare for. Known around the world as Sporty Spice, for a period of time she was one …

Sam Fender

May 27th, 2020


Since being discovered in a pub by Ben Howard's manager, Sam Fender’s career has exploded – he won the Critics’ Choice Award at the 2019 Brit Awards, while his debut album Hypersonic Missiles landed at Number 1 in the …

Butch Walker

May 13th, 2020


Over the past three decades Butch Walker has lived the ups and downs of the music industry. In the early '90s his glam metal band Southgang were signed to a major label, only for changing musical trends and record label …

Brian Fallon

April 29th, 2020


For a brief period before Brian recorded his latest album, Local Honey, he considered giving up music as a full-time profession. With 40 just around …

Nina Nesbitt

April 15th, 2020


Nina Nesbitt knows firsthand how fickle success can be. By the time she was 20 she’d played arena shows and released a debut album called Peroxide that went to Number One in Scotland.

Despite this success she was …

The Lumineers

April 1st, 2020


Addiction has touched the lives of The Lumineers' Jeremiah Fraites and Wesley Schultz. Jeremiah’s brother, with whom Wes was also close, was just 19 …

Adam Lambert (Queen)

March 18th, 2020


What do you do when your life becomes tabloid fodder? When your sexuality becomes a subject of public interest?

For Adam Lambert, coming second in …

Bethany Cosentino (Best Coast)

March 4th, 2020


What does it take to find happiness?

For Best Coast frontwoman Bethany Cosentino, it had a lot to do with getting sober.

She’d spent much of her 20s self-medicating as she dealt with mental health issues and the sudden …

John Butler

February 19th, 2020


As John Butler's popularity grew, he spent a significant part of that ride just holding on for dear life, never stopping to take stock or deal with …

Tove Lo

February 5th, 2020


The first time Tove Lo held her microphone out to the crowd and asked them to sing the words, she closed her eyes and hoped for the best.

When the crowd sang the chorus back to her she turned to the side of the stage …

Billy Bragg

January 22nd, 2020


When most people think of Billy Bragg they probably think of the political firebrand who championed the miners' strike in Wales in '84/'85, and who …

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