Cover art for podcast Music Is My Life

Music Is My Life

70 EpisodesProduced by Berklee OnlineWebsite

Music Is My Life is a podcast produced by Berklee Online's magazine Take Note.

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070: Bruce Hornsby

May 25th, 2022


Bruce Hornsby, legendary pianist, singer, and songwriter, discusses his humble beginnings in a Grateful Dead cover band and his graduation to a …

069: Cindy Blackman Santana

April 2nd, 2022


Cindy Blackman Santana discusses her journey as a drummer, from the NYC jazz scene, to Lenny Kravitz’s band, to performing with her husband, Carlos Santana.

068: Kira Roessler of Black Flag

February 24th, 2022


Kira Roessler played bass in Black Flag for two years, during which time the legendary hardcore band put out seven(!) records. Now, at the age of 60, she's an Emmy- and Oscar-winning dialogue editor and promoting her …

067: Arooj Aftab

January 19th, 2022


Arooj Aftab began getting notice with a viral cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” more than 15 years ago, but with two Grammy nominations, she has finally arrived (and quit her day job at Her 2021 …

066: Bruce Sudano

November 1st, 2021


Bruce Sudano has written songs that have been sung by Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton, and his late wife, Donna Summer. He discusses coming up in …

065: José González

October 8th, 2021


José González discusses his life in music, beginning with his tenure as a bassist in a hardcore band, through his time with Junip, and up to his …

064: Colin Blunstone of the Zombies

September 13th, 2021


​​Colin Blunstone began his career in music as a teenager with the Zombies. After a run of successful singles in the 1960s the group broke up, but …

063: Don Letts

June 28th, 2021


Don Letts provides an important lesson in the fact that even if you don’t play an instrument, you can still be a part of the music industry, and not just on the business side either. He got his start as a DJ, and is …

062: Butch Vig of Garbage

June 14th, 2021


You know Butch Vig as the drummer and producer of Garbage, or you know him as the producer of genre-defining albums from Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins, but there is more to him than that. He has been working with most …

061: Sly and Robbie—Sly Dunbar

May 31st, 2021


If you’ve heard any reggae music in your entire life then you’ve heard Sly Dunbar’s drumming, or at the very least, his influence. As one half of Sly and Robbie, he says he’s probably played on a million songs. Sly and …

060: Anna Bulbrook

May 17th, 2021


Anna Bulbrook began studying violin at 4. She quit at 21, but a gig with Kanye West changed that. She helped found the Airborne Toxic Event the next …

059: Hailu Mergia

May 2nd, 2021


Hailu Mergia is a master accordionist and veteran bandleader, arranger, and keyboardist, originally from Ethiopia. He became famous in his homeland in the 1970s, playing with the Walias Band and the Dahlak Band. In the …

058: Margo Nahas and Jay Vigon

April 19th, 2021


Margo Nahas and Jay Vigon are partners in life, love, and business, and have designed classic album covers by iconic acts like Prince, Van Halen, Fleetwood Mac, and Stevie Wonder. 

057: Kamilah Marshall

April 5th, 2021


Kamilah Marshall is a seasoned Broadway performer whose credits include Rent, Lion King, and Hairspray. From there, she toured with Bette Midler, Matthew Morrison from Glee, and is currently a backup singer for Taylor …

056: Huey Lewis

March 22nd, 2021


Huey Lewis discusses his meteoric rise to fame in the 1980s, his struggles with Ménière’s disease, and everything in between (clothes shopping with Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy, soccer with Ozzy,  etc.) in this wide …

055: Steven Wilson

March 8th, 2021


Steven Wilson has been a part of more than a dozen musical projects and/or bands, most notably Porcupine Tree. After 10 studio albums, they broke up …

054: Lady A

February 22nd, 2021


Lady A (the Seattle-based singer) discusses her life in music, and her ongoing legal battle with Lady A (the Nashville-based trio who formerly called themselves Lady Antebellum).

053: This is the Kit —Kate Stables

December 21st, 2020


Kate Stables of This is the Kit discusses her new album, Off Off On, having fun with words, touring with the National, and turning her daughter on to Lizzo.

052: AJR—Jack and Ryan Metzger

December 6th, 2020


AJR are three brothers—Adam, Jack, and Ryan Metzger—who began their music career on New York City streets, where they busked daily for hours at a time. The two brothers who take part in this interview—Ryan and Jack—say …

051: Gavin Rossdale of Bush

November 23rd, 2020


Gavin Rossdale had tracked all of the songs on what would become Bush’s multiplatinum debut, but he was still painting dentist’s offices. In this …

050: Lee "Scratch" Perry

November 9th, 2020


Lee "Scratch" Perry on working with Bob Marley, inventing dub, and a lifetime of being "the Upsetter."

049: The Go! Team

October 26th, 2020


Ian Parton and Ninja of the Go! Team talk about how to turn a solo kitchen recording project into an energetic live ensemble that stays together for …

048: Joe Wong (The Trap Set)

October 12th, 2020


Joe Wong talks to Pat Healy on hosting The Trap Set podcast, creating his solo debut, "Nite Creatures," and scoring for shows like Russian Doll and

047: Molly Tuttle

September 28th, 2020


Molly Tuttle’s brand new … but i’d rather be with you is a collection of seemingly disparate cover songs—running the gamut from Rancid to the …

046: Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz and SAD13

September 14th, 2020


Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz on the eve of releasing Haunted Painting, her second album under the SAD13 moniker, discusses her life in music, words, and math. Math? Yes, math!

045: Martha Reeves

July 5th, 2020


Summer’s here and the time is right for taking time to appreciate the legendary Martha Reeves, of “Dancing in the Street” fame! Along with her backing singers, the Vandellas, Martha Reeves recorded other mega Motown …

044: Janet Billig Rich

June 22nd, 2020


Janet Billig Rich became interested in music when she first saw the Replacements. After taking in about 100 shows she went on to sell merch at indie …

043: Vanessa Carlton

June 8th, 2020


Vanessa Carlton speaks candidly about the seedy underbelly of the music industry, and why followups to “A Thousand Miles” were more successful than …

042: Sam Hales of Jungle Giants

May 25th, 2020


Sam Hales is the songwriter, singer, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, and now the producer of most of Jungle Giants’ music. They have released three …

040: Lisa Loeb

April 27th, 2020


Lisa Loeb shares how her parents encouraged her and her siblings' musical development, but cautioned them against going into the music industry. But now they are all musicians. She also shares how she wrote her …

039: M. Ward

April 13th, 2020


Matt Ward discusses how a closeted $25 guitar and a Beatles book started him on a journey that led him to his latest album, Migration Stories. He …

038: Black Belt Eagle Scout

March 30th, 2020


Katherine Paul discusses Black Belt Eagle Scout, her youth on the Swinomish reservation, her fondness for her Radical Indigenous Queer Feminist …

037: Ron Pope

March 16th, 2020


Ron Pope wrote "A Drop in the Ocean," a mammoth hit that he had no idea would resonate with an audience so much. Then he wrote "One Grain of Sand" …

036: Spider Stacy of The Pogues

March 2nd, 2020


Spider Stacy met Shane MacGowan at a Ramones gig in England when they were both teens. Shortly after, they formed the Pogues, a band that merged folk …

035: Andy Stack of Wye Oak and Joyero

February 17th, 2020


You may know Andy Stack as one half of the duo Wye Oak, along with Jenn Wasner. But he’s also one WHOLE of Joyero, whose debut came out on Merge in 2019. He talks to Pat Healy as Wye Oak assembles for their first tour …

034: The Soul Rebels

February 3rd, 2020


Lumar LeBlanc, Julian Gosin, and Marcus Hubbard, three generations of the New Orleans band Soul Rebels discuss how high school marching band was …

033: Ritzy Bryan of the Joy Formidable

August 22nd, 2019


Ritzy Bryan of the Joy Formidable discusses why her Welsh heritage is so important to her music, how her time on Atlantic Records helped inform her understanding of the music business, and how her guitar acrobatics hurt …

032: Film Orchestrator Jon Kull

July 8th, 2019


Jon Kull has orchestrated more than 100 Hollywood films, including Black Panther, Hunger Games, X-Men Apocalypse, and many more. Here he talks about …

031: Songwriter Bonnie Hayes

June 17th, 2019


Bonnie Hayes talks songwriting for Bonnie Raitt, touring with Bob Seger, playing keys for Billy Idol, and being blown away by the Sex Pistols in …

030: Songwriter Chip Taylor ("Wild Thing," "Angel of the Morning," etc.)

May 17th, 2019


With a career that spans more than 60 years, and includes just about as many hits, Chip Taylor doesn’t need to write any more songs. But that doesn’t mean he’s showing any signs of stopping. He releases a new album,

029: Evan Dando of the Lemonheads

April 14th, 2019


Evan Dando has been releasing music for more than 30 years, reaching a commercial high point in the early and mid 90s with the Lemonheads albums It’s a Shame about Ray and Come on Feel the Lemonheads. Most of the …

028: TJ Connelly, DJ for the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots

March 14th, 2019


TJ Connelly is an entrepreneur, music curator, and creative technologist, best known for his work as the DJ at Fenway Park for the 2018 World Series …

027: Tony Trischka

February 11th, 2019


Tony Trischka's list of collaborators includes Pete Seeger, Bela Fleck, Earl Scruggs, and Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, so it's no …

026: Darlene Love

November 15th, 2018


Whether you know Darlene Love from her smash hit, "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" on the Phil Spector holiday album, or from her profile in the …

025: Tanya Donelly

October 1st, 2018


Belly, Breeders, and Muses, oh my! Tanya Donelly takes us through her musical journey, beginning with her step-sister Kristin Hersh in Throwing Muses, through her partnership with Kim Deal in the Breeders to the …

024: Ben Vaughn

September 18th, 2018


You may know Ben Vaughn as a producer of artists such as Los Straightjackets, Charlie Feathers, Ween, or the one-off collaboration between Big Star’s …

023: Andrew Joslyn

August 6th, 2018


Andrew Joslyn ditched classical music, joined a band called Handful of Luvin' and made his mark helping Seattle area musicians score their music. His …

022: Taj Mahal

July 2nd, 2018


Emerging in the late 1960s as an enthusiast of blues and folk music, Taj Mahal has spent his career bending genres to his own signature style. His …

021: Marlon Williams

June 4th, 2018


Marlon Williams is a 27-year-old singer from New Zealand whose latest album, Make Way for Love, came out earlier this year. He’s well known in his …

020: Gary Lucas

May 1st, 2018


Gary Lucas is a guitarist, songwriter, and former copywriter for CBS Records. (He's responsible for calling The Clash "the only band that matters.") He has played on more than 30 recordings, but he is best known for …

019: Trevor Horn

April 2nd, 2018


Not only is Trevor Horn one of the singers and songwriters behind the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star," but he is also known for his work with Yes, and the iconic records he produced, including work by Frankie …

018: Dean Ween (AKA Mickey Melchiondo)

March 1st, 2018


If the name Michael Melchiondo does not ring a bell, it’s because he is known professionally by his stage name of Dean Ween, one half of the band Ween, who for nearly 30 years—along with Gene Ween (whose real name is …

017: The War on Drugs Drummer Charlie Hall

January 22nd, 2018


The War on Drugs are up for the Best Rock Album Grammy for their 2017 effort, A Deeper Understanding. In this edition of the Music Is My Life podcast Charlie Hall, the drummer for The War on Drugs sizes up the Grammy …

016: DJ Mike Henderson AKA ENDO

January 3rd, 2018


Mike Henderson (also known as ENDO) is a DJ who has pioneered harmonic mixing, developed the DJ-friendly apps AGNT and MIDI Monsters, worked in tour management for other DJs such as Dubfire and Felix Da Housecat, and …

015: Stephen Davis

December 1st, 2017


Stephen Davis has written nearly 20 books about music, including the legendary Led Zeppelin book, "Hammer of the Gods" and the brand new "Gold Dust …

014: Jen Cloher

November 6th, 2017


Jen Cloher has been releasing music to critical acclaim in Australia for more than a decade, but is only now receiving the international attention she deserves, thanks to her support slot on the Courtney Barnett and …

013: Boston Red Sox Organist Josh Kantor

October 6th, 2017


Josh Kantor has been playing the organ at Fenway Park in Boston since 2003, and he hasn't missed a single home game. In this edition of Music Is My Life, Kantor discusses his musical upbringing and how improv comedy …

012: Cindy Wilson of the B-52's

September 7th, 2017


After 40 years in the music business, as one of the leaders of the B-52's, Cindy Wilson is finally releasing her solo debut! Change, on the Kill Rock …

011: Lisa Roth of Rockabye Baby

August 14th, 2017


Lisa Roth wanted to be a ballerina. When that didn't work out for her, she studied nutrition. Then she was hired by a record label called the CMH Label Group, to be their nutritionist. That was when she came up with an …

010: Music Therapist Suzanne Hanser

July 10th, 2017


Dr. Suzanne Hanser discusses her illustrious career in music therapy, and how her profession brought her back to Boston to teach at Berklee College …

009: Sam Amidon

June 6th, 2017


Sam Amidon has been playing music as a career for most of his life. He takes us from his days of performing with his parents to a trio called Popcorn …

008: Will Dailey

May 25th, 2017


Will Dailey has sold his car for rock 'n' roll! He's also walked away from a major label deal, and walked towards the loving funds of his fans. He's …

007: Leo Flynn of Vitamin String Quartet and Rockabye Baby

May 3rd, 2017


Leo Flynn is the brand manager for the Vitamin String Quartet, the group best known for recreating classical-style versions of popular songs. With …

006: Divinity Roxx

March 15th, 2017


Divinity Roxx is probably best known for her work as the bassist for Beyoncé in her all-female band. She got her start playing with bass wiz Victor …

005: Gary Burton

February 28th, 2017


Jazz legend Gary Burton discusses his life in music, just as he is about to walk away from it. But what a full musical life it has been: 66 albums …

004: Nathan East

January 27th, 2017


In this podcast from Berklee Online, Nathan East shares his story. If you haven't heard the name Nathan East before, you have definitely heard his bass. He has played on upwards of 10,000 songs, many of them hits, by …

003b: Prince Charles Alexander

December 13th, 2016


In PT II of this podcast from Berklee Online, Prince Charles Alexander shares how he walked away from fame (but not fortune) and how Nile Rodgers …

003a: Prince Charles Alexander

December 5th, 2016


Prince Charles Alexander began banging on tupperware with chopsticks at the age of two, which would eventually lead him to performing for audiences …

002: Sarah Neufeld of Arcade Fire

October 10th, 2016


Sarah Neufeld began playing violin at the age of three, and considers herself “half-classically trained.” In the second episode of this podcast from …

001: Glenn Kotche of Wilco

September 19th, 2016


On the first episode of this podcast from Berklee Online, Glenn Kotche, the man you know best as the drummer for Wilco, shares everything that happened in between the very first drum he destroyed—at the age of three—to …

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