Bill Ryder-Jones: "My brain knows what to do when it gets too stressed or unhappy; it turns off."
Q writer David Cavanagh died on December 27, 2018. He wrote for Q prolifically during in the 1990s and returned to the magazine in 2018. He was the greatest music writer of his era, universally admired by his peers and readers alike. This profile of former Coral guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones appeared in November, 2018, in Q393. It was to be his last piece for Q.
In Deep With The 1975: The Band Of The Decade Gets The Bends
The story so far: The 1975 became one of the world’s biggest bands by stealth, while messianic frontman Matty Healy sank secretly into drug addiction. Sylvia Patterson meets the quartet in England and Los Angeles to hear how he pulled back from the abyss so as to push his group into a new galaxy.
Christine And The Queens: "I want to be the cleverest woman in the room, but also the sluttiest."
In 2016, Christine And The Queens had the biggest-selling debut of the year, bringing pansexuality into mainstream pop culture, to standing ovations from Madonna and Elton John. In 2018, the French star returns with a new identity – Chris – and a snappier sound built to swallow the globe. But does selling over a million albums complete you? The singer talks identity, sex, da funk and the meaning of life with Laura Snapes.
David Byrne: The Alchemist
David Byrne’s astonishing American Utopia stage show completely reinvents the pop concert. It has been described as “the best live show of all time”, but that might undersell it. Dorian Lynskey joins the tour in Paris and talks to the former Talking Heads singer about its genesis and purpose.
How Pop Ate Itself (And Went Back For More)
This month, the landmark album of the year was released: Now That’s What I Call Music! 100. It’s the latest instalment of the hits series that began in 1983 and has frequently outsold all-comers since. Peter Robinson investigates its genesis and our surprisingly enduring love affair with the compilation album.
Ed Sheeran: “The only way to silence people who want you to fail is to keep succeeding.”
He’s the biggest pop star in the world who is not called Adele, and yet he is also the most divisive. Dorian Lynskey meets Ed Sheeran on tour and then backstage at his Glastonbury triumph to unlock the secret to his success, and to talk prescription drugs, politics, “crushing naysayers” and how he smells a lot better than he looks.
Richard Russell: In The Court Of The Creative King
Richard Russell progressed from hawking rave 12 inchers around Soho for XL Records to running the label, turning The Prodigy and Adele into international stars. He produced Gil Scott-Heron and Bobby Womack’s last albums, but, writes Tom Doyle, it was Russell’s own brush with mortality that prompted his first solo excursion, co-starring Damon Albarn, Giggs, Brian Eno and others.
Wild Beasts: This Is The End, My Friends
Wild Beasts emerged in 2008 as an antidote to lumpen lad rock, delivering a unique brand of rakish, ambitious and emotionally intelligent pop. Their star seemed to be in the ascendant ever since... until they suddenly announced they were splitting in September last year. Laura Snapes meets them to find out why.
Mark E Smith's Final Q Interview
Mark E Smith formed The Fall as a teenager in 1976 with the explicit goal of tethering primitive music to intelligent lyrics. By 2015, thirty albums and countless band members later, he remained unusually faithful to that mission. But at what cost? In Smith’s last Q interview, Ted Kessler met him in the boozer to find out.
Mark E Smith 1957-2018
Mark E Smith was the ultimate outlier, a genius contrarian who carved out one of the most singular bodies of work in British music. His sad passing has prompted thousands of heartfelt obituaries. Q’s Simon McEwen revisits The Fall's 32 studio albums and chooses his six favourites.
The Killers: Brandon Flowers Fights Back From The Brink
Brandon Flowers has the perfect rock singer life. And yet behind the façade, everything started to unravel: his group, his music, his wife. Simon Goddard finds him at the dawn of another Killers album, but also at a crossroads, with band members bailing and his family leaving Las Vegas… are The Killers facing the final curtain?
Wolf Alice: on the road with the workaholic Londoners in the US.
The London quartet toured tirelessly to let the world know about their Mercury-nominated debut album and it caught up with them as they prepared to release their second album. Laura Snapes joined them on the road in the US to find a band trying to slow the sands of time.