When ShowbizMonkeys.com gets a chance to interview someone cool, then it falls to our long-running (and always insecure) Kinda Sorta Maybe Like a Podcast. With no discernible format besides a good conversation, we do get check in with some really awesome folks, including some of the industry's top comedians, musicians, actors, and filmmakers.
Usually hosted by either Managing Editor Paul Little or stand-up comic Andrew Lizotte, other contributors to Kinda Sorta Maybe have included J.D. Renaud and Mark McLeod.
Stand-up comic and actor Andy Kindler returns
Andy Kindler has been a stand-up comic for over 30 years; toured endlessly all over North America; co-starred in hit TV shows like "Everybody Loves Raymond", "Bob's Burgers", and "Maron"; spent years doing regular field pieces on Letterman; and delivers the "State of the Industry" address at the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal ever year. Yet somehow, he only released his debut comedy album *this year*. In a way, it's fitting that a comic known for deconstructing the craft would wait until a global pandemic to release "Hence the Humor" via digital download and streaming.
Less than a week after delivering this year's JFL "State of the Industry" address via Zoom for the first time with the festival moving online due to COVID-19, our own Andrew Lizotte joined Kindler on Zoom for a long conversation covering the 7 year process putting out the new album, what goes into making the address at JFL every year (and what was different about this year), Kindler's thoughts on "cancel culture", and a deep dive into each other's experiences with therapy, medication, and mental health.
Comedy writer and performer Jenny Hagel at Just for Laughs
With COVID-19 cancelling the main Just for Laughs festivals in both Montreal and Toronto, JFL is putting on a weekend of free comedy programming on YouTube and other media. Writer/performer Jenny Hagel (Late Night with Seth Meyers, The Amber Ruffin Show) will be joining her frequent collaborator Amber Ruffin for a chat as part of the "Conversations with Funny People" series on October 10 at 8:30 PM ET.
The Second City alumn and mainstay of the hilarious "Jokes Seth Can't Tell" segment on Late Night joined our own Andrew Lizotte for their own conversation, where they discussed Jenny's experiences writing for The Amber Ruffin Show, the differences between writing for Seth and Amber, the way the pandemic has affected the work-home balance, and how to even find the funny in these bizarre times.
Stand-up comic DeAnne Smith
Due to COVID-19 and the many travel and performance restrictions in place, Just for Laughs is putting on a weekend of free comedy programming on various online platforms. The hilarious DeAnne Smith (Netflix's Gentleman Elf) is taking part in the "Conversations with Funny People" series, where they'll be speaking with longtime friend, Hannah Gadsby on October 10 at 10 PM ET.
Chatting with our own Andrew Lizotte ahead of this weekend's online JFL, DeAnne spoke about their new monthly Zoom shows (DeAnne Smith & Acquaintances), staying in one location for the first time since starting comedy, the progression of their joke-writing and performance style over the last few years, and what this weekend's conversation with Hannah Gadsby will entail.
Max Cavalera of heavy metal band Soulfly
February 17 saw the return of metal titans Soulfly to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Along for "The Summoning" tour were thrashers Toxic Holocaust, and on this date we also received a metal barrage from X Method, Bears with Technology, and Cause of Death.
Local writer/performer William O'Donnell had the chance to chat with Soulfly's legendary leader Max Cavalera in what was less an interview -- and more two metalheads nerding out about the genre, its bands, and Max's unending mission to blend every possible sub-genre of metal with world music sounds. His bandmates and wife/manger Gloria can be heard shuffling around them as they can tell: once you get Max going about these topics, it's going to be a while!
Stand-up comic Gavin Matts
Comic Gavin Matts has had a pretty good last couple years. Since being named SiriusXM Canada's "Next Top Comic" in 2017, he's made a string of TV appearances in both Canada (The Stand-Up Show with Katherine Ryan, The Halifax Comedy Festival) and the United States (Conan, Comedy Central's Stand-Up Featuring). During that stretch, he also released a comedy mixtape called Premature and moved away from his hometown of Vancouver -- first to L.A. and then to New York City.
This month, he's heading back home to Canada for shows in Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Vancouver. Before the mini tour, he chatted on the phone from New York with our own Paul Little about the opportunities he's had recently, the insecurities of comedians, and what he's looking forward to with the upcoming shows. Catch Gavin live in Winnipeg on November 12, Edmonton November 13, Vancouver November 14-17, or all over NYC after that.
Canadian alt-rock icon Hawksley Workman
Hawksley Workman has been making albums since the late 90s (his first full-length, For Him and the Girls, came out in 1999) and he's been releasing new music every year or 2 since then. He's rarely been one to stick to the same vibe record-to-record, jumping between styles and influences in a way that he says was likely frustrating for record execs, his touring band, and perhaps even some of his fans over the years. However, he's always been a unique and singular artist, and his longtime fans have never doubted the authenticity of his music, whether it's stripped-down folk, high-energy synth-pop, or anything in between.
Besides his many solo releases and tour dates around the world, he's also served as a producer for some of Canada's best folk and pop acts, wrote a stage musical with accompanying soundtrack, and has put out a pair of records as drummer and singer with the band Mounties. More recently, he released a brand new solo record ("Median Age Wasteland") earlier this year, just yesterday put out a single ("Around Here") from an already-completed new album, and will be on a 24-date tour with a full band across Canada from November 1 through December 4 (dates below).
Paul Little got a chance to speak to Hawksley last week ahead of his month-long excursion across the country, and during their in-depth chat they talked about his return to Europe the past couple years, the music and influence of the 1980s on his last release and his upcoming record, the idea of "less rage, more tears", the destructiveness of fame, his sense of gratitude heading into this tour, and what his trusted piano player Mr. Lonely has meant to him musically and personally over the years.
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Well researched and professional interviews! Bravo!