Link to interview


Dr. John

1.     Were there a lot of knife fights or gun fights at the typical clubs you played at?

2.     If the guns or the knives were coming out, were you supposed to keep playing?

3.     What was that supposed to accomplish?

4.     I had read somewhere that you were shot in the fingers at a club you played at once, what happened with that?

5.     How did you start doing studio work?

6.     What inspired you to write this song?

7.     You went from this background of playing music rooted in jazz and blues and early rock ‘n’ roll and then you became one of the leading figures in psychedelic music and you created this persona for yourself, the Dr. John persona—how was that created? Was it your idea to do that?

8.     What was your reaction to the psychedelic music seeing as you come from a very different background?

9.     You were born Roman Catholic—what got you so interested in Voodoo?

10.  You were studying to be a priest in the church of Voodoo and witchcraft?

11.  Have you been seeing yourself as much as a pianist, as a singer, a guitarist, or producer or any of the other things that you’ve done?


1.     What did the song mean to you before you used it in Izzo?

2.     What were your first rhymes like?

3.     Would you describe the projects where you grew up in Brooklyn?

4.     How old were you when crack came to the neighborhood?

5.     How did that change the projects?

6.     Did your mother know that you were making money selling crack?

7.     Did you ever think once you started selling that you were contributing to the damages crack causes people?

8.     How do you feel about the grey album? Musically? And the fact that he did it?

9.     Did you feel ripped off that he used your music without paying for it?

10.  How did you start selling crack?

11.  Did you take the scar face advice not to get high on your own supply?

12.  When you were on the streets dealing you didn’t have a notebook to write in so what would you do if a rhyme came to you?

13.  Do you write rhymes when they come to you?

14.  How much money were you making on the street?

15.  How did you decide to use the song from Annie?

16.  Have you ever met Charles Strouse who wrote the music for Annie?

17.  What is your take on violence in music?

18.  Did you actually stab him?

19.  What is your take about women in men’s rap lyrics?

20.  Do you feel like you matured out of teenage thinking for your songs?

21.  Why do hip-hop artists grab their crotches while they are on stage?

22.  Do you feel like you were prepared for your first performance?

23.  Will you explain the story about the song 99 Problems?

24.  What’s your take on Kanye West calling George W. Bush a racist?

25.  What are your thoughts about President Obama’s presidency so far?

Jimmie Dale Gilmore

1.     Who inspired him?

2.     The interviewer asked about the type of music he played.

3.     She brings up facts already known about him.

4.     The interviewer wants to know his goal for making the EP.

5.     What his songs mean to him.

6.     Why does he play the guitar?

7.     What lead him to write these songs using the guitar

8.     About the places he plays at.

9.     About different drugs being used at his shows when he was younger.

10.  About the time he was growing up in.

11.  The interviewer makes suggestions for his next album according to artists that relate to him.

12.  Finds out about his connection to Gene Autry

13.  Asks how how Gene influenced him.

Dolly Parton

1. What was the music you heard as a child?

2. Who was most musical in your family?

3. When did you start writing songs, and realizing that you had an ear for that, in addition to singing? 

4. Do you remember any of the songs you wrote as a child?

5. Were you writing about tragic love and heartbreak by the age of ten?

6. What was church like when you were young?

7. When you were young and singing in church, did you sing about God in church and sin at home?

8. How old were you when your first album came out?

9. Looking at your mother, what did you think the life of an adult woman was going to be like for you?

10.  When you left home, were you hoping to be a performer, a song writer, or both?

11.  How did you start working with your co-writers/ duet performers? 

12.  Do you remember writing this song and what you were thinking when you wrote it?

13.  Do you know how your song ended up being in the movie?

14.  Why did you want to be a star?

15.  When you moved to Nashville, and saw those artists who were struggling to make it, what did you see about their lives that you liked and didn't like?

16.  How did you first start dressing in that gaudy way?

Eugene Hutz

1.     What should I tell my friends to expect from a Gogol Bordello concert?

2.     Have you always performed with so much energy in your songs?

3.     Did you perform as kid for your parents?

4.     What was it like having your hair green and living the rebellious lifestyle in Kiev?

5.     Were your audiences when you first came over to the U.S. receptive to gypsy music? How did they react?

6.     The reporter asks about the song “American Wedding”.

7.     How was your life affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster?

8.     Did you leave Kiev as a combination of the Chernobyl disaster and being political refugees?

9.     What is gypsy Psychology?

10.  The reporter asks about the song “Zina Marina”.

DJ Kool Herc


Johnny Cash

1.     You grew up during the depression, what were some of the things your father did for work while you were a boy?

2.     You know, it's interesting that you say that your father inspired you so much. I'm sure you wouldn't have wanted to lead his life picking cotton.

3.     Did you have a plan to get out? Did you very much want to get out of the town where you were brought up and get out of picking cotton?

4.     Did you start singing before your voice changed?

5.     You left home when you were about 18, and then how old were you when you actually went to Memphis?

6.     You called Sam Phillips and asked for an audition. Did it take a lot of nerve to make that phone call?

7.     So what did Phillips actually respond to most of the songs that you played him?

8.     What was it like when you started to go on tour? You know, after coming from the cotton fields it's true, I mean, you'd been in the Army, and you'd been abroad, you know, with the Army, but what was it like for you in the early days of getting recognized, you know, traveling around the country?

9.     Did you want that kind of adulation that he was getting from girls who would come see him?

10.  Now, were you thinking of your own life when you wrote this?

11.  What did it feel like for you to be on stage in bright colors or all in white?

12.  Before we hear one of the tracks from that live album, tell me what it was - what kind of reaction surprised you the most when you were performing for prisoners?

Carolina Chocolate Drops

1.     Did you fall in love with this music before you knew that there was black string band music?

2.     What did you fall in love with?

3.     What has it been like to deal with separating the music from some of the stereotypes of the musicians that played it?

4.     Did the old fiddler teach you stuff on the fiddle that you haven’t known before?

5.     Talk about the song- the original version- your version- and why you liked it?

6.     Who did the original song?

7.     Ask about the style the girl plays on the fiddle

Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah Interview Question from ‘Music Reviews’ by Oliver Wang, editor of Hip-Hop Album Gut

1.     Out of your four albums, which one was your favorite if you have one?

2.     Seeing that during your early musical career you turned to acting once your politics became less popular due to the sex-related younger competition such as Lil Kim that soon followed you, did you have feelings of resentment towards those artists?

3.     (Relating to the question above), what do you think if Nicki Minaj reminding you of the style of female rapping that somewhat shifted the attention away from your music?

4.     Focusing more on your acting career, what roles did you enjoy playing, from what movies and why?

5.     Do you enjoy rapping more than singing?  Acting above all or one other in particular?

6.     What’s on your ipod?

7.     When you were in your rapping prime, did you mainly free-style or write?

8.     What other female MC’s did you/do you still love?


1.     How important do you feel it is for The Roots to play musical instruments, rather than rapping over sampled music?

2.     What’s your take on the terms Jazz-head and rhyme-warriors?

3.     Would you characterize yourself as an activist rapper, rock star, or both?

4.     How did you come up with the name Questlove?

5.     Who were some of your Philadelphia musical influences?

6.     Do feel that rap groups who don’t play instruments are “posers” or “phony”?

7.     Do you feel as if these types of groups disrespect the “hip-hop nation?”

8.     Do you think you would ever consider using musical sampling in your music?

9.     How influential were keyboards or other technologically related instruments to your songs?

10.  How emblematic is “Rocky” of your new album and The Roots style in general?

11.  When is it okay to use the word “nigga”?

12.  How influential was your father’s doo wop career on your own personal artistic pursuits?

13.  What’s your image of Philly in your music?

14.  Why do you wear the afro?

The Black Keys

1. Do you [both] like hooks a lot in music? Because?

2. Which did you hear first - the original soul and Stax Record tracks that The RZA and other people sampled, or did you hear the samples first, and did that send you back to the tracks? (built off of previous response)

3. How did that start, that your music started getting used in commercials?

4.  What's the one you first said yes to?

5.  And the song was?

6. What do you think all these people who wanted to use your music in their ads heard in your music that seemed right to them?

7. What's the difference between the mood that you were creating in your minds when you wrote and performed the song and the mood of the commercial?

8. Did you write this song together?

9. What was on your mind when you wrote the lyrics?

10. Did any of your fans accuse you of being sellouts when you started doing, giving companies permission to use your songs in their commercials?

11.  Well, I have a very probing question for you. You had mentioned earlier that you were earlier spending a lot of time driving around in your minivan doing concerts, and the minivan was really old, and it smelled like pee. And you said there is a story behind that. So let's hear it.

12. You recently canceled your tour of Australia, saying that you were just too exhausted, that you've been doing too much touring. That must've been a really hard decision unless you'd sold absolutely no tickets, which I doubt. It's really hard to cancel a show.

13. Sometimes you have to reach a point where you feel like you're about to get so sick that you have to say no or you're already so sick that you have to say, no I can't do it. Did you allow it to reach that point where you physically just couldn't go through with it [touring] ?

14. Is it [music videos] a website phenomenon now?

15. Do you want to describe the video?

16.  What about in Australia? When they play it on TV, does it have your disclaimer on it?

17. Was it the history of that studio [Muscle Shoals Studio in Alabama] that made you want to go there to record?

18. Do you feel like you got a special sound from being at Muscle Shoals?

19. You have your own studio now, but you started recording in your own basement?

20. What was on the demo? Was it originals?

21. When you formed the band, how did you decide to name it The Black Keys?

22. And this is a collaboration with you and RZA. Would you talk about this track and what you think you brought out in each other?

Doc Watson

1.     What was it like the first time you got the banjo in your hands what did you do with it?

2.     How did you get your first guitar?

3.     Did you ever get really obsessed with the quality of the instruments you played?

4.     Did you have a manager to help you out with the bookings of shows?

5.     Did you ever have any problems with clubs taking advantage of you; especially because you were blind?

6.     Did you teach your son how to play guitar?

7.     After your son died, was it hard for you to go back on the road?

Mick Moloney

1.     Would you describe this as one of the early songs of city life in America? [Regarding first song on Moloney’s CD McNally’s Row of Flats]

2.     Would you just place us musically here?

3.     What are the entertainments of the time?

4.     Why don’t we hear how it sounds on your CD? [Mulligan Guards]

5.     Now this song is about what, a neighborhood militia?

6.     Now the lyricist for the songs that you do on your new CD, Ed Harrigan, was part of a duo with Tony Hart, they had an act the did as part of minstrel shows?

7.     What do you mean when you say they invented musical theatre?

8.     We are describing Harrigan’s music as preceding Tin Pan Alley, you know, and Tin Pan Alley in its earliest years was really dominated by a lot of Jewish songwriters like the Gershwins and Irving Berlin, is it fair to say that before there were so many popular Jewish songwriter there were a lot of popular Irish songwriter?

9.     Its sounds like one of the reasons why Harrigan lost his audience, was that the audience changed, correct?

10.  In rediscovering the Songs of Harrigan and Braehm, did you find yourself re-thinking a lot of songs from early American pop-history? And I am wondering if there are any songs that you maybe used to dismiss as kind of commercial or smaltzy, or you know or silly that once discovering more about their history were actually pretty interesting?

11.  When did you rediscover the song? [Irishman’s Dream]

12.  Harrigan starts off as a minstrel performer, he performed in black face as you mentioned, um is he still performing in black face when he was writing his own shows and performing them in New York, and if so what’s the context of the black face?

13.  Do you know any of the songs that he wrote for the black face performances?

14.  Now does that bother you, does that get in your way of enjoying Harrigan’s songs?

15.  I want to close with a song, its really a lovely song called “Danny by my side” could you tell us about this song?

Bruce Springsteen


Rosanne Cash

1.      Tell me why you wanted to record this record? Out of all the songs of the list, why “Sea of Heartbreak”?

2.      You have Bruce Springsteen singing with you in this one is he a friend?

3.      Why did you ask him to do a duet on this song?

4.      And he said yes?

5.      So, let’s the story of the list. I know there’s a story if we could hear it?

6.      When you say you when about learning the song, did you get the sheet music, or how did you learn it ?

7.      So you finally realize later in life that your father had given you a piece of himself and I piece of his own genetic make-up when he gave you the list of one hundred songs. But when he gave you the list did you immediately think “Thanks Dad!” or more like “…thanks Dad”?

8.      Now do you still have that piece of paper that list was on?

9.      So, um, what did you do with the piece of paper now? Is it is a frame, is it preserved? Where do you keep it?

10.   I guess what do you do to put yourself in the mood to feel the song? I mean you’re married, you know what I mean? Like you’re not a teenager anymore, you’re married and…so uh maybe that’s a presumptuous question maybe I should just drop that.

11.   When your father gave you that list when you were 18, how deep were you into country music?

12.   I was thinking you might feel that way, is it because they owned the songs?

13.   What do they have to do?

14.   Were you terrified before the surgery?

15.   Were your senses altered in a way that was either interesting or disturbing during the period after your surgery?

16.   You mentioned before that you had really bad headaches. I find that the one time I really can’t enjoy music is when I have a bad headache. And when I think you going through, what was it, a long period of you having these bad headaches how did you do music? Did you have any room in your head where it was pleasurable in your head to make or listen to music?

17.   What have you had that has kept you through all of this?

18.   So you meantioned art and music to what you turn to as a sort of  religion. What were some of the things that you read or listened to or watched during the period of recovery when you needed that sort of nourishing?

19.   What was healing about reading that really painful book?

20.   After grieving for your parents, did you ever have a period where you felt you where grieving for yourself?

21.   Did you love the same songs that were on the list after the surgery that you loved before? Did your taste change?

22.   Why did you choose this one on your own? (Referring to “Girl from the North Country”)

23.   When you sing other people’s songs, are you able to enjoy the songs without intended anxieties?

24.   Your father lived his life on stage; your mother did not. Where do you fit in terms of comfort level and being on stage as a public component of your life?

Wanda Jackson

1.     When did you start playing music?

2.     Who would you say was your biggest inspiration?

3.     Do you act a certain way or dress a certain way on stage?

4.     Have you ever changed the genre of music that you play?

5.     Would you relate more to adults or teens? and what type of effect does that have on the style you pose?

6.     How old were you when you started performing?

Keith Richards


Neil Young



1.     What inspired you to start the Wu Tang Clan?

2.     Did being a DJ help with sampling songs?

3.     Would you consider your music original, or different compared to other producers?

4.     What is your favorite kung fu movie?

5.     How would you say your love for kung fu movies intertwined with your music?

6.     Do kung fu movies still inspire you today?

7.     Did growing up the way you did give you a love for music?

8.     What is your greatest achievement?