The Story Behind The Song

By Consequence Podcast Network

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Description

The Story Behind the Song finds host Peter Csathy digging into some of the most iconic songs of all time with the artists who made them. Others may scratch the surface, but we go deeper than anyone into the musician’s fascinating creative journey of how their most lasting songs came to be – and the moment that sparked their inspiration.


Episode Date
The Story Behind Silversun Pickups' Gritty, Grinding Masterpiece "Lazy Eye"
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Southern California natives Brian Aubert and Nikki Monninger front Silversun Pickups, one of rock music’s leading bastions of guitar glory. The band just recently released their sixth studio album, Physical Thrills, produced by the legendary Butch Vig of Garbage (who were highlight on July's episode of The Story Behind the Song). The LP is marked by an adventurous -- and intentional -- departure of sorts, a tone brilliantly set by the lead single, “Scared Together."

But the path to this latest record starts back in 2006 with the band's first studio album, Carnavas, and its breakout track "Lazy Eye." The song has become something of a rock and roll staple over the last 15 years, making it a perfect topic for this latest episode of The Story Behind the Song.

The pair also dive into "Scared Together" -- which was a perfect fit for the interview, as they called in from the road while staying in a hotel known to be haunted. It is a frequently playful, funny and lazy eye-opening interview of an extremely passionate and talented band that is still grateful and humble after all these years.

Listen the the latest episode of The Story Behind the Song now, and then make sure to like, review, and subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. You can also keep an eye on the Consequence Podcast Network for updates on all our series, and follow host Peter Csathy on Twitter @pcsathy and at Creative Media.



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Sep 19, 2022
The Story Behind BeachLife Ranch, the New Home-Brewed LA Music Festival Amidst a Sea of Goliaths
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This special bonus episode of The Story Behind the Song shakes things up a bit -- let's call it The Story Behind the Festival. Musicians Jim Lindberg of SoCal punk band Pennywise and SoCal native son Donavon Frankenreiter, together with LA music entrepreneur Allen Sanford, join the podcast to talk about their new upcoming music festival BeachLife Ranch.

Spinning off of the trio's OG BeachLife event, the fresh fest brings an Americana focus to the same stretch of beach in Redondo Beach on September 16th-18th. Brandi Carlile, Wilco, The Lumineers, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Dierks Bentley, and more are set to play the festival highlighting the ”Cowboy sSurfer Way of Life.” (Tickets are still available here!)

Lindberg, Frankenfreiter, and Sanford speak with host Peter Csathy about how these three authentic surf-infused indie dudes started the little festival that could, competing against the big boy corporate festivals. Not only that, they do it their way -- directly on the beaches of LA (which is no small feat by itself!). BeachLife Ranch seeks to redefine the festival experience with a cohesive storyline that flows through the artists, the venue, the food, the drinks, and the merch, creating a consistent overall experience.

Listen to this special bonus episode of The Story Behind the Song Festival now, and don't forget to make sure you like, review, and subscribe to The Story Behind the Song wherever you get your podcasts. As always, keep an eye on the Consequence Podcast Network for updates on all our series, and follow host Peter Csathy on Twitter @pcsathy and at Creative Media



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Aug 29, 2022
The Story Behind Lykke Li's Dark Love Song "No Rest for the Wicked"
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Swedish-born Lykke Li has always been a musical enigma. She started her career seemingly happily at the age of 21 with her light, bouncy breakout track, “Little Bit.” But soon after she veered 180-degree into deep darkness, especially with her third full album, 2014’s I Never Learn. Li’s twisted journey continued thereafter with her 2018 latex-heavy album, so sad so sexy, before stripping down all of that album’s artifice to this year’s darkly haunting, spare and cinematic Eyeye that essentially rejects everything about its predecessor.

Li has never been an industry “hit-maker.” That’s not her mission. Yet, at the same time, somehow her songs consistently find themselves at the forefront of pop culture and into our collective heads - from her song “Possibility” in the film Twilight, to the throbbing pop of “Get Some” in teen soap opera Pretty Little Liars. One her most iconic tracks certainly is “No Rest for the Wicked” from her I Never Learn album. Li wrote the song as she was exiting a relationship and packing her bags to move from Europe to New York, condemning herself for the damage wrought in the process. Of course she did. That’s just her way.

In this latest episode of The Story Behind the Song podcast, host Peter Csathy interviews Lykke Li about the genesis of “No Rest for the Wicked” – and why the song continues to haunt. The two also discuss Li’s new album Eyeye (pronounced simply “eye”) and its final track, “U&I.” The album and track represent yet another vintage departure for Li, and the results are the same. Li has always looked at her life as if it were a “movie,” and this latest film in Li’s life is literally just that. Eyeye is a visual album, with individual one-minute videos that transition each of the album’s eight tracks into the next. Li punctuates this point to supreme cinematic effect in “U&I” when she implores her now ex-lover to not turn his back and walk away, because “The movie is you and I.”

Listen to the full episode now. Then make sure you like, review, and subscribe to The Story Behind the Song wherever you get your podcasts to catch each episode of the monthly series. Also keep an eye on the Consequence Podcast Network for updates on all our series, and follow host Peter Csathy on Twitter @pcsathy and at Creative Media.



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Aug 15, 2022
The Story Behind Why Garbage's Shirley Manson Is "Only Happy When It Rains"
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Garbage are an iconic, eclectic band that is anything but what their name implies. 

Fronting the outfit is the charismatic and irrepressible Shirley Manson from Edinburgh, Scotland. Manson first met up with her three future bandmates in Wisconsin as a result of one of those strange, classic twists of rock and roll fate involving MTV, a phone call, and a disastrous first audition. In then end, Garbage was formed (even if Manson still isn't such a fan of the name), and with their self-titled debut came the iconic hit "Only Happy When It Rains," a record that feels as fresh today as it did nearly 30 years ago.

In fact, as Manson tells it, the misery of that song pours down even more heavily now on audiences as they celebrate and dance to it on the band’s current North American tour with Alanis Morissette. (Get tickets to see for yourself via Ticketmaster.)

In the latest episode of The Story Behind the Song, Manson joins host Peter Csathy to share all about the misery behind "Only Happy When It Rains," including her initial thoughts upon reading the "nursery rhyme" lyrics. Manson also discusses "The Men Who Rule the World," the lead song on Garbage's No Gods No Masters, a track that perfectly encapsulates Manson's current state of mind and features lyrics that rained down on her in a moment of spontaneous inspiration.

Listen to the full episode now, or check out the complete video interview at Consequence.

Make sure you like, review, and subscribe to The Story Behind the Song wherever you get your podcasts to catch each episode of the monthly series. Also keep an eye on the Consequence Podcast Network for updates on all our series, and follow host Peter Csathy on Twitter @pcsathy and at Creative Media.



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Jul 18, 2022
The Story Behind "The Glamorous Life," Sheila E.'s Classic Pop Collab with Prince
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"The Glamorous Life" proved to be a major solo breakout for Sheila E. in 1984. The classic pop track was one of her man collaborations with the legendary Prince, but Sheila E. already had a long history of playing with legends. In fact, her professional career began at only 15, when her father (a percussionist himself) asked her to fill in for him as part of Santana's band before a crowd of thousands in a night she describes as a true "out of body experience."

Sheila E. joins host Peter Csathy on the 13th episode of The Story Behind the Song to discuss how "The Glamorous Life" helped put her front-and-center for the first time. She talks about working with Prince and trying to outdo each other as they wrote, played, and sang in the studio. She also shares insights on a personal selection from her catalog: her recent salsa collab with B. Slade, "Bailar." Throughout the interview, Sheila E. shares personal stories about working with other legends, and discusses how she persevered when pursuing her passion for percussion in a world of frequent artistic male prejudice.

Listen now, or you can watch the full interview over at Consequence.

Don't forget to like, review, and subscribe to The Story Behind the Song wherever you get your podcasts to catch each episode of the monthly series. Also keep an eye on the Consequence Podcast Network for updates on all our series, and follow host Peter Csathy on Twitter @pcsathy and at Creative Media.



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Jun 20, 2022
The Story Behind How They Might Be Giants Built a "Birdhouse in Your Soul"
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The transition from 1980s new wave and hair rock to 1990s far less follically-minded indie pop wasn’t always a smooth one. But enigmatic, idiosyncratic, and frequently non-grammatical duo They Might Be Giants made it all go down so easy with instantly catchy hooks and frequently hilarious lyrics.

The band’s tongue-in-cheek non-sequiturs and unconventional instrumentation masked a knack for writing songs that made us hum the first time we heard them. Nowhere is that more evident than in their major label breakout hit “Birdhouse in Your Soul” from their 1990 album Flood, which is likely the first -- and only -- song ever sung from the POV of a night light. Yes, you read that right: The lyrics are from the perspective of a blue night light shaped like a canary -- something that only co-Giants John Linnell and John Flansburgh could pull off.

In this 12th episode of The Story Behind the Song, host Peter Csathy interviews Linnell about how his mind found its way to concoct the addictive “Birdhouse in Your Soul.” As always on this podcast, Peter’s guest also discusses their personal choice for our journey into a second song; in this case Linnell selects the band’s recent surreal, sobering song “If Day For Winnipeg,” from their 2021 album BOOK.

Linnell spoke with Peter from his flat in Brooklyn as he prepped for They Might Be Giants' forthcoming 40th anniversary tour (snag tickets here). Listen to the podcast now or check out full video of the discussion at Consequence.

Then, make sure you’re subscribed to The Story Behind the Song to catch each episode of the monthly series. You can also keep an eye on the Consequence Podcast Network for updates on all our series, and follow host Peter Csathy on Twitter @pcsathy and at CREATV Media.



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May 16, 2022
The Story Behind Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" Becoming an Internet Phenomenon
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Rick Astley burst onto the pop scene 1987 seemingly out of nowhere when his debut single, the feel-good, earnest dance anthem “Never Gonna Give You Up,” grabbed the No. 1 spot in 25 countries, including the US and UK. In just a matter of weeks, Astley -- then only 21 -- traded his small town outside of Manchester, England for center stage on a global scale. 

As fate would have it, "Never Gonna Give You Up" never gave up either. Two decades after its release, the song "Rickwolled" its way back into our hearts and the cultural conversation when it became a mid-2000s internet sensation. Fast forward to today, and the song’s video is creeping close to an astounding 1.2 billion views on YouTube. Perhaps even more impressive, at age 50 in 2016, Astley again topped the UK charts with his aptly titled album 50. While continuing to record new material, he's now sold over 40 million albums worldwide. Safe to say, Astley is no one-hit-wonder: He is a full-fledged artistic and cultural icon.

In this 11th episode of The Story Behind the Song podcast, Astley joins host Peter Csathy to talk about "Never Gonna Give You Up," as well as a personal choice from his catalog: "Cry for Help." Penned by Astley for his 1991 album, Free, this soul track reflects the artist's vulnerability and generous heart, an openness that helped it reach the top 10 on both the US and UK pop charts. Speaking as he prepared for his upcoming "MixTape 2022 Tour" alongside New Kids on the Block, Salt-N-Pepa, and En Vogue (tickets for which can be found here), Astley discussed his journey from breakout pop star to meme to respected soul artist.

Listen to Rick Astley reveal the story behind "Never Gonna Give You Up" now, or watch the full interview via Consequence. Don't forget to like and subscribe to The Story Behind the Song wherever you get your podcasts, and follow the Consequence Podcast Network for updates on all our series. You can also keep up with host Peter Csathy on Twitter @pcsathy and check out his company CREATV Media.





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Apr 18, 2022
The Story Behind "Home" and "Truth," Edward Sharpe's Companion Songs of Darkness and Light
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Alex Ebert is lead singer, songwriter and resident shaman of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, the hippie-inspired outfit that broke out in 2009 with a fresh sound that was difficult to pin down. Via his alter-ego messiah character Edward Sharpe, Ebert and the Magnetic Zeros' breakout single and signature song across four albums is, of course, "Home." An ebullient and endearing anthem of love and pure joy, the song has become iconic thanks to its instantly recognizable whistles and indelible opening lyric, "Alabama, Arkansas/ I do love my ma and pa."

But the veneer of joy on "Home" hides an underlying truth: Ebert used Edward Sharpe to rise above his own personal demons. And out of that reality, Ebert later penned his solo song “Truth” – from his first solo album, Alexander – to set the record straight to his fans as a companion piece to "Home."

Ebert joined host Peter Csathy for the 10th episode of The Story Behind the Song podcast to discuss his classic "Home." He takes listeners through the inspirations to the production (including that spoken-word ode to Castrinos), and reveals how the darker realities underpinning "Truth" connect to that original hit. Along the way, Ebert's candid, raw conversation reveals his musical journey from rapper to spiritual "Bad Guru" (the name of his philosophy and spirituality newsletter).

Listen to the episode, and then be sure to like, subscribe, and review The Story Behind the Song wherever you get your podcasts. You can also keep an eye on the Consequence Podcast Network for updates on all our podcasts, and follow host Peter Csathy on Twitter @pcsathy and check out his company CREATV Media.



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Mar 21, 2022
The Story Behind Manchester Orchestra's Unexpected Global Smash "The Silence"
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Manchester Orchestra is one of Indie music’s darlings, and deservedly so. The band is fearless in how it has evolved over the years, moving from the in-your-face guitar thrashes of 2014’s Cope to the much more cinematic and layered approach of their last two albums, 2017’s A Black Mile to the Surface and their recent The Million Masks of God.

But something strange happened along the way to Million Masks. The video for "The Silence," the closing song from A Black Mile, began to gain traction on YouTube. Though never formally released as a single, the track did get a music video in December 2018 -- a visual that now boasts over 111 million views.

In this bonus ninth episode of The Story Behind the Song podcast, host Peter Csathy interviews Hull about "The Silence" phenomenon, touching on why the artist believes this particular track blew up around the world with such resonance. He also discusses the remarkable "Angel of Death" from Million Masks, the latest single from the gorgeously complex album. (Csathy previously wrote a guest column for Variety about how Million Masks had a special healing impact on him during the time of his mother's death.)

Listen to this bonus episode about Manchester Orchestra's "The Silence" above, or check out the full video of the interview at Consequence.

Make sure to like, subscribe, and review The Story Behind the Song wherever you get your podcasts. You can also keep an eye on the Consequence Podcast Network for updates on all our podcasts, and follow host Peter Csathy on Twitter @pcsathy and check out his company CREATV Media.



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Mar 07, 2022
The Story Behind Judy Collins' Classic Version of Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns"
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Judy Collins is a music icon, plain and simple. Collins' storied career, first inspired by folk legends Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, is now in its seventh decade and touches much of American music royalty. (Songwriting legend Leonard Cohen is just one such icon she elevated.) Her musical journey continues this month with the release of Spellbound – surprisingly, her first-ever full album of original songs.

Amongst her respected oeuvre, Collins’ biggest hit -- a Grammy-winning Platinum smash -- is her emotional rendition of Stephen Sondheim’s classic A Little Night Music show tune “Send in the Clowns." In this eighth episode of The Story Behind the Song podcast, host Peter Csathy speaks with Collins about how her rendition of "Send in the Clowns" came to be, and why it continues to resonate above the hundreds of other versions of the song. The two also discuss Collins' wistful new original country-folk song "When I Was a Girl in Colorado" from Spellbound.

Throughout the conversation, Collins is warm, funny, and passionate -- about her music, her connection with fans, and what she believes in (including the latest Spotify controversy and performance royalties for musicians). Listen now, and watch the full discussion over at Consequence.

Then make sure to like, subscribe, and review The Story Behind the Song wherever you get your podcasts. You can also keep an eye on the Consequence Podcast Network for updates on all our podcasts, and follow host Peter Csathy on Twitter @pcsathy and check out his company CREATV Media.



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Feb 21, 2022
The Story Behind X's "Los Angeles," a Thrashing Punk Critique About Intolerance
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Punk rock in the mid-to-late '70s and early '80s meant different things to different people, depending on which city you were in. For Los Angeles, it was the band X that helped define the sound from their Venice home. (The band sits at #13 on Consequence's own list of the Best Punk Bands of All Time.)

X’s most iconic song happens to be the title track of their debut LP, Los Angeles. "Los Angeles" reflects all of that city’s deep complexities, including racial, sexual and religious intolerance, in a biographical tale centered on a figure known personally by Doe and Cervenka. As told via lyrics intended to shock, this person so hated others in LA not like herself that she moved several time zones away to escape them. Her POV is so raw that certain radio stations that previously championed the song no longer play it. But the song’s driving power remains and was always meant to be a social commentary, a thrashing no-holds-barred critique about intolerance that is perhaps even more relevant today.

In this seventh episode of The Story Behind the Song podcast, host Peter Csathy interviews X’s John Doe about the origins of “Los Angeles,” co-written by Cervenka and produced by Ray Manzarek of The Doors (a band also known for writing songs about LA’s deep, dark underbelly). The two also discuss Doe’s recording of Cervenka’s very different, haunting song, “Alone in Arizona” from Doe’s 2016 solo album, Westerner.

Listen to the podcast above, or check out the full video of the discussion at Consequence.

Then, make sure you’re subscribed to The Story Behind the Song wherever you get your podcasts to catch each episode of the monthly series. You can also keep an eye on the Consequence Podcast Network for updates on all our podcasts, and follow host Peter Csathy on Twitter @pcsathy and check out his company CREATV Media.

Theme music courtesy of Juan Pieczanski.



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Jan 18, 2022
The Story Behind Crowded House's Anthemic "Don't Dream It's Over"
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Crowded House’s "Don't Dream It's Over" is one of the most memorable tunes of the '80s, and the band's Neil Finn explores that lasting legacy on the latest edition of The Story Behind the Song.

Crowded House helped launch a new post-New Wave era in pop music in 1986, creating beautifully simple, earthy melodies driven by guitars rather than synths. Lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter Neil Finn founded the band after the demise of Split Enz (a Kiwi band out of New Zealand with several iconic songs of its own.) Finn’s most iconic song is, without a doubt, “Don’t Dream It’s Over” – you know, the “Hey Now, Hey Now” song. It has transcended mere “classic” status over the years to become one of the most enduring music anthems of the past several decades, inspiring sing-alongs to this day. Neil wrote this song in less than 24 hours, something this podcast has revealed to be quite common for artists when creating their most lasting, signature songs.

In this sixth episode of The Story Behind the Song, host Peter Csathy interviews Finn about “Don’t Dream It’s Over” and how it came to be. The two also discuss Neil’s beautiful love song “Fall at Your Feet” from Crowded House’s third album, Woodface. Through it all, Finn touches on his continuing “out of the box” musical journey, from Split Enz, to Crowded House, to solo artist, to Fleetwood Mac -- and what’s next for it all.

Listen to the new episode above, or check out the full video of the interview with Finn here. Make sure you like and subscribe to The Story Behind the Song wherever you get your podcasts, and follow the Consequence Podcast Network for updates on all our series.

(You can also catch Crowded House on their 2022 tour by getting tickets here.)

For more from our host, follow Peter Csathy on Twitter @pcsathy and check out his company CREATV Media.

Theme music courtesy of Juan Pieczanski.



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Dec 20, 2021
The Story Behind Blondie’s Iconic “Rapture”
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Blondie are, without question, one of the most successful, iconic, and influential bands in rock and roll history. Inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 15 years ago, the Debbie Harry-fronted group has sold over 40 million albums worldwide and continues to release new music. But the “rock and roll” label doesn’t do justice to the group’s genre-bending music. What started as a punk band in the mid-1970’s in New York City after Harry and guitarist Chris Stein broke off from their earlier band, The Stillettoes, Blondie (first called Angel and the Snake) always innovated, infusing pop, disco, new wave, reggae, and rap elements into their music.

Which brings us to one of Blondie’s signature songs, the cleverly titled “Rapture." In 1981, the Autoamerican single became the first song featuring rapped vocals to top the US charts, and its accompanying video the first "rap" clip to appear on MTV. Stein and Harry penned the song after experiencing their first rap performance hosted by Fab 5 Freddy, who is prominently mentioned in the song's first rap line and appears in the video.

For the fourth episode of The Story Behind the Song, host Peter Csathy spoke with Harry and Stein about "Rapture" and its progenitor "Yuletide Throwdown." Csathy digs deep with the artists on the songs' journeys, the impact of "Rapture" on other artists, and how "Yuletide Throwdown" just may become a new holiday classic.

Make sure you like and subscribe to The Story Behind the Song wherever you get your podcasts, and follow the Consequence Podcast Network for updates on all our series.

For more from our host, follow Peter Csathy on Twitter @pcsathy and check out his company CREATV Media.

Theme music courtesy of Juan Pieczanski.



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Nov 15, 2021
The Story Behind Tears for Fears' Unexpected Hit "Mad World"
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Tears for Fears ruled the pop charts for much of the 1980s with their unique mix of instantly catchy synth sounds, irresistible hooks, and confessional lyrics. Like everybody in music, the duo of singer/songwriter/guitarist Roland Orzabal and singer/bassist Curt Smith wanted to rule the world, and they certainly achieved that with a string of hits spanning several albums.

It all began with their 1983 debut album, The Hurting. The LP's haunting breakthrough hit, "Mad World," was originally intended to just be a B-Side to lead single "Pale Shelter." It was the band's A&R exec David Bates who pushed for its release as a single, and the rest is history. The song took on a life of its own and still widely influences artists and delights new generations -- especially after it was completely reimagined by Gary Jules for the cult classic movie Donnie Darko.

Tears for Fears' Roland Orzabal joins host Peter Csathy on The Story Behind the Song to discuss "Mad World," as well as Tears for Fears' new single "The Tipping Point," the title track on their newly announced album, which will be their first in 17 years. 

Don't forget to like and subscribe to The Story Behind the Song wherever you get your podcasts, and follow the Consequence Podcast Network for updates on all our series. For more from our host, follow Peter on Twitter @pcsathy and check out his company CREATV Media.



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Oct 18, 2021
Lindsey Buckingham Shares The Story Behind Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk"
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In this third episode of The Story Behind the Song podcast, host Peter Csathy interviews Buckingham about the song “Tusk," diving into its inspiration, its meaning, its production, and its impact. In keeping with TSBTS’s mission, the guest musician also reveals the story behind one of their personal favorite tracks from their own catalog. In this case, Buckingham chose “On the Wrong Side,” his stand-out Fleetwood Mac-inspired track from his just-released self-titled solo album (his 7th and his first in ten years).

Make sure you’re subscribed to The Story Behind the Song to catch each episode of the monthly series. You can also keep an eye on the Consequence Podcast Network for updates on all our podcasts.

Theme music courtesy of Juan Pieczanski.



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Sep 20, 2021
The Story Behind Gary Numan's New Wave Classic “Cars"
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Iconic UK new wave artist Gary Numan ushered in an entirely new form of electronic synth music with 1979's "Cars." While the sound would go on to define much of the next decade, the breakout smash came to Numan in mere minutes -- after nearly being attacked by thugs in his own vehicle. Yet Newman's artistic and personal journey has not been for the faint of heart, characterized by massive highs (his immediate superstardom with "Cars") and equally massive lows (struggles with not only recalibrating his music over server decades, but also his personal demons).

In this second episode of The Story Behind the Song podcast, host Peter Csathy interviews Gary Numan about all of this as the pair discuss the hypnotic classic "Cars." As always on TSBTS, the guest musician also reveals the story behind one of their personal favorite tracks from their own catalog; Numan chooses “The Gift,” a song off his most recent album, Intruder, which was released earlier this year to largely effusive reviews.

Make sure you’re subscribed to The Story Behind the Song to catch each episode of the monthly series. You can also keep an eye on the Consequence Podcast Network for updates on all our podcasts.

Theme music courtesy of Juan Pieczanski.



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Aug 16, 2021
The Story Behind The Song Episode 1: Men At Work's "Down Under"
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The Story Behind the Song finds host Peter Csathy digging into some of the most iconic songs of all time with the artists who made them. Others may scratch the surface, but we go deeper than anyone into the musician’s fascinating creative journey of how their most lasting songs came to be – and the moment that sparked their inspiration. For episode 1, Peter sits with Men At Work frontman Colin Hay to discuss their seminal 80's hit, "Down Under."



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Jul 15, 2021