1. Matt Pike of Sleep, High on Fire on reinterpreting Sabbath for local label
“So I did some shrooms and nitrous, some mind-altering drugs, and did an homage to Iommi. But I’m sure he had way better drugs,” Matt Pike. Photo by David Howard King

2. How Delmar native Patrick Kindlon formed an international punk collective

“I think places like New York [City] are overrated. I think that you can be a creative individual in the middle of nowhere,” Patrick Kindlon. Photo by Kiki Vassilakis.

3. Kurt Vile the Collaborative interview

“Clearly there was something in me that needed to exercise some kind of spiritual, hypnotic thing. It just came out that way,” Kurt Vile.

4. Cage the Elephant’s Brad Schultz on prioritizing mental health

“There’s been a lot recently about music and touring and how it really affects mental health. You get on stage and do what you love every day, which is a blessing. It doesn’t mean you aren’t going through the same hardships everyone else is going through on a day-to-day basis,” Brad Schultz.

5. Navigating the business of hip hop with Johnny 2 Phones

“I’m centered around business. I know how to network. I built my name up in that,” Jonny 2 Phones.

6. Madison Vandenburg and Moriah Formica on friendship and life after reality TV

t’s a lot easier to deal with things when you know someone is going through the same thing, that understands it themselves. When I was younger Moriah was one of my first inspirations, now I’m playing shows with her,” Madison VanDenburg. Photo by Kiki Vassilakis.

7. LarkFest headliners Prince Daddy & The Hyena blast off

“For the big shows, there are a couple hundred people upfront who are stage diving, who know every word to every song, even the newest songs,” Gregory says. “There are certain moments where, if a show’s going very well, I can step away and let them take over,” Kory Gregory.

8. A tribute to MotherJudge

“Still, there is the music, the exhortations, the care and warmth that she has stoked for decades. When words fail, there is always music,” Mike Hotter on MotherJudge.

9. Kristin Hayer AKA Lingua Ignota on becoming divine vengeance

“I was itching to get this stupid thing out. I was like, “Let’s go.” Then two days before the release I was a wreck. I couldn’t function at all. I’m so close to it all, it is all so close to me and it deals with these super personal experiences—to submit that to the world to judge and potentially invalidate was super scary,” Kristin Hayer.

10. Mike Shoes of Mini Mansions on vulnerability

“As a person, I’ve always been really guarded, especially in interviews. I’ve kept this mask, this persona up. This record kind of broke down those walls and helped me talk about it all, open and candid,” Mike Shoes.

11. Real-life hour fuels Mark Whelan of Fuming Mouth

“There’s a foundation that’s been built and nobody wants to mess with any of those elements. And I know it’s really important to [us] to bring in a hardcore punk mentality. That way we bring that liberal approach and that way we can break the mold,” Mark Whelan.

12. Candy Ambulance: on managing trauma and taking up space

 “Sometimes I get violently angry at our culture. I get talked down to all the time by sound guys and men in the audience,” Caitlin Barker.

13. Niskayuna native Marc Labelle skates to the top of the chart with Dirty Honey

“We do our takes live, rather than doing everything perfect,” he says. “That’s what is making rock suck; these edits mean that no one feels like they have their own identity. Rock isn’t dangerous and loose anymore,” Marc Labelle. Photo by Mike Savoia.

14. Emily Sprague of Florist on thriving in solitude and music as therapy

“When I moved to Albany, it was the first time in my life that I felt like I was around people who wanted the same things, or thought the same things,” Emily Sprague.

15. Love of Fuzz to serve music scene and growing Troy market

“I’d really like to help the established artists figure out the sound that’s in [their] heads,” Heimel says. “That’s something I always thought I excelled at—if somebody has an idea, we’ll figure it out,” TJ Hemel. Photo by Bryan Lasky.

16. Brian Aubert of Silvers Pickups on maintaining mental health while creating

“I think art is helpful, fandom is helpful, being interested in things is helpful,” Brian Aubert.

17. The Regrettes’ Lydia Night on growing up in the music industry and advocating for herself

“Trusting yourself and knowing that saying no is OK and making sure the people around you know that you saying no is OK and should be respected takes a long time to learn but it’s so important,” Lydia Night. Photo by Kiki Vassilakis.

18. M. Lamar’s compositions paint the black experience in America as Gothic horror

“Being black means you need therapy. There were no self-help books about surviving as a black person in America. The only thing that helped black people survive was black music,” M. Lamar. Photo by Richard Lovrich.

19. Girl Blue’s “Lolita” celebrates womanhood

“I was thinking about the lyrics and sort of, what it’s like to grow up as a girl. Were there things that were inherently joyful? All I could think about were bad things or uncomfortable moments specifically related to being female,” Arielle O’Keefe.

20. How Meg Duffy of Hand Habits honed their chops in the Capital Region

“After college, I started playing with these singer/songwriters like Olivia Quillio, MaryLeigh Roohan, Caroline Corrigan and these really, really talented songwriters in Upstate New York. And learning how to be supportive musically and not, like, a soloist,” Meg Duffy.