Issue 775 (June, 2016) is out today, available via the usual stockists and our online store.
Our cover-story focuses on The Ramones, 40 years on from their punk rock formation and tragic fallout.
"The Ramones made a model that almost anybody could grab hold of: basic chords, pugnacity and a noise that could lay waste to – or awaken – anything. But they paid a heavy cost for their achievement. Much of the music world rejected them, sometimes vehemently. Others saw them as a joke that had run its course. The Ramones never had a true hit single or album, though at heart they wrote supremely melodic music. They continued for years across indifference and impediments, but the rift between the two leading members only worsened. They're revered now – there are statues and streets and museums that honour them – and we see people wearing their T-shirts, with their blackened presidential seal, everywhere. But all four original members are gone; none of them can take pleasure in the belated prestige. The Ramones were a band that changed the world, and then died."
Alongside this feature, we countdown the 40 Greatest Punk Albums of All Time.
Jonah Weiner also catches up with the enigmatic actor James Franco, for a revealing interview.
"Despite Franco's feverish devotion to passion projects, none of his art exhibits, works of fiction or directorial attempts have yet been a resounding success critically, much less commercially. He says that the latter, at least, doesn’t bother him: 'I know that if I direct an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God, about a necrophiliac' – as he did a few years ago – 'a lot of people aren’t going to see it. But it’s a fucking dream of mine.' Danny Boyle, who directed him in 127 Hours, says, 'He doesn't want to limit himself – you know that saying, 'The genius is in the choices'? That’s not how he thinks. It’s ‘You choose – watch what you want and see what you think.'"
Plus, there's features on Melbourne-based songstress Melody Pool, U.S. actor Tracy Morgan, the second part of our ongoing intelligent machines series and Michael Dwyer catches up with Something With Kate's Paul Dempsey.
"The 'organised chaos', where practically every instrument was already mic'ed up and plugged in ready to record, was the perfect office for a man with a prodigious ability on drums, keys and guitars, and a blueprint for every song meticulously pre-arranged by his own personal collection of brain atoms. It's there, inside a strange loop that tends to seem more remarkable than most, that any story about Paul Dempsey must eventually lead. His freakish gifts as a musician are illustrated by what Ashworth calls his 'phonographic memory': the ability to identify, recall and reproduce music on any number of instruments after a single hearing."
Amongst our regular features — including The Jezabel's Hayley Mary's 'My Soundtrack', The Living End's Chris Cheney's 'Life in 10 Songs' and our 'Last Page' interview with Cyndi Lauper — we also debut our new 'Living Legend' series with Richard Clapton and head out on the road with The Smith Street Band, with a photo journal of their recent U.S. tour.
View a digital preview of the issue below: