Issue 779 (October, 2016) is out today, available via the usual stockists and our online store.
The cover-story is an extensive new interview with Paul McCartney, covering everything from his family life to the Beatles hay day to the forthcoming Ron Howard documentary.
In his London office, McCartney is surrounded by his roots and history – there is Beatles and Wings memorabilia, and a vintage jukebox loaded with 78s by Fats Domino, Wanda Jackson and Elvis Presley – but he mostly speaks of his songwriting and the stage in the present tense. He dissects his recent collaborations with Kanye West and mentions that he was "looking at some lyric ideas" for his next album. "I can write all over the place. I've got a lot of ideas on the go."
But the Beatles are always nearby, as a touchstone and renewing memory. "It's good talking with you," McCartney says at the end of one session, then recalls an encounter with Lennon a few years after the band broke up. "He hugged me. It was great, because we didn't normally do that. He said, 'It's good to touch.' I always remembered that – it's good to touch."
He also check-in with Halsey, following her rise from a broke teenager with a junkie boyfriend to the arena-filling pop star.
It's one in the afternoon, and Halsey is getting buzzed on Veuve Clicquot rosé and telling me things that maybe she shouldn't. Like the fact that the last time she was here in Central Park, she was with an ex-boyfriend who was coming down from heroin and just wanted to lie in the sun for six hours. Or that the original plan for today, dreamed up by her record label, was for us to go for a romantic boat ride. "And I was like, 'Fuck, no'," she says with a scowl. "'I'm not going on a sailboat. I fucking hate boats. I'm not going to do that.' It's like a blind date, except that I'm not going to spend the entire time wondering if I'm going to be forced to have sex with you later." Or that she has previously been detained by the police for drinking in the park – she ran, but left behind a backpack filled with schoolwork bearing her name – but has never yet been arrested. "I'm really good at getting out of stuff, it appears," she says. She leans back on a picnic blanket and takes a deep swig from her Solo cup.
Closer to home, we have interviews with Big Scary, Harts, Ballpark Music and The Delta Riggs, as well as a profile on country icon Troy Cassar-Daley for our 'Living Legend' series and spend the day hanging out with hip-hop duo REMI.
Editor, Rod Yates:
If [Remi] Kolawole and [Justin "Sensible J"] Smith are the very definition of the odd couple – the young extrovert MC who's only been in the game for five years versus the older, quieter drummer and producer who, at 37, is 12 years' Kolawole's senior, and has been chipping away at his craft over the past two decades – their African heritage was perhaps the first bond they shared, followed by a mutual love of hip-hop. Kolawole was born in Canberra to a satellite engineer father, Michael, and anesthetist mother, Helen. The two met when Michael left his home country of Nigeria for Tasmania, opting to study at the university there because he figured Tasmania was an island, and would therefore be warm. When Michael lost his job at the Department of Defence they moved from Canberra to Moorabin, before shifting temporarily to the Mornington Peninsula for Helen's work. ("My mum was basically the breadwinner for us growing up, which was a good thing for me to see.") Upon returning to Moorabin, Kolawole continued to go to school in the significantly wealthier Mornington Peninsula, where he'd marvel at his peers' mansions by day and return to a suburb at night where "we had crackheads down the street"
We also catch up with rock legend Ozzy Osbourne, pop radical M.I.A., James Vincent McMorrow and Simple Minds' Jeff Kerr gives us a breakdown of the songs that have defined his life.
Away from the music world, we chat with "Hollywood hustler", director Todd Phillips, about his new film War Dogs, plus feature "The Hit Man Next Door" — the bizarre story on how an all-American gymnast turned into a mob hired gun.