NoiseTrade One-on-One

Interview with Joshua Radin and Rachael Yamagata

the-coffee-house-tour-ep-noisetrade-cover-v2Occasionally we get to quantifiably expand our NoiseTrade One-on-One interviews to include more than one individual and the upcoming Sirius XM’s The Coffee House Live tour with Joshua Radin and Rachael Yamagata provided the perfect opportunity for us to speak with both artists. With a shared history that dates all the way back to Northwestern University in the 1990s, Radin and Yamagata told us all about their early days in Chicago, their previous experiences playing and touring together, and which two artists they would pick for their own “dream duo” concert.

NoiseTrade: First off, fans may not know that you both have crossed paths multiple times in various settings throughout the years, including both attending Northwestern University in Chicago back in the ‘90s. Did you guys know each other back then at all?

Joshua Radin: I used to go see Rachael’s band Bumpus at the Elbow Room in Chicago. I never had the nerve to say “hi” to her. She was this magical rockstar who’s voice and songs I’ve loved for many years now.

Rachael Yamagata: I’m pretty sure I was in Radin’s fraternity at NU a few times drinking seltzer and reading poetry. Ok, part of that is true. I remember first really talking to him in L.A. after a show at the Hotel Cafe. He was a doll and I think we talked shop about music. It’s funny when you look back and think “What If I’d known then this is a guy you’ll see the world with?”

NT: Later on, you both ended up being a part of the early 2000s Los Angeles music scene at the same time. What are some of your memories about that time frame?

Yamagata: It felt like an endless summer camp. We were all playing together, going on the road, starting our careers really and it was this incredible pocket of talent and so open and hilarious. I will always feel a deep connection to this particular group.

Radin: Well for me, I had just started playing music around that time. So I was getting to hang out with all these songwriters I admired deeply. It was the best time of my life.

NT: Having toured together previously, what are you most looking forward to for your upcoming joint tour for Sirius XM’s The Coffee House Live and is there anything you hope has changed since the last time you toured together?

Radin: Rachael and I have toured together several times in the past, all over the US and Europe. She’s one of my favorite touring partners, not only because I love listening to her set every night, but because she’s such a good hang on the bus. She’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever encountered.

Yamagata: Radin calls me “Yams” and every time I hear it I kind of giggle. We have this brother-sister affection for one another that I treasure. I learn a lot from him on the road actually. He’s incredibly smart on the business front, but also knows how to enjoy the reality that is life on the road. He has a particular fondness for Sriracha mayonnaise that I completely identify with.

NT: I heard the plan is to close each show out with a combined set. Are you guys working up any special duet arrangements of your own songs or special covers for this portion of the show?

Yamagata: We’re going to brainstorm on it for sure. I think what’s so interesting is that we both offer something very unique dynamically for a live set. The combination of our styles and voices collaborating is something that will be exciting to explore.

Radin: We still have to work on the sets. But I’d love to make the shows a bit different than those in the past. More collaboration, so basically more fun on stage.

What was the first song from the other artist that first struck you the most? Also, what is your favorite song from the other artist?

Radin: I went to see Rachael many years ago and she played “Worn Me Down” and I was blown away. I love that song so much.

Yamagata: “Winter” and “Underwater” strike all the right chords for me.

NT: Finally, if each of you could create your own dream tour where you combined two of your favorite artists, who would you put together and what song would you want to hear?

Yamagata: Oy. Paul Simon, Nick Cave, Rickie Lee Jones, Rufus Wainwright and Kanye all singing “Still Crazy After All These Years.” Full on pyrotechnics.

Radin: I guess if it really is a dream tour… I’d be on the road with Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Neil Young and Tom Petty. And we would play songs in the round, all acoustically. They’re my favorite living songwriters.

Sirius XM’s Coffee House Live Tour
Featuring Joshua Radin and Rachael Yamagata

7/7 Nashville, TN – 3rd & Lindsley – TIX:

7/8 Atlanta, GA – Terminal West – TIX:

7/10 Houston, TX – House of Blues – TIX:

7/11 Austin, TX – The Parish – TIX:

7/12 Dallas, TX – House of Blues – TIX:

7/14 Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom – TIX:

7/15 San Diego, CA – The Observatory North Park – TIX:

7/18 Los Angeles, CA – Belasco Theatre – TIX:

7/19 San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore – TIX:

7/21 Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom – TIX:

7/22 Seattle, WA – Neptune Theatre – TIX:

7/23 Boise, ID – Knitting Factory – TIX:

7/25 Boulder, CO – Boulder Theater – TIX:

7/26 Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room – TIX:

7/27 Minneapolis, MN – Fine Line Music Cafe – TIX:

7/28 St. Louis, MO – Delmar Hall – TIX:

7/29 Chicago, IL – House of Blues – TIX:

7/31 Cleveland, OH – Music Box Supper Club – TIX:

8/1 Detroit, MI – St. Andrew’s Hall – TIX:

8/3 Washington, DC – Sixth & I – TIX:

8/4 Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts – TIX:

8/5 Fairfield, CT – The Warehouse – TIX:

8/6 Amagansett, NY – Stephen Talkhouse – TIX:

8/8 Huntington, NY – The Paramount – TIX:

8/9 New York, NY – Irving Plaza – TIX:

8/10 Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club – TIX:

When writer Will Hodge (@will_hodge) isn’t no fool for love songs that whisper in his ears, you can find him running off at the keyboard about music, concerts, and vinyl at My So-Called Soundtrack