Hi, my name is Cory Wong. This is my podcast. I'm going to talk to your favorite artists as they discuss their personal tricks of the trade, never-before-heard stories, and the proper response when Sinatra wants to peep your master tapes.
How Bruce Lee Inspired Margaret Glaspy’s New Record
Cory Wong sits down with indie-rock bandleader Margaret Glaspy for an in-depth dialogue on artistry, celebrity, and the wisdom of Bruce Lee.Glaspy shares how she cut her latest record, Echo The Diamond, live off the floor, with most of the “homework” happening beforehand and studio performances happening in-the-moment. “It really felt like air blew through the studio and then the record was made,” she says. “What you’re hearing is mostly what happening.” The songs are like photographs of a particular moment, rather than an essential, unchanging thing; Glaspy says she values the “dying art” of taking risks in music.Glaspy runs down how she and husband Julian Lage work on each other’s projects, and highlights one of their key criteria in assessing performances: are you your best guitar player right now? “Would you hire yourself or fire yourself?” poses Glaspy.The conversation turns to Glaspy’s rig on the record—she played through a Magic Amps renditi
22/11/2023 • 53 minutes 23 seconds
Charlie Hunter: Graduating Busking Boot Camp
"I don't consider myself a jazz musician," says guitarist Charlie Hunter on this episode of Wong Notes—essentially refuting how he's known in the music world. "I am maybe jazz adjacent." Most listeners probably wouldn't agree, but if nothing else, Hunter is experimental. He's known for playing a guitar that's strung with both bass and electric guitar strings, that has two pickups—one for bass and one for guitar—and two input jacks, which go to separate amps for the respective sounds.As the conversation unfolds, Charlie shares with Cory about the importance of interdependence, especially in jamming. "All I want to do is be a part of an extension of [the drummer's] beat," he explains. "Everything has to take a backseat to that." He compares the level of resources he had with young musicians today—back then, for better or for worse, all he had was a metronome and the discipline exemplified by the older musicians he played with. Something else that shapes modern musical culture,
09/11/2023 • 52 minutes 28 seconds
Bruno Major’s Relatively Lo-Fi Soul
Cory’s cast is off and he’s here to tell you to “go get hip” to Bruno Major! The soulful, jazzy British singer-songwriter shares why he prefers to record in his bedroom than a studio to create his “relatively lo-fi” music. “It’s far more important to be transmitting a privacy than an audio quality,” Major says. But he’s quick to point out that you can get good audio quality recording at home and discloses his gear of choice—shoutout to the Shure SM7B. Together, they discuss the state of record labels and streaming in 2023—“if you’re making good music,” Major says, “it’ll find a home”—working with other artists—“I think what I bring to the table is probably harmonic knowledge and an ability with words…. I can’t really do it on cue”—and mental health.On his journey from his early days as a shred-head—“I just wanted to play really fast all the time”—into classical and jazz playing, and eventually to becoming a singer and songwriter, Major elaborates:“If you look at someth
25/10/2023 • 46 minutes 41 seconds
Daniel Donato Gets Cosmic
"When you switch the gear of what you're operating on from the memorized information to the gear of intuitive, faithful response, it's a whole different frequency that's emitted from the hands and from the soul," country shredder Daniel Donato expresses on this episode of Wong Notes. He's talking about what makes for powerful improvisation, and if you know anything about the guitarist, you know this insight around the topic is coming from someone who's a master on their instrument.Throughout his conversation with Cory, Donato shares his uniquely intellectual philosophies about music, explaining what it means to exploit versus explore creatively, how lessons in faith and trust of his bandmates came to supersede his knowledge around music, and how "listening and alignment" of one vision is most important when jamming with others. He also sheds light on his experiences working with producers Robben Ford and Vance Powell, and the different collaborative dynamics he had with both.
11/10/2023 • 1 hour 8 minutes 26 seconds
Wolfgang Van Halen: Sing the Solo
Wolfgang Van Halen joins Cory for the season 7 premiere of Wong Notes! Chatting before the release of Mammoth II, the duo discuss guitar trios, 5150 studios, cloning, touring with Metallica, plus: Who’s that playing wah on the record? What’s WVH’s rig? And much more.On his new record, WVH has lots to share. When it comes to writing and recording rhythm tracks, he’s says, “It’s all groove.” Later, he adds, “I’ve always championed myself as more of a rhythm player than anything.”And on what’s next for EVH gear, he promises that there’s much more in store.But the most profound thoughts come when the pair go deep on music. WVH shares his soloing philosophy, which he learned from his father: “Something I follow … when I write guitar solos that my dad taught me … is you can shred all you want, but if you can’t sing the solo, then it’s usually not working. There’s always a moment … that you can do the wankery of a shreddy solo, but it