The Big Read

The Big Read – Dolly Parton: “I take care of business”

To Miley Cyrus, she's godmother. To the rest of us, she's The Godmother. Country legend Dolly Parton has enjoyed an unparalleled career, and won over the hearts of a younger generation when she stormed Glastonbury in 2014. As her musical 9 To 5 opened in the West End, Leonie Cooper sat down to talk over Parton's phenomenal life.

The Big Read – Karen O and Danger Mouse: “Music is my church”

She's the firebrand frontwoman of Yeah Yeah Yeahs. He's the guy with a finger in some of the greatest albums of the last 20 years. Now, the two New Yorkers have joined forces on 'Lux Prima', a conceptual album that reveals a different side to each artist. Rhian Daly meets Karen O and Danger Mouse in Manhattan to hear about the eight-years-in-the-making collaboration.

The Big Read – Foals: “The only thing anyone can express right now is confusion”

Having lost their most grounded member, bassist Walter, there have been major changes in the Foals camp since 2015's 'What Went Down'. But the group have pulled together and returned with a razor-sharp pair of albums, 'Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost', the first part of which is out today. Andrew Trendell met Yannis and co to talk about friendship, ambition, AI and how to thrive in the messy world we live in.

The Big Read – Twenty One Pilots: “We want to be the best – and keep everyone else at bay”

Columbus, Ohio's Twenty One Pilots might just be the biggest cult band in the world. Thanks to their mythmaking and music, they've inspired in their 'Skeleton Clique' the kind of superfandom normally reserved for space epics or fighting fantasies. But behind the flights of fancy, there's humanity. Gary Ryan meets the band as they kick off their stunning UK arena tour in Birmingham, and hears how family, dementia and anxiety fuel their genre-hopping songs.

The Big Read – The Japanese House: “There’s emotion captured in my music, forever”

Between the hazy pictures, low key early gigs and the intangible music, the mystery surrounding The Japanese House, aka 23-year-old Amber Bain, could seem contrived. It is however, borne of a shyness that speaks to her gossamer pop sound. As she prepares to release debut album 'Good At Falling' on March 1, and ahead of her performance at NME's Girls To The Front on February 25, she opens up to El Hunt about how heartbreak, ambition and a love of The Lion King got her to where she is today.

The Big Read – Tommy Cash: “We are all gods”

Art provocateur, money obsessed rapper or pop star borne of a Tim Burton fever dream? Tommy Cash – the self-declared most famous Estonian in the world – is the man behind some of the most eye popping videos of the last few years and – in 2018 album ‘¥€$’ – some of the wildest, catchiest Euro-trap you’ll ever hear. Dan Stubbs meets him in an abandoned chapel to talk about art, infamy and what he saw in Bangkok last week.

The Big Read – Dream Wife: “Just because we’ve got vaginas, it doesn’t make us a ‘Girl Band’”

When NME launched its new series of gigs and events, Girls To The Front, there could be no finer band to play the inaugural event than Dream Wife, who along with being righteous ringleaders for 'bad bitches' everywhere, also happen to be one of the UK's most kick-ass live acts. NME Editor Charlotte Gunn meets the band in London to hear how a group that started as a situationist art piece turned into a bona fide cultural movement.

The Big Read – AJ Tracey: the lad from Ladbroke Grove takes on the world

AJ Tracey doesn’t arrive at his NME photoshoot with an entourage, but he does bring a dachshund called Bridget. Jordan Bassett meets the outspoken British rapper who doesn’t do things by the book, and whose eclectic, wilfully commercial debut album – veering from grime to, erm, a country song – might even make him the first artist to take UK rap truly Stateside.

The Big Read – Sunflower Bean: “We’re coming at the world with a jackhammer”

On the sly, Sunflower Bean have proven themselves one of the world's coolest, funnest and, er, hard-workingest bands. Following the brilliant 'Twentytwo In Blue' – a Top Five entry in NME's Albums Of 2018 – the New York trio today release the rocking follow-up EP, 'King Of The Dudes'. Rhian Daly meets them in Brooklyn to talk about music, patriarchy-smashing and that time at band camp.

The Big Read – Lizzo: “If I feel worthy, then everyone gonna want to eat my pussy”

Lizzo’s funk-inflected hip hop has endeared her to Missy Elliott, Ru Paul, Macaulay Culkin and even the late Prince. With a couldn’t-be-more-2018 message of self-love and positivity exemplified by recent single ‘Boys’, the one-time indie star has found a unique voice – and new levels of fame as a result. But that doesn’t mean she’s in any rush to release her debut album, she tells Nick Levine.
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