The Big Read

The Big Read – Tom Morello: “If we can’t punch Nazis, who can we punch really?”

We know Rage Against The Machine firebrand Tom Morello as a shredder – of guitars and of oppression, big business, climate change deniers, bigoted politicians and – famously – Simon Cowell’s designs on the 2009 Christmas Number One spot. In one of the year’s most surprising reinventions, he’s just released an EDM album – but he remains utterly righteous, finds Tom Connick

The Big Read – St Vincent: The MASSEDUCATION of Annie Clark

As St Vincent rebirths her acclaimed album ‘MASSEDUCTION’ from a sci-fi rock fever dream into the stripped down salon music of ‘MASSEDUCATION’, Annie Clark talks to Andrew Trendell about artistry, her public image, ‘wiping the sword clean’, and how things are about to get ‘JUST. REALLY. HEAVY’.

The Big Read – Halsey: “I can be feminine and delicate but also really fucking dangerous”

As she marks the end of a long, long tour with the revelatory new single ‘Without Me’, righteous pop star Halsey hits London and Berlin to meet fans, play shows – and get a fierce new tattoo of a dagger. It means “don’t fuck with me”, she tells Douglas Greenwood

The Big Read – Christine And The Queens: “I’m horny, and I desire, and I’m sad, and happy, and joyful”

Reinvented as Chris, the randy protagonist of her second album of the same name, Christine And The Queens’ Héloïse Lettisier has embraced '80s funk and pan-sexuality to five-star effect (see our review). But, the morning after a Brief Encounter-style moment at a London train station, she’s got romance on the brain too, finds Emma Madden

NME Big Read – Paul McCartney: “The Beatles were brothers arguing, that’s what families do”

Retirement? Pfeh. At 76, Paul McCartney – greatest living songwriter, all-round good guy and former member of the bloody Beatles – is about to embark on yet another world tour in support of new album ‘Egypt Station’. Dan Stubbs meets him in London to talk about Lennon, Manson, global warming, ageing and, er, fuh-ing.

The Big Read – Pale Waves, American gothic

Over the past year, Pale Waves have set themselves up as the UK’s premier makers of heartbreak pop. As they prepare to unleash their debut album ‘My Mind Makes Noises’, Thomas Smith meets them in the spiritual home state of the lovelorn teen movie, Illinois, to hear about how their passion for each other translates to their music – and why Heather Baron-Gracie would die for her bandmates.

The Big Read – Idles: “Music and unity, community, love and mindfulness will help you get over anything”

With next week’s second album ‘Joy As An Act Of Resistance’, Bristol pirate punks Idles have provided a modern manifesto for living based on love, tolerance and mindfulness and informed by personal demons and tragedy. They are also, finds Jordan Bassett, as he joins them in Hebden Bridge, a right laugh.

Big Read – Troye Sivan: “I don’t want people to be a fan of me from one song. I want them to be a...

Once a hugely successful teen YouTuber, South Africa-born, Australia-raised Troye Sivan fought hard to be taken seriously as a pop star. The game-changing moment came this year with ’My My My’, an uproarious pop song about two gay lovers seducing each other. Its attendant full-length ‘Bloom’, he tells Douglas Greenwood, “feels like the album of [his] lifetime”

NME Big Read Deafheaven exclusive interview

With ‘Ordinary Corrupt Human Love’, California’s Deafheaven have released one of the most acclaimed albums of the year, a record that makes non-metal fans sit back and think, ‘Wait, do I like metal?’ Tom Connick finds them –surfing, no less – on the day of the album’s release.

Big Read – Miles Kane: “I don’t feel like, ‘Oh, I’ve made it, ma!”

After the hedonistic excess of touring the latest Last Shadow Puppets with his best pal Alex Turner, Miles Kane roped in Lana Del Rey and Jamie T to knock out his third solo record, ‘Coup De Grace’. A glam-punk collection shaped by his love of wrestling, its character is all his own: sneering, snarling and hard to pin down, finds Jordan Bassett