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Artist x Artist

Artist x Artist: John Darnielle of Mountain Goats and Bully

Musicians discuss working together on the Goats' latest album and what's ahead in 2023
Mountain Goats Bully

The latest edition of Artist x Artist finds two new collaborators continuing their creative conversation. The Mountain Goats‘ John Darnielle drafted Bully’s Alicia Bognanno to produce his band’s 2021 album Bleed Out, and they’re back together here to discuss a host of subjects.

Among them: the status of the new Bully album, which is nearly finished and finds Bognanno embracing storytelling outside her own personal narrative. Meanwhile, Darnielle joked about making different albums with each individual member of the Mountain Goats.

The pair talked about how mental health treatments can influence creativity, and how fun it was for Bognanno to be a temporary member of the Mountain Goats and bash out live takes in the studio during the making of Bleed Out.

Looking ahead to 2023, Darnielle has written somg songs for the new Rian Johnson TV series Poker Face, and will make an on screen appearance. The Mountain Goats are touring significantly as well, including their first headlining appearance at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.


On our previous episode of Artist x Artist, Dave Stewart and his daughter Kaya went through their respective songwriting processes and compared notes, discussed song arrangements, how they tell stories through their music, and why it’s good that albums and songs can have different interpretations for everyone.

Additional episodes of Artist x Artist include conversations between Steve Aoki and the members of Taking Back Sunday, Sara Kays and Alec Benjamin, Pom Pom Squad and Nada Surf, Bikini Kill’s Kathleen Hanna and The Linda Lindas Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard and Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner, Jonah Ray chatting with “Weird Al” Yankovic, Sting with Shirazee and Paris Jackson with Andy Hull of Manchester Orchestra, here.