Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Starting out - interviews

It's been a while. My day job as an editor has been taking over far too much lately meaning that any music related writing has had to be put on the back burner.

Looking back at the most recent set of posts on here, I realise there's been a lot of negativity flying around. Have I finally lapsed into being a jaded hack? Tales of problematic interviewees and scathing album reviews may point towards this. I do however remain relatively chipper thank you very much so feel it's time to put some more positive tales out there.

Which brings me on to good interviewees. As I said before, I take musicians as I do everyone else, as human beings. And you are bound to encounter human beings you get on with and those that you don't. I am happy to report that I have had far more of the former as interviewees than the latter (the latter being almost wholly covered in previous posts).

My first few phone interviews since I started writing about music again about six years ago were with million unit album sellers, Röyksopp, an unknown act called Dear Eskiimo, who have now gone on to become the Ting Tings, and Dave Stewart of the hugely successful Eurythmics. Each was massively different but taught me valuable lessons.

The interview with Torbjörn Brundtland of Röyksopp was a strange start. Every time I asked a question he gave me a witty, surreal answer but because in my head I felt I had to get serious answers, I kept pressing him, asking him the same questions till he gave in and gave a serious answer. Which not only must have been quite frustrating for him but meant the interview went on for the best part of 90 minutes! He even asked at one point, "Is this interview for radio?"

So not a great start but I learned that it's best to take interviewees as they are rather than trying to force the desired answers out of them. More importantly I learned that it's invariably better to put across any humour and personality that comes across.

Dear Eskiimo was different altogether as they were in the same boat as me - nervous because it was one of their first interviews. That common ground allowed everyone to relax a bit and the interview flowed well. The Eurythmics interview was by far the most daunting though. More of which on my my next blog post...

Useless music fact #12: The Chemical Brothers were one of the few people not to be grounded by the Icelandic volcano as they had a private jet chartered. Brothers gonna work it out!

Originally posted on http://blog.ianroullier.com on 20 April 2010.