My intention is not to knock the ‘give and take relationship’ within the music industry. It is to educate others as to what the journalist must do to make these articles happen. It might look easy on the outside but the reality is far from it.
Dear reader, I was going to bring you a kick ass interview this week but circumstances beyond my control have made that impossible. My apologies.
To be honest, I haven’t had the best of luck bringing you the words of others this year. I initially blamed myself but now I am not so sure. Since the beginning of 2018 (without naming names): I’ve had my time slot pushed into oblivion, been stood up at a gig, called an hour late for an interview and had a musician reschedule twice and not pick up the phone!
I understand you are a rock star and your time is obviously valuable but so is mine. Since you apparently have no idea what others must endure to cover the ‘metal scene’, I’m going to tell you.
First and foremost, many of us do this all for free. It costs me money to run and maintain my own website but more importantly, it costs me time, which anyone over the age of twenty-five knows (at least I hope so), is more valuable than money. Especially as you get older.
Secondly I’m not a teenager; I have a home and a family. I cannot just decide on a whim to hit a show. I have to plan it for weeks sometimes months in advance. My arrangements are based on my dedication to metal and my appreciation for a particular band. Every show I attend is important to me. If you can only go to a few each year, you try to make them count.
So if you’d rather get drunk than do the interview that’s cool, but please have enough respect to let me know in advance. It costs me money to drive to a venue and pay for parking. I could have stayed home instead of waiting around, hoping you might change your mind.
Finally, if we’re going to hook up over the phone please know that I will do my homework. “Phoners” as they are affectionately called are without a doubt one of the biggest investments for a journalist. I pull the band biography and discography, I peruse social media outlets and if I like you enough, I will buy your album and pour over the artwork and lyrics. My investment in your group starts days sometimes weeks before you even pick up the phone!
I will ask questions that feature you, the stuff people really want to know. Understand that after our conversation ends the real work begins for me. I will spend hours writing down your thoughts. I will create an opening to our interview that will feature you in the best possible light.
I take this shit seriously, why don’t you? If you cannot call or do not want to be called at a specified time, let someone know. Don’t leave me waiting around. Most interviews are conducted during someone else’s workday. I have to arrange my time. It sucks spending your lunch hour hoping someone else might answer a line!
On the flip side, the majority of artists I have dealt with have gone above and beyond, like waiting for me to run and get a pencil when my recorder batteries died or calling me personally on the phone to set a time when I couldn’t make the original one. Things aren’t always bad.
My intention is not to knock the ‘give and take relationship’ within the music industry. It is to educate others as to what the journalist must do to make these articles happen. It might look easy on the outside but the reality is far from it. This is an investment, this is what it takes, a small sample of what I have to go through to bring the metal to you. \m/