Thursday, July 9, 2015

Conducting Interviews? some thoughts

Where to begin?

Well with the good fortune to do the interview with Jessy Ribordy this past weekend, the idea of doing interviews FOR this blog, as opposed to me LINKING OTHER SITE's interviews, etc came to mind. Really has come to mind.


Okay, first things first:

The interview with Jessy I think could not have turned out any better, I say that mainly per how it was done via email. Why I mention the per email part is, well having seen and read countless interviews online and even in printed periodicals/newspapers, etc , the large majority of them are at least written (or transcribed) much like a direct, live conversation. I have seen some that are via email and sort of 1 list of questions to answer as the interview with Jessy was done.

I do wonder though, the interviews that are done via email that may not be done with just 1 long email, or rather read more of a conversation, are more of a live audio recording transcribed. In other words, the process of doing an EMAIL interview where you ask 1 question per email, then the person that is being interviewed answers back only to said question, and then you reply back with maybe a response (like a conversation) and then ask the next question, etc for X-number of questions; seems like it would be a bit of a long, almost tedious process for the interviewee, and it would be much easier to just answer a bunch if not all the questions in 1 email.

I guess what I'm getting at is conducting interviews that aren't live (like on the phone/video/audio etc,) unless it was like an instant-messaging thing or something (or on a message board like a Reddit AMA), seems like they will have to be the 1-long list of questions and then require 1 or 2 replies from the interviewee. But because of that, they really are more like a delayed Q&A, rather than having the whole *conversation* element. 

Even for the fact the interviewer isn't able to follow-up a question BASED ON the interviewee's answer, etc.

Blech, so that is kind of one thought about them.

Another is maybe kind of an obvious one: 

This blog has been kept to varying levels of activity, for 8 1/2 years, and the interview with Jessy the other day is the very 1st that I recall I actually did for it. Why that is?

1) Time obviously. What I am able to include in here (and with social media, including YouTube recently), takes enough of my free time up already. Doing interviews could change what I do include because of how much free time I have.

2) Legitimacy/Credibility. Maybe I have and still do sell myself a little short in regards to whether I could and should be able to interview, even relatively unknown musicians, maybe per the way I see this blog in some ways, sort of being journalism from a fan, or journalism for the fans/people, etc. Granted, based on that, I would be able to cover some topics/questions that other interviews may not. But maybe I'm shy, modest, and also wonder how to do it, who to get in touch with, etc. 

But while thinking about that and noticing other people on similar approaches to social media like That Drummer Guy and even altprogcore, the question seems okay to raise, if they do interviews, why can't I?

With all that in mind, considering how the Jessy Ribordy interview went, I guess I am thinking of trying to pursue interviewing some other musicians. Some names, like the Rush or Genesis guys, I don't suspect I'd have a chance in hell. I mean I'd love to obviously, but I'm a realist, and until I could at least cite many of the interviews I've done previously, I don't anticipate asking them. If they approached me? of course that would only happen in a parallel dimension, but I would of course do it in a heartbeat. 

Much like I did with Jessy, and it would likely never come up had Nick Lambert not suggested it on Twitter. It honestly never occurred to me, although Jessy Ribordy is someone I could probably ask dozens of other questions to, especially about The River Empires actually and just his background with music and other interests. Possibly even Portland and the Portland music scene; just notice this recent list on I made about all the Portland, Oregon artists I love.

So that leads me to mention, that while I cannot guarantee any interview in the near future at this point; I am thinking of sending requests out to some artists on a periodic basis. Not a ton, as I suppose if I won the Powerball this weekend, and I had an unlimited amount of disposable hours to use, I could do a handful of interviews every month, if not every week. But that of course hasn't happened, lol, 

But possibly a more realistic number would be a few a month. Maybe up to 5 if all can go well with them.

And that is also assuming the FORMAT of the 10-question email with a reply works. Which it very well may, but I suppose part of me will wonder and maybe try to if possible, conduct a more conversational interview. Could it happen before or after concerts? MAYBE, but at the same time, the ability to get that access could be hit and miss at best. 

Also just the time/timing of them could go late (why a before-the-concert thing would be ideal, but hardly expected with a lot of touring acts as their time can often be limited depending on their travel schedule, etc). And even in doing those kinds of interviews, via Audio? I may decide to just post the audio as an mp3 on or soundcloud, rather than transcribing them which can be rather TIME CONSUMING. But the more I think about it, VIDEO would maybe be the best and easiest, which I may find the only way to do those anyway.

But thinking about that, I need to compile a list of people to ask about them, some maybe more of a priority than others. There's one that I think seems like a decent possibility for, and seems pretty relevant. The challenge could be more of the content, namely because a new album is coming, etc and with many of these people I'd love to interview, the questions could range with their music history as opposed to a focus on their new music/album which in many cases, what the artist really wants to tell about (like the interview with Jessy).