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Behind the Scenes

"How do you get those damn interviews"

Just to get the wheels rolling on my blogosphere existence, I figured I'd answer one of the most common questions I get asked by fans of the show "How do you guys setup all your interviews?"

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First and foremost, I'd recommend having proof of your site/show/zine already active, as in have a website to show people when asking for an interview. These people get tons of request all the time, and there is only so much time a band has before the shows to do interviews (especially in major cities, it gets a bit tough) so make sure to show something where it would be in their benefit to have the band interviewed. Don't forget, that ultimately, you are offering free publicity for the band you are interviewing, so you want to make it look like it's really worth their time.

rob-kensusiMy first piece of advice would be to start small, and work your way up. A lot of the bands we initially covered, were just getting started and weren't big names, and we established a friendship with the bands and it allowed us to do interviews in the future. Also, it always helps to have an impressive list of bands already interviewed when e-mailing publicists. Don't think you'll get a Slayer interview by just starting your zine, as they are way too busy to be interviewing everybody, whereas a smaller band will be more willing to sit and talk with you. Also, this is a good way to develop your interview style, as it's a bit less embarrassing to fuck up around a smaller band, then uhhing around Tom Araya.

Here is the checklist we use to try to set something up:

Contact the band's publicist
The most formal of all the ways to get an interview, and basically this is how we started. If you browse around a band site, you can find their publicist's e-mail address. If not, try the band's label site. Send out a semi-formal e-mail introducing yourself and letting them know who you've interviewed in the past, your circulation and such. Sometimes you'll find this method will lead to no response, as they are not interested and too busy to bother replying with a simple "No."

Band's Myspace / Personal E-mail
If the publicist thing doesn't work out, you can always try to contact the band via their band e-mail or their band Myspace. Sometimes the band is the one in charge of their own page, so it's easy to get in touch with somebody in the band. Sometimes, the opposite is true, but you might get a response forwarding you to the proper means of setting up an interview.

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The Guerilla Interview
When all else fails…just show up at the show! You don't even know how many fests we've showed up to, where we had maybe one or two interviews setup and ended up doing like 10 interviews, only because we just came up to the bands or literally just knocked on their tour bus and asked if they wanted to do an interview. Fests are ideal, because bands are in total promo mode as all they do all day is signings and interviews, so they're used it and don't mind it.

Interviewing Oderous of GWARWith smaller shows, you'd be surprised with how many band members are just walking around before the show hanging out. All you have to do is calmly approach them and intro yourself and ask for a few minutes of their time. Warning: If the band member looks like his right eye is about to explode because he is running around trying to get all his gear in, etc. DO NOT APPROACH THEM. Their first priority is settling into the venue, so make sure to catch them when they look to be in a good mood.

Two things that definitely help are girls and drugs! You wouldn't believe the things we've made Noa do to setup interviews, and some of those black metal dudes are kinky! (Just kidding…they're not that kinky). And it always helps when you have a joint in hand to entice a band member, and if anything you'll get them to really open up to you after they reach the ether!

So that's how we do it! Again, it's really sometimes just by chance that we run into a band and just ask them, and after 3 years we've built up a bunch of contacts from various PR firms. Because you end up requesting one band interview, and then notice they rep plently of other bands you're interested. The old saying is true: "It's all about who you know"…especially, in the music industry.

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