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what questions would you like to see in a good band interview? what are some of the better interviews you've seen?

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Thu May 31, 2007 11:03 pm
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This is a great topic. Most interviews I read have maddeningly dull questions that tell me nothing about the artist, or the questions are often the run-of-the-mill cliches that seem to have a stock answer you can see coming from a mile away.

This site will be creating an interview page and we will actually be conducting interviews with a variety of major artists.

What are some unique and interesting questions you might ask of someone to get an idea about who they really are and what makes them tick?


Last edited by devil on Sun Jun 03, 2007 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu May 31, 2007 11:53 pm
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i like gear questions, but i'm a gear junkie. i don't think the average music fan is.

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Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:00 am
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read any good books lately?
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Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:17 am
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I like question about the art and inspiration, but not boring crap like "Who are your influences?" Really, a good interview for me is as much about the interviewer establishing a rapport with the subject and getting them to reveal more than the surface scraping crap.

"Who are your influences?" can be an amazingly interesting question if answered well.


Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:19 am
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The Onion's AV section used to have interviews with musicians, and they just had the goofiest, off-the-wall, inane questions you could imagine (stuff like "If you were a tree, ..." and suchlike).

The funny thing is, the interviewees that just shrugged and rolled with it, often came up with some truly hilarious replies that actually made you feel like you were getting to know their personalities reading it.


Fri Jun 01, 2007 2:31 am
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I'd be more interested in delving into the childhood. Finding out about school experiences, what the musical climate and influences of those early years might have been. I'd also like to know what kinds of music the artist is into that are in stark contrast to his or her particular style. I'd like to know about hobbies and such that occupy their time away from music. I'd like to know what their friends and family are like.


Fri Jun 01, 2007 2:32 am
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Ya'll need to listen to Fresh Air with Terry Gross on NPR. She has an amazing talent for art of the interview.


Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:02 am
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Yeah, I really only like to hear what gear they use, what gear they like, how they recorded their music.

I don't give a rat's ass about musician's views on most subjects, as most of them are pretty uninteresting people.


Fri Jun 01, 2007 10:37 am
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yeah, akai used to have this thing on their website where they did video interviews of people using their equipment. they only ever did kmfdm and queensryche, but it was pretty cool to see not just what gear they used but how they used it.

it was extra cool, as it came out when i was super into kmfdm and had just bought an akai. apparently, if you buy a nord lead and a couple mpcs, you too can be kmfdm.

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Fri Jun 01, 2007 10:51 am
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i like to hear everything 'except' which gear they use. and to me analyzing the fck out of why a song was recorded this way, opposed to that way for 5 paragraphs, bores the h*ll outta my non-musician *ss... so everything else :)


Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:05 pm
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Well, I record bands and play in them so it's really interesting and sometimes useful to me to hear that sort of thing.

I usually only read recording and professional magazines devoted to that particular dialogue anyways.


Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:09 pm
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skywayman wrote:
Ya'll need to listen to Fresh Air with Terry Gross on NPR. She has an amazing talent for art of the interview.


i listen to it every night.

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Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:29 pm
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mzmelissa wrote:
i like to hear everything 'except' which gear they use. and to me analyzing the fck out of why a song was recorded this way, opposed to that way for 5 paragraphs, bores the h*ll outta my non-musician *ss... so everything else :)


yeah, i did preface mine by saying i was a gear junkie. zom obviously likes the toys, too.


mmmmm...gear...

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Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:38 pm
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Having interviewed several bands for the magazine I write for, I usually try to tailor the questions to the band. I'll discuss their new album, various technical aspects of it, production questions, etc. I'll talk about their creative process, and the dynamics within the band. If it's a band I'm familiar with, I try to ask every question I've never seen them answer before. (Example: When I was interviewing Kevin Haskins of Bauhaus, I got into how reggae and dub shaped their sound.) Honestly, I've found that if you can pose the right questions, the interviewee will expound at freat length. I try to keep the random questions to a minimum though, as you really need to have someone with a good sense of humor to answer those, and they are usually so strapped for time that it can come off as wasting their time. And honestly, as a music listener, I have such little interest in musicians' private lives and pasts, as you really need to ask the right question to find anything relevant, and musicians can be such boring people in their normal lives that it makes for boring reading. AsI said, best to tread carefully in that area.


Fri Jun 01, 2007 1:31 pm
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I had a brief stint with a Dallas music mag and interviewed the guitar player from the Misfits
He seemed plesantly surprised that I did the whole segment on their guitars instead of the typical crap he gets

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Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:11 pm
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Yeah, but here we're dealing with a lot of music junkies and musicians. Everyone else in the world doesn't give a rat's ass about "equipment." And besides, every discussion about equipment I've ever seen has devolved into, "He uses that shit?! That shit sucks! He should use this shit. I use this shit and I sound great!" (Even though this person sounds like shit).

Two words: Fucking YAWN.

I want personality. I want to know where the music comes from. I want to feel like I'm getting to know someone over drinks at a bar. Or, at least, decide after a couple drinks that this isn't the kind of person with whom I want to develop a relationship. Fuck gear questions. I don't masturbate to pictures of guitars, so it doesn't do anything for me. Boooooooring.


Fri Jun 01, 2007 10:06 pm
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Go masturbate to pictures of Trent Reznor then. And maybe read about his "feelings". BORRINGG.

Too many times I've been disappointed reading that a favourite musician is a stale, dull, dope. I'd rather not know what's inside their heads sometimes. It soils the music if you read that so-and-so follows NASCAR and is into dog-fighting.

Fuck that, just tell me about the guitars, amps, synths, the recording, and give me that Gear Boner.


Sat Jun 02, 2007 11:08 am
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i fall into the dont give a rats tush category about type of gear. i also dont really care about who influences them.

i'd rather know the goofy things about them as a person. did you ever get caught playing with matches? did you feed the alligators in the sewers? what kind of silly things did you believe as a child? tell me about your first car, what was it, how did you get it, what did you do in it? can you bake cookies? are you scared of thunder? do you play in the rain? whats your favorite thing to wear? can you fix a leaky pipe? favorite ride at the amusement parks?

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Sat Jun 02, 2007 6:31 pm
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I love wild tour anecdotes. Y'know, where they're in some strange city, hook up with some locals and wind up doing some ridiculously crazy shit. Stories like that are always fun.


Sat Jun 02, 2007 7:53 pm
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I like to hear about the band's personal relationship with Jesus.


Sat Jun 02, 2007 8:06 pm
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I like interviews that have more unusual questions a band usually doesnt answer. Please dont ask things like- How did the band form? What are the influences? What is your favorite place to play? these are sooo boring. I can find these answers on the website if I care enough, usually. Ask them about their childhood. Ask them about their fears. Ask them about where they see technology heading in 35 years. Btw, gear questions are great. I always love to find out how they achieve their sound.


Sat Jun 02, 2007 10:32 pm
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It's probably something I should not admit to, but there is a one-page in Vanity Fair, and the questions are always different, and always interesting. I wonder if there is some humongous list of all the possible questions... I have collected some of the questions (none of the answers), but I don't have those with me...


Sat Jun 02, 2007 11:38 pm
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zom-zom wrote:
I like to hear about the band's personal relationship with Jesus.


From an interview with Tracy Ferrie of Stryper fame:

Mary Beth, who was kinda an ex-girlfriend by that time, was listening to the Stryper music I sent her.

She was on drugs, an alcoholic, and had gone through some dark stuff. About the darkest you can get in life. But she listened to the music over and over, and she eventually knelt beside her bed and asked Jesus to do what the music was saying. She became a Christian by listening to Stryper, directly from the lyrics. No preacher, no alter call or anything like that. Just “OK, this is what these guys are saying, and I’m going to try it.” Because she was desperate. She probably wouldn’t be here today if it hadn’t been for the music of Stryper.

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Sun Jun 03, 2007 2:49 pm
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I'd be curious about how the persons musical tastes changed or evolved over ten or twenty years. what they used to like compared to what their into, or play now.

I also wouldn't mind knowing where they've found the best food on tour. but thats just me.

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Sun Jun 03, 2007 9:39 pm
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I like the food idea. and no, with very few exceptions, i really don't care what musicians care about. I do want to know how they relate to the music, and that kinda thing. I will try to do a separate gear section as well...

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