700 artists/groups, 45 clubs, 5 days, 1 wristband giving entry to all…starts Wed. March 10th, 2010.
2a) Figure out how long to stay at each show, know when to get in & get out. Use audio/voice recorder for audio notes as I go…Check mobile internet for latest updates (Be prepared to change plans on the dime, ie. cancellations, delays, travel/traffic, random violence, etc.)
2b) E-mail, tweet, contact indie record labels to try to secure more interviews (I missed the cutoff deadline with the music fest to get “official press accreditation” to interview…my bad) I’m always doing plan B instead of A.
2c) Always have a plan C.
3. Issue a Craigslist advertisement/job to find a photographer/videographer (tripod – I provide) to take live exclusive “performance footage”. More footage taken = more hits/views…from fans in Europe, China, Australia, etc. who like Canadian Indie, yet cannot afford the busfare to get here. In return said photo/videographer get’s their name on everything I use, on all my sites, & I WILL USE A LOT OF IT!
4. Finish 2010 Indie Award – nominees series for The Examiner (I think I’m 80% done).
5. Get all the local indie music papers pronto, since this is the week before (want no surprises…if possible).
6a) Keep ear to the ground when at the events, to spot other artists/groups milling around before & after their performances to get possible impromptu/spontaneous “mini-interviews”.
b) Stay away from the drunks, out of control dancers & be kind and courteous to all bouncers/waitstaff/bartenders. Not a good time to get hurt, so remove myself from situations that increase the possibility of getting hurt.
7. Know when the “key shows” the can’t misses, & don’t miss them.
8. If I sense someone is in the music industry, or if I recognize a famous person, make sure I find a way to say “hello” & give them my business card.
9. Make sure cell phone, voice recorder & any other tech shizz is fully charged, I brought the charger. Bring paper pad & pens (just in case techie stuff breaks).
10. Don’t forget to eat, drink, sleep, excrete…lol
*Remember: 5 days to create many lead stories & contacts. No fear, be in the zone… just do it on automatic…like a guerilla Chinese Strombo.
See ya at the fest,
~Jason aka. Chodidee
I’m writing this to help me remember, but also as a guide for you to get some ideas on interviewing musicians.
1) Most indie musicians love writers b/c. it gives them more exposure, attention, contacts, etc. Knowing this will give you some confidence, be patient, positive, brief (don’t waste their time) – meaning, be direct and clear when you ask them for an interview.
2) You’re already at the show, you see the singer. Be proactive! You have to create your own breaks, stories…so go find them. Don’t waste a chance if your gut says go talk to THAT band.
3) At a show, you can approach in many ways, but always be respectful & handing over a nice looking business card, always looks good. State that you are writer, right off the bat, so they’ll probably get that you are there wanting to interview or get a quote for an article.
4) Nowadays, contacting a band through a website is actually a decent way to go. I have scored most of my interviews writing a direct e-mail to their official website, Myspace, Twitter, even Facebook. Social media does work for writers to connect with the artist….really!!
At first I would write comments & stuff on their site, and then the artists sometimes would comment back..huh? So, the more it happened, I thought, why not? E-mail directly and see if they want to talk, the worst they can do is say no or ignore your message. For example, if I get a response, I usually either try to meet when they next come to town, or I try to do a phone interview & set it up.
*The hardest thing about doing an interview is setting a suitable day & time. It can be frustrating if they have to re-schedule, etc., however, this comes back to the patience thing. If you want to interview an artist, it’s still awesome to have to interview, even if you have to wait a long time. But be persistent and patient. Remind yourself that musicians are busy, practicing, recording new stuff, so be prepared for example, if they say come to show I’ll talk with you after the show, and the show ends at 2am…you stay till 2am happily & do that interview to your best.
Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t go through their indie record label reps, & that’s fine. You will probably have to go that route if they’re a big “indie artist”.
O.K. this blog is getting horrendously long, I could tell you a lot more things, so I might in a continuation blog.