I’ll keep this short. Through communicating back and forth these musicians have agreed (in principal/theory) to do an interview with me. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s in person or by phone b/c. in this cases, the bands are a far distance away. The trick is trying to schedule it when their tours arrive in Toronto.
For example, in the summer I got in contact with Vancouver artist, Leah West & she agreed to do an interview when she came to Toronto, however, she wasn’t scheduled to come for a few months. When I realized it, she was gone in other cities on her tour. My bad mistake.
1. Eternia (Toronto/NYC)
2. Papermoon (Winnipeg/Manitoba)
3. The Mountain & the Trees (St. Johns/Newfoundland)
4. Fields of Green (Vancouver/B.C.)
We’ll see if I can organize this all & do it properly. We’ll find out, however, I’ll get trying to set these up in the next few weeks. Right now, I want to throw up as many articles & content on the Examiner page, and some on NxEW. Check you later…
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.
The Toronto Independent Music Awards (T.I.M.A.’s) occurred in late June, and Beth Moore was one of the acts playing that night, and an article was supposed to be written at the time. In typical independent writing/blogging fashion, it didn’t quite get done, however, it lead me to her next show on August 11th, 2009 at Mitzi’s Sister in Toronto.
First of all, who is Beth Moore? We surely aren’t talking about the pop/punk mega-star “Pink” whom we all know Beth Moore is her non stage name. Well, Canadian local, Beth Moore is an indie/folk singer/songwriter who mixes many styles most notably indie rock, folk, Americana, Blues, etc. About two years ago, was when I first heard Beth’s music and I could tell right then, she had a unique sound and a strong voice. Over the past couple years we’ve kept in touch on Facebook and from time to time I’ve heard her new songs posted online, and am impressed by her developing musical style.
Remembering that night at the T.I.M.A.’s was special as Beth Moore played live with a full backing band, which was unusual to see (she plays solo acoustic most nights). So, I grabbed my note pad (not taking my laptop into a bar/club) and scribbled a bunch of notes throughout the night.
I came a little early to ensure I wouldn’t miss her performance and happened to see a great rock band Japhy that was getting the energy of the intimate crowd quite high. At about 10:50pm Beth Moore took to the stage, and I was excited to hear her perform live.
They were introduced as, “The Beth Moore Band.” They brought a mix of sounds and styles, but one thing was unmistakable, Beth’s fiery power vocals. Again, after hearing her mostly singing soft acoustic lullaby guitar numbers, it was quite jarring and impressive to hear her let loose on a song. The band was solid and definitely filled out the sound. She has a unique vocal style and voice that would be comparable to: Sarah McLachlan, Sinead O’Connor, and a healthy dose of Ben Harper. The keyboards in this group really add another element to their sound. The real emphasis is on Beth’s vocal talents mixed with the interesting songwriting and lyrics of their music. Anyway, in their half hour set they showed a lot versatility with their band and the music.
To show support, Beth Moore was having another show on August 11th, 2009 at Mitzi’s Sister in Toronto, which i went to. Also, on the bill was the Peter James project. Beth played first, and again she played solo acoustic, but what missing from the bigger band experience was the funny performer side of Beth Moore. Her jokes and stories made great interludes between songs and kept it memorable and interesting. It’s doubtful anyone one there will forget her “Mandarin 10 hr gig” story. She debuted some her new songs live and they were all well crafted songs, but sometimes wondered what the song would sound like with the backing band. Anyhow check out the video links below to see Beth Moore play live at Mitzi’s Sister.
The Peter James Project is an Irish/New Zealand/Toronto mix band that plays a pop/rock/ska sound with influences like: Crowded House, The Smiths, and the Dave Matthews Band. As luck would have it, though traffic caused me to be late by half an hour, I missed none of the shows. The HD camera was brought for some filming, but it was uncharged, however, some footage was still captured of Beth Moore and the Peter James Project. The Peter James project was technically crisp and band had their chops down. Peter James vocals were crystal clear and the lyrics were easy to follow. Take a look and listen.
By: Jason Chu
My first article with Examiner.com! I’m pretty excited because it has taken a long time to get to this point. I can’t wait to cover music exclusively, and I will continue to write my blogs (thoughts & stuff I can’t put down for Examiner – here). It’s a busy next few months, seeing shows, networking, doing interviews, and staying ahead the tech/social media game so that I can be effective at what I’m trying to do. And that is to be a respected writer online or otherwise, writing great articles with cool pictures, and links!
Here my 1st article with Examiner.com
It’s about a Canadian Indie Music Festival called Bridgestock 09′. Check it out! http://lnk.ms/1bGdT
~ Jason Chu
Credits: Starring: Alicia Silverstone and Alanis Morissette
Directed by: Steve Carr
Written by: Lauren Palmigiano
Produced by: Lauren Palmigiano, Mike Farah, Jason Taragan
Baby Hitchhiker: Gary Owen
Director of Photography: David Thies
AC: Ryan VanAusdall
Camera: Will Shipp
Audio: Jason Perez
Editor: Ross McNamara
Post Sound: Jayce
Production Assistants: Zak Zeman, Josh Simpson
Alicia Make up: Shauna O’Toole
Alicia Hair: Gregory Russell
Alanis Make up: Kayleen McAdams
Wardrobe: Emilie Pereira
Special Thanks: Alissa Vradenburg, Lisa Giglio, Karey Dornetto
Hahaha! After I saw this video clip, I had to embed it! I didn’t expect their video to be so funny! Priceless 🙂