I was driving to the office this morning and something made me think about the first artist interview I did back when I was in college. So please stay with me a bit as I lead you up to that interview.
I attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale as a student of their Music Business program. Every other weekend, I would walk down “the Strip” of bars to catch a few shows, hoping one day I would be able to be in one of these groups. As a drummer, I loved all styles of music but I was mainly looking to play Metal at the time. That day finally came and I joined a group that covered tons of bands like Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Queensryche, Anthrax, Metallica, and so many more. My chops got so good! Here’s one of our flyer’s that we posted all over campus for our President’s Day show.
The guitarist in the group was, at that time, also working for the local newspaper Carbondale Nightlife. He knew my musical tastes were diverse. So when Chick Corea and the Elektric Band were coming to town, he called to see if I would be interested in doing a phoner interview with Chick himself! I had NEVER conducted an interview IN MY LIFE. So after picking myself and then my jaw up off the group, I said “ABSOLUTELY!” Needless to say, I was nervous but I started my research so I could be better prepared.
The day comes and I go over to the Carbondale Nightlife offices to set up the tape recorder that’s plugged into the phone to capture the interview. The call comes in and Chick and I are off and running. He was very cool and I was very nervous, but I made it through just fine. If you would have told me then what my job would be later in life, I would have fainted.
I still have the audio cassette of that interview.
When I was still working up at the Shure HQ’s in Evanston during the late 90’s, I went out with our photographer and an interviewer up to Summerfest in Milwaukee to visit and get an interview with Destiny’s Child. This interviewer took notes, almost like shorthand, when getting his answers from them. It was a great interview but I wondered how well his method worked. Another fond memory I have of that visit was when Beyonce grabbed a Shure shirt from out of the box I had brought and proceed to wear it around backstage for a while. I’ll never forget that.
Nowadays, we are deep into video interviews. We are writing the questions, visiting the artists on site (sometimes at their house), conducting and capturing the interview and then downloading it to Final Cut Pro. Yes, I am even editing some of the interviews – and I love it! It’s great to be able start a project and then see it to completion, have it uploaded, and watch the view counts rise periodically.
I’ve gotten over my nervousness long ago because meeting a lot of these artists has been such a pleasurable experience. I’m becoming better at these interviews, faster at editing, and having a blast being creative with them.
Please visit the Shure YouTube page and see for yourself how many wonderful interviews we’ve collected so far with so many great artists. The collection will continue to grow, so please, check back often.