Wednesday, April 4, 2012
The anatomy of an interview
Interviews whether they are print, live radio, TV or recorded for later even podcast are a vital and necessary part of being an artist today. You have a chance to reach listeners who may come to your work for the first time. First impressions being what they are critical and I use that word in all its meanings. Recently I did an extended phone interview with a station out of Santa Fe, NM, KSFR that brought these points home. It was ostensibly for the upcoming Gathering of Nations PowWow in Albuquerque where I’ll be performing April 27&28. The first questions were about significant women in my life and how I would like to honor them being the end of Women’s Awareness Month. Of course I was thinking….um is this the right program? Did I get the info wrong? But I went with it and you’ll hear it. You’ll hear me speaking spontaneously and from my heart about the first person to mind, my mother. The interviewer skillfully led that into my background, my Native roots, my music and other areas I couldn’t have prepared for if I wanted. Those are the good interviews: the ones where you don’t chit chat beforehand and are forced to get out of your own self-promotion and try to connect with the question, the interviewer and especially the listeners.
You will hear me speak about that aspect of the listener and how I realized years ago that you don’t speak into a vacuum. You must have some consideration, be succinct, remember the question, get out of the way and be present to that moment alone. I’m grateful to have done so many interviews that I can be spontaneous and go with the flow. But I’ve found you can’t be distracted or look at notes. I visualize the question and the “arc of the answer” so to speak. You learn to talk about your music in a detached way instead of saying ummmm I have no idea where that song comes from sorry…. As I have heard many an artist say.
I hope you will learn something about me as you listen to this interview and about my music. I was visiting a friend at his ranch in southeastern Arizona and sat outside during it. You can hear his Turkey, Clark, goggle a few times, the chickens and even the whiney of a horse. I love it and worked it in. Please feel free to comment and share. Next interview you can also stream live is Monday, April 9th at 10AM MDT at KGRT.com. It is a Country station so should be interesting but then again, I like that.