Monday, March 17, 2008

Interviewing on influences and writing

One thing I wanted to do with this new soapbox here is to make it more music-oriented. I thought about writing something years ago that leaned towards music from the Triangle (Chapel Hill, NC if you don't know the area), it sort of got side-tracked over time. One idea I had way back when I was doing a radio show in undergrad, as I too am a writer,was to interview artists about how they create the songs: content, crafting, and inspiration. I was also really interested in what musicians like and how they feel their favorites are infused in their own work, be it consciously or not (or how does one become influenced without becoming a cover band almost). There seems to be a fine line.

For example, I just returned from 5 days of mayhem and alcohol and music at the annual SXSW Music Conference in Austin, Texas. I saw many, many bands (I have much to report on all I saw and the bands I loved/loved not so much and pictures to post as soon I get back into the real world more) and I can't tell you how many pop/rock bands I heard where one song sounded the same as the next song of the next band, and they all sounded like a faster or slower version of Belle and Sebastian or Joy Division, with lyrics that were just blah or inane or seem like somebody was trying really hard to write in the random smattering of phrases strung together like Bob Dylan. I like to be challenged, I like to hear a song and the words weave me a story or turn a witty phrase backed by a catchy hook, or different sort of melody, or ass-shakin beat, or vocalize emotion in a way that just slays me. And that takes talent to capture.

So what I'm hoping to do, in this vein of music centerdness, is to take my radio show idea and conduct interviews with musicians/songwriters here, hopefully with a lot of the bands that knocked me out at SXSW, as well as others I already know. Keeps me entertained, teaches you and I something new maybe, and gives good groups some free publicity. We'll see how it goes. I toyed with developing like 10 questions I'd ask every person I interviewed, and that still may happen, but that seems so structured. Course, a little structure is good because me+good discussion=winding up going down those roads of tangent topics.

So stay tuned for what I think will be called How Can You Like Him? or maybe, in this day and age of Myspace and everyone having video, Seen Your Video. Or maybe just "Interview: (insert name here)". It's hard to think of a catchy title after surviving 5 days of "rock and roll spring break".

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