I’ve got a lot of time for raging egomaniacs. I like nothing better than an abrasive sociopath. It’s the boring interviewees that kill me. I’d rather be ravaged by Rod Hull and Emu than ever again encounter a band from Luton that “makes music for ourselves, and if anyone else likes it, that’s a bonus”.
I grew up in a golden age for the rock press. The Smiths. Guns N’ Roses. Later, the Gallaghers. Love or hate their music, these bands created a mythology, had a worldview beyond crotchets and quavers, prompted pub battlelines. Likewise, many blues artists have charisma as their default setting. Walter Trout couldn’t say something boring if he tried. Rosco Levee and Otis Grand tell it straight, and do not give one solitary shit about the fallout.
But I sense that other bands regard press as a perfunctory duty, like checking the tyre pressure on the van. You don’t have to tell me you’re bigger than Jesus. You don’t have to carve ‘4 Real’ on your forearm. But dear God, please do more than drone on about the “organic songwriting process”, while I fall asleep on my desk.
I get that young bands are terrified of killing their career with a slip of the tongue. But there’s no surer way to mire yourself on the provincial toilet circuit than by displaying all the personality of a patio heater.
Mostly, journalists aren’t trying to stitch you up. We’re just trying to make you seem interesting (which is in both our interests). Be passionate, political, witty, sarcastic, pretentious, flirtatious, outrageous – and you might be surprised how it affects your till receipts. In this game, the gob is as mighty as the guitar./o:p