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A Comment on Interviews

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moshkito View Drop Down
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    Posted: March 09 2019 at 08:06

One sad thing in the past couple of years, here at PA, is the number of Interviews that seem to have dwindled quite a bit. 

My thoughts are, that some of the admins, and even fans, are not as devoted to the application and meeting of the minds with various up and coming bands, so that they also get some credit for their work and ability to think it through.

I, myself, am not a good interviewer, unless I know the artist really well, but even then, what would I ask Peter Hammill? ... do you sleep on a straw mattress? Does your music come from the wind in your closet and/or bathroom? 

During my time, I could put together a write up on some of the great moments in my life ... I can write one on Daevid Allen ... I can write one on Gilli ... I can write one on Mike "is it too bass'y?" ... and I could write one on Damo (...silence! ... I'm concentrating on what I might do!).

For me, these conversations should be about fun, and having a good time, while getting to know the person, rather than talk about your favorite piss pot when you were 6 years old, and didn't care if a statue of the Madonna was being helicoptered in to a movie set or not! But it is really hard to not enjoy a conversation when someone tells you that they have teaspoons in every album of theirs ... and of course, no one, not a single person on PA can handle that idea/thought, because ... how the heck is that progressive? How does that fit in classical music ... and my take would be just like the artists ... why should there be a limit that controls what I can or can't do?

There are some folks I would love to spend time with ... and I would probably start with one or two of the folks in Djam Karet ... but ... how the heck do I start with Gayle? Geeee, did you hear that crash outside with that bus and truck? Man that was epic (and just glad no one is hurt, of course!) ... and Gayle might say ... yeah, it's in the key of RMinor because we were doing a bit on it, just when we heard that!Or, honestly? I had just seen "X, the Unknown" with Guy Guden subtitles instead of those cheesy ones.

But I would like, to do an interview with some folks on the edge of "progressive music". Guy Guden would be my preferred one, and the other would probably be Archie Patterson ... and after that, even though he doesn't need it, Jim Ladd ... people that here on the West Coast were absolutely major when it came to so much of the music we love. I would have liked to interview some of the folks in the Bay Area ... if they had not all fallen to AIDS and other ... bad things. I would love to talk to a couple of the "Dead'ies" about their improvisations and really long cuts, which only took place on the stage and rarely on record. Who made that decision? Was there a process, or it just happened in a very congenial and trippy sort of way, not even riff or stoned inclined, although I probably would want to, but not do so, invite questions about being ripped on stage, which no doubt they had before! Something that the social media today, would kill instantly as stupid, senseless and reckless and bad example for the kids ... !!!!! (I guess I won't say anything about THAT parenting, hey?)

This was just a thought/idea ... I have writings on many rock folks, that have shown up in my dreams at various times and with whom, conversations did take place. I can not tell you how clear or direct or honest those moments are ... only that I felt them and I still think that they were honest and true to the artist. I may have these written before I pass on, as right now these are just notes on notes in a dream diary of sorts. But, I really do not think that PA would care for these ... my talking to Gismonti? ... my talking to ... gotta be kidding me, that's not progressive! See what I mean, and this is the kind of thing that makes me think that those moments are not as valuable and neat as I make them out to be ... for me, it was as if I had sat down and had a cup of tea with any of them. That kinda tells you how much (and deeply) I can relate and appreciate any artist out there.

Edited by moshkito - March 09 2019 at 08:09
... none of the hits, none of the time ... favoritism is not an artistic merit!
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The Stygian Heresy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Stygian Heresy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2019 at 17:00
Sure, Gismonti isn't always prog; but man oh man, when he is, he is mighty in prog!

I have never interviewed anyone (who am I, after all?); but with no offense to famous artists who've given us musical pleasure all our lives - because we can and do play their albums over and over - I'd much rather talk to someone who produced a work I admire, but which, in the prog main, remains undiscovered.

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nick_h_nz View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nick_h_nz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 24 2020 at 11:30
I never realised how easy it is to “interview” someone in these days of social media. Almost all the “interviews” I’ve had published have come about purely because I sent a FB Messenger query out about. Most artists are really happy to engage with anyone who shows interest in their album. I’ve had several conversation over Messenger in this fashion, and a couple of times I’ve thought what we’ve discussed will be interesting to readers of TPA, and have asked the musician I’m talking with if they would mind me compiling the conversation thread into an interview format. Not one of those I have asked has said no.

I would highly recommend anyone who has ever thought about asking someone a question to just go ahead and do it. Don’t approach it as an interview (I think I’ve only ever done two “proper” interviews, and neither were as enjoyable), and the whole thing becomes quite natural.

Obviously, I can’t include any of my interviews here, as this part of the forum is for interviews exclusive to ProgArchives - but anyone who feels like the number of interviews published here are dwindling, probably need only reach out and ask a couple of questions, and next thing you know there might be enough ground covered to convert to an interview. (Obviously, providing whoever you speak with is happy about this, of course!)

(I do always send a copy of my “interview” to whoever I’ve spoken with, to ensure they are happy with what I’ve done. I also only ever change my own words, to make them look more like interview questions, and never change the words of the “answers”. But even in changing my own words, I ensure that it doesn’t change the context or create any implications that weren’t there previously.)
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