One reason I couldn’t have been the music journalist I dreamed of being in high school — it has little to do with the logical skills I developed as a teen and everything to do with shrewd schmoozing.
I’m generally not a fan of the latter, but when it’s a creative way of playing overdeveloped egos against each other without hostility, I like it. And that’s why I’m now a fan of Jancee Dunn:
Inevitably, however, your exhaustively-researched questions will produce grunted, monosyllabic answers, for the band members will not want to seem like some eager teen pop group. Their goal is to make music, they will tell you pointedly, not to bone chicks or make videos or have their drinks paid for or stay in plush hotel rooms. Thus it is their duty to convey that these interviews are a nuisance, and they would be just as happy rehearsing in a garage somewhere. At this time you must roll out the heavy artillery. Pay attention only to the drummer. Laugh uproariously at his jokes. Stare with dumbfounded awe as he offers up his philosophies. Say things like, “I never thought about it before, but you are absolutely right – drumming is a metaphor for life!” Listen, rapt, as he explains to you the genius of John Bonham’s skinsmanship. As the puzzled but excited drummer blossoms under your admiring gaze, his other band mates, particularly the heretofore-mute sunglasses-wearing lead singer, will at first be confused, then annoyed. Finally, their competitive spirit will take over and they will enthusiastically jockey for attention, offering amusing anecdotes about groupies and telling off-color jokes.
“Morbo demands comment!”