Yep, no doubt about it. One of most nerve-wracking parts of building up your music or your music business is the part where you have to sit down and answer a bunch of sometimes thought-provoking questions on the fly, while trying to remain calm and not sound like a blustering fool.
If you’ve got an interview coming up, take a few minutes to read through our 8 tips on how to do good interviews – how to prepare for interviews, and most importantly, how to stay in control of them.
1. Know who you’re talking to.
Remember their name and who they’re writing/working for. The company behind the interviewer makes a lot of difference. For example, if it’s a family friendly radio station, if it’s a satire blog dedicated to oddball jokes or if it’s a show dedicated to one particular topic. Doing a tiny bit of research with an upcoming interview can help greatly.
2. Study your information!
Memorise tour dates, launch dates, your email and your bands Facebook and website URL. A lot of interviewers won’t have researched your band/project/business, so make sure you know everything to tell the viewers/listeners.
3. Plan answers.
There’ll always be the “How did this song come about?” or “How’s the tour going” questions, so they’re things to always have an answer for in your head. Minimising “ahhhhhhhhhh…” time gives more time to chat about what you want.
4. Have a goal in mind.
You’ve heard about journalists having ulterior motives, but you can too! Play the cool game while swinging the topic to the tour, music release or festival you’ve been working on. Sometimes you can even let them know what you’d like to discuss prior to the interview.
5. Make your body talk.
It’s weird looking at yourself, but think about how you’re sitting during an interview. Keeping open body language (facing them, keeping eye contact, not crossing arms) will influence the quality of the interview. Have a look at Rivers Cuomo (Weezer) interview from Recovery to see what happens when you look at the floor and give one-word answers (Awkward warning).
Remember that many journalists/interviewers need a juicy story and so will try to push all your buttons. Always keep your cool and stay level headed. Remember that you can always steer the conversation where you want to go, stay on-message. Remember that all quotes can be taken out of context and that NOTHING is ‘off the record’.
7. Have fun.
“Yeah yeah. Obviously”, you might think. But a fun and relaxed interview is a lot more fun to listen to, and will leave a good impression on everyone checking it out. A few good things to remember are to call them by their name, break the ice before the interview by trying to have a quick chat and maybe even crack a bad joke to make things relaxed from the get-go.
8. Always try to get invited back!
For more tips on marketing your music, check out our premium course content on Marketing and PR.