Photo Credit: Dexter Wright
Troy Mutton is a Perth-based writer and website editor at the head of music/lifestyle/culture website Pilerats.com. Prior to this he was the assistant editor, then editor at Drum Media (now TheMusic.com.au). Along with regular pieces on Pilerats.com, he’s had work published on The Betoota Advocate, Huff Post Aus, PagesDigital, Xpress Magazine and more. He’s spoken at the Electronic Music Conference in Sydney and back home in Perth at a couple of different WAM Conferences.
He also DJs just like everyone else.
I’m the editor for music/lifestyle website Pilerats.com. What that entails is a variety of different things, but in a nutshell: Arranging/uploading content for the site, managing writers, managing our social media channels, producing video content, selling display and native ad campaigns, and also being Pilerats DJs for any fools silly enough to book us.
DAILY JOURNAL (FEAT. CHALLENGES/ACCOMPLISHMENTS)
Monday is always a bit of a weird one, with most of the day spent getting my ducks in a row for the rest of this week. The first part of this is spending the first hour or two combing through a shitload of emails I receive over the weekend, lots of new music from all over the world and things I missed at the end of the previous week.
We have our team meeting on Monday mornings, where everyone gives a brief rundown of their previous week, and what’s coming up for them this week. For me that’s a comparison of how well the site went traffic-wise the previous week, what articles did well and what posts did well on the socials. It keeps me in check and gives me an idea of how I’m tracking as the year progresses.
This particular Monday I spend a couple of hours out of the office with our video team filming a new entry into our So You Wanna? Series. For it, we sit down with creatives in different fields (music, art, photography, videography etc.) to talk about their story, and try to gain some knowledge for people who may also be in that field. This week we sit down with Perth metal/hardcore band Make Them Suffer, to talk about how they went from a small band in Perth to touring the world, lessons learned and mistakes made along the way. It goes really well, and I think we get a heap of good stuff that hopefully a lot of young bands (in metal or any other genre) will find helpful.
Tuesday is the day I have my assistant, Hayden Davies, come in to give me a hand. He’s been writing for the blog for a couple of years now, and has been such an asset from day dot. It frees up my day to get my head into different areas that aren’t just making sure there is new content on the site. He’s also a weapon, and I wholeheartedly believe he is one of, if not the authoritative voice on electronic music in this country.
The creative arm of Pilerats – Made In The Pile – also launches its new website and socials today. Covering Social Media, Video, Design and Web stuff, it’s what the majority of folks in this office do, and helps keep Pilerats.com afloat. They’re a good bunch of ladies and gentlemen, and if you need that kinda stuff, go check it out.
Today’s also a good day because I get a sneaky advance copy of Kilter’s debut album which isn’t out for a few weeks – one of the perks of the job.
I’m a bit late in to work today on account of going bodyboarding in the morning. It puts me in a really good headspace when I get to work more than anything.
Today we’re kicking off a new (old) series called Live Sessions – filming artists playing stripped back live versions of their songs. Our first few are also collaboration with the upcoming SOTA Festival, and first cab off the rank is Ziggy Ramo. It’s exciting when you discover artists who you know from the get-go are going to do great things, and Ziggy is definitely one of them. Go check out the video and I think you’ll see why.
The rest of the day is spent getting new pieces of content up, including premieres and introductory pieces on new artists. A lot of the focus on Pilerats is directed towards new and upcoming artists. It means we don’t get the same kinda traffic as other sites, but it also means we get to expose emerging acts to our decent-sized network. Music discovery has always been one of my main goals in the content we produce for Pilerats.com.
Thursday is always a weirdly stressful day because it’s by this time in the week I usually start getting interviews and email Q&A’s sent back from artists and/or their PR, and putting them up on the site can get overwhelming. Even just trying to write a short lead-in paragraph to a Q&A gets annoying. Uploading content, including videos and streams, cropping photos, making sure the spelling is all correct and that kinda stuff is super draining. I come from a print media background where everything had to be checked and and checked again so I spend a lot of time trying to make sure everything is formatted properly and spelt correctly. Usually all in short bursts between caffeine and/or cigarettes.
It’s because of this I miss heaps of good music, and that’s one of the most annoying parts of the job. If I actually tried to listen to every song that was sent my way and respond to every person that emailed me with a “HOT NEW TRACK”, I’d probably need to be here 24 hours a day all week.
Friday is music release day, which means my inbox is even more rammed than usual. Whoever decided there would be one day every week that everyone releases their new music on is clearly a sadist. It does mean you get a shitload of rad new music to listen to, so it’s not all bad. It’s just very difficult to make sure everyone gets love on the site, so we divvy it up between posts on the site but also talking about new albums on our Instagram for #NewMusicFridays.
The rest of the day is spent filming another Live Session (with emerging WA songstress Elli Schoen) and our next So You Wanna (with photographer Nick Cooper). I honestly have no idea how we manage to get all this shit done in a day, but somehow it happens (S/O the tireless video crew).
Then it’s scheduling content to go up off our socials over the weekend, just to keep it active, and also planning for Groovin The Moo tomorrow, at which I’m DJing and also filming some more content with Dillon Francis and PNAU together. If it comes off it will hopefully produce some #engaging content.
Groovin The Moo is excellent. It’s testament to the organisers that the big festivals of yesteryear can still exist, if they’re run well and have a good selection of acts. Our Pilerats DJs set goes down really well, and the crowd seemed to be picking up what it was we were putting down. We’re gonna work on Pilerats DJs becoming an actual thing this year, so it’s nice to know we’ve at least got the performing part of the equation on lock.
It’s also nice to catch up with a bunch of east coast pals, and see some music. Slumberjack stand out on the day with their new live show – it’s pretty clear they’re about to launch into a whole new level, and their set is huge. Our Dillon Francis x PNAU interview is as weird and wonderful as we hoped it would be, with both parties game for chatting about just about anything.
Sunday is try and sleep day!
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK:
This week was a pretty full-on one, so a major highlight was basically just getting most of the things we had scheduled in done. The Ziggy Ramo Live Session was one of the best we’ve done, and the strong response to it is encouraging. The Pilerats DJs set at GTM going down as well as it did was exciting. And filming a couple of So You Wannas always inspires me. I think a lot of young artists/creatives can take a lot out of those videos, and it’s exciting for me to sit down with people and just pick their brains about what inspires them.
LOWLIGHTS OF THE WEEK:
The main thing that bums me out week to week is not having the time to listen to all the music that comes my way. I end up skipping over a lot of emails just for my own sanity, but I know there’s some gold in amongst that rough that I miss from time to time. The other thing that bums me out is having to rely on social media, in particular Facebook, to get traffic to the site. We post about so many awesome new artists every week, but because they’re lesser known artists, the number of people who actually see those particular articles is never as good as it should be. Also I didn’t get to write any long form pieces or personal pieces on account of time, which sucks.
WORDS OF WISDOM
- If you’re thinking about getting into Journalism or the stuff I do, one of the main things I’ve learnt over the past few years is that you can’t pigeonhole yourself into one particular field, especially with online content. I’ve had to learn about coding, social media marketing, being a salesperson, search engine optimisation and so much more basically just to make sure it’s done properly. I’m not a wizz at any of them by any stretch, but I am well-versed enough that I can try and overcome problems whenever they arise.
- Also, if you did bother to read all of that waffle above, it’ll be pretty obvious that time management is super important. It’s something I’m not too flash at, but if you can manage your time well it’ll obviously keep you on top of things, but more importantly far less stressed, which is so crucial.
- If you’re trying to get work published, make sure you send whoever you’re pitching to some previous examples of your work along with the piece you’re pitching. In doing this you limit the number of steps it will take an editor to get from A (meeting you), to B (publishing your work), and as an editor that’s great.
- Lastly network. And by network I mean be a good person and make meaningful relationships with people in this industry. You’ll find it a thousand times more enjoyable, and it’s really not that hard because if there’s one thing people in the music industry love doing, it’s spinning yarns over a couple of beers.