writing process: How to Interview a Rockstar

Yesterday, I interviewed a rockstar. Since I can’t scoop my own article, his name must remain anonymous. Suffise it to say, his is quite famous and has been so since the 80s.

But how does one go about interviewing rockstars? I’m glad you asked. For your convenience, I’ve simplified the complex process into a basic, easy-to-follow plan.

Landing the Coveted Interview

  1. Write for a publication that likes to profile rockstars.
  2. Beg your editor to pretty please with a cherry on top let you interview rockstars.
  3. Promise to be very professional and not make out with interview subjects until 30 days after print date. (This includes but is not limited to tour buses and hotel after-parties.)

Prepping for the Interview

  1. Practice journalistic excellence by researching the musician’s background. Leave no stone unturned.
  2. Harass their ex-girlfriends, ex-bandmates and ex-Pink Dot delivery men.
  3. Steal their medical histories from PlannedParenthood. (This step will come in useful if you fail to live up to the previously mentioned promise in rule No. 3)

Conducting the Interview

  1. Be late to the interview to show the rockstar that you “just don’t care.” This will elevate you to their level. They will respect you and refer to you as “that one cool journalist.”
  2. Rockstars love to talk about themselves. This will not do. At every possible moment, interrupt them with anecdotes about that one time you got backstage at the Buck Cherry concert.
  3. Record the interview with a digital recorder so that you can later make the rockstar’s voice into your answering machine message.

Writing the Article

  1. Transcribing is a long, ardous task. Skip it. Nobody actually cares what rockstars have to say. They aren’t writers, after all.
  2. With no transcription to bind you to the boring truth, you are free to make up your own quotes. Be creative.
  3. Using the numeric trickery from The DaVinci Code, embed your phone number into the article so that when said rockstar reads your masterpiece, he will know how to thank you.

NOTE: If you’ve made it this far and haven’t yet been sued for libel, then you’re astute enough to realize that I’m just kidding. If you want a true model of outstanding rock journalism, I would suggest reading the work of Neil Strauss and Stephen Davis.

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