Friday, November 02, 2012

Two Interviews Go Well

Yesterday I interviewed Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields. After all I'd heard about him being a little prickly, I was really nervous about it. Once upon a time I would've been saying, "Yeah, bring it on," like I did when I desperately tried to score an interview with the late great organ maestro Jimmy Smith (who had a rep for being nasty with reporters). Those bold days are gone, however.

But as it turns out, Stephin was a nice guy. We had a great conversation, veering back and forth between questions about the band and tangents where we discussed rhyming dictionaries and the scarcity of Lawrence Welk records. I have to write a piece for City Paper to preview their show in mid-November so I think I should have some good fodder for that. I just have to transcribe the damn thing, which might take a while.

One week earlier I had another interview that I was apprehensive about. (At this point I should probably indicate that in the hours leading up to phone interviews, I'm almost always really anxious. There's the fear that the tape player might not work, the batteries might die, not to mention that the interview might bomb.) But the person I was interviewing was Azita, the pianist/songwriter on Drag City. I sort of wondered, based on her intense music, if she was going to be a tough, serious interview subject. Alas she was not and another good conversation ensued.

Maybe it pays to be a nervous wreck because when you are and things go smoothly you feel twice as relieved.  

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