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7 Proven Tips for Journalists Interviewing Musicians

Interviewing the performers is the most glamorous aspect of music journalism once you’ve made it in. But conducting the initial interview with a musician might be really difficult. It can be a little frightening to sit down with the artists, especially if you happen to be a fan of the musician or band, on top of the usual nerves about trying something new. Read on to know more

Journalists Interviewing Musicians

Tips for Journalist Interviewing Musicians

These tips for journalists interviewing musicians will be useful if you’re getting ready to conduct your first interview with a musician but are unsure of where to start.

Be Ready:

You must complete your research in advance of the interview with a musician. Discover all there is to know about the musician in question. Despite the fact that the artist is speaking to you to promote whatever is going on in their profession at the moment, you will want to concentrate on it during your preparation. With every new piece of information you learn about the subject of the interview, your confidence will surge.

Prepare a List of Questions:

Although you should not enter an interview with a musician completely unprepared, you do want it to feel more like a discussion than a formal Q&A session (especially not your first one). Before the interview, give some thought to the interviewing questions you want to ask. The first query will, at the very least, provide you with a solid starting place for the conversation. Additionally, you’ll be able to gather the data you need to create your piece even if the conversation doesn’t really get going.

Journalists Interviewing Musicians

It depends on what you should inquire about. Always request some background information. Do not forget that you are asking someone to narrate a narrative to you that you already know (because you have prepared) in their own terms. To that end, even if you believe the musician has heard the obvious questions a hundred times, ask them still. Although they most likely have, you still need to gather information for your particular piece.

Having saying that, don’t be hesitant to include some original questions. Do not be timid. Take pleasure in it. The best talks are frequently initiated by these bizarre queries.

Practice with a Friend:

It’s a good idea to do a few practice interviews if you’ve never conducted one before. You shouldn’t use the musician you’re interviewing as a test subject. Ask a buddy to play the musician so you can practice your questions on them. Practice saying them without hesitation and your transitions between questions. These sessions probably won’t be anything like your actual interview with a musician, but you’ll feel much more in control once you’ve given your questions a little bit of a test run in the real world.

Steel Yourself:

Don’t let this deter you, although musicians can occasionally be a little difficult during interviews. They aren’t in the vast majority of situations, although it does happen occasionally. You can run into a performer that dislikes doing interviews, is grumpy, or is making jokes with their bandmates during interviews. or a variety of other things. This may be particularly true towards the conclusion of a long day of interviews when the artist gets weary of providing the same answers.

You are aware now. How then can you get ready? You can’t really do much about it, unfortunately. You’ve done your bit if you’re organized, knowledgeable about the artist, and ready with your inquiries. Just manage your response. Avoid being tossed. Just go with it. Give it your all. Someday, it’ll make a compelling story.

Never Attempt to Cause Stir:

Lastly on the tips for journalists interviewing musicians, you can’t very well ignore it if a musician is embroiled in scandal when you interview them. But avoid causing a commotion. This is not some political talk show on a cable news channel with an obnoxious host. Give the performer plenty of room to tell their tale and promote whatever they are there to promote while maintaining the focus on the music.

Also Read: Virtual Field Trips: Usage and Benefits

Journalists Interviewing Musicians

Common Mistakes Made by Interviewees: How to handle the Pressure

1. Allowing anxiety to overcome you

You start to doubt whether you are even up to the task or what will happen if they don’t like you while your heart is racing, your palms are sweating, and your mouth is drying out. You stumble over your words and are unable to form complete sentences when you go to answer your first question. I bet you have never heard that sound come from your mouth before.

Beginning to approach an interview as a casual conversation with a fascinating individual who works in your desired field will immediately alter your perspective and lessen your anxiety. In order to increase the amount of oxygen reaching your brain and improve your ability to think clearly, take three six-second breaths followed by 10-second exhales before entering the room.

2. Showing up early or too late

People should show up for their interview approximately 10 minutes before it is supposed to begin, according to interview protocol. Getting there even a few minutes late could have disastrous results; you don’t want bad press. But arriving too early is also a problem. If you arrive 45 minutes early for your interview, the interviewing team may feel bad about keeping you waiting and may decide to stop working to see you. It irritates me and you are being really disrespectful.

3. Failure to Recall Names

How embarrassing! You’re at the reception about to introduce yourself when you suddenly lose track of your interviewer’s name. Remember the name of your interviewer and anyone else who may appear during the interview. It was great to meet you, John. You could also end it on a personal note by saying something like that.

4. Bringing a Beverage with you

Before your interview, you decided to stop at a nearby Starbucks to give yourself a little caffeine boost, but you haven’t completely finished and are unsure whether to bring it with you. Poor idea! Not only is it impolite to arrive with a drink in your hand, but you should be concentrating on the interview process. In the end, you’ll probably tip the cup halfway full all over your boss – awkward!

5. Unsuitable Clothing

Your confidence will increase and you’ll feel more at ease throughout the interview if you look the part. Know what to wear, whether it be professional or informal, according to the business and industry. Make sure you do your study on what is proper for that interview or ask a staff member for the inside scoop if you want to dress for interview success.

6. Refusing to shake the interviewer’s hand

From the moment you enter the building to the moment you leave, first impressions matter greatly during an interview. You will often be shown into the conference room by a secretary while you wait for your interviewer. When the interviewer enters the room to shake hands, many people choose not to stand, which can come across as disrespectful. Make it a practice to stand when you meet someone for the first time and shake their hand so it becomes automatic for you.

7. Not Making Eye Contact

Avoiding eye contact gives the impression that you’re attempting to hide something, which makes interviewers distrust you. As a result, eye contact is essential if you want to establish rapport and establish trust with the individual seated across from you. You’ll look to be really interested in the conversation while also exuding confidence, which is a quality that most interviewers find to be highly remarkable.

8. Displaying Poor Posture

Being conscious of your posture is essential since body language can reveal a lot about how we are feeling. Fidgeting and crossing your arms can suggest that you are uneasy and lack confidence. Poor posture and reclining during an interview could give the interviewer the impression that you are impolite or bored. Next time you go into a room for an interview, lean back against the chair. Make sure your feet are firmly planted on the ground and tense your abdominal muscles. To improve your posture, try sitting up straight when driving and at home to see how long you can maintain a relaxed stance without moving around a lot.

9. You Take a Long Pause

It’s always a good idea to take some time to collect your thoughts, but if it takes you more than 10 seconds to start speaking, you’ve already exceeded the point of comfort. A protracted response time will reveal your anxiety and can suggest that you can’t function under pressure. Even if you don’t have a good response, start talking about things that have to do with the topic. To give yourself some time to gather your thoughts before speaking, slow down (to a natural pace) your voice.

10. Sighing or Yawning 

It makes no difference if you couldn’t sleep the night before your interview because you were so anxious and excited. Yawns can be an indication of fatigue, poor time management, or even just a lack of interest in the situation. Do some meditation and relaxation to ensure you resist the yawning bug and enjoy a full night’s sleep. Before the interview, get some caffeine and stretch. Anything that gets your heart pumping can wake you up and improve how quickly you can respond to inquiries.

11. Beginning by saying “thanks for having me” (TV or radio)

As a result, the interviewer now occupies the role of the busy, significant, and influential protagonist, while you are reduced to the role of a little, appreciative supplicant. Additionally, it consumes time that could be spent developing your First Big Point. Get on with it, it’s an interview, not a tea party!

12. Losing your Temper

When a journalist misstates something during an interview, you should always correct them politely but firmly. Journalists occasionally make mistakes. What you shouldn’t do is start a fight with the journalist and start attacking him or her. Even worse, you risk alienating your viewers or listeners because audiences almost always support interviewers, whose job it is to ask the questions we’d all like to ask if we had the chance.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Interview with a Musician

What kind of Personality do musicians possess?

Musicians frequently have artistic backgrounds, making them original and creative people who thrive in environments that encourage self-expression. They also frequently exhibit entrepreneurial traits, making them fairly natural leaders who excel at influencing and persuading others.

What Inspires musicians?

Extrinsic motivation is another source of drive for musicians. Examples include the desire for attention, praise, or applause, as well as the desire to succeed academically, professionally, or financially. The degree of satisfaction and elements like the connection between work put forth and the results of that effort are related to motivation.

What are some Decent Questions to ask a Musician in an Interview?

1. Inquiries about the background and experience of musicians
2. What do you enjoy about making music the most?
3. What motivated you to begin performing and writing music?
4. Describe the steps you take to create a new piece of music.
5. Which musician would you most like to work with, and why?
6. Do you have any musical influences?


Keep in mind: You are not the expert.

You could be tempted to brag about your knowledge of a band or performer when you’re with them. A little of that, though, goes a long way. Keep in mind that the musician is the expert and the interview with a musician is all about them. Ask brief, pertinent inquiries that center on the performer and their work.

We hope you find these tips for journalists interviewing musicians helpful.



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