This is just a quick post in response to something I saw on a fan forum yesterday. The recent Children of Bodom interview has ramped up to be the third most popular post ever on the site which is great for so many reasons. It means people are reading what we write and also that a band who’ve been going for nigh on twenty years still have an enthusiastic fan base. Great news!
One kind person had posted the link to it on a forum and I had a read of the comments, the majority of which were typically “fan”-ish. They weren’t just relating to our interview but the forthcoming album in general, and other interviews which have gone up recently. Some wanting a little more detail on the album tracks, others interested in who the new guitarist will be and so on. It made for nice reading, and it’s something I should have looked through before the interview to get an idea of what people wanted to know from the band. Next time…
However, I spotted a couple of people stating that the interviews were similar and this was down to record companies scripting them with interviewers perhaps being able to add in one or two questions of their own. I tried to sign up to the forum to respond, but (as has happened with a few of these things in the past for me), the “confirm your ID” email never arrived so I’ve not been able to post there.
So let me say this, and I assume I speak for pretty much every webzine, online radio station and so on out there when I say it:
Our interviews aren’t scripted. At all. We’re not told what to focus on or what not to focus on. The questions we ask are entirely down to ourselves – and that’s bound to result in a little repetition as we’ll all be asking about the new release, or something that was in the press over the last couple of weeks.
Now, that’s not to say that scripting hasn’t happened or indeed that it doesn’t. Hand on heart, Moshville Times has never used pre-written questions. If we ever do, it will be made clear that the questions didn’t come from us. You have my word on that.
Back in the day, when I worked in university radio, we had one scripted interview come in during my time there. It was with Ice-T and consisted of a tape with his answers and a written script with the questions on! Obviously, the presenter’s job was to read the questions out, then edit in the answers. I kind of get that as a time-saving method, and it did mean that a diddly little university rock show had some kind of PR material from a man who was pretty much at the top of his game back then.
I still didn’t use it.
You can check out my questions above – click on the picture to make it full size. I handwrite my interview questions. I always have, since I first started interviewing bands around twenty years ago. If I’m doing a face-to-face, I usually get them signed as a souvenir.
But they’ve never been given to me by a record label or PR company.