The struggle to write interesting, engaging questions for your guests is real. You need to do research, read between the lines of things they’ve said in the past, pay close attention to their music, lyrics, and the overall aesthetic of their art. You need to spend some time in worlds that they are creating.
People may wonder why I only speak to artists that I’m a fan of. The reasons seem fairly obvious to me, but perhaps they may not be to others. I think it’s unfair to interview people whose art you are unfamiliar with. I’m not here to fill column inches, cash a paycheque or do what my editor wants me to do (not that there’s anything wrong with that). It is, in my opinion, somewhat disrespectful to chat with someone about what they do without at least being aware of how they operate or what they produce. To do this, sometimes it means listening a bit more closely to artists I like but whose music I haven’t spent a lot of time with, or maybe it means reading their work a little more closely and sometimes that means distancing myself from whatever massive emotional connection I have to an artists’ creations.
Yet the most obvious reason to me is that I only want to speak to artists whose art I have reacted to, and lived with for a while - artists’ whose work is interesting to me, basically. People love talking about their art and why they create it. It’s natural to want to discuss what you do because by throwing your art into the world you want to know that it is being received and understood, that people are responding to it.
One thing I have noticed over the course of the past 40 episodes is that people approach the dissemination of their art in different ways. Some push hard to get it noticed, others are just glad that someone has noticed; some are fervent in their approach, others more measured.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned though, is that the creative process and its genesis has wildly different origins for each individual. The goal of this podcast is to try to understand the creative process, to curate these experiences and create a repository for them so that others can at least know that the creative struggle is real. Everyone who creates art does so for very specific reasons, and seems to do so in a very different way.
And it’s fascinating. It’s what keeps me going.
On this week’s episode I have a thoughtful and engaging interview with Muncie Girls. It’s my third full band interview and it’s a goodie. We talk about all the things mentioned above, and how the band has grown over the years. They're really fun, interesting, thoughtful people and I had a good time talking about them (and subsequently almost being kidnapped in their van).