Whether it’s with a major media publication or a local music blogger, interviews offer a great avenue for publicity. Nevertheless, they can be a daunting experience for anyone new to the publicity circuit. If you’re worried about an upcoming interview, here’s some advice to help ease the jitters.
Interviews with musicians can be carried out in a variety different ways, depending on the journalist and publication. Some may be conducted via email, which makes things easier and allows you to craft your answer without any time constraints. However, this advice for musicians focuses on real-time interviews when you’ll need to think on your feet, whether that’s over the phone, in person or live on air.
If you’re naturally quick-witted, charming and confident, you might be able to ad-lib a great interview. But if like most people, you’re a little nervous about it, it’s always best to prepare.
Interview Tips For Bands & Musicians
Prepare for the obvious questions
While you can’t be ready for every eventuality, there are a few questions you can expect to be fired at you pretty often, so it’s worthwhile getting some responses sorted in your head beforehand.
They might seem cliché, but questions like “How would you describe your sound?”, “What was the inspiration for your latest track?”, “Who are your biggest influences?” and “What have you got planned next?” are go-to subjects for interviewers, especially for upcoming artists and unknown bands.
While it’s a good idea to have your answers somewhat prepared beforehand, if you’ve got a few different interviews lined up, try not to sound too robotic with your responses. Throw in some variations to keep things fresh.
Avoid one-word answers & don't ramble
Try to strike a balance with the length of your answers. Even if you’re asked a yes or no question, make sure to elaborate on your answer. The purpose of the interview is to find out more about you and your music, so don’t be afraid to go into detail.
However, there’s a difference between giving interesting, detailed answers and just rambling on for too long. Make sure to give the interviewer chance to interject to keep the conversation flowing.
It’s ok to go off topic, but don’t forget to plug
An interview offers a great chance to shine a light on your latest project. So don’t forget to plug your music at every given opportunity, whether you're releasing a new music video, promoting an upcoming tour, dropping your latest track, or selling a fresh line of merch.
That being said, steering the conversation away from musical topics is perfectly fine. Many interviewers will encourage it. It offers a chance for the audience to get to know you as a person, rather than just as another musician on the circuit.
Know your audience
Do some research on the publication, radio station or blog you’ll be speaking to beforehand to get a read on the audience. Work out which questions you’re most likely to be asked, and which topics will be off limits.
It’s also a good idea to find out a little about the person set to interview you too. Take a look at some of their previous interviews and features so you can get a better idea of what to expect.
Relax & be affable
Of course, being charming and witty in a pressured situation is easier said than done, but basic things like being polite, honest, friendly and on time can make all the difference in how you come across – not only to your audience but also to your interviewer.
Building relationships is an important part of making it in music, so if bloggers and journos warm to you during an interview, they are much more likely to support your music further down line.
Have you been interviewed about your music in the past? Got any tips to share with your fellow musicians? Let us know in the comments below.