Author: Cornish, Phil

The young kid from Santa Cruz
Hey Everybody! How was Father’s Day? More specifically, how was the Father’s Day Festival? Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go. If I had gone, the dentist would’ve charged me for canceling without 24-hours’ notice. He’s more of a Heavy Metal sort of person; considering that he puts in fillings, it’s logical. Anyway, I’m sure y’all had fun.

Interviews are a big part of making a name for your band. On websites and magazines, you’ve probably seen Band of the Month articles or similar performer advertisements. In some cases, if you’re really hot stuff, an interviewer will come to your band’s home (i.e., bus) and spend a good part of the day asking questions, like how your band got started or if your music is any good. Basically, everything the person could’ve just emailed you about, taking less time out of your busy schedule. You may think: “But Kyle, won’t answering questions in an email take just as much time as an in-person interview?” Not exactly. In a ‘normal’ interview, you not only have to wait for the person to talk before you know what the question is, but you’re also obligated to offer a drink, tell a few jokes, etc. Basically, you have to be ‘on.’ When you get an email with the questions, you can have your bus driver answer them! Drivers are great at multi-tasking. Being able to shave, eat breakfast and wash the windows while driving really takes experience. Writing an email at the same time is just another feather in the cap!

If you haven’t reached the Top Forty charts (yet!), you may have to write your own interview and send it in. This is common practice and is, in fact, better than being interviewed by another person. Why? The problem with being interviewed is that the interviewer may not put in the lines you thought were good. You may open up a Bluegrass magazine and say: “Hey, our band interview got in! Oh look, that’s nice. She said that our band is great family fun and is hard driving Bluegrass—but HEY! Where’s my great line about relating Bluegrass music to the life-span of the North American mushroom Grifola frondosa?” See, the interviewer just missed the brilliant genius in your observation. When you write your own interview, you can leave great bits like that included! Another important point in writing an interview yourself is to write it in third person so it reads like a conversation between you and the “interviewer.” Plus, then you can spew off every positive, up-lifting and worth-seeing adjective you can think of. Don’t hold back! This is your opportunity to let loose some great advertising!

Let’s role-play here. This is one example of something positive you can write for your band:

“For as long as there has been great Bluegrass, there has been the greatest Bluegrass band. That one great band that will keep your toe tappin’ for days after you hear a sample of them on—a popular buying-site where you buy things. “No!” you say, “It must be a dream!” This is no dream. This is... The Johnson Tomato Pulp Band! From the West to the East sides of Santa Cruz, the JTPB has been wowing the crowds for years. As professional interviewer, I’ve been looking forward to this interview for months! I finally got a chance to go to the JTPB’s Eurovan and sit down with the band’s esteemed leader, Spenty Lindrem.

Yours Truly: Spenty, I know you’ve been bring joy to the audiences for years. The way you always end your set with Turkey in the Straw just brings us all to tears (of joy).”
SL: Heh, that’s true. We think that by bringing that wonderful power that is JTPB, we give the world a true glimpse of happiness. Bluegrass is one of the greatest joys in life! Bluegrass, us, and mushrooms. Interesting I should mention that. You see, if you compare the second G-run in Hot Burrito Breakdown with the inside lining of the Grifola frondosa, you will notice the obvious similarity which is—”

Note, you should be very watchful of your word limit so your article won’t get cut off abruptly during the best part.

Anyway, see how that style of advertising oozes professionality even when you aren’t of a professional caliber? Now, you may say, “But Kyle, if we make the audience think we’re better than we really are, won’t they be disappointed when they see us and tell their friends how sucky we are?” Well, as I always say, worry about it when the time comes.

Most professional musicians won’t want to leave anything out and risk a possible gig, and therefore will try to write the most audience-encouraging ad. Most people have to try their hardest to have a successful career in music, breaking picks left and right, seeking to even approach the level of fame that Ricky or Earl have. (Those two are famous enough to the point where I don’t even need to say their last names and you still know who I’m talking about.) However, there are those few individuals in the world who can achieve (or at least have the potential to achieve) that level of fame without breaking a sweat. It’s in their blood! People like Annie Staninec (the fiddle lady) and Molly Tuttle (you all know who she is, she played at the Father’s Day Festival!), they have the potential to be big stars in a snap! Well, if you’re one of those people, you need to have some challenge! You won’t want to take the easiest path to bringing in the crowds. Rather, you may want to write up an ad that looks more like this”

“For as long as there has been great Bluegrass, there have been people trying to screw it up. Since Jennings got to interview Lypton Bartery, the amazing kazooist, I was stuck with Spenty Lindrem and his band. They invited me to their cardboard box; they told me they like to live their music, and the current song they were living was Cardboard Mansion. Since they have to take turns being in the box and it was currently the bass player’s turn, that’s who I interviewed.

YT: So, Lenny, I haven’t heard that much about you guys, what seems to be the hardest thing for you to get a gig?
Lenny: “G - D - G - D - G - D - G - G— Darn it! Wrong note! G - D - G...

“Obviously, this wasn’t going anywhere. Suddenly, a buzzer went off, which meant it was time to change rotation. So the bass player left and the sound technician came in. He took out a wax cylinder which he’d recorded at their rehearsal. Unfortunately, the box we were in was under a vent and the steam melted the wax. Needless to say, I went home and pruned the dandelions.”

If you seem to find it a piece of cake to rope in the audiences, you will certainly find that this self-demotion of your reputation will add some much-needed challenge into your career! You’ll feel like you’ve earned it more! I’ve been doing that for years and I’ve gotten nowhere in my musical preforming career! I like a good challenge.

Well, that should take care of things for this month. Get excited for next month when I show you how an anchor works! Now for the joke of the month: The golf course was haunted by a malicious, evil leprechaun who exploited the ambitions of the poorer players. He popped up beside one unfortunate man who was participating in a club competition. He said, “If you agree never to court a woman, flirt with a girl or marry, I’ll help you win.” “Done,” shouted the young golfer. The leprechaun was very pleased with conniving ways, and chuckled merrily. When the golfer was in the clubhouse being praised by the other members, the leprechaun popped up and said, “I need your name for my records. What is it?” “Father Murphy,” grinned the golfer as he adjusted his Roman collar. Heeyyooo!!! That’s enogh.

Posted:  7/21/2007

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