Wednesday, January 5, 2011


For a couple of years, I was writing about music for the U of U newspaper and City Weekly, which meant I got to interview band members. I always enjoyed it, but it did take a little getting used to. I sort of winged it there at the first and learned how to do it as I went along, which is the best way to learn.

The part that I always got nervous about is when I had to interview someone from a band that I really liked. What if they were an asshole? If that was the case, I wouldn't be able to listen to the band and it would kind of bum me out. Thankfully, that never happened.

(Side Note - To this day I can't listen to Against Me, because I once booked a show for them and they bitched that I could only pay them $1000 after the show. There are a few others like that, too. I'll have to make that its own post sometime.)

I got pretty lucky and everyone I talked to, while definitely burned out from talking to so many writers over the course of a couple weeks, was very polite and I never had an issue. The only thing that ever came close is when one band's (Enon I think) publicist told me to call at 2PM, but forgot to factor in that they were on the other side of the country and the singer was a little pissed that I called two hours late.

I've never had to interview a real, honest to goodness celebrity though. I think that might be where things get a little tough and I don't know that I could handle it. I'm far too nice by nature and I would go along with any ridiculous guidelines and condescending attitude that they gave me because, at the end of the day, I'd feel like they were doing me a favor by letting me write about them. When in reality, they usually only do press to promote something and therefore would need my help more than I'd need theirs.

That's why, when I read the Christian Bale interview in last month's Esquire, I was really impressed with how the writer handled things. Bale had insisted that he'd only agree to the interview as long as it was only published as a strict Q&A piece, and the writer took issue with it.

I read it and was taken aback. Not only did he flat out call Bale a dick to his face, but the way it was printed made it sound like this was a very, very tense conversation. I don't think I'd have it in me to stand up to anyone like that, let alone a fucking movie star.

Which is why I'd never make an outstanding journalist. I do great when I'm writing about things I like, but if push came to shove, I don't think I'd be able to handle it. Maybe that will be one of my goals for 2011—schedule interviews with assholes and stand up to them. I'll get on that.

Here's a little excerpt from the article. You can head over to the Esquire site to read the whole thing.

Finally, the situation calls for extreme measures.

ESQUIRE: You don't want to be a vain movie star, I totally get it, I respect it. But there's nothing that's more of a dick movie-star move than to say, "It has to be printed as a Q&A." That's movie star. You and Tom Cruise back in the day are the only people who do that shit.

BALE: That's not true! [laughing] We're not the only ones. And it was like I said yesterday, it came from a couple of interviews where they just made up a whole bunch of crap in their effort to practice writing their novel.

ESQUIRE: That's very patronizing and insulting, you realize that?

BALE: What, that?


BALE: But these guys lied.

ESQUIRE: Has anybody in the movie business ever lied to you?

BALE: Oh man, listen, that's not restricted to any one line of work, is it?

ESQUIRE: But you're still in the movie business, right?

BALE: You really wanna be freed up from just doing the Q&A, don't ya?

ESQUIRE: I went back to my hotel last night thinking, This guy's very cool and he doesn't wanna act like a poncy movie star, he wants to be a regular bloke, but he's got instructions on what format the fucking story should take. He's delusional!

Bale is laughing...

ESQUIRE: Poor guy! He actually thinks he's normal!

BALE: I do love people ripping the shit out of me. I don't know what that's about, but I love it. The more crap you give me, the happier I get.

But Bale takes control again, a hint of British irony in his voice.

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