Just as every artist has a unique style and sound, the interview tone of voice varies greatly.
While some like to keep things short, tight and focused, others use the interview medium as a definitive form of expression – or reveal.
And why not. There are various pro’s and cons of these approaches: Staying informative, maybe even a little aloof can add to the overall mystery of a project. It can also give the music room to breathe, as opposed to cluttering the creative output with unnecessary info.
But giving away some more personal, detailed info in an interview can also be a powerful asset. You make something tangible, be it a person or release. You give context, hopefully, the right kind. Paint a picture that reaches beyond your own channels. Reach new audiences, maybe even cold-catch potential fans by the power of your words.
No matter how a given style is played out – there are ways to use the Q&A situation as a direct extension of what happens on the artist-owned-channels. And that’s a major takeaway of all interviews that we find exceptionally compelling.
Q&A as brand extension
Great interviewees are able to appropriate situations – and therefore flow of information – to suit their own needs and interests. While inexperienced Q&A partners may shine with a lightness and sometimes even heartwarming playfulness, seasoned pro’s quickly gain a critical edge over a given situation.
So here’s a first vital pointer – make the interview your expressional canvas.
While you’re obviously guided by questions and frames a given medium lays upon you, you should use this situation as a means of brand extension. Think about how you communicate over your own channels. If it’s emotional, adhere to that style. If it’s minimal, do the same thing.
You can even challenge the questions, re-frame them. You don’t necessarily have to answer them at all. Important is the interaction and what you put into the situation.
Find a way to wrap up your interview with news or a teaser. Most seasoned media will already have that integrated within the catalogue of questions. If now, though, it’s up to you to give the reader a reason to move beyond the interview. To read – or listen – on, visit your channels etc.
That’s why you should always think about the news-value of a given interview situation. That can be quite hard, if there’s just nothing newsworthy, or you’re in the midst of intense productions.
Still – ask yourself that question. What’s your teaser? Your hook at the end.
So here’s our second vital pointer – come up with your newsworthy information prior to engaging in the interview. Don’t wait and see what happens, if something comes up. You’re in control of your output, so make sure you know what you want to say, what has to be said.
And even if there’s nothing immanently happening around a project – which is quite rare, because there should always be something happening – you can get creative.
Think of milestones you just achieved. Things like fan base growth. User comments that touched you. Playlists you’re exceptionally grateful for. If you dig a little, there will probably pop up a world of newsworthy content around your project.
But always remember that wrapping up an interview with either a newsworthy element, or a celebratory remark can be strong pull-factors for future audiences.