I love walking into gig venues. I love the smell of beer mixed in with all the sweat from the nerves, excitement and of course a busy, hectic lifestyle. It embodies so much of what live music is about.
The familiar aroma greeted me on entering the 02 Academy this afternoon, reminding me of why I choose to interview bands; why I’m content to be always the bridesmaid, never the bride (or in this case, something more along the lines of always the guitar technician, never the guitarist). It’s simple really. For that smell to become engrained in my everyday life would destroy a small piece of its beauty; you don’t want to get too acquainted with a sprinkling of magic. Because I’m not on the road on tour every day I can appreciate it for what it is.
The same analogy applies perfectly to the bands themselves. It’s a cut-throat, musician-eat-musician world out there, but I wouldn’t know it personally because I’m not one. Thus I can appreciate my meeting with the guitarist and bassist of You Me At Six this afternoon for precisely what it is: an interview with two guys who happen to be in a band; nothing more, nothing less. No element of competition between us – they do their job and I do mine.
All the same, I still get nervous before I interview bands, and today was no exception. Especially unnerving was the fact that the two of them are two to three years younger than me. Standing around in the beer-soaked Academy, I started to wonder if I’d be confronted with the same embarrassing problem that I had when I interviewed OK: Go – not know which ones are the ones I’m supposed to be interviewing! Luckily I didn’t have to ponder this for long as I was soon led into a supply cupboard which contained the two band members in question, and thus commenced the interview.
It was the shortest interview I’ve ever given and one where unusually I found myself doing perhaps most of the talking. Whether they were shy, or just relatively inexperienced when it comes to being interviewed I’m not sure, but it made for an interesting new experience all the same. We stormed through ten questions in a mere six minutes, yet somehow there was nothing more that any of us could really think of that needed to be said.
So, another day passed in the world of a music junkie, and with it, another band interviewed. Somehow entering back into the bright sunlight from the murky and intoxicating air of the 02 Arena didn’t quite feel right. But then again, neither did interviewing a band who didn’t really seem to have anything much to say.