I mostly write about music. It’s a vicious cycle—music writing makes up most of my resume, so music writing is what I land most often as a gig, so music writing continues to make up most of my resume. (By the way, the phrase “music journalist” is only a thing when you’re trying to get into or out of situations you’re not supposed to be in—speeding tickets, green rooms, guest lists, etc. Settle down, Woodward. We write about bands, not genocide. It’s not important.) I like just as much to write about the slow erosion of American culture or musculoskeletal conditions, and I love it when people send me free shit to play with then make fun of, but it just doesn’t happen as often. My lot, I guess, and it could definitely be worse.
Anyway, sometimes when people find out what I do for a living, they get sort of excited, like it’s a crazy fun way to make money. It’s not. I mean, it’s pretty cool sometimes, it’s probably better than taking alligator stool samples and inspecting them for parasites and I get into a lot of shows for free, but it’s a job, you know? Ask my buddy Asher; I got him started with an opportunity to interview a band he really likes, and before he knew it there were scheduling issues and all-nighters looking for the perfect phrase and having to talk to bands he would rather shave his nethers with a cheese grater than listen to, and just like that, it’s another job.
It is sort of interesting, though, so we’ll do a new category here at lawbi about some of the more singular aspects of freelance writing in general and music writing in particular. Just another opportunity to poke the hornets’ nest, right? Let’s begin with a list of interview subjects who killed it, and a few who, well, you know.