Be cool, Leon. Be cool like a blizzard.

I’ve got an on-camera interview tonight that wasn’t in place this time yesterday. It happened kind of accidentally. My editor sent my accreditation confirmation (album name in the making?) for King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard last night. I read down the email chain and saw a confirmation of the interview request. Surprised, I replied to my editor.

Me: “Errr, am I doing an interview with the band? When is that happening?”
Editor: “No, ______ is doing the interview.”
Me: “Oh, okay, I read the email wrong and thought that’s funny, I’ve never done an interview for these guys before.”
Editor: “Wait… would you like to?”
Me: “Oh. Sure. Why not?”

Just like that, my simple plans of reviewing have expanded to a busier evening. Interviewing is something I’ve done, but not extensively. In my university days I did a fair bit. Between television segments and radio broadcast, I worked on honing those skills. We did a few multi-cam in studio interviews that taught the importance of working within timing restrictions. I put together a couple of radio documentaries that helped hone my questioning skills. Learning curves came in understanding how to lead an interview on a natural arc and the vital necessity of always having an out. Failing anything, mic technique and fostering a flow between question and answer without stepping on one another’s toes were stepping stones to more effective interviews. I always enjoyed it and got better as time went on.

It seemed stupid to not jump at the chance to test those skills again. I’m at a point where I don’t know precisely in which direction I’m headed. Building up a portfolio of work helps not only help potential employers see what I can do, but also gives me an idea if I’d like to jump behind any of these areas with substantive follow-through. Particularly because I’m not a professional, taking opportunities like this with a low rate of risk are essential to expanding my skillbase.

Contrary to being nervous, I’m actually really excited. The impeccably named band, King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard, are a rapidly growing Melbourne based psych rock band. They’re moving in a variety of eclectic and compelling ways. Their most recent release, Nonagon Infinity is a collection of nine songs that flow together in a seamless loop. The last track on the album slots right back into the first. Best of all, recursive refrains and lines are interweaved throughout the record. It’s ambitious and explorative in truly exciting ways. Plus the video for “People Vultures” kicks serious ass. Not only that, but the band have released eight albums and two EPs in the past 6 years. That’s pretty fucking prolific.

The kind of interviews I tend to prefer are those where there’s authentic connection and I’m gonna do my best to foster that. Like a good date, I enjoy seeing someone who’s genuinely interested ask questions because they want to know the answers. You want to see the most appealing parts of the other party, otherwise you wouldn’t be there in the first place, right? I wanna know how this band continues to excel and rise in such an unconventional manner, but that answer wouldn’t be rewarding without finding out who they are as people. Let’s see how I do.

Who knows? If I turn out to be good at it, you may see me do it again.


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