My mother always told me - 'Always be nice to the people you meet on the way up, for they will be the ones looking out for you when you're on your way down'.
As an enthusiastic music fan, and reviewer, one tends to take an interest in what lies behind the tunes you hear, the artist and their inspiration. The facon of putting all personal pride and prejudices aside in the vain, vapid, almost guileless promotion of an inanimate product that I have no vested interest or passion for, in is not what I, and indeed many other music writers, amateur and professional are about. I have my quirks and peculiarities as much as the next person, just like the artist I am writing about, I have my identity, and a lot of the faceless, homogenised music industry and it's hangers on have issues with that.
I have suffered almost total mental minimisement in the hands of those that look after the bands, sometimes, due to my ways not being the way they preconceive an event to be.
Rewind to a certain indie band, where, due to tube restrictions that day, I was forced to take a train and ended up being embarrassingly early for the interview. The tour manager and roadies at that venue literally ignored my presence, the tour manager being sullen and ashen-faced when I, the hack that would be helping HIS ailing band gain much needed coverage, was introduced to him. He didn't even talk to me past shaking my hand, totally uninterested, extremely arrogant. I had to wait alone for a number of hours, until the band, who were a marked contrast to their self-appointed bouncer, arrived. No drinks offered, not even being asked to take a seat, the simplest of courtesies that one is obliged to extend to a visitor were not given to me, or any of the other journalists by the team on site.
Another incident was at a recent interview with a well known dance band. I was there to find out about what makes these chart stars tick, a glance for the reader into their mysterious bubble of a world - not to promote their new single. The PR and manager of the band concerned were present, clearly more used to dealing with the higher- profile, more glamourous and seductive likes of MTV, TOTP and Smash Hits. They treated the internet lightly, as if they were doing US a favour by letting us have the interview, and THEIR precious time, not realising it is often the grassroots and underground that help to raise a band's profile.
Due to my interest in the band not being commercially - vested, and purely human, the variety of complaints received insisted that my tried and tested line of questioning was irreverent, and I wasn't professional because I didn't take notes. Excuse me, that is one of the attributes I pride myself on. A good memory. I don't take notes during the interviews because it can seem anti-social, as if you are not interested in what the other party is saying. And the characters I was interviewing were hardly the brightest sparks in the box, so it wouldn't have been getting a notebook out coz they had nothing insightful to say.
I am not out to promote their single, and write a puff piece on how wonderful their influences and producers are. Our readers are generally interested in music, and what lies behind it, not necessarily genre specifics, so lack of research was an unfair thing to level against me. I had read up, I didn't want to talk about European Clubbing for the ten millionth time.
It's the arrogant hangers on, most notably PR people in particular (is it just me, or a tried and tested happening?) that leave me in frustration because they dress and walk around pompously, pretending to be important, trying to crush the small fry down, so they can have that one little power trip over you. It's infinitely more annoying when they are just glorified dogsbodies, 'KFC anyone?', being what they are most commonly accustomed to.
This one goes out to those reading and getting offended = chances are that you're part of the problem!
I'm sorry to inform you, but I'm not a professional full-time journalist, I'm an amateur who dabbles in reviewing for fun. I've taken your pettiness as a blessing in disguise, a cloud with a silver lining. I'm working to get a qualification that can actually help other people, that is essential to society. You have inspired me to work infinitely harder than I am doing already to show you precisely what I'm capable of. Don't underestimate me, for when I'm a zillionaire, award-winning surgeon, with a nice wardrobe, house and car to boot. You will be old, grey, flabby and haggard telling someone else to run for the coffee, moonlighting as a shadow of your former self, while getting you're now-stale power trip being nasty to the little people that count.
In conclusion - don't *knowingly* double-cross an internet journalist, without knowing the story behind them or you will be get your comeuppance one day TWICE AS HARD.