Quality of Interviews

The Portland show last night sounds like another success for the band, which is great.  I have spent part of my day watching clips from the show and getting a better understanding of how the screens work.  In my search for all things Duran, I caught a new interview from Portland, which you can view here.  While I love watching and hearing interviews but I have to admit that I’m getting a little tired of the silly interviewers and the poor quality of questions.

Can anyone remember the last time Duran was interviewed by a male unless it was a radio interview?  It also seems to me that they are interviewed by women and women who are giggling or seem a bit nervous or something.  Now, I can understand this to some extent since the members of Duran are not only famous but also are good looking.  Yet, I wonder why these interviewers can’t control their nervous excitement better.  It is their job after all.  This one actually confused Roger for Andy!  At one point, she asks whose lap she can come sit on?!  Really?!  Who does that?!  Your job is to interview them, not flirt with them!  Then, of course, she spent a lot of time talking herself when she could have been asking them questions or allowing the fans in the audience to ask questions.  For example, she talked about how many bands have been ignoring Portland.  Okay.  Why we do need to know this?  Then, of course, I was frustrated by the questions that were asked by her.

One of the first questions she asked was about what they can’t live without while on tour.  I’m okay with that question but then she dived into who has an iPhone and who has a Blackberry.  Why do we care about that?  Even Roger asked if this is a communication conference as opposed to an interview.  Of course, she followed up with some other questions about being tour, including who is the biggest diva and who is the biggest prankster.  Based on the question about pranks, I wondered if she had any clue about what Duran is like but then later she clearly knew that John is sensitive and asked him about when the last time he cried.  I couldn’t figure her out.  Then, when he answered in an uncomfortable but forthcoming manner, she didn’t know what to do with that.  He talked about a scene in a movie in which a character had lost his father, which John could relate to, and she didn’t know how to follow up on that.  Clearly, he could connect because he lost his father like this character.  Duh.  Quickly changing the subject, she asked about being metrosexual.  Hasn’t that topic been talked about to death with this band?  There were so many questions that could have been asked that would have been more current. 

There are many questions that I wish she had asked but didn’t.  One thing I would have asked about is the difference between the setlists for the UK rehearsal shows and these shows.  I would have asked why they bothered to rehearse songs like Secret Oktober and Shadows, if they were not planning on playing them.  Maybe I would have asked if they were aware that most of their fans are sick of hearing HLTW?  I would have asked about Simon’s voice.  Yes, it has been documented that he went through vocal therapy to get his range back but is that continuing?  What is he doing on tour to ensure that his voice remains in good form?  Then, I think about a lot of fans who are so dang focused on the charts, the album sales, and the ticket sales.  I could ask how much that stuff really matters to them.  I would ask if there is a plan to get them back in the media spotlight.  I’m sure that a lot of people would want to know about the plan for Girl Panic since the video is coming out in November.  I could go on and on and I’m sure I am not the only one who could.

My point being that interviews are a chance to learn something new about the band but about current events with the band.  I don’t want to hear about their metrosexual qualities anymore.  I want to know about Duran and their career now in the fall of 2011.  That said, I would still watch the video because the boys look good and handle the interview well. 

-A 

5 thoughts on “Quality of Interviews”

  1. Maybe it's just me, but it's getting to the point where I don't like watching these interviews…ESPECIALLY when it's a female interviewer. I much prefer the print interviews because typically the silliness isn't included. Do these female interviewers not have brains at all?? I realize that not everyone is a huge DD fan; and for those people they tend to start from square one, but this girl truly didn't have the first clue. If I were her employer, I'd fire her…and yes I really mean that because she didn't do her job.

    If it were me, I'd be asking questions such as you mentioned, but I'd also be asking them a lot about the internet and social networking. I'd want to know how they feel it's changed the way the band responds to fans and operates as a unit. I'd want to know how they feel about the industry as a whole these days. I'd ask about how their personal and professional goals as a band have changed from the 1980's to the present…and I'd ask if they've read any good blogs lately! ;D -R

  2. Deep intellectual differences between the band and the interviewer? Perhaps she is used to interview only teen pop bands and she didn´t realize how silly her questions were (to put it mildly). The band handled all this silliness remarkably well, I´d say, with dignity and good humour.
    Another, scarier, perspective is that these ARE the things common radio station audience wants to know about the bands, I mean iPods and hair products …
    Great post! Thanks for the link too!
    marin

  3. @Rhonda-You point out a ton of good questions! I bet that if you and I were to get together for an interview, we could come up with a ton!

    @Marin-you are welcome for the link. Scary thought if those kind of questions are what people are interested in, isn't it?!

    -A

  4. I was in the audience for this interview and before they started taping the radio station folks asked if any of us had questions for the band. I thought the questions they would be asking would be entirely from the audience – which, unfortunately, didn't happen. I laughed at Nick's reply about crying and he said that felt like crying right then. The interviewer was too dense to get it. I agree with Rhonda that the interviewer should be fired. 🙂
    The setlist DD posted on FB for the Portland show wasn't exactly accurate for the encore. They didn't perform Girl Panic. We only had one encore song “Rio” and no band introductions (bummer).
    The Portland audience wasn't as alive as the Seattle audience during the show. Both shows were performed where the arena was reduced to 1/2 of the venue size and a lot of sections were blocked off by curtains (I hope that makes sense). It was better, in my opinion, and it made it more intimate.

    Lisa

  5. Isn't it fascinating how different the audiences can be at shows that really aren't THAT far apart in distance?

    Only one encore song, huh? I wonder why. Maybe they were running out of time in the venue or something. I guess if the audience wasn't really alive that would make a difference as well.

    I agree with Nick on his answer about crying. I felt like crying too. And kicking the interviewer – but Nick wouldn't say that. He's far too polite.
    I'm not. 😉

    -R

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