Just recently I did a radio interview and also played some songs on the acoustic while I was there. It was a very pleasant experience. I’ve done tons of interviews over the years – for press, radio and TV. Mostly they go without a hitch and the people involved are always friendly and professional.
However, like everything, there are exceptions to the rule. As I digested the interview I’d just done two others came to mind and I thought it might be fun to write about them here. The first one was in Sweden. I won’t mention the town or newspaper (as that’s not important, and it’s a long time ago) but I can remember it as clearly as if it was yesterday.
We were quite popular in Sweden at that time, certainly in that area, and so either the local promoter or the local newspaper thought it worth their while to send someone out to interview me. The only problem was – she definitely didn’t want to be there! I have no idea what her ‘problem’ was but she made no effort to hide her disdain for long-haired musicians and their lazy lifestyle and banal song lyrics.
After firing off some perfunctory questions about me, my background, experience, etc., and showing clearly that she thought this was all a waste of her precious time – she gave me an opening when she said – “and I presume your songs are like all the others I hear, dealing with love on a simplistic and male-oriented level” to which I answered – “no actually, I grew up on a farm and most of my songs are about subjects such as shearing sheep and shovelling s***” [try saying that fast! :-)]. Of course this threw her off completely and as she tried to translate it into Swedish for herself and write it down in her notebook I just kept talking all sorts of rubbish and then said – “ok, thanks very much for the interview but I gotta go soundcheck” and took myself off out of there. I have no idea if anything ever appeared in that paper from that interview but it was certainly an experience (as it was the first time I’d ever come across something like that).
The second one took place in France and this was a radio interview. I can’t remember what station it was on because it was during the time that “Everybody’s Got The Blues” was released and Blue Horizon had laid on a fairly heavy schedule for us to promote it. I do remember I was doing several interviews per day.
I should point out here that one ‘situation’ you have to deal with when doing interviews in France is the language difference. The format usually goes something like this. There’s usually someone there acting as an interpreter, so the DJ does his normal thing (talking a mile a minute), then he fires off a question to the ‘interpreter’, who in turn asks me the question, I answer it and the ‘interpreter’ translates that into French for the DJ and then he passes that on to his listeners. I presume they already got it when the ‘interpreter’ was giving it to him but hey, that’s the way they do it. Besides that, my simple and short answers (I’m trying to make it easy on the ‘interpreter’) seem to get longer and longer as they are translated in French, which means as the programme goes on you find yourself having less and less input on things.
On this particular show, these guys took it to the limit and it was about the fifth or sixth show I’d done that day, and I was making a real effort to give them something interesting, but to be honest I mightn’t have bothered. At one stage I was really thinking to myself – what the heck am I doing here as I’d hardly spoken more than three or four sentences in total. Suddenly the DJ spoke directly to me and asked – “what is your favourite album of all time?” in English (you need to imagine a French accent here) and I don’t know where this came from but I answered “Motorhead live with Connie Francis”!! The guy looked confused and said – “Motor’ed [they leave the H out] with who?” I said “Connie Francis” He said (still in English with a French accent, right) – “I don’t think I know this album” to which I answer – “It’s pretty rare alright” and of course it’s pretty rare because it doesn’t exist!! :-). I wonder if he ever went looking for it.
For those of you who might not be familiar with Connie Francis, click here and then imagine Lemmy and the boys backing her on her songs – or maybe better still, Connie taking the lead vocal on “Ace Of Spades”. Could be an interesting collaboration, don’t you think!