Wednesday, December 27, 2006

...meh, nevermind then, i'll just talk about the band..

I was more nervous going to Live 105 for an on air interview than I had been for any event in a long time. Will accompanied me and I confessed my anxiety to him as I careened around the streets of downtown San Francisco, stopping at green lights, slamming on the brakes, circling aimlessly in an attempt to park the car but forgetting to actually look for open spaces. I think my nerves were a little over-sensitive after our humiliating TV interview (for which I refused to sign a waiver) where I became clearly embarrassed as I attempted clumsily to change the subject as the host drilled me on such topics as “sealing the deal” and “eating pussy” (maybe would have been appropriate for an interview with Hinder??). Anyway, we got to the radio station and I calmed down. I’ve been on air there several times before and I was only 19 for my first visit so it’s become a safe environment. I no longer receive a dozen text messages from friends when our song is on the radio and I no longer run frantically past my neighbors, screaming into my cell phone, to hear my voice on my car radio. Not to say it doesn’t still fill me with the most satisfying of satisfactions but I have learned to contain it.

I sat in the chair closest to the door, across the console from all the knobs and wires and switches, computers and CD players. I pulled a microphone against my guitar and one up to my face, plugged into my guitar tuner, shifted in my seat. I had never met the DJ, Kat, before but she welcomed us with some soothing small talk, discussing with Will how he went to high school with the girl from Shiny Toy Guns (dread shot through me at the -- luckily unfulfilled -- notion that perhaps our interview would end up about her and not us…). Finally, there was 30 seconds left in the dwindling Three Doors Down song, and all of a sudden we’re being introduced, our voices transmitting through car antennas as eager teenagers tune in to our conversation and jaded commuters flip over to KFOG. The listeners of the bay area are doing homework and dishes, making out and getting high, getting lost and getting home all to the murmur of my voice and the strumming of my acoustic. Maybe my thoughts and my song are now connected to an important moment in someone’s life. There’s such enormity in that, but it’s difficult to channel it without being able to see or hear the audience.

Kat was totally prepared for the interview which was awesome. I expected to discuss how the band begun, how we got a record deal, how I won a Live 105 battle of the bands a few years back which really got my foot in the door (and how I pretty much owe them my soul for being able to do this with my life… which really is pretty true and amazing… but shockingly they’ve never asked for it!). Instead I found out that she had read my journal, asked me about being “anchorless” on the road, about thanksgiving at Denny’s and my ever-developing view of America. The next night she came to our show at Popscene and apologized, asking if she put me on the spot. I told her that she did put me on the spot but I appreciated it so much, that it challenged me but allowed me a forum to actually talk about what’s important to me, and was probably good for my interview skills. She told me i did fine, but not to focus on media, to aim my concerns at music and performing, the things that I’m really actually getting paid to do… I appreciated that as well.

Having these experiences has completely changed my perspective when watching people being interviewed or perform or speak on camera -- especially for a wide audience. I can see the tension and nerves. I can see the insecurity. I respect them when they exude comfort and I don’t fault them if appear otherwise. We’re all human after all.