It was back in Autumn 2007 that I had my first taste of what being a music journalist was like. A small 50 word review of Siouxsie Sioux’s solo single ‘Into A Swan’ printed in my student newspaper Brig, with a printed byline underneath and a big picture of the singer herself right next to it. I was proud, of course, and I wanted more.
Every Monday I’d come home from uni with a fresh pile of CDs to review. I didn’t know who half of the bands were but that didn’t really seem to matter, in fact, it made things more exciting. Would this band be getting a good review? Would this singer get a slating? Either way, I just wanted to write about music.
Five years on and I’d say I’ve come a long way but, at the same time, not very far at all.
I’ve blagged my way into gigs, interviewed bands in the back of their tour vans or on stairs, haven’t recorded an interview properly and had to write it out completely from memory (and that, girls and boys, is why shorthand is VERY, VERY, VERY important!)
And despite the constant background noise of “There’s no future in music journalism!”, “Music journalism is dead!”, surprisingly this has never seemed to phase me from pursuing a career in the field.
There is a quote attributed to the likes of Frank Zappa.
“Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.”
This suggests music journalism is a bit of a strange concoction as you are essentially writing about something that does not need to be explained or described. It does that all on its own.
I agree with this, to an extent. But I also think that writing about music can add more to it, give different interpretations and perspectives and raise some interesting discussion.
Writing about music can also be seen as artistic. It’s not all about ripping bands apart because the chord progression on the b-side of their latest single didn’t impress you. Many music feature writers take a very creative approach to their work which can be really entertaining to read.
And, in that sense, I’d say it was my way of expressing my own creativity.