Every year I wait forever and a day for the line-up to Aftershock in Sacramento. If I’m lucky, I get in with a media pass. A few good times I’ve done some media work for my portfolio, but this is about the time I did two interviews, on camera.. alone. I’ve worked with media outlets before, only assisting the person doing the interviews with the rockstars. I have NEVER done an interview on camera by myself. Nothing even close to that. In 2015 I was challenged to do the unthinkable, a live, unscripted, interview that I only had about 10 minutes to prepare for.
How this came about…
Way back when I was doing the “RAW Artist” thing (which I hated by the way), I met this lady who was a RAW Artist staff member. Her name was April, and she was this amazing woman. Out of everyone I had met out of the program, I was glad I had met her. Throughout the years we kept in contact with each other (she threw events and parties all over Sacramento), but lost touch at some point when she finally started her own media company. At the time, I was already looking for a new media outlet to work with (since the last one I was with turned up unfruitful). However, I had no idea she had started her own company when I was applying to get in based on my blog (as I had the couple times before). This time I wasn’t successful, but was happy that I had my tickets to go. Even if I didn’t cover it, I would still want to be there with all of my other Sacramento metal heads.
I was wandering around on the (1st/2nd) day and ran into April between sets. We screamed and hugged (like all girls do), and began catching up with each other’s lives. This is when she tells me that she had started her own media company and was doing interviews at the show. So of course I snatched up her phone number (we only talked on Facebook), and told her that I’d text her ASAP. About 10 minutes later we’re talking and she’s telling me to come to the back where the media tent is. I ran right over and she told her camera man Nick to give me his photo pass. When I slipped into the media area, I felt right at home. April and I went around looking at each tent, we checked out the bar, and spotted a few rockstars that look WAY bigger onstage.
Not too long later, April, Nick and I are chilling out, smoking pot in the back (where the cool kids hang out). April busts out, telling me that Chris Kael from Five Finger Death Punch is coming back here for an interview. So then I bust out telling her that I met the band way back in 2007 before they were even really known and the signed poster. She tells me, “YOU should do the interview”. I don’t know if I choked on the toke or the idea of ME interviewing a rockstar (like I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do). For a second I think I just stood there (I think I was waiting for a “just kidding”), but I told her “fuck yeah!”. Who would say “no” to that, really?
“He’ll be here soon.”
“I don’t know, maybe 10-15 minutes.”
So I asked her what she wanted me to ask, and we fiddled around with the microphone. If I told you I was “cool, calm, and collected” I’d be lying. I wanted to puke out of pure nervousness. It felt like I was five finger death punched in the stomach, and I couldn’t breathe. I feel my throat closing up just thinking about it. For some reason I had it in my head that I was going to royally screw this up, until he showed up to the media area with his wife. The first time I got a good look at him, I was struck. “This is it. Oh my god… …his wife’s kinda hot.” He sat down on the chair next to me and we just started talking. Like all people, I forget that rockstars are just like us, people. But when he sat down, he was super chilled out, and really nice (not the classic douchebag rockstar).
We flew right through the interview questions pretty quickly, as nervous as I may have been. Then I made a crack about the shirt I was wearing and how it got me out of an arrest. He started laughing and asked me to tell me the story. So I’m sitting there, telling Chris Kael one of MY crazy stories. It was too much. These are moments I dream about and it’s actually happening RIGHT NOW. I said hello to his beautiful blonde wife and gave Chris a hug goodbye (not before taking another picture with him).
After the interview was over, we all high-fived and laughed over how nervous I was. Everything felt like it fell into place. We smoked a few more bowls and she asked me if I wanted to do another one. Of course I was down so I went through this next musician’s profile. The second interview was with rap artist Madchild. He was the only rap artist of the festival (Aftershock always has one), and he was headed back to the media tent later on that evening for an interview with April (now me). I gave Nick my photo pass and headed out of the media area with April to go take a look around. Nick went off to go take pictures of some bands playing.
The day was a bit of a loud, roaring blur, but I do remember that I was having fun checking out bands with April. A bit later we went backstage with the same setup, and I started re-prepping for the interview. Madchild came in; the first thing I noticed was his face tattoo and his cute little dog named Lola. My second interview went alright (no overly excited feeling since I didn’t know him), but he was very down to earth. In the middle of the interview, he surprised me with an admission about his addiction and how he overcame it to become who he was today. I was shocked, but amazed. It’s really surreal when someone you don’t know springs some deep, and heavy stuff on you. You never expect it; usually I’M the one being super honest. Madchild opened up to me on live camera, and it was real. When I see it on TV or on the Internet, my cynical side thinks it’s scripted. But it’s only when you experience it as the story-teller’s audience face-to-face, then you can truly start to believe in the “realness” that some people have.
Mid-interview we vape on camera and crack jokes until we were pretty much wrapped up. I shake hands and take a few more pictures with Madchild, and he disappears into darkness of the crowd. Nick started showing me all of the footage he caught for the day. April was busy texting on her cellphone before she came over to check out what we were looking at. Everything looked amazing! I was so happy that I didn’t let my slight panic attack get in the way of doing something I had merely day dreamed of doing.
That day was pure heaven. It was my favorite Aftershock festival to date (especially since Deftones was playing that year). Although I did almost break my ribs while I was in the Slipknot crowd and ACTUALLY had to jump out (I never jump out). Weeks went by and I hadn’t heard back from April and her Megatude Media company. When I WOULD get ahold of her she would say that she was working on it. I believe her of course, it’s difficult to work on different things at once. Finally, she hits me up and I see my interview with Madchild on Youtube. I was super excited, but I really wanted to see the one I did with Chris Kael. I’m still waiting on the video to this day.
Until that day, I’ll just be waiting patiently. Hopefully, I can work for another media outlet and do more live interviews. Even though I’ll have to work on my nervousness, I think I’d be pretty good at doing interviews (even when on the spot). One thing though, I really hate my voice on camera (haha!). Maybe that’s just me being my worst critic, but I don’t watch the video for that specific reason.
If YOU want to check out the interview I did for April’s media company MEGATUDE MEDIA that’s on Youtube, you can check it out here. The shirt I’m wearing is actually from Dollskill.com (Killstar clothing), and no that is NOT all of that is my real hair.
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