This interview is too depressing for Colombian web TV.

I’ve been waiting for the video to appear online. But it’s been three weeks now and it doesn’t look like it’s ever going to show up, so I may as well tell the story before I forget.

Last month I was contacted by a reporter from El Tiempo, the national newspaper in Colombia. The El Tiempo website has a section called Tiempo Real that spotlights interesting web videos from around the world, and this reporter wanted to interview me about my band’s binder-flipping music video for our song Clowns.

This all occurred during my recent trip to Palm Springs with my father. The night before the interview, I asked my dad to mock-interview me so I would have some idea what kind of questions to expect. Then I practiced my answers in front of the bathroom mirror for an hour or so. Maybe this was excessive preparation for a five-minute web interview that would never be seen outside the Spanish-speaking world, but I’ve come to realise that I can’t trust myself to say anything intelligent off the top of my head. I’m very slow-witted. Even when I memorize a script, my recollection is shaky enough that I stammer and get lost and come across like an averagely dumb person speaking off-the-cuff.

The interview took place over Skype. I can’t remember exactly how it went. I think the reporter started with the obvious question – how did you make the video? And I came out with my canned answer. Then he asked me a couple less obvious questions, and I twisted some of my memorized responses so that they would seem vaguely apropos.

Then he asked me a question I hadn’t anticipated at all. I guess he’d done a little research, visiting our website and such, so he knew we weren’t a “real” rock-n-roll band, with tour dates and a press kit and all that stuff. We’re just a couple small-town guys who hang out in the basement and occasionally put our songs on the internet. “Why,” he asked, “do you make music?”

I didn’t have anything prepared for this. I must have stared into the webcam slack-jawed for thirty or forty seconds. Finally, I said, “I guess because it gives me an excuse to hang out with friends.” Which is really what it comes down to. If I lived in Los Angeles or New York, rather than here in Saskatoon, I would never schlep my guitar down to the local coffeehouse to sit on a stage alone and sing to an indifferent crowd. My dislike of strangers is too great, my thirst for fame too slight. I make music (and rock operas, and music videos, and history-themed rock-n-roll puppet shows) because I don’t go to pub crawls or barbecue parties, because I don’t join soccer teams or take pottery classes, because I don’t go on dates. I make music because I don’t know how to make small talk. Because otherwise when I called up my friends I would have nothing else to suggest except, “Hey, you wanna hang out?” – and when I just “hang out” with my friends, I often feel like I’m bringing everyone down, it would be better if I went home, better if I made room for someone else with more to contribute to the conversation.

I make music, in other words, out of insecurity.

So that’s what I tried to explain to the reporter from El Tiempo. But because I hadn’t prepared my answer in advance, I’m pretty sure it didn’t make a goddamn word of sense to him. So I’m not surprised that a few weeks have passed and the interview hasn’t turned up on the website. No-one wants to hear about that stuff.


1 Response to “This interview is too depressing for Colombian web TV.”

  1. 1 Fax March 24, 2010 at 7:06 am

    The interview is now online:

    And no, the interview is interesting, not depressing… hehehe.

    Best of lucks for you and the band.

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Michael A. Charles is a writer, animator, and musician currently living in the Vancouver area. He used to be the singer and guitarist for the band known as Sea Water Bliss.

You can find a selection of his cartoons, music videos, and ads on the Gallery page.

Michael isn't on LinkedIn or Facebook or Twitter and won't be on whatever comes along next. If you need to reach him here's his contact info.

Garson Hampfield, Crossword Inker