Interviewed By Record Of The Day.

Andy Von Pip ROTD Media Spotlight

Record of the Day is the music industry’s favourite daily digest providing a raft of original and aggregated news from all UK and international media outlets, encompassing press and online. And the tables were turned when they recently  interviewed me!! …. The PDF of the interview is available here (Record Of The Day Interview with Andy Von Pip)  if you’re interested ( Hello Mum!!)  and there now follows a transcript of me on my soap box😉

Name: Andy Von Pip

Role: Editor/Writer/interviewer/photographer – The VPME

The last music I purchased was:

The Joy Formidable- The Big Roar- Despite already having the promo I was seduced by the allure of the now sold out limited special edition. Beautifully packaged, with the album, two DVD’s, a nice enamel badge, signed note and an additional CD, sensibly priced too at just over twenty quid. This is the way forward for bands with a reasonable fanbase, creating something fans are willing to buy, it’s not rocket science it’s simple economics .Mind you I think when you start charging thirty quid plus for a CD the vinyl and a replica of Thom Yorke’s toenail and calling it a special edition you maybe are starting to take piss? And if it’s not a limited edition, is it really that special?

The music that’s exciting me at the moment is:

I think 2011 has got off to a very strong start to be honest. At this very moment in time I’m totally in love with Sarabeth Tucek’s second album ‘Get Well Soon’, it really is genius. Scanners new album Submarine is getting innumerable plays too , as is Wye Oak’s Civilian’ . I’m also currently smitten with Pris, I’ve only heard demos so far, but they have made ears reverberate with undiluted joy. Hopefully the power pop punk revival starts here because really, I think we have reached total saturation point with earnest nu-folk troubadours now.

‘Wooden’ by Sarabeth Tucek.

A recent trend I’ve been enjoying is:

I’ve been very much enjoying the lo-fi revival that’s emerged in the last few years, such as Dum Dum Girls, Frankie rose and The Outs and i suppose to a degree, The xx. it just goes to show that you don’t need to employ blaring horns and masses of perfect guitar noodling loops to make an interesting sound. Just decent songs and self belief.

A trend I have less time for:

I’ve noticed the tendency for people at gigs to secrete themselves at the front of the stage and then as soon as the artist starts to sing proceed to talk in a booming voice over the songs. I mean if you want to have a good old chin wag why not stand at the back, or stay at the pub?

How I’m listening to my music now:

Most new music is still loaded onto the trusty IPod, I love sound cloud for streaming and sharing and keep meaning to upgrade my account.  I suppose I really do need to get on board with Spotify, it looks great, but sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day. You can’t beat the physical product though; I like to have something tangible other than an mp3. Vinyl of course is beautiful although due to lack of space I’ve recently given quite a bit away. Mind you I know it’s gone to a good home so I can sleep easy.

The best thing about my job is:

Helping promote music you actually believe in and being invited to amazing musical events such as Glastonbury, people may knock it but it is a truly magical place. I’m just gearing up for Sound city in Liverpool which is a festival that seems to get bigger each year. Oh and If anybody fancies sending me to SXSW next year I’m sure I could free up my diary 🙂

The worst thing about my job is:

Not enough hours in the day and the raging guilt that consumes me when I can’t answer every email that arrives, I wish I had more time. Mind you I do wish people wouldn’t send music what is obviously not my thing at all. Euro trance ? No thanks!  I’m also looking at trying to find time to podcast too, the initial response however is that I sound like Ian McCulloch on ketamine.

How have recent changes in the media world affected what I do:

Why what’s happened? You must remember I’m from the north were electricity is still a novelty!  I haven’t noticed any massive changes lately other than the differing ways content can be produced and accessed. I’m also offering thanks that parts of Murdoch’s news empire have been encircled by a pay wall. I’d certainly pay to make sure it stayed there thus ensuring we’d all be much happier as a nation.

The best interview I did recently was:

Well it’s not for me to say, but being a huge Jesus And Mary Chain fan interviewing Jim Reid with regard to the 25th Anniversary of ‘Psychocandy’ was of course a thrill. Now if only I can get William to talk to me !

The worst interview I did recently was:

None immediately spring to mind, I suppose the worse case scenarios are those in which you get three word answers, shrugs or a young fellow with all the verbal dexterity of Marcel Marceau. I do appreciate people can get fed up with the same generic questions, but y’know, manners maketh the man and all that.  I did interview a band who shall not be named,and their PR people suggested maybe I could make them sound more interesting? I replied, possibly if I even had the slightest clue what on earth they were talking about …..mind there was a slight herbal aroma in the air.

What other music magazines or writers do you read?

Almost everything I read is online now. Blog wise I’m a fan of Breaking More Waves and God Is In The TV as well as the bigger outlets such as DIS and Pitchfork. As for newspaper journos, Alex Petridis makes me laugh, possibly not always intentionally but I do like his way with words and I admire Laura Barton’s poetry and total honesty. Laura and I tried to get together at Glasto but a combination of phone signals and logistics meant we only managed to meet on the very last day, barely coherent, broken by lack of sleep and in my case suffering from the aftermath of too much cider.  We also realised we had been but three tents away the entire festival!

One change I’d make to the music industry would be…

Labels actually investing in real talent not X factor style warblers and blaming file sharers for all the ills within the industry.  Instead why not expend more energy on something positive such as seeking to engage music fans, and here’s a novel idea, actually ask them what they want! Pledge Music, Corporate Records, Ash’s A-Z series have all embraced new ways of delivering music, in a variety of formats in a way that people are willing to spend money on whilst making the fans feel part of the process. That’s the future, really I see no point in continually carping about the insidious nature of the net, and looking for government approval to adopt punitive measures such as the 3 strikes and we cut your internet connection. For one it won’t work and for two it’s draconian and will only fuel resentment.  The old model is broken and they really need to engage with the fans if they want a sustainable business model.

One act I’d really like to succeed this year is.

Oh dear there are loads !  Ok, I’d have to say two, The Good Natured, we tipped her at the beginning of the year, and she just goes from strength to strength. Great pop with a dark electronic twist. And Pris, ready to break hearts, shatter egos and add colour, attitude and fun to the current bland po-faced magnolia hued pop scene.

‘Icon On A MotorBike’ By Pris.

If I didn’t do this job, I’d…

Probably live a life of quiet desperation, replete with slippers, a nice cardigan; I may even have a collection pipes and experiment with various blends of shag tobacco on occasion. On Sunday’s I’d listen to the Archers omnibus with a vague sense of unease and wonder where it all went wrong. Without music my existence would be considerably diminished, as would most peoples I wager.

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