Saturday, 4 January 2014

£10 well spent

A few weeks ago I received a message in the Silent Sleep facebook account. It was from a guy who ran a music blog and the message started by telling me how much he enjoyed my music. He went on to say that he would love to do a feature on me on his blog in the form of an interview. I always try to cooperate and complete any interview that any blog or site offers to me as it's nice to think that somebody has heard you and likes you and wants to let other people know about your music. It's flattering and it's also a way of reaching out to an audience who otherwise may never have known you existed. I went on to read the rest of this e-mail and the guy ended by telling me that for the interview to go ahead he would require a £4.50 donation. I saw my arse but tried to comprehend the reality of what was being offered to me. And asked of me. I posted the whole message on my personal Facebook page as a large number of my facebook friends are in bands or are promoters or are somehow involved with music, particularly what you might call the DIY side of things. The message generated a fair amount of interest so I continued to post each of the messages that the blogger and I went on to send to each other. I went along with what he was asking and before long, we'd agreed (at my suggestion) to forego his usual format and instead offer 'fans' the opportunity to ask me whatever question they want for a small donation of 50p. The more and more deep I got into the dialogue, the more I was convinced there would be a point when he would realised that I wasn't being completely serious. That point didn't come, instead he thought it was a great idea but insisted we split what money we make from the fans 60/40 (60 to him 40 to me. I think? I can't remember and it doesn't really matter) so on the back of the popular posts on my personal facebook I asked my friends to ask me some questions for the blog - the more ridiculous, the better. The questions were ridiculous but I still felt the interview made too much sense so I answered most of the questions using words used in the songs Safety Dance by Men Without Hats and Birdhouse In Your Soul by They Might Be Giants (and a whole load of Bukowski). When I read it back I thought to myself, 'This is it, this is surely the point where the guy suddenly sees what's happening and wants to batter me'. I sent it over anyway along with £10 via paypal not really expecting a reply or if I did receive a reply it would tell me what a huge dickhead I was and that he was going to keep the 10 quid anyhow...he didn't though, he's posted it. When I realised it was going to be published, I felt a sense of guilt. Perhaps this was a young lad who'd been taught in some kind of performing arts school that this was the way things had to be to make a living in music. The guilt didn't last too long, after all, I've paid him a tenner for it and besides, it's only a bit of fun. Here's the full dialogue and the final, published, feature.

I run the music blog Aldora Britain Records. We do interviews with up and coming bands/artists and also older underground bands/artists as well. Our sole aim is to help bring more exposure to the artists we feature and also to help them work towards their musical ambitions. We conduct our interviews mainly online and via e-mail. Anyway, I was just wondering if you would like to do an interview for the blog? We do ask for a £4.50 donation which we put towards the cost of buying music to review and getting to gigs to review as well. We also hope to use some of this money to expand and we hope to give donations to bands as we grow and in the future possibly develop into a magazine. You may ask what sets us apart from other blogs. Well, we post new material every day of the week and in theory this brings a brand new audience that could potentially be introduced to your music every day. We also provide in depth and in detail interviews for the artists that we feature in a unique style. Finally, if you have any questions or want to discuss anything then don’t hesitate to get in touch. We hope that you’re up for it as we would love to feature you on the blog. Look forward to hearing back from you! Thanks

8 November 2013Silent Sleep
Hi, Thanks for getting in touch. I'm really flattered that you 're considering us for the blog. When you mentioned the £4.50 donation I did indeed ask myself 'What sets this blog apart from other blogs? Other blogs that wouldn't dream of asking a band for a donation to be written about.', but when you described yours and I had a look at it, I saw that it was indeed very different from other blogs. I don't think there are any other blogs out there that post new music every day and provide in depth interviews with artists, it's a brilliant concept and I think you've done really well coming up with it! So, taking all of this into consideration, how do we go forward with this? Best, Chris 

9 November 2013
Hi Chris, Firstly, sorry for the delay in getting back to you - been having a hectic time here! Also, thank you for having a look at our blog and the kind words! We're really up for doing an interview with you and if you are up for it then the first step is the small donation. Let us know how you want to do this? (Paypal, bank transfer, whatever suits you best!) Once we have this I'll personally put together an interview for you and send it over to you! Let me know if this sounds good to you! Regards

10 November 2013Silent Sleep
Hi, Don't worry about it. It's absolutely fine!! I can imagine it must be busy running a professional music publication!! Do you have staff? Anyway, enough of me. I'm keen to go ahead with this - really excited, actually. I'm a bit hard up at the moment though so I wondered if instead of making a £4.50 donation, would you accept £4.10? Maybe you could knock a question off the interview? Or alternatively I could forward the remaining £0.40 next week. Cheers, let me know what you think. Best, Chris

10 November 2013
Hi Chris, kinda - it's me and a mate that do it, don't think he thinks he's 'staff' though haha! And don't worry about it - we'll just make it a nice round £4 and we don't need to be knocking questions off the interview either. Let me know how you want to pay it and I'll get the ball running on it!

11 November 2013Silent Sleep
Hi, Before I go ahead and arrange payment, I thought I'd better ask how many hits you anticipate the interview getting? What are your average figures? It's just that I've discovered some other blogs that are quite similar but don't charge for interviews and features etc. Also, are you VAT registered? Cheers, Chris

11 November 2013Silent Sleep
One more thing...would you, hypothetically, take American Express?

11 November 2013
Hi Chris man, our interviews range in hits. The minimum hits an interview had got of ours is 27 but they usually get much more than that! We usually average around 100 hits per interview and our most popular interview with a band called The Most has 394 hits to date!

11 November 2013
We're not VAT registered as we don't really earn anything in the grand scheme of things to be honest! And I think we can take American express!? Hope you decide to do a feature with us! Speak soon mate!

12 November 2013Silent Sleep
Hi, Not a problem at all. Glad you can take American Express. 394 hits is very impressive and also it's hilarious that a band called The Most has the most hits! Who got the least? Anyway, I've had an idea, I'd be happy to transfer some money across to you if we can do something a little bit outside of the box...Would you be happy publishing an interview where the questions come from our fans? I think it would work really well and bring a lot of traffic to your blog and instead of me paying the £4, we could ask fans to make a donation of £0.50 per question. That way, if we manage to get, say, 20 questions, that would be a tenner, which is well more than £4! If you're happy with 70/30 split in your favour I'd be more than happy to go ahead with this. What do you say? Best, Chris

12 November 2013
Hi Chris, haha never actually realised that connection with The Most haha! There are actually a great European beat band though - you should check them out! I'd rather not tell you who got the least cos it'd be a bit harsh on that band! I really like your idea though, it'd be nice to spice it up and get your fans asking the questions. Also, since it's your idea I think it's only fair we do like a 60-40 split in your favour, sound good to you? Also, how we gonna organise it? Will you get in touch with your fans and then get the answers to me to post? Regards

30 December 2013Silent Sleep
Hey, Hope you had a good Christmas. I've got the interview here...20 questions asked by fans. It's turned out quite mad but it was really good fun to answer. I have £10 here for you. Where shall I send it? Cheers and all the best, Chris

30 December 2013
Hi Chris, Hope you had a great Christmas too and have a good one tomorrow night! If you can send the interview to and I'll get it posted, most likely, on new years day. You can send the money to me via paypal using the same e-mail address ( also, I'd like to reiterate you don't have to give me all £10! Speak soon man

1 JanuarySilent Sleep
Hi, Did you get my email yesterday with the interview? I've stuck £10 into your paypal account. Let me know when it's up and I'll share appropriately. Best, Chris 2 January Hi Chris, got it all! I hope to have it up by tomorrow - it's a new year and am already behind schedule haha! Will send you a link as and when! Speak soon man.

13 hours ago
Hello Chris, interview is now live! Please can you share the link on the band's official facebook page and wherever else possible - Also, if you personally have facebook can you give our page a like here - Finally, please do keep in touch and if you ever need a little bit of promotion for something then please do get in touch! Regards and all the best, AB Records THE INTERVIEW.

 I think it's only fair that we give him the hits...Here's the link to the interview. If you read it out loud it sounds like you've lost your mind.