Skip to content

Busy week

July 10, 2010

Starting last Friday, I’ve interviewed seven people in the last seven days:

  • Bryan Poole, 7/2
  • Shawn Fogel, 7/7
  • Julian Koster, 7/8
  • Robbie Cucchiaro, 7/9
  • John Fernandes, 7/9
  • Pete Erchick, 7/9
  • Bill Doss, 7/9

The last three were all at once, at Bill’s house. I’ve done the two-for-one thing before (with Pete and Bill), but never three at once. The more the merrier.

Also, while these were my first interviews with Poole and Cucchiaro and probably my only with Fogel, I was following up with Koster, Fernandes, Erchick and Doss.

With Koster, it allowed me to clarify a lot of things we had discussed the first time, to dig deeper with other topics, and to ask questions I hadn’t even touched on last time. Koster left Athens the next day and probably won’t be back for a month. I’d like to do at least another interview with him at that point.

As for the three-at-once deal, I had scheduled the interview thinking I’d be talking with only Doss, and I did my interview prep thus. So I was unprepared to ask followup questions to Fernandes or Erchick, which was a mistake on my part because I had them already put together on my computer; I just didn’t bring them with me. Still, the interview was fruitful in a way only group interviews are. They helped each other remember things they may not have otherwise thought of on their own. Of course, I’d still like to talk to all three of them again.

I was on the phone with my dad the other day, and he asked me, basically, when would I have enough material to write this book? My answer was that I probably could have written a book before conducting a single interview, and it may have even been decent. But the more interviews I do, the better it gets. I obviously won’t be able to use every bit I want (no one is going to publish a 3,000-word book about an obscure artist collective), but the more material I have to choose from, the stronger the finished product will be. At some point, more interviews must bring diminishing returns, but I’m not there yet, and I don’t know if I ever will. The point is this: I’m never going to reach a point where I can say, “There. It’s done. There’s nothing else I can add.” Without an external deadline of any kind, the onus is completely on me to make the call.

My plan is this: When I leave Athens at the end of August, I will be necessity take a bit of a break from the research aspect and focus heavily on composition. I will roll everything I have into a ball and see what comes out. At that point, I will be able to look at a first draft and be able to see the blanks that need to be filled and the dots that need to be connected, and instead of sitting down to five-hour, open-ended interviews, I can make a phone call with a few direct questions (“How did you meet Person X?”; “Did you ever record with Band Y?”; “What are your thoughts, if any, on Record Z?”). From there, I’ll have a cohesive, fleshed out draft ready for external revision. I’ll have some people read it and tell me what needs to be shored up, and then I can go through another round of blank-filling and dot-connecting. At that point, the final draft should be right around the corner.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: