SPB/Spyros: How did you get started as a music writer? And what was it that drove you to that direction?
Aideen: I don't have the musical talent to be a musician, but I love writing and I love music so pursuing music journalism seemed like a natural progression from there. I started by writing a (very small, practicality invisible) blog and got a few things published, and then went on to study journalism for a few years.
SPB/Nathan: How much does the music you listen to shape you as a person - is it difficult to separate yourself from the music, or is it who you are, etc.
Andy: My taste in music has evolved and expanded greatly over time, and to some extent, I am not as connected personally to music today as I was at various points in the past. At times, I've found albums or pieces of music that I really felt a strong connection with and seemed in perfect harmony with where I was as a person. Songs About Leaving by Carrissa's Wierd was one such album - for better or worse, it represented where I was at the time when I discovered it. Even today, it ties me to a specific place, time, and mindset even though that mindset isn't where I'm at now. Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Vol. II will always remind me of a friend's apartment where it was often played almost continuously.
In the past decade or so that I've been doing music reviews, I've explored more music rather than really dwell on albums like I did in the past. This has been exciting in its own way since I've happened upon a lot of interesting material, but I haven't gotten as connected to most of it since I often simply move on to the next thing - I don't have as much time as I used to to devote to listening.
Still, it's hard to deny that music has shaped my personality. Though I still have an appreciation for harder and more aggressive music that I listened to almost exclusively in my youth (and definitely played a part in shaping who I was at the time), I'm more interested today in finding new adventures with music that stimulates my imagination. My recent listening habits almost certainly have toned down certain aspects of my personality, which probably isn't an altogether bad thing.
SPB/Andy: (How) Has work in sound engineering affected your music tastes and/or reviewing?
Spyros: It has not affected so much my outlook on the quality of the production, so it does not mean that when I cannot listen to the old Darkthrone albums anymore. I still consider that sometimes certain bands or artists do require a more rough production, something that would not be as polished, for instance, staying with my Darkthrone example, I cannot imagine Transylvanian Hunger with a pristine production.
However, sound engineering in general got me into more experimental music and artists that would try and push the boundaries of what is supposed to be the norm sonically. So I think it had a great influence in me becoming more open-minded about the music I listen to.
SPB/Loren: Who's your dream interviewee?
Scott: Well that's a tough question, years ago it would have been George Harrison but due to unforeseen circumstances that can't be arranged (unless you have some pull Loren). I think now it would be Peter Gabriel. My main interest in him would be centered around Genesis and his constant refusal to reunite with the rest of the gang and yet be willing to tour with Sting...
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