July 27, 2009

The List of Silly Questions

Have you eaten everything off the Denny’s menu?

During my 20+ year radio career, I had the absolute privilege of conducting over five hundred artist interviews. The biggest were the most nerve wracking but for the most part the easiest to chat with once you got rolling. They had done this before.

Do you double down on 16?

They knew you knew they knew you knew who they were. It was the snotty arrogant half-song no names that were the crap shoot.

Then there were the bands and artists that were boring – or at least to me.

I had done this enough times that it became apparent that I needed to make the process more interesting to me and hopefully to the audience.

What was the first album you bought?

Think of the conversations you have with the people you just meet. Your drinks haven’t arrived and you have to say something. Work chat is easy but is that all you got?

How many shirts do you own?

So in my interview days, I developed the list of silly questions. Silly may have been a harsh word because there were some serious ones in there and this was a place to put the topics unrelated to the artists’ work.

Did your father own a train set?

The list of silly questions where those gems that brought real life in to the interview. Rock stars do live in the real world; they have families and drive cars and have dreams and all that was represented on the list.

Can you name your grade three teacher?

So, necessity invented the list of silly questions. Over its lifetime, it grew with topics that spanned as wide as the human mind and beyond. Everyone participated and the answers were priceless.

What is your favorite day of the week? Why?

At the end, there were hundreds of questions. Some of the most fun came from those brief moments at the end of each interview.

As the chatter increases around social media, something you may want to pay close attention to is your ability to navigate social situations. Once past the blogs and tweets, we eventually have to operate real human interaction.

Can you take the conversation past shop talk?
Do you know the circumference of the earth?

knealemann at gmail dot com

Let’s create experiences, not campaigns.

image credits: 3dissue.com | vosibilities.com

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