Interviewing musicians for Cookies Youth Magazine

These are two short pieces for my third memoir. It will be about my writing experiments.

Heinz Riegler – Not From There

I met Heinz Riegler from Not From There at my local shops. I am ashamed to say that I went back a few times, a hand-held voice recorder in hand, hoping to find and interview him.

When I did get to talk to him, he was very nice to this 19 year old gushing over him. It must have been summer, surely, because I wore a bikini top. Got to say, I was aware that this was a bit of sexual manipulation, but thought that’s what women do to get ahead right? Show off your assets and smile so you’ll look good?

The poor thing was embarrassed to be cornered at such a private moment in his day. I was far too enthusiastic to care about whether he wanted to be interviewed. I felt like I was being proactive – giving things a go – making my own destiny. I ran a magazine and it was my job to interview people.

I almost ran home then spent ages trying to transcribe the audio. Unfortunately the Night Owl shops’ street noises were too loud. I got partial sentences with frustratingly frequent white noise. I am not sure why I didn’t write up an interview. Perhaps my memory was patchy, I was too overwhelmed with where to start, and definitely didn’t know how to bring his answers together. I had been relying on the audio recording to build the article. It is extremely likely that my brain just shut down because ‘It shouldn’t be like this. This is not right. I need that recording!’

Tim Steward – Screamfeeder

At the end, I asked if he could put me into contact with another musician. He suggested Tim Steward from Screamfeeder. He even gave me Tim’s home phone number! OMG, I have a rockstar’s phone number! I called Tim and set up a date and time for a telephone interview. I’d call from the place I was working, an insurance firm.

The night before the interview, something woke me up. A flatmate was watching the news. It sounded horrific. “We’re going to war” I thought. “America is going to fight them and Australia will follow.” I pictured us scampering along like a puppy dog, expecting praise and treats from America. The date was September 11 2001.

I went to work, but didn’t call Tim. It felt vain, irrelevant, and tacky. I called him a few days later. I apologised, and of course he understood. It felt like the world was spinning on a different axis now.

I was painfully aware of how nervous I was. My mind went blank so many times that I often started humming to stall for time. Next time, I decided, I’d write questions to choose from.