If I had things my way, this site would feature a lot more artist/band interviews. It’s something I genuinely enjoy doing, and it’s also more of a challenge than you’d think. While I do ask a lot of “normal” or obligatory questions, my favorites are always the more creative ones that often take an artist off guard (in a good way). When an artist tells me that I’ve asked a question about something they’ve always wanted to talk about but never get the chance to, there’s a small twinge of happiness I get out of making that sort of connection with the music or the creative mind behind the music. That being said, I am not an interview whore. I don’t just go begging to do interviews with artists, nor do I agree to interview artists whose music I don’t wholly love and respect. I get emails all the time from people and bands, many of whom I’m happy to feature here on Pick Your Poison, curious if I’d like to interview them and talk more about their music. Please don’t be offended or angry if I either don’t respond or say no to your inquiries, because in addition to the things I’ve already outlined in this paragraph, I have very specific ground rules for any interviews I do. I don’t do interviews via email. The answers are often very choppy and unconversational, plus it gives the artist plenty of time to carefully script an answer to their liking. That lack of spontaneity is detrimental to interviews as an art form. Secondly, I don’t do phone interviews. While they carry the much better cache of being actual non-scripted conversation, the cellular telephone has yet to be perfected. Dropped calls and cutting out are a big part of that problem, but then even if you’ve got two land lines the whole thing is a hassle to record unless you’ve got professional equipment. So my policy on interviews is strictly in-person only. Surprisingly (or not), it’s not the easiest thing in the world to set up those kinds of interviews. Artists have schedules to keep, I’ve got a schedule to keep, and even if the stars do align it doesn’t always mean that if I ask they’ll say yes. In the history of this site, I’ve only featured about one artist interview a year courtesy of the points I’ve outlined above. Tomorrow I will be posting an interview I did this past Thursday with Marissa Nadler. Keep an eye out for that. It was great to do and I repeat that I’d do more if I could. Okay, onwards with your weekend-starting edition of Pick Your Poison. Tracks I can seal with my approval come from Apricot Rail, Bon Iver, Cymbals Eat Guitars, David Bazan, Dum Dum Girls, Gold Leaves, Her Space Holiday, Say Hi, Yellow Ostrich and Teen Daze. There’s so much to love here. Have a great weekend.