Audio

Sometimes I ambush interview bands (in this case, The Vaccines)

Back in the summer of 2011, right before the release of Band of the Day app, I decided that I wanted The Vaccines to be the very first band featured on the day the app launched. They had caught my attention when I was finishing up my MA degree in London the year before, and I had written a review of their EP as part of the application process for my job.

I saw that they were coming to San Francisco, so I reached out to their record label to try and set up an interview with the band. At the time, given that the app was unreleased, my request was (understandably) ignored. Nevertheless, I decided to prepare some questions anyway, banking on the chance to introduce myself to them directly at the show and get that interview.

I dragged my friend Jon, and after their sweat-inducing set we went outside to have a drink and catch some air. We spotted bassist Arni Arnason hanging out in the same area, so Jon prodded me to just go over and talk to them. As extroverted as I appear to be, I actually hate approaching people. I’m completely comfortable chatting to people when they approach me, but I find that making initial contact with a stranger brings up a lot of anxiety. But I also knew that I really wanted to get that interview.

So I took a deep breath, quickly downed the rest of the liquid courage that was in my hand, walked straight over to him and said, “Hey! I’m Amanda. Can I ambush interview you?”

He gave a bemused chuckle and said, “Sure, as long as you don’t ask boring questions.” I promised that he wouldn’t be bored because, if I’m truly confident about one thing, it’s that I’m not a boring person. And this is the conversation that followed:

Listening back to it four years later, I can’t help but self-criticize on a few bits (“You respond with the word ‘nice’ too much!”; “Your voice sounds really weird there!”), but overall it warms my heart that I have audio documentation of where I started from in that first year of working on Band of the Day app. I came into the role with very little professional experience and, today, on the very last day of the app’s existence, I now have 4.5 years of a crash course into working in both the music and tech startup industries.

Oh, and I’m happy to report that I finally got clearance to feature The Vaccines in the app. 

Playlist: Global Fund For Women

Last month, my friend JP Pineda, who runs JRNE Artist Management, reached out to me to collaborate on a female-powered playlist for an event put on by a really cool organization called Global Fund For Women. One of his artists, the Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Carolyn Malachi, was a key part of their #hackgirlsrights campaign.

Meant to post this earlier, but better late than never! Enjoy! :)

JRNE: Global Fund for Women Playlist

Sound is the Word

A #MusicMonday shout out (loud) to Sweden indie pop darlings, Shout Out Louds, and their track that inspired the title of this blog.

I thought this was going to be a quick post, before realizing that this track only appears on the Scandinavian release of their album, Howl Howl Gaff Gaff (2005), and thus was impossible to track down on Spotify and YouTube. Luckily the good folks over at I Crave That Sound had the Soundcloud link available. Ahhh…and all is right with the world.

P.S. Sandy Hayashi, if you’re reading this, remember when we interviewed them for Visionz in 2007?

My Freshman Year Of Life

I just wanted to take a moment to give a huge shout out to Nathalie Cazeau over from the amazing website, My Freshman Year Of Life.

Earlier today, she reached out to me with the most heartwarming LinkedIn message I’ve ever received, which was prompted by my post from a couple days ago.

Seriously, I was on the verge of tears myself after reading this! So I took a look through her website, and saw what an incredible resource it is for those of you who are still on your journey to figuring out post-college life/your career paths (a.k.a. the dreaded quarter-life crisis). As she says in her About section:

This blog focuses on embracing the journey to your success. Whether you are pursuing your dream career, trying to build a business, or relocating to a new city, the first couple of months out of college are not easy. In fact, they can be downright unbearable. But don’t fret! The highs and lows of life make you stronger and they make the journey all the more memorable.

It’s definitely worth following, no matter if you’re unemployed or have already established a career path. There’s always room to grow, and to be inspired by what other people are doing in life. I dunno about you guys, but oftentimes when I hear about extremely successful people who are at the top of their field, I feel completely intimidated; like I’m personally not capable of achieving that level of success.

What sets My Freshman Year Of Life apart from other career-focused blogs, and what excites me the most, is that it’s all about being transparent about the struggles you have to endure to become successful, while simultaneously giving intelligent and manageable solutions to work through those struggles.

And to end this on a semi-unrelated note, I was listening to Porter Robinson while reading her message so I thought it’d be fitting to dedicate “Fresh Static Snow” to My Freshman Year Of Life :)

#StayFresh