Ten months ago, right after having interviewed Simon Posford at Looney Moon\Maitake Production Space Distortion party at Ranch, we found ourselves with some peculiar material, an interview that turns upside down, an interview in which the interviewer becomes the interviewee and viceversa. An interview in which, apparently, roles are reversed. At first, before viewing it, I thought it was more a filmed conversation rather than an interview…
So, we firstly privileged the written and printed interview because it was obviously easier to cut and edit (published on Mushroom Magazine), but also because this interview is somehow unusual and different from other interviews we have conducted over the years. In fact, after a long part in which Simon talks about his projects such as Hallucinogen, Shpongle and Younger Brother and answers my questions in a real “Lord” manner, he suddenly takes the lead and becomes himself the interviewer, asking absurd questions or maybe, as he says, “just the questions people want to hear”.
He starts joking and twisting the conversation so to make it become more of a dialogue, an exchange of non-sense words and interesting anecdotes rather than a flat, monodirectional oral exchange. This is the nightmare of most interviewers or, at least, one of my nightmares. I am curious and interested in knowing and in being overwhelmed by words, ready to ask difficult questions and to deviate the course of answers so to follow my threads but sometimes I am not ready to expose myself, especially when referring to personal stuff. But I guess people are just too bored of always having to answer to the same kind of questions and to look serious, committed and truly professional.
Shit Simon! Seeing my face on video wasn’t easy at first, as I rather always be out of the picture and I, maybe mistakenly, view interviews as almost monologues and not as conversations. But an interview IS actually a conversation and, as it is crystal clear in this one, a mutual oral exchange allow for deeper exchange and for establishing a relation between the two talkers that eventually results into a wider opening of the interviewee’s personality and probably serves more the interviewer’s purpose than a simple question\answer interview.
When I talk about the interviewer’s external role I do not consider his\her role as being passive, not at all. I do believe in challenging questions and in the fact that the interviewer’s role MUST be active, not only because interviewees too often say what they want and actually don’t say nothing at all, but mostly because the interviewer’s function is to question the interviewee and to put him\her in position of having doubts, correcting him\herself and not simply talking about him\herself or his\her work in an academic manner.
As for this specific encounter, at first the mutual exchange disconcerted me because I felt I was not in the position to take part, with my inner thoughts, to the conversation. I then realized Simon was “using” me to talk about himself and eventually served my purpose…
As I said, the postproduction was harder than imagined; firstly editing reasons such as how to render the reversion of roles and how to produce a user-friendly video that wouldn’t be too long nor only addressed to Simon Posford and Chill Out music’s fans. This is why we decided to create two medium-length videos and to report the two parts of the interview (both the part in which Simon is the interviewee and the one he becomes the interviewer) in both videos. Then, technical problems. Customizing subtitles was a hard job, but luckly for me Allume managed to solve them all…to check out how he solved this and many other problems, click here.
This interview is more interesting than what I thought it would be, there are parts that make me laugh each time I watch it, even now that, after conducting it, viewing it a thousand times, editing and subtitling it, I know it almost by heart.
Simon Posford is a funny guy, deeply committed to his “personal quest” into musical research and strongly distinct from any other artist not only for his ear and his musical style, but also and mostly for his personality…wit, charm and irony in the looks of a unique stylish dandy with a British accent.