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19 Secrets Music Journalists Will Never Tell You

There's a lot less sex and drugs than you might think.

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1. Some band members assume you're there because you want to sleep with them.

HBO / Via

If you are, fair play to you, but it's frustrating when you're trying to do your job to not be taken seriously because of it.

2. And if you're a female music journalist, you lose count of the amount of times you're mistaken for "the girlfriend".


Or worse, a groupie.

3. Sometimes reviewers don't actually go to the show they're meant to be writing about.

Whether it's because they forgot, just got drunk, or couldn't be bothered.
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images / BuzzFeed

Whether it's because they forgot, just got drunk, or couldn't be bothered.

4. Some music journalists always think they're right, and get into arguments with the world's biggest rock stars.

Focus Features

It can mean they rarely get interviews or new exclusives as they've pissed the band off. Awks.

5. But bands talk, and reputations can be ruined quickly.

If you stab a band in the back or lie about them, word will soon get round and they will close ranks.

6. Every journalist has their favourite PR person who they can rely on.

Being nice to them makes life easier.

7. Some bands are easily annoyed by their fans.

20th Television

Bands are human and need privacy too. Sure, they're grateful they get to do this for a living but they hate meet-and-greets and fake enthusiasm.

8. If you interview a band you've idolised for years and they turn out to be utter arseholes, it's hard to listen to them again.



9. A surprising amount of magazines don't actually pay any more.

Disney–ABC Domestic Television

Due to so many people wanting to get into music journalism, editors get a lot of their content for free nowadays.

10. But the freebies can sometimes make up for it.

Free guest list entry to gigs, free festivals, free food at album-listening parties… Sure, it doesn't pay your rent, but it's fun.

11. Sometimes you find a band really early on in their career who you just know are going to be huge but your editor won't listen to you.


The satisfaction of saying "told you so" when they blow up takes the sting off a little.

12. There's a lot less sex and drugs than you might think.


In front of journalists, anyway. With Twitter and cameraphones, a scandal is only a click away, so bands are a lot more wary these days.

13. Every journalist has that horror story of the time they forgot to press "record".

Warner Bros. Television

When it happens it was always a brilliant interview, too.

14. Hardcore fans are a nightmare.


Walt Disney Pictures

When you write a less-than-glowing review you can expect a deluge of angry fan tweets defending their "boys".

15. Likewise, fans who spam magazines to feature a new band can do more harm than good.

Magazines can spot it a mile off when a fan club starts tweeting RELENTLESSLY at it to write about a band. It can make magazines want to do the opposite.

16. There's nothing worse than being offered an interview with a band only to find that it's an email interview.

MTV / Viacom Media Networks

17. Some journalists just ask the same questions to bands without listening to them first.

Do your damn research!
Getty Images / BuzzFeed

Do your damn research!

18. Former school "friends" can be THE WORST.

Embassy Pictures

People that were dicks at school suddenly want to be your BFF when a sold-out show rolls around that you're due to review. "Heeeeey, long time no speak!....Can you get me into the show/introduce me to the band?" NO.

19. It's never wise to befriend a band.

Columbia Pictures

The cliché from the film Almost Famous rings true. They're not your friends – be careful, otherwise you'll feel terrible if their next album is shit.

This is the experience of several people who have worked in the industry. Thank you to all who contributed.