With allegations that Carl Craig personally intervened to ban journalist Annabel Ross from reviewing Movement Festival for Mixmag still not being denied by anyone involved, Ears To The House poses a question. Is it standard practice for the dance music press to pander to the whims of egotistical DJs who think they’re more important than everyone else – or is this just a wider music industry thing?
The consensus at HQ is that the music press has always been a little soft towards the subjects they write about, but that the problem has got worse in the digital age. We believe the problem is worse in dance music, partly due to the fact the genre has always been more ahead of the curve technically and was ready to embrace the internet earlier.
But who better to ask for his thoughts than The Insider himself? He started by saying “The world has changed. In the 90s, it was all about personal relationship – DJs and journalists would get to know each other, and it was a mutually beneficial arrangement. It was much more about whether they liked who wanted to interview them. Nowadays, the scene is more professional. To get an interview these days, you have to go through networks of PR people, managers and editors, all with their own agenda.”
“These people all impose their own rules, including what they can be asked, where the interview takes place, even things like what drinks and refreshment will be provided. These things cost money, which means more senior heads have to get involved to clear those hurdles, taking even more time. Some interviews which could have been arranged with a quick phone call years ago can now take months to do.”.
Could the dance press do anything about this state of affairs? The Insider went on “As much as I love Ears To The House, you guys don’t rely on the same networks they do. The dance press get big interviews with big names, because they’re not going to rock the boat. You don’t give a s*** whether the people you’re writing about like you, which is fine for a site like yours – but Resident Advisor questioning DJs about plague raves would mean p***ing off the artist or the publicist who made the interview possible, and that means no more interviews.”
“It’s tricky. Sure, a magazine could turn down an interview, but someone else could probably jump in and get it. To change the culture, everyone would have to say no. If that happened and all the interview opportunities dried up, I suppose the PR people would have to give up some control, but I’m not sure how willing they’d be to do that.”
“The editors at the dance media aren’t entirely happy with the situation either, believe it or not – and they do occasionally try to fight it. But they ultimately have little control over the process anymore.”
Explains a few things doesn’t it?