While the work must speak for itself, sometimes it helps to get inside the head of its creator and have him/her fill in the blanks in his/her own words. Interviews allow readers to get to know musicians, directors, authors, and other artists and intellecuals more intimately, offering insight into the creative process, the themes of a work, and/or the personalities of the creators themselves. PopMatters endeavors to bring its readers interviews with those groups and individuals responsible for producing some of the most interesting work in contemporary culture, from the famous to those working on the fringes. Editor Devon Powers works with PopMatters writers from all over the spectrum to offer questions and answers that get to the heart of their subject and display the minds and attitudes of those who are making cultural history as it happens. The interviews below represent the variety of genres and media covered in this section, and each offers an example of smart writers asking quality questions that result in fascinating explorations of our culture and our world.
PopMatters Editors’ Picks
Interview with Roy Ayers
By Matt Rogers
The success of this interview probably depends largely on how interesting Ayers is, but Rogers keeps up with him. Rogers stays professional and friendly, and that probably helps Ayers speak so well. They cover quite a bit of interesting ground, here.
Interview with Roberta Bayley
By Charlotte Robinson
Bayley has a wealth of knowledge about the ‘70s punk scene, and she shares freely, providing an early example of the wide reach that PopMatters interviews cover.
Interview with Grandmaster Flash
By Matt Cibula
Sometimes the best interviews come out of a good writer; other times an interesting subject. But when you have both, it’s a great combination and it plays out well. This review is such an example, as Cibula and Grandmaster Flash talk about the early days.
Interview with Richard Stevens III
By Patrick Schabe
A discussion of the foundling media form webcomics, this interview with Stevens is an exploration of a medium’s birth and the place it holds in Internet culture and the comics industry. The article is one example of PopMatters’ commitment to exploring even the fringes of culture and the media.
Interview with Ben Kweller
By Matt Gonzales
Gonzales typifies how to keep an interview both conversational and stylistically interesting. The casual style conceals how carefully written the feature is, and exemplifies how PopMatters interviews work to capture their subjects as they are.
Interview with Henry Rollins
By Nikki Tranter
When you interview a personality like Rollins, you never know exactly what to expect. In this piece, Tranter really gets him talking and the interview itself is informative and delves deeply into Rollins’s political activities.
Interview with Spike Lee
By Cynthia Fuchs
Fuchs knows her subject and builds a rapport, revealing a compelling picture of the artist and his work.
Interview with Les Paul
By Matt Cibula
Undeniably, what makes this interview so much fun is Paul’s own spry and self-effacing sense of humor, but it’s also a credit to Cibula that he’s able to evoke it and then capture it in words.
Interview with Interpol
By Jon Garrett
One of the best things about this review is how well it anticipated the impending success of Interpol. The timing of this interview shows how well placed PopMatters is to anticipate potential success stories.