How to give a great radio interview – tips by Wade Sutton



This piece was originally published onto the site ‘Rocket to the Stars’ and written by Wade Sutton who is introduced in the following manner: Wade Sutton is the creator and director of Rocket to the Stars, a professional development service designed to help people seeking careers in commercial music.  He has spent nearly two decades serving as news director and morning newscaster for three radio stations near Pittsburgh. 

Considering his radio experience we think that his tips for artist radio interviews are worth sharing. The full post can be found here.

Radio interviews are tools for you to promote your act, website, and show

For most artists, the number one reason why they’re doing a radio interview, is because they’ve got new releases, gigs or other activities going on – activities that they first and foremost want to promote. So don’t sit back and lose focus, make sure to make at least a few straightforward mentions of whatever it is that you want people to go see, buy or listen to.

Have a mental list of things you can talk about and stories you can tell

Before an interview, pick a few good stories that you want to tell and make up your mind about how you should tell them. That funny thing that happened the last time you played a show, or a good story to illustrate what the last single is really about. Once you know what to say, practice how to say it!

Leave nothing to chance

Just you being good doesn’t guarantee a good interview. Make sure that the interviewer also knows what to do. Familiarize yourself with him or her and provide the interviewer with a few topics or questions that can be discussed (that would of course be topics you’ve already got great stories about).

Warm up your voice prior to the interview

Makes sense, actually. Opening with some heavy coughing and a throat-ripping growl might not give the best impression. Wade also points out that a voice-opening singing exercise before entering the studio is not a bad thing.

Learn the art of changing the subject

Sooner or later, you will find yourself in a situation where want to change the subject during an interview. The reasons can be many, but it’s a skill that will come in handy in many situations. It’s not the easiest skill to master though, and it does take some practice. But fortunately you can always take it from the masters – just watch any interview with a politician!

Say hello to all of your sponsors

Wade puts it like this: “That one is self-explanatory.” That’s why your sponsors are there to begin with. Although, this could perhaps be taken with a grain of American salt…