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"How To Get the Best Results 

from your 

TV/Radio Interviews"

  This is where you demonstrate that you have the makings of a Songwriting Super-Star

~Dec tells the secrets that give you Media success~


Do you know what is expected and what you have to deliver?

Free|tips writing acting|music|producing|songwriting  A radio interview for a songwriter can happen very early in your career .... when you least expect it ... suddenly there you are sitting in front of a microphone knowing that 6 Million record buying people will judge whether they buy your soon to be released track.  And they will judge it on how they like you in the interview .... not on the quality of the bass playing or the string line 10 seconds from the end of the track.

Your songwriting may be brilliant.  In fact the song writing of the band can be right up there with Coldplay ... up there with Emminem .... but that first interview on your songwriting for the top rated Radio station could kill your career in ten seconds.  I hope you are listening and taking all this in.  The songwriting is only a small part of your journey to the top.

My First Radio Interview?

Free|tips writing acting|music|producing|songwriting  I well remember my first radio interview ... I was all of 15 years ... at school .... interviewed for an American Radio Talent search ... top stuff?  Yep, but my accent, my delivery ... yuck!

I was smart enough to say to myself:  "that will never happen again".

And it didn't.

How Dec started as a kid with a mouthorgan

Or was I 12?  Yes this was me in the middle - 
on the promotion shot for my first Radio Programme

In the USA

Free|tips writing acting|music|producing|songwriting  In the USA managements, agents etc. will school their artists and songwriters in the art of interviews. They will enlist the help of PR people to design song writing questions and answers so the artists have got a memorized list of great lines.... in the UK this does not happen for songwriters or artists and I would think not in Europe.

Question: Are any of you married?

Answer: Why, are you proposing?

Question: I heard you once went out with Madonna?

Answer: In my dreams .... or was it in my nightmares?

So what are the main rules?

Free|songwriting tips, writing acting|music|producing|songwriting  The main point to understand is that someone in a car will simply turn on the interview and will not have a clue who you are, who the interviewer is ... what the station is etc.- so the smart move is to mention your own name every 30 secs.... there is an art to this .... also mention the name of the station and the name of the presenter .... all of this scores. 

The subtle art of mentioning your own name is to simply say your own name instead of 'I'.

So, for instance, if you are saying:

"When I go to the USA on tour, I......etc."

You say:

"When Dec Cluskey [substitute your name obviously] goes to the USA on tour he .....etc."  

Easy?  It sounds stupid and ridiculous ... but it gets results ... and isn't that what you want from any Interview? Do you want to be a successful song writer?  You go from being a usual, run of the mill songwriter, writing songs that go nowhere to being a sought after name in songwriting ... the more you mention your name the more people get to know who you are...... a 'force' in the art of songwriting.

Free|tips writing acting|music|producing|songwriting  If the interview is conducted by phone, always have an A4 pad in front of you with the details on .... interviewer name, Station etc. Constantly write down anything you may wish to refer back to ... it's amazing how quick your brain will forget the most important points .... your song writing ... the number of songs you have written, your songwriting successes ... who you are writing a song for at the moment .


By the way, this is where you have to fake it until you really are a songwriting force to reckon with.

"You would be amazed at who Dec Cluskey [your name again] is writing for .... I have been sworn to secrecy by his record company and managements ... but watch the music press for the announcement".

A white lie?  No one really cares ... the interviewer certainly doesn't - because he probably uses the same technique himself!

Free|tips writing acting|music|producing|songwriting  Be prepared with 3 extremely funny anecdotes [stories of happenings] each of differing length about your songwriting, your stage appearances etc. At the first opportunity launch into the first one, the shortest, and make it sound as if it has just happened and happened to you personally: "you may have heard I fell off stage at ***** and was carted off to hospital .. caused quite a sensation .... when the doctor x-rayed the injury to my wrist I asked him would I be able to play guitar the next day" ... he said: "of course" ... I said: "that's amazing because I can't play the guitar now!"

There are literally dozens and dozens of stories that can be subtly twisted so that they come over as true events that happened to you.

BEWARE: Under no circumstances try to be funny .... you will fail miserably ... leave the jokes to comedians. You are an artist, a songwriter. Truisms, delivered straight, without any attempt to be funny come over the best and get the biggest reaction.

"Singers sing, comics talk"

Never get that mixed up!

Remember what you are there for

Free|tips writing acting|music|producing|songwriting  .... to plug whatever it is you are plugging .... particularly your songwriting ... this is so important, as the interviewer will have no interest in what you want to plug ... in fact some Radio stations actively prevent plugging.

Try to be controversial

Free|tips writing acting|music|producing|songwriting ..... that way you are considered to an exciting music guy, a great songwriting talent and will be asked back .... a good trick is to accidentally [on purpose] use an almost swear word ... and quickly apologize .... "oh that bit will be edited out!" is a great line.  It never is, by the way, even if it is recorded ... if it is on mainstream nationwide radio you could even reach the newspapers and certainly the station news bulletins. 

Have a different point of view  

Free|tips writing acting|music|producing|songwriting  .... "John Lennon should have lived and his music should have died".  An outrageous statement, but one that will get you noticed .... "If John had been asked to play a tribute concert to Paul McCartney would he have sung 'The Frog Song'?"

I have been on London's 'Talk Radio' loads of times and slagged off The Beatles .... my band actually outsold them in 1964/65.  I always get asked back whenever there is anything controversial to talk about ... they know I will cause fireworks.

The 'buy' line:

Free|tips writing acting|music|producing|songwriting  Finally - always have a sign off line: "this is Dec Cluskey, the greatest songwriter in the world, London, saying goodbye ... and don't forget - live every day as if it's your last.... and one day you'll be right!" .  That may sound outrageous ... but said with a twinkle in your eye, and a smile on your face, it will certainly get you noticed...they WILL remember you.

Realizing that all the best ad libs are rehearsed ad libs is important ... the music guys who sound so 'cool' and so relaxed are the ones who have done their home work and are well prepared.


Free|tips writing acting|music|producing|songwriting  Practice the art of addressing the interviewer as 'Sir' .... if you get this art correct, it sounds wonderful and brings you over as an extremely courteous and nice person.

It means that you can be outrageous, in yer face and yet come over as a nice guy... just by using 'Sir'.

Dec Says: By far the best place to learn talking skills is at 'Toastmasters International' - a world wide circle of folk interested in talking, whether making speeches or simple presentations ... or just being able to hold a conversation.  I advise everyone who will listen to join your local Toastmasters Chapter .... check out your nearest at  http://www.toastmasters.org/.. It is non profit making, they meet every second Wednesday 7pm to 9pm ... you will meet astonishing people and become a speaking force to reckon with.

How do you get on the radio or TV?

Free|tips writing acting|music|producing|songwriting   Simple!  You just ask!  Easy?  If you send a good press release, set out in a professional way announcing something important maybe on your song writing ["Local boy gets to write songs for the Stars"] with a good picture and all the contact details ... address, land line phone number [essential], cellphone, fax [not essential but looks good], Email, Web URL  ... SKYPE contact [again not essential but good].

They will either want you or not.  Call them a couple of days after you send.  At worst they can put you on their list of intelligent music guys that they can get in the studio when a controversial album is released and they want someone controversial to mouth off about it ... could that be you? 

For TV it is essential that you look good ... so make sure the picture is 'today' ... taken professionally with a soft lens.

Be prepared to sing live:

Free|tips writing acting|music|producing|songwriting   And I do mean anytime, any place.  Part of being a 'today' artist is being able to sing live, possibly with an acoustic guitar, or maybe a single keyboard.  Perhaps they will even ask you to sing accapella ... after all you wrote the songs? You are a songwriter?

Do not freak out, just do it.  Be aware that if they ask you, it means they had Justin Timberlake in last week and he did it!

I saw 'Red Hot Chili Peppers' on American Music Awards and they did exactly what I advise all to do .... every member of the band find something to do .... bang an ashtray in a rhythm, drummer do mouth-drums .... tap dance with your feet [a current big trend in Hip Hop] ... do back vocals ... and whatever you do, PRACTICE doing it cold with no mics. and no P.A.  Have faith in the sound engineer... he WILL make you sound good.

  Me on the biggest radio programme in Spain - Mary Harboe ... stories ready

But all guys in The Serious Writers Guild know about this most important skill....you want to learn it?

Simply purchase the ten month programme 'How To Make A $Million From Your Music' at 

With practice, and my help, you can learn ALL the tricks ... I have listed just a few above.  As a member of The Serious Writers Guild, you can also talk to me personally so that you can be fully prepared for the big day ... your FIRST major interview on Telly or on Mainstream Radio as a successful [or soon to be] songwriting genius... I will tell you exactly how to come over as the greatest songwriter in the world ... how to show the world your song writing is the best!  Youíll learn to appreciate, and look forward to interviews rather than dread them.

The idea for this article was from songwriting members of The Serious Writers Guild.  It gives an idea of the benefits of belonging to the Guild.  You can join simply by purchasing the ten month programme 'How to Make A $Million From Your Music' at www.makehits.co.uk/swgappsecure.htm

This Article was written by Dec Cluskey

Email a question? contact@makehits.com

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