Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Other Side with The Red Alert's Adam McKibbin

It was May of 2005 when journalist Adam McKibbin, unveiled his interview with Shearwater's Jonathan Meiburg as the first post on the “indie-centric” music blog, The Red Alert. Over the years, the website has evolved to incorporate interviews with indie A-listers such as Weezer, Band of Horses, Dr. Dog, The Album Leaf, The Black Keys, Iron & Wine, Passion Pit, and The Thermals, as well as filmmaker turned recording artist turned “experimenter,” David Lynch. The Red Alert, which hails as a “Music, Politics and Progression” forum, has more recently expanded to include album reviews and Mp3 posts to highlight the independent artists they love, while helping the “casual music fan” sift through the overwhelming amount of music available at the click of a mouse.

We managed to track down The Red Alert’s Adam McKibbin in between his own interview sessions to find out what it’s like to be on the other side:

Green Light Go: What makes The Red Alert different from other websites?
Adam McKibbin: We're really DIY, so it took a few years to find professional web design. We update The Red Alert weekly and since there's no pretense to cover everything, that frees us up to cover anything we want, whether it's Arcade Fire, a weirdo electronic album, a comedy DVD, or a book about the war in Burma.

GLG: Do you think The Red Alert has a specific musical niche?
AM: Not really, although we generally (but not exclusively) huddle under the broad umbrella of "indie."

GLG: What contemporary albums are you looking forward to coming out?
AM: We're in the odd time of the year where we're besieged by gift box sets and holiday albums and, of course, a lot of hip-hop and R&B. Like everyone with an internet connection, I'll check out the new Kanye West and Cee-Lo, but I'm also a fan of Ne-Yo, and I have a soft spot for Rihanna. I'll definitely get Apparat's installment of DJ-Kicks, as well as the EPs by Liars and The Tallest Man on Earth. On the box set front, the Orange Juice box should be pretty cool.

GLG: How does The Red Alert support independent music and what is important about doing so?
AM: We seriously consider music from all corners. The elephant in the room in regards to "indie music," though, is that a lot of [indie rock] is really bad. I think the utility of mp3 blogs and indie-centric sites like ours is to be a bit of a curator for the casual music fan - because otherwise, it can be pretty overwhelming for someone who doesn't obsess over music 24/7.

GLG: Do you think online publications are taking precedence over print magazines? What kind of effect do you think that has on bands?
AM: That's certainly the direction we're headed, although I would imagine most bands hoping to make the A-list would still rather be on the cover of Rolling Stone than the homepage of Pitchfork. The variety of outlets is a very good thing, certainly, and allows communities to easily form around the most obscure of sub-sub-genres. In terms of reaching an audience and forging relationships, it's a great time to be in a band. In terms of spending a million dollars on a video shoot, however...[that’s another story].

GLG: What blogs/publications do you read other than your own?
AM: Daytrotter is a must-visit for me. Some of my other favorites, musically speaking, are Said the Gramophone, Large-Hearted Boy, The Fader, RCRD, Rollo & Grady, Muzzle of Bees, and I Am Fuel, You Are Friends. I also check Pitchfork, Stereogum and PopMatters.

GLG: If you could interview any musician or band (dead or alive), who would it be?
AM: Well, it would be hard to turn down an interview with any of the dead icons, from Elvis to Beethoven to Cobain to Coltrane to Lennon. Sam Cooke is a personal favorite. I'd love to interview Bob Dylan, but I would probably be better off with Leonard Cohen. On a more plausible level, I've always wanted to interview Okkervil River's Will Sheff, but haven't had the opportunity yet, as well as Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, Tom Waits, Thom Yorke, Beyonce, and Eddie Vedder.

GLG: If you could be in any band (of all time), who would you rock with?
AM: I'd transport my 6th grade self into the middle of Metallica.


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