Christofer Drew of Never Shout Never has never been one to stay quiet about how he feels on any topic. Once again, that became very clear in a brand new interview with Bryan Stars, a 22 year old music interviewer with a knack for silly questions and a very loose style of conversation.
In the interview (which is a a whopping 40+ minutes long), Drew takes the opportunity to tell Bryan exactly how he feels about his technique and his choice of questions. He quite obviously hurt Bryan’s feelings. That much is concluded from the short crying scene edited into the tail end of the interview.
The fan reaction has been overwhelmingly one-sided as Drew loses followers on Twitter and bands call him out in disrespect, instead showing their support for Bryan.
Now, we are NOT taking sides on this issue. That must be made perfectly clear. That being said, we’d like to take an unbiased look at the interview and what was said. Here it goes…
Clearly Drew and his bandmates are not thrilled to do this interview. That is obvious right off the bat. While Chris does not always have the most positive demeanor, he took an annoyed stance right from the start. Going into a Bryan Stars interview isn’t exactly a surprise when it comes to the questions being asked, but normally a band member or band members take it for what it is.
Bryan dives right into his normal slew of silliness with questions like, “What would your porn star name be?” or “What is your favorite feature on Chris’ body?” This is where I’m normally reminded that I’m not a big fan of Bryan’s interview technique and I find something else to do (without comment). I think that same idea begins to cross the band’s mind. To be fair, though, Chris does say from the start, ever subtly, that they wish to talk about music, not silly things. In fact, throughout the entire interview, Drew keeps dropping hints that they should be talking about music, even referencing that they are in the studio. Bryan seemingly ignores these transitions and continues to ask his humor-filled queries.
At about 35 minutes into the video, Bryan is quieted by the now extremely annoyed Christofer Drew who begins to berate Stars for his interview tactics. This is the controversy. Is Drew in the right or is he being overly critical? Again, here is our unbiased opinion.
He is both right and wrong. Going into a Bryan Stars interview means one thing, pointless banter and irrelevant questions. Being their second interview, this must come as no surprise. I think they knew this going in and they had plans to speak up about it. Now, on Drew’s defense, Bryan Stars interviews are rather pointless. Despite saying in most interviews that it’s “all about the music,” Stars really does talk very little about music, rather focusing on questions surrounding teen love or physical appearance.
From a journalistic standpoint, this is rather rude and disrespectful to any band looking for a good outlet to share their passion for music to new people. In music, the focus SHOULD be on music and the process that goes into making it, not skinny jeans and haircuts. This is the point Drew drives home, but in a fashion that left much to be desired. He could have done this off camera, for one. That is just courtesy, even if you are annoyed. They also could have at any time simply stopped the interview, then told him why they decided to do so.
Instead, the bashed him on his own show and Stars, who likely knew the sympathy hits and interview like this would bring, posted it for all of his fans to see. Heck, the man trended world-wide on Twitter over the ordeal. It’s here we find issue with Stars. Sure, being honest and true to your fans is important, but starting drama by posting this isn’t the sort of attention you want. When it is “all about the music,” why would you want to hurt the musicians you were originally trying to help promote, even in the style Stars does it in. Sure, they made a fool out of you on your own dime (he drove 7 hours to do the interview), but if you take the arrogance and bitterness out of their words, you’re left with a good lesson.
This industry, beyond the music, is based in professionalism. Interviews require preparation, careful research, and intelligent questioning. That is what gets you noticed as a credible source of information. Perhaps that isn’t Bryan Stars’ intent, maybe he is fine with the goofiness and lack of reporting. That’s up to him, but what this interview really tells us is that some bands want their fans to know what’s going on, not what sort of underwear they choose to wear and why. Both sides have reasons to be upset at the other party, but we don’t appreciate the drama of young adults storming our timelines.
Watch the interview for yourself right below and give us your educated thoughts. Was Chris right to call out Bryan? (skip to 35 minutes if you’re on a time constraint)
EDIT: After reading reading through comments defending either party or calling out myself on bias towards either party, I’d like to say this.
I really think that NSN and their publicist (who likely set it up, not Drew himself) should have declined the interview or just asked it to end in a professional way. What they did to Bryan was very rude and discourteous. At the same time, however, despite his good intentions and unconventional style of interviewing, Bryan should have just scrapped the interview. Publishing it makes him no better than Christofer Drew.
Everyone has bad interviews sometimes, I have, other writers on Under The Gun, Absolutepunk, and AltPress have, it’s a part of industry life. Not everything goes the way you’d like it to. Bryan himself says that in his video and I fully agree. I think he understands. I think it’s better to learn from an interview like this one though, rather than “finishing it” with a few shots of you crying over it. That isn’t anyway to go about it. That doesn’t help anyone. It can only hurt. Sometimes you have to deal with jerk musicians or maybe they are just having a bad day, but in cases like that, you move on to the next interview and keep doing your thing, you grow. Maybe you even do things a bit different next time.
In short, the video shouldn’t have been posted, Chris’ people should have told him no, and we could continue just liking or disliking them for their music or interviews, not for ridiculous dramatic reasons like those that unfolded this week. On that, I think we can all agree.
Thanks for reading.