detail from the interview for the job of Assistant Editor, Melody Maker, 1992
The following exchange took place between myself and IPC Magazines music editor-in-chief Alan Lewis in the Stamford Arms, lunchtime. (It wasn’t really an ‘interview’, as such: my editor Allan Jones had already guaranteed me the job.)
Alan Lewis picked up a copy of the previous week’s issue that he’d brought with him, and turned to my interview with Boston band Come (a photo drop-in on the cover).
“Your opening question is ‘What is your favourite shape?’, Everett. Isn’t that a little pretentious?”
I looked him straight in the eye.
“How is that pretentious, Alan? I took it from that week’s Smash Hits.”
“Your second question, Everett, is ‘What is your favourite colour?’ …” Alan began a little nervously.
I got the job
Alan Lewis was also on the ‘panel’ (of two people) interviewing me for the job of VOX editor a few years later in 1997. The interview took place the morning after the party to announce the launch of Uncut magazine the night before. It was also the evening of the general election: the one that the Labour party managed to get back into power after 18 years. I commandeered a taxi at about 11pm somewhere near Holborn, and paid them 150 quid to take me back to Brighton. Passing Victoria station, I had a change of heart and alighted from the cab to catch the last train home. (No, I didn’t get a refund.) I’m not saying I was drunk, but it took me over two hours to get home – a walk of about 20 minutes. I didn’t sleep. I remember falling out of my bed – an antique Victorian frame, four feet above the ground – and nearly braining myself.
During the ‘interview’, I spoke extremely fast for 25 minutes and presented a 100-page SWOT analysis document detailing VOX magazine’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats etc. If anything, Alan and – I believe – NME/Melody Maker/VOX publisher Robert Tame were in an even worse state than me.
I got the job.