In this age of fake news and click-bait journalism, it’s a welcome relief to be able to revisit a time when covering a story actually meant talking to someone.
In a career that has spanned two decades, Cream founding editor Antonino Tati knows a thing or two about getting a scoop the old-fashioned way. Though it might come as a surprise to younger readers who have come to value their own opinion above all else, Tati uses the art of conversation – as well as the pointed question – to get a story going.
It is a skill that has served him well in his dealings with the music industry, and what better way to show it off than in a book? There’s your quote, mate (a line taken from a Nick Cave interview published in the book) is an anthology of Tati’s most memorable verbal pokes and prods with artists from the international music scene, from veterans like Nick Cave, Dave Grohl and Patti Smith to contemporary icons like Calvin Harris, Ellie Goulding and Adam Lambert.
Going through its pages, one is immediately struck by how much times have changed when it comes to what you can and cannot say in the media. The early interviews in the ’90s often provide the most candid moments, whereas you can sense the conversational shutters starting to come down in the later exchanges (eg: with Charli XCX). In this respect, the book can be read as a fascinating historical account of political correctness in the media. Where once, artists were willing to open up about sex, drugs and rock’n’roll, the media-trained response has now started to creep in.
If you are the sort of person who loves their entertainment news but are bored with all the bland coverage, then this is the book for you. For no matter how cagey the subject, Tati always manages to find an interesting angle. Chris Prindiville
‘There’s your quote, mate’ is out through New Holland Publishers RRP $29.99 and available online at Amazon, Angus & Robertson, Barnes & Noble, Booktopia, Diabolik Books & Records, Dymocks and other book outlets. Or order online here.