Musicians have their good days and their bad days just like anyone else, but unlike everyone else, when they’re having a shit day they still front up to talk to the media – sometimes to do nothing more than fulfil promotional obligations, causing more harm then good.

The worst case scenario eventuates when interviewers haven’t done any research, when musicians really couldn’t care less (maybe too many drugs induced), or the chat becomes borderline sexist or mean-spirited after a situation is completely misread, making things super, super awkward.

The following 11 worst case scenarios are the perfect examples. Maybe they would have had a better chance if there were well versed and taught in the art of media interviews such as those they offer at the Australian Institute of Music in Melbourne.

Pete Doherty – “What Sound Does A Heartstring Make?”

Heroine, crack, pot, and ketamine are sure to generate some short-term memory loss after extended abuse. In an interview with The Showbiz he was asked about being “visibly shaken when mentioning Kate Moss.” Remember, drugs are bad kids.

Killswitch Engage – “You Guys Are A Pandora Rip-Off”

This interview goes to show that if you give artists an inch, they’ll take a mile. Fact check and double fact check or be eaten alive and maybe when you’re struggling, try not to throw too many insults out there. This was the valuable lesson learnt by ‘Greg’ from, who funnily enough has never been heard from again.

Sigur Rós – Lost In Translation

Whether it’s the awkward silence and bemused looks at each other before commenting, or simply the terrible questions, this talking on NPR’s Bryant Park Project about how the Icelandic group developed their style was doomed from the start. It may have been better if Sigur Rós just said ‘we don’t speak English’.

Major Lazer – Awkward. Simply Awkward

Like we said, sometimes artists couldn’t give a fuck. During iHeartRadio‘s backstage interview at Lollapalooza last year, the interviewer asks “Who’s the most annoying person you’ve worked with in the last two years?” and Diplo answers “You.” …You get the gist.

James Brown – It’s A Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World

Clearly egged on by friends in the background, this CNN interview is possibly one of the strangest yet comical of all time. Back in 1988, after the Godfather Of Soul was arrested for beating his wife with a lead pipe and then shooting at her, Brown points out himself he has no problems… except for maybe coke.

Courtney And Madonna – “No. Please Don’t”

After Courtney Love starts throwing her shoes and make-up onto a platform where Kurt Loader is interviewing Madonna at the MTV Music Awards in the mid-90s, things only go downhill from there. As if to prove our point, drugs may have played their part in this bizarre scenario.

Snooki Grills Phoenix – “Do You Have Guidos In France?”

We don’t know what’s the worst thing about this interview. When Jersey Shore ‘star’ Snooki was handed a microphone at the 2010 Grammy Awards, she made the comparison between Phoenix frontman Thomas Mars and Twilight’s Robert Pattinson and asked the ‘serious’ questions, including what genre the band plays. Oh dear.

Beware Mr. Baker, A Grumpy Old Man

The first 30 seconds of the clip sets the scene perfectly. Legendary Cream drummer Ginger Baker is a cranky motherfucker, wasting no time in taking it out directly on the Guardian’s middle-aged, prim-and-proper Michael Hann. In the end he throws to the crowd for questions, just to sink his point home.

Clive Anderson Pushes The Bee Gees’ Boundaries

After a raft of condescending comments, British TV host Clive Anderson provokes Bee Gees leader Barry Gibb to the point where we he’s had enough. Mocking their high pitched singing voices and 70s fashion – in 1996 (we know, right?) – the look on Anderson’s face when the other two Gibbs join their brothers in walking out is priceless.

The Jesus And Mary Chain – “Oh God!”

Sitting back on the couch sipping booze from glasses in an interview on Belgian TV in 1986 , the Glaswegian shoegaze prototypes are happy to talk about themselves, just not Joy Division or the Sex Pistols. And watch as yet-to-be Primal Scream leader Bobbie Gillespie works his magic on an anonymous groupie.

Weezer’s River Cuomo “We’re Still Sleepy From Jetlag”

Sure, it was jetlag. On their inaugural tour to Australia, geek rock pioneers Weezer stopped by the ABC studios to have a chat with the Recovery’s high-energy host Dylan Lewis. The results are painfully awkward. We’re sure this interview has nothing to do with the Jagermeister references or the fact that the whole time he looks like he’s trying not to spew.

Want to learn how to be a music journalist? The Australian Institute of Music offer courses in journalism, where you’ll get all the skills you need. Apply now.

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