Did a phoner with Bob Mould today on my lunch break. This is the third time I've interviewed him. A nice guy. No, I don' t think he and I are friends or anything. Mould's good in that he knows that talking to a bunch of writers from the various little alt-weeklies in all the markets in which he has gigs booked is part of his job, so he does it without any attitude or ego.
Most of the show biz professionals I interview aren't huge stars; some are, but most aren't. They may have national reputations and worldwide record deals, but by and large they're just working musicians. And I've been fortunate in that most of the interviews I've done with personal favorites have been pleasant. Andy Partridge was super cool, Scott Lucas is extremely funny, Ted Nugent is a right-wing wacko, but he's still funny. Gene Simmons is pretty self-important, but that's his whole schtick, so I put him in the "cool" pile, too. The key is to NOT tell them that you're a huge fan. Just be professional and courteous, so when you ask them about some obscure Japanese B-side from 1994, they'll think that you've done a lot of painstaking research.
Others: Sonny Rollins was incredibly pleasant, and considering that I knew (and still know) virtually nothing about jazz, he was incredibly patient as well. Woodroe Weatherman from COC was a nice guy and he has one of the coolest names ever. Ditto Patterson Hood. Ozzy Osbourne was unintelligible but sweet. Brann Dailor from Mastodon. Liz Phair. M. Gira. They were all decent to me, so they rule.
Who sucks? The absolute worst interview I ever had was with Martina McBride. She was a total bitch. It was painfully apparent that she thought her time was much too valuable to be spent doing a 15-minute phoner with some hack journo in a tertiary market, and I wish I had had the balls to tell her -- at minute 14, of course -- that I thought it was funny that her record label "encouraged" her to do local press because ticket sales were sluggish for that tour.