Here’s the final part of our Insiders guide, we hope you are now feeling suitably enlightened. Normal Pop Copservice will resume on Monday.
Full name: Dave Kerr.
Hometown: Edinburgh via Glenrothes.
Job title: Music editor and online editor, The Skinny.
How did you get your job? I was a dogsbody working for a bi-weekly arts and listings magazine called Noise that operated in the central belt at the start of 2005. It became unsustainable after a six-month run, so some of us peeled off and founded The Skinny. I was music editor by default, possibly because I had the worst facial hair.
Did qualifications or experience help you get your job? I finished up uni with a degree in computing and another in media with politics (AKA a pile of student debt and a lot of time wasted watching Hollyoaks). Trying to operate as a freelancer was pretty much impossible as a newcomer but a stint with a Festival paper connected me with Noise. I did a lot of feature writing and subbing for them before they gave me some column inches to write missives on the Scottish music scene (it was all about Uncle John And Whitelock and Degrassi in those days, new rave was just a twinkle in Nathan Barley’s eye). Taking up the kind of job I’m doing now seemed like a logical enough step by the time The Skinny came along.
What’s the best part about your job? It’s often a pleasure to do it. Review tickets and promos.
And the worst? Office politics. Tinnitus.
What’s the biggest misconception about your job? That it’s always bags o’ fun.
Who is the most famous person you’ve met while doing your job? I met Patti Smith a few months ago and started speaking incoherently (think Zed from Police Academy). I try to be some sort of objective music hack but it’s sometimes hard to keep the giddy fan boy at bay. Especially if Slash is on the phone.
How long would it take for someone to be trained to do your job from scratch? I’m still finding my way but I reckon I got over the steepest part of the learning curve after the first six months.
Complete this sentence: The amount I make for doing my job is… rarely a factor that motivates me to do it.
Whose music is making you most excited right now? I’ve been leathering the new Why? album in the last wee while, Frightened Rabbit have definitely upped the ante on their debut and this band called Ladyhawk are about to kick some miserabilist arse with their next LP. I’ve been looking forward to hearing what Y’all Is Fantasy Island, Alamos and Laeto have up their sleeves for a while too – they’re all criminally unsung Scottish bands who will make your life better. Broken Records are a pretty fine band too, I hope they do well.
What’s the next gig in your diary? The Twilight Sad on March 20 at the Liquid Room, and I’ll be spinning a few tunes at Born To Be Wide when they move to the Voodoo Rooms on April 3.
Anything else you’d like to add? The Skinny is always looking for talented new writers and creative types from all over Scotland. Look us up and get in touch.
4 Y’All Is Fantasy Island – With Handclaps