MTV World Stage : Backstage

Also guest blogging at Backseat Radio: Remember to say the magic word.


Event: MTV World Stage “Live in Malaysia”
Date: August 15, 2009 (Saturday)
Venue: Sunway Lagoon Surf Beach

I guess I needed this. Weeks that passed have been a little hard to swallow, and it is always a good thing when something like MTV World Stage comes along. It just gave you something good to look forward to, and distract yourself with.

Days that led up to last weekend got jittery for me as the many itineraries started streaming in. All the schedules we have to remember so not to miss this good opportunity, and all the rules we have to take in just because it is MTV. I could do nothing else at work but to come up with questions, go through them to see if they were good enough, and if there were enough time to ask most of them. But it was all good for me – not like coming up with quirky questions is a chore to me, heh. Anything is probably better than what I have been facing day in and night out.

So, I am just going to lift this hiatus I have been in, to give you a series of MTV World Stage posts, before going back to my hole.

Things started bright and early for us media folks as we headed towards the crime scene at 11ish in the morning to pick up our kits. We were granted a golden ticket for the concert, which seemed a pretty good deal until we realised where was the section at night. And also, a media pass – which, apparently, does not get us anywhere – and a pass for the post party later that night at MOS Euphoria.

It was a little surreal for me as we sat by the steps at the foyer, waiting for the press conference. Once in a while, someone from the bands performing would rush past with a PR personnel and a few security guards by their side. The number of security guards surrounding them depends on their popularity; Ray Gun from Raygun may just have a PR personnel, while Tyson Ritter from All-American Rejects may have six security guards. Heh. Just kidding. Maybe.

At one point, I think I saw Doug Robb of Hoobastank at the lobby by the “MTV Talents” booth, unguarded, sporting a pair of white-rimmed shades and chewing an apple. Heh.

There were scheduled roundtable interviews with all the performers, which we had to request for prior to the day itself. 15-minute interviews were going on back-to-back, whereby up to five media would be in one room just drilling the subjects to the core.

Being MTV, they were very strict with their security and time. I even had to have “someone” to escort me into the interview rooms, heh. And time was gold, and questions were fired like bullets nonstop, not wasting even a single second for the interviewees to breathe.

I got to interview Raygun, Pixie Lott and the Stank. (I am going to call them that because the band was spilt into two halves, and Hooba goes wherever Doug goes because he is the lead, so yeah). And I realised that with three performers all from different ‘eras’ of their music career, does result in how they answer the interviewers’ questions.

This is probably prejudice for my part, but when I read up on articles about Raygun, they came off as quite a cocky band, what with their whole “setting a new blueprint for pop rock” and all. But I thought I would give them the benefit of the doubt because I know how exaggerating some press releases ca get. (I have written some, bless my heart).

In person, the boys were quite down to earth, and they were generally nice with the questions we had for them. They seemed genuinely glad to be able to play at MTV World Stage. They seemed easygoing as they teased one another and as Adj gave confident answers that sometimes made us laugh too. Not to mention, Ray, the lead, has the bluest eyes ever.

Pixie Lott, on the other hand, was a young soul who still likes to have all the fun she could have in her life with her friends. She talked a lot about missing her friends back home, and how if she could, she would like to hang out with her friends – watch a movie or go shopping. Things like that. But of course, having fun in her music career as well.

She was nice. She had the usual big grin girls like her would have when answering questions. She kept on reminding me of Ashlee Simpson. But I kind of have the impression that she does not want to be there, and cannot wait to head home and be with her friends.

For Stank, who has been in the scene for about 15 years already, it was like talking to a matured young adult who has been through a lot in his life. There were a lot of questions to ask them, and they had a lot to tell us too. But for some reason, my group was especially crowded and other people were just stealing time from everyone, and before you knew it, our 15 minutes was up. I did not even get the chance to dare them not to sing The Reason. Heh. Also, was a little bummed I did not get to interview Doug. Boo.

There was also a press conference to kick things off with all the formalities. I was a tad bit late for mine because the roundtable interviews happened simultaneously. By the time I got there, photographers big and small were already crowding the front, and me, being short and all, could not see at all what was going on at the front. I could only hear VJ Denise and VJ Utt talking, and I had to get a much much taller friend to take the pictures for me. Heh.

Everyone was present at the press conference.

There was Boys Like Girls.

There was Kasabian.

There was the All-American Rejects and their English breakfast tea.

There was Hooba and Stank.

And of course, Pixie Lott, Estranged, Raygun, and this Korean quartet that is supposed to be the kimchi Boyz II Men, performing at the MTV World Stage after party. Meh.

It was a pretty darn good experience for me. Not everyday you get to see international acts come to Malaysia by the bunch, let alone actually be backstage with them and sit only a breath away from them while interviewing them. This time around seemed more personal than the MTV Asia Awards last year, because we actually get to spend time with the acts, though only for a mere 15 minutes.

It would have been awesome to interview all of the acts, but alas, I do not work in a world renowned company so I just have to make do with what was given to me. Not that they were bad, mind you. I like it when people tell me their stories, especially musicians. It just feels like they are giving you permission into a part of their lives that they do not usually give out.


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2 Responses to “MTV World Stage : Backstage”

  1. Shu Ee Says:

    Hi…may I ask, how did you get those passes and exclusive interviews with them bands?? Do you work for a magazine or something? Wow, its so fasinating!

  2. Meeting Superman. « Small Time Traveller Says:

    […] roundtable interviews followed. Unlike MTV World Stage last year, we had plenty of time to spare, journalists asked the quirkiest questions in regards to […]

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