Featured Blogger Interview: Valerie Marino and Kevin Norris of Triangle Music
The Triangle is a unique magnet for captivating music. The venues, artists and music lovers that make up the Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh, North Carolina, music scene have provided Triangle Music Founders Valerie Marino and Kevin Norris with plenty of music reviews and news to share with their readers. In addition to visiting the site, stay connected by following Triangle Music on Twitter and Facebook!
Q: When and why did you start blogging?
A: We started Triangle Music in May 2006. It was purely selfish at first — we just wanted an outlet to write about the bands we were listening to and any shows we happened to go to.
Q: How do you think your blog stands out amongst other music blogs?
A: A lot of music sites focus on a particular genre of music, but Triangle Music’s cornerstone is its diversity. We started the blog by writing about the music we like, and that’s anyone from Gillian Welch to Arcade Fire. Our goal is to inform our readers about not just local acts but to stay up to speed on the latest concert announcements and other music news that impacts the Triangle.
Q: How has the Triangle music scene changed since you started blogging?
A: The scene seems to have exploded in the last five years since we started Triangle Music. There have always been some great local bands, but these days it’s a hotbed of activity from new festivals like Hopscotch to all the new venues that have cropped up and bands like The Love Language and Lost In The Trees garnering national attention.
Q: How many concerts do you typically go to each month?
A: It varies widely depending on the season but on average, about eight a month. We set a record a couple years ago with five shows in four days. I slept pretty well after that run.
Q: How much time daily do you spend blogging?
A: On average, we’ll spend 3-4 hours a day reading emails, scanning Pollstar and venue websites, and writing and editing posts. Our goal is to get at least three posts up every day.
Q: How many times have you redesigned your blog since it started?
A: Aside from some small tweaks, we’ve stuck with our basic design since the beginning. It’s a simple, clean design that makes it easy to find what you’re looking for.
Q: How much do you correspond one-on-one with readers?
A: We will occasionally receive questions from readers asking for details about a specific show, usually where to find sold out tickets, and try to help them the best we can! We also have fairly regular interaction with readers through our ticket giveaways. I think the most gratifying part of running Triangle Music can be seeing how excited a reader is when you’ve given them tickets to see their favorite band!
Q: What joys did you not expect when you started blogging? What pains?
A: The feeling you get when you mention your website to someone and they enthusiastically reply that they read the site every day is something I’d never anticipated. Sometimes it feels like you’re just putting words and photos out into a void, but to get that positive feedback from a stranger can be really gratifying. On the other hand, it was hard in the beginning when we’d get a negative remark, mostly if someone didn’t agree with our opinion on a review, but after a while you learn to let that kind of stuff roll off your back.
Q: What’s something your readers don’t know about you?
A: Valerie has a huge soft spot for 80s and early 90s adult contemporary. Kevin is probably the biggest Oasis fan you’ll ever meet.
Q: What has been your favorite music review to write?
A: Our series of reviews for XX Merge was probably our favorite. We saw over 30 bands over the course of four days, a number of which hadn’t performed in some time, and because they were all Merge artists, it was phenomenal.
It was a huge undertaking trying to get posts up in a timely manner after we’d been at Cat’s Cradle until the wee hours of the morning (literally 2 or 3 a.m. most nights), but it was well worth the lost sleep. As a collective, the series was probably our most well received thus far. We gained a ton of new readers and even had some of our content jacked by a couple of national music blogs. We’d made it!
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