Thursday, April 18, 2013

An Interview with Rich Siegel

If you read roundseventeen with any kind of regularity you know I have a low tolerance for stupidity.

And pretentiousness.
And people who take things so seriously.
So you can imagine how I feel about idiotic posers who drink their own KoolAid.

And yet these are the folks who are always popping up on panels, on podiums or on the back page of a trade magazine in the world's cheapest form of journalism, the interview.

I'm sure you've seen them.

Some hotshot creative will come up with a viral film or a cool commercial, something to become the Flavor of the Month. And then some industry jag-off will hunt them down for  250 words of life wisdom. Tossing them inane, non-sequiter questions that just beg for witty retorts. But more often produce lame ass responses that are trying way too hard.

I don't get asked to do a lot of interviews. Not only because as a freelancer I don't get to produce a great deal of work. But also because I'm not good interviewee material.

REPORTER: We live in an age of smartphones, tablets, mini-tablets, killer apps., etc. If you were stuck on a remote deserted island what would be the one gadget you'd bring along with you?

RS: I'd bring a boat.

REPORTER: Music is such an influential part of our lives. Is there a band or a particular album that changed the direction of your life and how?

RS: I want to say Led Zeppelin IV and the way they blended the sound of the blues with contemporary British rock, but the truth is we were getting stoned all the time and didn't really understand the lyrics, so that would be a No.

REPORTER: Last week we spoke with a Creative Director from Weiden who was rereading Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged so she would have a better understanding of Libertarianism in the context of today's shifting views on what government should and should not be doing. She was also knee deep into Sedaris' latest work which fuels her inner absurdist. If we were to check your nightstand, what would we find?

RS: You'd find a phone. A lamp that never gets used. And a plastic case of earplugs dubbed the World's Finest Natural Ear Plugs. I bought them from They're nothing more than clay and I probably spent too much, but they really do the job.

REPORTER: And how about a book?

RS: No.

REPORTER: Many creative people have different techniques for getting over rough patches, when ideas are simply not flowing. Some walk in the woods, others will find a venue with live music, and one art director we recently interviewed said she likes to fast and go to Hot Bikram Yoga. What inspires you?

RS: I like to reach in the box where we keep all our mail and look at the stack of bills and mortgage payments that are due.

REPORTER: If you had not become an advertising copywriter what else would you have been?

RS: I like the notion of wealthy Arab Sheik. Gold toilets, private jets, and a harem of women. Plus, if anything goes wrong you simply blame it on the Jews.

REPORTER: What is your greatest weakness?

RS: That would have to be my short attention span.


Bob said...

In baseball, there are players who are known as professional hitters. They're not superstars with their pictures on the cover of video games and their own line of salsas. They just hit right around .300 every single year, and drive in 85-90 runs and hit about 20-25 homers. They're not flashy and they aren't usually sought out by Sports Illustrated for overlong life stories. But they do make the All Star game on a fairly regular basis, even if they aren't elected to start the game; their peers vote for them because they know how valuable they are. They're the guys every team wants and are willing to pay a lot of money for; more than you'd think, in fact.

Rich Siegel is a professional hitter.

glasgowdick said...

Oh Bob, you had me all along until the very last line. I appreciate it, but it makes me cringe.

Jeff said...

It's a good interview. I'd like to run it up to analytics to see the level of reader response and if we need to tailor the answers so they skew a bit more towards the target. Also, on the "book on nightstand" issue, I think the perception might be that we have writer that doesn't read. It doesn't have to be Ayn Rand, but perhaps a Thesaurus or even New York Times to impart a level of sophistication. As far as bills and mortgage as motivation, that just won't play. Love of product is a much more valuable cause, especially at the client lunches. And exactly who the hell is Led Zepplin?

Tony Mariani said...

Rich thanks for the plug. I have to get me a pair.