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My first big interview

My chat with Lilly Hiatt

I saw Lilly Hiatt preform for the first time at Vinyl Cup Records during my senior year of high school. She is a melodic mix of country, rock, and punk and I instantly fell in love with her music and her attitude.

Before attending Drake University and before working at KXnO, I was a student at DMACC writing for the Campus Chronicle. I was usually covering their baseball team, but I wanted to change it up and cover Hiatt’s up coming album as a feature.

So, I started just going for it. I knew that it would be a long shot to try to get an interview with Hiatt and I also knew that the only way I could reach her was sending her a message on Instagram, which is not a great strategy. During the course of the day I was at work and on my break I got a reply and she was down for an interview.

This was the biggest interview I had at this point. I was a freshman just excited to even talk to one of my favorite artists. We began talking about the recording process and where the songs came from. As not only a fan of her music, but a fan of all music including her Grammy winning father John Hiatt’s as well. So, hearing the stories from recording with the guitarist from Cage the Elephant and writing songs with her dad made this one of the easiest interviews I have conducted as I was intrigued by every little detail she brought up.

Writing the story was a really fun experience too as I had never covered a musician’s new album before. So, I looked to some of my biggest journalism inspirations for help. As a kid I was infatuated with the movie “Almost Famous” which tells the story of Cameron Crowe, the movies writer/director, who was 15 writing for Rolling Stone Magazine. Crowe has a website with all of his original stories ranging from sitting down and talking to Jackson Browne to traveling with Led Zeppelin.

Throughout writing the feature I would continually look back at his stories and how he was able to make you feel like you were in the room with these amazing artists.

After the story was published I was so proud that I sent it to everyone I knew. Then one morning I had a bunch of notifications on my phone. I looked online and Hiatt and Vinyl Cup had shared my story. I have always been grateful to how generous Hiatt was to a 19 year-old kid from Iowa and I will never forget the fun I had covering that story.

You can read the story here.

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