It’s been just over a year since I first sprung into action as a writer for Music in Motion Columbus. During that time, I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of interviewing several local and regional artists whose work I greatly admire.
I’ve interviewed people before my stint at MIMC, but my work on the site has pushed me to make my interviews better – to ask more interesting questions, to escape the typical trappings of press-to-artist relations, and to uncover surprising truths about my subjects and their work. In large part, I was inspired to do so by our own Rick Gethin when he interviewed me on The Cat Club Podcast all the way back in February 2020. The poise, insight and skill he used in our discussion has inspired me to take a similar tack in my own conversations with artists.
Now, look… about the elephant in the room here. MIMC is my favorite music press outlet in the city, bar none – and I truly believe we offer quality long-form music writing in a format and style all our own – but we’re far from the only game in town. There are many local sites and press outlets who are passionate about covering Columbus music just like us, and they offer skill sets and angles of coverage different from our own.
To me, that’s an awesome area of opportunity. We can all cover Columbus music in our own unique, exciting and off-kilter ways, and there’s room for many publications to get their own perspective on the wide berth of music in Ohio’s capital city.
One of these publications is 614 Music Club, a site of engaging playlists and longform interviews with music- and art-adjacent people in Columbus. The 614 Music Club head honcha Zak Kolesar (she/her) has quickly built a reputation as a damn good interviewer and artist profiler. She’s interviewed everyone from major-label/chart-topping artists to my friends in the neighborhood, and done a fantastic job while doing so. I particularly enjoy her conversations with non-artist figures in the music scene, including tour managers, photographers and pizza wizards.
It’s humbling and important to remember just how many people make music in Columbus possible, and so I greatly admire and appreciate this angle of coverage. Furthermore, as both an artist and an interviewer, I can appreciate the perceptive and interesting questions she asks.
But as I made my way through the interviews and material on 614 Music Club, questions of my own started to form – the sort that would normally emerge as I prepare for an interview. So when Zak herself reached out to me to express admiration for my work as an interviewer, the idea hit me like a bolt of lightning: We’ve got to interview each other.
And so, over the course of a very long Zoom conversation, that’s exactly what we did. Immediately following Zak’s excellent and insightful conversation with me about my work as MC Freeman, I was excited to reverse our roles and ask her some questions. (I figure it’s got to be a nice change of pace to answer questions for a change – it certainly was for me.) My interview of her, much like hers of me, turned out to be longform, discursive and fascinating.
As Columbus music writers, one thing we have in common is our shared origins at the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University. Looking over your bio on your site, I was particularly struck by your decision to finish out your degree at Ohio State University and pursue your writing career here in Columbus. What drew you to the city to be a freelance writer, and what still keeps you here?
I’m really happy you saw that and came across that. There are a couple reasons. I took an internship, like most of us had to do at Scripps – it was between my junior and senior year. It was at a very small hip-hop blog called xUrban x Magazine.
Where you interviewed Waka Flocka Flame, right?
Yeah! I emailed Waka’s PR person and asked for an interview and never got a call back, but I showed up the day of the show and all I said is – I told the truth, I was like, “Hey, I emailed your assistant,” and he said “Okay,” and he granted me access to an interview. Sometimes you just gotta, like, shoot your shot and act like you belong there. But even from visiting my friends who went to Ohio State – because where I went to high school, it was pretty much you either went to Ohio University or you went to Ohio State. So, when I would visit my friends there, I was always just amazed by the city, like, tall buildings. I felt, you know, significant and insignificant at the same time. So I was always drawn to that.
There’s definitely, like, a sense of Columbus that I feel like I can be my true self in. I didn’t find that in Athens, and I found out a few years down the road I was just not really happy with myself and who I was. And I’ve been diagnosed with anxiety and mental-health issues for a while now. So the medication I was prescribed to at first was Xanax, which is just – it is a fucking god-awful pill. So I was prescribed it, so I was taking it as prescribed. But when I got to OU, I just didn’t feel like I could be the true self I was, and to bury that I was finding other ways to dip into that Xanax… well, addiction – because that’s what it was. You know, three and a half years, nothing was wrong with my GPA. I had a 3.8 or something like that. I just knew that if I stayed any longer that it was probably going to end pretty badly.
But yeah, that’s why Columbus is just… there’s something special about it to me. Like I said, I felt significant and insignificant at the same time. I feel like you can be something here but also get lost in the crowd.
I’m really glad that you had the self-awareness to see that you needed to make a change for yourself and that you were able to successfully make that change. From an outsider’s perspective, it seems like you’ve been doing a lot better lately.
Yeah, you hit it right on the [head]. Self-awareness. I was not very good at that for a long time. I definitely have a lot of good memories at OU, but…
Well, you know as well as I how easy it can be to lose your self-awareness – or any kind of awareness – on the bricks of Athens.
Yeah. The place can just get really small really quick.
I think Columbus kind of retains a small-town feel while still being very big and having a lot of really diverse and interesting things going on.
Yes, absolutely. And I just felt like there was, um… There was a limit that I was reaching with covering music in Athens, so I knew that in Columbus, that – and the reason wasn’t the education. Surely a degree from Ohio State is something a lot of people hold as high-value. But to me, the value of coming here was to be involved in the music scene.
If you’re comfortable talking about it, I’d like to ask: when did you know who you were, as a trans woman? What was it like figuring that out for yourself?
I’m very glad you asked that, too – you’re asking a lot of questions that I’m, you know, not often on the other side of. This is stuff that, like, if I wanted people to ask me questions, this is what I would want to be asked. I’ve struggled with being open about it, mainly from a perspective of, like… I don’t want this “victimhood” or people feeling bad for me, feeling a certain way for me because of this way I feel. I surely know it can go the other way in terms of… yeah, there’s a lot of people in this society who still are very anti-trans. But I definitely started realizing it probably when I was in… it had to be junior or sophomore year of high school.
That can not be an easy time to discover that.
Yeah, ‘cause it was around that time when I had – there was something I was born with called a varicose [vein]. It’s like when your vein gets clogged, it usually happens in your arm veins. But I was born with one in my testicular vein, and so I had that surgery when I was in high school. And that was just, you know, a bad time to be going through something like this, when you really are trying to be active and dating people, and proms and things. Dances are a thing, homecoming’s a thing.
But yeah, so I was secretly crossdressing, because I just felt like that’s who I was. It’s difficult for me to say that, because I feel like a lot of misinterpretations come from… like, my transness has zero to do with my sexuality. My transness to me is bringing my body closer to my spirit. I just think that’s a misconception about [being] trans as something that’s driven by sexual desire. But no, it’s always been something mentally and emotionally for me.
Lining yourself up with who you know you are versus how you present.
Mm-hmm. Probably the hardest thing was being raised Catholic.
Oh God, can I ever relate to that.
So you know how it was just, like… any of those thoughts were just like, you felt like you were a broken human being even for thinking about the notion of being another gender.
Right – when the truth is that when an institution that can’t wrap its head around something as simple as someone being born into the incorrect body, it’s the institution who’s broken and not the person.
Yeah, I think it’s the pride of “God doesn’t make mistakes.”
I think that’s ultimately a very good thing, that people can break away from that and figure out who they are and express that. I’ve seen how difficult that can be – I have siblings who have gone through that and are going through that right now. It’s not easy, but it’s one of those things where you have to. I mean, what else are you going to do – not?
Yeah. And that’s another reason why I really wanted to, like, show it on my profile and show my pronouns off and show that I’m proud of it, because I hope that other people see that, and… because I went through fuckin’ like, 10, 11 years of mental torture. There was no end in sight. And honestly, without COVID, I don’t know if I’d make this decision. Just, like, being removed from the pressures that I thought that society was putting on me to not be who I really wanted to be. But yeah, I want people to know. I’m not ashamed of being known as trans. And, you know, everyone has their own different journey. So if some people never want [it] to be known that they’re trans, then that’s totally fine. But for me, I’m very proud of the courage and self-awareness I have to go on this pretty difficult journey.
And I’m so glad that you want to want to be an example for other people on that path. My little brother, who is trans, was so inspired by my interview with Jone Ort from GODRAYS. My brother’s Tumblr bio is a quote from that interview! So folks like you are making a massive difference for the trans youth, even if it may not seem like it’s all that radical of a thing to do. There are people noticing in a positive sense and embracing who they are because of that – so thank you for being a face for that.
And there’s definitely people who led the way for me to be comfortable doing that. When I would see people posting on Instagram, or just seeing people out in public – following them on Instagram and seeing that they were trans. That really gave me confidence to be public about it. So yeah, I do understand – it’s kind of like a chain reaction. But yeah – life is too short not to be happy with who you are.
I want to pivot to something else you mentioned, which happens to be another thing we have in common. You and I both live with various types of mental illness, which is not easy, and in the pandemic has been more not-easy than ever before. So… not even as an interviewer, but as a person, I have to ask: How do you see the light at the end of the tunnel? What drives you to keep going and keep doing things?
Someone even brought up with me the other day, “Yeah, I wasn’t really in a space to talk to you in an interview because I was feeling pretty depressed about art at the time.” People are observing me as this person who’s being super “rah-rah cheerleader” about the art scene right now. But there was a time when I was just this nihilist, pessimist… all the bad ists that there are.
Literally, the first week of the pandemic, I thought we were going to die – and now we’re here, and I’m like “Well… shit,” you know? But that’s a very real thing, and it’s something that folks like us often deal with.
I was kinda prepared for, you know, the effects of what a pandemic has caused – isolation, you know. I’ve spent a year by myself – well, I would say my cat is with me. (He’s over there, I don’t wanna get him upset!) No, yeah, I had done some training for being prepared for the isolation aspect of it. I’m glad that I did a lot of work a year before the pandemic, just being OK and liking myself. Because that can be tough when you’re by yourself and struggling with mental illnesses. This self-loathing can be a slippery slope.
But the past month has been the roughest.
Even if it doesn’t seem like I’m feelin’ it through my energetic Facebook posts, I’m with everyone here hitting that collective “had enough” moment.
Absolutely – I think a lot of people are in that same place. Now, to pivot for a moment: you talk with a lot of music folks. And a lot of music folks, whatever facet of music they’re involved in, almost all of them have pointed to a moment – or a series of smaller moments – where they knew, with sudden clarity, “This is what I need to be doing. What was that moment for you? Was it a series of smaller moments? What led you to where you are now with music and covering music?
It probably started back at OU. I thought I was gonna be a sports journalist – I was really into the ESPN aspect and [the way] they carry that fan mentality of covering sports. Even though ESPN’s mainstream as fuck. [Laughs] They’re Disney. But when I was interviewing the OU football team, just getting the most basic answers, the most cliche answers… People had in their minds what they were gonna say to me before I even asked the question, and it didn’t matter what question I was going to be asking. That was just boring to me.
And when I got an opportunity to start interviewing musicians, I realized just how much of a 180 it was between someone who actually wants to talk vs. someone who just got done competing in a vigorous athletic activity for 3-4 hours and doesn’t want to talk too much. I just got so much more enjoyment out of speaking with musicians, and I think it was because there was a passion in what the people I was talking to were saying.
I love that 614 Music Club doesn’t just interview musicians, but all the folks that make music and art happen in the city. Tour managers, photographers, activists, designers – you even interviewed The Wizard of Za! So I want to step a step even further into the world at large and ask you: Who inspires you outside of music and has led you along this path?
I would say my biggest inspiration for the Music Club and the way I’m formatting things is – I was always attracted to Humans of New York, and that style of storytelling, and the fact that I truly believe that everyone has a legitimate story to tell. But to me, my mission and my task at hand is to try to find what story of theirs that people want to hear and that’s worth telling. So I kind of adopted that Humans of New York, 1v1 portrait-capture snapshot [format].
And I was always… one of my favorite interviews I’ve ever read was an early-2000s Playboy interview with Jay-Z. What I loved about it was just how… not basic the questions were. This is someone who obviously did a boatload of research, didn’t just skim a Wikipedia article or something like that. And to me, once you show someone that you actually did your research, it opens up a world of conversation that wouldn’t be there without you bringing that to the table. There’s nothing like interviews where I’m working it where it’s like “OK, I gotta show a little bit more, I haven’t been able to break it in yet.” It also shows that you’re not there to waste someone’s time.
I especially like that you’re inspired by Playboy and Humans of New York – it gives 614 Music Club totally its own angle. I think a lot of the independent music press outlets in Columbus can collaborate and create things because of the opportunities created by our different angles of coverage. Was it your experience with these interviews that led you to your specific approach to covering music in Columbus? Or did it take a little while to get there?
When I started – [as] with pretty much everything I do – I didn’t exactly have a clear idea of what I wanted this to be. I love that I’ve kept it 1v1 interviews, because I dunno – the more people you add to a mix, the higher my anxiety is, and I’m not gonna be talking correctly. So I like to keep it intimate like that, because it helps me to kind of calm myself. And a lot of times this is the first time I’m talking with these people. But yeah, Humans of New York has always been something on the back of my mind. It kinda clicked with me after a month or so of doing it, like “Okay, which of your hobbies, interests and likes did you pull from to make this what it is?”
And even, like, Howard Stern interviews! I mean, I hate to say that Howard Stern and Playboy are influences, especially because he’s kinda problematic – but I know for a fact that he has a rigorous research team on staff, because of the questions he [had]. He did an interview with Jay-Z that was also very… it was like Narduwar! I think that’s why he can get a rise out of people – he pulls these very, very intimate facts about people’s personal lives. And I think people really do truly appreciate when you know that stuff about them.
But yeah, to summarize my answer to your question: I didn’t really have a clear idea of what I wanted to do when I started it, in terms of what the format was. But it just kinda developed as it went along.
Prior to 614 Music Club, you had plenty of journalistic experience in Columbus. You were on staff for a pretty significant publication in the city – I read a few of the original Music Club interviews online. And now that you’ve gone into business for yourself, I imagine that what that looks like is very different from what your day-to-day life looked like at the magazine. How has your approach to writing stayed the same or changed since striking out on your own?
I hated the way I was doing those interviews at the magazine – I was just typing four questions into a Google Doc and having them do all the legwork. But, realistically, that was all I could afford in terms of time. So I hated putting that stuff out, because… I felt like I was neglecting these artists in a way and not giving them the time that they actually deserve. Again, another reason why the 1-on-1 thing works for me, it shows that I appreciate what you’re doing. I’m here to give you my time, not to just have you fill out a Google Doc and have us be on our way.
It was originally an idea of the photographer I worked with – his name was Julian. He had the Music Club format where he had people fill out a playlist and asked them four questions. And then he just got too busy, and knew that I had a passion for music and passed it along to me. I love the playlist – it’s simple, but it really truly helps dictate the conversation and shows a snapshot of someone’s personality. And it’s also way better than listening to a random playlist on a streaming service that some stupid robot algorithm came up with, because I would ten times out of ten rather listen to a playlist that you come up with than, you know, something that has the same basic five songs at its core.
It’s the human touch, I think. And that’s what strikes me about 614 Music Club – once you took the format to your own site, it really opened up. And you know me: I write for Music in Motion Columbus, so longform is the name of the game for both of us, and there’s a lot of potential in the longform format.
Yes. And like we talked about in our other conversation, longform works in the way that you can still apply brevity to it. Something may be 10,000 words long, but, god damn, all 10,000 of those words needed to be said.
DANA – El Sicko
I’m a major proponent of that.
Just being (1) someone who’s not comfortable with where their voice is at yet, and (2) someone who has a speech impediment, so I just don’t talk fluidly all the time – podcasting just never seemed like something that was feasible to me. But one thing I’ve realized over the pandemic: I started reading a lot more, and I realized, in terms of art consumption, reading is one of the only things that we can do. I guess we can listen to a book-on-tape with someone, but that would not be enjoyable to me. Reading is truly this art form that we have to be by ourselves to digest, it’s like really personal and intimate.
And I think that’s why the format works for Music Club, because the interviews I’m doing – you know, they’re 1-on-1 like we’re doing now, they’re personal and intimate. And when people are reading them, they have to do it by themselves; I don’t assume that, you know, couples are in bed and one of them’s reading it out loud. But yeah, that’s why it scared me when I started going to school at OU – how much the written format was disappearing, mainly [being superseded] by video content. But I think that writing will always be this extremely powerful form of communication, and that will never go away. So I’m not really concerned about things replacing it, because nothing will ever replace it.
As I mentioned, you’ve done a lot of interviews – I’ve really only done a few. And by the way: as someone who makes hip-hop music, to be in a group of interviewees that includes people I’ve been listening to since I was a kid is pretty wild. So I wanted to ask, as a freelance writer, who are some of your favorite folks you’ve interviewed? And I know you’ve talked about some challenges in the interview process as well – have you ever had any particularly challenging or even surprising interviews that were memorable for you?
I would say the first one that was really truly surprising and memorable was an interview I did with MGK [Machine Gun Kelly]. That was actually at OU; he performed at one of the fall concerts.
I think I actually remember that!
MGK was huge – like, that’s how our high school was divided, between people who loved MGK and people who hated MGK. So going into that, I had this very personal background attachment to him that he didn’t really know about, of course, since he can’t know about anything like that. I also know that this is someone who’s pretty honest in his music – as corny as you can say that he is at times, there’s probably something, you know, deeper here.
So I kinda tapped into that and asked him questions about some of his more personal songs, since he definitely has some deep, deep cuts that touch on drug addiction and things like that. Something I said just struck him, and he just talked and talked; I felt that I was almost like a therapist, talking to him and having him give me this long-winded answer and go over the allotted interview time that we had. It made the people who were running the concert upset, but it made me really happy.
I’ve always struggled with trying to find things that I’m good at, and that was a moment where it was like, “Okay, this might be something I have a talent for” – tapping into someone’s psyche in that way. That was my sophomore year at OU, 2013, and that was a moment where I was like, “Talking to people in this format is something that I would like to do for a living in some fashion.”
I’m glad you brought that up – as an interviewer, my main tack (and pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!) is to get the artist on a tangent. Because that’s where all the magic is – that’s when you can get into the deep stuff and really tap into what they’re going for. So I love that your process is all based on that – that makes total sense to me.
You also asked about [interviews] I’ve been kinda disappointed in. And honestly, only the ones that I’ve kicked myself in the ass for not being prepared for – that’s just something I don’t do to myself anymore.
When you complimented my Kneeling in Piss interview, I was surprised how stoked on that one in particular you were. It’s interesting how self-perception can influence that as well.
Yeah! Someone’s enjoyment of art is relative, so… like we mentioned earlier, as long as it strikes one person, mission accomplished.
I really love your hip-hop coverage as well – everyone from Waka Flocka Flame to my good friend Kali Dreamer. (And I also love that your Twitter bio says “Rap game Lester Bangs,” that rules.)
In any case, you’ve got a lot of hip-hop interviews under your belt. Is there anything in particular that draws you to the folks making hip-hop, or to the genre in particular?
Yeah, I struggled for a long time with trying to figure out why exactly it was that I was a huge hip-hop head through all the 2010s. It first stemmed from [the fact that] this is absolutely the easiest genre to start discussions with people you don’t know. Especially the Internet – the Internet was huge in having discussions. It’s just a very debatable genre that was kinda my segue or love language into talking to people who had similar interests. But I’ve always felt like, you know, being this white person, kinda like I’m cheating the culture in a way. So I’ve struggled with that impostor syndrome.
Sure! And as a white guy who makes hip-hop, I always have to remind myself that I’m a guest – that’s a very important thing.
But I’ve realized that a theme of a lot of my favorite artists and hip-hop songs… there’s a lot of loneliness and isolation in it. It’s not a band making material; it’s one person putting their soul out there (most times). So I think that when I was going through a lot of isolated times and internal dialogue, I was drawn to rap music because I saw those similar themes. I would say “u” by Kendrick Lamar is probably my favorite hip-hop song of all time. I definitely don’t have the same life experiences as Kendrick Lamar, but we share that same feeling.
And when a story is told powerfully, you can connect with it in other ways.
Yes – so getting to that realization that I didn’t necessarily have to have the same problems, but the feelings that we get from these problems, they can be shared.
Is there an artist or band who changed your life that I wouldn’t be able to guess just from first impressions?
You follow me on Twitter, so you might know (Laughs). But I do have a band that fits that description. It’s a Columbus band, actually – it’s DANA. DANA does so much for me. And just anything you want to throw under that, like, noise label. [As] someone who’s an avid overthinker, there’s just millions of thoughts going through my mind at all times… that music is like sedative to me.
I had a similar experience with Unholy Two, so I know that goes – when you find a local artist and they just flip your lid.
I’ve always had a difficult time putting it into words, because I hate to be like, “You only get it if you get it.” But yeah, I think that other people who have the same overthinking mentality as I do probably find a lot of comfort in listening to the music that DANA makes. I think someone who dresses a lot in pink or in bright colors doesn’t strike you as someone who’s into that punkish type of Columbus subculture. But yeah, that’s just one of my favorite bands regardless of demographic.
Imagine something (I know these days it’s almost impossible): We’re in the future. The pandemic has been over – like, actually over – for about a year, and shows and everything are actually back. When that day comes, where do you want to be? What do you want to be doing? What does the future of 614 Music Club and of you look like to you – not just in the pandemic, but beyond that?
I’ll start with the future of 614 Music Club. I want to be doing these conversations over Zoom right now – we’re in a fucking pandemic, so of course. But I want to do things like… not take you out to a coffee shop, but like, let’s do something bizarre and do an interview that way. So I’m trying to wrap my brain around what types of things I could pitch to people to do, once it’s okay to be out in public again. I feel like [the magazine] is having some life right now because people feel detached from their friends, and this a way for them to see what they’re up to and get real personal and close to ‘em.
But in terms of where I’ll be, I live in Clintonville (right across the street from Lost Weekend). So, I mean, I’m definitely counting down the days until I can hang out at Spacebar, Ace of Cups, [make] that 30-minute walk down to Rumba to see Hoodoo [Soul Band]. I’m speaking from an angle that all these things will be back, and I’m hoping that we’ll be back – knock-on-wood. I’m being very optimistic, much more than people who know me would think so.
Yeah, I have my own pessimism and radical optimism as well, so I know how that goes.
[The new venue] Lovebirds sounds like an interesting concept, and that’s kind of in that same neighborhood where I am. Anything that talks about the potential of having cinema involved is always gonna perk my ears up. I’m looking forward to when Gateway puts their membership passes back on sale, and when it’s safe to go inside a movie theater. You can have a nice TV, you can have a pitch-black room, but the experience just isn’t the same.
Who is your dream interviewee, and what is one question that you would ask them? (This includes living or dead people, keep that in mind.)
I really want to talk to anyone from DANA, just to see if, like, other people have told them that they feel the same way about their music, and get some closure on that. But PTA [Paul Thomas Anderson], in terms of someone whose mind I’d want to get into. He seems like a mix of ridiculous and also a stable artist. I try to toe those lines, you know – like how you said, I kinda like being a character and using a different name. People watch movies like Uncut Gems and hate it because there’s no redeeming characters, and I’m like, “Everyone has something a little bit about them,” you know? People have told me that I’m too extra, and I take that as a compliment at this point. (Laughs) Yeah, narrowing it down to one question is hard, you know? I’ve never had that where someone’s like “OK, you only have one.”
To clarify, this could be a full interview. But what is one question among the several questions you’d ask?
I’d definitely want to know what Tom Cruise thought about The Master. (Laughs)
I know that there’s an interview out there where someone asked him this question, and he was like “I told you this off-camera, fuck you!” (Laughs) But yeah, maybe I would change it. When I think of questions I want to ask people, I try to think of questions that can help me solve my own problems in life. I guess you did say dead or alive, so: rest in power to SOPHIE’s soul. That was absolutely crushing. But I would definitely want to talk to SOPHIE and ask SOPHIE questions about things I’ve asked myself and beat myself up over, questions that I can’t necessarily put out in public.
I would love to interview people on subjects totally unrelated to what they do – I’d definitely want to ask wrestlers about video games. Some people, you put the quarter in, they just start going.
People want to talk about their interests and things like that. And that’s why I have people do the playlists. I assume you like DANA because you liked putting together a definitive list of things that define who you are as an artist.
Circling all the way back around, I love that that’s how you use the interview process – it’s not just a mechanical “question, answer, print,” but often a much more organic, free-flowing process.
I often do write out questions verbatim, only for the fact that I don’t want to stutter. When I get stuck on a word, it can be like a disaster in my mind where I can’t get back on track. When we did our interview, as we were going I was copying and pasting the questions and moving them in the order that I actually asked them, not in the order I set them up. So it was cool to see that move in real time. I’ve had experiences like that with writing stories, where I’ve looked at the page and the last paragraph has moved to the top. I’m like “Shit, this makes sense, but… it’s not the way that I put it out there.” But yeah, all the interviews I’ve been doing, it kinda comes across organically. I’m not necessarily interviewing people who are reaching out to me. I think when someone doesn’t have an agenda, you just get a more natural conversation that way that people actually want to read or listen to.