by Joe Matera
"To most people the perception of the life of a music journalist is one of hanging out at parties with rock stars, partying until the early hours of the morning, jetting off to far away locations and indulging in all the glamorous benefits that come with hanging with that sort of crowd. This perception couldn’t be further from the truth."
Joe Matera has been on both sides of the musician/critic divide. A childhood obsession with music led to an early career in a covers band and a day job as a guitar teacher but it was the advent of the internet that opened up the possibility of writing about his first love.
His first big journalistic break was getting the first Australian interview with Nickelback just weeks before they became huge and from there Joe interviewed artists from all over the world covering the full spectrum from heavy metal heroes such as Lemmy to nostalgia acts such as Bay City Rollers front man Les McKeown and everyone in between.
As a musician Joe elicited a different response from his interviewees to those that might be directed at a career journalist - his technical knowledge of music and his conversational approach that eschewed the quick headline, allowed to him to delve behind the facade of the rock and pop stars he met.
'Backstage Pass' takes the reader to that holy of holies, the artist's dressing room as they prepare to entertain the masses and in some cases face their demons.