The main thing I’ve learned – and I haven’t done a ton of this – is you want your source material, the raw interview, to be of a manageable size. If you’re doing this on the phone or in person, you’ll be transcribing it (I can hook you up with an AI transcription service that’s cheap – I’ll foot the bill), then cleaning it up (removing ah, um, like, etc.), then editing it. Frankly, for something like this, a 20-25-minute conversation should be plenty.
That’s gonna be about 6-8 questions. Prepare them in advance, after familiarizing yourself a bit with the artist – enough to have some interesting questions. In a case like this, have the bulk of them be about the new release.
You can save yourself a ton of time by doing it via email. What you lose is the conversational quality – you don’t really get the person’s voice, and you can’t ask any follow-on questions (except by another round of email.) But it does save you a lot of time in the editing phase, so you might want to go that route.
If you do it via phone, what I do is fire up Audacity on my computer and set my phone on speaker next to the computer. I start with a sound check, clicking “Record” and just exchanging a sentence with the subject. They’re musicians: they get sound checks. Stop it, rewind, and play, just to make sure all systems are go. If you need to adjust the volume of the phone speaker, that’s the time to do it.