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What’s up, nerds?

I’m Cat Jones, and I’m going to be writing a brand new advice column on your very favorite website, Invisible Oranges. Today I won’t be answering any questions, because I don’t have any to answer yet. Think some up and send them in; there are details below.

Now, before we go any further, I need to give you a little disclaimer. This column has been in the works for months now, and obviously, last week, the world got a lot darker. I think I’m speaking for a lot of music writers out there when I say we’re all feeling like the stuff we do is pretty trivial in the face of some potentially terrifying political times ahead, much less a frivolous, goofy-ass advice column topped with a picture of me eating a burrito and drinking Scotch. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the darker shit gets around us, the more need there is for community, laughter, and people to reach out to. The reason most of us got into metal in the first place was that it was a community with which we identified, who gathered together, despite our occasionally vast differences, under the common flag of riff-catharsis and being able to wholly be ourselves. So I chose to continue with this, because I think if we can double down on being not only more active in our communities, metal and otherwise, make each other laugh, ask hard questions, and occasionally take a break and talk about some not-so-deep stuff, then we’re gonna be more of a force to be reckoned with than we already are. So if you’re in, join me, and if you’re not in the mood for frivolity, then you’re welcome to stop reading. No judgment whatsoever.

Now you may be asking yourself, “Who the hell is this bitch and why does she think she is in any way qualified to tell me how to live my life?” And the true answer is, I can’t tell you what to do. But I do know a thing or two. I’ve been a professional in the music industry for over ten years. Right now I’m a freelance music writer for Noisey/VICE, The Bay Bridged, SF Weekly, and a few others, where I mostly do in-depth interviews with metal bands. In the past, I ran an independent metal PR firm where I represented over 40 metal bands in three years; I’ve done marketing for five music festivals; I worked as an intern at MetalSucks, the Sacramento News & Review, and Oregon Music News; I’ve worked in two record stores; I’ve put on shows (including in my own damn backyard); I’ve traveled all over the northern hemisphere to see bands I love; I’ve been across the country twice in a van as a tour manager for Portland metal bands, taken years of music theory, accumulated a giant friend group of people in the music world, and yes, dated my fair share of musicians.

During my time in the aforementioned jobs (or just living my ridiculous life), I have:

  • Interviewed Matt Pike while he peed
  • Been to Ozzy Osbourne’s childhood home
  • Driven across the entire United States with a band in a van with no side windows, no air conditioning, no stereo and no working side doors
  • Had Buzz Osborne of The Melvins hang up on me twice, only to have that interview end up in a “Best Rock Writing” book
  • Gotten a noise violation while listening to Failure — alone in my apartment.
  • Spent what probably amounts to months of my life giving advice to my friends, family, colleagues, musicians, and now, strangers on the Internet.

I’ve seen it all, nothing shocks me, and I have an opinion on just about everything.

Some questions you can ask me:

  • How can I get this ultra-babe I saw in the pit to notice me without making a total ass of myself?
  • Why can’t I ever get any publications to write about my band?
  • I just grew out some long, luscious metal locks. How do I take care of it so it stays pretty?
  • I’m a woman, POC or member of the LGBTQ community and I’m nervous to go to shows now that Trump has emboldened bigots and misogynists everywhere. How can I keep myself safe?
  • Joseph says Reign In Blood sucks and I want to kill him. How can I make this happen?
  • Literally anything you want to ask me, IDGAF

So let’s have some fun, shall we?

Send me your questions at talkingaftermidnightadvice@gmail.com OR submit them anonymously HERE. Either way, your identity is safe with me.

Love,
Cat

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