Pitchfork founder Ryan Schreiber talks 20 years of online music journalism with Stephen Goodhew
June 9th 2016
- Pitchfork's Ryan Schreiber :: Interview with Stephen Goodhew
FBi’s music director Stephen Goodhew spoke with Pitchfork founder and editor-in-chief Ryan Schreiber on The Playlist while he was in Sydney for Vivid LIVE. The two bonafide music nerds talked about what it was like to start an online music magazine in the early days of the internet, and the significance of online music journalism a whopping 20 years after Pitchfork’s creation.
Dating back three years pre-Google, Pitchfork was initially influenced by zine culture and had an extensive, strong focus on independent music. As one of the first publications to update on a daily basis, Pitchfork boasted an archive of over 2,500 record reviews by the year 2000, around the time the web was just starting to become a little more mainstream.
“I started writing record reviews every single day – two of them, a paragraph each. It was so early and so primitive… such a weird, novel concept, that I think people were intrigued by it. But I really also saw the potential, I thought if we start doing this we can build up an archive of record reviews and have comprehensive resource.”
As a media partner with this year’s Vivid LIVE program at Sydney Opera House, Schreiber brought in a couple of standouts tracks from the lineup – ‘Four Degrees’ by Anohni, ‘Singularity’ by New Order, and ‘ by Esperanza Spalding.
Speaking on the power and impact of Anohni’s debut album Hopelessness, Schreiber said:
“The track ‘Four Degrees’ is a song that speaks to a lot of people’s concerns about global warming and where things are going; the idea that it will only take a four-degree shift in temperature for humanity and animal to be wiped out. The track is just so intense, but it’s so beautiful.”
The makeup of Pitchfork has now become much more diverse, with over fifty core online contributors building on the narrative surrounding an artist. “The earlier we can recognise people are doing something different and special, where the record just connects with so many people naturally – they’re inevitably going to be popular.”
Listen to the in-depth, kinda nerdy interview above.