Out of all the things I’ve done in my life, the most common question I’m ever asked is: “What was it like interning at Decibel Magazine?” Well, years after the fact, I’ve finally decided to take a look back and reminisce about what it was like being “The Fucking Intern.”
The first thing I did everyday was get coffee for the office. I had to order each cup of Starbucks coffee “As black as the blackest depths of my dreary soul.” I thought they were kidding, but somehow everyone at the office could tell if I ordered “plain” black coffee.
Next, Mark Evans (former customer service mastermind) and myself would carry various boxes to the China Town post office for mailing. On the way back we’d smoke whatever roaches either of us had in our pockets.
Then the real work began. I was just assigned to surf the net and “troll” all the shitty bands who send in their demos. And this was before trolling caught on. I couldn’t count how many times I trolled Rattlehead and Titular Urge.
Next I had to spend at least an hour prank calling churches all across the country. I had to learn how to speak in tongues, which isn’t at all easy, but has turned out to be a cool party trick. Eventually they bought a phone card so I could do Europe, too.
After an hour of that I’d begin transcribing early 90’s tape-recorded interviews from various Scandinavian bands. This was the hardest part of the day. Between the long-distance connection, the deterioration of the tapes and the thickly garbled accents, it was an impossible task. According to one of my transcriptions, Nocturno Culto is a seasoned Olympic diver who won a gold medal in ’92 at Denali.
My investigative assignment everyday was to hunt down that awesome black dude from the black metal prank call and interview him. I made one trip to Baltimore and two to Jersey City, but I never found him.
Finally, from four until the end of the day, I was instructed to “corpse-paint” random photographs from the internet with adobe photoshop. I have no idea why or what they did with the pictures. I did hundreds of celebrities, then I moved onto animals, and finally into my inanimate object period.
At the end of everyday they played some outrageous version of Japanische Kampfhörspiele covering “Closing Time” over the PA. It was actually pretty heavy.