Laura Snapes is Assistant Reviews Editor at NME music magazine. She wanted to work at NME since she was 13 years old and took some time out to tell icould what it’s like to land the job you’d always dreamed of.
Tell us about the job you’re doing now?
I work for NME music magazine as the Assistant Reviews Editor. I’m in charge of all the gig listings and writing the previews for the best shows. I also assist on anything else that might need doing for the Reviews section.
What is the biggest challenge you have at the moment?
Balancing time and finding enough hours to write the gig guide and write other features. It’s hard to find the time to come up with ideas for other articles, pitch them and then put them together.
During this time of year I’m also really busy attending lots of festivals. I have been to four already this summer and have another three to go to before the festival season finishes.
What is the most exciting aspect of your work?
Of course the festivals are a major perk, and getting to go lots of different gigs. The reason I wanted to do this job when I was younger was so that I could meet my favourite musicians for legitimate reasons without having to be a creepy stalker! I’ve met most of my favourite bands that are still alive. I think it’s always good to try and turn your hobby into a job.
How does technology help you do your job?
I use my phone when I’m reviewing gigs. It’s quite difficult to write notes in a dark room whilst you’re watching a gig so it’s handy to be able to write some notes on your phone.
I use Twitter a lot. It’s a great way to interact with your community and talk to people who you wouldn’t otherwise know.
What do you know now that you wish you had known earlier in life?
I wish that I had realised earlier that it wasn’t essential to go to university. You’re told that university is the best time of your life but that’s not always true. I think anyone who says it is clearly isn’t living well after university is over! Essentially, university is there to help you get a job, so if you can get one without going, or before the end of your course, then grab the chance.
Would your classmates from school be surprised at what you’re doing now?
No not at all. I was always the one at school who knew everything about different bands. I used to come in on a Monday morning and write the Top 40 on the blackboard!
Was there a teacher who had a particularly strong influence on you?
I had an English teacher in Year 10 who had lived in London during the punk era in the late 1970s – he used to tell me lots of stories about it. He would also be great if I didn’t do my homework, I would instead bring in an article that I had written for NME, he would roll his eyes at me but was always fine with it!
What’s your desert island essential that you couldn’t do without?
My laptop and an internet connection! I could continue doing what I do whilst I was there and listen to some music whilst I waited for someone to come and rescue me.
Have there been any clear turning points in your life so far?
Applying for my job at NME was a major turning point. I was offered the job the day before I was due to go to Austria to live for 6 months as part of my degree. Instead I quit university and had a week to find somewhere to live and move to London. At the time my parents were really annoyed, but now I don’t ring them asking for grocery money, they don’t mind.
What was the proudest moment of your life so far?
It would have to be getting the job that I’d wanted since I was 13 years old. I had dreamed of working for NME for a long time but never thought it would happen.
Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years time?
I’d still like to be a music journalist; I never want to not be! It would be nice to be in a position that allows me to write every day. I’d like to write books about a couple of bands and perhaps spend a year living in New York or Sweden.