Following your passion and doing what you feel inspired to do is probably the happiest ingredient you can add into your life. The act of following your passion allows you to gain the skills in areas you’re already strong in and pushes you to become better at what you do, which can then be shared with the world.

Chris Jericho, vocalist for Fozzy and WWE Superstar. Submitted by Alex Obert.

Chris Jericho, vocalist for Fozzy and WWE Superstar. Submitted by Alex Obert.

As Bon Jovi would say, “Nothing is as important as passion; no matter what you want to do with your life, be passionate.”

Manchester Community College graduate Alex Obert did just that when he discovered his passion for writing. Obert started off at MCC to major in video editing, but during his few semesters of taking some writing classes, he was inspired to pursue journalism. He joined the Live Wire staff in 2009 and began writing music-related articles and would often profile bands that he loved, such as Steel Panther, Fozzy, and ZO2.

Talking with creative people inspired him to create a website called “Journey of a Frontman” in July of 2012.

Obert said he personally had always dreamed of becoming a frontman for a rock band but decided that if he couldn’t be one, then he’d write about those who did.

After graduating, he began building his website that mainly focused on interviews and reviews of local and big name bands he enjoys discussing, such as Queens of Stone Age or Guns N’ Roses, and the  bands mentioned above. He writes concert reviews and shares his frustrated thoughts on things he’s passionate about, like ranting about the choices made by the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” or the format changes at WCCC 106.9, which calls itself “Hartford’s Rock Station.”

Obert works part-time, traveling to New York City to do in-person interviews with a variety of musicians and bands. He puts money into his website to improve layout, register his URL and pay the expense of traveling to New York for interviews.

Like any other journalist, Obert said he started off small and built his way up, conducting interviews with local bands formed by his close friends. He then got his big break interviewing Andrew W.K., a solo rock musician known for his 2001 single “Party Hard” which is featured in Madden NFL 2003.

Myles Kennedy, vocalist of Alter Bridge. Photo submitted by Alex Obert.

Myles Kennedy, vocalist of Alter Bridge. Photo submitted by Alex Obert.

That success helped him confidently pursue more notable names. With a lot of persistence, hard work, and countless late nights, the interviewees became bigger and bigger, names such as Chris Pontius (from MTV’s series “Jackass”), Adam “Edge” Copeland, from the WWE, Mark Tremonti, lead guitarist for both bands Creed/Alter Bridge and Mark McGrath, known for Sugar Ray.

Obert said he does not easily get to sit down with stars and interview them; he has to work hard to get these sit-downs.

“It’s like getting job interviews; you have to keep calling the band management back so they know you are passionate and interested,” he said.

Not only does he interview band members and musicians, but he also has recently branched out to interviewing actors, such as Kevin Bigley from USA’s TV show “Sirens”, stand-up comedians, and wrestlers.

I have an eclectic roster of interviewees, not just musicians, but throughout all of entertainment. It helps to generate more interest for fans of those interviewees,” he said, adding that his goal is to make JOAF so huge that he is able to work for himself and that it rises to the same level as a site like Nerdist. “People ask me when I’m going to work for Rolling Stone. That’s not the definite plan; I love being in control of who I interview and running things myself. I do it because I love it, not for the money. That’s why I work outside of here.”

True success is much more than having a lot of wealth and fame. When people are enthusiastic and proud of the work they do, they will continue to lead a healthy and happy life. Particularly for any aspiring journalists, the main goal is to be passionate about writing as much as possible.

“If it’s what you love most, you won’t let anyone stand in your way,” Obert said, “and that includes the people who discourage you from following your dreams. Be prepared to work harder than you ever worked. The payoff will be worth it. Always have a source of motivation and always believe in yourself as well.”

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