Clayton Purdom Interview
Clayton Purdom is a freelance writer/editor. He’s the former editorial director of video game publication Kill Screen and an internet culture writer at A.V. Club. Clayton got his start, however, at Cokemachineglow, an influential Canadian webzine that ran from 2002 to 2015. Clayton was the driving force behind the new collection, cokemachineglow: Writing Around Music 2005-2015, which brings together some of the site’s best writing.
How did you get to where you are today, professionally?
Well, I started my career at Cokemachineglow, which is why we’re talking today. I had grown up poring over print magazines and then got obsessed with music writing online in any form – particularly early Pitchfork and A.V. Club. A friend (later CMG contributor Eric Sams) went to school with Chet Betz, an early CMG editor who I thought was the coolest person alive. I applied to CMG and my engagement with long-winded music criticism began.
I was there for quite awhile (alongside a host of day jobs, obviously) and then got really into writing about video games, particularly the intersection of games and music. Some freelancing in that space led to a stint as the editorial director of Kill Screen, which I really tried to run in CMG‘s image, at least for a little while—super writer-focused, unafraid of confrontation, and with an intimate relationship with its readers.