GUIDELINES: These are some generic guidelines for interviews with artists. Typically what I do before an interview is I look up other interviews this artist has done on the internet, so I don't ask a question that they've been asked a million times before.
Introduce Artist: "Hello. This is (artist's name). They are a (genre) type of band." Go over any other important facts that should be known about them before your start.
GENERIC QUESTIONS TO ASK
How did (Band Name) begin?
What instruments do you play in the line up (if this isn't commonly known knowledge and if you're just interviewing one person).
Who are your musical influences?
What are the important themes and messages of your music?
Of all the things you have written, do you have a favorite song? If you do, what is it and why?
When is your newest album coming out?
How does this album compare to other albums you released in the past?
When is your next tour? Where will you be touring?
Are you guys going to tour around us in Washington D.C.?
What advice do you have for amateur artists trying to record their first album?
As an artist, how did you learn how to play music (or paint, write, whatever you are interviewing them about)?
What websites do you like to go to in order to learn about music and metal (or whatever it is they are known for being good at).
What websites do you go to in order to learn about Paganism (if they are a pagan band/artist of sorts)?
THE BIG QUESTIONS
When writing an interview, I look at the artist's facebook/blog/and any other personal information. I try to find out what motivates them politically/spiritually/etc. I try to find out their beliefs about the world and how their music is an outlet for their beliefs. Usually after asking the mickey mouse type questions, I also try to incorporate a deep question.
As an artist, how do you use your art to convey a message about your beliefs to the world?
Do you think artists have a moral responsiblity to use their art to convey certain truths? (such as the environment or climate change for example).
You can also ask silly questions in order to liven up the interview a bit so it doesn't read like an encylopedia entry. For example, if you find out the artist likes horror movies you can ask them what they would do if they were a character in a horror movie. I also know that Randy Blythe from Lamb of God talked about running for president - so if I were interviewing him about his music, I might also ask him what he would do for me as president of the United States. Or if I were talking to Amon Amarth I would ask them if I could ride in their viking ship.
Thank the artist for taking the time to interview your questions. Maybe say something about listening to their album when it comes out or looking forward to seeing them on tour.