Darin Byrne: Hands On

How did the 10th of 11 kids go from the Elliot Housing Projects in Chelsea to shooting Eminem’s very first MTV interview? 

If you’re a certain Maplewood, New Jersey-based Development Exec, EP and showrunner, the answer may include a consciousness-shifted, college-era Friday-night in front of The Week In Rock.

“I was enraptured with the back and forth between Tabitha and Kurt and just how serious they took it,” one-time intern-turned-Senior Producer Darin Byrne says. 

“I was like, ‘I really want to do this!’ I wanted to take music journalism and music reporting that seriously. It just hit me right then that that was my path.” 

And it ends up that tenure at SUNY Plattsburgh gave him a leg up.

“It was a student-run TV program,” he says. “We had our hands on gear all the time, from running a switcher, directing a control room, to putting our hands on Hi-8 cameras.

“We knew how to set up cameras, we knew how to edit a little bit on three quarter analog. So when I Interned at MTV News that summer, I had a little bit more technical skill than some of the Ivy Leaguers.” 

That hands-on experience proved especially valuable as digital media was transforming the newsroom. 

“I would shoot little things and bring ‘em back,” he says. “I would go to CBGBs and see Cro-Mags and Biohazard and get 30 seconds into The Week in Rock even as a [production assistant]. Those guys just loved the exposure. And I loved doing it.” 

This week, Darin breaks down how that hands-on, deadly-serious approach to music journalism carried him from the studio with Beyonce and on-tour with Wu-Tang Clan, to backstage with Matchbox 20 and on set at 1515 Broadway. 

“We were all nerds and music geeks and just following our dreams.”

Listen to You Hear It First: An Unofficial & Uncensored History of MTV News on Apple or Spotify now.

Related Posts