Next up in our Making Of feature is the Sharing Needles With Friends podcast! Check out our interview with co-hosts Gene and Derek. They talk about how the podcast was started, what equipment they use, and what future plans are for the show. You can find the podcast here and find them on Facebook and Twitter as well.
How did you guys meet and what led to you starting a podcast together?
D: Gene and I met in high school. We have played music together and been in bands together for almost 15 years. We toured in a pop punk / emo band called “my lost cause” for 6 or 7 years in the early 2000’s. The podcast started kind of on a whim. We would sit around and laugh and bullshit about music for hours at a time anyways so we figured we could throw some microphones in front of us and at least be able to have a recorded history of us being idiots.
G: We met in school about 15-ish years ago. We have been friends and bandmates ever since. We played in bands and toured together for a while and after that came to an end we would still get together and hang out regularly. Most conversation topics revolved around our love of music and sharing new discoveries with each other. One night we had the idea to just put microphones in front of our faces and have the same types of conversation. After we did episode number one we were both hooked and decided we should start having artist interviews as well as just our own witty banter.
What is your setup like for the podcast (mics, editing program, etc.)?
G: Luckily I (Gene) am obsessed with audio recording. I have 2 rooms in my house that act as a recording studio, a “console” room and a “tracking” room. Most of the live In Studio sessions are filmed and recorded in the tracking room while interviews are recorded in the console room. We use SHURE SM7b microphones and a Focusrite Sapphire pre-amp. We primarily record directly in to Logic Pro X in numerous ways. In live in studio interviews everyone is direct in. For phone interviews we patch the phone into an input on the interface, and for Skype calls we use an app called “Call Recorder” which we later sync up in Logic. We also have a remote rig which, which we used for example on the Frank Turner interview, and it involves a 13” MacBook Pro and a Focusrite Scarlett and it generally operates the same as in studio.
D: We all use Shure sm7b microphones. We run all of our content through Logic Pro. When our guests aren’t able to be in the studio we record their audio via Skype or run a direct in from the cell phone.
You guys have b-sides episodes that you post as well as the regular topic/interview episodes, what made you decide to separate and distinguish the two as separate things?
D: We really just wanted to be able to put more content out. On our topic/interview episodes we really like to focus as much attention as posible to the guest or album of choice. We wanted to have episodes that were very free form where we could just basically talk about recent music news and whatever else may come up. These are very fun for us because we don’t really prepare at all. We just hit record and let whatever happens happen.
G: Well, we looked at it from a 7” single standpoint. On singles, there is always the “title track” and the B-Side, which is of course the EXTRA song with the single. We thought it would be cool to do shorter mid-week segments with recent news and new music suggestions and just call them B-Side Episodes, because, well… we are clever? We THINK we are clever.
How far in advance do you plan out the interviews and the podcast in general? And how do you decide who you’ll be interviewing?
G: This always varies. Sometimes we end up booking shows out up to like 2 months in advance, all depending on the artists schedule. But, on the other hand we have had interviews that came together as quickly as “You want an interview? SURE, how does 8pm sound?” so we then just roll with it. As far as choosing guests it is a mixture of artists showing interest in coming on the show, working with some AMAZING publicists, and generally just trying our best to get some of our favorite people on the show. Half of the fun of this show has kind of become “You think we can get them to do it?” and we are almost always very surprised with the enthusiasm we have been shown from ALL of our guests.
D: Well that’s a tricky question. We try to coordinate the interviews weeks ahead of time. We are successful at that occasionally but sometimes it’s pretty last minute. It’s kind of funny because the last minute interviews seem to be some of the best and produce much more natural conversation. Mostly what happens is Gene and I will sit around and one of us will say “Dude, you know who would be awesome to have on the podcast? This person!!” And then we will scour the Internet for ways to contact that person or their management. I am consistently blown away at how lucky we have been in achieving results from this. We also have a few awesome people that will feed us great artists from time to time and that is a tremendous help.
Who would be your dream guest to interview?
D: That’s hard to say. So far everyone has been a dream really. It’s been amazing getting to know some of these artists that we really respect and enjoy. I would really love to speak with Ben Gibbard, Tim Kasher, and Colin Meloy sometime. They are all some of my favorite lyricists. Stephen Malkmus would be amazing. Pavement is one of my favorite bands and I love his solo stuff as well. Donald Glover would be amazing because he does so much awesome stuff that I’m sure it would be an amazing conversation. Dave Grohl would obviously be a dream come true to have on. The list goes on and on.
G: This is a really tough question. Ideally for me (Gene) I would love to have a chat with Morrissey, Thom Yorke, Noel or Liam Gallagher, or Leonard Cohen… but I feel like the chances of any of the above mentioned showing ANY interest in our silly Podcast is just obscene.
You guys have posted 94 episodes at this point, do you have a goal you want to get to or do you just plan on going with the flow?
G: There is no expiration date for SNWF! We have so much we want to accomplish and so many people we want to talk to! We are branching out even further by starting a record label to further share our love for the music we are so very fond of by releasing it ourselves to the world! Our HUGE dream idea is to one day support ourselves and live off of what we do with SNWF. It is not probable, but it is possible!
D: No goal. We have so much fun doing it that I really can’t envision us stopping any time soon. Even if no one listened we would probably continue to do it.
Can you give us any preview as to what you’ll be talking about next or who’s on the interview list?
D: We are currently preparing for our end of year episode right now where we will break down some of our favorite releases of 2014. We are hoping to have many past guests on to chime in with their list of year end favorites as well.
G: I can say that next year will be a VERY exciting year full of some pretty amazing interviews and SO much more, but I will stop there as there is LITERALLY so much in the works right now we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves!
Anything about the show I may have missed that you’d like to mention?
G: If you can’t tell by the Podcast, we love music. We especially love music on Vinyl and I don’t think I can ever express enough how much MORE people should view the LP as art. There is a feeling you get with searching, buying, and playing a record for the first time that can’t be felt in the digital world of instant musical gratification. Sure, all of those songs you love are likely there, but isn’t the best part about music a little bit of a social thing? Whether it is going to shows or hanging out with friends and putting records on, it’s a community and music can be the singular thread that ties us all together.
D: We are in the process of releasing a vinyl comp of some of the early guests of the show. It should be out soon so people should keep an eye out for it. It’s for a great charity organization called “the joy of music school” that gives instruments and music lessons to underprivileged kids.
Other than that we have some huge news to reveal early into 2015 that we are very excited for. I’m literally bursting at the seams to tell everyone about it. Keep watch.