Interview: Modern Vinyl


by Deanna Chapman

Modern Vinyl was kind enough to do another interview with us. We previously talked to them about how they started the Modern Vinyl Podcast, which you can find here. This time they’re here to talk to us about their live podcast coming up with Washed Up Emo. Check out the interview below and find tickets for the live podcast here

You guys are closing in on 50 episodes in the next couple of months. How does it feel to have that many and is there anything special you’ll be doing to celebrate that accomplishment?

James: Chris and I have been doing this since mid-April 2014. It’s wild to know we’ve reached 50 episodes in less than a year and that we’ve kept it interesting (and somehow increased our listener base). I think we’ll be posting the live podcast online as Episode 50. As for celebration between the three of us (hey, Mike, you too!), I don’t know if my mom wants to read about that.

Chris: Yeah, the hope is most certainly to post the big live show as episode 50, but we’ll have some work to do to get to that point. If we have to hold it for ceremonial purposes, that’s cool with me. Our celebration will be pretty simple. We’ll cause at least $10,000 of damage to our hotel room and possibly burn down the entire establishment. If that’s our last episode before heading off to the “big house,” then so be it.

Mike: It’s pretty crazy to think we’ve been keeping this going for that many episodes. There are a lot of podcasts options out there in the market, so it really warms my heart to know that we are building an audience and that people want to hear anything we have to say. As for celebration, i know for sure at least something is gonna catch fire when we celebrate episode 50.

What made you decide to do a joint, live podcast with Washed Up Emo?

James: We were always planning to make this a two-act event. I know I’ve been a huge fan of WUE for a while now, so I was stoked to see that come together. The planning impetus was all on Chris, though.

Chris: I reached out to Tom from Washed Up Emo and he responded within about 30 seconds that he was definitely down. His help and enthusiasm has been a big key in the entire process, as the venue selection and planning took quite a bit out of me. Do bands really schedule runs of more than one date? The process is kind of difficult! Anyways, we respect Washed Up Emo a ton and he’s lined up a typically excellent lineup for his side. The Promise Ring, Texas Is The Reason and Thursday? Woah.

Mike: We needed cool points for the show and who has more cool point than Washed Up Emo. Those guys know how to put on an event, so it’s really awesome to be sharing this show with them.

Will all of your hosts be attending despite living in different states?

James: Yep! This is the first time the three of us have met in person, and despite my penchant for meeting strange girls from the Internet in real life, I’m kinda nervous. But, I’m actually stoked that I’m reportedly taller than Mike, so I’ve crushed him in both that and the looks department. I’m unofficially the best looking host on this podcast.

Chris: And I’m taller than both of them. So if the ladies dig that, hit me up. We’ve never met before besides Skype and it certainly should be interesting to spend 4 days together. This will either strengthen the podcast for the long run and finally give us real time to talk its future or it will break us at our core, causing a fight and AT LEAST $15,000 worth of hotel damage.

Mike: I have a long journey ahead of me for this event. I am the Frodo Baggins of the group, Chris is my Samwise, and of course, James is Sméagol. I’m really excited to see how meeting these guys in person really goes. I wanna film it, so i can catch all the awkwardness. We’re like a long distance relationship, it’s clearly not gonna work out for us.


How did you go about finding a venue for it and picking who would guest on it?

James: The venue choice was all Chris, even though we had all agreed New York was the best location to host the live podcast (well, maybe for Chris and I — poor Mike has to trek out from California). As for our guests, we went with Zack Zarrillo and Thomas Nassiff from Bad Timing Records. Zack and I have been Internet friends for a while and I’ve been contributing to PropertyOfZack, so I was well aware of all he’s doing. I met Thomas for like ten seconds once at a Modern Baseball show, and unfortunately, I’ll probably never be taller than him. Modern Vinyl has extensively covered Bad Timing releases in the past — Chris actually interviewed these guys when they first dropped BTR-001 in July 2013 — so we’re stoked to grab their insight from a different vantage point.

Washed Up Emo has an incredible lineup of guests, so if you hate us, you can tough our hour out and go see a panel of emo legends for $5.

Chris: The venue was a long process. We originally wanted to just do a house show, but with timing, it was all about booking a secure, solid place before those dates became unavailable. But saying that, I’m very happy that it ended up being Union Hall. Shannon, from the venue, has been so very helpful and Chris Farren had done some live podcasts there, which gave me the initial idea. Bad Timing just seemed like a natural fit. Our podcast can be really weird and chaotic at moments, but those guys can hang.

Mike: I just sat back and watched Chris do all the venue stuff. I’m all the way in California, the golden state for babes, books, and Belding, i don’t know much about NYC venues. From what i’ve seen in the pictures and my stalking on google maps, the venue looks lovely. Good job, Chris!

What can people expect from the live show? Will it still be recorded and posted for those who can’t attend?

James: We’re adapting some long-standing podcast features for the live format. I don’t think we can really disclose the details of what those will be, but I can assure you it’s going to rule. We’ve had a lot of fun tossing these ideas around for months. There will be a few live giveaways from our friends at Mondo, The Native Sound and Singles Club — as well as a hand-curated prize from each of us. There should be some Modern Vinyl gear for sale, as well. I think the kissing booth is being constructed in Chris’ apartment right now, so that might make an appearance. This will definitely be recorded (no Skype issues this time!) and posted later for our satellite listeners.

Mike: This event will be like the con for vinyl nerds, only on a much much much smaller scale. Maybe some trades will go on? Some cool games and inappropriate storytelling? Live version of the MV theme song?! The list goes on.

Chris: Our A-side topic will be a returning favorite feature (at least for myself). If you’re attending, just make sure you bring your tuxedo. Our Side B will be a longtime game we play, adapted again for that live setting. And we’re actually still in the process of locking everything down. And of course I’ll be preparing at least 40 minutes of open mic material. Wait……we only get like 45-50 minutes……

The kissing booth is just about done, but it’s going to be very strange when I carry it onto the Amtrak. Mike is also going to be setting up a tax booth, for those who still need to do their taxes and pay “the man.”

Mike: Did we mention the kissing booth? I’m single btw.

Are there any more plans for future live podcasts?

James: I think once we get a feel for how this first one goes, we can totally see if a second is in the cards. For now, it’s still hard to coordinate our schedules — I’m in school, Chris teaches, and Mike has a full-time job and is in a band — but I’m sure we can make something work if we really wanted.

Chris: If this one goes well, sure thing. Modern Vinyl does alright and I’ll fly these dudes out as long as people attend. Maybe an annual thing?

Mike: Anything is possible. Granted we are pretty busy people, live events are a blast and would allow us to bring the show to the people who listen to it. I would definitely want to do more of these.

With the live podcast and episode 50 coming up, will there be any changes made to the show or will you just keep doing what you’ve been doing?

James: Honestly, we always change things up already — or try to, at least. If you were to go back to the first few episodes (specifically before Mike joined the team as a permanent member), you’d probably hate listening. We don’t want that feeling to ever happen again, because podcasts require an attention that can’t really be taken for granted and neglected. We try to be funny, and sometimes it’s horrendous, but for the most part, we try to create a great conversation about music on each episode that’s accessible and real — with enough surprises to keep the hits coming and the responses positive.

Chris: Yeah, I think it’s just going to be striking that balance between our weird humor and actual music discussions. We like to be well researched but entertaining. We’re currently running a “Revisiting Kanye” series, where we’re looking at each of his albums in depth and I think that’s a sign of things to come. Long term audio projects interspersed with our typical episodes. And of course interviews.

Mike: We’re always throwing new ideas out there with this podcast. The nature of the show kind of allows us to do whatever we want creatively, which is amazing to me. James and Chris started a great platform for this show, granted it was unlistenable until i joined. They still did something, right? I know we have a lot of cool ideas in the old idea bank that we are going to roll out this year.

Is there a goal for how many shows you’d like to do?

James: I don’t see why we couldn’t shoot for the triple digits by next year at this rate. I’ll probably be 85 writing for Modern Vinyl so provided podcast technology is still in vogue, we could possibly have thousands of episodes. Realistically though, 100 total episodes by this time next year?

Chris: Yeah, I would think 100 would be a legitimate goal by year 2. With interviews picking up, we’ve really been posting a ton of content. On top of the normal podcast, we also have special episodes called “Random Pull” which features more MV writers talking music. I would check those out if you haven’t.

Mike: Hell, we could run into the quadruple digits.

Chris: I think a legitimate goal is a million by the end of 2015. Call me crazy.

Any last words about the live podcast?

James: Kissing booth.

Chris: $20,000 in hotel damage.

Mike: I’m single btw.