I love podcasts. I first started listening to them properly about 12 years ago when filmmaker Kevin Smith put out the first episode of his podcast on his 'Smodcast' network. I then got really into another show on that network called 'Tell 'Em Steve-Dave' which became a wee bit of an obsession for me.
Over the intervening years, podcasts have only grown in popularity. The third series of true crime pod, 'Serial' topped over 300 million downloads. That's all in spite of the second series being a bit rubbish.
So I guess it was only a matter of time before Perth got its very own podcast, the wickedly funny 'Monkey Sword Fight'. Like my favourite podcast, 'Tell 'Em Steve-Dave', it features three funny regulars, in this case, Jordan Patrick, Mike Dotts and Andy MacFarlane with regular special guests.
Some of their past guests will definitely be familiar to Small City readers, including co-chairperson of Perthshire Pride, Claire Mackenzie, ace local musician Chris Small, and Alex McClintock one of the guys behind local charity Andy's Man Club.
Also, like 'Tell 'Em Steve-Dave', they are starting to make forays onto the popular membership crowd-funding platform, Patreon. I'm not usually a big fan of crowd-funding but Patreon works really well. It means that if you really like a podcast then you can get access to extra content. 'Monkey Sword Fight' has big plans for Patreon including video episodes, live-streaming and cool-as-f^!k merchandise.
I met up with the guys for a chat about podcasting and their plans for the future in this week's Small City interview.
Why 'Monkey Sword Fight'?
Jordan was toying with the idea of naming a band 'Monkey Sword Fight' back when he was a musician. He suggested it when we were brainstorming podcast names and it stuck.
Who are your podcasting influences?
Andy- I'm really into "The Joe Rogan Experience", a comic book one called "The Weekly Planet" and a really good mixed martial arts one called "The Fighter and the Kid."
Mike- I was quite an early adopter of podcasts. I listened to the 'BS Report', and I've listened to "The Adam Corrola Show" since it started really.
Andy- I'm also pretty into my politics and like to listen to podcasts about that too.
How do you find guests for the podcast?
Jordan- We were thinking "who can we get on from Perth?" but when you get into it there are loads of interesting people to talk to. There's a lot of stuff starting to happen now, like with bands and spoken word nights. We've got a decent reach now so people often get in contact with us.
Andy- I work in the music industry and meet a lot of creative people so that's a pipeline we can tap into for a constant stream of guests. Mike and Jordan are really into their American Football and a lot of stuff they do outside of their work brings a whole range of different guests to the table.
Jordan- My mum's been on, my brother's been on, my mate Andy's even been on. Sometimes it's good just to get one of your pals on because you know what good craic they are. You get some guests that can naturally talk for hours and then My mums been on, my brother's been on, my mate Andy's even been on. Sometimes it's good just get one of your pals on because you know what good craic they are. you'll get some guests that run out of things to say after an hour. We've gotten quite good at knowing when to end the episode.
Mike- Adam Corrola always says when he starts an edition of his podcast, "if the episode is bad it's going to be my fault". We are very much of that mindset. We send out a pre-interview sometimes that can give us some jumping-off points if things start to flag. Although we've noticed that if you get a creative person unto the subject of what they've got coming up, then away they go. Everyone loves to talk about themselves.
Jordan- Plus having three hosts is a real advantage. Chances are that if things are flagging one of us can think of the right question to get things back on track.
How did you all meet?
Jordan- Me and Mike are in a fantasy basketball league and we used to talk podcasts all the time. We both started using this app called Bumpers, which effectively lets you podcast directly from your phone. Me and my pal Matt did a twenty-minute episode but then he moved to China. Someone suggested I get Mike on to replace him. So Mike jumped on from episode two and that was it, it was like a snowball, it just got bigger and bigger.
Andy- These guys had been doing it for about four or five episodes when I came on as a guest. I got absolutely smashed before I did the episode, it was brilliant. To this day I've never listened to it back.
Jordan- If it wasn't for Andy and his expertise me and Mike would still be talking into our mobile phones and making tinny recordings.
Andy- I'd been mates with the guys for ages anyway. They had a lot of ideas but I had a lot of tools and skill I could bring to it and thought we could really go somewhere with it. I'm a graduate of audio engineering at Perth College and now I teach up there, so it seemed like a good fit.
Do you ever have to edit anything out?
Andy - Nah, we all like to keep the show as natural as possible. When it comes to editing really all I'm doing is inserting theme music. Generally, I don't cut anything out. I have to beep out where these guys work just to be safe.
Mike- It's kind of a running gag now.
Andy- We generally don't drop anyone's name in a derogatory way but on the odd occasion we do, we tend to bleep it out. We're not looking to make any rivals.
What is the one question I haven't asked you that you'd like to be asked and what is the answer?
Andy- Haha, that's just lazy journalism, getting me to do your job for you! God that's a tough one. I know, I've got it. The question would be "Where can you find 'Monkey Sword Fight online?" And the answer? Well, there is a number of them.
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