So why now, podcast boy?
Good question. The idea of doing a podcast has been on my radar for a few years, but thinking about it never quite led to doing it until recently. There were reasons for that. I knew it would be an interview show, but I wasn’t sure how to record interviews – conversations – over the internet.
I was also very reluctant to go down the road of starting a project like this because I know how much work is involved. I started the London Groove Machine music blog years ago with similar enthusiasm, but the sheer volume of work ground me to a halt in the end. Scheduling interviews, conducting interviews, doing research, transcribing audio, making posts, sharing them around, going to shows, keep up with everything … it was exhausting. I eventually brought in a couple of people to help, but ultimately it just didn’t do what I wanted it to do.
Ditto the Scratched Cynic blog.
Ditto the Huff Online blog.
I’m a wonderful starter of things, but am often not a wonderful maintainer of things. I didn’t want to start a show and have it flame out six months or a year later. And, frankly, I don’t know that won’t happen in this case too, but here we are. The John Huff Podcast is a reality.
Because I needed it.
Here’s the truth: being a side musician is great, but it has certain drawbacks. Side players get hired to play, which is cool, but they also put themselves at the whim and mercy of the artists they play for. I have no real control over who uses me and when. As a side man, you’re in, then you’re out, then you’re in, then your artist takes a break, then you pick up a gig with someone else and there’s a conflict, and then you’re out because of that, and then ….
It can be a roller coaster.
When you’re in a band, you’re in a band. It’s yours. When you’re a side man, it’s hard not to feel sometimes like you're an interchangeable drummer unit. That’s not a complaint. It’s just the nature of the business. And so, since leaving my band to be a working drummer, I’ve had to face that nature, and at times it’s frustrating. I’ve needed something that doesn’t depend on anyone else’s whim or schedule. I needed something that’s mine.
My schedule hasn’t been as busy as I would like it to be lately. That’s not particularly unusual for a Canadian musician in winter. I’ve been down that road before and struggled with it. You look at your calendar and you wonder why the gigs aren’t coming. You wonder if it’s you or just circumstance or who knows what? It’s very easy to feel one step from finished in this business. In the past I’ve let that situation make me depressed, which is just not a useful way to process energy. This time around I decided to pour the energy into something creative. Something more positive.
I’ve also been mulling over something that I heard Dan Carlin (Hardcore History) talk about on the Joe Rogan Experience. He said you need to give the universe opportunities to intervene in your life. As I’ve written before, the great Geoff Thompson said that success is often the result of a happy accident, so it’s important to make yourself accident prone.
In other words, good things happen when you put yourself out there.
So I took the precarious nature of my musical situation, the fact of my light schedule, and the energy that comes with my fear and frustration, and put it into a project that’s been nagging at me for a long time.
You can do the same thing. I chose a podcast because I like podcasts. I’ve also interviewed hundreds of people as a corporate communicator, journalist, and music blogger. It’s in my skill set. The project has also challenged me to begin learning about audio editing and recording technology. It’s important if you feel stuck to try things where you have room to improve and grow. I certainly have faced and continue to face a steep learning curve with putting this show together. There is momentum in conquering those steps.
The show is going to roll out very soon (in fact, the first episode is under review with iTunes at this moment). It will feature interviews – conversations – with people who are doing unconventional things with their lives. Artists. Thinkers. Entrepreneurs. Athletes. A whole lot of drummers. It’s intended to inspire people to take a chance on their dreams, and to provide the evidence they may need to believe that it’s possible.
I want to thank everyone who has supported the project so far. I genuinely appreciate your belief in me and what I’m trying to do.
Any day now.
Let’s see what happens.