Since the rise of the World Wide Web, music fans have always taken to various online outlets to discuss their favourite and loathed bands. Alongside forums and social media, podcasts have become one of admirable forms of media for music fans to talk amongst themselves. It is well known that podcasting has no rules. Anyone with a mic and some audio editing knowledge can put together a podcast with their friends.
That is exactly what Nick Quinn, Chris Doughty and Darren Smith did late last year when they launched The Wasting Time Podcast. Connected by a mutual interest for punk rock, they’re not just your usual music fans. They’ve also spent their time playing in bands; Quinn use to drum in defunct London pop punks Rivalries before forming Stinebeck with co-host Darren. Whilst Chris currently plays guitar in Spineless Yes Men.
The combination of musicial insight and genuine interest, alongside a blend of news discussion and the involvement of guests from the UK punk rock world, makes The Wasting Time Podcast an addictive and enjoyable listen. Although only four episodes deep, the trio have shown a natural camaraderie that makes each episode flow with ease.
To learn more about The Wasting Time Podcast we fired over some questions for the trio answer. Collectively Quinn, Chris and Darren discuss how the idea for the podcast came together, how it has developed so far, and why podcasting has become popular.
AH: To kick things off, how did you three meet each other?
Chris: I met Darren through Alaap (Parikh) who was playing drums in Spineless Yes Men about 2 years ago. I thought he was an unfriendly miserable git but after about 4 months Stockholm Syndrome set in and we’ve been “friends” ever since.
Darren: Chris actually came sat with me at The Menzingers whilst I was awaiting for Alaap and I was forced to talk to him. Turns out he wasn’t a total dick.
Quinn: Me and Darren met about a year ago as our mate James was putting together a new band, which we’re still working on called Stinebeck, and then through Darren I met Chris.
AH: How did the idea of Wasting Time come together?
Darren: I was listening to the Going Off Track podcast at work and came up with the idea of a London based podcast. I texted Chris and Quinn asking if they wanted to do a punk-rock podcast with me and we took it from there.
AH: Was it influenced by other podcasts or sparked by the three of you sitting around talking about music?
Quinn: We got together to discuss all our own ideas for what we wanted to include and different segments and features that should be a part of each episode. It kinda dawned on us that everything we came up with; news, new releases, different topics, were all things we sat around in the pub discussing anyway so we decided for that to be a part of the show. It wouldn’t be too tight or tidy, we’d just get some ideas together each week and chat seeing where it goes. You may have noticed we go off on tangents quite a bit and thats key for us keeping a natural conversation rolling.
Darren: For me, I was/am mainly interested in hearing peoples stories of how they create, what got them into music and why they do what what do etc.
Quinn: We settled on having a different guest on each week as part of the conversation, joining in with the albums discussion and then spending some time getting to know them, how they got into music, the different bands and projects they have worked in and all that stuff. Again we keep it loose, with a few ideas for what to discuss but we let the conversation go where it goes without trying to hard to steer it in any particular direction.
AH: The podcasts is a balanced mix of news and interviews. Although you’re only a handful of episodes in, how have you found developing the podcast so far?
Chris: We are gradually learning on what works and doesn’t. We did have a feature early on of reviewing old albums – but that didn’t seem to really work.
Quinn: Yeah it’s been a little trial and error but we’re getting there. The main hurdle for me was learning to edit, as that’s not something I’ve done before. But each week it gets easier and I’m getting more comfortable editing around parts that don’t work. Using music is great for that as you can hide an unnatural break in the conversation with 30 seconds of the band you’ve just been discussing.
AH: With all of you having played in bands, do you think having that experience enhance’s the discussions you have on the podcast?
Darren: I don’t know about that but its gives us more to relate about when talking with our guests.
Quinn: This was one of the things we thought might make the podcast different to most, as we’re active in writing, recording and playing music rather than only commentating on it, so I hope it gives us a different perspective when discussing albums and talking to guests. Whether that’s working only the listeners can decide really, but I think it works for us.
AH: What aspect of the podcast do you each enjoy the most (interview, news, open discussion)?
Chris: Probably the news discussion, it can be good hearing people’s opinions on stuff.
Quinn: Discussing new albums each week for me. I might hear an album I wouldn’t have normally heard, and getting to hear three or four different perspectives on a piece of music can make for really interesting conversation, and will more often than not give me something new to think about next time I listen to it.
Darren: Interviewing people and getting inside their heads, finding out how they got into music in the first place and what their favourite Quantum Leap episode it.
AH: What area of the podcast would like to do more of in future episodes?
Chris: It would be nice to get sent music to review rather than having hunt it out ourselves as there can be some heated debated as to what to discuss. Also I’d love to be able to get more established/famous musicians on as guests but that’s probably a long way off for us right now.
AH: Even though it’s early days, how has the response been so far?
Darren: I’m told we get about 150-200 listeners per episodes, more than all our friends combined so someone else must be listening to it. It’s more than any of us expected this early on so that’s pretty cool.
Quinn: We’ve gotten some good feedback which has helped shape the episodes in one way or another. Cutting down in some areas, focusing more in others and that’s helping make the podcast a little more succinct I think.
AH: It has been said that podcasting has been making a “renaissance” over the past year. What do you think it is about podcasting that has drawn people back to making and listening to them?
Darren: Podcasting killed the radio star!
Quinn: I don’t think podcasting ever went away did it? It’s always felt to me it’s been on an steady upwards trend since it’s inception 11 or 12 years ago. Maybe podcasts like ‘Serial’ have made them more acceptable to listen, or re-introduced audiences to podcasts again. But they are such an easy media to produce and consume, I think that’s why they’re popular and continuing to grow.
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)