Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Folks Behind the Music - Spotlight on Joey Camp - The Escape Pod Podcast

Today's spotlight is on Joey Camp from the podcast, The Escape Pod.  A veteran of the podcasting world, check out his newest podcast over at our good friends Grip of Delusion Radio to catch some serious stuff.  Follow at twitter and facebook

Start at the beginning, how did you get started with this crazy idea of broadcasting about music?

 Well, what started me on the road to podcasting was my renewed interest in '60's garage rock 'n' roll and my pursuit to find websites devoted to that genre of music. So for interest's sake, I typed in "garage rock" in a search engine, and one of the sites that came up was the GaragePunk Hideout, a social network for garage rock (and other music genres) lovers. The site also hosted podcasts, which I never had listened to before. To me, this would be a dream come true for anyone who always wanted to be a radio dj, but never went to broadcast school (like myself). I really dug what was going on at the Hideout, so I joined, then turned a friend on to it, who after listening to a few of the podcasts, basically said "Hey, we should do this". So after buying some cheap equipment, getting over some technical mishaps, and coming in contact with some bands on the Hideout and My Space (this was late '07-early '08), we launched "Whiskey 'N' Waterbeds". Under the monikers "Joey Fuckup" (me) and "Whiskey Brian" (my co-host), we played a wide range of tunes from garage rock to punk to hardcore, novelty, smut, you name it. Nearly all of it was underground, and as we began taking the show on the road to bars where we would interview bands, the show began to build a following. From that point on, I've more or less been a podcasting addict, hosting several kinds of shows, and stayed fairly active since I began doing it.

We're all the product of our musical past.  What's your musical history?   First album you ever bought?   First musical epiphany moment?  First album that terrified the hell out of you?

 The first album I bought with my very own money was the J. Geils Band's "Freeze Frame" because my favorite song ever (at that time) was "Centerfold". I purchased it at a K-Mart along with their earlier release "Bloodshot", which unfortunately was a re-issue so it wasn't the red vinyl. Talk about two totally different albums! My dad had to explain to my feeble 10 year old mind that these guys had been around for quite some time, so here I am thinking this was some new band...I loved that "Freeze Frame" album, but I can't say it "changed my world", though. It wasn't until around '82 that I began to become an adventurous music buyer and started to dig what was happening in punk and new wave. So I would have to say at this time, the album that blew my doors open was Black Flag's "Damaged". I had never heard hardcore before, and it knocked the walls down that made me want to accumulate as much as I could get my hands on. Luckily, I had some pals that were more than happy to make me mix tapes of all the cool ass imports, 7"s, and EP's they would buy up at the local indie record shop. Plus I would order tapes from ROIR from bands that I had no clue what they sounded like, even though I knew they were "punk".

 Hardcore made me appreciate metal, so when thrash began to take off, I was one of the few kids that embraced it. Punks felt that thrash was too metal, and the metal dudes thought it was too punk. I just loved that aggressive energy, and of course, as history has shown, this resistance to the scene was just a "speed bump" (no pun intended). So with that being said, the album that "scared" me was Mercyful Fate's "Don't Break the Oath". I had read about them in "Thrasher" magazine (I skateboarded, er, skatewrecked, and really I only read "Thrasher" for its music reviews and coverage), and having already started to become more interested in Motorhead, Iron Maiden, and Megadeth, I naturally picked up "Don't Break the Oath" on cassette. It admittedly (to me anyway) was spooky as fuck, but I couldn't stop listening to it. It was great, late night music to blare out of the ghetto blaster on a Saturday night while walking around the neighborhood, much to the (natural) unhappiness of the residents of my old stomping grounds (this was '84-'85, and I didn't have my license yet).

What's the last album to grab you by the throat and insist you listen?

Last album to grab me by the throat? Not sure, skipping that one...

What do you see happening in the music scene today, good and bad?

 What I see happening in today in any music scene is the growth and exposure of the underground, thanks to the internet. It's so much easier now for artists to get themselves out there with the options presented with social media. Anyone searching for something new can now come across a number of bands just by looking around. You don't have to wait for a monthly in print publication or fanzine to find out about what's making some noise, all you have to do is get on your computer and look around.

Illegal free downloads on your site.  Yes or no, and why?

 I would never promote or allow illegal downloads on anything I was involved with, simply because it's obviously not legally tied with the involved parties. I would only promote/allow downloads from the labels and artists after getting the permission to do so. In my past experience, downloads have always been free, but either way, if it's illegal, it's not giving me the blessing to throw it out there. Plus, if a band wants folks to pay to download, and you do so, you're supporting them financially and they're getting rewarded for their art. To deny them of that, well, that's just shitty in my book.

What's been your all time greatest "Find"?  That band you "discovered" before anyone else and started the word spreading? 

I don't recall ever discovering any bands that didn't already have a following, as it seems I'm usually one of the last ones to the party. I have come across bands in the past who have had their fan base grow over the years that myself and others had promoted, but I've never "found" anyone or am I fortunate enough to brag that I was the one to get them out there.

If you could write a 1,000 word essay on one song, which one would it be, and why?  What makes that song so important?

 If I could write a 1,000 word essay on just one song, well, that's easy..."Pac Man Fever"! I mean, who doesn't have 1,000 words to say about THAT song? It covers all the bases in life if you're an 11 year old in 1982

Give us three bands that we need to keep our eyes out for.

 I'm skipping the three bands question, cause I've been out of the loop lately...

Tell us about your personal music collection.  Vinyl?  CD?  What's your prized possession?

 I'm more of CD guy, because it's so much easier to upload a disc into itunes, then use that mp3 for podcasting (and putting on my ipod). They're more practical for my needs, although I wonder how much longer they'll be around. The subject has come up time and again about them becoming obsolete, as downloads are the route labels want to go. I still think it'll be a while before they go the way of the 8-track (if it does indeed happen), because there is still a demand for discs. So far, when I've been to a show, the guy at the merch table isn't selling download codes on a sheet of paper, he's selling a physical cd that we can take home (after autographed) and put into our collection. I do have vinyl, but I would never consider myself a record collector.

What makes it all worthwhile for you?

 What makes podcasting worthwhile for me is the satisfaction that somebody has listened and enjoyed something that I've done. It's great when you get positive feedback from someone who actually took the time to listen and let you know you've done a good job. In the different shows I've done in the past, I've always used podcasting, too, as a way to become another voice for underground music. If a band gets some new fans because I played them on my show, that's enough satisfaction for me, I know I've done my job.

How would your life be different if you weren't involved in music?

 My life would be rather boring if I wasn't podcasting, quite honestly. Many of the experiences and friendships I've had wouldn't have been possible if it wasn't for this. I've had ups and downs with it, but overall, there's been some crazy ass fun that helps bring a shit-eating grin to my face when I reflect on those memories. I've taken breaks from doing it, but sooner or later I end up back on that microphone, because simply, this is what I do.

Ever been threatened by a band or a ravenous fan?

 I've never been threatened by anyone, musician, fan, or otherwise. I've had people talk shit behind my back, generally due to jealousy, misunderstanding, or whatever pity fucking reason someone has an issue with. I've found myself in the crosshairs of disputes and rivalries, and shit like that does take the fun out of it all. But at the end of the day, I know I don't have to crawl in bed with these people or see them at work every day, and life's too short to worry about what your peers think. You just move on...

In the end, what would you like to have accomplished, or be remembered for?

I'm not sure how I'd like to be remembered, to be honest. I just consider myself a music lover that enjoys putting together something that someone out there will find worthwhile. I'm really just a simple guy with a hobby, nothing special.

Many people may not realize the hours you devote to what you do for little or no pay.  Is there a day job? If so, how do you find the balance?

Yes I do have a day job, and for me, there is no balance. I work full time, have kids, have obligations that's not music related, so anything that involves podcasting is always on the backburner. I fit in the planning of my shows in whatever free time I can get, and that can be frustrating at times.

What's next?  Any new projects?

The only project I'm focused on right now is my forthcoming podcast "The Escape Pod". There had been conversations involving myself and my former co-host of "Whiskey 'N' Waterbeds" to bring that show back, but our schedules would probably never permit anything consistent. I used to host "Hayride To Hell", a sort of classic honky-tonk and alt-country podcast that was part of Shooter Jennings' "Black Country Rock" podcast schedule, and there's been favorable demand to bring that back, but having the time to do that just isn't there.

Finally, other than the music, what's your other burning passion?

Music is my only passion as far as interests go. If I'm not listening to it or producing podcasts, I'm reading about it, watching documentaries on it, or checking out and downloading it. Well, I do admit, I have a fascination with "unexplained phenomena"..."Ancient Aliens" reels my ass in every time...s!

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