RESEARCHING YOUR INTERVIEWEE - WITH AIDEN GRANT
Aiden Grant is an Adelaide-based podcast & radio producer, whose podcast Vinyl Soul took out the best Literature, Music & Arts Podcast category in 2017. Aiden has taken some time below to share the inspiration that went into one of the Australia's best music podcasts.
Aus Pod Awards: What is your podcast origin story? Do you have a podcast 'spirit animal'
AIDEN GRANT: I’ve done several podcast here and there in the past, but Vinyl Soul was born a few years back when I was frustrated after hearing a radio interview. I’ll keep it anonymous because they all do it, but basically there was an amazing well-known musician on the show to talk about their career, and all the radio announcers wanted to do was play a stupid pun-based game with them. So I created Vinyl Soul so real music fans can properly hear from their favourite musicians and the tales they have to tell.
What preparation goes into an episode before you begin recording?
Vinyl Soul is a one man show, so I do a lot! First step is booking the guest and working out a time to get them in the studio. Then I submerge myself in their back-catalog of music. So, most recently for Tim Rogers, I listed to nothing but You Am I for a week straight, while I crafted questions and the conversation starters to bring up with Tim.
What mics, editing software, studio gear and facilities are used to produce your podcast?
I’m very lucky because I record in Adelaide at hit107 FM. So I use commercial radio broadcasting equipment. I then edit the podcast all together at home using Hindenburg, which is a great podcast editing program. I’ve used Protools in the past but it’s just too expensive and overkill really.
What aspect of podcasting takes up the most time? How time-consuming is it?
Booking guests! I am constantly searching the internet for who is coming to town that would be a good podcast guest. Then sending out email after email to their mangers, touring companies, promoters, and hoping they have some time free for a chat. I don’t want just anyone on the podcast too, so they need to meet a high standard or notoriety and audience interest.
What advice would you give to a podcaster who's just starting out?
As much as possible, treat it like a job or start-up company. You get out of it what you put into it. Be proud of what you are making, treat it like it’s a big deal and others will too.
Please complete this sentence: "I feel most connected with my audience when..." When they give unprotected feedback. You know you’re doing someone right when listeners comment on how they really liked something off their own back. A recent favourite comment of mine was "I enjoy your podcast because you ask artists what they are currently up to, while others only focus on past stories."
What are your gateway episodes?
Pick one that you know who the guest is. I think they are all a really interesting listen for music fans but much easier to get into if you know the guest. Shannon Noll recently was great!