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Before They Knew Better: A music podcast about life before the music

DIY magazine podcast Before They Knew Better


Before They Knew Better: A music podcast about life before the music

Have You Heard? is where the Pod Bible team meet the people behind the podcasts you may not have heard, but we think you should have. Today we’re shining the light onto the new podcast from a magazine we also love. Before They Knew Better is from DIY Magazine (the UK’s biggest independent music publication) which turns back the clock and shines a light on the good, the bad, and the damn right ridiculous moments of your favourite music stars’ teenage years. …

Who are you and what’s your podcast about?

I’m Lisa Wright, Features Editor at DIY Magazine (where we’re all about music, contrary to what certain people sending us soldering tips might think…). Our podcast Before They Knew Better – which I host alongside producer Giles Bidder – takes the famous music and music- adjacent faces you might see on our pages and grills them about their childhood and teenage years, before they became the cool pop stars they are now. In each episode, guests bring in a song, a photo and an object that relates to a specific moment or memory of growing up: amusing anecdotes (hopefully) occur!

Why did you decide to start podcasting in the first place?

When we’re interviewing people for the mag and website, the stories naturally tend to be about the album someone’s releasing/ the tour they’re about to start etc. We wanted a chance to speak to loads of the artists we love about something completely different and to hear stories that they’ve probably never had a chance to tell before in a regular music chat. On a personal level, I love interviewing people and feel sad that word counts mean you sometimes have to chop a lot of the silly/ off-piste/ more conversational stuff out; with podcasting, you don’t!

What was the first podcast you ever listened to?

Probably The Adam Buxton Podcast, I think. He’s such a maestro at making a conversation feel really natural and easy, even though half the time I’m sure he’s probably only met the guest for the first time five minutes ago. I love how he knows exactly how much of himself to put into the chat, where his personality and point of view is still completely present, but he never makes it too much about himself. A true legend of the game, and hilarious to boot.

Which podcasts do you take inspiration from?

We had a few iterations of format ideas for the podcast in the beginning, but I’m completely unashamed to have looked entirely to Off Menu when it came to what we knew could work: a clearly defined framework, but with room for going rogue and tailoring to people’s personalities and quirks on each episode. We’ve recorded an episode of Before They Knew Better with James Acaster that’s coming out soon, and I’m pretty sure we fangirled hard about how much of an inspiration his legendary pod has been.

Who’s your dream guest for the podcast?

I’m super chuffed with the guests who’ve been kind enough to trust us and sign up for the first season; we’ve already released episodes with Sigrid, Olivia Dean, Bastille and Mae Muller, and we’ve got loads of top tier guests lined up for the rest of the year. In terms of dreams though, I’m going through an absolute Robbie Williams renaissance right now (I say right now, I mean since I was about nine years old) and I think he’s the perfect sort of personality for this podcast: cheeky, silly, sentimental and with undoubtedly some glorious stories up his sleeve.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from creating the podcast so far?

I think just to let the conversation go wherever it goes and to really lean into the personality of whoever you’re talking to. This sort of interview isn’t about hard-hitting news journalism and trying to get a specific angle out of someone; whereas for the magazine, I’ll have prepared a whole set of questions, the podcast works best when you leave things up to the moment and go with the flow. That, and not to stress if you say something silly cos the edit is your friend (thank you Giles xox).

Before They Knew Better DIY music magazine podcast

Listen to Before They Knew Better on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other popular podcast apps >>

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