Have You Heard? is a series in which the team from Pod Bible meet the people behind the podcasts you may not have heard of yet. While the Oh. My. Pod. section in the magazine gives a quick shout out to shows of that ilk, Have You Heard aims to go deeper in an effort to spread awareness for shows that deserve more exposure! In this week’s edition we sat down with Matt Hoss to discuss Castival.
Pod Bible: Who are you and what’s your podcast about?
Matt Hoss: My name is Matt Hoss, I’m a Stand-up Comedian, Broadcaster and I’m the host of Castival. Castival is the podcast where I bring on famous guests to pitch their dream music festival line-up. It’s joyous, warm and silly, but it also has room for deep conversations about music and discussions on why we’re passionate about the things that we love.
PB: What’s the first podcast you ever listened to?
MH: If I recall correctly, I believe it was Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast (I believe the cool kids call it “RHLSTP”). I was (and still am) a massive Richard Herring fan, and I loved his stand-up shows and slowly migrated to his flagship podcast. Richard has a beautiful duality of being ridiculous and puerile, but incredibly sweet and articulate when appropriate (which is rarely). He is a brilliant comedian, interviewer and his output is phenomenal. I can’t thank him enough for getting me hooked on podcasts.
PB: Why did you decide to start podcasting in the first place?
MH: I love the punk nature of podcasts, it appeals with the type of comedy I like to do. The idea that anyone can record and broadcast anything, is pretty wonderful, and it means that you can tap into utterly bespoke interests.
I started Castival because I wanted a space to express my long and nuanced relationship with live music, talking with humour to amazing people about all aspects of it. I think it allows us to subtly discover more about the biography of a person and their thoughts, through their cultural recommendations. We can chat about the good and the bad times. I wanted Castival to be a platform to chat with guests who think and feel similarly to me about music and live performance, and to broadcast that to people who share a similar wavelength. It creates a community of people which I absolutely love.
PB: Which podcasts do you take inspiration from?
MH: So many. My comedy persona was heavily inspired from the wit and guile of Pappy’s Flatshare, which really helped me become a very engaging, risk-taking and, ultimately, a very joyful comic (and a happier person). Their podcast is the only thing which helped me through lockdown.
I love Marc Maron’s interview style (from the very famous WTF Podcast). He is incredibly perceptive and real, but with moments of levity, while not relying on the laugh. I think that is powerful and I tried to channel that for Castival.
Greg Jenner’s You’re Dead To Me taught me the delicate balance of having enough humour to be hilarious but enough information to be interesting.
PB: Who’s your dream guest for the podcast?
MH: The biggest pipe dream, for sure, would be to have both Ad-Rock and Mike D from the Beastie Boys come on and do it. Oh my goodness, I think I may lose my mind for them. I have so much love and respect for those two and their music taste is rich, vivid and utterly wonderful. The Beastie Boys book highlights this and I can’t recommend it enough.
Some very close seconds: James Hetfield (Metallica’s frontman), Bruce Springsteen, Amy Poehler and James Acaster too.
PB: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far as a podcaster?
MH: It’s a long game, so don’t be too harsh on yourself. Podcasting, like in stand-up comedy, you have to learn by trial and error and it takes time to build that following. So, don’t be upset if you don’t get the followers you wanted, be happy that people download and enjoy. More importantly, be happy if YOU enjoy it. I know so many podcasters who end up hating their own projects and ditching it. I am in the rare position where I get to talk to people I admire about the subject I am most passionate about, and my listeners can tell!
So get to a place where you are constantly improving, but ultimately you are doing it because you want to, not because you think it will lead you onto bigger things.
PB: Which episode would you say is the perfect introduction to your podcast?
MH: I think that Episode 2 with Michael Legge is a pretty great place to start! It was the first one I recorded, and it was meant to be a 40 minute record. It lasted over two hours (Don’t worry, we edited it down).
Michael Legge (as heard on Do The Right Thing podcast) brings a mixture of novel ingenuity, legendary artists, as well as including some perfectly curated personal touches. He is able to tell hilarious stories, talk passionately about his favourite music as well as able to be sentimental too. It’s a good place to start because there is something in that episode for everyone.
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