Have You Heard? is a series where the Pod Bible team meet the people behind podcasts you may not have heard of. 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! We recently heard from Nick Taylor, creator of My Teenage Band, a music podcast where guests share memories about forming a band in their teenage years…
First off, who are you and what’s your podcast about?
My name is Nick Taylor, I’m an audio producer and musician. My Teenage Band features interviews with people from all kinds of different fields about their young attempts at musical stardom. I’ve spoken to writers, artists, actors, comedians, fellow podcasters and illustrators about the musical project of their teenage years. We find out the highs and (mostly) the lows about playing music at a young age. Essentially it’s a love-letter to young music-making.
What was the first podcast you ever listened to?
Probably Mark Kermode & Simon Mayo’s film review, which I still listen to religiously every week.
Why did you decide to start podcasting in the first place?
I’ve been working in radio for over ten years now, but I’ve been looking out for an opportunity to do something off my own back for a while. It just so happened that during lockdown in 2020, I finally had slightly more brain space to come up with something and develop it. Over the summer, a friend of mine started messaging me pictures of old things he’d found: photos of his teenage band rehearsals, and cassettes. It got me thinking how universal that whole experience is. I was in bands from the latter half of my teenage years and throughout my 20s. Even though none of them really got beyond the basic pub circuit of London and Leeds, I still look back on all of it with such fondness. So I thought, why not try and speak to other people about it?
Which podcasts do you take inspiration from?
In terms of other interview podcasts it’s hard to get away from the obvious stuff like Adam Buxton‘s podcast, which is a masterclass in keeping a conversation casual and occasionally silly but still really engaging. Anything with just an effortless rapport between co-hosts is a winner, like The Read or You’re Wrong About. Also something like James Acaster’s Perfect Sounds, which manages to feature a great conversation that isn’t afraid to get geeky about music, but is also funny and crucially under half an hour long which I try to do as much as possible!
Who’s your dream guest for the podcast?
There are two answers to this really! There are people whose former lives playing music when they were younger are well documented like Andi Oliver, Lauren Laverne, Mark Kermode and Peter Capaldi, I’d absolutely love to talk to them. But also there’s the people whose teenage band stories haven’t been uncovered yet. I’d love to know if someone like Michaela Coel, Tom Hanks, Catherine O’Hara or Nicola Adams have ever dabbled in playing music.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far as a podcaster?
As the thing I want to talk to people about is very rarely on their CVs, there’s been a lot of blind reaching out to people and essentially going “Hey! You’re cool! Were you ever in a band?”, and sometimes that’s actually worked out. So I guess I’ve learned to not be afraid to approach anyone who I’d love to interview just in case. Some of the names I’ve managed to get have been incredible, especially for Season 2, which will be starting soon! Also in my day job at a national radio station I’m very used to nothing getting on air until at least one other person has heard my work, so it’s a bit daunting at first doing something like this entirely on your own. I think it’s really important to have one or two extra pairs of ears on anything you do just to catch little mistakes or things that can be improved upon. I sent the first episode to about 6 close friends before it went out, and my partner now somehow finds the patience to listen to each episode beforehand as well, for which I am eternally grateful… even if I haven’t yet got as far as giving her the on-air exec producer credit she keeps asking for.
Which episode would you say is the perfect introduction to your podcast?
Either Episode 6 with Alex Goldman from Reply All who was such a delight, or the very first episode with Cheri Percy and Fliss Kitson talking about their feminist punk band ‘Violet Violet’. The way they talked about the good and the bad bits of their teenage band days, and the strong emotional hold the band still has on them, was exactly what I was hoping to get out of talking to people for this podcast so I couldn’t have asked for better first guests really.
Where can the Pod Bible readers find out more about you?
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