The Queue is a recurring excuse for me to talk about songs or albums in short form. I’m bending that formula a bit today to discuss The Peer Pleasure Podcast which I’ve been binging lately. Let’s investigate a few of my favorite episodes.
Ep. 147 – Bobby Darling (Gatsbys American Dream)
The first episode of The Peer Pleasure Podcast that I heard was Episode 147 which features friend of the blog Bobby Darling, most well known for his time in Gatsbys American Dream. (He’s done some inspiring work with his other projects as well.) I am exactly the kind of person who would happily listen to a podcast about the minutiae of writing and recording a bunch of brilliantly obtuse pop songs but, to my surprise, that’s not what this or any other episode of TPPP actually is. Instead, I was introduced to host Dewey Halpaus’ intentionally meandering and conversational interview style. Along the way, Halpaus’ ability to provide a safe space for his guests to get comfortable and just talk meant that I learned quite a bit about the genuinely moving background to the lyrics of Ribbons & Sugar. I don’t need more podcasts in my life but after getting to be a fly on the wall for a candid discussion about one of my favorite albums, I queued up a few more episodes.
Ep. 40 – Brett Detar (The Juliana Theory)
“If I Told You This Was Killing Me Would You Stop?” was a crowd-pleasing staple for my high school band and twenty years later I still think “You Always Say Goodnight, Goodnight” is one of the best songs of the 2000s. So yes, I fired up Episode 40, featuring Brett Detar of The Juliana Theory, as soon as I was done with Darling’s episode. I promptly learned that I’d been saying the name of one of my emo heroes incorrectly for the last 20 years. (Turns out Detar sounds like “better,” not “key-tar.”) The Juliana Theory got a lot of love for Emotion is Dead but not nearly enough for their later albums which were all great in their own right so it was fascinating to hear Detar describe the process of living through a career that people didn’t quite properly appreciate while it was happening.
Ep. 102 – Josh Eppard (Coheed & Cambria)
I don’t know how this came to be but for a solid decade I believed that Josh Eppard, longtime drummer for Coheed & Cambria, was named Josh Masters. I don’t know how or why this happened but I wasn’t alone: My entire college band shared this misconception, even as we were all obsessed with Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness and the patently ridiculous music video for practice session staple “Welcome Home.” Considering his talent behind the kit, the name fit. Of course, if his real name came as a surprise to me it was nothing compared to the surprise of listening to this episode which chronicles overcoming his debilitating addictions, his Thrice fandom and that time he rapped at a Snoop Dogg show. After listening to this fascinating episode, I wouldn’t blame him if he wanted to change his name to Masters after all.
Ep. 19 – Jay Sakong (OWEL)
Let’s close it out with another artist that I’ve written about quite a few times, Jay Sakong of New Jersey post-rockers OWEL. I’ve had the chance to speak with Sakong more than once but the ease with which he opened up with Halpaus to discuss his career writing commercial music and the importance of trust in creating a healthy band environment makes both of them all the more endearing. Despite the two never having met before, the conversation quickly becomes engaging, sprawling into a host of odd and interesting tangents, the kind of talk you might have with someone that you respect but don’t know as you share a drink for the first time. It’s the kind of thing that makes me want to keep coming back to The Peer Pleasure Podcast. I’m sure I will.