Stories to be Lived with Clem Snide [Explicit]

Stories to be Lived with Clem Snide [Explicit]
Stories to be Lived with Clem Snide [Explicit]

Mar 23 2023 | 00:45:36

Episode 0 March 23, 2023 00:45:36

Hosted By

Stuart Barefoot

Show Notes

Everyone deserves a song. 

Today, Stuart chats with Eef Barzelay, the lead singer of indie rock band Clem Snide, about his podcast, A Life in Song. They talk about the creative process and how it evolves and differs when he creates movie scores, writes songs, or creates podcast episodes. Eef is always busy making something, whether it’s his own brand of “simple” songs or if it’s a song based on his guest’s stories and journeys. 

Eef has put his own spin on podcasting with A Life in Song. It isn’t just a conversational podcast, but a unique format for telling heartbreaking or life changing stories. In this episode of Audience, Eef uncovers how he created his podcast, what his musical influences are, and the difference between art and content.

If you have any questions about this episode or want to get some of the resources we mentioned, head over to And as always, if you’re enjoying the show please share it with someone who you think would enjoy it as well. It is your continued support that will help us continue to help others. Thank you so much! Never miss another show by subscribing at

Today you’ll learn about:

  • The difference between art and content
  • Evolution of music and podcasting in the 90s
  • The scoring process versus the “regular” music making process
  • Getting topics for songs 
  • The concept and format behind “A Life In Song”
  • The process for developing episodes and conducting interviews
  • Handling differences in creative vision


Clem Snide:

Eef Barzelay’s Linktree:

Eef and Scott Avett Prefor "The Stuff of Us":

Pitchfork Review of "Forever Just Beyond":

Castos Academy: 

Castos, private podcast: 

Castos, website: 

Castos, YouTube:  

Clubhouse video: 

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:01 Maybe it's a matter of personal taste, but I think vignettes, flash fiction, short stories, sketch, comedy, you know, stuff like that are interesting ways to tell a story. They can be descriptive while also being short and easy to follow. They also work across mediums, film, literature, and even audio. Speaker 2 00:00:22 It is, it's like this movie, you know, cuz you're kind of starring in the movie of your life, but you can imagine it being a different movie, you know? And then, and then the song can just be the, the little space that, that, that, that plays out. In Speaker 0 00:00:36 Next, you'll hear how a singer and songwriter collaborates with his fans to tell short, but intimate and descriptive stories. My name is Stuart, and this is Audience, a Casto original series where we go behind the scenes of all different types of podcasts to uncover the business dot power as audio creators. Speaker 0 00:01:01 If you've been enjoying these episodes, you might wanna give our other show three clips a spin. Just like with audience, we get a peek behind the curtain at the creative process behind some of the best and most innovative podcast around. So check out three clips or just go to your favorite app and type in three the number clips. Hopefully it will inspire more creativity in your work. Speaking of your work, Casto wants to help out from our suite of tools feature-rich hosting platform, and even our production services are here to help contact us directly by emailing [email protected] or by clicking on the link of the show notes. Speaker 1 00:01:44 Yeah, Speaker 2 00:01:44 No, that was, uh, you know, I was, uh, kind a little minor miracle that just sort of came outta nowhere some years ago. Now, Speaker 0 00:01:54 That singer songwriter e Barley, known as the front man of the band, Clem Snide, the Minor Miracle he's talking about, is an album he produced with Scott Avett of the Avert Brothers called Forever, just Beyond. It came out in 2020 during the carnage of the Pandemic and a rough patch for e personally, as he puts it. His band had bought him out and he fell on hard times financially losing his house in declaring bankruptcy, a period of his life that he says was full of despair and great opportunity. So his collaboration with Scott was appropriately referred to by Pitchfork as a comeback album. Speaker 2 00:02:33 And, uh, yeah, found out that Scott was a big Clem Snd fan. And so, yes, I just kinda seized on it and somehow I cajoled him into making a record with me, you know, if he wanted to produce it. And he was, he was psyched to do that. So, yeah, it was awesome, you know, and then, yeah, we wrote some songs together and it really definitely kind of rescued me. I think I was, I mean, this is like five years ago now, but I did not have, did not have a whole lot going on <laugh> at the time. So, yeah, it was, uh, it was amazing. Speaker 1 00:03:04 Almost Speaker 3 00:03:05 Biblical Speaker 1 00:03:06 Scenes unfold. Speaker 0 00:03:10 This was on the hills of a three decade stretch when Clem Snide released more than a dozen albums and several eps if also composed music on feature films like Rocket Science, the Secret Life of Words, and the Yellow Handkerchief. Speaker 0 00:03:30 And now his latest offering is a podcast called a Life and Song, which is a collaboration with Double Elvis Productions. It's a high concept show built around the simple premise that everyone has a story to tell, and certainly everyone deserves a song. Each episode of a life and song consists of two basic segments, and the first, an ordinary person records a story from their life presented in a condensed version while the story's being told. A custom score composed by, if plays under the narration, given it almost a cinematic like Phil, then based on each story a guest shares IFF writes a song about them, and at the end of each episode presents the song in its entirety. That's the second segment. This concept traces back some 15 years when if used to encourage people to write 'em a story from their lives, and then he'd make a song based on that. Once the pandemic started, he figured a podcast was a good way to present this idea. So again, he asked his fans to share their stories. But this time, with the help of his wife, he recorded them. The result was a unique collaboration between an artist and his fans. Speaker 0 00:04:46 Brenna Escapes a religious cult, Ruben travels to the Himalayas and meets a mysterious man. Angela has a bizarre encounter with a stranger and her own attic. Steve finds love in an unexpected place, and Dan embraces death. And that's just some of them, most importantly, subjects, for the lack of a better word, keep their anonymity. Since beyond the use of their first name, there aren't really any identifying features in the episode For listeners, it's a unique experience. And for, if it's new terrain for an artist who's been at this for some 30 years, Speaker 2 00:05:25 I find myself in a, in an interesting abstract space because I'm, it's kind of like the, the, the difference between art and content, you know what I'm saying? And when I say art, like I try just, just use it more like in a utilitarian sense, not in, in like a too romanticized sense, right? But art, like, as I understand it, having been what I guess you could say is an artist for, you know, for the last 30 years, like before the internet was around, like I started trying to make art. And so I've watched it, my, you know, I'm 52 years old now, so I've, I've watched it or I've watched, I've just felt, you know, this shift from thinking about what you're making as art to like content, it's complicated. You know what I'm saying? There's like good and bad aspects to that shift, but, but ultimately, I, I think content, just the internet, it always gives you like a simulated experience of art in a way it feels like to me, ultimately, you know, which in a way could be real art and the capital, a sense of it. Speaker 2 00:06:27 You're, you're going into the unknown. Like you're, you're going into a territory where you don't know what it's gonna be, you know? Yeah, you have, you have some tools, but you're basically going out into the wilderness and hoping to stumble upon something beautiful, you know, that you weren't expecting. That's art. The content is like, you kind of know what you're gonna, what you're looking for, and it's more like you're trying to convey information, whereas with art, you're, you're not necessarily conveying any useful information. You're just creating like a sense where someone might not even really know what the hell's going on, you know what I'm saying? So in some ways they're, they're like opposite of each other, like, content wants to tell you what's going on, and art wants to kind of not tell you what's going on. So it's like a difference between like the unknown and the known, which is all to say that <laugh> that like I, yeah. So I don't, when you say that a podcast can live for years, yeah, then maybe in that sense it functions more like art and not content, which is by its nature sort of consumed. And then mo you move on, you know, and get to the next bit of content. You know what I'm saying? Speaker 0 00:07:30 You, you talk about making art y you've probably seen a lot of evolution in the sense that, you know, you started back in the early nineties and yeah, that would've probably been you, you would've probably adhered more to the old model of, you know, you go out, you make some demos, you try to get signed by a record label. So you've had a front row seat to the changes that the music industry alone has experienced over the last three decades. So what, what's that been like for you? Has it been, uh, challenging? Speaker 2 00:07:58 Yeah, I mean, obviously, you know, when, you know, you don't get to pick what time you're born into, but I feel like my experience is that I got to the party, like right as they were sort of sweeping up and, you know, like the party was already kind of over by the, by the nineties. Like in some sense, Kurt Cobain's suicide is the, the kind of unofficial end of the party, the rock and roll party, you know what I'm saying? Which you could say begins like in the late fifties or something, you know? So yeah, so I grew up like in the, in the, you know, I remember the seventies, but like early eighties, like, that's when I became aware of, of music, you know? And so I was still very much caught in that post-war spirit, you know, that rock and roll spirit, right? Speaker 2 00:08:48 That was like still very much alive in the early eighties, but already starting to kind of fade. So I, you know what I'm saying? So like, I was like, oh, I want to go to this party, this is amazing. But then by the time I was like old enough to get into the party, it was already like beep boo like kind of winding down, and that's what, yeah. So Clem Snide showed up like a little bit late to the game, and then right as we sort of jumped into the, into the game, into the biz, it was like, it was like roiling with changing <laugh>, you know, like even before the internet, it was already like, consolidating and, and, and the, and basically like CDs kind of saved the music business, but, but that was also starting to, you know, like everyone re had to rebuy all their shit on CDs. Speaker 2 00:09:32 So the music business was like infused with money. They had more money than they knew what to do with. And so, yeah, so even at, I, so we came in at right at the end of that, but we were still, again, we got like a hundred thousand dollars. Nobody even knew who we were. And we got Si records to give us a hundred thousand dollars to make a record, which at the time, our lawyer was like, oh man, I'm sorry you guys, you know, I, this was a couple years ago, I'd have gotten you 500, you know, but this is like Slim Pickens, you know, and to think that someone would give you a hundred thousand dollars to make a record now is, is almost like absurd, you know, to even consider, you know what I'm saying? Speaker 0 00:10:08 Of course. You know, uh, a career spanning three decades, you've gotten to do some really interesting things, obviously fronting, Clem snide all this time. And then I you also didn't you, uh, write the theme song or maybe even the whole soundtrack for Rocket Science? Speaker 2 00:10:23 Yeah, well, I, right. So my, uh, career, if you could call it that, has been a real sort of rough and tumble kind of experience. And, uh, and so yeah, so Clem side, like never Clems side, never quite broke, like on a, on a national level such that, that it went into the black, you know what I'm saying? Like, it sort of remained in the red. And so eventually it's just not, you know, you can only, like, at some point a band has to either become profitable or, or it just doesn't work, you know what I'm saying? Like, you can only sort of get away anyway. So, but, but fortunately for me, since I was like writing all the songs, like I was able to just kind of hang on and survive in the business because I, I had to, I was like, adaptable, you know? And so, yeah, so one of the things was I got offered to score, uh, to do the score for Rocket Science. So yeah, so I was somehow able to, to pull that off again. Like I didn't even really know what I was doing <laugh>. So one of the ways that I've survived is, uh, yeah, it's my, it's my scoring like the occasional movie. Speaker 0 00:11:34 Well, it's a great film and I really like the soundtrack for it. It's interesting listening to that soundtrack compared to Clem Snide because they're, they're very similar, cuz sometimes I think about like Johnny Greenwood and some of the films he scores, like, uh, there will be Blood, and then you listen to Radiohead and there there's not much similarities. So do you think about when you're scoring a film, do you think about making music differently than if you know you're writing an, uh, an album or, or a song to be performed for a live audience? Speaker 2 00:12:04 Yeah, it's, uh, I mean, you know, the thing about the thing about scoring is you, you don't have, you gotta, you gotta get in and out quick, so you end up actually having to come up with really, uh, really simple, uh, stuff you don't have, like, you're not, it's not like every time you, you go to make some score music, you, you get to like express an entire melody, you know what I'm saying? It's more like, it's more an exercise in, in like arranging, you know, because you're just, you're like, if I take these two things and just, cuz they're usually, they only play like a couple notes, you know what I'm saying? So it's more like, like textures and, and uh, and sonic, you know, sort of like, that's, I think more of scoring is like, that's not like, sounds so much like writing a lot of actual music, like melodic do you allude to like melodic stuff in there. But so in that way it's like real easy, you know, it's just like, you know, there that's like a piece of score <laugh> in real time. So yeah, so I, I like and I realize that, yeah, a lot of my music is very simple. Like, I like very simple music. Like the simpler the better, you know, like I think I, I strive to make like the most simple like two chords, you know, one chord, even <laugh> can there be a song with just one chord? Um, you know, but you just add like a little something in there to create some tension. Anyway, so yeah, so, uh, scoring is, is kind of more like that, you know, if that makes sense. Speaker 5 00:13:40 My parents would watch the PTL Television Network with Jim and Tammy Baker, and we decided to take a vacation there. What Jim Bakker was trying to do is build like a Christian version of Disney World. Speaker 0 00:14:03 So I think you do a little bit of both for a life and song. And I, I think the concept you have for your podcast is phenomenal. And, and from what I understand, it's actually something you've been dabbling with for years, right? Wa wasn't it like, uh, in the mid two thousands or maybe a little bit later, you were doing that, uh, service where someone could send you a story about their life and then you would make a song about it? Speaker 2 00:14:26 Yeah, yeah. I've been doing that for, for a good many years now. Yeah, that was kind of something that came out of the, all the crowd funding, the Kickstarter campaigns and uh, and yeah, I actually found that I, I really enjoyed it. It's, it helped, I think it's helped me be a better songwriter, you know, cuz when you write songs year after year, sometimes you don't, you don't necessarily have a bunch of songs in you, you know. So anyway, like, it, it helped me to keep that, that sort of muscle tight cuz I would, I would write for other people like I would write as someone else and it was very liberating, freed me of, uh, of my self-consciousness. So, so yeah, so I really enjoyed it. And then during the covid, the initial quarantine, I was looking for something to do and I thought, oh, wouldn't it be cool if I could get these people actually yeah, like interview them and have them telling their story and then, yeah. And then I could sort of score it, you know, I thought about it more like cinematically, it's like you're hearing a little movie about this person and then you hear the song, you know, that I write for them at the end, like the closing credits kind of thing. And so, yeah, so it's been, uh, it's been pretty cool, you know, Speaker 0 00:15:30 I think, yeah, I think there's this really romantic idea that people have about songwriters that everything they ever do is just them pouring out their soul to share with everybody. And I, I, I don't remember where I heard it, but I remember hearing somebody say once, like, you know, songwriter, his first album, maybe two is about the first 20, 25 years of their lives, and then the next ones, you know, you only, you have like two years worth of material. And so it makes, it makes sense. I think it was a Jason Keever of Paper Cuts who once said like, none of the songs he writes are about his life. He's like, he just thinks of cool short stories and writes songs about him. He was like, if I wrote songs about my life, he'll just be about a guy writing songs, <laugh>. So you kind of have to get really creative with, with where you get your material. Speaker 2 00:16:16 No, no, I think it's like a, it's a bit like a, like a parallel universe kind of thing where you, it's you, but it's you and some other, that's someone else. You know? That's, that's how I, it feels like to me, like I, uh, it is, it's like this movie, you know, cuz you're kind of starring in the movie of your life, but you can imagine it being a different movie, you know? And then, and then the song can just be the, the little space that that plays out in. Like, it's never, it's never like a, like a journalistic, you know what I'm saying? Like where you, where you very accurately. Cause there's no that, like, there's no such thing, you know, you're always interpreting, you know what I'm saying? If you think you know yourself in this clear objective way, it's, you don't, like, you think you do, you know what I'm saying? You're always a kind of mystery to yourself. So, so if you, if you lean into that, then you can just be someone else and write a song as someone else. Otherwise, yeah, I'd only write, I, I'd have written maybe four songs my whole life, you know, if I just kept it like super tight to who I think I am. But in, in a way it all is you. Cause it's filtered through you obviously. So it, you know, it's like you're, you know, like I, my my sensibility tends to come through. Speaker 0 00:17:23 Well, I think it's like any performance, right? I mean, sometimes actors are portraying someone totally different from who they are in real life, but they're still probably pulling from some of their own personality traits, their own sensibilities, maybe even from experiences they had when they're interpreting a character or somebody else has written. Uh, and I think that's, to me, that's kind of cool. Like I think if I, I'm not a songwriter, but I think I would get really bored just writing about myself every single time. And, Speaker 2 00:17:51 Uh, yeah, I was watching an interview with somebody and, uh, recently and he was talking about, it's sometimes it's called multiple personality disorder, but I think the more like proper name is like a dissociative, dissociative disorder of some kind. Basically it's people that, that believe that they're, you know, they have multiple personalities. So they did these studies on some of these, uh, on some of these people, like back in the nineties, I guess. And, and one of them, you know, they, they would, they would ask 'em to, to describe their dreams and they, and they had the same dream, but you know, they, they had it from like two separate people's perspective. Like they could remember it as one personality and they were both in the dream, but as separate people. And they, and they reacted to the dream from different perspectives, you know what I'm saying? Speaker 2 00:18:35 It was the same dream anyway. And then one, he said, one, the personality believed that, that she was blind and they put her in one of those like MRIs, scanner things. And, and when she would be the blind personality, even though she had perfectly good functioning eyes, the the visual cortex would shut off. Like she, you know what I'm saying? She, like, the point I'm trying to make is, you know, that we like, I think that's, anyway, I'm about to be real profound here. I think this ultimately is kind of the difference between people who, who are, tend to be artistic and people who don't. Is that like the artistic person realizes that, that their sense of self is kind of an illusion, intuits it, and then, and then it plays around with that. Whereas most people are terrified of that realization. Not te you know, I'm making it sound condescending, but you know, they're, they feel very uneasy with the, uh, the idea that that who they think they are is an illusion. So like left brain people tend to want that sense of who they are. Very, but right-brained people tend to be more like holistic and, and, and not see like, so much separation between you and everything else. You know, I don't, Speaker 0 00:19:42 Speaking of people who put themselves out there, your concept for a life in sank, it's, uh, it's all hinges on the premise of everyone has a story to tell and certainly everyone deserves a song and people share with you all types of stories ranging from all types of experiences. I think about, you know, Brenna, who escaped, uh, a religious cult, discovered her sexuality to Dan, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer and just decided he was gonna spend his remaining days traveling in a Winnebago drinking bourbon and, and smoking cigars. I I kind of wanna understand a little bit about how you interact with some of these folks. Are they, are they calling in and just kind of spilling their guts? Or are you guiding them behind the scenes? Speaker 2 00:20:27 Yeah, well, all right, so I should say that for some are the inter, we basically do like an interview and my wife actually did a few of them. She did Brenna, I think I talked to Dan, but, uh, but yeah, I would set it up on Zencaster. I I wouldn't do it so we could see each other. So we only hear each other. And then we would talk, I mean, mean, yeah, I would just have a conversation and I would, more than anything, I would try and get them to like articulate their story as best as possible, you know, cause some, some people don't, some people might have a, a great story, but don't tell it well, or just, you know what I'm saying? Some people just have more of a sense of how to like, tell a story. They gotta get into it, they get into the details. Speaker 2 00:21:09 So if anything, I was just trying to coax that out of them, cuz I was just thinking ahead of when I would've to edit what they're saying and, and how it would l sound. So I was thinking about that, but then also trying to just have like a, like a conversation with them, but not interject too much. And, you know, yeah, more than anything, just let them just kind of go, just tell me your story. I, I won't interrupt, you know? And, uh, yeah, sometimes it took a while, you know, some, some of 'em were like an hour long and I had to shave it down to like eight minutes, you know. That's a lot. Speaker 0 00:21:36 Yeah, they're not, they're not long episodes usually 20 minutes or less. And it, I guess the reason I ask that is because sometimes storytelling can be very, very technical and very structured, right? I mean, usually people who like write novels have have a pretty tight structure with, with which they work. But sometimes I think that can work for and against people. And I, and I think like this kind of more loose structure you developed with some of your subjects, some of these people, the, the folks you were interviewing and share, they were sharing your stories with you. I think it worked in your favor. And I, and I think about the story with Dan, for instance, because if someone gave me a manuscript with that premise, I, I'm like, yeah, okay, that's nice. But I know that's, you know, I've seen that movie before, right? Speaker 0 00:22:22 But to hear Dan tell it in his own words, to hear, you know, his own emotions and his own inflections, I think is very powerful. And I'm actually, I wanna listen to some of this together, this part he talks about, and again, just for some reference for people listening, Dan is a fellow who was diagnosed with terminal cancer and he had a pretty positive outlook on it. He's just decided that he knows when he is gonna die and he's gonna embrace it and live his life now on his terms. Let's listen to part of what Dan was saying, Speaker 6 00:22:52 When people go, I just got diagnosed with this, this is the end of my life. Well, this is the end of the world and I wanna comment, but I don't, cuz it'd be a real dick thing to do, and I want to go, no, you, you now, you know, like people died in car wrecks yesterday. They didn't know, like, they didn't get to do whatever they wanted to do for five months or two years, you know, make the most of it. You, this is, you got, you're lucky you got found. Speaker 0 00:23:24 I think it's really interesting to listen to someone who maybe doesn't have much sense of how to tell a story professionally, but does know what's important to them. And, and you kind of help capture that and kind of maybe guide it in a way that's a little bit more digestible for a listener. Speaker 2 00:23:41 Yeah, I mean I, uh, it's all right. The the God is in the details, you know, it's stuff like that that, you know, when I sent out the initial kind of email solicitation, vaguely inviting people to, you know, like, tell me your story and for this thing I might do whatever he got, he wrote back, like within the hour. I mean, he, and he had, he was already writing a book about his, you know, he was very, uh, full of life. He was just, you know, eager to talk, you know. And, uh, I don't know how if I, I mean, I don't know how you would know, but you know how the story kind of worked itself out, which is not conveyed in the episode, but is that, uh, so I wrote him the song, you know, and, uh, and I sent it to him and he writes me back, hi, I can't wait to listen to it, but I promised my friend we'd listen to it together. Speaker 2 00:24:29 And, you know, she's back in San Diego and she's got a ton of mushrooms too. So he is gonna, he's gonna do like a, you know, he is gonna like a super, you know, heroic dose of psilocybin, you know, to prepare for her for his death, which was, I was like, oh, shit, you know? So anyway, the idea was like, he was gonna go do that over the weekend, listen to the song, and then we were gonna talk again. And, uh, yes, I wrote him back the next week, Hey, man, you know, I'm around whenever didn't hear back, you know, another week went by the other two weeks, three weeks, and I, I never, I never heard back from him. So like, that might've just been it for Dan, like that, that weekend. I'll never know. You know what, uh, if you ever even heard the song, he might not have never even heard it. Speaker 0 00:25:10 Wow. What a legacy though, to leave behind such a neat song that that was written by him. And of course, the songs could be heard in their entirety. If you listen to a life and song anywhere you get your podcast, do you have a big backlog of unpublished music? Speaker 2 00:25:28 I mean, yeah, and I, there, if you go to the, if you join the, the, like the v i p club there at the, on the website, there's a, yeah, there's a whole mess of stuff <laugh> that, that I just sort of dribbled out on band camp over the years. So there's a lot, there's a lot of stuff, but you know, it's, you know, at this point it's like what is released and what isn't released. Like I, I'm still kind of old fashioned in that I, I would like to release like a proper record that it's produced as well as possible, you know, and has like, the best songs that I have. So I'm still trying to kind of do it that way. But, but yeah, at the same time, you gotta sort of feed the beast. And, and so there is stuff that just kind of comes out kind of un unceremoniously, you know? Speaker 0 00:26:12 I was just curious because, you know, if you had like music you'd, you'd written that didn't have lyrics, and then you're able to put maybe lyrics from these ideas you're writing with stuff you already had written, or is everything you do like just from, from scratch when, when you get these, uh, stories? Speaker 2 00:26:28 Yeah, you know, I always, the thing I notice about myself is like, if I have a good idea, you know, like I'm always just noodling around or I try to, you know, every day. And so if, like, if I hit, if I happen upon something good, it, it'll just stay somewhere, you know, it'll, it files itself away somewhere and then, and then it comes back again. You know what I'm saying? I don't, I mean, yeah. And then once it comes back again and I have something concrete around it, so yeah, if I had to write a song right now, I, I could sort of call up something like that and, you know, I can sort of will it into being, yeah. But sometimes it just, it just happens. I don't know yet. It's a weird process. I, I'm not even sure I'm, I'm giving you any kind of a good answer. Like it's, I can, I can will a song into being, but, but, but at the same time, I can't necessarily, you know, like in some ways it's easier for me to write songs than not write song, you know, like I'm always, I'm kind of, it's almost like a compulsion where I, I just, you know, I, I feel like I still haven't written that, you know, I could still write that great one. Like, it, you know, there's like this unattainable quality to it that sort of tortures me a little bit. You know, Speaker 0 00:27:40 This podcast is a really neat outlet for that need to write music. And I think you, you know, you mentioned how much things have changed over say, like the last 30 years, and, and I think I, I've seen other musicians find creative ways to put their music out or, or ways maybe that would've been different. I, I think Matt Sharp, you know, the original basis of Weezer, uh, now the front man of the rentals, yeah, they put out an album called Q 36, like right before the pandemic with the rentals. And, and he had said something to the effect of, he is like, you know, you release an album and if you're lucky, a lot of people buy it in like the first couple weeks, and then they, they move on to the next thing. So rather than just put out a, an album, he put out a single every other week for like a year <laugh>, or, or for like six months rather. And, and with each song, you know, he had like a music video and custom art and merch, and it was a much more engaging experience, uh, for, for people who liked the rentals. And it was really neat. So it's been really just interesting, uh, for someone who just listens to a lot of music to watch you guys evolve with the Times. Speaker 2 00:28:52 Yeah. I mean, yeah, for sure. You know, you have to, uh, I don't, yeah, I think at this point it almost, it's like everyone just has their own little ecosystem that they, that they carve out on the internet. And then, yeah, it's like you have your own, you know, and you'd have your own fans. You can go directly to them and kinda do everything just on your own, you know, your little master of your domain there. So, I mean, that's kind of awesome, you know, that, that we can sort of do it that way. The tricky thing for me with this, with doing the podcast, if anything was, was just talking, just talking into the computer. Like if when I'm on stage, I talk to the audience, like I didn't know, in a sense, I didn't know who I was, you know what I'm saying? Speaker 2 00:29:38 I had to kind of figure, figure out like how to do that, how to just talk like, well, hey guys, you know, it's, see, like, just to monologue into the, so that took, it took me a while to get comfortable with that. I feel like I've got more comfortable with it, but I don't know, there's a part of me that, that like really resists that, you know, I don't ever wanna talk to the audience just as myself. I feel like I'm doing this both like a disservice in a way. If I, again, going back to what I was saying about like, the sense of self, like that's another thing that irritates me about social media is that people, when they talk into their phone, like, Hey guys, I'm just here to tell you about the show we're doing like that. Like, I hate that. You know, like, that's, don't do that, you know, you're ruining it. Speaker 2 00:30:18 You're just, you're just like flattening yourself out. But that's what it calls for, you know, like to convey the info again, that's the art, the content. So anyway, so it's a, again, complicated answer to your question, but yeah, so I don't, uh, I mean, I don't know if that's just cuz I'm like a Gen X kind of dude, and so I still, I still grapple with that schism where I think younger people just don't even think about it. But, but I still kind of do because I, like my artistic sensibilities were formed in more like a, like before post-modernism in a way, you know, like still like in a, in a modern, in a modernist way, you know, but the internet is, everything is post-modern, you know, everything is like, reflects on itself. I dunno, I'm not, I'm using those terms right loosely, I'm not even entirely sure what either means. Speaker 2 00:31:07 But, you know, just as a, as a point of reference, you know what I'm saying? Like, there is a shift. The internet shifted everything cuz now everything is like, is like a reflection of something. Like the music that is made today is just like a weird digital like, reflection of music that was made before, but when it was first made, it was better or worse. Isn't necess, it's not like a quality thing, but it's, it's more like real, you know, like I still grapple with that, like what's real and what isn't. And not in like a way that I've, in like a useful way necessarily. It's just something that I don't like, grapple with <laugh>, whatever that means, you know? Speaker 0 00:31:48 Do you think your music has changed over time? Speaker 2 00:31:51 Yeah, I hope so. You know, I, I like, in a way I haven't really made, I've only made one, well, I mean, I've made more, but really like in the last like 12 years, I've only really made like two records, you know? So like the, in the, when Clemson first started, yeah, we, we made a bunch of records and, and I, and I was very like fanciful with my lyrics and, and now I like, I've, yeah, I've, I've, I've tried to make it like, I can't be, it can't be what it was, you know? So I've just tried to purify it and make it like more <laugh>, like just simplify it, like, and make it as pure and simple as it can be without, I don't, you know, I don't even know, like, that's the thing is like, am I, I don't, I don't even know. Speaker 2 00:32:40 It's, it's gotten very elemental for me. Like, I, I don't, I don't think in terms of like genres or styles, it has to just be like, I need something that just goes, ooh, you know, here. You know what I'm saying? It's like that's the only way I can, cuz if I try to make sense of the culture now, it, it makes me nuts. Like there's no rhyme or reason to any of it. It's all, it's been atomized beyond anything, you know, like, you know, when I was a kid, like, there was only like so many bands. There was like six bands, you know, like you loved either the Who or Zeppelin, you know, and you couldn't, you know what I'm saying? Things were like much more clear <laugh>. And then there was like fifties music, which was like Elvis and Buddy Holly, and then there's like the sixties, which was like the hippies and then the seventies was like, you know, Zeppelin and, and here we were and you know, I was like, in the eighties it was like, oh look, there's hip hop is kind of start, you know, and it was still very like, it made sense, you know? Speaker 2 00:33:32 It was like your brain could manage it. But then I'd say, you know, af 21st century, it's like everything all at once, you know what I'm saying? Like echoes of, that's my modern to post-modern sort of division. So yeah. So I yearn for like the early sixties. I think that was like the high point of American music for sure is like all the music that was being made in America from like 1958 to like 1964 right around then is in my opinion, like the best music that's ever been made. Best jazz, the best rock, the best folk blues, like, everything like that was like the pinnacle of American music, you know? And so everything from after that is like downhill <laugh> for me. Just if for speaking in a very sort of pure, you know, honest way. Speaker 0 00:34:22 A couple more things I was curious about, like, when, when you do make your, uh, when you do make your episodes, do you have any kind of vetting process for stories that can or can't be used? I mean, is there, cause I was wondering about this as I listened. I'm like, is there any kind of like penthouse form effect where you just know someone's making something up entirely? Speaker 2 00:34:41 I know, right? I know my, my wife interviewed one of 'em. She was, I won't say which one, but she did the interview and she was like, afterwards she was like, I think he's full of shit. Like, she thought he was maybe making some stuff up. No, the I the thing I realized is that it, uh, a lot of people, not a lot, but some people would write me with just some just weird, awful thing that that is in their life. You know what I'm saying? Like some, like a, like just some tragedy or some, and I realize that it's like what makes it a good story? It does kind of have to have like a, like three parts in a way. You know? Like every story has like a beginning, a middle, and an end and it kind of needs that to work. I, I, I felt like, you know, like they, like they're here they are and then they go through something and then they come out the other side and they reflect on it. Like that's, that's the ideal. And whatever they go through, whether it's like a childhood or some traumatic experience, like has to transform them in some way, like that's what makes for a good story, I think. Speaker 0 00:35:46 I know you said you tried to follow up with Dan, what about some of the other people? Have they heard their songs that you know of? Speaker 2 00:35:53 Yeah, I know, I know that a few, a few of, uh, you know, I tried not to, I mean, some of these, I actually did like three, almost three years ago now. So like, you know, time is like Brenna and yeah, most of the, most of them were done in the, in those first few months. So, uh, in early 2020, you know, I purposefully, I didn't, like, I wanted, I wanted the people to be more, more like the character, more their story than their actual person, you know, which, but not to, not to sort of convey that in a, in a kind of disrespectful way, but you know what I'm saying? Like, you're giving me your story. Yeah. I don't necessarily need to know what you think about it or what, like I've, I've been reluctant to like, follow through with people not, I haven't like pushed people away or anything, but you know what I'm saying? Speaker 2 00:36:42 Like, I want it to be more, that's why I don't want their last names. It's just their first name, you know, like there's a kind of anonymity. I didn't want pictures of them involved, you know, like at some point the management was like, why don't we get a picture of each person? I'm like, I don't want them to send me some picture. Like, I don't want you to know what they look like. I want you to, you know, imagine like, almost like animated or something, you know? I mean, right now we're actually about to put out, uh, the record. We're doing like a record of I think seven of the songs, you know, just like it's a separate release just of the songs and they're already trying to get, you know, people like commenting or maybe like a video of the person. I, I don't know, whatever I'm, I'm just, you know, I'm weary or is it weary or leery one of those two of, uh, of that kind of stuff. Um, Speaker 0 00:37:27 And I'm gonna put on my producer hat and uh, make a, make a suggestion here. Yes. If anyone from Double Elvis, uh, is, is listening, instead of doing like a picture or a video, you could get, uh, a graphic artist to interpret their story. And that way you'd have, you'd have the visuals that a lot of podcasters like, but then you could also kind of keep that element of mystery. So if, uh, <laugh> Speaker 2 00:37:50 No, I love, I love, uh, I love that idea. That's, yeah, that's, that's how, I mean, sadly there wasn't, uh, a budget for like animated, but yeah, if somebody were to like, do some even some simple kind of abstract animation to go along with it, that that would be cool for sure. That's what I, that's what I was kind of secretly hoping, Speaker 0 00:38:07 You know, I don't, I don't wanna get on my like high horse about like originality cuz like, I'm just another white guy with glasses who has a podcast. So like, there's nothing really original about me, but I do think about other musicians who do podcasts. Like I think about like, what's going on with like, Talkhouse and I think around maybe a little bit after you started yours, Craig Finn from the Hold Steady started a podcast. Yeah, I mean, Craig, I mean, he's an, he's a, an amazing musician, seems like a pretty cool guy. Uh, but you know, his, his podcast is just kind of him chatting with another musician and they just kind of go back and forth. So it's kind of like, it's kind of your classic setup, I guess. And I think, uh, what you're doing is a pretty interesting spin on musicians having podcasts. Speaker 2 00:38:50 Yeah, yeah. No, I didn't, I did not want to do that kind of podcast. Like I did not wanna, yeah, I didn't wanna do like some conversational thing where we, uh, again, they, I'm not interested in, in, in doing something like that. But yeah, but doing it this way, I thought about it more, just more like cinematically, you know, like, like I'm making like an old radio show or something. Like I, I approached I think more like that, you know, and not yet not in that sort of traditional podcast back and forth kind of kind of world Speaker 0 00:39:21 Aside from your wife who all helps you make episodes. Speaker 2 00:39:27 Yeah, no, it's all, I mean, I pretty much do all the other production, you know, I edit the whole thing and put it together on my computer here in my basement. And then yeah, I got the guys that manage me or, you know, help, uh, sort of deal with double Elvis and do like, sort of executive producing kind of kind of stuff. But yeah, you know, I mean, it's out there. Uh, you know, I, I I don't know, uh, yeah, I mean, if people be great for people to check it out, you know, I would like to keep doing it and making more episodes, but not sure when I'll be able to do that. Speaker 0 00:40:01 Well, it's a, it's a great podcast. I know. I like it. And I hope, uh, people listening to this will like it. This being your first foray into making podcasts, would you say it's been a good experience overall? Speaker 2 00:40:13 Yeah, for sure. You know, I like, uh, I like putting them episodes together. Yeah, it was cool. I, uh, you know, I like to keep busy, man. Idle hands are the devil's play thing, you know what I'm saying? I like, I gotta keep busy for sure. Speaker 7 00:40:27 That's kinda cool. But anyway, thanks for coming out to, uh, to see me when there's this many people side show it, it only means one thing. Things are looking up, you know, Speaker 1 00:40:39 I'm saying things are looking up. Speaker 7 00:40:44 That's what I'm here to tell you. Things are looking up. Speaker 8 00:40:52 Oh man, the shit's getting scary. Fuck it. It's Speaker 0 00:41:01 Soon after my conversation with e I heard that he was playing in Durham, North Carolina, about an hour or so from where I live. So I bought a ticket, got on I 40 and battled Saturday Night traffic in downtown Durham. He played one of those local venues that kind of doubles as a dive bar where you can still get beers for a couple bucks. It was just Eve sitting up on the stage with his guitar and along with about 75 other people we watched as he rattled off some of his songs, Speaker 1 00:41:36 Sorrow Speaker 0 00:41:48 At the show. I met Nelson in April who told me they've been listening to Clems Knight since the nineties. They made a five hour drive from Athens, Georgia just to see the show. I told them about the podcast and they'd never heard of it, but they didn't seem surprised that he'd be able to connect with his fans in such an intimate way. Speaker 9 00:42:08 I think people can tell that he has a deep knowing of life and how people operate. I just do. I feel like people can connect without, Speaker 10 00:42:17 And he's sensitive and, and genuine. And if you're sensitive and genuine, I think you're always listening to others, right? And so he just sees life through their eyes for a moment and says, I can feel them for a second, or I can write something in relation to them how they might see the world. Speaker 1 00:42:37 Well, you got a five hour drive, so Speaker 10 00:42:40 Life and Salon Speaker 1 00:42:41 <laugh>, right? Check it out. Speaker 10 00:42:42 You're gonna, you're gonna Absolutely. That's a Speaker 0 00:42:44 Great idea. After the show, I did speak to in person, but I chose not to record it. I just felt like I had enough material and really I just wanted to be a fan for a few minutes. Speaker 1 00:43:00 Big smile song. Speaker 0 00:43:11 You can hear full episodes at a life and or all the other usual podcast places Speaker 1 00:43:20 You, you're me Speaker 0 00:43:22 Time now for our podcasting tip where our guest shares wisdom that you can apply to your own work. Speaker 2 00:43:29 Hey there, this is, uh, eff barley, uh, of Clem Sna, a life in song with Clem Snide. And, uh, my podcasting tip is, you know, life is not a problem, uh, to be solved, uh, but a story to be lived. And, uh, that's how I, uh, approach it. So there you Speaker 1 00:43:50 Go. Speaker 0 00:43:53 Audience is a Casto original series. Our founder and executive producer is Craig Hewitt. Production assistance is provided by Jocelyn Devore, esl Bri and Marni Hills. Our website and logo design is courtesy of Fran Schwab Grill. Our head of product here at Casto Music for this episode comes from the Story Block Library and our guest, Clem Snide. This episode is written, edited, narrated, and produced by me. I'm Stuart Barefoot. All previous episodes can be streamed anywhere you listen to podcast and [email protected]. Speaker 1 00:44:33 The Speaker 0 00:44:52 Next time on audience, I speak to Andy Murphy, a senior producer at Native America calling, and the creator and producer of Toasted Sister, a podcast that explores indigenous cuisine. Speaker 11 00:45:03 Food ties to really everything. You know, there's, there's farmers who are learning about different indigenous farming techniques. There are farmers who are bringing like new, uh, innovative farming techniques to native communities. Uh, there are farmers just teaching younger, uh, people how to farm and save seed, save ancestral seed. There are farmers who are just focusing on bringing healthy, fresh food to the community.

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