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Gavin's Underground

The Chip & Jay Show

by Gavin Sheehan
- Posted // 2014-02-14 -
If you've been paying any kind of attention to the podcasting culture in Utah, you'd know we're about to hit the point where there are enough shows to make radio network (if they could all agree to work together). The abundance of local talent offering an array of comedic, talk, informative, geeky, interview and twenty other miscellaneous categories all within our stately confines is awesome, and should be cherished while most of it is good and noteworthy. One of the shows making headway over the previous year was The Chip & Jay Show, two friends with a funny banter and cool guests, creating a basic talkshow that you rarely hear these days without 50 ads an hour crammed within. We chat with both men about the show, their thoguhts on podcasting and where they're headed as a duo.

Chip & Jay
ChipJay.jpg

Gavin: Hey guys! First thing, tell us a little bit about yourselves.

Jay: Sure, we are a weekly podcast and have uploaded an episode every week since we started in June 2013. We are joined by a comedian guest on many episodes. Our show is very big on storytelling and you can expect to hear a lot of crazy, embarrassing, and just plain awesome stories from us and our guests. It’s very important to our listeners that we along with our guests are open, honest, and vulnerable, so that’s what they are going to get. Right now we have a unique circumstance, Jay is living in St. George until the fall so we meet bi-monthly and record eight episodes. First we did it in Salt Lake, and we just got back from Las Vegas where we had the chance to record with some awesome Vegas comedians like Matt Markman, and we were even fortunate enough to get to record with some L.A. comedians like Brandt Tobler and Diaz Mackie.

Gavin: What got each of you interested in talk radio and interview shows?

Chip: I have a tough time falling asleep and for years I would fall asleep to the TV. A year or so ago I came to the realization that having the TV on until the wee hours of the morning is a pretty dick move when your wife wakes up in the early morning to go to work. I was determined to find an alternate form of late night entertainment I could fall asleep to. I searched for a way to listen to old episodes of Loveline, because who doesn’t want to listen to high 17 year-olds calling to get advice on ridiculous sexual or social problems when falling asleep? In searching for the Loveline episodes I discovered that Adam Carolla had this thing called a podcast I could listen to. I was hooked on podcasts from that point on. I still listen to a podcast every night to fall asleep (though it’s not the Adam Carolla Show) and listen to at least one or two podcasts while doing things throughout the day.

Jay: Honestly I didn’t listen to a lot of podcasts or talk radio prior to starting our own podcast. I started listening to other podcasts primarily to get ideas on how to improve our own show and really fell in love with the medium. I started listening to comedy podcasts for fun, but these days I primarily listen to podcasts that feature authors, scientists, or individuals involved in politics. Funny enough I really like The Joe Rogan Experience, sure he will have comedians and MMA fighters but he also has the people I want to hear and it’s very raw and he does getting what seems like honesty.

Gavin: When did the two of you first meet each other and become friends?

Chip: We first met seven years ago when we were twenty. Jay worked with the wife of a close friend and started hanging around our group of friends. The second time we met we were at a party with friends. I remember somebody talking shit to me and before I even had the chance to respond Jay was in the guy’s face. The next night my friends and I had decided to drive to Wendover at two in the morning. While driving I called Jay to invite him, to everyone’s surprise his response was “Sure, I’ll see you guys there.” We have been great friends ever since.

Gavin: How did you interest turn toward podcasting and what was it about the medium that attracted you?

Jay: Honestly, it was a spur of the moment thing. We had started talking about podcasts that we listen to and Chip made the comment “We should start a podcast.” The medium was attractive for starters because ANYBODY can do it. Also with a podcast you have complete control of your end product and don’t need to worry about regulators. Also like anything else its something if you keep working at you’ll get better and better.

Gavin: What were some of your favorite shows you listened to prior to starting up that influenced you?

Chip: We pretty much listened to the basics at that point. Chip listened to Adam Carolla and Jay listened to Bill Burr’s Monday Morning Podcast. I don’t know if either of these shows influenced us however along the way we found a ton of shows that have. A few would be the Crabfeast, About Last Night, and The 31 with Brandt Tobler, who we were lucky enough to sit down with while we were recently recording in Vegas so watch out for Brandt’s episode soon!

Gavin: How did the idea come about to actually start us a show?

Jay: It was initially just an idea Chip tossed out while we were talking about podcasts that we listen to. It really was just one of those crazy “we should...” ideas that we made happen.

Gavin: What was it like getting your equipment together and putting a space together to record?

Chip: The space was easy. Jay lives the bachelor life so turned a spare bedroom into our podcast recording room. As far as equipment that’s a whole different story... We didn’t know shit about any of this when we started. We literally thought we could just use an iPad to record and hit a button to upload it. Though this is a slight exaggeration we really had no idea what the hell we were doing. We recorded our first episode with an iPad and realized that would not do and did not upload it. We bought one Blue Snowball USB microphone and used that for our first 9 episodes. We had our first guest comedian Brian Pope on episode #10 and realized 1 USB microphone would not work so bought two condenser and one dynamic mic and a USB mixer. Brian was awesome but the audio quality was shit so we returned all that stuff and bought an audio interface to replace the mixer and two different condenser mics. Honestly when it comes to equipment the possibilities are never ending. There are still multiple pieces of equipment we will be adding to our set up in attempt to get that “perfect” quality we all strive for. Right now we are looking into selling our condenser mics and buying a couple more dynamics because they perform better in rooms with subpar acoustics.

Gavin: How were the first few episodes for you and getting into the groove of recording weekly?

Jay: We were so excited to get the show going that it wasn’t an issue getting used to recording once a week. It is more difficult now that we are temporarily having to record eight episodes in one day every two months. We are committed to the show so always figure out a way to make it work. The first few episodes however were pretty terrible. It felt awkward while recording it and we both had a ridiculous image of what we should act like on mic. It took months to fall into our current groove. It’s funny to go back and listen to some of our first episodes compared to our most recent. They are night and day different.

Gavin: What made you head into a more comedic territory rather than just doing a show on your own lives?

Chip: We initially planned on just doing a show about the weird things happening in our lives. We eventually tapped into telling crazy old stories and realized how fun it was and how well people responded to it. We wanted to have a show that people could laugh at and have fun with because that’s what we like to listen to.

Gavin: What was it like getting feedback from listeners and shaping the show as you went along?

Jay: It was and still is awesome. We initially were terrified about how we would handle negative feedback. The podcast is something that made us vulnerable and we worked so hard to create so we were worried negative feedback would crush us. That turned out to not be the case at all. Most of the constructive feedback we received was about stuff we already had felt or thought about so it just confirmed things we already planned to change or do differently. We also understand that you can’t create a show that EVERYBODY likes. It’s very important to create a show that our listeners love. If we try to make something that will appeal to everyone we lose that close connection with our true fans. As far as getting positive feedback.... its always awesome.

Gavin: How did the idea come about to bring on guests and what was it like adding that element to the show?

Chip: We initially just thought it would be fun to have the occasional comedian on. We thought they would be a good fit with our format and thought it would be fun to have the occasional third person on mic. At first we planned to only have a guest on once or twice a month. We now try to have a guest on most weeks and have the occasional guest-less catch up episode. We have grown to love having guests for many reasons. We love getting to meet and get to know awesome people we never would have met. There are so many awesome and hilarious local comedians here in Salt Lake City. We also were lucky enough to record with a ton of great Vegas comics and a few L.A. comics that happened to be in Vegas performing while we were there. Having guests allows us and our listeners the chance to hear so many great stories!

Gavin: What are your thoughts on the how the show's done so far and where do you hope to take it over the next year or so?

Jay: We are amazed at how well our show has been received as it’s grown. When we started this thing we had no idea what to expect but it wasn’t this! We are committed to always grow and improve our product. Over the next year I think people can expect a lot of great stuff. We plan to travel more to get a great mix of guests.

Gavin: What's your take on local podcasting, both good and bad?

Chip: I think local podcasting is great. We have a lot of extremely talented and creative people with podcasts in Salt Lake. A lot of people in Salt Lake are forward thinking and embrace the podcasting medium. They are extremely supportive of the local shows! As far as what we don’t like? There is an idea in the local podcasting scene that we should all support and help each other which is absolutely true, we should be supportive and help each other however I think that some people preach these ideals to the point they are not being sincere. We think that all good shows should succeed and will do anything to help support them however I think there is a mentality that we should all succeed equally and I don’t think that’s genuine. We are happy for all shows that have success however do we strive to create the best show? Hell yes! We don’t have the best show out there but we strive towards creating it. I think when anyone says something otherwise they are not being honest.

Gavin: What are some of your favorite local shows currently running?

Jay: Neither of us are huge sports fans so the content isn’t our cup of tea, but The Taxi Squad Show is well done. We have been able to work with Chris Holifield from the I Am Salt Lake podcast a few times and we both respect what he does with his show.

Gavin: Would you want to keep the show its own stand-alone production or join a network if the importunity arose?

Chip: We have actually been approached a couple of times to join various networks, but they weren’t a great fit for us. We aren’t opposed to joining a network and realize the advantages so we just want to make sure that when we join a network it’s the right fit for what we are and where we want to go.

Gavin: Considering how it's become very popular with everyone seeming to have their own show, where do you see the medium going over the next few years?

Jay: That’s a very exciting question. We believe that podcasts will continue to grow as technology makes it easier and cheaper for people to access them. If you have the choice to listen to traditional radio when it’s being broadcasted or listen to your favorite podcast exactly when and where you want to it becomes an easy choice. With the implementation of hardware and software in vehicles that makes this easier for even the non tech savvy person to listen to a podcast the medium will explode. We are all ready starting to see this with some vehicles having Stitcher, and people being able to play music and podcasts on their phones through the car. As the market grows it will become much more competitive, it’s easy to get into but it’s harder to make money at than say some traditional media forms, the bigger it gets the easier that will become for the successful podcasts.

Gavin: What can we expect from both of you and the show over the rest of the year?

Chip: Well, we are going to continue being a traveling podcast for as long as possible. Once Jay moves back we are still planning on making trips multiple times a year to Vegas, L.A., and maybe even Seattle or Denver. We are also going to be bringing on some quests with unique life experiences like strippers, and cops. We strive to be a show that has content that we both want to enjoy and right now we are doing a good job at that. We hope to continue to get better and what we do which hopefully will result in a larger listener base.

Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to plug or promote?

Jay: Like we talked about earlier, we just got back from sunny Las Vegas last week where we had the chance to record with a lot of really great comedians. This week we put up Matt Markman, next week will be Bobby Stauts, followed by; Brandt Tobler, Diaz Mackie, Graig Salerno, Alien Warrior Comedian and an episode with Salt Lake’s own Steve & Carla McInelly. They all did a great job and we heard multiple times “I can’t believe I’m telling you this” so make sure to catch these episodes. We are in every major podcast directory or you can listen from our website, and you can follow what we're up to on Facebook or Twitter.


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