Which Side Podcast | Buzz Blog

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Which Side Podcast

Posted By on October 12, 2014, 5:00 PM

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After you weed through the dozens of local nerd podcasts, followed by the humorous news shows and the many covering the Utah Jazz season (even when nothing's happening), you'll find great selection of podcasts that focus more on social causes. Your lettuce and tomato of the Utah podcasting network sandwich, if you will. One of the bigger shows making headway in that genre is the Which Side Podcast, which focuses mostly on protests and social injustices happening around the state and beyond, along with a focus on vegan lifestyle and making efforts to be more conscious in your local government and personal choices. Today we chat with both of the founding hosts of the show about launching the program and the response they've received from the public so far. (All pictures courtesy of WSP.)

Jordan Halliday & Jeremy Parkin
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Gavin: Hey guys, first off, tell us a little bit about yourselves.

Jeremy: I’ve been married to Jordan's sister for 11 years and have an amazing 8 year-old girl (vegan of course). I’ve been vegan for 20 years and an anarchist for about 15.

Jordan: I've been married for just over a year now, been vegan for 15-16 years and anarchist since I was in middle school, before I even knew what it meant.

Gavin: How did each of you take an interest in more social and political issues?

Jeremy: When I was in high school I overheard girls talking saying a guy is vegetarian and they thought that was cool. It pissed me off cause I thought, "well, fuck, I am vegan but no one really knows." So two weeks later I went to my first protest. Before that it was a high school teacher that introduced to me to Howard Zinn and it really opened my eyes to how the world is way different than what was being taught.

Jordan: I've always been compassionate about all sorts of issues, started on humans right but already being vegan started heavily demonstrating with animals rights shortly after, wasn't until going to prison that I really started getting involved in prisoners rights.

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Gavin: Have either of you actively been a part of any activist groups or or social causes prior to the show?

Jeremy: Too many to count, started to become active in about '98 in too many causes and groups to name them. Utah Animals Rights coalitions, ADLSLC, Green Party Utah, lots of environmental and anti war/peace activism.

Jordan: Too many to count as well: SLADL, SLAMM and UPF, as well as ABC.

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

Jeremy: We first met when I started dating Jordan's sister – would you even call it friends?

Jordan: Are we friends or are we just related?

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Gavin: Prior to the show, what kind of conversations did you used to have regarding these issues?

Jeremy: We pretty much had the same conversations that we had on the show except for way more swearing. Way more inside and gossipy. We try to avoid gossip on the show and focus on what is known and not just inside gossip, catch myself all the time.

Jordan: We try to avoid inside or local things just in case, because we have a lot of listeners outside of Utah.

Gavin: How did the idea come about to start up your own podcast, and where did the name come from?

Jeremy: I first had the idea to do the podcast when listening to another podcast the host was saying if you don’t see something that you are looking for you just need to create it yourself. The name is our second name choice, originally it was Burning Bridges, but another now defunct podcast already had that name, so we got Which Side from the workers song which side are you on.

Jordan: We sort of always wanted to do a podcast, Jeremy was way more into podcasting then I was and he convinced me to get into it. After that we sat down and decided to do it. Other podcasts focused on why to be vegan so we wanted to talk to people who are in the culture and what they do.

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Gavin: What was it like getting all the equipment together and kind of setting up your own studio space?

Jeremy: Getting all the equipment and setting the “studio” has been really fun. We started out just using an internal mic on iMac, it was horrendous quality. So we got our first little mic a called a Blue Snowball, when we started to get donations and were able to purchase a semi pro set up.

Jordan: We also DIY whenever possible like the pop filter or our stands Jeremy rigged from scratch. Since the studio is in Jeremy's house we've moved a couple of times and have had to change the basic setup to meet the needs.

Gavin: What were the first few episodes like when you started recording and what did you think of the flow of the show?

Jeremy: They were horrible and fucking sucked, we had no clue what we were doing not that we do now but we had zero structure at the very beginning.

Jordan: We haven't even released the first episodes ever because they were just bad, after a while we got into a flow and style we liked and we continued.

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Gavin: You launched the show back in late 2012, what was the early reaction like from listeners?

Jeremy: We got a lot of comments that people really liked the more laid back and conversational style that we were doing.

Jordan: We were compared to another vegan podcast that stopped podcasting, Vegan Freaks. So I think it was a nice new change to fill a hole people were missing. Wasn't even aware of them after we started and they has already stopped about two years before that.

Gavin: How do you go about deciding the content you're going to discuss for each episode?

Jeremy: I purposely don't, I like going in fresh, if I think about it too much I fell it turns into Larry King interview style, not that there is anything wrong with that I just want it to feel more like a couple of people are just hanging out for the first time and getting to know each other and everyone just gets to peek in on that and feel like they are sitting next to us.

Jordan: I'd say that of we are unfamiliar with a guest, I'll do a little bit of research just so I don't seem stupid. We like to keep it conversational and hanging out. Like meeting someone at a meeting party, not planned questions, conversation flow.

Jeremy: When they start asking us questions back and get conversation going, that's my favorite.

Jordan: And that's something that we learned at the beginning with our earlier guests. If conversations weren't working we didn't know to switch to Q&A style so the flow of show isn't interrupted, learned over time.

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Gavin: Considering the content that you cover, how much feedback to you get both in praise for giving list to those kind of issues, and how much grief do you get for promoting them?

Jeremy: We get very little grief because our audience are people who are already "living the life" as I like to call it, not advertising to right wing crazy religious fanatics. We are not a show to educate people about veganism or anarchism. We format the show for the vegans and anarchist so we don’t get the praise so much for those but for how we approach them.

Jordan: We have gotten some grief for basic formatting or quality issues in the beginning. I worried when we started that people would think that we weren't talking about issues that we should talk about but no one else is doing it. We do get a lot of praise for conversational style and long casual conversations that allow us to get deep into subjects, without the time limits that standard radio or TV shows face.

Gavin: Do you feel as if the show has had an impact on any of the local material you cover, or is it more of chance for you to spotlight what's happening and not get directly involved?

Jeremy: We try not to focus on local stuff so much because of our audience is too broad too focus too much on local issues.

Jordan: Salt Lake is big market for us, but we have more listeners outside of the US than in.

Jeremy: Every activist has to find something they are passionate about and focus on that right now. I feel that is the show for me is not getting directly involved and it's not organizing a protest. I just see it as another avenue of activism.

Jordan: I'm wearing so many hats, I do a lot locally but I feel that what I do locally isn't really the same as what we talk about in the podcast, but there's definitely some crossover.

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Gavin: How do you feel Utah activists and organizations have held up against a lot of the controversial and disturbing practices we see in our state today?

Jordan: I would definitely say I've noticed a decrease in a lot of grassroots activism, not just locally but in generally due to a lot of the laws that have been passed. Animal terrorism, AG gag, pressure on activists, etc. Focusing on things like larger cages, animal welfare and national organization. For fundraising sometimes of swaying to welfare which makes local activist not want to participate.

Gavin: What's your overall goal with the show and what do you hope to achieve with it?

Jeremy: My only goal with the show really is to just have fun. What the fuck is the point if we are not loving it, and really show activist that we can have fun together.

Jordan: My goal is just to talk to people I would love to talk to and hopefully other people want to hear the same people talk. I just enjoy interviewing people that I would love to hang out with in real life and getting to know more about them and what they do and share that with our listeners.

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

Jeremy: I’m really excited where the show is heading. Right now we will continue to bring everyone people that are living the life and seeing what they are doing. I’m also very excited with our collective and expanding new shows beyond animal rights and activism.

Jordan: Excited to see where we've gone and where we're going now that we're over 100 episodes, and hopefully many more to come, see where we are going to take the show and collective.

Gavin: Aside from the obvious, is there anything you'd like to plug or promote?

Jeremy: I want to promote the food empowerment project, I love everything they do, and support podcasts so many good out there, just search for them, lots of independent podcast for whatever you are looking for.

Jordan: I would say that I'd like to promote the collective and all the shows on it, and political a prisoners, you should write to them.

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