Jabberjaw Media seek to break new ground, start a podcast revolution

jabberjaw

At base level, it’s easy to understand why podcasting and the punk rock scene seem to go hand-in-hand these days. It’s extraordinarily easy to produce a decent-sounding show with entry-level equipment, episodes are usually free and accessible to all on a variety of platforms, and the format exists to culminate conversation—much like punk rock itself. Naturally, it was only a matter of time until the punk kids discovered it, and sure enough, shows like Nothing To Write Home About, featuring Matt Pryor of The Get Up Kids, and Lead Singer Syndrome with Silverstein’s Shane Told have become some of the most popular music-centric shows around.

The guys behind Jabberjaw Media, an alternative music-based podcast network, see the potential in the medium. Founded by Matt Carter of Emery and the BadChristian podcast, Nick Bunda, producer of the BadChristian podcast, and Mike Mowery of Outerloop Management, Jabberjaw seeks to revolutionize how the alternative music community interacts with podcasting.

Think of Jabberjaw like a record label for your favorite podcast series, rather than your favorite musicians. Jabberjaw podcasts cross-promote each other, build stronger audiences, and eventually become profitable through advertisement revenue. Revenue keeps the shows running smoothly with a larger audience streaming and downloading new episodes, and ensures that the content creators are compensated for their work. The network started with the BadChristian podcast hosts—including Carter and cohosts Toby Morrell and Joey Svendsen—sharing tricks of the trade with other podcasters.

“As they were doing that, it sort of made sense to maybe aggregate [the shows] together,” says Jabberjaw founder Mike Mowery. Mowery states that Jabberjaw’s vision is threefold; aggregate podcasts, spread awareness and monetize them, and produce new shows.

Production, in fact, has shown to be one of Jabberjaw’s biggest strengths. Since its creation, the show has launched two very successful programs in The Art Collective featuring Stephen Christian of Anberlin and the aforementioned Lead Singer Syndrome with Shane Told, with plans to launch more. “All of our shows are interview based, and what we’d love to do in the future is continue to develop those and also develop longerform, more storyline-based, or whatever it might be,” says Mowery, referencing the success of 2014’s premiere season of Serial, which arguably brought podcasting to the mainstream with its riveting, weekly installments about the mysterious murder of Baltimore teen Hae Min Lee in 1999.

“It’s all about the length,” says Shane Told, vocalist of Silverstein and host of Lead Singer Syndrome. “As long as the podcast is compelling and interesting, you get a chance to get people to really tell a whole story. With a magazine interview, I don’t care how long it is, there’s only so many pages they’re gonna print in a magazine and you’re never gonna get the full story.” With nearly thirty episodes ranging from sixty to ninety minutes, Told has covered a wide range of topics with lead singers from all corners of the punk rock spectrum with production support from Jabberjaw. Told has spoken about fatherhood with Taking Back Sunday’s Adam Lazarra, growing up in South Central LA with Jason Aalon Butler of Letlive., and LGBT issues with Buddy Neilsen of Senses Fail, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Other guests include both Spencer Chamberlain and Aaron Gillespie of Underoath (in separate episodes, in order to glean both perspectives of the Underoath reunion), Dan Lambton of Real Friends, and Patty Walters of As It Is.

Despite the difference in genre and style, each artist shares a glimpse into their life as a lead singer in a long interview with Shane, who manages to get impressively candid takes from his guests. “That’s what I find so compelling about podcasting, and what I love about it. I just love hearing all the little details,” Told tells me, enthusiastically. “Take Adam from Taking Back Sunday – how many interviews has that guy done in the last 15 years? He’s done tons! But he’s probably never done one where he talks to someone like me for an hour, so when that happens there are going to be tons of little details that come out.”

Apart from Lead Singer Syndrome which helms a diverse range of guests, one of Jabberjaw’s strengths is the diversity in their own lineup between shows. While Lead Singer Syndrome and Art Collective are understandably popular, some of the more niche shows in Jabberjaw’s lineup include Modern Vinyl Podcast, a show specifically tailored to fans of vinyl on news and vinyl culture, hosted by the experts over at Modern Vinyl, as well as a weekly program featuring interviews with the most buzzworthy names in emo from host Tom Mullen of Washed Up Emo. Older shows, like Ray Harkins’ popular 100 Words Or Less podcast have also come under the Jabberjaw network in recent years. The lineup goes on, including Carter’s Break It Down, Metal Brainiac, and MetalSucks; there’s something for everyone in the Jabberjaw umbrella.

As for the future, Mowery’s interested in continuing to grow Jabberjaw and expand the format’s impact entirely. “We’d like to be the standout—we’re kind of the first in the space. We’re not completely alone, but we’re first in there. I’m sure there will be other [podcast networks] to come, which is great, because, you know, there are tons of great record labels out there,” Mowery says with a laugh. “But we’re really looking forward at what’s to come. There’s nothing really crazy and specific planned, but we’re here to make our mark in 2016.”

You can check out all of Jabberjaw’s shows at their website, here. Make sure to subscribe to your favorite shows via your podcast player of choice, as well. If you’re interested in advertising with Jabberjaw, visit their advertisement page to learn more.

John Bazley

John Bazley was raised in central New Jersey by the romantic aura of the Asbury Park beachfront, punk rock, and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4. He is still trying to figure all of this stuff out.

In addition to UTG, John has contributed to Alternative Press and Full Frequency Media. Follow him on Twitter for pictures of his dog.
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