12 Of The Best Podcasts Hosted By Musicians
Whether you’re seeking out a distraction from constant coronavirus updates while stuck indoors, or missing the community swell that comes with a packed-out show, digging into a new podcast can make the isolation feel a little less isolating. Here, we round up some of the passionate, insightful and utterly strange series currently being made by rock and alternative musicians. With hours of interviews, fanboying and, er, fan fiction, there’s plenty here to sate the boredom.
Lead Singer Syndrome
With its ego-zapping title, Lead Singer Syndrome was founded by Silverstein frontman Shane Told to uncover what was actually going on under the hood of his fellow mic-slingers. With more than 200 episodes, these one-on-one conversations with guests predominantly from Shane’s emo-punk world (we’re talking your Adam Lazzaras, Ben Barlows and Lynn Gunns) can hit high on the candid-ometer, often taking in band splits, mental health and addiction.
As a member of punk-rock storytellers The Menzingers, guitarist and vocalist Tom May’s sporadically-released podcast shares in the warm, coffee-and-cigarettes atmosphere that fans of his day job will be accustomed to. Most guests so far have been close friends of Tom, ranging from The Lawrence Arms’ Brendan Kelly to magician Mike Casey, giving listeners a fly-on-the-wall feel to ruminations on life, art and a whole lot of punk nerdery.
Walking The Floor
Of the 150 or so guests that have sat down for Chris Shiflett’s podcast so far, you can comfortably wager that at least half of them were wearing a Stetson at the time. But while Walking The Floor undoubtedly leans into the Foo Fighters guitarist’s fondness of country music, his chief priority is anyone with a story to tell. As such, interviewees including skaters, surfers and authors have also been exposed to Chris’ infectious good nature and enthusiasm.
Awsten + Travis’ Slumber Party
If you’re a fan of burying-your-head-in-your-hands grossness, then this is the podcast for you. The premise goes like this: along with his pal Travis Riddle (and sometimes a guest), Waterparks frontman Awsten Knight bravely reads and rates explicit fan fiction written about him and his bandmates. With the sampled texts ranging from ridiculous (whale porn!) to downright horrible (necrophilia!), it’s the pair’s semi-serious analysis that will have you laugh-snorting along.
Alice Cooper’s Vintage Vault
As he explains on the first episode of this freshly launched podcast, aside from being the godfather of shock rock, Alice Cooper has also been moonlighting as a radio presenter for some 16 years – and interviewed a glut of rock royalty along the way. With the first few episodes dedicated to Ozzy Osbourne, Brian May and Slash, Vintage Vault finds Alice delving into archived conversations with some veritable big names, with a particular fascination for career-hinging moments.
Going Off Track
Going Off Track is a podcast that pleasingly lives up to its name. Hosted by The Gaslight Anthem drummer Benny Horowitz and long-time producer Brad Worrell, the pair’s interviews with (usually) musical guests – Laura Jane Grace and Brian Fallon have recently stopped by – can often veer down strange avenues or even into the comfortably mundane. It’s a chance to hear artists shoot the shit as if they were just hanging out backstage, basically.
One Life One Chance
Before forming and fronting H2O in 1994, Toby Morse had lived the New York hardcore scene, working as a roadie for bands like Gorilla Biscuits and Sick Of It All. On his weekly podcast One Life One Chance, Toby looks back on this era and beyond with friends, heroes and contemporaries such as Rancid’s Tim Armstrong and Agnostic Front’s Roger Miret, diving into the scenes and inspirations that shaped their own journeys.
The Jasta Show
As a former host of MTV’s Headbangers Ball, Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta is no stranger to presenting gigs. For his bi-weekly podcast The Jasta Show, the vocalist’s luminous passion for all things heavy – along with his deep knowledge of how the industry ticks – loads his interviews with plenty of thought and feeling, as he picks the brains of musicians, comedians, producers and anyone else operating under the banner of metal.
Metal Up Your Podcast
Hosted by former Relient K drummer Ethan Luck and fellow musician Clint Wells, Metal Up Your Podcast is a gold mine for any Metallica fan. Now more than 150 episodes deep, the duo pore over all things ’Tallica with a microscopic detail, sometimes dedicating entire episodes to a single James Hetfield interview or historic live show. With occasional drop-ins from Metallica road crew and other artists, this is essential listening for anyone who thinks they know The Four Horsemen.
Turned Out A Punk
As well as being the frontman to Toronto hardcore weirdos Fucked Up and host of an extreme wrestling documentary, Damian Abraham has a scarily intense knowledge of all things punk. On Turned Out A Punk, it’s put to good use, as he tracks his guests’ earliest and fondest experiences with the genre. With a mix of visitors including wrestlers, musicians and chefs stopping to hang, it’s always an open and warm-hearted trip.
Anxious And Angry
Originally starting way back in 2014, Anxious And Angry has existed both as a vessel for Off With Their Heads frontman Ryan Young to announce any upcoming news and thoughts about his punk-rock band, while also serving as a platform for wider discussions on mental health and whatever’s going through his head. The singer will occasionally rope in outside help for more sprawling chats, with past guests including Single Mothers’ Drew Thompson and The Menzingers’ Greg Barnett.
As the former vocalist of Welsh post-hardcore group The Blackout, there are few better poised to slice through the realities of life in a modern band than Sean Smith. Presented with journalist Morgan Richards, each episode of Sappenin’ finds the affable frontman lead a refreshingly unfiltered chat with a musician or alt-adjacent guest, where the hosts’ commitment to untangling knotty topics can take in some scandalous and even dark turns.
And if you want even more podcasts, don’t forget to check out Kerrang!’s Inside Track series, which features exclusive interviews with Tool, Fall Out Boy, Korn and many more.
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Watch Metallica perform Hardwired… To Self-Destruct single Moth Into Flame with the San Francisco Symphony.
Listen to new versions of Strawberry Mansion and High School Friend, taken from The Menzingers’ upcoming reimagined album, From Exile.