Celebrating Our 101st Episode (with a Special Guest Interviewer)

Last week, the 100th episode of The Lede was published. This week, for episode 101, we decided to celebrate. To honor the occasion, not only do we have a musical gift to present to our listeners, we also have a special guest host on hand to serve as the Voice of the Audience.


And it kicks off with a bang — one Jerod was reluctant to participate in.

Remember a few episodes back (right here) when Demian wrote that song for the fictitious band “Jerod Morris and the Spongebags”? (Use that link to listen to Demian speak the lyrics at the 4:45 mark, or scroll down to that transcript to read the lyrics.)

Well, listener demand and incessant peer pressure finally won the day, and Jerod actually recorded himself performing the song. But it wasn’t to a dubstep beat. No, Demian took care of that. Jerod, instead, delivered his own interpretation more appropriate for a man from the Lone Star state. And just for good measure, we had an actual professional perform it as well … because why not?

So here is our “gift” to you, dear listener: the mp3 files for each version of When the Vest Comes Off (Ooh La La). Open them in a new window to listen privately, but do not, under any circumstances, share them publicly. If anyone involved in running Rainmaker.FM knows they exist, there may not be a Lede #102. Thank you. 🙂

Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get on to more serious matters: like whether Demian Farnworth would rather jump into the ocean or a swimming pool.

That is but one of the many intriguing questions posed to Demian and Jerod by guest host Jonny Nastor of Hack the Entrepreneur. Others include:

  • What is your favorite concert experience?
  • What would you be doing if you were not creating online content?
  • If you could have dinner with one person, who would it be and what would you serve?

For this last question, Jerod mentioned that he would serve his apparently delicious roasted brussels sprouts. And since he shot his mouth off and promised to include the recipe in the show notes, you’ll find it below.

There isn’t much more prefacing necessary for this episode. If you come looking for in-depth content marketing advice, you’ll be disappointed. But if you’re up for a fun three-way conversation that gives you a unique insight into who Demian and Jerod are as professionals, people, and friends, then you should enjoy this week’s episode of The Lede.

Then next week it’s right back to content marketing. We promise. 😉


The Show Notes

Jerod’s Apparently Delicious Roasted Brussels Sprouts

  • Preheat oven to 450 and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil
  • Cut the bottom off of roughly 30 raw brussels sprouts and then slice them in half, saving any stray leaves (and making sure the sprouts are clean and devoid of bugs)
  • Place the sliced sprouts into a large tupperware container with a little over 1/4th a cup of flour, a generous drizzle of olive oil, several shakes of cayenne pepper and garlic salt, as well as few pinches of salt, pepper, and turmeric. (Season to taste, obviously.)
  • Shake the tupperware container vigorously until all sprouts are coated and there is no more flour sitting in the corners of the tupperware (add a bit more olive oil if necessary)
  • Dump the sprouts onto the baking sheet, making sure they are all turned cut side up, then sprinkle parmesan cheese atop all sprouts
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown and the edges of the stray leaves have turned dark
  • Enjoy the deliciousness


Celebrating Our 101st Episode (with a Special Guest Interviewer)

Jonny Nastor: You did songs?

Demian Farnworth: Hell yeah.

Jonny Nastor: I’ve been hearing about these bands.

Demian Farnworth: Oh yeah, yeah.

Jerod Morris: They are so utterly ridiculous.

Demian Farnworth: Well, so …

Jerod Morris: They may get us fired.

We are rolling on this episode of The Lede. It is a very special episode of The Lede, and we’re glad you joined us for this episode, because it is the 101st episode of The Lede. Some shows celebrate their 100th episode. We are celebrating episode 101, frankly because we forgot. So we published an episode last week, and we’re just doing our 100th episode celebration one week late.

The Evolution of The Lede over 100 Episodes

Jerod Morris: Certainly, Demian and I can’t take the full credit for this show getting to 100 episodes, because it’s really 101 episodes of the Copyblogger podcast, which started out as Internet Marketing for Smart People and was later changed to The Lede and was hosted by Robert Bruce. And then we took it over and are really just carrying the torch they started and trying to do it by producing useful content that all the wonderful people of the Copyblogger audience can get a lot out of.

Demian Farnworth: I think it was about 42 wasn’t it? Forty-two, 44, something like that, when we took over last summer?

Jerod Morris: I think so, I think so.

Demian Farnworth: We’ve been doing it since early 2014?

Jerod Morris: Yeah.

Jonny Nastor: I had no idea, this back story of it.

Jerod Morris: Yeah, exactly.

Jonny Nastor: I’m a way-far-back Internet Marketing for Smart People fan.

Jerod Morris: Really? Wow.

Demian Farnworth: You want to tell the people who that is, who that voice is?

Jerod Morris: Yeah, so we should introduce the voice. This is, people probably know. It’s Jonny Nastor, Hack the Entrepreneur. What they may be wondering is why he’s here on The Lede, and we can certainly provide the context there. Johnny just celebrated the 100th episode of Hack the Entrepreneur. He did it in a much more condensed period of time, going from September 2014 to just last week, I guess, recording the 100th episode.

Demian Farnworth: That’s nine months, huh?

Jerod Morris: Yeah, it was quick.

Jonny Nastor: Nine months.

Jerod Morris: He decided to turn the tables and be interviewed, be hacked, for his 100th episode, and he gave me the great privilege of doing that, which I enjoyed. We had the bright idea to bring him here on The Lede and turn the tables and have him interview us, and here he is.

Demian Farnworth: He is. Let me say something real quick. I’m debating though, 100th episode, 101st episode — when do you actually celebrate the 100th? Because I’m thinking about when the year 2000 came, wasn’t there some confusion about, “Isn’t the millennium in 2001 since there was no 0?”

Jonny Nastor: Right. Are you talking about how some people start their podcast with a 0 episode?

Demian Farnworth: Yeah.

Jonny Nastor: Would 100 make more sense, then? Is that what you mean?

Demian Farnworth: Yeah, yeah, it’s trivial.

Jerod Morris: I don’t count the 0. I can see if someone does that as an introduction episode, like, “Here’s what the podcast is about,” but the first episode should be 1.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, I think. I didn’t do a 0. I guess you guys did a 42 or 43.

Jerod Morris: Yeah.

Jonny Nastor: Robert Bruce says it takes a hundred episodes to produce shows that aren’t crap, and this is 101.

Jerod Morris: This is going to be the first good episode of The Lede, I guess.

Jonny Nastor: According to Robert Bruce.

Demian Farnworth: That’s the hope at least, right?

Jerod Morris: Yeah, let’s hope so.

Jonny Nastor: As a fan of The Lede, as a fan of you two …

Demian Farnworth: Where?

Jonny Nastor: I know that people have struggled with this, like me, as a host of a show. We are interviewing other people or talking about specific subjects, say content marketing, like you guys do with writing, but sometimes we fail to actually get to know the hosts themselves and just some little things about them. I think that’s where I want to start with you guys, just some very simple questions, but they might not be simple — they might be — but I’d like to see where they take us. I would like to, I guess, learn the behind-the-scenes of Demian and Jerod.

Jerod Morris: Excellent, let’s do it.

Demian Farnworth: This might be the last show we ever do.

Our Special Gifts to You, the Audience

Jerod Morris: It very well may be. Hey, before we do this, Demian, should we tell the listeners the gift that we have for them to celebrate the 101st episode?

Demian Farnworth: Oh, yes.

Jerod Morris: Do you want to let them know what that is?

Demian Farnworth: Anybody who’s been listening for quite some time, particularly the last four or five shows, we had a small series on content syndication where you were republishing old articles on different sites like social sites, like Medium or LinkedIn, and then larger sites like Business Insider or Lifehacker.

The running metaphor for content syndication was a band called Jerod Morris and the Sponge Bags, and Jerod Morris, of course, is the lead singer — singer and songwriter. I wrote a song for Jerod and his band. It took me a long time — I wrote the song, spoke the song a couple of episodes ago, and said “So let us know if you want Jerod to actually sing this song.”

I thought we had quite a few people who said, “Yes, we want him to sing the song.” I went and hunted down some music, tried to find some music for him, found the music that I had envisioned, and I said, “Hey, here’s your music, do it.” He’s dragging his feet, not doing it. I’m pestering him with emails. Finally, I said, “Okay, you want me to drop the vocals so you can see how I’m envisioning it? Would that help you?” He’s like, “Yeah.” I did that, and so I gave him the file, and it was a very bad file.

I gave him the file, and he did give it another shot. He said, “Screw the dubstep, the disco dubstep. I’m going country.” Jerod Morris recorded a country song using the lyrics for the song, “It’s getting hot up here, I’m going to take this vest off.”

We have those two songs for everybody. We’re not going to play them on the show, but you can listen to them. They’ll be in the show notes if you want to listen to them. Jerod actually did quite a good job at it. I’m not a singer. I can’t sing. As we were talking before the show, I don’t do karaoke for that very reason.

Here’s another bonus: Mike Hale actually paid a guy on Fiverr, an actual rap artist, to do the song. And the guy did the song, and he did a great job, so that will be in there also. Thank you to Mike Hale.

So to all of our listeners for staying with us so long, our gift to you is some songs that we did.

Jerod Morris: I just want you to know, Demian, that I laughed hysterically when you sent me over your version, and it’s been placed in a special folder on my computer and will never be deleted. In any dark moment that I have in my future, I’m going to pull that song out, and I know that listening to it will pull me out of it.

Demian Farnworth: I thought you were going to say blackmail or something like that.

Jerod Morris: No, no, no, no.

Demian Farnworth: That’s good.

Jerod Morris: It’s wonderful.

Demian Farnworth: That’s your gift. Thank you for listening. Thank you for sticking with us for so long. You’ll find those songs in the show notes.

Jonny Nastor: Imagine what the gift will be at episode 200.

Jerod Morris: I don’t even want to fathom that.

Demian Farnworth: Yeah.

Jonny Nastor: All right, Demian.

Demian Farnworth: Yes, sir?

Jonny Nastor: You’re going to take my first question.

Demian Farnworth: Okay.

Jonny Nastor: I would love to know, if you weren’t currently writing for a living, what would you see yourself doing?

The Career Demian Would Choose if He Wasn’t a Writer

Demian Farnworth: That’s a great question. I know the answer. The answer is to be a psychologist. Every time my kids ask me that question — my daughter’s 13, my son is 12 — we ask that question, it’s become a running joke, because my wife is like, “You don’t even like people. I don’t understand that. Why do you keep saying that?”

I do like people. I like people clinically.

Jerod Morris: That makes sense.

Jonny Nastor: That does make such sense, it’s funny.

Demian Farnworth: I marvel at the human condition. I marvel at, not just myself, but at other people, and the way we behave, and the things that we do, and they never cease to amaze me. So I would like to be a psychologist.

When my children ask and my wife asks, I always say, “I think probably a research psychologist.” I’ll probably be studying, not actually doing any kind of office counselling work. I do think I’d be terrible at that because I’ll be like, “This is the third time that you’ve been in here, and you’re still complaining about this. You need to get over this and get on with your life.” In that sense, I wouldn’t be very good.

Jonny Nastor: Wow. I think it’s interesting that your kids ask you this all the time. Do you just not like what you do, and they’re like, “What else would you do, Dad?”

Demian Farnworth: No, not at all. My kids are really good about conversations, asking questions, my son in particular. When we go out for a drive, we’d be heading somewhere, and he’s asking all these questions and stuff. I think they learned from me, particularly him, that if you’re the one answering the questions, you don’t have to do all the talking.

Jonny Nastor: Oh.

Demian Farnworth: Does that make sense?

Jerod Morris: If you’re the one ‘asking’ the questions you mean?

Demian Farnworth: Yeah, right. I learned at a very young age that you can control a conversation by asking the questions, and you can take the spotlight off yourself and focus it on somebody else by asking questions.

Jonny Nastor: That’s an interesting thing to teach your kids, actually. That’s something I learned later in life. Hey, Jerod?

Jerod Morris: Yes.

Jonny Nastor: Could you tell me — this is maybe to bring me into the conversation, I’m not sure — tell me what you think of when you think of Canada?

What Jerod Thinks of When He Thinks of Canada

Jerod Morris: Wow, that’s a great question. I think of you and Chris Garrett right now. Part of that is because we were just talking about it. I think that’s what I think of, really, is the people that I work with who are from Canada — the Rennicks, you, Chris Garrett — because I actually haven’t been to Canada. I want to go.

My passport is actually on its way so that I can actually step outside of the United States and do some traveling, which I can’t wait to do, Canada being one of the places. I think, in addition, if I think about it too long, I start thinking about baseball, because obviously there are Canadian teams in baseball. My first thought is just the people that I know from there, and I’ve had the great privilege of working with some great people who are from there.

Demian Farnworth: That’s a very PC answer.

Jonny Nastor: That was, yeah. Are Canadian baseball teams is any good?

Jerod Morris: The Montreal Expos were.

Jonny Nastor: I know nothing about baseball.

Jerod Morris: The Montreal Expos, in 1994.

Demian Farnworth: Nineteen what? When?

Jerod Morris: Hang on, hang on, hang on. 1994 was a strike-shortened season. The Expos were actually gone shortly thereafter, but the Expos were known for having all of these great young players, but then they couldn’t afford them. Pedro Martinez was originally an Expo. Vladimir Guerrero? Originally an Expo. So they had these great teams, but they could never quite win because by the time the players matured, they were off elsewhere.

So fine, that’s what I really think of, all right? I think of baseball because I’m a sports nut, and I think of the 1994 mythical World Series between the White Sox and the Expos that never got to happen because of the strike. There you go.

Demian Farnworth: Wow, that was deep, dude. So Jerod doesn’t get to answer the “What would he do” career question?

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, we can play it like that if you want.

Demian Farnworth: You don’t have to. You’re in control, but I was curious to hear his answer on that one.

Jonny Nastor: Okay, well then let’s just keep it easy right now then, and say, “Demian, can you tell me what you think about when you think of Canada?”

Demian Farnworth: Is it Wayne’s World? Or there was …

Jonny Nastor: Oh, Wayne’s World is amazing.

Demian Farnworth: Yeah, that was a Canadian-like show.

Jonny Nastor: That was Saturday Night Live, it came from, but with Canadians.

Demian Farnworth: Yeah, right. There’s another movie though about Canada …

Jonny Nastor: There’s been three, I think.

Demian Farnworth: Okay, so name them.

Jonny Nastor: Only three. I like how I said, “There’s been three.” You’re like, “Name them.” We’ve had a few more movies.

Demian Farnworth: “Eh?” that’s what I think of. Is it “Eh?” Do you know what I’m talking about? Somebody help me here.

Jerod Morris: Eh.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, Canadian Bacon?

Demian Farnworth: Oh, Strange Brew! Strange Brew.

Jonny Nastor: Strange Brew, okay. So not Canadian Bacon.

Demian Farnworth: Wasn’t that a Canadian movie? That was a long time ago.

Jonny Nastor: Strange Brew is super old, and that came from SCTV, right? Wayne’s World was from Saturday Night Live. SCTV was another comedy show trio thing in the late ‘70s. Those guys, Rick Moranis and such, went on to such great things as Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.

Demian Farnworth: Wasn’t that Canadian?

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, totally.

Demian Farnworth: Okay, okay.

Jonny Nastor: It’s as Canadian as it gets, like toques and … They had every cliché you can think about.

Demian Farnworth: The other thing that I think about with Canada is the the Banff mountain range there.

Jerod Morris: Oh, yeah.

Demian Farnworth: Which I’d love to go see someday.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, it’s amazing.

Jerod Morris: Yeah.

Jonny Nastor: All right, now let’s backtrack. Jerod?

Jerod Morris: Yes.

Jonny Nastor: If you weren’t writing and creating content for a living, what would you be doing?

Why Running The Showrunner Podcasting Course Is Sort of Like Coaching

Jerod Morris: I can’t podcast?

Jonny Nastor: No, because that’s part of creating the content you do. Webinars and podcasting and writing are your thing.

Jerod Morris: All right, so I can’t do online content because what I was going to say is that I would probably go into covering sports somehow. If you couldn’t tell, I like sports.

Jonny Nastor: You do like sports, and you said at one point that you wanted to be a sportscaster, but you didn’t.

Jerod Morris: I did.

Jonny Nastor: You did?

Jerod Morris: No, I always wanted to, but I didn’t, and I think that would be one thing if I can go back, that would be interesting to try. I think probably I would try to coach on a more serious level. I come from a family of coaches, and I always have that itch that would come back, especially during the seasons. I think about my experience playing high school basketball and how much fun it would be to coach and lead a team and do that. I think the one thing that always kept me from trying it out on the side is being busy or at least the illusion of busyness in my own head.

Demian Farnworth: You’d make a good coach, man. I’d play for you.

Jerod Morris: Well, thank you. You could be my point guard, Demian, any day.

Demian Farnworth: What does he do?

Jerod Morris: The point guard controls the basketball. He gets the team into the play.

Demian Farnworth: Sweet, yeah.

Jerod Morris: He controls the pace of the action.

Demian Farnworth: Sweet.

Jerod Morris: We’d have a real up-tempo offense, too, because you’d look great with your flowing blonde hair going up and down, taking it coast to coast.

Demian Farnworth: Once you have kids, man, then you’ll be able to coach your boy and girl, or girls and some boys, whatever — you’ll be able to coach their teams.

Jerod Morris: Yeah, which I greatly look forward to.

Jonny Nastor: Nice. You think, at some point, you will go into coaching?

Jerod Morris: I think on that level, certainly. My dad was a college football coach for 20 years, so not to that level, but certainly on a lower level, which I think, in a lot of ways, can be just as rewarding, if not, more so. Not for a career, but definitely something on the side for sure.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, I’m not even really, really into sports, but I coached soccer for five and six-year-olds.

Jerod Morris: Yeah.

Jonny Nastor: For two years, I did it, until the league actually shut down and they amalgamated a bunch of them in my city. I didn’t go with them, but it was amazing. I was blown away by it. I do like soccer, and I played soccer growing up, but I don’t really know how to coach. At that age, they wanted to learn, and they wanted to run into big, giant groups.

Jerod Morris: Yeah.

Jonny Nastor: It was fun. It was a lot of fun.

Jerod Morris: I think, to go along with this, one of the reasons why, I think, I’m so excited about The Showrunner Podcasting Course, and maybe you too, is that it’s like coaching in a way. We really get some elements of coaching in there where people are new, and you’re imparting not only your knowledge and your experience, but also sometimes supplying the motivation or the extra little kick, getting to know that person, finding out what motivates them. All those elements, whether it’s coaching in a course like that or coaching a sport, there’s a lot of similarities. That’s part of why I love that project so much.

Jonny Nastor: Did you realize that before? Because I didn’t. I’ve realized that since that, “Wow, we really are the coaches in this group.”

Jerod Morris: Yeah.

Jonny Nastor: It was an interesting realization to me, but yeah, it’s changed my mindset about it.

Jerod Morris: Yeah. I’ve never really thought of it explicitly like that until just now, but it makes sense.

Jonny Nastor: All right, Demian.

Demian Farnworth: Yes, sir.

Jonny Nastor: You’re the first one for this.

Demian Farnworth: Okay.

Our Ideal Dinner Guests

Jonny Nastor: Who would be your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would you serve them?

Demian Farnworth: I’d serve them peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because that’s all I can manage.

Jonny Nastor: Seriously?

Demian Farnworth: I always think I just got to go to my main man, William Faulkner. If I’m going to have a literary hero, it would be him as the default person. I would like to have dinner with Joan Didion. That would be interesting, too, and of course these are all literary references.

I think it would be interesting, too — somebody who’s dead would be Teddy Roosevelt. Reading his biography always fascinated and absolutely humbled me because he was a mad man as far as productivity went. Yeah, maybe I’d manage something more exquisite than peanut butter and jelly, but I’m helpless and hopeless in the kitchen, and I don’t apologize for that either.

Jonny Nastor: I did make it like, “What would you serve them?” You don’t have to make it yourself.

Demian Farnworth: Oh, oh, okay, great. If that’s the case, you know what?

Jerod Morris: Don’t let him off easy.

Jonny Nastor: I’m also not a very good cook, but I think, if I was inviting William Faulkner to the table, I’d probably would look outside of my own skillset and bring someone in or at least order pizza or something.

Demian Farnworth: Yeah, that’s why I married my wife, because she’s the genius in the kitchen. I would just ask her, because my default was, “Hey, you want to order pizza? Let’s go to Taco Bell.” I’d run by Taco Bell.

Jerod Morris: Taco Bell with Teddy Roosevelt.

Demian Farnworth: I think he would go for that, man.

Jerod Morris: I think he would.

Demian Farnworth: I think he would. I don’t know about William Faulkner, but as long as there was scotch there, I think he wouldn’t care where we ate.

Jonny Nastor: Excellent.

Jerod Morris: Yeah.

Jonny Nastor: Jerod, before you get to think about it too much, who’s your ideal dinner guest, and what would you serve them?

Jerod Morris: This can be obviously alive or dead, anybody?

Jonny Nastor: Living or dead.

Jerod Morris: I would say, I would want to talk to John Adams, second president, one of the most influential people in the American Revolution. I read his biography and was fascinated by it, and I would love to talk with him.

One of the reasons why is because he, among all the people that I’ve encountered in studying history, is one of the people who embodied the balancing of pride and humility the most because he was known as a very arrogant guy. He was extremely intelligent, and his arrogance would sometimes get the better of him. In his biography, you get to see a lot of the letters that he wrote to his family, to his wife Abigail. In a lot of it, you saw him struggling with this, and how does he maintain his humility, and how does he lead in the right way.

He had his ideals that he very much believed in, but then how do you get people to go along with you? So I would love to talk with him about that, and then also just about, obviously, the American Revolution, which is one of the most fascinating times in history.

I would make homemade pizza with a wheat crust and homemade sauce made from fresh tomatoes, which I love to do, and then on the side, we would have roasted Brussels sprouts. This is one of the things Heather likes the most that I make. Cut the Brussels sprouts in half, and you sprinkle a little bit of flour, some salt, a little bit of cayenne pepper, some garlic powder, some cheese. Put them in the oven for eight minutes at 450 degrees. It is delicious, so that’s what I would make. I would try to impress him.

Demian Farnworth: I don’t think you’d get John Adams to leave. He’s like, “Do that again, dude.”

The other person I would have would be Philip K. Dick. He’s a science fiction writer. He’s dead. He wrote the book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? which became Blade Runner, and he wrote a number of other books that have become recent movies like that. He was sort of a psychopath, a hallucinogenic weirdo, but a great science fiction writer. I would serve him Kool-Aid and mushrooms.

Jerod Morris: Interesting.

Jonny Nastor: Related, mushrooms. The recipe for those Brussels sprouts, is that going to make it to the show notes?

Jerod Morris: We might.

Jonny Nastor: You went into explicit detail with temperature, but I didn’t have time to write it all down.

Jerod Morris: Yes, I think I will. I’ve been talking about actually putting that online for a while. What’s a better place to do it than put it right there?

Demian Farnworth: Yeah, yeah.

Jonny Nastor: Along with your bonus songs.

Jerod Morris: This is going to be the most eclectic show notes in the history of podcasting.

Demian Farnworth: I think it’ll be a good little treasure chest of stuff.

Jerod Morris: Yes.

Jonny Nastor: I agree.

Demian Farnworth: Keep people busy for a while.

Jerod Morris: Yeah.

Most Memorable Concert Experiences

Jonny Nastor: Okay, Jerod, you get to start this one. What is the coolest concert you’ve ever been to? And no, Jerod Morris and the Sponge Bags does not count.

Jerod Morris: The coolest concert I have ever been to was at a place called Sons of Herman Hall in Dallas, and it was seeing Father John Misty. This was well before Father John Misty was very well known. It was his very first concert. I didn’t even know who Father John Misty was, but I wanted to go to a concert that night, and so I just researched who was coming in Dallas, tried to check out some of their songs. I had to go on YouTube to find his music because it wasn’t anywhere else at that point, and it sounded cool, so I went.

This is a former Masonic Lodge, and actually, the upper part was a bowling alley. They turned it into this little mini concert hall. The acoustics were not very good. It can’t hold that many people, and there were probably only a couple of hundred people in there. The performance that they put on was incredible. He’s just the quintessential front man. He’s got a good voice. He’s just a very compelling, effervescent figure. I don’t know, there’s something about it, like Mick Jagger. He moves awkwardly, and if you actually study it, you’re like, “Why is this so captivating?”

And yet, it just is. He just has ‘it,’ and their performance … it was one of those concerts where, the song, the first four or five minutes of the song, is just a start or a suggestion, and then they go off on 10 to 15 minute riffs afterwards, and they’re just playing, and seemingly improvising, and it was just unbelievable.

To share that with a small group would feel like, “Man, this should be in a concert hall with 20,000 people.” It’s that good. It’s been awesome to see their band succeed, and I’ve seen them a couple of times since, and they’re great. That would be the most memorable, in part because it was the most unexpected.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, that’s a killer story, man. That’s awesome. Do you still just randomly, “I need to go see a show, and I’m going to look?”

Jerod Morris: I haven’t had as much. I used to a lot. I don’t as much now. It’s funny, I was actually talking about that with Heather a couple of weeks ago, that we need to start doing that again. I want to get back into it.

Demian Farnworth: Domesticity will slow you down, so you’ve got to be careful.

Jerod Morris: Yeah, I know, but I think we’re ready to get back into it now.

Demian Farnworth: Good, good, good.

Jonny Nastor: Nice. All right, Demian.

Demian Farnworth: All right, not that we’re competing, but I think my story will top Jerod’s.

Jerod Morris: I have another one that maybe afterward that will top yours. We are competing.

Demian Farnworth: No, no, Jerod, not at all. I saw Nirvana before Nevermind took off, before they took off. I saw them in a little place called Mississippi Nights, which is on the Mississippi River here in St. Louis. Small little club, maybe 300 to 400 people. This place was packed, but we were all able to get tickets.

They did a show, and the crazy thing about the show, the thing that I most remember was one, because before I didn’t really know who I was listening to. My friends were like, “We’ve got to go to this concert, go see Nirvana. They’re great.” I just went. I don’t think I’d ever heard their music before that time, so I went, and we went.

I remember Kurt Cobain was getting pissed because the bouncers were not letting people stage dive, get up onstage and stage dive. He was encouraging it. The bouncers were not doing it. Finally, toward the end of the show, it was like, “That’s it. Screw it.” Bouncers let people come up on the stage, and people just crowded.

I remember being onstage with Kurt Cobain, playing drums, and I’m sitting here with the drumsticks slamming the high hat with this drumstick four feet away from Kurt Cobain, just like that. The night was a blur after that, but that’s my favorite concert.

Jerod Morris: Damn it, that probably did top mine.

Jonny Nastor: I almost thought you were just making it up at the beginning.

Demian Farnworth: No.

Jonny Nastor: “Okay, so before …”

Demian Farnworth: Right.

Jonny Nastor: “Really?” Wow.

Demian Farnworth: Yup, yup.

Jerod Morris: All right, can I add a detail to mine? That may spring it up.

Demian Farnworth: You were onstage, right?

Jerod Morris: The guy who opened for Father John Misty is a guy called Har Mar Superstar. He’s from Minnesota, I think. He’s a short, portly, Ron Jeremy lookalike, and he sings this R&Bish-infused rock, and it’s really good, because he’s got this great voice. Obviously he’s got this Ron Jeremy-ish body, but he starts out fully clothed, and then each song, he takes an article of clothing. So by the end, he’s just in like a little Speedo-type thing, all plump and sweaty, but really getting the audience into it because his talent is just that good.

Damn it, that’s still not as good as yours.

Jonny Nastor: It’s pretty good though, it is. It is. But yeah, Nirvana.

Jerod Morris: I know.

Jonny Nastor: All right, I think — does Demian start this one?

Jerod Morris: See, Demian only told that story so that if Brian Clark decides to fire us for this episode, maybe he’ll keep Demian around because of that story.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, he’s like, “Well, I can’t fire you because you could tell me good stories about that show.”

Jerod Morris: Right.

Demian Farnworth: Yeah, I get to start. Jerod went first last time.

Jonny Nastor: All right, let’s do this. Demian, this is you. Would you rather swim in a pool or swim in the ocean?

What Freaks Us Out

Demian Farnworth: Swim in the ocean.

Jonny Nastor: Really?

Demian Farnworth: I’d much rather be outdoors, yeah.

Jonny Nastor: But doesn’t the ocean freak you out in any way?

Demian Farnworth: Not at all, no.

Jonny Nastor: Awesome. See, I’m a landlocked guy. I love the ocean. I jump in, and then right back onto shore, like, “Oh my God, that was amazing,” but I freak out.

Demian Farnworth: My dad used to live on the East Coast in North Carolina, South Carolina, for a number of different reasons. He was in the military, which was one of the reasons. I remember when I was 13 or 14, I got to go visit him. I think that was my first exposure to the ocean, and they bought me a boogie board, and I fell in love with it. You couldn’t get me out of the place. I loved it so much. I’m not big on pools because I really don’t like to swim. I would choose the mountains before I would choose the oceans.

Jonny Nastor: All right then, with the ocean, I have this weird fixation …

Demian Farnworth: About sharks?

Jonny Nastor: No, about a transatlantic cruise, like from the east coast of North America, somewhere in New York, say, to London, straight across in a boat. It takes, I think, seven to nine days they’re saying, depending on weather, which obviously is completely out of your hands.

I’ve literally stayed up the last few nights till all hours of the night reading forums of people posting the most horrific and then the most beautiful stories of, “Oh my God, you’ve never seen a sunrise like this.”

Demian Farnworth: Why are you researching it?

Jonny Nastor: I don’t know. It’s one of those things that it would be good to conquer.

Demian Farnworth: Are you going to do it?

Jonny Nastor: I don’t know if I could.

Demian Farnworth: So you’re thinking about it?

Jonny Nastor: Would you? What is that, to get on a boat?

Demian Farnworth: No, I would never, not in one of those big boats. I don’t like that idea at all.

Jonny Nastor: Jerod just is, “No.”

Demian Farnworth: I don’t like the idea of the cruises and being on a big boat like that for a number of days with people. It just doesn’t appeal to me at all.

Jonny Nastor: I’ve never been on a cruise. It doesn’t appeal to me, but the idea of being able to say you crossed the Atlantic Ocean on a boat is pretty cool.

Demian Farnworth: I guess.

Jerod Morris: If you’re operating the boat.

Jonny Nastor: If you’re operating the boat?

Jerod Morris: Yeah.

Jonny Nastor: Otherwise, it still freaks me out.

Demian Farnworth: Yeah. The other thing too, is there are three things that really freak me out. Am I going to get this right? Horses freak me out. Whitewater rafting freaks me out — not that it freaks me out like I have a phobia, it’s just like I have no desire.

We have good friends who own a horse, and they own horses, and I think they’re beautiful creatures, but I have no desire to get on top of that wild beast and ride it because bad things could happen. It’s the same thing with the whitewater rafting. I’d feel out of control if I were on the white water rapids. And like jumping out of a plane, I’d never do that with a parachute or whatever. Or bungee cord jump, or whatever.

Jerod Morris: Yeah, bungee jumping out of a plane, that would be …

Demian Farnworth: On a horse.

Jonny Nastor: On a horse.

Jerod Morris: Into white water rafting.

Jonny Nastor: That sounds like a Phineas and Ferb episode. All right Jerod, you are from Indiana, and now Dallas, Texas, so you are far from the ocean as well?

Jerod Morris: Yes. However, I definitely would take the ocean over a pool, and I was fortunate enough growing up that my mom’s side of the family is all from South Florida. So we would go down there pretty much once in the summer and go down to the Keys. My uncles have always been experienced boaters and ocean guys.

I think some of the most rewarding times in my life were when I faced up to my fear of the ocean because I have always had an inherent fear of just the unknown of the ocean, because around any corner, it could be a barracuda that’s attracted to your gold chain or a shark that’s intent on doing you harm. But you realize that typically — now obviously with exceptions — but for the most part, there’s nothing really to be afraid of, and you can be down there in harmony. I have found it very rewarding to overcome that fear and have good experiences.

The most fun was actually lobstering, which if you’ve never done down in the Florida Keys, it’s great. You get this little stick. It’s in the shape of a ‘Y.’ I don’t know if this was widespread, or if this was just my uncle’s little trick. You find a stick in the shape of a ‘Y.’ It’s called a tickle stick. And you swim up behind the lobster, and they’re there just sitting on the ocean floor. You have to remember that when the lobster move, they move backwards from the way that you think they would move.

So you go behind them in the direction that they would move, and you actually pin them with this little tickle stick, this Y stick. You pin them behind the back of their head, and then you grab them with your hand. Then you bring them up on to the ship. You measure them, and if they’re long enough, you can keep them, and if not, you throw them away. So that was fun.

Demian Farnworth: Yeah, that sounds cool, man.

Jerod Morris: It is.

Demian Farnworth: That sounds very cool.

Jerod Morris: Yeah, definitely ocean over pool, and no cruises.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, no. I don’t think we’re old enough for cruises yet. Cruising transatlantic is my current fixation.

Jerod, speaking of current fixations, do you currently have something that you are fixated on, whether it’s TV or music or a book or a podcast?

Current Fixations

Jerod Morris: Something that I am fixated on … As people who have listened know, I often share examples from The Assembly Call, the basketball podcast that I do. I grew up in Bloomington. I grew up going to games there.

I actually haven’t been back to a game there in a long time, certainly since we started the show, which, I suppose, is somewhat ironic. I want to get back this year, both to actually get back in and feel the energy of the live events again and also to meet a lot of the audience members who I’ve never gotten a chance to meet. I would say, right now, that is my current fixation, on making that happen this year, which I hope I’ll be able to.

Jonny Nastor: You go to live basketball games, I’m assuming, in Dallas, though?

Jerod Morris: I go to Mavericks games every now and then. The thing about basketball season is that The Assembly Call has become such an in-depth personal project that a lot of times during the season, I’m either watching a game — because there are two or three IU games a week — or prepping or doing the between-game content. So I actually don’t go to as many live games as I would like to during the season because I’m ‘working.’

Jonny Nastor: ‘Working.’

Jerod Morris: Well, because it’s one of those things. It was a hobby, and now it’s turned into something more, because it’s gotten out of control. But it got out of control because I took it very seriously before it had a big audience.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, and it’s really cool. You still get to follow the basketball passion, it’s just the same season times, you can’t.

Jerod Morris: Oh, yeah, exactly, and I get to do other things. I’ve gotten to talk to lot of the guys I grew up playing. Actually, I’ve got an interview scheduled for Monday the 20th with AJ Guyton, who is literally one of the best players in school history. He’s coming on our show, and I get to interview him.

It’s opened up a lot of opportunities like that, but it’s one of those things. You get to so far moved from actually being at the games, the actual experience that inspired you in the first place. I feel like if I don’t actually get back and re-experience that, the further I get from it, the more removed I’ll be from the actual audience. It’ll just all be memories, and I don’t want that. I want to create some actual new memories that drive the enthusiasm for the show.

Jonny Nastor: Nice, I like it. All right, Demian, current fixations. Do you have any?

Demian Farnworth: Current fixations, yeah. I’d probably say that on a macro level, it’s been music probably for the last two or three years. I’ve just been binging, particularly — I guess it’s been longer than that, ever since Spotify came out — I’m like a little kid in a candy store with their catalog.

Particularly, on a micro level, have you guys heard of that podcast called Song Exploder by Hrishikesh Hirway? The premise of his show is there’s a song, a famous song, and he talks to the band members on the production of the song, the origin of the song. He breaks down each particular, like the bass line, the drum track, the vocals, the lyrics.

I think there are 40+ episodes now, and I’ve been binging on those, too. It’s really fascinating because I didn’t think that there was so much that went into making one song. Just being a guy who’s fascinated about the creative process in general and fascinated by the writing creative process, I’m equally fascinated with the musical production side of things and stuff.

The interesting thing that I have learned, my only beef about this particular podcast, is that a lot of the songs were pretty new, within the last 10 or 15 years, and they’re all pretty much one person who made them from, just a lot of times, just technology and stuff like that. A little bit of a disappointment, I guess, in that sense. What about the good old four-piece rock band? I’d love to hear Krist Novoselic from Nirvana talk about some of their old songs like that.

Jonny Nastor: Are you one of those people who just stuck with the music that you’ve always listened to, now that Spotify allows you to go through your whole high school years and stuff, or are you actively looking for new …

Demian Farnworth: No, I’m actively, yeah.

Jonny Nastor: The recommendations on Spotify are amazing.

Demian Farnworth: Yeah, absolutely, always. The funny thing is, I actually, one time, sat down — not too long ago — and I was just thinking about all my musical influences, and all the different music I like.

Actually, my kids, this was a conversation I was having with my kids again, because they were like, “What kind of music did you listen to when you were growing up, Dad?” I was like, “That’s a good question,” because I remember I listened to classic rock because that’s the family I grew up in with my grandpa and stuff, and classic rock. So Blue Oyster Cult and Rush. I’ve got this vivid memory of listening to Rush with my dad, but then I started listening to Hank Williams Jr., and then one year I was totally into Duran, and then I got into The Police, and then NWA, and The Cure, and then eventually electronic music in general and stuff.

I love all kinds of music. I’m always looking for new music, but not necessarily new, contemporary music. I love finding things that are a few years older, even a couple of decades old, that are really good. I’m tuning in on those.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, that’s true, but there’s a ton of new music out.

Demian Farnworth: There really is.

Jonny Nastor: Which blows my mind. We have access to so much of it. It’s crazy that it’s out there.

Demian Farnworth: Yeah.

Jonny Nastor: I often wonder, “Was it always like this, but we just didn’t have access to all of it?”

Demian Farnworth: Right. I don’t think so, because I think there’s a lot more avenues to publishing music these days that a lot of people have the opportunity to do. I think there is, because the only way you could hear new music was listening to the radio until the indie scene started. The radio was the only way you could hear music.

Why the Loose Format of The Lede Has Been So Successful

Jonny Nastor: All right, guys, let’s wrap up on, I guess, The Lede itself. This is episode 101. Hopefully you will make it to episode 200 at some point.

I’d love to know if you guys do plan and have goals for this show. I’ve noticed you follow lots of different formats, so it was hard for me to come up with a style. You interview some people. Sometimes you interview each other, which is really cool, and I think that’s what keeps it interesting. But do you have a conscious vision of where you want The Lede to go? Jerod, could you start?

Jerod Morris: I think we have a conscious vision and understanding of what we want the audience to get from it. We want to educate people on these different elements of content marketing. Ultimately, that’s what The Lede is. It’s a podcast about content marketing. We want to use our experience, our knowledge, and then our contacts, people that we can bring in for interviews, to do that.

I think it really depends on the specific topic, what format we follow. It’s like the curation series, that really fit in well to a four-episode series of 30- or 35-minute shows. Back when we did The 11 Essential Ingredients of a Blog Post, it made more sense to do those 15-minute bits. When wanted to do the debate style, it made sense to bring people in.

Actually Demian can chime in on this — we’ve struggled a little bit with what the format is. Should we be consistent? And maybe all along that’s part of what’s helped make the show work is not being rigid, and allowing it to flow a little bit.

Demian Farnworth: In a lot of ways, we have, in the meantime. And I know Jerod’s and my chemistry has improved, and gotten way, way, way better, and I think a lot of people have actually commented on that.

I think more about it is, how can we emphasize, and enhance, and play off that while still delivering content marketing focused content? That’s the vision I see it. We did this series, this Heroes versus Villains series, where we take sides on a particular issue, a conventional issue, and say, “Is this still true? Should we still be saying ‘leaders are readers,’ or that there’s going to be a coming content marketing collapse?” And then we debate it, and it allows us to play off each other, because it is a co-hosted show.

It allows us to play off each other and drive home an issue. I always think about what would work best that would play to our strengths, so that’s the way I see it.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, and you guys have gotten really, really good, and the relationship is more fluid. As a listener, if I didn’t know you guys and just listened, I do like how the format changes depending on what you’re covering. I know that you are here to educate about content marketing.

I hope that this interview, in some way, educated people. From a listener and a fan perspective, I’m happy that I got to learn a lot about each of you and your thought processes behind some seemingly inane things.

Demian Farnworth: It says a lot about people, though.

Jonny Nastor: It does, yeah, that’s what I really like. I hope you guys had as much fun as I did, and thank you so much again for allowing me to do this on your 101st episode.

Demian Farnworth: Thank you, man. I appreciate it.

Jerod Morris: Absolutely, thank you for doing it.

Jonny Nastor: It’s absolutely my pleasure, and here’s to good luck through the next hundred.

Jerod Morris: That’s right. Make sure you check out the show notes for the recipe on Brussels sprouts or Demian rapping, me singing, and what else is going to be on there? Possibly our resignation letters.

Demian Farnworth: Our resumes, right? I would love to see a video of somebody cooking Jerod’s Brussels sprouts while listening to his song, his country song. That would be awesome.

Jerod Morris: Oh my God.

Jonny Nastor: All right. If you post that recipe, we’ll get that taken care of.

Demian Farnworth: All right. All right, gang, anything else?

Jonny Nastor: No, that was a blast. Thank you so much, guys.

Demian Farnworth: Thank you, Jon.

Jerod Morris: Time to go jump in the ocean.

Demian Farnworth: Do what?

Jerod Morris: Time to go jump in the ocean.

Demian Farnworth: That’s right. Get on a boat.

Jerod Morris: That’s right.

Demian Farnworth: All right, bye bye, audience. We love you. Thank you.