PODiMOUTH Goes Live (and Gets Interviewed)!

If you’re not familiar with the guys over at PODiMOUTH, they have been working tirelessly over the last four years promoting our local music scene through their podcast.

Homer Martinez and company have featured and interviewed local artists since they began and combined that with notable celebrity interviews, such as Sick Puppies, Pretty Reckless, Mike Posner, and the casts of Glee and Twilight. And now they attempt to do what might be a Houston first: they are taking their podcast live.

In going to a live format, the idea was to have a monthly entertainment show that featured local bands unplugged, in an interview setting where they as artists can go in-depth into their songs and their songwriting process, and thus PODiMOUTH LIVE was born. It’s also a chance to hear your favorite local artists in their most stripped-down, acoustical element, sort of an MTV Unplugged meets VH1 Behind the Scenes, curated in a Late Night with David Letterman format.

The inaugural PODiMOUTH LIVE show is Thursday, August 16th, at ComedySportz Houston, and runs from 8-10PM. The featured bands are Low Man’s Joe and The Lotus Effect, and in honor of their inaugural event, the PODiMOUTH folks are offering a free ticket giveaway and a chance to win a $60 bar tab by RSVP’ing to their Facebook event page or by emailing “info” at “podimouth dot com”.

[Ed. Note: In the spirit of full disclosure, we should note that Dre is a member of The Lotus Effect, who’ll be playing the show. However, us editor-type folks specifically asked him to say something about this, even still, since he knows a lot more about PODiMOUTH than the rest of us here at SCR do.]

Now, for the history: I was introduced to PODiMOUTH when I found some interviews they did with the cast of Glee. Not that I watch Glee; I’m just saying. I didn’t even know that Houston had its own podcast at the time, other than archived KPFT shows over at KPFT.org.

Then, as I began checking out more episodes, I began bumping into them out at shows, as they covered local happenings in the city, and I got to thinking that these guys must be the hardest working podcasters in the city. So a while back, I decided to have a sit down and share a few words with Homer and cohort RaRa to see how this PODiMOUTH thing all came about.


SCR: First, how did the idea for PODiMOUTH come about?
Homer: The idea came from being too tired of listening to the radio play the same thing over and over again. I was already following a couple of local bands by the time we launched PODiMOUTH, so I decided to jump on the task of providing exposure to these bands, who in my perspective, are by far more talented than any band on the radio. We also wanted to bring a new alternative in music to the world. We are lucky to say we are being successful in doing so.

With the dedication and commitment it takes to run a successful podcast, how are y’all able to keep it going strong for so long?
Homer: PODiMOUTH has always been a priority, in my eyes. When you set a goal, that goal should always come before anything and anyone. We have been lucky to count the support of many colleagues in media who have had much more experience with both local and national acts. A combination of both the determination from us and the support from audience members keeps us going.

Let’s talk a little bit about the synergy between you and RaRa — what’s y’all’s history, how long did it take to get RaRa on board?
Homer: RaRa and I actually went to high school together…and have always been best friends. When I launched PODiMOUTH, I realized I needed someone to interact with me; I knew the audience was probably responding verbally to the news I was giving, so I asked RaRa to be the voice of the audience. RaRa was already on board when I asked him to be my co-host [because] he was actually the cameraman. We launched the first episode of PODiMOUTH with RaRa, and people responded positively. It has been fantastic to have him as a host with me.
RaRa: By the second [episode of] the podcast, he decided to throw me to the wolves by conducting a live podcast; amazingly, however, as nervous as I was, being live, it was one of my most favorite podcasts I have ever done.

What’s the greatest and worst thing about working with one another?
RaRa: [The worst is] he likes vampires. One of the greatest things of working with Homer is that while we may agree on some topics, we actually disagree on a vast majority of topics. Normally this would be quite agitating, but surprisingly, this builds for great conversations.
Homer: He likes zombies…

This is off-topic, but who does your Website? Every time I go there, it’s different.
Homer: That would be me. I have always been inclined to everything that deals with art, from music to film, and obviously a bit of graphic design… This is one of the reasons I feel I am qualified to talk about film or music or photography or art in general; I have written music, as well as scripts for short films, which I have directed and produced. I relate, in a very personal level, to each and every single one of the bands I play on the show. [And I] must give some credit to my brother, Alejandro; he was the one that actually designed the logos you see all over the Website, so he was great help in the overall design of the Website.

Y’all cover a lot of events here in town and feature a lot of the local artists that I’m most into. How do you see your place within the structure of what’s happening in Houston musically?
Homer: Mainstream media is picking up on Houston talent quite rapidly, and luckily, Houston is able to deliver. PODiMOUTH, along with local radio and online stations, as well as newspapers, is trying to push Houston musicians and art to a broader audience. We are lucky to have PODiMOUTH pick up so fast, so quickly that our loyal fans are based in over 30 countries and are constantly asking for more of these Houston-based musicians. This is considering the fact that for some of the people in third world countries, Internet access is close to impossible, so the little time they have online they spend it with us listening to bands Houston and Texas as a whole have to provide. We are very thankful for that.
RaRa: Command C. Command V.

You’re just going leave PC users in the cold like that, RaRa? Y’all don’t just confine yourself to covering music, though, right?
Homer: No, we like to think of PODiMOUTH as a platform for artists in general. These may be musicians, actors, directors, writers; everything that has to do with art is being covered in our podcasts. The PODiMOUTH Podcast is dedicated to the arts and entertainment in general, while Bit-Tronic concentrates on the technology and science aspects of our society, and R-Evolucion caters to the Latino audience not just in the U.S. but from around the globe.

Go ahead and tell us a bit about what’s happening with Bit-tronic and R-Evolucion.
Homer: Bit-tronic is our Technology/Science podcast. RaRa, along with Bret and Allisa, talks about the latest developments in the computer and gaming world.
RaRa: We present the latest in technology and gaming information. I am a gigantic gamer and have been for years — the problem I’ve had with gaming shows and magazines is how deeply biased they are with their information. This is why we developed the formula of Bit-Tronic, based on our audience when it comes to game ratings. As of today I have yet to rate a game with a full 10 out of 10 grading; this is because I want to give the audience everything they need to know so that they don’t suffer like I did while I was younger. [Bit-Tronic] was originally supposed to be called “Bit-Tarded.” You can guess who came up with that name — Homer! I struggled very hard to get rid of that name and keep it as Bit-Tronic. Luckily, he gave in.
Homer: R-Evolucion, on the other hand, was launched as a Spanish copy of PODiMOUTH. R-Evolucion gives the latest information about Spanish music, as well as Latin actors and movies. R-Evolucion allows us to reach the Latino community from around the world by providing information about the artists and music they love. That is where the name of “R-Evolucion” comes into play; “revolucion” means “revolution” in Spanish, by adding a hyphen [you have] “Evolucion,” which means “evolution,” and the “R” represents radio, so “R-Evolucion” means just that — podcasts are an evolution of radio and are themselves a big part of the “revolution” music is undergoing.

Y’all have interviewed everyone from musicians, actors, and local artists to national celebrities; anything stick out as your best interview or favorite episode?
Homer: There have absolutely been a few. Two of them can be found on our Warped Tour ’10 coverage podcast; Mike Posner was a fantastic interviewee, he is very funny and down to earth, and the second one is with Taylor Momsen from The Pretty Reckless and Gossip Girl. She is very attractive, and her eyes were so penetrating. I remember that interview as if it was yesterday.

I also remember interviewing Daniel Cudmore from The Twilight Saga: New Moon; he is freakishly tall but so fun to interact with. But by far the best interviews I had were with the cast of Glee. They are so much fun and they are fantastic at interacting with the interviewer; they even said they were my fans and fans of PODiMOUTH, so that is always great.

RaRa: My greatest podcast is the live podcast I mentioned earlier; it was all live and spontaneous, we talked about Justin Bieber and a site dedicated to lesbians who look like Justin Bieber. I also enjoyed The Progressive Collective — all the interviews I participated in were fantastic and went really well. I was star-stuck during our interview with Emma Anzai, bassist for Sick Puppies. The interview with Evans Blue was also great; the build up had a lot to do with it. My car broke down in the middle of the highway during rush hour. We almost missed that interview, but luckily, we made it. Yeah. Scary!

I listen to various podcasts and I’m always searching for new ones — it’s really a great way to get exposed to new music, but it seems that not all are created equal. What is it about PODiMOUTH that elevates you above the other podcasts out there?
Homer: I think what sets us apart from the other podcasts is that we are ourselves on the show. Everything you hear is what we would say in real life, while other podcasts try to be politically correct or try to push characters created to have a more “diverse” cast on their show. With RaRa and I, what you hear is who we are. We are a couple of guys having fun and talking about the things everyone is talking about and giving our own opinions about issues.

Certain outlets have to say certain things to keep their partners, higher-ups, and affiliates happy, but not us — we are independent and we’re not afraid of saying what most people think. A lot of outlets try too hard to be “hip” and to be “cool,” but we just try to be ourselves, and if you don’t agree, then great! You are entitled to your opinion.

Another reason is the fact we take our audience and musicians very seriously; we try to open our ears to their suggestions, and since these suggestions come from the audience itself, they oftentimes work. It is the sense that people feel their involvement in the show, not only by listening and being a part of a live chat or Twitter conversation, but by having their ideas work on our show. People are such a gigantic part of our show — their involvement transcends the iPod or computer screen, and they become a part of our show.

RaRa: For me, it does involve everything that Homer said; while we are actually allowed to create our own formula, it ultimately becomes the formula of the audience, how we associate with our friends and family and fans, and how we take their ideas and put them to work on our podcasts. Pretty much, they tell us what they want to hear, while we try to expose our points of view in such a way they do not collide with each other. Fans actually suggest what games they want to see us rate on the Bit-Tronic podcast, so they are very much involved with the process. Something other podcasts don’t have nor allow. Like Homer said, oftentimes it is the audience who is more in control of the podcasts than we are.

For other podcasters out there who may want to emulate what you guys are doing, what advice would you give them? Any mistakes they can glean from your wisdom to avoid making for themselves?
Homer: Yes! Always be open to what the audience has to say; they are your bosses and will continue to be for all eternity. Perseverance and an open mind are the strongest points anyone could have, in any environment. Also, always be meticulous about everything.
RaRa: Listen to your audience, more than they listen to you.

What’s next for PODiMOUTH? And where do you ultimately see yourself taking this thing?
Homer: PODiMOUTH has a lot of ideas in the works. We are trying to expand using our resources and we will be bringing local and underground music to a broader audience. Video podcasts are on the table, so people can expect that sometime soon. We intend to have PODiMOUTH as an alternative to radio and TV. We are Internet-based and we play a lot of phenomenal music, oftentimes better than radio and TV, so we want to stay in the minds of people and are always thinking of new way[s] to improve and bringing the best of ourselves and music to our audience.

Any last words
Homer/RaRa: Thank you all for your constant support; we are looking forward to bringing you more podcasts and more music. Keep sticking it to “The Man” and keep listening to all of the PODiMOUTH podcasts! END

[PODiMOUTH LIVE debuts 8/16/12 at ComedySportz Houston, featuring Low Man’s Joe & The Lotus Effect.]

Interview by . Interview posted Tuesday, August 14th, 2012. Filed under Features, Interviews.

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