Transcript for "Subconscious - with Simon Christopher Pellet"

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00:00.00
podcomm
Hello I’m Craig Constantine

00:03.94
Simon Pellett
I’m Simon Christopher pellet of music on your own terms.

00:08.32
podcomm
Terrific. Thank you for introducing yourself. It makes my job so much easier. Um I get 2 questions. Let’s do the easy one first. Um, a lot of people mention their middle name and you and I were talking about that a bit and give me the backstory about why is christopher so key.

00:09.77
Simon Pellett
He shot.

00:22.50
Simon Pellett
Um, I mean I like the name one of my you know we named our middle child Christopher. But um, you ever you have a Google yeah your name and find out who else has the same name. So.

00:34.16
podcomm
Yes, I’m apparently famous in Tv circles too.

00:39.60
Simon Pellett
Yeah, so I did that not too long ago and I found out that this guy in the south of England where I’m from was a customs and excise officer at the port of dover and he got put away for 27 years or something for gun running and drug smuggling and so he’s effectively.

00:48.89
podcomm
Um.

00:59.10
Simon Pellett
Um, trashing my Seo but the the funnier part of that is that when I was first getting into the internet and the what mid 90 s late 90 s and did the same exact thing I actually emailed him because he was still a school kid.

01:01.46
podcomm
Ah move.

01:16.33
Simon Pellett
And I found his email address and said hey we have the same name and we only lived like you know an hour away from each other ha ha ha and never thought about it again until yeah, maybe three or four months ago so if you if you see if you google me make sure you put my middle name because otherwise.

01:23.90
podcomm
Um, they saw the news and and but the christo go say Simon not that one palette would would not beat that doesn’t roll off the same way. The tongue and same way that christopher does. Um, so you you mentioned.

01:36.10
Simon Pellett
Not that one hip right.

01:43.30
podcomm
Um, you know, being on the internet from the early days and we do a little pre-conversation first and 1 of the first things you said when I asked you about podcasting was um, it’s the new radio and we also talked about you have an extensive music background in New England and your.

01:43.78
Simon Pellett
Ah.

02:00.74
podcomm
Going to say your passion seems to be I Want to say browbeating musicians into using podcasting to to get it done. Um was there a point where you know so having been a podcast consumer from you know, basically from the beginning was there a point where you realized.

02:05.26
Simon Pellett
It can fail like that. Sure.

02:20.11
podcomm
That you could do something different with the podcasting medium from the musician’s point of view.

02:24.56
Simon Pellett
Yeah, for sure. Um I’d be I you know I was I was listening to people like Pat Flynn and Tim Ferriss’s earlier work and all that kind of stuff so I was consuming this. Um. Was consuming all this entrepreneurial stuff and self-help well not self-help but self-improvement business and and yeah, just the the pushback I was getting when I was playing live suggesting things to the bends I went was in meeting people that were doing the same things they were saying the same negative.

02:46.70
podcomm
Selfimpro right.

03:00.40
Simon Pellett
Can’t make money because of streaming it’s killing the industry and like all these other things for entrepreneurship I’ve been hearing is basically spinning. You know the the conversation on its head. So how can I make money rather than like find the ways that you know you can get from a to B you know and and it’s.

03:14.87
podcomm
M.

03:19.46
Simon Pellett
It’s reframing things in your mind like you know, ah like american idol and and things like that kind of teach the general populace that all you need is 1 big break and you’ve made millions and. You know behind the scenes. It’s like it takes 10 years to be an overnight success There’s a lot of work that goes into it and that’s true of any type of business or or anything you do and I just you know, knowing all this entrepreneurial stuff and gaining more and more knowledge I just wanted to put it into a format where um.

03:37.13
podcomm
Afraid right.

03:53.27
Simon Pellett
You know I I just wanted to get people more clued in on that nature. Um, and also you know I need to mention that it all stemmed out of ah a big depression I was going through and my my high school friend turned me onto all this and turned me into a podcast june in. You know from Tony Robbins down all these great authors and content producers and so part of my podcast is mental health because that’s also a topic that I feel it’s it’s really important to get out there and talk about because it breaks down stigma. It makes people. Feel that they’re less alone. Somebody else is going through it. So I like to put all that stuff into um you know a box where I interview musicians most of the time and we talk about this stuff.

04:43.56
podcomm
Are there things that um musicians are surprised by like it to me going into podcasting just seems like such an easy transition like oh you don’t have to deal with so many middlemen you know like there creative control is already a challenge and it’s like well now you have creative control like are there. Are there things that you know the average musician that you talk with that that they’re surprised by.

05:07.43
Simon Pellett
In terms of the business aspect or the podcast itself.

05:09.95
podcomm
Um, yeah, like in terms of like oh I can do what like you know when they see what they can do through podcasting.

05:15.75
Simon Pellett
Um, I mean it depends who you ask if I think people know that there’s no barrier to the music industry anymore and and podcasting is the same thing. I think it’s just one of those things where you have to keep telling people over and over until it gets in there. You know it’s it’s true of anything like the the marketing like 7 the 7 contact points of marketing I think it’s called was around in the thirty s yeah, somebody has to see your ad 7 times before they actually buy something. And I think that’s true of us as human beings. We just need to see the same information and maybe that’s why I became such a podcast junkie in the first places because I was I kind of knew most of the information or I knew some of it. But then you listen to 1 person say say. And then you listen to another person reframe it and then you kind of get the concept and you know between all these different you know outlets. They’re all saying pretty much the same thing but they’re just rephrasing it differently and I think when you hit that one person that says that 1 thing in just the right way it. It. All that information flows through ah I got it now you know just you may have heard it like 5 times but it’s it’s getting in there. Yeah for sure.

06:30.30
podcomm
Um, yeah, if you had started with that last one it it would have still taken the other 4 or the other 5 the other six. Um, So do you when you have um. When you have an artist on your show. What are the kinds of things that you’re interested in in like digging out of them like what are the kinds of the threads of thought that interest you to investigate when you’re talking to a musician.

06:57.77
Simon Pellett
Um, so I like to get a background of you know why they got into music and then why they got into their respective instruments I like finding out that early spark of interest. You know if if they’re ah a teacher then I like to talk about why. How they frame their teaching and what their mindsets are of learning and transferring that knowledge to their students. Um, you know so musicians that are specifically entrepreneurial like I um, um, I’ll name drop Martin Atkins who was a drummer for public image limited you know. Ah, Johnny Rotten’s band after the sex pistols ministry all the way through to being a professor now at a chicago university um, and still very active in the punks in um, you know I wanted to draw out of him like where was the spark of of entrepreneurship way back when you were. Like going into these bands that had no t-shirt sales that they’re trying to move into bigger offices but they’ve got no income like oh all, right? We need to sell this stack of records to this distributor. Oh. There’s a thousand pounds you know what what made him think of that when the other band members and the manager.

08:07.31
podcomm
Um.

08:14.62
Simon Pellett
Didn’t think like that you know that that’s the kind of thing. Go ahead.

08:14.85
podcomm
Um, what I was going to say how do how do bands? Um, like I hadn’t really thought about a band as some as an entrepreneurial like gang or an entrepreneurial cohort or team. Um.

08:28.54
Simon Pellett
Right.

08:33.77
podcomm
Do you find like has it been your experience talking to these people that the ones that that we see from the outside were like could we see somebody as successful. Do you find that there was something magical about the team that they assembled and what I’m wondering is is it possible for like let’s say I make a bandwi 4 people. If I have one person on the team which just doesn’t have that entrepreneurial bug can the 3 of us like convert that person or is it going to be an eternal struggle with that for like is there something about you know so you were describing that particular person seeming to have an eye for it. Are there people that don’t have an eye for it and have bands manage to.

09:03.66
Simon Pellett
Yeah.

09:09.68
podcomm
You know convert that person.

09:10.55
Simon Pellett
Good question I mean that might reframe some of my questioning to be honest, but I think you know from my experience going back to my bend. Um, you know I had that pushback and there was like 1 person in the band that just wanted to do this one instrument and maybe write. 1 person that did the booking. There’s 1 person that did this um I think it’s dependent on the the situation I don’t think there’s any magic to anything I think you need a team like especially today I think even even in the days of record companies. There was always a team. It just happened to be in a big building with tons of money behind it pushing the music out but as an independent artist you you have to have a team you can you can do everything yourself, but it’s like 3 full-time jobs at the same time. So yeah, yeah, well exactly so you can only do so much.

09:48.52
podcomm
Um.

09:57.68
podcomm
Um, recipe for burnout right.

10:05.39
Simon Pellett
So you just have to start delegating and if you have a group of 4 people in the bend and 1 person has no, you know, maybe you can start delegating them tasks and if they’re okay with it. But if they’re a really really good bass player. Let’s say and they write really great riffs. Maybe you should just be okay with that it depends on your level I think I’ve had this conversation with somebody and I’m I’m trying to figure out who it was but yeah, it’s it’s a case of if if you’re okay, with that person just doing the music portion and being good at their instrument. Great. If they can do graphics great if they can you know be a bit more if they can just move stuff from a to b then that’s great too. But it it all depends on your level of of comfort in the beginning. And I think that’s something you just have to have a conversation upfront saying what are you willing to do? What can you do and then what are we expecting? So if if those 3 things don’t really line up. Um, then you end up in arguments and people leave and get frustrated. But. If you can come to an agreement of what’s expected or what people have the ability to do is not even the question of I want to do something I just don’t have the ability to do that thing. You know whether it’s yeah endless examples like you know marketing or or finance. But. You know if you if if no one in that band can do that 1 thing you you may have to hire a lawyer. You may have should hire a lawyer regardless. But um, you know you have to find someone to do your books you have to find maybe booking is not a strong point for everyone. So then you have your first protocol. Maybe a booking agent.

11:38.20
podcomm
Right in that particular case.

11:52.38
Simon Pellett
You know there’s there’s people that do those things you know it’s just a case of can we afford it and who can who can do it instead of hiring it out.

12:00.52
podcomm
Um, I’ve read ah a bunch of different things from different sources about it’s often called just the gatekeeper. Um, and the idea is you know when space was limited whether that’s billboard space advertising space on Tv you know a number of concert venues when something is limited then somebody gets to choose.

12:07.93
Simon Pellett
Um.

12:18.46
Simon Pellett
Right.

12:20.44
podcomm
Um, and then with that choosing comes power and it kind of can cut both ways. So if it’s um, I’m trying to think of ah of like a platform agnostic example. But if the person who’s doing the choosing. They’re going to have a certain style and if the consumers love that style great and I can just follow what you do um but that. Ah, it seems to me that historically you know thinking about music thinking about radio thinking about record sales. Historically that Gatekeeper power has been vastly asymmetrical and it it works really good for the big labels. So okay, that’s all kind of like people should understand that that’s the norm that the internet. Fix that or broke it whichever side of the wall you were On. Um, but what I’m thinking is how can musicians use podcasting as as like a force multiplier to like ah get further or to to get to accomplish more of their dream. Not necessarily to reach more people. But.

12:56.61
Simon Pellett
Ah.

13:06.89
Simon Pellett
Are.

13:15.56
podcomm
Like how can they use to get things done that they want to get done.

13:17.20
Simon Pellett
Yeah that’s a great question. Um, and and I’ve been kind of thinking about different forms of of marketing and for for bands I yeah I mean I think reaching more people is always going to be the ultimate goal because you just need to get your stuff out there right now. The. The gatekeeper is that noise level where there’s so many thousands and thousands of people putting stuff. You know, putting their music on the internet every single day like there’s no I mean there’s room. There will be exponential room but you know serve server lands and and.

13:39.88
podcomm
Right.

13:53.75
Simon Pellett
California or whatever but it it I think the way that musicians can use podcasting to their to their advantage is by talking about other subjects other than trying to sell their music. So one one idea I’ve been coming up with is trying to figure out all right? what. Other other than music what other? um, you know what are your other hobbies. Let’s say you’re into cooking or you’re into sports start tweeting about the sports team or start thinking about recipes. So now you can go on to a guest on a show that’s about cooking share your recipe. The audience and talk about cooking. Oh by the way I’m in a band like that’s how you’re introduced I’m the singer of said band and you know it it builds connection with your audience because now you know you might have you know 10 people that listen to that type of music who like who listen to that.

14:36.79
podcomm
Right.

14:52.16
Simon Pellett
Um, that podcast because of the food aspect and they find out about your yeah, they find out about your ah your band because of that podcast where they they wouldn’t necessarily have done it because you’re in 2 parts of the country and you know that just gives you that kind of conduit to to be able to get your music out to.

14:53.60
podcomm
Yeah, doing the Venn diagram right.

15:11.48
Simon Pellett
People further I mean outside of that. Yeah I mean it’s it’s a case of you can use podcasts. You could start your own podcasts. Um, talk just talking about something different and you know people may end up actually that’s ah, that’s a very good point because um. Simon Tam I saw at Cdbaby 2019 he’s a member of a band called the slants there an Asian American Band kind of pop rock. They started doing anime conventions and one of his marketing I he’s a brilliant marketing like genius. Um, they went on tour and they started visiting restaurants because they’re foodies so they started a Yelp account had all the band information on the Yelp account and then started reviewing all these restaurants and even went so far as to like pick their top 10 restaurants of that tour and have a plaquecard in the windows.

16:04.97
podcomm
Earth.

16:06.90
Simon Pellett
And then people were actually seeing the reviews seeing the placards and finding out about their bends and they got downloads specifically just through the Yelp reviews. Yeah, oh well, exactly? So I mean you could You could do the same thing with podcasting.

16:15.90
podcomm
I’m looking for a burger on Tuesday in Michigan and I find a band right? Yeah that’s an and yeah and I I think it speaks to the idea that not not everybody but most people. Would want more connection to their favorite bands. You know like pick your favorite band. How many albums did they do you know like how many concerts can there possibly be you just if you really love the band. You really can only get so much of their music and it is neat to see oh these guys like this food or.

16:46.88
Simon Pellett
Right? right.

16:49.12
podcomm
Here they are talking about this topic or you know there are a bunch of bands I can think of through history I’m like could somebody please do an hour long podcast of where the song comes from just you know what’s the what’s the actual backstory how to get written tell us the stories of how things got recorded There’s so much. Um, so much that i. Believe happens when the artists are getting together to record and like what are those experiences like and that stuff you could share in a number of mediums but podcasting screams out is a great way to do that.

17:14.68
Simon Pellett
Absolutely Are you familiar with this the song exploder podcast that one is specifically that exploring an album or ah or an artist’s like work and they they go in and they.

17:18.94
podcomm
Um, Nope not that one.

17:25.68
podcomm
Um.

17:30.72
Simon Pellett
They dissect stuff so you you might get a kick out of that one.

17:34.69
podcomm
That’s neat. Um, do you find that? So the people that are listening to your show and and you know like as a podcaster you know feedback from anybody is like you don’t get a lot but have you been have you gotten any surprising feedback from listeners of your show. Things that you really weren’t expecting when you started the project.

17:55.27
Simon Pellett
Um I wouldn’t say I got I didn’t get you know I haven’t really gotten any surprising feedback. Um, what I what I the biggest surprise was you know, just from an episode interviewing. My. My guitar teacher from when I was like 13 through 16 I don’t want to say how many decades ago it was but I went back I said hey I follow you know I follow him on Instagram and I said you want to come on the podcast and and have a chat. He’s like sure. So we had this conversation and I realized afterwards when I was editing it like all the there was so much subconscious information that he’d passed for for those 3 years that he taught me that I didn’t even you know that you know that there was lessons where that that I’ve passed on to my own students. But. The subconscious life lessons that I got from him was just like whoa I didn’t realize he taught me that just just by talking to him so that that was the biggest surprise and and you know I I don’t think we have a lot of time left I wanted to go down to tangent. But. We we will have to do in part 2 well I was just going to say that the reason the biggest surprise was my realization of why I started the podcast in the in the first place you know I say it’s because of you know, entrepreneurship and music. But I really think because of my anxiety and my depression.

19:09.81
podcomm
It’s okay.

19:28.91
Simon Pellett
I Think my subconscious is basically telling me you need to start doing something where you can actually talk rather than you know I was ah very ah, very good at writing and phrasing in written word and going back and editing emails. But.

19:43.17
podcomm
Um.

19:45.68
Simon Pellett
Stick me in front of a microphone and I freeze up and I had some severe stage anxiety which caused like some spasming in my neck and stuff it was horrible. Um and have a conversation and and talk intelligently without stuttering was pretty pretty bad at 1 point. So I think my subconscious was basically saying you know do this thing because it’s going to make you better talking to people and you’ll actually you know maybe make some friends which you know I’ve made some really great friends and connections with with podcasting so you know that’s that is just the biggest thing.

20:17.32
podcomm
Um, yeah, the connections are amazing. Yeah cool well Simon Christopher Pellet I think that’s probably a good place to call it for today. Um, it was and I was.

20:22.88
Simon Pellett
For me.

20:26.94
Simon Pellett
Um, yeah I think so.

20:33.96
podcomm
When you say connections I was thinkinging like yeah, there’s a train of connections that led me but I’m not going to unpack it people can ask me if they see me in person. Um, so it was a pleasure to get a chance to talk to you to meet you to talk about podcasting from a musician’s perspective. That’s definitely something I had never really thought about from that point of view before. So thank you very much.

20:36.79
Simon Pellett
The.

20:49.69
Simon Pellett
Thank you for having me it was ah it was really really fun.