Steven Holetz is a podcaster of no small local renown, promoting both indie film and music through his podcast and film festival. This year Crypticon is proud to have him lend his considerable expertise in the genre to its panel program.
Who were some of your inspirations when you were first starting out? Additionally, playing music can be a royal pain in the ass for a podcast what with publishers rights and all that, what is your best piece of advice to anybody wishing to start up a podcast that will heavily feature music?
The origins of The BoneBat Show were fairly organic. My co-host (web cartoonist Gord Caulkins of www.mightywombat.com) and I had been playing video games online every Tuesday night for years, and as longtime friends separated by many miles, our conversations about our lives, the music we were listening to, and our interests in books and movies, interspersed with jokes and insults, had become as important as the games themselves. One night in 2007, after a particularly entertaining session of Halo, one of us wondered aloud if others might not enjoy hearing our shenanigans. Shortly thereafter, I discovered Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier’s Smodcast and realized, “Yeah, we can do that.”
With regards to the music, I have always been a fan of underground metal, while Gord has roots in New Wave, Punk and Ska. Our conversations would often revolve around whatever new music we had discovered, so it was only natural that we would find ourselves championing independent music, an arena where the artists actually welcome the exposure. My advice to new music podcasters would be to find and support independent music you love, get to know the artists, and get their permission to promote their work. Help them spread the word about their great music, so they will find the success necessary to be free to make more. Make a difference.
You took your podcast – which you record out of your own home – and spun it off into an annual film festival. What gave you the idea for this and was it difficult at first to get off the ground?
We actually got the idea from another awesome podcast who started around the same time we did, Peoria Illinois’ Drunken Zombie. They held their first festival in 2008, which showed us it could be done. It sounded like a fantastic idea, so we decided to give the festival concept a shot, adding our own BoneBat flavor by establishing a unique theme and including live music. The result is the world’s first dedicated Comedy Horror Festival (as far as we can tell), The BoneBat “Comedy of Horrors” Film Fest.
The challenge with any new venture is that initially, you have no idea how to accomplish your vision, so of course there were stumbling blocks. However, we have been able to learn from each of them, and having friends like Bryan from Drunken Zombie and Eric and Isaac from the Maelstrom International Fantastic Film Fest to compare notes with as we negotiated these obstacles has been invaluable.
With your BoneBat Film Fest you have provided a forum for local filmmakers – and some I imagine not so local – to showcase their stuff, some of which people will get to see at Crypticon. So you’re kind of a patron of the arts. What has been the most rewarding part of that?
For us, the most satisfying part of programming a film fest is mapping out an emotional experience for our viewers. Sitting in the theater during the festival, and hearing the audience giggle and gasp as they enjoy the films you’ve pulled together, is the greatest payoff imaginable.
What are some other genre-related podcasts that you listen to?
The aforementioned Drunken Zombie has remained a personal favorite since it’s inception, due to their sense of humor, wide-ranging cinematic tastes and fantastic chemistry. A couple of genre pioneers I follow continuously are Night of the Living Podcast and Bloody Good Horror, both weekly must-listens, while the tremendous high quality of A Little Dead Podcast and Portland OR’s Mail Order Zombie always keep me coming back for more. For a change of pace, I dig Corpse Cast for it’s inclusive music AND movies approach, and haunt industry podcast Rotting Flesh Radio, as well as New Jersey’s Motion Picture Massacre, which I love for its unhinged sensibility and abiding worship of Lucio Fulci. Finally, fans of music everywhere should be listening to Radio Free Hipster, the finest nerd-centric music ‘cast in the galaxy, bar none.
As a big fan of music and someone who’s often approached by new artists wanting to get their stuff on your podcast, hit us up with your top 10 (or 5) horror-inspired bands that aren’t exactly household names.
Glad to! Here are a few of my favorite monstrous, musical ensembles, perfect to listen to on any dark and stormy night, all of whom have been featured on The BoneBat Show!
Thank you to Crypticon for having me!
The pleasure is all ours, sir.