podcasts punks

10 podcasts and radio shows hosted by punk musicians you should hear

You’ll want to throw these into your regular rotation ASAP.

July 2, 2019
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There are thousands of podcasts out there, and more are uploaded each day. While there’s plenty of podcasts about music, we wanted to switch perspectives and introduce you to some created by the musicians themselves.

Go ahead and take a break from streaming music to try out one of these podcasts or radio shows hosted by punk musicians. Below are 10 for you to add to your regular rotation.

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1. Turned Out A Punk

After being in a band for over 10 years, Fucked Up vocalist Damian Abraham changed gears to churn out Turned Out A Punk in between full-lengths. Each episode, Abraham delves into the importance of the genre and discovers just how deeply his guests are entrenched in punk. His impressive roster of past guests ranges from legendary to contemporary, including Descendents frontman Milo Aukerman, Dead Kennedys erudite Jello Biafra and Anthony Bourdain over the course of 200-plus episodes.

When: Weekly

Why you should listen: Abraham gushes over having Julien Baker on his show, calling her a “once-in-a-lifetime songwriter,” and it’s utterly adorable. They end up waxing back and forth on the similarities between the ideologies of punk and religion. Baker also recounts the time she got yelled at for listening to Green Day in a mall, her fascination with Turnstile and how flattered she was when the Devil Wears Prada covered “Sour Breath.”

2. Henry & Heidi

In Henry & Heidi, Henry Rollins (Black Flag, Rollins Band) details stories from his memorable career with his longtime assistant, Heidi May. Despite limited episodes, their chemistry unfolds gloriously due to their 21-year working relationship, prompting Rollins to share some unbelievably candid and hilarious anecdotes while May peppers him with questions. 

When: Random

Why you should listen: Rollins describes his first time experimenting with LSD. The reason? A stranger told him he wouldn’t be as much of a prick if he tried it. He heeds their advice and calls up a friend, and he ends up taking three tabs within a half-hour. Chaos ensues, and Rollins reveals how Black Flag’s My War potentially saved his life during a drive that feels like a scene derived from Fear And Loathing.

3. Jughead’s Basement

Former Screeching Weasel co-founder/guitarist John “Jughead” Pierson launched this podcast after losing countless records and fanzines in a basement flood. After the wreckage, he realized he wanted to preserve memories rather than tangible objects. Pierson devotes time discussing bands and full-lengths that have influenced him as well as featuring an interview segment deemed “lo-fi interviews with high-fi guests.”

When: Random

Why you should listen: Pierson felt this interview with producer Steve Albini was so good, it didn’t require any edits. Halfway through the episode, Albini’s asked to explain the tradition of setting off a brick of firecrackers before each Big Black show, ultimately pissing off every sound technician he encountered. “If you know that you’re not actually going to set fire to the place, just do it,” he urges as Pierson bursts into laughter. “And then if somebody’s upset about it, you can apologize afterward.”

4. Lead Singer Syndrome

Silverstein frontman Shane Told created Lead Singer Syndrome after realizing how many skilled vocalists he encounters on tour and wanting to bring backstage conversations into the public. Since then, he’s hosted over 150 episodes with notable faces from the Warped Tour sphere exploring the challenges of being a lead vocalist in a band.

When: Weekly

Why you should listen: Told welcomes Taking Back Sunday’s Adam Lazzara to the show in this early episode to address his fear of the band becoming a nostalgia act and why he eventually succumbed to a Tell All Your Friends anniversary tour.

5. Stay Free: The Story Of The Clash

While Public Enemy’s Chuck D isn’t inherently punk in terms of genre, the attitude behind his group was. He cites inspiration from Joe Strummer as a young MC, which landed him the pivotal role as the narrator in Stay Free: The Story Of The Clash. This eight-part series exclusively on Spotify details the band’s storied history as well as their evolution from playing punk to suffusing it with reggae, jazz, funk and dub.

When: One-shot

Why you should listen: Chuck D interjects the narrative to draw comparisons between hip-hop and punk rock. Turns out the two genres are more similar than you thought. “[Public Enemy] definitely sought out to be the unpopular sound,” he says of their approach. “I mean, when I made ‘Public Enemy No. 1,’ it was a tone running through the whole record. It’s like we don’t give a fuck whether you like us or not. Matter of fact, we want you to hate us.” 

6. Jonesy’s Jukebox

Steve Jones probably never thought he’d be a DJ for public radio, but his freewheeling two-hour segment via 95.5 KLOS in L.A. is a joyous affair. The guitarist injects the same amount of off-the-wall energy into the show as he did all those years ago with the Sex Pistols in addition to playing some killer tracks.

When: Monday-Friday from noon-2 p.m.

Why you should listen: Jones hosts the show on his terms only, which means it’s not the same drab you hear when you misplace the aux cord, forcing you to scan the Top 40. It doesn’t hurt that his music cred has scored interviews from stars such as Brian Wilson, Robert Plant and Pete Townshend.

7. Anxious And Angry

Off With Their Heads’ Ryan Young started Anxious And Angry—a podcast centered around anything from music to mental health to sharing advice—back in 2014. While most of the episodes feature Young’s own musings, often offering updates on forthcoming OWTH records and tours, he also brings on occasional guests, including Sincere Engineer (Deanna Belos) and the Menzingers’ Greg Barnett.

When: Random

Why you should listen: The Lawrence Arms’ Brendan Kelly recalls sneaking out of his house with guitarist Chris McCaughan to a now defunct Dunkin’ Donuts (aka “Punkin’ Donuts”) and relays what happens when some unsavory punks congregate in one area for too long. The three-part episode also contains a sweet cover of Bad Religion’s “Sorrow” as well as spotlighting Kelly’s introduction into punk, his first band ever and the worst question an interviewer can ask.

8. The Mike Herrera Podcast

MxPx’s Mike Herrera began this self-titled podcast out of a love for the medium. Herrera says when he listens to a podcast, he’s transported into the room with the hosts—something he feels he can never covey in a song—which inspired him to start his own. Putting out episodes since 2013, The Mike Herrera Podcast knows no bounds for topics, hosting a bevy of standouts (John Feldmann, Kellin Quinn, PVRIS) throughout nearly 300 stints.

When: Random

Why you should listen: Herrera invites MxPx guitarists Chris Adkins and Tom Wisniewski on the show in this chilled-out episode. The trio discuss their upcoming gig at Montebello Rockfest in Canada, revisit past Black Flag member lineups and imagine what a Kanye West-centric religion would entail.

9. 801PUNX

Listen to “801PUNX – Episode 10 – July 17, 2016” on Spreaker.While Branden Steineckert (Rancid, the Used) concluded this 10-episode run through X96 in Salt Lake City in 2016, the show remains poignant. Though short-lived, 801PUNX swapped in a different guest each episode, ranging from successful athletes to musicians all with a connection to Utah. Throughout its duration, Steineckert engaged in a back-and-forth with his guests to exchange anything from the power of music to personal heroes.

When: Limited episodes

Why you should listen: The last episode of the series comprises a two-hour oral history of the Used with former guitarist Quinn Allman that you won’t want to miss. After not seeing each other for years, the pair deep dive into the band’s origins. They trace back to receiving the “phone call that you dream about” from John Feldmann at 6 a.m. to their respective departures in this reflective finale.

10. Iggy Confidential

Besides holding tenure as the “Godfather of Punk,” Iggy Pop spends two hours each week being an “atmospheric bartender” via his BBC Radio 6 Music show, Iggy Confidential. BBC went ahead and made his time slot permanent, and Iggy queues up some tight jams from the likes of Lebanese disco, vintage punk and much more.

When: Friday from 7-9 p.m.

Why you should listen: Iggy’s eclectic music taste will have you walking away with at least five new playlist additions. What more reason do you need?

Which ones do you plan on listening to? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by Neville Hardman