Aliens From The Planet Zoltar
An Interview with Todd Wachtel, host and founder of The Jersey ToddShow
How did the Jersey ToddShow get its start?
I drive to Court everyday, and my commute is about an hour and a half. There was only so much “Wacky Morning Zoo” that I could possibly take. Eventually,I stumbled onto some great podcasts that promoted indie bands, and I was absolutely hooked. Here was a medium completely uncontrolled by big business that allows me to hear bands that I never would through commercial channels. After a few months of listening to other podcasters, I realized that I could do it, too. As far as the essays, I’ve always been ranting in my head about one thing or another – so if you want to hear some music, you’re stuck hearing me ramble too. It’s a small price to pay.
What advice/tips would you give an aspiring podcaster looking to expand their audience?
Network. Network. Network. Get in the communities, be it Twitter, Facebook, or MySpace. I truly believe that a rising tide rises all boats, and any success my show has had was due to the contributions and assistance of the Podcaster and listener community.
Since Jersey is in he name of the show, do you subscribe to the New York/New Jersey rivalry?
Johnny Sack died in Federal Prison, while Tony Soprano is eating onion rings in a diner in North Jersey. I don’t think there’s much of a rivalry anymore.
You made an interesting contrast between the RIAA and the Islamic religoin, can you summarize that for our readers?
I was having some fun, of course. (I pander to the jihadists and not the RIAA Execs.) In short, my theory is that the Muslim extremists are very upset about the Westernization of their culture, and I respect that very much. The Muslim religion is beautiful, and promotes freedom, sharing, and respect. The RIAA helps to promote ugly women who walk the streets without their heads being covered (Celine Dion), restriction on the free-flow of art, and lawsuits against grandmothers. I think if the extremists knew who their real target of protest is, we’d all get along a lot better. Of course, its not something to lose your head over, and besides if I ever have to hear another Backstreet Boys single, I’d cut my own ears off.
You obviously have a strong stance in terms of the RIAA, as we find this posted at the top of your site:
“I can’t believe that I missed the obvious joke:
From KChrisH on Twitter:
“@jerseytodd: every time an RIAA exec gets beheaded, an angel gets its wings 😛 (ref: show 103)””
Is there anything you feel that a fairly knowledgeable music professional might not know about the current situation with the RIAA?
They are aliens from the planet Zoltar sent here to enslave our planet through the subliminal messages on the newest Kidz Bop album. In all serious, every artist should take a look at the specific language of the RIAA and realize that there is “opt-out” language involved and a very specific procedure to not have the RIAA collect their revenues. Its one way an artist can say that I don’t dig you suing single-mothers or children for irrational damages on my behalf.
Do you see a solution that can please all sides?
Now that artists can effectively market themselves and distribute content electronically, the labels are going to need to seriously need to reevaluate their purpose. I’m not saying that music should be 100% free, and as a producer of content I support copyright protection – but the models need to change.
From a legal perspective, I think that a Judge needs to step up and challenge the RIAA on how they are deriving their damage claims, and I think legislators need to clean up the language in the Copyright Act. The market for a song is .99. If someone violates an artist’s copyright, that is what they should be require to pay in a civil court per song as compensatory damages. I would even support punitive damages, if they were reasonable. But, in particularly egregious Check out the great music now spinning on The Jersey ToddShow (www.jerseytoddshow.com)