Today, we have a digital chat with with show's host, as well as his son and producer, Dylan Allred, talking about the show's incarnation and interviews, its growth and impact on the community, thoughts on local podcasting and a few other topics. (All photos courtesy of the Let's Go Eat Show.)
Bill Allred & Dylan Allred (with Mary Nickles)
Gavin: Hello again, gentlemen. First off, how have you both been since we each last chatted?
Dylan: I'm great Gavin, thanks.
Bill: Just fine. How about you? Oh, wait. We can't really do this like an actual conversation, can we? Man, am I stupid.
Gavin: Oh, I'm fine, Bill. Not getting much sleep but . . . oh, right. Getting right to it, how did the idea come about to start up a podcast?
Dylan: I'm pretty sure it was my dad's idea. I take no responsibility for it at all.
Bill: I like doing interviews and I like to eat. When I say "I like to do interviews," I mean that I enjoy chatting with people and finding out about what they do and why they do it. And when I say "I like to eat," I mean, I like to eat.
Gavin: Seeing how you were both involved with radio at the time you were planning it, how hard was it to come up with a format that didn't look like it was borrowing from either of your shows?
Bill: Not too tough. Besides, you can't borrow from or copy the unique genius that is the Radio From Hell Show, can you?
Dylan: The only problem there is that Bill still stops in the middle of interviews to remind the listeners who he is talking to. I keep telling him that he doesn't have to do that because it's a podcast; people aren't just now tuning in.
Bill: Doing the interviews over lunch really isn't a very original idea, is it? Other shows have done the same thing with varying degrees of success. I really though about the movie My Dinner With Andre as the best model for the show. I like things that are obviously self-explanatory, that's why the show is called The Let's Go Eat Show. It's a show, and on that show we go eat.
Dylan: The first name we were going to use was going to be Bill Allred; Gadfly, and it would have been the same show, just without the meal part. My dad came up with the idea to call it The Let's Go Eat Show. He is actually very good at coming up with names for shows.
Gavin: What was it like for you getting all the equipment together and somewhat relearning how to do a show in a different format?
Dylan: I think my dad traded some magic beans in exchange for the equipment we use to record the show.
Bill: The equipment, pretty easy. I bought most of it used from a listener who heard I was looking to do a podcast. It was pretty cheap. The format adjustment was pretty easy, too. I just have some chat over a meal. Hey, I just thought of a better name for the podcast:%uFFFDChat & Chew, with Bill Allred.
Gavin: Did you do any test shows before the first episode with Kerry Jackson or did you simply just dive in?
Bill: I did one test episode. I refer to it as the "lost episode" of The Let's Go Eat Show.
Dylan: We did do a test show. We interviewed my common-law uncle, James. My dad didn't like the way it turned out. He thought it was "terrible." He didn't think he was a very good interviewer. I still have that episode; maybe I'll use it as blackmail one day.
Gavin: How do you feel the first few episodes went, and were there any major issues along the way?
Dylan: They went pretty well as far as the content was concerned, I think. There were a few technical issues to figure out early on, such as how to get the show on iTunes; and we had to build the website. Stuff like that.
Bill: I don't think there were major issues with the episodes themselves. And I don't know how they went because I don't ever listen back to them like I should and try to improve my technique.
Gavin: What's the process like for you in choosing guests, and how do you figure out what direction you want to take each interview in?
Dylan: I usually suggest guests, and Bill chooses whomever he wants.
Bill: I mostly just think about people I'd like to talk to about this and that; people I'm interested in. Then I let the interview go whatever direction it seems to want to go. I'd like the show to be as organic as possible. I'd like the listener to think they're just overhearing a chat between a couple of people at another table in a restaurant.
Gavin: When did the idea come about to start interviewing the owners of whatever place you were eating at, and how much of a challenge is it incorporating those interviews into the flow of the formal guests?
Dylan: We are still figuring out how to do that. We have started doing The Let's Go Eat Show - "Lite" episodes, in which we interview restaurant owners. That seems to be working out okay.
Bill: I think we always had the idea of letting the chef, or owner, or the waiter/waitress chime in whenever. Again, it's just like a real conversation at a real restaurant because that's what it is, a real conversation at a real restaurant.
Gavin: Bill, how is it for you balancing out questions and interaction without getting the conversation mired down or off track?
Bill: This is a trick question, isn't it? The conversation always gets mired down and off track. You have listened to the show, I know you have!
Gavin: Dylan, as a part of the show, you contribute occasionally, but are primarily there to record. How is it for you stepping back and being the production guy as opposed to a host, and how do you determine where to jump in?
Dylan: It's fine. My dad allows me to jump in whenever I want, but I am also a nerd and enjoy doing the technical stuff. I usually jump in when I don't understand something and want them to clarify what they are talking about. Sometimes I jump in because I think I'm funny and have a smart-ass remark to make.
Gavin: As a father/son duo with radio experience, what is it like for you both working together and creating each show?
Dylan: So far, it's gone pretty well. My dad only threatens to fire me once a week now. Actually, it's pretty cool to be able to do this with my dad. It's been a good learning experience.
Bill: Pretty comfortable. I think it's more like co-workers than family. Dylan comes up with some great ideas, too.
Gavin: In a couple of months, you're going to hit the one-year mark, an accomplishment for any show seeing how many don't make it past six months. What are your thoughts on making it this far, and will you do anything special on the show for the occasion?
Bill: I'm sure Dylan will think of something.
Dylan: That's an excellent question. I've enjoyed it because I got to meet some interesting people. I look forward to more of that Maybe, for our one-year anniversary, we will ask the listeners to vote on who was their favorite guest, and we'll ask them to come back for an encore episode.
Gavin: What's your overall goal with the show, and how big would you like to see it grow?
Bill: The most-listened to podcast in North America, including Mexico and Canada, of course.
Dylan: I just want it to grow big enough that I can buy a small island in the Keys.
Gavin: Going more local, what are your thoughts on the podcasts coming out of Utah these days, both good and bad?
Dylan: I like it! Some -- probably most -- podcasts aren't very good, but I like the idea that anyone can have a show. I think people need to keep with them; don't quit making your show when it isn't getting thousands of downloads per episode after three months.
Bill: I've only listened to a couple. The Geek Show is the gold standard, I think, but then I would, of course, be biased about that. I heard another podcast that was a bunch of drunk friends talking about movies that didn't do too much for me.
Gavin: Is there anything you believe could be done to make these shows more prominent?
Bill: So many podcasts, so little time.
Dylan: Podcasts are difficult to advertise. Cross promotion is probably the best way to make more people aware of your podcasts.
Gavin: Do you have any favorite local shows you listen to or recommend people check out?
Dylan: I listen to a lot of podcasts, but most of them aren't local. The local ones I have liked are no longer around. I listen to Geek Show... I think they are local.
Bill: Geek Show Podcast... again, the loyalty bias thing.
Gavin: Where do you see the medium going both locally and nationally over the next few years?
Bill: More and more shows, with each having a small audience. I swear to God, there will be family podcasts that are only listened to by other family members. There will be two person podcasts -- one person records it and the other listens to it.
Dylan: I think it will continue to grow. Podcasts are going to continue becoming more and more popular, especially when big studios realize that they are cheap to produce and can generate a lot of income.
Gavin: What can we expect from both of you and the show over the rest of the year?
Dylan: Coming up in the next month or so will be a special two-part episode of The Let's Go Eat Show featuring Bill Allred as the guest being interviewed by Radio West's Doug Fabrizio.
Gavin: Aside from the obvious, is there anything you'd like to promote or plug?
Bill: The Radio From Hell Show on X96. So far, that's the only place that money comes from. So far, the rest of this is just playing around.
Dylan: Thanks for asking, Gavin! I have just started a new show being produced by Studio 76, Weber State's video production company, called On Campus. I host the show, and talk to students and faculty about issues going on locally at Weber State or nationally, like the presidential election.
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