Each week I share a conversation that I’ve had with a musician or writer or artist, filmmaker, actor – a “creative” (and I loathe that term). We talk about who they are and how they’ve become that person, the steps they take, the art they make, the world they occupy – and whatever is on their mind.
It all began on this day four years ago I shared a conversation with Darren Watson.
Actually, I had self-consciously pre-ambled that a podcast was coming just before that. But it was the DW episode that got things started. I was nervous. I said ‘yeah, yep, yet, yip, ya, yay, hmm, yes’ to almost everything he said, forgetting this wasn’t some print-interview to later create.
I got better at not verbally acknowledging an answer to every question. I’m still working on not interrupting; still feeling the flow of these conversations – each one is different. Some are more interview-style, others are just a rambling catch-up. In some cases I’m meeting someone for the first time, other times I’m trying to have a more formal conversation with an old friend.
That’s what’s kept me at it I think – the fact that each one is different. That and the fact that the talent is brilliant – I’ve been lucky to meet and chat with some of my heroes, to find out things they’ve maybe never shared before, and then to get to share that story with whoever might be listening.
There’s been a lot of talk about musicians and artists and mental health – I hear about initiatives and plans and support and all of that is fantastic. And needed. But in some small way I’m doing some of that work here – I hear that when I listen back. This is a living breathing archive of creative people discussing how they get through the day, their anxiety, hopes, aims, dreams. The stumbling blocks. The toll. If I think the podcast has or will have any legacy I hope it’s that. And all on the smell of an oily rag, eh!
It was four years ago today that the first post went up and I’m sharing this little story – and this year’s list of conversations below because, well, I learned in the blogging game that you have to celebrate these milestones. You have to do it yourself. It’s something to be proud of – to want to share.
And shared similar sentiments no doubt – so you can click that link to be taken to any of the conversations from the first three years of the podcast.
But I will share below every episode that’s happened since then. 50 (or so) new conversations to add to the files.
It’s been a great year for rewarding conversations– some international guests, a couple more members of the band Split Enz, quite a few more chats that were recorded up in Auckland as part of a couple of working holidays – Hawke’s Bay also – and speaking to one of New Zealand’s great writers and filmmakers on his deathbed, just days in fact before he lost his battle.
It’s always a privilege to be given the time. And it’s always amazing when anyone says that they’ve listened to one or some of these conversations. I just posted episode 173 – I have three more conversations in the can and one lined up for next week. Beyond that there’s no plan. Just a hope that people will be willing – to turn up and speak, to listen to the episodes, to allow me this honour.
Thanks for listening – and sharing and hearing and caring – if you do.
And here’s to four years of Sweetman Podcast. And to four weeks more at the very least…
My thanks to all guests past and previous – and fingers crossed there’ll be more at the door.
And since late June of 2018 and up to last week those guests include:
Author (and neighbour!) Pip Adam.
Actor and singer Ali Harper.
Musician, poet, writer and underground legend Bill Direen.
Musician and poet Russell Self.
Poet Helen Heath.
Musician, conservationist, guitar-maker and former local city council member Ray Ahipene Mercer.
Musician, DJ, publicist and writer Chris Familton.
American singer/songwriter Suzanne Vega.
Poet Bill Manhire.
A third chat with blogger, author and activist Emily Writes.
Photographer Peter Black.
Music journalist and DJ Martyn Pepperrell.
Musician Dianne Swann.
A second chat with composer Rhian Sheehan.
TV and radio host, food critic and comedian Jesse Mulligan.
Writer, poet, publisher and editor Mary McCallum.
Actor, director and Circa Theatre stalwart Ross Jolly.
A second chat with LitCrawl Directors Andrew Laking and Claire Mabey.
Musician and DJ Sandy Mill.
Musician, event organiser and concert promoter Gerry Paul.
Actor Bronwyn Turei.
Musician/performance artist Chris Wilson of Gold Medal Famous.
Singer/songwriter Reb Fountain.
Painter Freeman White.
Musician Harry Lyon.
Rapper Tom Scott of Home Brew and Avantdale Bowling Club among others…
Living Legend Joan Baez.
A live panel discussion from the Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival featuring me and Nick Bollinger interviewed by Jamie Macphail.
Musician and event planner Delia Shanly.
Orchestral conductor Marc Taddei.
The Chills’ singer/songwriter Martin Phillipps.
Reviewer, writer, DJ and bookseller Kiran Dass.
Writer and filmmaker Peter Wells (R.I.P.)
Basketballer and broadcaster Brendon Pongia.
Artist and creative instigator Mike Weston.
Writer David Cohen.
Musician Caroline Easther.
American singer/songwriter Alejandro Escovedo.
Poet and former sex-worker Hadassah Grace.
Journalist and music-writer Graham Reid.
Ex-Split Enz drummer and creator of the Hot Cake guitar pedal Paul (Emelyn) Crowther.
Radio NZ (Music 101) regular host, producer and contributor Yadana Saw.
Actor and Wellington theatre stalwart Heather O’Carroll.
Musician Graeme Jefferies (aka The CakeKitchen).
Musician, sound engineer, archivist and record label owner Roy Mayes (Failsafe Records).
A preview of the Wellington Jazz Festival with the Festival’s head of programming Marnie Karmelita.
Art teacher, collector, curator and critic Roy Dunningham.
Musician (Shihad, The Adults, solo) Jon Toogod.
American master session drummer Gregg Bissonette.
Poet Sugar Magnolia Wilson.
Split Enz keyboardist/arranger and master musician Eddie Rayner.
Comedian and podcaster Tim Batt.