Before Brimstone started his hit podcast "Grindhouse Radio" he captivated the eyes of many as a professional wrestler.
Your team created a very popular podcast show, The Grindhouse Radio. How did you first get involved with podcasting?
I’m kind of a serial entrepreneur—I’m constantly thinking of the next thing. I first had the idea a few years ago while I was working on building another company of mine, Hound Comics. Two of our interns—Kim Adragna and Steve ‘Zambo’ Zambito—both had previous experience in college radio. We’d always got along very well and had amusing banter in the office, so I asked them if they’d like to test the waters and potentially develop a show with me.
During our first recording session, the three of us sat around a single microphone at an empty desk, and many hours later we realized we had good on-air chemistry! Shortly after that, we decided on pursuing a podcast format with the show, and added our fourth host Tom Greer to round out the main team of the on-air roster of seven. We trademarked the name and incorporated as a group—the four of us became full partners not only on-air; but in business.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
We’re really proud of the tremendous following we’ve built over the years. Our audience has helped us achieve the overall #15 spot on the iTunes charts, as well as consistently charting in the Top 20 Best Comedic Podcasts—even reaching the #6 spot! In 2018, we were awarded the SCORE American Small Business Championship which earned us additional funding to invest into the show.
Holding the mantel of Best Radio Station on Long Island for four years is not to be scoffed at—however our receipt of a 2021 Gold AVA Digital Award is extremely inspiring! We also take a lot of pride in where we’re from—we received a Certificate of Recognition from New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio, as well as the 2020 New York State Senate Empire Business Award for repeated contributions to our community and state.
How important is gear for your podcasts?
Zoom products have been a game-changer—they’ve essentially leveled the playing field between GHR’s professional studio and our touring rig. Each time you think Zoom has outdone itself, the next generation comes along and blows our minds again. GHR is only as good as the equipment we use. That’s why we use Zoom—they’re the best!
You record your podcast both in your studio and while traveling. What is your current rig setup for recording in either situation?
Our audio quality while traveling with the PodTrak P8 is exceptionally top-notch, and all of its special features have saved us a lot of valuable time. We love having a battery-powered board that we can take anywhere and start working at a moment’s notice. In the studio, we use a LiveTrak L-20 mixing board and Q2n-4K video cameras.
What kind of advice / inspiration would you give to someone who wants to start a podcast?
We believe that everyone deserves to have their voice heard and podcasting is one of the best mediums to do this. It’s like your own personal soapbox! Prior to committing to developing a podcast, you should sit down and write out exactly what you are looking to get out of the show, whether it’s for business, pleasure, awareness or any other reason.
Carve out a specific time each day, week or month to give your creativity the time it needs and deserves. Stick to a consistent release schedule so your listeners always know when new content will be released. The equipment you use is also important—you get out the quality that you put in. Zoom makes it easy to obtain great sound quality, even on a budget.
At GHR we’ve always been very interactive with our audience, and they often ask for advice on starting their own podcast. Inspired by our fans’ enthusiasm, we’ve developed a lecture series called Podcast: 101, which we’ve taught at various libraries, schools, businesses and universities.
Ultimately, the goal of these courses is to teach the nuts and bolts of podcasting. Recently, we’ve opened our professional studios to other podcasts—aspiring and experienced alike—so they can grow and continuously improve their trade under our mentorship.