As I entered The Parlour one Monday night, on the stage against the far wall, I saw a man in a chair seated across from four other men in chairs, each with microphones in front of them. I gleaned that this was some sort of interview; later, I learned that this was an episode of Between The Notes, Motif’s weekly local music podcast. Scanning the rest of the room as my eyes adjusted to the dim lighting, I took a seat at one of the high top tables and watched the rest of the interview unfold.
For over a year now, this podcast has operated with two distinct purposes: Giving viewers and listeners a glimpse of how each act sounds live, and giving the acts a platform to dig deeper, to display the kind of people they are. Speaking with two of the podcast’s hosts, Tess Lyons and Jack Downey, I got some more insight into how the podcast is run and what it is like to be a part of it.
Both Downey and Lyons thoroughly enjoy their time on Between the Notes, and the opportunities they have to promote and talk to the local acts that come to The Parlour. Each episode features something vastly different from what came before, from powerful, floor shaking metal bands to sparse, wistful folk music and everything in between.
The podcast has grown in popularity to the point where, according to Downey, there is a waitlist for bands and artists to be featured. “I’ve actually had bands that I know reach out to me wanting to know more about the podcast and how to be featured. Back when I started, nobody had any idea that this was something that existed,” he said, before adding, “what Motif offers local musicians is unique in that there are so many benefits, particularly when it comes to visuals. Not many bands have such complex, multi-camera videos of their performances, so this is truly important to them.”
Along with this, the podcast also gives performers the chance to bare their souls during the interview segment. In many instances, you can see the subjects come alive after being asked certain questions, revealing their passions, goals or just interesting anecdotes. In a recent episode with Jake Hunsinger and the Rock Bottom Band, the conversation was less about music than about coffee – Aztec Hot Chocolate, to be precise – topics of discussion not common on a podcast centered around music.
The camaraderie between band members is also often on display during interviews. “For a lot of these bands and performers, this is their first time being interviewed in a setting like this,” Lyons said. “When you get down to it, more often than not these are old friends who just enjoy jamming out together, and that’s easy to see during these interviews.”
Though the podcast has garnered attention since its launch, Downey hopes its viewership continues to grow, both in person at the venue and online via Facebook and Twitch. “While the podcast is growing in scale and notoriety, its main purpose and where it works best is offering a spotlight to local musicians in a local venue sponsored by local businesses,” Downey stated. In a similar vein, Lyons sees the podcast growing to be a more interactive, Q&A-style event where the patrons of The Parlour are able to give their feedback on the talent that plays. By doing this, each episode of the podcast can turn into a small event, making them even more entertaining. The music scene in and around PVD is diverse, eclectic and talented, and with each new episode of Between The Notes, that greatness is being displayed to a wider audience, showing the world how much the smallest state has to offer.