Vue Weekly - Cups N Cakes podcast celebrates two years
Time flies when you’re drinking whisky on-air with one of your best friends, while simultaneously trying to figure out basic recording software and podcast programming on the fly.
Jeff MacCallum and Carey Newton started the Cups N Cakes podcast two years ago after the pair noticed careers and commutes were driving them further and further apart. It was then they decided on a regime of forced hangouts under the guise of a bi-weekly podcast.
“It was just a reason to get together every two weeks and drink some beers,” MacCallum laughs. “Life kind of moves along and you end up not hanging out as much as you’d like to. But also, we’re really, really passionate about music. Two years ago I went to a couple of empty shows that should have been packed and wanted to find some way to help—to introduce bands to people that I thought were awesome. We’re continuing because we’re starting to get some attention, and it feels pretty good.”
With a lot of simple tricks of the trade being learned over the years (a little background music goes a long way towards hiding recording imperfections), MacCallum and Newton have upgraded their recording setup as their wealth of experience grows. As more and more listeners discover the podcast, it’s increasingly important to maintain a standard, both in quality and frequency.
“A big thing for us is being consistent. We put out the show every two weeks, so making sure that it’s out every second Sunday. Being regimented with that schedule is one thing that we learned was pretty important. Learning social media—I never had any kind of Twitter or Instagram until we started doing this, so that’s a lot of learning. Still learning,” MacCallum chuckles. “I self-taught myself the recording side of things, and we just recently got a brand-new setup—some better mics and better software, so I’m relearning that. Figuring it out as we go, always trying to get better.”
MacCallum cites every band-visit to the podcast headquarters as his career highlights, without any mention of the time he got the crest of the pair’s scotch club tattooed on the back of his leg while on-air.
“I totally forgot about that one, honestly,” MacCallum laughs. “That one was a lot of fun, too. But every time we have guests in it’s always great, and typically it’s people we’ve never met. The show we just put up has Sean [Picard] and Mark [Davis] from Concealer, who are headlining the show on Friday. They sat in with us for most of the night, and it was awesome.”
But ultimately, it’s the enthusiasm for music that drives the Cups N Cakes podcast, with a special focus on Canadian music, and especially Edmonton’s fertile music scene.
“I think it’s pretty incredible. I think it’s so underrated across this country, and I think the people here that are involved in it are doing really cool things,” he notes. “It’s a really healthy scene, and no matter what happens it’s going to support itself and it’s not going to go away. Some of the music coming out of Edmonton right now is really incredible. It’s always exciting. And maybe—hopefully—in a few years there will be less bands leaving to go to other cities like Montréal or Toronto.”