Every issue, Music Week takes you inside the best music podcasts. This month, host Andrew Male reveals all about The Mojo Record Club, whose guests have included Thurston Moore and Alabaster DePlume...
What was the vision behind the Record Club series, and how does it differ to Mojo’s previous Innovators podcast?
John Mulvey (editor, Mojo): “Honestly, our original idea for a Mojo podcast was something akin to the Mojo Record Club but, for a bunch of very good reasons, we went with Mojo Innovators for a short run in 2019. This time, we wanted a regular podcast that complemented the mag and reflected how we communicated with each other, to our readers, and to the artists we encountered; a show where we could talk enthusiastically and intelligently about the records we loved, often quite obscure ones, without being either patronising or alienating. We wanted to show that weird old cratedigging finds and brand new releases were all part of the Mojo mix. And we wanted Andrew to host it, because we knew he’d be great.”
What does Mojo Record Club offer that’s unique?
Andrew Male (senior associate editor/host, Mojo): “Hopefully, a depth of knowledge worn lightly. The podcast should have the same broad remit of the magazine but presented in a much more conversational setting. So far, that seems to be working. Allowing our guests complete freedom in terms of the records they want to discuss and not asking them the same questions about themselves that they usually get asked has resulted in an enjoyably free-flowing, playful and relaxed show. At the same time, we’re not going to drop a three-hour episode on you any time soon.”
The discussions have been great, I’ve already discovered some gems
Alongside the Mojo team, you’ve also had guests such as Thurston Moore and Miki Berenyi. What have been your favourite discussions so far?
AM: “There have been a few. The discussions about the records have been great and I’ve already discovered some gems, like Alabaster DePlume’s choice of a Japanese retro-jazz manga soundtrack. But it’s also lovely to be party to additional insights and revelations like Miki Berenyi ruminating on the uncomfortable art of autobiography, Thurston Moore’s memories of seeing The Supremes on a parade float in the mid ’60s and, most recently, Robyn Hitchcock philosophising on the pleasures of exploratory open-ended psychedelic music: ‘Oh, what is this that’s about to appear, oh Christ!’”
Finally, what potential does the podcast have in terms of reaching beyond Mojo’s readership and bringing new people to the brand?
JM: “Well, the podcast is part of a bigger Mojo strategy that we’ve been rolling out this year. Along with our new membership deals, our app, our members’ new music newsletters and a few other things in the pipeline, it’s a key part of how we extend our relationship with our readers, beyond just a monthly print fix. And yeah, all these different channels are especially useful at articulating Mojo’s values to an international audience. There’s a lot more to what we do than just the artists who appear on our front covers.”