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Cracking jokes about more extreme genres of music like metal or hardcore and the scenes they inspire isn’t exactly a new concept, but few had done it with such clear love for the source material as “Two Minutes to Late Night.” Launched with a pilot in June of 2016, this metal-themed talk show was a blend of late night television like Conan or Letterman with off-kilter metal-friendly segments like reporting the weather from Glen Danzig’s house. With our corpse-paint adorned host Gwarsenio Hall and house band, Mutoid Man, the series was able to fund an entire season of episodes filmed at Saint Vitus Bar via their Patreon and have even done several live performances at festivals like Psycho Vegas and Florida’s FEST. Some of the highlights from that first season of the show came from the cover songs performed by the cast and whoever was a guest that episode. This resulted in such performances as Gina Gleason from Baroness helping to cover “Hot for Teacher” in one episode and Ben Weinam from the Dillinger Escape Plan playing two Thin Lizzy songs in a row. Then in the beginning of this year it was announced that they would be taking a break from filming full episodes of the show and would be pivoting to shorter videos and sketches, which included a hiatus for the weekly podcast that accompanied the show. While most were a bit saddened by the news, things were about to kick into higher gear in a way that fans could not have anticipated.
Shortly after their announcement of the change of focus In January, the world began to take a turn into the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Two Minutes to Late Night pivoted yet again and began to churn out content at a weekly pace in the form of their “Bedroom Sessions” covers. These videos involved their crew returning to their already-successful formula for composing covers, but also included a veritable who’s who of the metal/punk/hardcore scenes contributing from the comforts of their homes. Twenty-six covers and hundreds of thousands of Youtube Views later, I was lucky enough to pick the brains of its creators, Jordan Olds and Drew Kaufman, about the success of their covers and helping to support all the musicians involved, in a time where the touring economy has been ripped from under them.
GSC: First off, not so much of a question, but I just wanted to congratulate you both on the success of the covers resulting from The Bedroom Sessions series. The “Anthem” cover is getting close to 850,000 views right now, which is wild. Though, I am personally still reeling from the fact you got Max fucking Weinberg to play a Misfits track. What was it like pitching that idea to him?
Jordan Olds: Actually this was all Jay Weinberg’s idea. He had such a good time doing the Candy’s Room cover and wanted to get his dad involved. Drew and I are both die hard fans of both Bruce Springsteen and Conan fans so getting Max on the show to play hardcore music was always a goal. It’s just awesome that his son Jay had the exact same idea.
Drew Kaufman: One of our goals since day one was to do something with Max Weinberg. Even now I am afraid to tell you that original idea because we still dream about doing it.
GSC: How are you both handling the quarantine and/or pandemic situation by the way?
J: I’ve just thrown myself completely into Two Minutes. It’s my full time job now which is weird but it’s very demanding and keeps me very busy. All my other free time goes into trying to take my dog on hikes or doing Yoga.
D: My first instinct is to get busy. I’m a photographer and my favorite subject is people so that’s been very challenging. I tried landscapes and such but it just doesn’t hit the same. But I did also film my own documentary about helping a stranger move across the country with her dog and her refrigerator painted like Stewie Griffin from Family Guy so I have other vices.
GSC: For those that were fans of the show, performing covers was an obvious cornerstone of the pilots and the subsequent first season. When the announcement was made earlier this year that there would be a shift from filming the show to more varied forms of content and live shows, was it always the plan to release these covers with this kind of frequency or was it sort of kicked into higher gear due to the fact that the pandemic shut off so many options for artists in general?
D: I think originally the plan was monthly but I can’t remember because the world before March is a blurr. We started laying the groundwork for bedroom covers back in January when we professionally filmed Gwarsenio, Steve, and Ben’s parts for “Dare to Be Stupid” and “Riff Raff” and waited patiently for everyone else to record their parts. Once lockdowns happened, the Weird Al Cover came together quickly because no one had any excuses. Then we got the parts for Steely Dan even faster. That’s when it became “holy shit, we might actually be able to release something every week.”
J: Yeah I think since week two of the Pandemic I have arranged/began recruiting musicians for about 3 songs per week. Thanks to that I am proficient at Excel and thus it’s no longer a lie on my resume.
GSC: When it came to the covers initially, it was usually with whichever person was a guest on the show and the odd surprise here and there, but the Bedroom Sessions have had a crazy array of artists from all types of genres. When it comes time to compose the next cover, is there ever a set idea of who you would want to be in the cover and that’s that or is it more of just whoever you can contact and is available?
D: Jordan is a magician at getting people he’s never met excited to do work.
J: whenever I come up with a cover idea there’s usually a person I have in mind that I want to build it around and then the rest of the team comes together based on just who else matches that key artist or the song best. We try to not have the teams be a random team of cool folks. It’s gotta be the right cool folks.
GSC: With all the new activity for your channel, you also took the time to update your Patreon. Since more and more musical artists are looking for other platforms to connect with fans while concerts and fests are off the table, would Two Minutes ever consider using a streaming platform like Twitch to have further performances or maybe even sketches?
D: We’ve looked into Twitch and we don’t truly understand it haha. Live streaming is a completely different beast and our world works best with editing. Never say never, but right now the bigger thing for us is making well polished, rewatchable entertainment in a time when most things aren’t like that.
GSC: It does seem like covers are the focus now, but are there any plans in the works for old favorites like Poseur Cops or the Punisher to return?
D: Plans is a very strong word. We will absolutely do them again when the time is right, and our astral charts align with the high tide under a waxing gibbon moon. Or some shit like that.
J: I think for us we just don’t really want to make anything that feels lesser from Pandemic restrictions. So we’re trying to come up with new ideas that we can make in this time that we’d still be excited about when it becomes safer to work like we used to.
GSC: In addition to the covers, you also have introduced a new Patreon-exclusive podcast entitled “Festival Schmestival” where guests build their own musical festival from the ground up by using your rules and their music streaming platform of choice. I was very curious to hear about a new podcast after the initial weekly one slowed down, but I was happy to hear it wouldn’t involve you all torturing yourselves as you had in the past by trying to find a redeeming quality about “Lulu” or acknowledging the fact that “Punk Goes Crunk” is unfortunately something that exists. How did the concept for this podcast come about?
D: When we decided to flip the Patreon and use it to pay all of the musicians we work with an equal wage we immediately realized “Oh shit, we will never have enough money!” So we had to think of more ways to get people to subscribe to our Patreon so we could raise enough to help the 75+ people we’ve worked with. A podcast seemed like a no-brainer. I don’t remember the story being any more exciting than me and Jordan being on the phone brainstorming to the point of yelling at each other and then it clicked, but maybe he remembers it better.
J: That’s really how it happened hahaha. We were just on the phone thinking out loud about a podcast idea that would be fun and listenable and that wouldn’t make us completely miserable.
GSC: Is there a personal favorite festival that you have seen be created that you would absolutely want to attend? Honestly, I may have to go with Kyle Kinane’s barge-based fever dream that is Nautical by Nature just because it sounds like the closest one could get to dropping acid without actually doing it but also, there’s funnel cakes.
D: I’m going to my own festival, man. Fuck all these assholes, mine has fried gator and Arcitecture in Helsinki.
J: I wanna go to my festival since it’s right next to actual Helsinki. I’d also maybe go to Ben Koller’s. His took over the entire continent of New Zealand, Ozzy is DJing, and Greg Puciato is in the Beatles.
GSC: Since one of the rules for the guests on the show is that Andrew WK has to be some part of this festival due to him being at every god damn thing, what sort of festival do you both think he would come up with using the same rules laid out on the show?
D: I adamantly believe Andrew WK doesn’t listen to music so his festival would only be the various toaster ovens and electric tea kettles in his kitchen which he talks to every morning Beauty and The Beast-style because he is a robot.
J: Yeah Drew’s right it would be Chuck E. Cheese Battle Bots.
GSC: One positive that has been going on while the world has been on fire is that there still is a steady stream of amazing music that is coming out. Has there been an album that’s been recently released that has provided you both with some relief during these uncertain times?
J: The new Year Of The Knife sounds like getting thrown out of a window. What an incredible album. I also,listened to both Old Man Gloom albums while gardening over the summer and they changed my life.
D: I can’t stop listening to this crazy, mathy band called Satyr. Their newest album is called Locus and it’s super fun in that early 2000’s kinda Fall of Troy but fresh way. It’s a good driving album so I guess the relief it gives me is something to listen to while I stress eat a whole pack of tic tacs.
GSC: Finally, has there been a goal that you wanted for either the show or yourself that you still want to accomplish before 2020 wraps up?
D: Goal for the show? I still really want to make a video with Weird Al. The whole reason that cover exists is because we wanted him to see it and work with us. Goal for me personally? Convince a cop to quit their job.
J: Goal for the show? To eventually be a real show on TV haha. Goal for me personally? To convince the ex-cop Drew yelled at to become a pro BMX-er.
Once again, I just want to give a special thanks to Jordan and Drew for taking time to answer my questions. If you like, you can find all the “Bedroom Sessions” covers and the entire first season of the show at their Youtube page at this link.
Also, if you have the funds, please feel free to donate to their Patreon at the following link. You’ll be helping to fund not only the show and their covers, but all musicians involved during a time where every dollar counts for them.