On the subject of LA radio and particularly LA digital music radio, there are few folks with the pedigree of Jason Bentley. Former longtime KCRW host for Morning Turns into Eclectic and present host of weekly Saturday evening KCRW present Metropolis. He’s a off the radio as properly, enjoying occasions like Coachella and Governors Ball, whereas anchoring the protection for Coachella on-line (at the beginning received cancelled). He has been concerned as a music supervisor and advisor for advert campaigns and movies equivalent to The Matrix trilogy and TRON: Legacy, serving to to get Daft Punk concerned with scoring the movie. He helped create the soundtrack for the upcoming Prime Gun movie, Prime Gun: Maverick, which was set for launch in 2020, however has been delayed due to COVID.
He has a brand new undertaking, The Backstory, a podcast / vodcast the place he interviews two folks throughout numerous components of artistic industries to supply distinctive and candid conversations about their careers and lives. He has interviewed Margaret Cho with Paul Feig, Rosalind Chao and Justin H Min, Kristin Bell and Adam Grant and most not too long ago playwright Kemp Powers and composer Terence Blanchard.
We determined to have a chat with Bentley about this new enterprise, which you’ll catch the newest episode of here and see a couple of clips of on this piece. We additionally chat about wrangling the French robots for TRON: Legacy, his lengthy path within the enterprise, how he chooses to interview folks, Prime Gun, the music enterprise in COVID and extra.
How did you get into the music enterprise?
My first paid gig within the report enterprise was working as an A&R scout for London/FFRR in 1992. I used to be doing an digital dance radio present on my school station in Los Angeles, and London/FFRR paid me $200 a month to ship in cassette tapes of my favourite new information. After all, that cash went proper again to purchasing extra information, however the job additionally led to producing the primary compilation of West Coast digital music – California Dreaming – which featured the Hardkiss Brothers, Tranquility Bass, and Younger American Primitive. Even the quilt artwork was by the LA primarily based Rave streetwear designer Clobber. This was definitely one of many first homegrown digital compilations to symbolize the flourishing West Coast underground.
How do you select who to interview?
It’s difficult as a result of a part of the idea for The Backstory is surprising visitor pairings in dialog, so it’s not folks from the identical subject or self-discipline. This positively provides a layer of issue each in conducting the interview and in addition the reserving for the reason that visitors should be snug with the pairing forward of time. It’s confirmed definitely worth the effort although, as a result of it actually distinguishes the podcast from the pack and in addition I’ve discovered that discovering the frequent floor between the visitors in dialog is the place issues actually get fascinating.
How do you method politics when interviewing folks, particularly when issues are this polarized? [This was asked before the attack on the Capitol]
It’s essential for folks’s views to be heard, however politics isn’t at all times a part of the dialog. I feel we’re on the lookout for extra timeless insights, so regardless of the political sizzling button of the week falls flat once we’re taking a broader view of somebody’s life experiences and profession.
Righting the ship for an interview is essential for folks being interviewed and for these doing it. How do you steer an interview on monitor if you really feel it possibly slipping from you, at the same time as probably the greatest?
I’m an intuitive particular person, which helps in these conditions. It’s essential to have a gracious demeanor, so visitors aren’t going to really feel defensive. As an interviewer, you at all times have some “crutches” that assist to pivot a dialog. It’s alright to reset the road of questioning if issues in some way go off the rails, nevertheless it’s additionally essential to press a problem that must be reconciled. It’s additionally essential to maintain listening as an interviewer. Typically you may get so caught up in serious about the following query, and also you’ve stopped listening.
How will the upcoming Prime Gun soundtrack replicate the present period versus the unique movie’s legacy?
I labored on Prime Gun: Maverick for over a 12 months, however I’m accomplished now. Like numerous films, the movie’s premiere has been rescheduled to 2021 as a result of pandemic, and to be trustworthy I’m not satisfied any of my work will make it by means of to launch. The factor about music is that it’s one of many issues in a film that may change late within the course of. It’s common for full movie scores to get replaced after an viewers take a look at screening will get a tepid response. As I completed up work on the movie earlier in 2020, the prevailing concept was to have music assist solid Maverick as a timeless basic, and the music supporting that concept was reduce from that material – quaint rock n roll. Little doubt issues might change 100 extra occasions, for the reason that unique soundtrack set the bar so excessive by way of industrial success, and there are numerous cooks in that kitchen.
What was the toughest half about convincing Daft Punk to do the TRON: LEGACY Soundtrack?
These guys are extraordinarily specific about their inventive choices, so you possibly can think about they thought of the chance very fastidiously. They’re enormous followers of popular culture, it’s sacred floor to them, so whereas that they had a eager curiosity in engaged on a Disney movie of this scale, it nonetheless wanted to be the proper scenario. To that finish, we visited a number of high Hollywood composers to see if there was a collaborative answer to assist them understand their first main Hollywood rating, however ultimately they wished to construct their very own studio group and absolutely dedicate themselves to the method. I like them for embracing the problem, and it required greater than a 12 months of their time and focus. To reply your query, I feel the toughest half was establishing an LA primarily based studio and work-flow that met their expectations to carry out at a excessive degree.
What must be accomplished to assist save unbiased music venues within the US by means of this winter?
The distribution of a COVID vaccine.
Djing on the radio might type of be seen as a cousin to the present stay streaming setup. How did DJing on radio put together you for stay streaming in a pandemic? Do you intend on persevering with to stay stream, even each time we get again to “regular?”
Once I realized that the KCRW studios have been being closed on account of COVID and the station was switching to an automatic music stream, I instantly pivoted to Instagram Stay for my weekly dance combine present Metropolis. I didn’t actually know what to anticipate, and with just a few days to work it out I used to be blown away by the viewers response.
Over the following seven months, this experiment in live-streaming a radio present unexpectedly opened up an entire new dimension of viewers engagement. Initially, broadcasting from my residence studio allowed followers a singular glimpse into my private area, and I had numerous enjoyable with artistic “set design” and lighting – to not point out our cat Bacchus grew to become a fan favourite. Additionally, seeing the group type in actual time through the present through the feedback feed, a world digital viewers was a very fascinating phenomenon. I used to be capable of have a extra direct dialog with the viewers that’s not doable on conventional radio, and it was nice to have instantaneous suggestions on information, and simply realizing that individuals have been actually there for the music.
Finally, there are nonetheless numerous challenges enjoying music freely on a social platform, in order that was an ongoing frustration. Now that Metropolis is again on broadcast radio weekly, I’m positively contemplating methods to retain the advantages of stay streaming, however my sense is that it must be accomplished proper and with renewed objective. I’m not satisfied Instagram is one of the best platform; possibly it’s Twitch? I simply want time to develop a digital technique that may complement the real-time radio present.