Most podcasts are born out of a disproportionate amount of love for a subject, the sort of burning passion about a topic that leads a person to rant into a microphone for an hour or so for an audience of dozens.
Jesse Cohen started his podcast No Effects out of love — for the form, for talking with creative people — but with a healthy dose of hatred thrown in. As a member of Brooklyn indie-rock band Tanlines, he’d suffered through so many bad interviews — “literally hundreds of interviews” where he had to answer “how I got the name of my band” and could feel the person on the other end crafting the narrative of a piece as he spoke — that he wanted to create a space for artists to unwind and really converse away from the transactional world of the music press.
“I’m a huge fan of podcasts and I wanted to create a podcast that, as an artist, I’d want to be on,” he said when I spoke to Cohen over the phone this week.
Cohen is a long-time listener of podcasts, favoring raw and conversational shows like Bodega Boys and Dan Savage’s Savage Love. The idea to do his own podcast where he sat and chatted with a bunch of different creators grew naturally out of his listening habits and Cohen’s love for talking.
“In my band, Eric [Emm] is the singer and I do the banter,” he explained. “I like to talk. This podcast is like my solo album, just 75 hours of me talking.”
Cohen wanted No Effects to be a place where artists could “talk about who they are in their own words” and he goes out of his way to make artists comfortable, travelling around New York City with a mobile recording set-up and meeting them wherever they can talk.
And to hear Jesse tell it, that extra bit of effort to make the artist feel at ease is working.
“I’m not exaggerating. Nine out of ten people have told me afterward that they loved the show, that it’s definitely therapeutic to have this sort of space,” he said. “I know for a fact that it really resonates with the people I have on.”