Three B Zine is the podcast brainchild of North County’s Cody Thompson. Covering Beer, Bites & Bands with a smattering of bikes and baseball, Cody & co-hosts Dustin & Tom put on a 90 minute show filled with witty banter, beer sampling & chatting with guests from all three industries. It’s like listening in on a conversation you might have with a few buddies over a beer. We checked-in with Cody to find out more about Three B Zine Podcast & why we should all be listening.
What is Three B Zine exactly? Podcast/Magazine/Radio Station?
It’s kind of funny, actually. I often think to myself, “How do people see Three B Zine?” Seeing as there is not only a website but also the podcast presence. Three B Zine all started as an online webzine, or blog. My goal was to cover things I loved in San Diego – Biking, Craft Beer and Bands. Sort of what I think you do with SoCalSessions, cover what creates a killer Southern California lifestyle.
I always thought that nothing really beats riding a bike to a brewery for a beer or two and then cruising to one of the many local music shows happening on any given night. So, for years that’s what I did, write and showcase photographs of these three “B’s”. I decided shortly after to start what is now Three B Zine Podcast. Basically do the same thing, just more of a weekly forum with people that I respect, and with whom I enjoy engaging in conversation. So Three B Zine in present times is really more of a podcast/radio type show than anything else. I wanted to get back into the writing game, but I focused a lot of my writing into working with a couple local publications that were looking to expand on their craft beer coverage.
By my count you have FOUR “B’s” going on, Beer, Bands, Bikes, Bites. Which are the real three?
When Three B Zine first began, it was the original three – Bikes, Bands and Beer. Since then it has shifted to the current three – Beers, Bands and Bites. Bites, meaning local food. Like I mentioned before, when I first started this I wanted to cover what I felt created a killer Southern California lifestyle, I think you and I both are on a very similar page with that mindset. Biking and cycling is something I have always loved, but I felt as though being someone who really only takes part in cycling every now and then, covering the biking world in our very cycle-friendly city would not be fair unless I would devote fully to coverage. I didn’t feel like I could deliver the kind of coverage San Diego cyclists deserved with my limited knowledge of the cycling universe.
With that being said, Dustin (Long time podcast Co-Host) and I decided together that we would swap that B to “Bites”. Even with the change we have had on bike related guests on the podcast including Tour de Fat organizers and BikeSD representatives. So, the love we have for biking still lives on. I guess you could technically say we are “Four B” from time to time. That fourth B being baseball more often than not though, as I know you have noticed through my social media presence. (Go Padres!)
I sort of always had the idea of turning Three B Zine into a podcast type show. I really like the idea of discussing craft beer, food and local music because, well that’s pretty much what I do with my buddies anyway. Might as well record it and share it with the world. I had been listening to and following podcasting for a while leading up the starting my own and I was always pretty blown away by how podcasts could be both entertaining and intellectual at the same time. I loved and still do love the idea of sharing knowledge with listeners through a comedic format. That is at least what we attempt to do.
As far as an audience, we weren’t sure. There wasn’t really anything like this in San Diego when we first started in regards to podcasting. Of course some great publications existed at the time for craft beer, music and food. But podcasting was sort of new to the city it seemed. So we weren’t sure but we definitely had hoped people would tune in to hear about craft beer, food and music and thus far they have.
Were you inspired by any other podcasts/radio shows or more specifically Pump Up The Volume the Christian Slater movie?
I feel that if Christian Slater doesn’t inspire you at least a small bit, you are doing something wrong.
First and foremost I am a die hard Howard Stern fan. Been listening, reading his books and following him since before I was allowed to. Always loved his raw delivery and his talent as a host and as an interviewer he is second to none. Plus, the humor and production of that show is insane. I always think of that show when I do almost anything on our show and he has directly influenced my “style” (if you can call it that) as well as the addition of sound effects throughout each episode. Inside tip, the tape rewind sound clip I use is actually the same one used on his show. Surprise!
I was also neck deep in a podcast called Tell Em Steve Dave, which is on Kevin Smith’s SmodCo network. Their style is probably the biggest influence on the way we run our show. We run pretty free form, even though I have a full 2-3 pages of notes for each episode for guidance. If a guest or another host wants to go off on a tangent, we pretty much let it roll. Because of this “freedom” we have been able to capture some great moments in our 62+ episodes. We have had tears, we have had countless laughs and we even have had people walk out from embarrassment.
At Comic Con three years ago I sat in on a Kevin Smith panel where he said something along the lines of, “no matter what you do whether it be start a band, a podcast, write a book or create a blog, more people will try to discourage this than support it. But if you really want something, then you should push for it to happen and go for it and not let anyone tell you that it is a stupid or bad idea.” And trust me, this does happen. At this time I was already playing with the idea of turning Three B Zine into a podcast, and exactly one week after I saw him at Comic Con we recorded our first episode. So I guess you can give Kevin Smith the credit, or blame him, for our existence.
The beer scene in SoCal is well documented as being top-notch but the music scene a little more under the radar outside of the region. What are some up-and-coming local bands we should be aware of?
I love this question. I feel like sometimes people don’t remember that we are more than just a craft beer podcast. I love the craft beer world and its probably the one B I know most about, but of course I like to discuss the other things we cover as well. San Diego has so many killer bands going strong right now we are a pretty lucky city. Some of the bands I would highly suggest people check out would be, and sorry if I leave any great ones out.
Brothers Weiss – Not only are they our podcast intro song, they are one of the highest energy rockers in town. Their debut EP is classic and rages all the way through. Plus every guy in the band is not only a craft beer dude but they are also incredibly smart. (Hear our podcast with them to learn more.)
Sledding With Tigers – I can’t get enough of this band. Fronted by Dan Faughnder and they are a folk/punk explosion. Plus, they just released an entire record based on the movie Space Jam. Can’t beat that. Oh, and nicest guy in San Diego? Possibly.
Mrs. Magician – Definitely already a more well known band in San Diego, but I can’t put together a list of my favorites without mentioning them. They are one of the strongest and most solid bands in town, and a solid group of dudes too. Absolutely perfect for what we both stand for – a killer Southern California lifestyle….One of my local favorites.
Big Bad Buffalo – Another amazing San Diego band everyone should be listening to. These guys pull references from old 90s post punk in the vein of like, old Jade Tree releases. Tons of great guitar playing and off timing breakdowns that make them just a definite must hear. They really are both intelligent and awesome.
I also have to share the bands Dustin, Three B Zine’s Co-Host since day 1, plays in. Check out Old Tiger and Diamond Lakes. Old Tiger was the first band I ever featured on Three B Zine and no one plays music like they do. Still one of my favorite local bands and I don’t say that just cause I host the show with him. Diamond Lakes pulls their sound from late 90s rock and alternative and it’s a real hat tip to a nostalgic style of music that I think a lot of people will love.
Editor’s Note: Cody claims his beard is much bigger now.
When we listen to the podcast it is 90 minutes but what kind of prep are you putting beforehand to create a quality show?
It is a lot more work than it probably seems, and I don’t say that in a way of complaining. Each time we book a guest or a group of guests, that’s when the homework begins. I hate the idea of sounding like I don’t know what I am talking about so I put in a ton of extra work to try and learn as much as I can on the subject or guest. From questions to bullet points and links to share, its all there.
After the record button goes off, its all about editing and getting it shared. But before that I do listen to every episode in its entirety before it goes anywhere near online so that I know that not only the content is on point, but also the sound and production value is exactly where we want it. Hopefully all this work shows in the final product. We seem to think it has worked 62+ episodes in and its how we plan to continue moving forward. Nothing worthwhile should come easy, right?
If you could plan one dream podcast who would be on it & what beer would you be drinking?
I would say Andrew WK, but I actually had him on an episode already and it was about as awesome as you would expect. But I would love to interview him in person and not by phone. There are tons of people I would dream to sit down with and chat on mic. Howard Stern is a definite first choice. Kevin Smith is another guest I would absolutely love to sit down and chat with for an hour or so, seeing how he is kind of the reason I even podcast at all. I don’t know what beer he drinks, but maybe I could help find one he would like. Something “dank” I assume.
I would love to host Don Rickles on a podcast, a living legend in entertainment and possibly the funniest person who ever lived, but he would probably want to drink vodka instead of beer. I am going to go ahead and say I would love to have Huell Howser on Three B Zine Podcast. He hosted California’s Gold for many years and was all about showcasing the greatness of our state. (Find his episode on hop farming, its excellent!) I think him and I could sample multiple California beer offerings and discuss where it was brewed, the hop farms that grew the hops and the history behind some of California’s oldest and greatest breweries. Yeah, I think that’s what I am going with for this answer. Pure podcast gold. (RIP Huell)
Where do you see Three B Zine going in the near future? Long Term?
I really don’t know where the three of us (Dustin, Tom and I) will be in the near or long term future regarding Three B Zine and our podcast. I would love for the show to continue gaining listeners and for us to be able to not only entertain but also teach all that is great about our specific subject matter. If that turned into a bigger show shared to a broader audience that would be great. But, you never know what can happen, especially if you don’t try. So, I just want to keep on moving forward creating new and (hopefully) exciting episodes for San Diego beer drinkers, music fans and foodies to enjoy. If we can share a laugh, a song, a plate, a tear or a beer with some of the great people who give us 90 minutes of their week, then that’s quite possibly the best thing we can ever hope for now or ever.