Ben Durant and Bryon Kozaczka, the hosts of the “Twin Peaks Unwrapped” podcast, were in the middle of recording their show focusing on Part 8 of Twin Peaks: The Return when they took a break to record this interview with me. Supporting other projects in the Twin Peaks fan community as well as their decision to include so many people on their show as special guests is something they are both very passionate about. “I think that’s one reason why Ben and I work so well together. We both have the philosophy that nothing is worth doing unless you can do it with your friends. The community has embraced us and we’ve embraced them. It’s been a fun ride. When the show is over, we’re going to have these friendships for years to come. It’s the coolest thing” Bryon explained.
One of the most endearing qualities of their podcast is their chemistry as hosts. “It was my 40th birthday party and I knew Bryon had got the Twin Peaks Blu-Ray set for Christmas, so I asked him if he’d watched it yet. It was March now. I already wanted to do a podcast and when he said he hadn’t started the show I asked him if he wanted to do a podcast and told him we could do it through his eyes. If I was going to do a podcast, I knew he’d be the perfect person to do the show with“ Ben said. “We’d known each other for a very long time. We didn’t really hang out all that much with him living in Connecticut and me living in Massachusetts but he had this idea for a podcast and it was perfect timing—a golden opportunity.” Bryon followed up. “We’ve become closer friends because of the show. We text or talk to each other every day now, which is something we didn’t do before the show”.
The Twin Peaks Unwrapped podcast has not only covered all episodes of Twin Peaks but a whole host of other projects related to the series, the fan community and David Lynch’s other works. The episodes covering Lynch’s films are favorites of many and typically include guests to help analyze and discuss whichever film they are covering. True to the show’s format, Ben had seen all of these films prior to recording episodes discussing them and Bryon had not. “The running joke was after every new Lynch film I saw I would always come on the show and say it was my new favorite! Looking back, Eraserhead always sticks out. I also go back to Fire Walk With Me. After seeing Fire Walk With Me a second time, I’ve been itching to watch it again.” Bryon said. “It wasn’t that long ago that we watched Lost Highway and it was still my favorite. I’ve almost memorized every line in the film. It still feels very mystical to me. I always use the word raw to describe it. It’s just such a good film. Yeah, it’s still my favorite Lynch film and I’m still mad there’s no Blu-Ray for it (laughs) ”Ben responded.
Ben and Bryon have a reputation for not missing a week and have released a podcast now for 108 straight weeks and counting. “Where we’re at now with Twin Peaks being back, we can’t record two shows in a week as we could before and take some time off. We have to record every week. It’s tough. I was just sick, and then Bryon went on vacation and we had to figure out how to record the show, not in the studio. The nice thing about when the show [Twin Peaks] ends is we can go back to recording two shows in a week if we want to” Ben said. We began discussing their plans for their show after Twin Peaks: The Return ends. “Ben has a lot of plans he probably hasn’t shared with me,” Bryon said, laughing. I usually have six months planned ahead of time. We definitely can go back to the short films [of David Lynch]. We have Mark Frost’s upcoming book we’ll get into” Ben replied. “We’ll do another Best Of show at the end of the year like we’ve done the last two years. In 2018 we don’t know what we’re going to do. We might take a break. We’ve never missed a week in 108 straight weeks. We might start doing shows when we feel it’s necessary and not weekly. We’ll see. Ben will probably come up with something. We’re both talking about projects outside of podcasting that we’re both interested in “ said Bryon.
Our conversation shifted to Mark Frost’s novel, “The Secret History of Twin Peaks” and the role it plays on the series. “I feel like the book might have more to do with the series than we first thought, especially after seeing Part 8. When you first read it, there’s all this UFO stuff and it almost feels more X-Files than Twin Peaks but each week I keep thinking that Mark Frost did plant the seeds for what was going on in the show. I don’t know that I trust everything that was going on in the book. I think Mark Frost knows, for example, that Pete plays chess, not checkers. I am happier though each week with the book when you see why it covered Dougie Milford going to New Mexico or something like that” Ben answered.“I think Ben said it perfectly” Bryon laughed. “I almost think they gave us everything and the next book will be to help us decipher it. We’ll have enough understanding to where we can go back to the first book and now see how things connect and work” Ben continued. “I feel like the series isn’t going to tell us why things were different in the book but the next book will give us those answers” Bryon added.
We began discussing Twin Peaks: The Return and how its handling the balancing act of emotion and mythology, as well as their hopes for the rest of the series. “We do get these moments full of emotion like the old series gave us — moments like the hit and run with the mother and her son that are so full of emotion. Then there are the scenes with the Log Lady and Hawk. Knowing that the actress was dying made for a really powerful moment of her talking to Hawk. I do think they are getting closer and closer to getting back to Twin Peaks and following those characters as get into the second half of the series“ Ben said. “I’ve been excited to see my favorite characters, which is where a lot of emotion has come from for me. The actors have brought a lot of emotion to the scenes.” Bryon added. “They’ve done a lot of set up; like telling us James was in an accident and then him and the girl at the bar” Ben started. “Then there’s Shelly’s daughter with her husband and the drugs. We’re getting these tastes of things” Bryon said.
“I just have to say how impressed I am with how much Lynch and Frost have already given us — giving us the exchange between Cooper and Laura so quickly, for example. We waited 25 years to see how Cooper would get out of the Red Room and we found out quick. I would really like to see more of the mythology stuff I love—more of the Owl Cave ring, the Jumping Man, the grandmother and her grandson. They’ve already delivered so much there too with the Woodsmen just recently“ Ben started. Bryon followed up ”I really want to see Cooper and Laura in the real world and a confrontation between the forces of good and the forces of evil. I want to see Laura be the one to save Cooper this time. I don’t know how it would play out but I feel like that would bring things full circle.” “I do like that too. I wouldn’t mind seeing Laura also confronting her parents. I think it would be amazing if she could. It’s funny what your expectations are like before the show starts and now with what they’ve given us, I feel content and satisfied. I’m just going with it. If you wanna blow up an atomic bomb and spend 20 minutes showing it, I’ll go with it. I’m pretty happy. I do want Kyle to play our Cooper again. I do want to see the Cooper that’s childlike and gets excited again” Ben responded.
Our conversation ended where it began: talking about a love of the community of Twin Peaks fans. “I don’t think of this as my show. I tell people to come on and take over the show. We just had John Thorne on and I told him it was his show and to give us your theories. We called up the guys from Counter Esperanto and asked them to recite a poem at the beginning of our show and they did. They could have done it for their show if they wanted to. I think Twin Peaks has the best community and we’re all here to support each other. I see it every day where people are helping each other out and I just love it. I embrace it. We get to hang out and talk Twin Peaks with our friends. We’ll be going to the Twin Peaks festival in Washington State and get to hang out with friends there. That’s what this is all about. We’re not making money off of this. It really is all about the community and just loving Twin Peaks” Ben concluded.