Podcasts made up a huge part of many fans’ experiences of Twin Peaks: The Return last summer. In our latest feature, Pod People, we talk to the people behind the microphones of our favourite podcasts to find out what they’ve been up to and where they’re going next.
Ben Durant and Bryon Kozaczka have been unwrapping multiple layers of Twin Peaks during their podcast for more than three years. While three years is seemingly a short amount of time compared to fans’ twenty-five year wait for Twin Peaks to return, the fact that Bryon and Ben have been posting their high-quality podcast weekly for those three years is an outstanding achievement by itself.
Great guests, deep dives, and a creative willingness to look beyond Twin Peaks for ways to engage their listeners make Twin Peaks Unwrapped a go-to resource for : – ) ALL community members. What follows below is the first half (unofficial version?) of our conversation. Ben and Bryon posted the entire interview in their September 10, 2018 podcast. Listen below!
TwinPetes: Thank you very much for joining 25YearsLater in all of the ways that you do, engaging with us and helping us. I’ve got some questions for you that might be a little bit different than you’ve had before, so let’s get right to it!
How has your friendship grown as a result of Twin Peaks Unwrapped over nearly 3 years of weekly podcasts?
Bryon Kozaczka: You want me to go first?
Ben Durant: Yeah, you go!
BK: I’ll go. I’ll keep this clean, Pete [laughter]. I did a college radio program at the school [Ben] works at, and Ben was always supportive of our radio show. I did that with another friend of mine, and Ben would always come out and hang out with us. He was always supportive; always a nice guy…and we became friends that way. Then when the big [Twin Peaks] Blu-ray box set was going to come out, Ben sent me a text. I was doing a podcast at the time, and Ben said “I’d like to do a Twin Peaks podcast with you.” and the rest is history. We knew each other, we were friends with each other, but I think doing a show over the last three years, we’ve definitely become closer, know a lot more about each other. We’ve shared hotel rooms with each other, we’ve had long road [trips] and long flights together.
BD: Almost a whole day in the airport!
BK: Our flights getting messed up. Somehow we didn’t kill each other and we’ve become better friends. I think we know each other’s quirks; each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and I personally think we complement each other in that way.
BD: What’s interesting is I don’t think I had your phone number before [we started doing] this podcast. I guess I texted you, but I guess it wasn’t regular. It was one of those things like I would see you and say: “Hey! There’s a new video game coming out!” and we would talk about the video game, but it definitely wasn’t every day, and it definitely wasn’t a regular thing.
BD: Then once this [podcast] came out, it was like texting every day, not just about Twin Peaks, but whatever we’re interested in: movies, TV, video games. I definitely think of you as a close, really good friend and I really enjoy hanging out with you. It’s one of the things I look forward to during the week, doing this show. I just have a good time, and I’m always amazed that three years later you’re still doing this show with me! [Laughter] There’s definitely a closer friendship through this show, and I really enjoy hanging out with you every week.
TP: How have you each changed as Twin Peaks/David Lynch/Mark Frost fans as your podcast focus shifted over the years from the original veteran/newbie re-watch to interviews, analysis, round table discussions, community re-watch, “Unseen Twin Peaks” and more?
BD: That’s such a broad question. As a fan, I’ve changed. I’ve gotten older. I was 15 or 16 when I first watched the show, and when you get older…I’ve got three children. I think I sympathize with the Palmer family even more, with what they had to go through. As a child, I was just kind of like: “Oh, that’s scary!” but now I kind of look at it like these are characters that have gone through terrible things. I feel how much more real it is, when you have your own family; the tragedies and the difficult things that even the town [of Twin Peaks] has gone through. I kind of look at Twin Peaks than more of just “I want to see the mythology and Cooper!” and there are real people out there who have gone through heartbreak, and how they’ve struggled.
BK: I would say for me, getting into David Lynch, Mark Frost and the “Lynchian” world, it’s made me appreciate filmmaking and television-making a lot more. I love odd, quirky films. I love the odd, quirky TV shows, and Twin Peaks was something that I always wanted to get into. But I think getting into Lynch’s work and appreciating his work makes me look at current shows and just seeing the influence of his work and Mark Frost’s work influenced filmmakers and TV creators now. I think that’s awesome. I think sometimes you have to go to the past to appreciate the future, you know? I think that getting to Lynch’s work is like a history lesson. It just broadens your horizons about different things and elements, and it makes you appreciate more because you know where it’s coming from, whereas before, I didn’t. Now I really see the influences; it’s like an education, an art. David Lynch’s work is…love it or hate it, is a work of art and this podcast was an education for me and I’m sure [it is] for a lot of fans that listen to our show.
BD: I think for me, too, I get so inspired by other people. I think I’ve said this before: I’d rather be a producer for this show, I don’t even know if I want to be in the front here talking. I love the idea of hearing other people. Of course, John Thorne. He comes on the show, and he inspires me, and makes me think about this world differently. All these different people from 25YearsLaterSite, they all have these creative, great ideas I’ve never thought of. John Bernardy and his earthquake/time shift theory, I still think about that regularly. What I’ve changed as a fan is just hearing from other people is inspiring, and it makes me look at Twin Peaks every day.
TP: I view the Diane podcast as looking at Twin Peaks, David Lynch and Mark Frost through the lens of anthropology and folklore. Counter Esperanto is through the lens of the weird and eerie. Twin Peaks Unwrapped looks at Peaks, Frost, and Lynch through a [blank] lens:
BK: I would say one word: The Community. Because we have had so many voices we have invited. And to piggyback on what Ben said, he likes to produce, but I kind of see this show as a reflection of what people are posting online, talking about on 25YearsLater or any blog post; Mya (McBriar), Scott (Ryan). All these people…I think our show reflects that back on to everybody, and it gives them a megaphone; a podcast to talk through. Because I think that we love having people on to talk about their points of view and what they’re doing. So, for me, I would say: community.
BD: I agree. I do agree with that. If you hadn’t said that, I was thinking of a microscope. We always have these comments like: “You guys go into the weeds.” I can’t remember if that’s a compliment or a complaint!
BK: It’s a double-edged sword.
BD: It’s a double-edged sword. Sometimes we go really deep into it: “We’ve gotta get the script and look at what could have been!” or we do these things where, I was fascinated by the rumor that there was an actress who was going to play Diane, but that was debunked. I still want to go down that road and say that was covered on Entertainment Tonight, so let’s talk about it. I think part of it when we do our own shows, we’re using this microscope, and then sometimes we have this megaphone for the community.
TP: It’s a service that we all appreciate, and I do believe you are not alone in wanting to know about the actress that was going to play Diane.
BD and BK: [Laughter]
TP: Who are your Twin Peaks and non-Twin Peaks social media and podcast favorites for content, inspiration, and support?
BK: I would say for Twin Peaks, everybody I’ve met: John Thorne and Scott Ryan with Blue Rose Magazine, everybody [involved in the magazine]. 25YearsLater, having J.C. on [the podcast], Mya’s blog. I visit these sites or read these magazines or read these blog posts, and it makes me think about my past and different things and I love it. I love that stuff. That’s my inspiration for Twin Peaks…and also Deer Meadow Radio, Diane, of course, and Sparkwood and 21, and Red Room Podcast. I listen to [Red Room Podcast] regularly, they’re always putting a show out, but it’s not just Twin Peaks.
For non-Twin Peaks inspiration, it’s weird. I’ve been listening to Tell ‘Em Steve-Dave! which is a spin-off of Kevin Smith’s buddies at the Secret Stash in New Jersey. I’ve been listening to their podcast since the beginning, and Walt Flanagan has these crazy ideas about game shows; all this crazy stuff. And that inspired me when I was doing my other podcast to come up with crazy stuff, and now with this show, when I’m editing and I’m listening to their podcast or others, and I hear the different things they’re doing with editing, that inspires me to up the game when we do our “Best Of” shows. When we had Scott Ryan on, we did our Letterman-esque show, so I think that would be the major show that inspires me to think outside the box when editing, and content-wise.
For support, not to sound cheesy, I would say it’s Ben. Your passion to go every week has ignited the fire in both of us to continue.
BD: There have definitely been some times when I’m feeling burnt out; with family and work, and like: “How do I keep this going every week?” And then Bryon, you’ll be like: “I’m going to get access to On the Air episodes, and we’re going to cover it!” And that kind of gets me excited, because we haven’t talked about it yet, so that’s where Bryon comes through when I’m like: “I think I’m burned out. I can’t do this anymore!”
People support me on Twitter without knowing they support me in a lot of ways. I think that Mya from @TwinPeaksBlog and J.C. from 25YearsLater; when I see their stuff, even if it’s Mya just posting something like “Happy Birthday” to somebody. Mya seems to be like a cheerleader. She’s one of the first people a lot of the time who will “like” one of our posts. I always feel like she’s there, and that means so much to me every day. J.C. will be like: “Hey, Kyle! How are you doing?!” I can feel her energy and excitement with the community, and that really uplifts me. Most people are everyday people that make it exciting to be a part of this community.
A podcast that I love? I am really in awe of Counter Esperanto. These guys are smart, they do their homework. I think (co-host) Karl might not have access to some of his library stuff, and I think to myself: “I’ve got to get him access! I work at a college, maybe I can find a way to get him access! This guy deserves to have access to a library of [material] because he’s so smart and does the research.” Those people inspire me. They’re just amazing. I wish [their podcasts] could come out a bit more regularly, but I love their work.
To hear Ben’s and Bryon’s thoughts on new Twitter sensation Russ Tamblyn, Twin Peaks theories (Spoiler: Sex rituals!), how they rank the challenges of a weekly podcast, and their all-time favorite guests, download the official version of this interview on the Twin Peaks Unwrapped Podcast on Monday, September 10!