Twin Peaks Unwrapped have become the voices of the Twin Peaks revival. Ben Durant and Bryon Kozaczka started their podcast prior to the announcement of a third season of the cult favorite series and for years, produced a new episode of their podcast weekly designed to keep the Twin Peaks community tight knit and together. In 2019, Ben and Bryon announced that 2020 would be a major year for them. First, they would be publishing a book to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Twin Peaks but also, that at the end of the year, their podcast would be ending. As part of 25YL’s “Twin Peaks Month” celebration, I had the pleasure of sitting down with these two men to discuss their book, the end of their show and much more.
Ben’s Got An Idea
Ben: Usually around Christmas, Bryon and I will go to a Denny’s and start writing down ideas for the next year for the podcast. I think it was 2 years ago around Christmas time when I said to Bryon that I thought it would be cool to have all of our interviews in a physical book. The podcast won’t be around forever. One day the server might go down and it will be harder to get the MP3’s. I wanted a way to keep these interviews forever. That was the idea, the interviews, but it’s become so much more. We included some banter between ourselves in the book. The community is in the book. So many people who have been guests on the show are in the book. In some ways, its even better than I could’ve imagined. It really is the podcast in book format.
Bryon: When the podcast ends this year, this will be a nice keepsake for fans of the show to have. Something we poured our heart and soul into and I hope that shows.
Ben: Bryon was totally against this idea a few years ago and he was very reasonable about it. We were weekly with the podcast and we almost never missed a week. Bryon’s idea was to do the book after the weekly grind of the podcast was over, which made sense, but to me, we would’ve lost the audience. They were used to having us on all the time and they might not have even known about the book if we were off the air for a year or two before the book came out. We compromised Christmas 2018 by making the show bi weekly, so we could work on the book on weeks we weren’t working on a show.
Bryon: My initial reaction was no way. It scared the living sh*t out of me. My philosophy in life is to think on things, sleep on things and come back to it the next day because sometimes, your opinion will change. The next day I talked to my wife and thought about it before telling Ben we should go for it.
Ben: I loved the idea of the 30 year anniversary coming up. We had basically covered everything on the show already so why not wrap up our show by going out with a bang with this book for the anniversary?
Bryon: Ben’s excitement got me excited. It’s so wild to think we’ve been working on this book for over a year. When we started, I never thought we would get to the end. Now its going to be a reality.
Ben: Something like this never could’ve happened without Scott Ryan, who already had a publishing company. Bless his heart, when I went to him, he was like “Ok, lets do it”. We’re not writers. For both of us it was challenging and it got us out of our comfort zone. The hope is that our fans know that this book is our show. We’re not doing Shakespeare. We aren’t going to get rich from this. We’re self publishing this, with the idea that we have to pay for every book that we print. What an amazing community we have that they came out and started pre-ordering this book long before we would even have a book to give them. That means so much to us.
Bryon: The community coming through with the pre orders lit a fire under our butts. Luckily because of the pre orders, we didn’t have to put much of our own money into printing.
Ben: It’s going to be a limited release. We’ll have enough books for the pre orders and then a little bit more but if you want this book, you should pre order it. We aren’t sure if there will be another printing.
Writing a Book
Bryon: After the initial meeting with Scott, we did something that Lynch and Frost did while writing Twin Peaks and went to our local diner. We had a pen and paper, had breakfast for dinner and drank coffee and since Ben had this idea for so long, he kind of already had the idea for the format of this book in mind. He told me his ideas, I had some ideas and we went from there. A few months of meeting at the diner before we shifted to working at a local library to start doing the actual writing. Ben is very good at getting interviews so he was working on getting new, fresh interviews for the book, which was a great idea. We were transcribing old interviews and Ben’s working on new interviews. I think since mid summer, Ben and I would spend every Saturday and Sunday at the local library working until they kicked us out.
Ben: It helped that we had already gotten interviews for the show. My belief was that it helped when I reached out to representation to be able to mention other people we’d already spoken to. There’s also many other ways that people contributed besides interviews. Whether it was a letter, an email or another way, people supported us in many ways.
Bryon: This book will have quotes from some cast and crew that we haven’t mentioned because there was no recording, but instead an email. That’s going to be very special for those who read the book.
Ben: I don’t know if we would’ve gotten an interview with those people but for them to contribute in other ways was really cool. We have over 100 people contribute in some way. I don’t know how the heck we got Kyle MacLachlan, I just don’t.
Filled With Secrets
Bryon: Ben texts me one day and says “We got David Duchovny” We’re both huge X-Files fans, so this is a big one for us.
Ben: Right before the interview I’m singing “David Duchovny, why don’t you love me” and Bryon isn’t responding to this. After the interview, I played it for Bryon on YouTube because he had never heard of it before.
Bryon: So now it’s a song I’ll always remember because that was the day we interviewed him. Hearing his voice coming out of my headphones was pretty awesome. I’ll never forget it. He was so nice and sweet. We did geek out at the end and told him how big of The X Files fans we were.
Ben: Something I’ve realized after doing this book is that some of my favorite people to talk to are the directors. They know everything about their episode – the actors, the script, behind the scenes, all of that. I love actors but I should’ve been spending more time chasing down directors this whole time.
Bryon: Jim Belushi was such a fun guy to talk to. Right before our 200th podcast, we were trying to get stingers – people saying you’re listening to Twin Peaks Unwrapped and we asked him if we were pushing our luck to say Happy 200th podcast to us. There was dead silence for what felt like minutes before he said “You’re pushing your luck”. He was laughing, we were laughing. He did 3 variations of it and we were definitely pushing our luck.
Bryon: Johanna Ray has been mentioned by everyone we’ve ever spoken with and it was almost like meeting this mythical creature when we got to speak to her. We had heard about her so much and she’s like the thread of so many people’s stories, the backbone in some ways. To me, that was a huge get. From that, we got her son Eric and that to me was so cool because he doesn’t do many interviews. About a week after the interview, we got to see him in person and he remembered us and he was the nicest, coolest guy. He would do anything for anyone. He offered to help with anything we needed. I think people will really enjoy both of their stories.
Ben: I think about Scott Frost and he’s interesting because you get additional insight into Mark and the inspiration for Twin Peaks. You get to learn more about his involvement in the show, including some things that I had never heard before. He’s someone I always wanted to talk to and it turned out really well.
Bryon: Robert Bauer, who played Johnny Horne, had a lot of interesting stories I had never heard before. I think the readers will really enjoy what he has to say. He added a lot to the book I thought.
Ben: Something will come up in the book and people will say “No, that person didn’t say that” but its true, they did. That’s as much of a clue as I can give but when you get to that part of the book, you’ll know and its true, that person really did say that.
Bryon: I can’t wait until the book is out there. It will be a relief once I know Scott is printing it and then its in its physical form. Once we see those videos on social media showing it being printed, it will be very exciting. I think Ben and myself will go out to celebrate. We will have achieved something we were both afraid to do and not a lot of people get to say they did that.
Ben: It meant a lot to us, this podcast and with this book, so many of our friends are in it that it really is a community book. My hope is that it feels like a celebration of Twin Peaks. It’s the 30th anniversary and we get to give an oral history of sorts of Twin Peaks. It’s actors, writers, directors, crew and then the Twin Peaks community and it’s a big celebration. It could be a really wonderful thing. This is our version of the story of Twin Peaks. You’re going to read things that you might have already read in Brad Dukes’ book or John Thorne’s book but this is our version of it. We got to talk to people and they got to tell their stories to us.
Bryon: When it came to the cover, we could not agree. I wanted to stay on brand with our podcast and Ben wanted something else. Writing a book with someone is give and take and compromising and that’s what makes a good relationship when you’re doing something this big. I told Ben we should wait on the cover and that an idea would come to us. I wasn’t feeling what he was showing me. I was constantly saying that we’ll know when we see it. One day Ben brought up Josh Howard and shows me his work. We both love it and Ben asks if he should approach him about the cover. I told Ben yes, but to not give him any direction and whatever he does, I’ll be happy with. Ben reaches out to him and Josh says he would be honored and that he listens to us, which was very sweet. We made him an offer and he accepted. I wanted to stay on brand and Ben wanted Laura and plastic and somehow he gave us what we both wanted.
The End of an Era
Ben: I really want to finish Season 2 of the Community Rewatch. Its ambitious because we have around 20 episodes to go. Its ambitious because we have to get the panel together and the voice actors. With Season 3, there’s no scripts and the idea behind the rewatch is to start with the scripts for the deleted scenes and such. We’re also going to squeeze in a few more cast and crew interviews. That’s something we want to go out with.
Bryon: We’re going to do a Season 3 Madness to determine the best episode of Season 3. Then to wrap it up with a nice little bow, towards the end of the year, we’re going to do the Ultimate Madness, pitting all of the winners against each other, to determine the best Lynchian thing. Then, instead of a Best of the Year, we’ll do a Best of Show, where we talk about our favorite moments of the podcast at the end of the year.
To pre-order Twin Peaks Unwrapped’s upcoming book, please visit here.