Jamie Eads had been a working musician for 25 years. In 2017, he made the decision to slow down on gigging and focus more on recording session work. That opened up a lot of his time. He’d been thinking about starting a podcast for quite some time and his wife, Lisa, encouraged me to stop talking about it and do it. He says starting a podcast has become his new gig.
PBJ: What is The Drum Shuffle?
Jamie: The Drum Shuffle is a weekly interview show with a well-known professional drummer that focuses on his or her career in the music industry. My aim isn’t to discuss technical aspects of drumming, but rather “what makes this musician who they are” types of conversations. The name of the show comes from the “shuffle” beat that is usually the first “cool” or slightly advanced rhythm a young drummer learns.
PBJ: What is your goal with the podcast?
Jamie: I hope to further the artistry of drumming by providing insight into the life history, experiences, and musical approach of the most successful drummers in the world. I try to treat each interview as an opportunity to ask the questions that any person would want to ask, not just other drummers or musicians.
PBJ: How are you getting your guests? You’ve had some pretty big names.
Jamie: I have been so fortunate to book the guests I’ve had on the show. When the show was just starting, I reached out to folks I already knew, whether via my career as a drummer or social media followers, etc. I also contacted some PR firms that are known in the industry and simply asked nicely to book an artist that I wanted to feature. I have also leveraged my relationship with the instrument brands I endorse to have other endorsing artists on the show. But, for the most part, I just send an email directly to the person I want to book whenever possible and ask. The answer is always “no” if you don’t ask.
PBJ: Who are your listeners?
Jamie: I have been really surprised that there are plenty of non-drummers and non-musicians that listen, but the large majority of listeners are musicians, mainly drummers.
PBJ: You’ve been going for over a year now. Do you ever worry you will run out of content?
Jamie: As long as there are great musicians making great music, I don’t have to worry about content. The constant worry is that something will happen that prevents a guest from being interviewed and I won’t have a great episode for a particular week. An artist’s schedule can change in a heartbeat, especially while on the road. I’m dreading the day that an episode is just me talking about me!
PBJ: How are you getting the word out, marketing the show?
Jamie: I market mainly via social media channels when an episode is published. The show’s guests have also been fantastic about sharing the show via their websites and social channels. I also attempt to network as much as possible within the drumming community by sponsoring or advertising at events if it’s a good fit for everyone.
PBJ: Do you get feedback about the show?
Jamie: I always invite listeners to email me in every episode. The feedback that I get is the best part of my week. It ranges from “I loved this week’s episode” to “how could you NOT ask this specific question with X guest.” It always makes me think about how to improve my content.
PBJ: How many listens/downloads are you getting?
Jamie: It really depends on the episode. Some episodes have gone as high as several thousand downloads in the first week, but we typically average right around 200 per show in the first week after publishing. I’m fortunate to say that our numbers have been steadily increasing recently.
PBJ: Are you making money?
Jamie: Not really. I would love to make this my main source of income just like any other podcaster, but The Drum Shuffle is truly my attempt to give something back to the drumming community that I’ve been a part of for so long. My focus is to create a great episode each week. If I can achieve that, the financial aspect will take care of itself.
PBJ: Because you are really a niche podcast, have you been able to get advertisers in the drumming space to support you?
Jamie: I have a permanent sponsor for each show, Los Cabos Drumsticks. They have partnered with me since day one of the show and I haven’t really pursued other companies for advertising. It would have to be a good fit for the show and for me personally as a drummer. I wouldn’t want to advertise for a product or brand that I don’t use and believe in. I feel strongly that my audience deserves that level of integrity from the show and from me.
How to find, follow and reach Jamie
Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org