Eddy Cabello and Rick Such, co-hosts of the Indianapolis-based podcast Inside MusiCast, are old school. They believe in multi-tracking, top-notch studio musicians, high-end equipment and the close reading of liner notes. And they're big Toto fans.
The two launched their interview podcast in June 2006 in order to talk with A-list studio musicians, producers, composers and engineers who worked on some of the most successful records of the 70s and 80s.
They've interviewed more than 90 people since that first show (with music entrepreneur and saxophonist Scott Page), including well-known industry figures such as Steve Lukather, Lee Sklar, Greg Phillinganes and Jay Graydon. Podcast guests have worked on albums by household names such as Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, Ray Charles and Stevie Nicks.
Plenty of people share Cabello and Such's passions, and their show has chalked up over three million downloads since 2006, many of them by international listeners. Inside MusiCast celebrated its fifth birthday last month with an interview with Grammy Award-winning singer Michael McDonald.
"The biggest thing for us at the time when we conceived the podcast was the fact that we wanted to talk to musicians," Such said. "We started it with A-list session guys who were on every album liner note back in the 70s and 80s. Great musicians in their own right [who] didn't really share the spotlight with the artists they played with. If you saw their discographies it would be like reading a book. There are volumes of stuff these guys played on."
Cabello and Such take pride in their ability to get their guests to speak candidly about their creative process and lives.
"All of these interviews are so chill," Cabello said. "[Our guests] are so comfortable that they just open up to us like friends... Every single one of them have interesting stories and someway, somehow, we pull them out of them, and they give us gems of information that you cannot find on Wikipedia, or on any other written interviews. When you start talking with these guys... they open up their heart and starting spilling everything out. That's what makes our podcast so special."
Currently, the podcast draws more international than domestic listeners, thanks in large part to a small team of research and PR correspondents that includes Swedish and German members.
"These guys come from everywhere...to listen to this music because they can still appreciate it," Cabello said of their fan base. "There are millions of 'liner-notes people' around the world who are very familiar with these names...They know who these guys are. That's the kind of audience we really relate to."
Such co-owns Broad Ripple studio Earshot Audio Post, where the podcast is recorded. He mixes, masters and records each podcast. Eddy, the creative director of the Addy Award-winning Indianapolis PR firm Cabello Associates, manages outreach and web upkeep.
"When we first started Inside MusiCast, podcasting was sort of fresh," Such said of its inception. "And Eddy and I were both thinking 'Wow, this could be a really cool way to be creative and to do something we love,' which meant talking to these amazing musicians who we had admired for such a long time."
With five years of podcasting under their belt, Cabello and Such are shooting for at least five more. In the future, they hope to feature a greater number of contemporary, up-and-coming artists, from both here and abroad.
"We are not totally tied into the '70s and '80s," Cabello said. "What we are locked into, and I don't think really ever compromise, is the quality of music we promote."
The podcast remains a labor of love, and the team continues on because they believe in what they are creating and realize the podcast has educational value.
"We see ourselves as almost an educational podcast for musicians and students," Cabello said. "In fact, a while back, The Julliard School was considering using a few of the podcasts for curriculum. We didn't really start this to make a buck. It's really grown before our eyes and we are just loving this so much. Who knows where it goes in the future."