The Hard Times creators bring real punk news to their own podcast network
Written by Maria Serra on February 12, 2019
Forget CNN, The Washington Post, MSNBC and the rest of ’em. If you want real news, you have to turn to The Hard Times. This online publication offers readers intellectual and well-investigated stories like, “Drummer Who Sings Can’t“, “Make-A-Wish Kid Given One Last Chance To Fuck Shit Up in Pit“, and “21-Year-Old Lies About Age to get Backstage at Show.”
For readers unfamiliar with this platform, The Hard Times operates as a satirical news site similar to The Onion, but with a focus on the DIY music scene and all of its beautiful, angsty ironies. Editor-in-chief Matt Saincome, alongside his friend, managing editor and co-founder Bill Conway, created the site in 2014 and have watched it grow in popularity. Since its creation, the company has spread its wings by dabbling in political headlines, YouTube videos and content specifically for gamers published on Hard Drive.
In typical DIY fashion, The Hard Times expanded beyond text and blessed all of its fans with their own homegrown podcast network featuring two shows. Saincome and Conway host their own show, interviewing rock, metal, punk, etc. musicians every week, while Hard Drive editors Jeremy Kaplowitz and Mark Roebuck host The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! Show where they watch and talk about each and every episode of the short-lived, but well-loved, animated series.
Show number one of The Hard Times Podcast started out with a bang featuring special guest Brian Baker of Minor Threat and Bad Religion. Saincome and Conway set the tone with their trademark dry humor in their first episode.
“I think we looked at the landscape and we decided there wasn’t enough podcasts out there. We had to fill in that space,” said Saincome.
Conway chimed in saying, “Yeah, especially like podcasts that talk about subculture things. I don’t think anybody’s doing anything like that, so this might be the first that goes into the music space. We might be the first straight white podcasters as well, which is groundbreaking.”
In a recent interview with Black Squirrel Radio, Saincome discussed the website’s new endeavor into the world of podcasting.
“It seemed like everyone saw our brand and just thought, ‘You know, there should be a podcast here’,” Saincome said.
From early on in his career, he was offered exclusive podcast deals and podcast tours, but it didn’t feel quite right.
Growing up in the punk scene, he always felt comfortable with the DIY mentality. This led him to say, “FUCK IT!” and create his own network. Here, Saincome could boost his writers, editors and staffer, and truly own his work.
“When it comes to a podcast, or comes to all these other things,” he said, “I always think in the back of my mind, ‘Can I do this myself and own the whole thing?’ So far, it’s gone pretty well!”
Much like writing, podcasting is easy to make DIY. As long as you have a microphone and an internet connection, you have a show.
Fortunately, Saincome and Conway’s iconic friendship (and bromance) allows for a natural flow like that of seasoned podcasters. Saincome said, “It’s a good excuse to hang out with Bill. I’ve been working with him for four years, but I love the guy and I love spending time with him.”
Though they’re in its early stages, the podcast network has been created in order to grow into something great. Saincome stresses, “I try not to do things without the intention of making them big.”
He said, “We’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go, so we’re busy and working hard.”
For readers, fans and punks alike, there is a great deal to look forward to in the weeks and months ahead. Saincome shares, “I couldn’t be more excited to get into the format and have our own punk DIY twist on it. I think that we’re really going to experiment here. We’ll be having a lot of fun stuff in the future.”
The Hard Times is asking fans to help fuel the network via their own Patreon page. Patrons get access to different perks when they donate such as ad-free podcast listening, merch deals, exclusive newsletters and, according to the page, “The Hard Times or Hard Drive will follow you on Instagram (your choice) and back you up on any lie you want to tell about why we do.”
at 10 patrons we buy the onion https://t.co/wnpBPNHpuI
— The Hard Times (@REALpunknews) January 31, 2019
Additionally, The Hard Times promises, “If we reach 1000 patrons we will release a headline so bad, so unpublishable, so too soon, so this ain’t it chief, so not funny that it will destroy the website for good. We all die someday — we just don’t know when. But because of this headline we know Hard Times dies the day after we reach 1000 patrons.”
If you think The Hard Times is stopping at two shows, you are tragically mistaken. Not only are there plans to roll out new shows within the network from writers, editors and beyond, but the founders are also on a “crusade” to appear on every podcast known to the world wide web. (Watch out Serial.) Saincome is already making a dent in the massive lineup of conspiracy series shows.
Hard Times’ quest to go on every podcast on the Internet has been so fun so far. We’re booked on multiple conspiracy theory podcasts and I couldn’t be more ready #LockHerUp #GreenNewDEATHCAMPS. Ooo just came up with that one
— Matt Saincome (@MattSaincome) February 10, 2019
Make sure to keep up with the podcast on Spotify, Apple Music and TheHardTimes.net. Listeners can hear in-depth interviews with guests Brian Baker and Frank Turner, while fans of Fall Out Boy and Every Time I Die will be thrilled about future guests…
P.S. Did you know that ETID’s own Keith Buckley has written articles for the website? Check those out right here, as well as his podcast interview coming out soon!