Guest #1: Eminem…
Legendary record producer Rick Rubin has worked with everyone from Run DMC to Johnny Cash so there is perhaps nobody more qualified than him to start a music podcast. Writer Malcolm Gladwell adds some journalistic flair to the project and their first guest was no other than Marshall Mathers himself – Eminem. It is unknown whether Broken Record will continue in the format it premieres here, in which an artist discusses the making of a particular song, in this case ‘Walk on Water’, but this style lends itself to discovering a different side of whichever megastar Rubin ropes in for the future episodes.
Mathers is often an elusive and sombre interviewee but he blossoms when talking about music and his enthusiasm when listing his influences for this podcast is infectious. At only 15 minutes there is a lot to cram in but we get an interesting run down of the origins of ‘Walk on Water’ as well as some of the lyrical influences that helped the genesis of the track. I will admit I wasn’t a massive fan of ‘Walk on Water’ when I first heard it, but it has grown on me and listening to this podcast swayed me even further towards recognising it as one of Em’s most accomplished singles from his later career. Receiving any kind of insight from Mathers is fascinating as pretty much everything we know about him comes from his lyrics rather than his actual personality.
Listening to podcasts can be a time consuming affair, with many spinning out for hours over many episodes, Broken Record offers something more compact and therefore refreshing. I’m intrigued to see where Rubin and Gladwell will take this project next but they have set the bar pretty damn high by having Marshall Mathers as their first guest.