Interview: Two Minutes to Late Night talk metal, characters, and THE FEST
Posted: by The Editor
It’s a live show: Two Minutes to Late Night. You never know what can happen – you may even find yourself onstage randomly with a camera around your neck with a fist up with War On Women.
Two Minutes To Late Night, the world’s only heavy-metal themed talk show is extending their summer by taking their idiosyncratic talents to Florida for FEST 17. Is there a better site than the state that was the epicenter of the emergence of death metal in the late 80s?
While FEST proclaims all things independent music and pro-wrestling, individuality, comedy, and fun, the show also celebrates these things in hysterical oddball fashion. With the festival taking place over Halloween weekend, this pairing is almost too good to be true, as if handcrafted by the Devil himself.
Two Minutes To Late Night was birthed out of the minds of Jordan Olds and Drew Kaufman, executed by both of them and a spectacularly creative team of writers and performers. In between shoots of the show’s first season, the creators and writer Jeremy Hammond were able to answer some questions about the show and how they got involved with FEST. Here’s to hopefully a documentary of their swampy Florida adventure and to more “2005 Scene Kid.”
The Alternative: With Two Minutes To Late Night, you’ve managed to marry metal music with comedy in very creative ways. Some would say it is a very strange pairing, but I for one find the genre to be very fun and at times it can be humorous. In one instance you got an actual bird scientist, who was great by the way to identify which bird he thought the vocalist from various bands sounded like. How did the idea of that come about, and what was it like working with a bird scientist?
Drew Kaufman: That was 100% Jordan’s idea.
Jordan Olds: I came up with it while I was explaining Converge to a friend of mine and I said Jacob’s voice sounded like a bird and their response was “what kind of bird?” We spent six months trying to find a bird scientist who would down to identify metal vocalists and we found him on a facebook bird watching group.
DK: That app thing is completely real by the way. He had a whole piece about him in the New Yorker or some other magazine I’m too poor to read. He had so much to say and improved a ton of stuff we had to cut for time. He was very cool.
I know the original idea behind the show came about from a music video Jordan was working on at the time, obviously the “Gwarscenio Hall” character is a play on talk show host Arscenio Hall and Drew you play “Kevin The Sound Guy” what was the inspiration for these characters?
DK: Kevin the sound guy was an accident. In the original cut of the pilot I played a character named “Kevin the Undead Producer” but we cut that whole segment out. You can still see me in the end credits wearing face paint and dancing on the couch. When we were at Riot Fest later that year, I had this idea for the Misfits Carpool Karaoke to hit our sound guy with a car. He was then supposed sit in the back of the car between bands for the rest of the shoot while wearing a neck brace, but it didn’t work out that way because we shot the whole thing out of order and had a crew of two people. Honestly, Kevin only came back because we still had the neck brace.
JO: And we think sound guys getting hurt is the funniest. But as far as Arsenio Hall goes, I still haven’t actually seen any of his show. I bet it’s awesome.
DK: It’s a good pun and that’s what counts.
Speaking of characters, one of my favorites is “Hard Melissa”, I have a bunch of friends who live in Massachusetts and they’ve said, “So is ‘Hard Melissa’ from Boston?” Emily Panic, who plays her is incredible. How did you meet Emily and what was the inspiration behind that character?
JO: Emily Panic is so funny. I’ve never met anybody who’s that funny and intimidating. I met her through some mutual friends when I was living in LA. I came up with the character for her because I thought that Emily is the one person on the planet who could be brutally honest and mean to people we love and get away with it/make it fun. The YouTube comment game came from me just seeing all the angry comments on our pilot episode and thinking how they are the opposite of constructive criticism.
DK: When I met her she had already done these videos for fun called “Fashion Cunt” where she pretended to be a British TV correspondent who went to music festivals and was just brutally honest to nerds at music festivals. That’s her brand and she’s phenomenal at it. Also, I’ve known her for almost 3 years now and I still have no idea what her real last name is. Don’t tell me, I don’t want to know.
I first heard about you guys from showing my girlfriend (we totally treat your live tapings as ‘Date Nights’) videos of Stephen Brodsky of Cave In and Mutoid Man fame. We stumbled upon the pilot which was posted in 2016. Jordan you took guitar lessons from Stephen which lead to you meeting Mutoid Man bassist Nick Cageao who is naturally your Andy Richter, as Richter is to Conan O’Brien. Which I can only perceive as destiny, which led to St. Vitus in Brooklyn as your home for the live tapings. I can’t think of a better band to be the house band for your show. What is it like working with Mutoid Man, and is it indeed a natural of a pairing as it seems to be?
DK: Oh 100%. Those dudes are the absolute best. Not only are they the best band in the world but they’re all natural comedians. They learn their lines in like three minutes and kill them in the first take. If you want to talk about Conan, who is obviously one of our biggest inspirations, those dudes are like three Max Weinbergs trying to out Max Weinberg each other. I love it. And Emily Lee is the best. She has a little riff in an upcoming episode that was totally her idea and it’s one of my favorite jokes.
JO: I don’t like them very much.
You two are the creators, but you have a team of talented writers that work on the show as well. How did you meet the members of that team and how did they initially get involved with the show?
**Jeremy Hammond astral projects into the room. He is wearing Goku footie pajamas and vaping wasabi**
JO: I became friends with Jeremy and Katie around the same time. We were all grumpy and doing open mics together and they were so much funnier than me and everyone else in Brooklyn. Jeremy Hammond is unreasonably smart has the most unique music takes of all time (to a fault sometimes.) Katie is Long Island type Pokemon and has always had my favorite music references and the ability to yell the dick off of any living man. Lucie and I became friends a while ago and she’s my favorite stand up comedian. I really wanted her to be a part of the show because we really need someone who doesn’t listen to this music to make sure we don’t write ourselves directly into our own assholes.
DK: Jeremy and I both wrote for the Hard Times when I was one of the editors. This marks the second time in my life I am technically his boss.
Jeremy Hammond: One of the really fun things about working on Two Minutes for me is that I started out as a fan. I saw the pilot the day they put it out and immediately reached out to Drew to ask if i could get involved. I think I offered to just like get coffee for them and shit, i just really loved the show. I don’t actually
think Drew ever responded to that message, or the subsequent one after their second pilot but I somehow ended up here anyway so *shrug*
There is also a podcast that you do with the writing team for the show Pod Minutes To Cast Night, where the idea is to listen to widely known bad albums such as St. Anger and Van Halen III may God or whatever have mercy on your souls. I particularly enjoy Lucie Steiner on the show, since she isn’t really familiar with a lot of the material you guys listen to for the podcast she brings a unique perspectives to the table. How did the idea of doing a podcast come about?
DK: We needed a patreon bonus thingy, and we actually talked about doing a podcast long before we even made the second episode. We decided to hold off on it because people already thought our video show was a podcast and we didn’t want to get trapped. Now we have a healthy enough balance of video stuff and podcast stuff that they support each other! Crossover fans! Give us money!
JO: We landed on the idea of reviewing bad albums because Thursday was already our day to get drunk and argue about our music opinions.
DK: It works out well. Jordan is a metal dude. I’m a hardcore guy. Katie loves buttrock. Lucie is a cherub and Jeremy is a pain in the ass (aka a punk). Also Jeremy spearheads the entire podcast in addition to having his own to take care of.
Going back to “Hard Melissa” you recently did a show with her taking over the role as host and calling it Start Today and her backing band was the awesome War On Women from Baltimore, another great pairing. How did that episode come about and what was it like working with a different backing band?
JO: We’ve had a long standing agreement that we would never do Two Minutes to Late Night without Mutoid Man, but the reality of working with touring bands is that they tour. Since Mutoid Man was going to be unavailable from May until August, I came up with the idea to have “Hard Melissa” take over the show as a way to get around it. She could have her own house band and it was a good opportunity to feature a lot of talented women. Immediately messaged War On Women and then Jeremy came up with the entire morning show concept and it made it really easy and fun to write it once we had the format.
DK: Huge War on Women fan here. Not only did they write that cover themselves, but it whips ass. Also, I think because we were doing something a little different everyone of our writers had a fresh mind and these are some of the best jokes we’ve done yet. Lucie wrote “I threw my ipad at my dad while watching UFC and now it’s full of viruses” and we all fell on the floor shitting with laughter.
Two Minutes To Late Night is taking the fun down to Gainesville, Florida for FEST in late October. How did that come about and what can those in attendance expect from your “set” Friday, October 26 at The Wooly?
DK: You’ll just have to wait and see.
JH: It’s so secret, we haven’t even planned it yet.
JO: War on Women will be there and I’m gonna be in shorts.
It sounds like a blast and you guys will enjoy it and add to the already awesome vibes that are provided by FEST. Do you guys have any prior FEST experiences? Also, Jordan you play in a live karaoke band Be Yourself which is closing out the night at The Wooly that same night. How did Be Yourself start? and what can be expected from that set?
JO: Be Yourself is the most money I’ve ever made playing music and it’s also a lot fun. I wasn’t super familiar with a lot of the music we play before joining the band but it’s a lot of fun.
DK: I used to play drums in Be Yourself but I quit because I got sober. That should give you an idea what a Be Yourself show is like… Tip your bartenders.
JO: I’ve never been to Fest but I am excited to eat a veggie dog and watch people throw up.
I just have a few more rapid fire questions, gentlemen out of all the guests you’ve had on the show whom is your favorite?
JO: Contessa Stuto (S1 E2). That was the most fun interview I’ve ever done. I’ve been interviewing people for 10 years and that was my favorite one I ever did.
JH: Walter Schriefels. I got to talk him about the long term valuation of my Project X 7 inch while over a shot of tequila.
DK: Ben Weinman. I just saw Ben hang upside down from the Vitus ceiling maybe 2 months before we got him on our stage. After the episode we all went out for burgers and he told us so many stories. Then he was like “why didn’t you ask me any of these questions when I was on camera.” We were shy boys.
JO: You guys are nerds.
Roughly how long does it take for the corpse makeup to be applied to Gwarsenio Hall?
JO: What make up?
How do you determine the song to cover at the end of an episode? Favorite song you’ve covered thus far?
JO: “Hot for Teacher” is my favorite cover. I’ve dreamed of covering that since I started playing guitar. We have a list of songs that we want to cover and we try to match them up with the theme of the episode the best we can. Or it’s whatever the guest wants to do.
DK: Jordan is a musical genius and he demos out every cover to make it easier for every musician to learn these songs in Mutoid Man’s weird tuning in such a short amount of time. There’s a couple of unused songs that are really close to my heart, but I won’t tell you what they are incase they ever happen. So I guess for me it’s also “Hot For Teacher.”
JO: Shoutout to Gina for being Gina. She made is a dream.
DK: Gina rules. I would kill to see her do Cirque Du Soleil.
What are your favorite albums from 2018 thus far?
JH: WAR ON WOMEN! I’m a company man first.
DK: The HIRS Collective. They put out a full album but they made this little EP and Shawna Potter from War On Women screams in it and it’s insane.
Favorite non-metal artists?
JO: Robyn. Also Cakes Da Killa.
DK: Rodney Dangerfield.
JH: Karl Marx.
Things you are looking forward to seeing and doing while at FEST?
DK: Designated driving.
JO: Seeing the wrestling champion, Effy.
Goals for Two Minutes To Late Night in 2019?
JO: Hopefully getting on some sort of platform that isn’t our own YouTube channel.
DK: It would be great to not be in debt.
JO: Yeah, having the show be my job would be fun.
JH: More 2005 Scene Kid.
Thanks again for your time. As a fan and supporter I wish you nothing but the best and keep doing what you are doing and continue to make metal fun.
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Tyler Holland | @InTyler_WeTrust
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