Much like blogging during the 2000s, podcasting became the No. 1 creative medium during the 2010s.
There’s countless topical routes one can go with when they start one, and it can be a fun thing to do with friends on a consistent basis. Rhode Island has seen a ton of them pop up over the past few years, including “Let’s Chat” hosted by Warwick resident Chris Revill.
The podcast seeks out guests who are part of niche cultures such as punk rock, the film industry and the podcasting community. It also has Revill showcasing his outgoing personality as he engages in entertaining conversations.
Revill and I recently had a talk about what made him want to start a podcast, guests he’s had on it, his opinions on podcasting’s popularity and what he has in store for the future of “Let’s Chat.”
ROB DUGUAY: What made you want to start podcasting?
CHRIS REVILL: It was one of the first art forms that I really got into. I was listening to a lot of them when I was working in Massachusetts and traveling during the day. I was living in Providence and driving up to Milford, Massachusetts, and then traveling all over Worcester County. I got really into NPR and around that time I got really into podcasts as well. While listening to tons of them, like many forms of art, I wanted to do one but due to my busy schedule I didn’t have the energy to do it.
It was something that made me think “I should try this.” I started with a co-host who’s a friend of mine that I worked with and we kind of just went for it. Now it’s 2020 and we’re still here.
RD: What was the easiest part about starting a podcast and what was the hardest part?
CR: The easiest part was forming the idea and buying the equipment to start recording. The hardest part was all post-production stuff that’s actual work that no one else really sees. Trying to figure how to upload it so people can listen to it along with getting someone to listen to the podcast who isn’t a family member or a friend.
RD: I hear that, it can be difficult to find your core audience at first. Who’s been your favorite guest on “Let’s Chat” so far?
CR: One of the ones that will always be the most special is when I had my parents come on for my 30th birthday. Believe it or not, my favorite guest is one I did recently with Benny Horowitz, who’s the drummer for the New Jersey rock act The Gaslight Anthem.
RD: That’s very cool. I’m a big fan.
CR: He’s someone I’ve wanted to have on for a long time and he’s also a fellow podcaster. It took about four or five years to book him, but Benny would be the one who tops the list for me.
RD: The past five years has seen podcasting become a big medium for creativity, especially in Rhode Island. What are your opinions on this, and do you think that there will be a point where podcasting will reach such a high concentration of content that it’ll negatively affect the listener?
CR: When I started the “Let’s Chat” podcast, it was in 2013, and it hasn’t been until the past couple of years where it actually mattered that I recorded it in Rhode Island. For a while, there weren’t any other podcasters out there and recently it turns out that there’s a lot of us. It’s become a community thanks to places like the What Cheer Writers Club in Providence and others that have been nurturing it. To get to the other part of your question, I think we’ve gone past the point of no return when it comes to worrying about there being too many podcasts. Nobody ever says there’s too much music, too many books or too many pieces of art, and I’m really a true believer that you can never have an overabundance of those things.
I think the podcast industry is going to have to learn and grow with it. I would rather have a podcast like mine not reach as many listeners because there’s so many out there than the opposite. I think there’s room for growth and there’s also been bigger names and companies who have been using podcasts, and if they don’t have the right reasons then they won’t get the numbers they expect. Those ones don’t last, and I think with all of these new ones that are popping up, most of them won’t exist in five years while the ones who do it because they love it will stick it out forever.
RD: You make some really good points. What can we expect from you and “Let’s Chat” in the future?
CR: There’s already some new episodes on the way and there’s also a website being launched very soon. The address will be letschatpodcast.net, we have more merch coming out and we’ll be having bigger guests. I just recorded one with Pete McCollough who plays bass in the New Jersey ska band Streetlight Manifesto and I have another one with Margy Feldhuhn from Interview Connections in Warwick. Hopefully there will be some crossing over into other platforms, I’m looking to do more videos on Instagram and Youtube. My main goal is to try to build the podcast into something bigger out here in Rhode Island.
Check out new episodes of “Let’s Chat” by liking the podcast’s Facebook page at facebook.com/Letschatpodcast.