The Mike on Much Podcast was created in 2015 and is hosted by Mike Veerman, produced by Max Kerman the lead singer of the Arkells and Shane Cunningham. The podcast has featured over 100 well known musicians, actors, celebrities and creative figures. The highly rated podcast has now been adapted into a Crave original eight-episode series starting December 21st with special guests Alessia Cara, Sting, Leon Bridges, Noel Gallagher and many more. Mike has been with Much for many years and we got to sit down with him to discuss his new on-screen job.
HOLR: Congrats on being Crave’s first original interview series! Have you been more busy than usual?
M: It’s been super busy to shoot this thing on the side for all three of us but it’s awesome because they gave us a show. We just kinda did a podcast on the side as a lark and now we got a tv show.
HOLR: It’s very impressive how your side job is conducting interviews with celebrities and musicians- can you give our readers a bit of background on your award-winning day job as a writer, director and producer?
M: Shane and I are both commercial directors so we write, direct and producer promo campaigns kind of like Mad Men but people think i’ve done a film or something. We’re commercial producers which is an amazing creative day job that we love doing. The greatest thing in the world is to get paid to do creative work. It’s such a gem we get to do that during the day and obviously a podcast at night with our buddies. You get to be your own boss which is great for a lot of reasons and I like the stakes of all of that.
VIA ; BELL MEDIA
HOLR: Have you always been interested in writing, producing and pop-culture?
M: When I was in highschool I shot skits and stuff. I loved Kids in the Hall on Saturday Night Live and I was always in bands. I’ve always been interested in doing creative pursuits no matter what it was, like starting a band or teaching myself to play instruments. That became a thing when we got a record deal and went on tour and getting into Much Music when I was pretty young out of high school. I didn’t know there was creative services which was commercial and show openings and I started as an intern and built my way up. I come from a blue collar family, my dad’s a welder and I just wanted to somehow make money doing creative stuff like writing sketches or shooting things, directing things or making music. I’m just living the dream and I’m waiting for somebody to take it away always. You’re never going to be more excited then if your working on something that you’ve created because it is your own. With this podcast I get to do it with two of my best friends in the world.
HOLR: When did you come up with the idea to start your own podcast?
Max tours all the time with the Arkells and we’ve been close because we are both Hamilton guys and when I was in a band we toured with them across the country 3 or 4 times and even thought we were friends before that we became super close. I sorta left music and focused on tv so when he would get off the road he would ask me to have a drink. One night he basically said, “Mike we should do a podcast, whenever I get off the road I want to talk to you because you listen, I can tell you my stories and you can interject.” I toured a bunch so I know what it’s like to play in front of 5000 people in an arena and I know what it’s like to play in front of 3 people in a bar. I’ve ridden the whole experience so I can empathize a lot whether you’re noel gallagher or someone starting out and Max said we should make a podcast about that. I asked him, “are we even going to get guests?” But Max is so insanely positive and he thinks everything will work out which has served him very well. So we made three demos, pitched them to Much Music and at that time they were building this digital studio and they said yes- lets buy 18 episodes from you guys and lets do it together. We built the format and brought in Shane to do the comedy bits. He is the funniest person I know so it was a no brainer to bring him in. It was really Max’s brain child and we wanted to do something fun because he loved podcasts.
VIA ; BELL MEDIA
HOLR: What should we be looking forward to seeing on Crave that might be new for your listeners?
M: In the traditional openings the three of us catch up on our lives and now we have more visuals so if we’re telling a funny bit about dying our hair blonde in high school we cut to a picture of Shane, 17, shirtless with crazy blonde hair. The main difference from the podcast and the TV show is Shane does these things called digital desserts. Shane is our ‘pop culture aficionado’. We first wanted him to review a piece of music or movies, and I think he’s done it three times out of all our episodes. He would just end up talking about tinder dates and it was hilarious. Shane sits down with celebrities and does uncomfortable performance interviews and the celebrity is not in on it so it makes hilarious awkward comedy. You could never do that in a podcast because you would just hear dead air. You want to see Vinny from Jersey Shores facial expression when he says, “what’s wrong with this kid?”
HOLR: It seems like Shane, Max and yourself have a dynamic that feels like you’ve known each other for a lifetime, has it always felt like that?
M: We are super close. We call each other the champagne boys, ironically but we are super close because of the hamilton connection. Shane was my brothers best friend in highschool and then I kinda stole him to be one of my best friends but we are still all friends. The process of doing the podcast has taught us a lot about each other. We are always trying to learn what the best type of conversation is. Because we are brothers were able to have a quick disagreement and move on. We are all very comfortable with each other on air and in our personal lives.
HOLR: Why does your podcast stand out from others?
M: Max and I prep our interview questions from our point of view because Max is in a very successful rock band that’s played arenas and I’ve opened for many successful rock bands so we both know what it’s like to do that. I’ve also directed commercials and acted so when we frame our questions and I’ve done everything that the people i’m talking to have done and our conversations in those interviews are coming from that place. We are creatives and are interested to know the process and the minutia of other artists work because we live and breathe it. We ask what we would want to be asked. People are doing long form sit down interviews like us in there podcasts but what’s unique is the chemistry between the three of us and how much the three of us love each other.
Holr Music Questions with Mike Veerman:
Hot Hit: I get overwhelmed by Dark Rooms
On Repeat: Blackbird by The Beatles – it puts my daughter to sleep
Left of Field Song: Power of Love by Celine Dion
Remember that song? Modern Love by David Bowie
Watch Mike On Much on Crave December 21st.
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