Maximus Groves and Evan Fowler talk with Eric Kimelton and Kyle Brown, the creators of the King Falls AM podcast, a late night call in show in the cozy mountain town of King Falls where locals deal with alien abductions, ghosts, alleged werewolves, and possibly the second coming of Jesus Christ. In this hour, we discuss the resurgence of radio plays, debate popular drama across all mediums, and riff on the supernatural influences for their episodes.
KING FALLS AM: Not this week.
EVAN FOWLER: Slow week. [1:20] EF: It seems like every time I take Robitussin, fall down to the bottom pit of the universe, and talk to they elves who create all the molecules, they don’t want me there.
MG: Very exclusive club. [2:00] KFAM: Jack-in-the-Box Jesus was the one on tap that I was a little worried about.
EF: Psycho Christians don’t go on iTunes… they’re too busy writing comments on articles about old Friday Night Lights episodes. [3:00] KFAM: You guys are insane.
MG: What’s insane is normal life. The solution: independent media.
EF: We live in Georgia. This is the most normal thing that happens to us. [3:15] KFAM: I was born in Columbus GA, got family in Macon.
MG: So you are familiar with the weird backwoods type.
KFAM: Oh, totally familiar with it. Also have family in Newnan, GA. [3:35] EF: I forget how out there the ignorance is in Georgia. We have a racist mountain. I grew up right next to it. [4:10] EF: At Stone Mountain, they sing the National Anthem at the beginning and the end… and there’s new verses they’ve written about 9/11 and standing strong in the face of foreign invaders and shit. [5:05] KFAM: I don’t think we’re pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes.
MG: Let’s get full Orson Welles on this: This is documentation of the one town in America where we’re actually in contact.
KFAM: A War of the Worlds situation wouldn’t be the worst thing that happened. [5:30] EF: The horrible truth is when you meet small town he’s the most ignorant fucked up dude you ever met in your life.
KFAM: Are we talking about small town man or Florida man?
EF: Right on par a lot of the time. Florida man is on meth. [6:05] EF: There’s a lot of homeless punk rockers who retire to Montana where they get land cheap in the mountains where they live like pirates.
MG: That sounds literally like Trevor from Grand Theft Auto 5.
EF: They’re naked, old, toothless punk rockers with a bunch of teenage runaways just having fuckin’ gang bangs out in the goddamn woods. Sounds awesome.
KFAM: I’ve heard worse. [6:45] MG: Is this gonna be season 2 for King Falls?
KFAM: I think you just wrote it: a racist mountain and a punk rock refuge.
EF: I wish it was fiction. [6:55] MG: That’ll be the problem: We’ll be telling your biography, but we’ll have to frame it as fiction so people don’t freak out.
EF: Yeah, did you really escape into the converted cruise ship turned pirate ship filled with punk rockers and take over Paraguay? Yeah, well, it was Tuesday. [7:20] KFAM: We’re writers by trade… we’ve done web series… podcasting is kind of the way of the future, as you guys know.
MG: It’s funny being both right on the ball and 7 years late at the same time. [8:20] MG: I was getting a Twin Peaks vibe.
EF: I was thinking of Fernwood Tonight… it’s where Fred Willard came from… there’s a famous interview they did with Tom Waits. [9:20] EF: Fred Willard is my hero… you know he got caught jerkin’ off in that theater? Letterman asked him what happened, and he says, “Well, I can’t tell you, but that movie was terrible.” [9:50] MG: Is Shotgun Sammy running from some sort of past to find himself lodged in this place?
KFAM: We may come across that in a future episode… he’s got a “big city radio past.” [10:20] EF: Do you guys write stories to suit the characters or characters to suit the stories?
KFAM: We build the characters around the actor we know, write the story ourselves, and see where we can weave people in and out of it, but pushing the story is paramount. [11:10] EF: I like the window into a place with a heightened reality. [11:25] KFAM: There’s just so much to talk about, and it’s funny to us that this town thinks everything that happens is legit. [12:00] MG: Are too many things happening at once? Is there a Loch Ness Monster and a wolf man and an alien abduction and a visitation all coalescing at the same time while ghosts are haunting the place?
KFAM: We look at it this way: You get an episode every two weeks. Between those two weeks, it’s probably just about Bob’s Auto Parts. [12:55] MG: There does seem to be a high listenership for the 2am-6am block of time.
KFAM: That’s the AM talk radio hot spot, man. [15:30] KFAM: They did have the King Falls Ambient Music Festival. [15:55] KFAM: This is normal for them, so I don’t know what their convention would be. Would it just be normal people doing things?
EF: Maybe the boring stuff is the stuff they’re into… a polished driftwood convention. [17:05] EF: There’s all these weird conventions I want to go to. I hear in Key West they do the Ernest Hemingway lookalike competition. [18:20] MG: What was the web series you guys had worked on in the past?
KFAM: It’s called In Development. A guy moves to LA and ends up working for Michael Bay.
EF: It’s like he’s got a specific department deciding which parts of our childhood he most wants to fuck up. [20:55] KFAM: The team is pretty much me and Kyle. You’re talking to it. [21:10] KFAM: The composer for our show, he did our web series as well, he’s doing amazing work. If you stop listening to our babbling and dick jokes, the music is just amazing. [21:35] KFAM: People were wanting a second season of our web series, but it’s cost prohibitive to shoot now, even on digital, especially at the quality we want to do it at. [22:25] KFAM: In a web series, if you have good sound and an OK picture, it’s more forgivable than having bad sound and a great picture. [22:45] KFAM: This we can do at a high level, whereas if shooting, we’d be living in that punk rock refuge. [23:45] EF: I love when these people get caught saying something really racist and they’re always like, “I thought I was allowed.” [24:25] EF: People are being very revisionist of Cosby now. I get why, you don’t really want to support him, but you can’t deny that growing up, everybody watched The Cosby Show. [25:35] MG: Coincidentally, I saw an improv show in Atlanta, hosted by Dad’s Garage, with Fred Willard in it, that featured a battle between the good and evil Bill Cosbys. [26:10] KFAM: We write and record so far in advance that we’re definitely locked into the first and 15th. [26:20] KFAM: We get a lot of requests for longer episodes. We record so far in advance that we haven’t been able to do longer ones. By longer we mean 20 minutes instead of 15, but we don’t want to oversaturate. [29:50] KFAM: We’re always introducing new plots and subplots to keep everything fresh. [30:05] KFAM: We’re talking about the season model, and right now, if we stop for two or four months, will they come back. We aren’t working ourselves to the bone with the two episode a month model right now. [35:50] KFAM: We would love to put in some sponsorship at some point if we can do it the right way, in the context of the show. [36:45] EF: I like Subway. I just don’t like the amount of penises in the sandwich. [37:05] KFAM: We just don’t want it to sound super polished because all the ads have that small town… you know you’re listening to a shitty little radio shack. [37:30] KFAM: Dude, listening to Serial, it enraged me every time I heard it. Maybe at first I was a little intrigued, but episode 2-12, every time I heard MailChimp, I was like, “This bitch.” [38:00] KFAM: We just partnered with audioBoom. [40:30] KFAM: You know, realistically, not to go crazy conspiracy theory here, one day we might be the only free type of media there is. [40:55] EF: When I was younger I watched the movie Pump Up the Volume many many times, so I have a very healthy respect for pirate radio. [42:50] KFAM: It’s all comin’. It’s a big crazy world of crazy beasts and supernatural paranormal things out there. If you can think of it, it’s probably comin’. [43:10] KFAM: We had a cliffhanger the other day, and I got a mini review sent to me saying, “I don’t know about these abrupt endings,” and I’m like, “It’s just a cliffhanger – they don’t all end like that.”
EF: Never experienced that before. [43:40] KFAM: They can’t all end happily and wrapped up like Twin Peaks season 1. Sometimes you gotta have a cliffhanger. [45:00] EF: Electrolocaust – I love that word, by the way.
MG: Much better than electrocalpyse. [45:30] KFAM: It’s actually kind of funny. We write pretty dirty stuff, and this is very PG. I want my 13-year-old daughter to listen. [46:50] KFAM: People are digging the old school radio plays again. I think we might have something here. [47:10] KFAM: We get the comparison, and we get that Night Vale is the first, but we’re doing something completely different. We happen to have a similar tone here and there. [47:40] EF: In a podcast, you can go as big as you want. [48:25] KFAM: Thanks to people like Night Vale to opening up the fact that people might dig hearing some fiction. [49:15] EF: It’s really Prairie Home Companion that kept it going enough to not totally be forgotten. [49:50] KFAM: It’s a lost art form… it’s a visual medium without being visual. [51:05] KFAM: There’s a lot of loose ends to wrap up, and there’s a lot of new things coming up. [51:50] KFAM: We’re certainly not the first people to have a little love story on a paranormal dramady on a podcast. [52:15] KFAM: We try to balance the weird with the funny and the sentimental, and I think we’re hitting our stride. We’re getting a good mix of things, and I can’t wait to let everybody else hear what’s going on. [52:40] KFAM: Just having people listen and connecting to your story, that’s so gratifying. [53:00] MG: When you said the electrolocaust was over, I thought in my head I hope they only have electric ovens.
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