OJR - The Origin of John Roderick (ESN Systematic)

Between July and October of 2014, Brett Terpstra interviewed John during four episodes of his podcast Systematic. He released a special episode in December 2014, presenting the story as it always had been intended: One long audio novel, 289 minutes in length. Brett had been an avid listener to Roderick on the line and found it to be one of the most entertaining podcasts he has ever listened to. He got in touch with John via Merlin, asking him for an interview. John was thrilled! What was planned as just one episode extended into two, then three and finally four episodes. Brett wanted to let the fourth episode go for as long as it would be required and it ended naturally beautifully, or better: melancholy, deftly and artistically.

  • Chapter 1: Time to Get Serious (Systematic 106)
  • Chapter 2: Amsterdam to Istanbul (Systematic 110)
  • Chapter 3: Sergeant-at-Arms (Systematic 113)
  • Chapter 4: Youth and Potential (Systematic 118)

During the banter at the beginning of the show, they briefly talk about architecture and John points out that Merlin is the entertaining part of Roderick on the Line, while John is a very colorful spackle that holds those bricks together. On a different note, Brett said that there is a lot of abandoned exercise equipment everywhere along the streets where he lives and he should make a potlatch with that and John suggests this would be a nice coffee-table-book called "Regret".

At the end of chapter 1, they banter for some minutes about Neko Case who has a voice talent that John is missing an equivalent of.

At the end of the show, John feels that the great tragedy of his life is the tragedy of incompleteness. John has finished some things he is proud of: 3 full-lengths records and an EP, he toured around the world and he walked from Amsterdam to Istanbul, but his musical career is neither active nor officially done.

Topics covered in this show

  • Musical Career
    • Consuming music at a young age
    • The High school years before his first band
    • Taking a break from his active career
  • The Bun Family Players
    • Grunge was over
    • John's first band
    • First contact with Harvey Danger
    • The Break-up of The Bun Family Players
    • Into the present
  • Harvey Danger
    • Dinner with Sean Nelson
    • Getting hired by the band
    • John as the bass player
    • The end of Harvey Danger
  • The Western State Hurricanes
    • The sudden end of Grunge
    • Helping John with his demo tape
    • Seattle's worst band, and growing
    • Dodging a record deal
    • The Breakup of The Western State Hurricanes
  • The Long Winters
    • The first album - The Worst You Can Do Is Harm
    • Summer in New York
    • The second album - When I pretend to fall
    • The science of success
    • Back on tour
    • In and out of depression and a 5-song EP - Ultimatum
    • The third album - Putting the Days to Bed
    • The unfinished fourth album
  • Additional topics
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