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On this week’s Talkhouse episode we’ve got two guys who’ve known each other for decades, and who have a popular podcast, a post-hardcore band, and a new novel between them: Geoff Rickly and Jonah Bayer.
Now Geoff Rickly is best known as the singer of the band Thursday, whose 2001 album Full Collapse is rightly considered a touchstone in the post-hardcore/screamo genre. That band had a full and varied existence, creating an impressive catalog that they still occasionally tour on. Rickly has also been part of other wild and wooly outfits: He stood in for the singer of legendary vampire-hardcore band Ink & Dagger for a tour, after their singer passed away—you’ll hear about that band in this conversation. But most recently, Rickly switched his focus to writing his first novel, which just came out. Someone Who Isn’t Me is most definitely not a memoir, though it is slightly more than loosely based on Rickly’s experience in being in a band, becoming addicted to heroin, and finding a path to treatment.
The other half of this conversation is an old friend and bandmate of Ricky’s, Jonah Bayer. Bayer and Rickly were part of the mysterious supergroup United Nations, which put out a bunch of music while keeping most of their identities secret. There’s a small but powerful United Nations catalog out there, if you’re into confrontational, mysterious hardcore. Bayer is also a journalist and recently started working as a mental-health clinician, which maybe makes him the perfect guy to chat with Rickly about his book. Oh, and Bayer also hosts a really fun podcast with his sister Vanessa Bayer—of Saturday Night Live fame—called How Did We Get Weird that just launched its third season.
In this chat, Bayer gets deep with Rickly about Someone Who Isn’t Me, diving into the odd structure of the book, whether it made sense to fictionalize his friends, and how to dramatize a psychedelic trip. The two also talk about how “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli fits into Rickly’s story, how Ink & Dagger deserves more recognition, and about a Kurt Cobain dream that Rickly once had. Enjoy.
Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Jonah Bayer and Geoff Rickly for chatting. If you like what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and check out all the goodness at Talkhouse.com. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!
(Photo Credit: left, Victoria Papa; right, Liza de Guia; Edited by: Keenan Kush.)