Revisited: Joe Talbot (IDLES) on the Talkhouse Podcast

The IDLES' frontman discusses toxic masculinity, collaborating with The Streets, and putting human ashes into his band's vinyl.

Hey Talkhouse friends, this week we’re re-surfacing an episode that originally ran in May of 2020. Unlike most Talkhouse Podcast episodes, which feature two or more creative folks in conversation, this one is mostly just one guy talking: Joe Talbot of the band IDLES. It was recorded in front of a live audience in Glasgow, just before the pandemic hit, and it’s a fascinating look at an incredible artist—Talbot is a guy who’s unafraid to put it all out there, in both interviews and in his music. Speaking of music, part of the reason we’re re-promoting this episode this week is that Idles just released another incredible album: Crawler is the British band’s fourth, and it’s unsurprisingly being met with pretty ecstatic reviews. Check out this fascinating chat with Joe and a live audience, and have a great Thanksgiving.
—Josh Modell

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This week’s show is a bit different from usual Talkhouse Podcast episodes. While it’s nominally hosted by the legendary Alan McGee of Creation Records — the man who signed The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, and a lil ol’ band called Oasis — it’s not at all a two-person conversation. Instead, this episode features Joe Talbot, frontman of the incredible post-punk group IDLES, in one of the funniest, most viscerally honest live audience Q&A’s I’ve ever witnessed.

Both Joe and the attendees are willing to go to deep and often uncomfortable areas: Buckle up for a discussion of toxic masculinity, the role of violence in IDLES’ music, and the difficult process of developing one’s own artistic language. We also hear about Joe collabing with Mike Skinner of The Streets, turning Sleaford Mods’ taunts into a song, putting human ashes into vinyl records, and… we even get an unexpected lesson on mindfulness.

This Q&A was recorded at the wonderful Barras Art & Design in Glasgow.

Check it out, and subscribe now to stay in the loop on future episodes of the Talkhouse Podcast, including upcoming talks like Helado Negro with Buscabulla, Julien Baker and Katie Harkin (Harkin, Sleater-Kinney), Black Belt Eagle Scout with Sasami, and Scott Avett (The Avett Brothers) with Eef Barzelay (Clem Snide).
— Elia Einhorn, Talkhouse Podcast host and producer

Today’s show was recorded in Glasgow by Nadar Shahzad of Blue Audio (thx Nadar!). Our co-producer is Mark Yoshizumi.

Thanks so much to Matt Sadowski of Alt Waves Records and to Barras Art & Design for allowing us to share this event.
The Talkhouse Podcast’s theme song was composed and performed by The Range.

Talkhouse curates musicians, actors, filmmakers, and others in their respective fields to speak one-on-one with their peers via the Talkhouse Podcast and Talkhouse Live events. The Talkhouse Podcast offers listeners a unique insight into the creative work of creators across all genres and generations. Subscribe now to stay in the loop on future episodes.