EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Creators Behind Tampon Rock Podcast
Tampon Rock is a new scripted, musical, comedic LGBTQ+ podcast from Anthem Original and iHeart Media. The show was created by three up and coming writers: Alysia Brown, Sarah Aument and Sophie Dinicol. The characters in the podcast are in part inspired by the creators’ own personal lives.
Tampon Rock follows the complicated dating world of the two lead lesbian characters – Deja and Chloe – as they hilariously navigate the Oakland love and music scene. These gals are in a band called The G.O.A.L (The Greatest Of All Lesbians) and this podcast story will track the rise of their band and feature original music that’ll score the show throughout. Deja is a black, mild-mannered, queer woman, who is brand-new to the Oakland dating scene. Deja’s room-mate, best friend and bandmate Chloe, is a white, energetic, bit obsessive and strong-willed lesbian, who is as un-shy with her sexuality as Deja is gun-shy.
STREAM THE PODCAST HERE.
- How did the name Tampon Rock come about?
- Sarah: I always heard that Tampon Rock was a derogatory term used to describe female artists in the 90’s (Tracy Chapman/ The Indigo Girls). At some point it started to be reclaimed a bit and I fell in love with the term. Our story is told through music and we wanted to be really upfront about our pride – to me the name Tampon Rock really showcases that.
- Was there a specific moment when you realized that you wanted to make a podcast?
- Sarah: As soon as I met Alysia and found out Sophie was a writer, I was like, “Lez do this.”
- How did you go about creating the music for the podcast? Was it prior to the idea of the podcast or did you make it specifically for this?
- Sarah: We made all of the music specifically for this and would typically work on the tracks while we were recording with the actors as well. At first the music pulled from styles that fall under the Tampon Rock category, but quickly we expanded beyond that and followed whatever felt funny or authentic to us. Making the music was easily my favorite part of the process- super collaborative and free. Our focus wasn’t to nitpick or note the music to death, it was more to channel our unedited creativity and let the rawness speak for itself.
- How did you come up with the band name?
- Sophie: We came up with it pretty early on, and we thought it would be a funny spin on the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time)
- Alysia: Yeah, I don’t even know how, or why we were just like “What’s a weird, obscure band name 20 somethings would name themselves?”
- How did you seamlessly combine the worlds of comedy, podcasting, and music?
- Alysia: I’ve been doing standup for a couple of years, and have done writing on the side since college, and I think it really just kind of came natural to all of us. We’re all funny in our own ways, and have some relationship with music. Sarah is a composer, Sophie and I are music supervisors. So the creative process was just so seamless in it’s own.
- You’re really giving a lot of people the representation in the media that they want to see. Were there any other podcasts, shows, etc. that inspired you to be the first if not one of the first LGBTQ+ scripted podcast series?
- Alysia: For me, my biggest inspiration were shows like Insecure. I love seeing Black representation in the media. I also love, love, LOVE, The L Word. That show helped me navigate my queer identity.
- Sophie: I second both of those influences!! I think Broad City was another one we kept coming back too as well. For me I think that really influenced the kind of silly, but deep bond we felt between our lead characters in terms of their friendship.
- Since there are three of you, how did the creative process work?
- Sophie: Honestly, the process was really smooth, despite working over Zoom from multiple locations over the course of many months. We decided pretty early on that instead of breaking down the season and each taking our own episodes to write, that we wanted to write each episode together. I think the podcast is stronger as a result, because we each have our own point of view and sense of humor that we bring to the episodes. Working together meant that we could always get to the bottom of any tricky scenes/moments because there were three of us to problem solve. Plus, workshopping jokes with each other was so much fun, and made quarantine a lot less lonely.
- Do you have an episode or moment you’re most proud of that you’ve created?
- Alysia: There was a scene where the actors were all Black women; it was such a proud moment to see that I created that and that I was responsible for that representation.
- Sophie: The seventh episode is one of my favorites. We break the 4th wall in a really fun way. I don’t want to give anything away but I think it’s one of our funniest, most intense and most creative episodes.
- Sarah: I’m really proud of the last song that Chloe performs in Episode 8. I feel like it strikes such an authentic chord with her character.
- Were any of the episodes created during quarantine? Has COVID affected any of your plans or changed your process at all?
- Sophie: Basically all of them! We had just completed production on the pilot right before lockdown started in March, so we wrote and produced episodes 2-8 during quarantine. We would get together on Zoom most days and write the episodes in between our other work. Once we were ready to record, we sent equipment out to our actors and recorded everyone remotely as well.
- Sarah: I never thought back in February that I’d spend my summer recording scenes with sometimes 8+ people over an audio only, remote setup. It was kind of wild and kick ass that we pulled it off!!