SuperNerds UK describe themselves online as follows: 'a collective of gamers, writers, artists, editors and Pop Culture fans. Formed in 2015, SNUK have spent the last few years sharing their love of nerd culture and talking to people who's work they respect and enjoy, with a warmth and humour that only they can.'
I've listened to podcasts for a few years now, and discovered the SuperNerds podcast by happy accident when I was looking for a pop culture podcast. The podcast frequently features incredible special guests, as well as movie reviews, and their own original segments, including Netpix, where they pick something from the online streaming services to watch and review, In Defense Of, where they hilariously defend some of the most deplorable movies ever made, and Magic Mic, where the SuperNerds go head-to-head and the loser (usually) has to sing.
Earlier this week, Ben, Ian and Tim were kind enough to sacrifice their Monday night to talk to me about the podcast and about the evolving SuperNerds team.
On how the SuperNerds podcast came about...
Tim had been wanting to do a YouTube show or some kind of podcast since 2006. In 2014, after the announcement of Marvel's 'Phase 3', Ian contacted Tim and asked 'How do you fancy talking about this new news coming out from Marvel?' And thus began the early days of the SuperNerds as a YouTube channel. They sat themselves in front of a camera and started talking. As a way to advertise the channel, they got the idea to do a podcast.
As they started podcasting, Ian comments that he enjoyed making the podcast more than making the videos. As soon as the podcast began, Ben wanted to get involved too - "Ian saying 'let's do a podcast', I said 'sounds good, whats it on?', 'Spider-Man', I was round at his house in like 4 seconds."
Another benefit of a podcast is you can talk in depth, and the SuperNerds definitely preferred this. And as Tim says, "You can be on the bus, on the train, or travelling wherever, and you can listen to your podcast, whereas YouTube you have to be literally looking at a screen."
On the podcast community and what sets them apart...
Ben comments that "The ethos of SuperNerds is its a conversation that everyone's involved in. And that's not just us, it's the listeners as well." The SuperNerds really focus on keeping it conversational. For me, one of the things I love about SuperNerds is when I listen, I feel like I'm sat down the pub with my mates. They're a genuine bunch of guys having a laugh whilst talking about what they love.
When it comes to interviewing some of their amazing guests, Ian says they go out of their way to to say "this isn't an interview, this is a chat." They want the guests to feel as comfortable as they do. This brings about the best, most-relaxed, and organic interviews. Following an interview with Annette O'Toole, the feedback the SuperNerds received was "By the time I'd finished listening, I felt like I knew her too."
The SuperNerds are very self-aware too. Tim comments that when ever they do interviews, they make sure to let the guests talk. Listeners may well be coming to listen to the guest, rather than them, so they want to deliver. And just hope that the listeners come back next time!
On expanding the SuperNerds content...
Last summer, Ben, Ian and Tim got together with Simon, John and Natalie at the pub and pitched the collective. Simon is the resident gamer, who has taken over the SuperNerds YouTube with regular gaming videos, particularly retro games. John is the graphic designer - he designed the logo and took the website, making it the fabulous, flashy thing it is. He also designs the tees. (Seriously, go check them out, they are so cool!) Natalie is a Tomb Raider cosplayer and pop culture blogger/vlogger. The voices across the team are wonderfully varied and diverse, meaning their content is too - not just on the podcast (which also features Simon and John) but also across multiple platforms.
On their high points...
They comment that the obvious one is all their special guests. After an interview they come away with such a buzz. They don't interview anyone they don't care about, so getting the opportunity to speak to their heroes is a dream come true.
For Tim, his personal high is one of their earlier episodes, Episode 6, which is their Arnold Schwarzenegger / SuperNerds Movie Pitch episode. I have since gone back and listened to this, and I can see why. It is absolutely hilarious! Recorded in the early hours of the morning, it is utterly mental but brilliant. Its a fantastic example of how well the guys all gel together.
Ian's personal high is the audience interaction. That someone would be engaged enough to contact them on social media or seek them out at the cons is humbling. He says "if you can make one person smile a day, that's a good thing".
Two things stand out to Ben - connecting with David Patrick Kelly (he offered to get his mandolin out and play for them!) and when their is a synergy of conversation between the team. They are a positive group, generally not ones to be negative on the podcast (with the exception of Fantastic Four!), and this positivity and enthusiasm shines through.
On what's in SuperNerds future, including one big GeekLife scoop (!!!) ...
Episode 50 comes out later this week, and what an achievement. This will be the 'tentpole' episode, a longer episode, that includes an in-depth interview with a certain director: Dexter Fletcher! That's right, you heard it hear first!! He spoke with them for over an hour, discussing his whole life and career, from working with David Lynch through to directing Eddie the Eagle. Which speaking of, Eddie the Eagle will also be the Netpix. Now, THAT is an episode I cannot wait to listen to.
More long term, there is talk of more focus on gaming, possibly in the form of a gaming podcast, and even talk of a weekly podcast. More SuperNerds content is a-ok with me!
Whatever is in their future, they intend to continue doing what they love, because they love what they do. And I strongly suggest you get in on the action at any and all of the buttons below. *two enthusiastic thumbs up*
Listen to the full interview here: