Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed Sam “Fish” Fishman about his horror story podcast, Cicada Madness!, what inspired him, and the creative process that goes into making it.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I am a professional musician and storyteller – drums are my first love. Friends and fans alike call me “Fish.”
How and why did you start podcasting?
Podcasting is a great way for content creators to constantly bring something new to the table. I wanted to create an audio drama with a hard rock music component embedded within. Podcasting let me do this.
One of my silliest childhood fears was that cicadas would fly into my face, so I started writing a series of fictional sketches based on classic B-movie (creature feature) tropes like roadtrippers, frat bros, rednecks and others. As my story began to come to life as an audio recording, I fell in love with the recording experience. Even though it’s fictional and scripted, with every successive recording, I felt myself connecting more and more to what listeners would want to hear, and I really feel the final product reflects that.
What is your current podcast called, and how did you come up with the name?
The name of the show is Cicada Madness! That’s the name that survived hours of group brainstorming. It felt right.
What platforms can we find Cicada Madness! on?
The best place to listen to the show is whoisfish.com. It’s also available on both Spotify and Stitcher.
What is Cicada Madness! about?
“Sorority girls, frat bros, rednecks and cowboys all fight for survival during an infestation of giant flesh-eating cicadas.” That pretty much sums it up! It’ll make some laugh, some cry, and others cringe.
Do you host Cicada Madness! alone, or have guest hosts/partners?
One could argue that the Rod Sterling type character is the host, but that’s a bit of a stretch. It is a fictional, scripted work with several voice actors and of course hard rock music.
Do you edit Cicada Madness! or have someone who does it for you?
I work with an engineer for the editing process.
Do you script Cicada Madness!, or just chat as you go?
How has Cicada Madness! changed or developed since you began?
The entire series was meant to be self-contained. Maybe in the future there will be a second season, but for right now the current seven episodes feel right.
What are your biggest challenges with Cicada Madness!?
The biggest challenge so far has been finding the right space for it. When people hear “podcast” they immediately think of people having a conversation. My show uses voice acting and music to tell a story, so it could fall into any of a few categories. It’s an audio drama, a scripted podcast, an audio series, even a rock opera.
What are your favourite podcasts to listen to?
I always enjoy listening to The Joe Rogan Experience. For a while I was also listening to Call Her Daddy, but to be honest Alex Cooper has become a bit too into herself so I got turned off.
How and where do you promote Cicada Madness!?
My podcast is promoted through my brand “Who Is Fish?” The new website is a fun place to navigate, I recommend visiting and listening to the projects on there. I also use Youtube, Instagram and Facebook to share my work.
Do you earn money from podcasting, or is it a hobby?
I do not earn money from my podcast. That could change as marketing efforts progress.
What’s something you never expected about podcasting? What have you learned that surprised you?
I had no expectations going into this world, so I was never surprised by anything! One thing I learned was that you cannot assume other people will understand your concepts. You must be able to explain your vision.
What is the first piece of advice you would give to anyone inspired to start podcasting?
Do something different. It can get quite boring if everyone talks about the same topics and has the same format. Have no fear and try something new!
And, finally, are you proud of what you’re accomplishing with your podcast? Is it worth the effort?
I am extremely proud of the show. Collaborating with different artists and voice talent has made the process so much fun. Having a fantastic team enhances the production value and creates something greater than the sum of its parts. As more people listen, I look forward to getting more feedback and reactions. It is definitely worth the effort and time.
Pop all your book, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:
Review of the podcast: https://morbidlybeautiful.com/cicada-madness-review/
YouTube: Who Is Fish?
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