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The Return of The Resistance

The other day my wife found the artifact.

While cleaning out the basement, she emerged upstairs with a dusty, unopened box containing a Yeti microphone, an ideal mic for beginning podcasters. Taped to the side was the receipt dated April, 2013. I could only shake my head and smile. I knew I’d felt the resistance for several years but here was proof. A full six years before I’d launched the podcast called The Resistance, a series all about facing your fears, I’d bought the tools to do it only to leave them in a basement.

Six years.

* * *

I couldn’t stop quitting even after I’d decided to start the podcast. In fact, I’d already spent a couple thousand dollars by the time I quit for the tenth time.

Those aren’t exaggerations in either direction. I’m the kind of person who needs the perfect environment before I can start something. The dishes in the other room have to be done before I can write at home. My own writing environment has to be pristine. It’s just the way I’ve always worked (really, they’re the excuses I’ve always made).

That means I had to spend money before I started the podcast. Forget the Yeti, since that’s for beginners (and so old now). You only get one shot, Eminem once told me, and I wanted to make sure I had it right—at least as right as you can have it when you’re a beginner. Before any guests had been booked or a single practice run had been made, I’d bought a nice microphone and stand, a pre-amp and something called a CloudLifter. I hired someone to create a logo and another designer to make a web site. I commissioned yet another friend to write the theme song. For several weeks, I went back and forth with each creative partner.

Less of this. More of that. I’m thinking something else entirely.

Even after everything was in place, I couldn’t stop quitting. After holding onto the idea for seven years, after buying my first mic six years earlier, it still took about eleven months to announce that I had a finished product ready to roll out. In fact, I had the interviews finished for every single episode six months before I released anything at all.

I quit every single stage of this creative process (and not in a I-just-need-a-day-away-from-this sort of emotional moment). At every turn, it became too much. The fears were overwhelming. The doubts were suffocating. No one was waiting for this podcast. No one was asking for me to do this. I was already plenty busy, and the idea of putting myself out there in this way felt like a needlessly humiliating exercise. I felt vulnerable and alone and reached for every fig leaf I could find for some time.

A quick re-introduction for those of you who are new to the podcast. The Resistance is an interview-based podcast inspired by Stephen Pressfield’s book The War of Art. In each episode, we ask various people in the creative arts to respond to a single statement: “Most of us have two lives: the life we live and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands the Resistance.” We then allow the conversation to flow from there.

It's my deepest desire that these conversations can offer hope, encouragement, challenge, perspective, and language for the Resistance that you face as well. Matt Conner

I’ve been in music/entertainment journalism for nearly 20 years now and I’ve interviewed over 2,000 artists and authors, composers and directors in that time. My conversations have always occupied the deeper end of the pool, and when I read Pressfield’s book the first time, I recognized that most of my stories centered around some form of Resistance. It wasn’t long until the idea of a podcast took shape. It took seven years because of my own resistance, but it was always about a single goal: helping others face their own resistance.

* * *

Today we’re thrilled to announce The Resistance is back—for good. And we’re bringing a few changes along with us.

First, there are no more seasons. What began as “Season One” is now an ongoing podcast.

Second, we have a reintroduction episode today and next week, we’ll sit down with Knives Out composer Nathan Johnson. From there, we’ll have a new interview every two weeks! I’m thrilled with our early conversations already ready to go, with poets like Li-Young Lee and Jericho Brown, artists like Sierra Hull, Mindy Smith and Alex Ebert (the man behind Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros), and bands like The Lone Bellow and Stars.

Finally, we’ve got a more conversational approach this time around. My close friend Jay Kirkpatrick—who some of you might know as the musical right hand for Josh Garrels—has been the glue all along in this endeavor as the audio engineer, and you’ll hear more from him this season along with a new friend, Isaac Pellerin, who is helping in several ways.

As always, it’s my deepest desire that these conversations can offer hope, encouragement, challenge, perspective, and language for the Resistance that you face as well. We look forward to meeting you on the journey ahead.


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