Jon Gates had a lot of on-air practice while he was working as a producer on the Bob and Coe morning show on KGB 101.5. Outside of the studio, he developed a rapport with Tyler Johnson, who was part of the station’s promotions team.
“So, we started screwing around and coming up with [podcast] ideas,” says Gates. “We came into my garage in Santee where I was renting a room in a four-bedroom house. We had one of my roommates’ dusty old futons leaning up against the wall. I asked him if I could borrow it.... The idea was that me and Tyler would sit on the dusty futon and just have conversations.”
The Dusty Futon show quickly morphed into a local-music-specific format when Gates quit his job at KGB. It is currently in year three of production and on its sixth season. Each season, so far, has been defined by a change of locale for the futon. A local artist or band is invited to sit on said futon, and the hosts lead them into a conversation.
“We are not doing interviews,” Gates said. “We’re having a conversation. Rather than asking questions, we start talking and let them take over.”
Gates stressed that the podcast is particularly fond of giving the newest, least established bands their first moment in the spotlight. “The most entertaining are the salty players who don’t give a shit if they make it on radio. Those are the best people, because they’re not trying to impress, and most of the time they’re not egotistical.” Gates said.