["Johnny Jump Up" by Jump, Little Children plays then fades out slightly]
Anne: Hi, I'm Anne.
Melanie: And I'm Melanie.
A: And you're listening to Just a Second a Jump, Little Children fandom podcast.
M: Where the topical discussion is beyond belief.
A: Today we spoke to our friend Alison Kendrick who is Jump, Little Children's social media manager. We took some listener questions and I think you guys are really going to enjoy this. It's probably one of my favorite podcast episodes and it's just so fun talking to Alison and just, it makes you feel warm and happy about the band, which, by the way, is touring in December in case you didn't already know.
["Johnny Jump Up" continues to play then fades out completely]
Anne: Okay, so today we're talking to Allison Kendrick who is Jump, Little Children social media manager, and hello, Alison!
Alison: Hello! How's it going?
AM: Going pretty good. We've got several questions here for you. We asked listeners and Jump fans if they had any questions and we also have questions!
AM: For example, how did you get started with this? Like, how did this come about?
AK: With helping with their social media marketing?
AK: So during the beginning as we have the dark ages without Jump, Little Children and then we came back into the light in 2015, and somewhere around 2016 Matt and Evan had put on their personal Facebook pages that, you know, they had Bivins Brothers Design and Development, as it was called at the time, was alive and well and they were seeking new clients that needed a new websites. And they had a particular interest in working with nonprofits. And I worked for a nonprofit and had just won a grant to help build a new website, so it all felt very meant to be. I reached out to Matt and Evan and said, "hi, guys, I don't know if you remember me but I'm a huge Jump fan," and we got started. They put together a proposal, it fit perfectly into the budget. This is a whole lot of back story, I know. And then we started working together. And so they built a beautiful new website. The organization is The Lunch Project. I'm still involved with them to this day. And we realized that the three of us just had a really good synergy. We worked really well together, we spoke the same language, and along the way they learned that I spent my time, you know, kind of trying to become a social media and digital marketing master. And I had kind of flippantly thrown out like, "hey if you ever need help with Jump stuff," thinking there's no way that that would ever be a thing. And then about six months later Matt and I were talking about Caption Point and some help that I could give with Caption Point and he kind of tossed out "and by the way, if you were serious about that offer with Jump stuff I'd love to pick your brain on that too."
AK: So yeah, that's kind of how this all came about. And then the more he let me do, the more I got to do, I guess. And then it just kind of evolved into what it is today.
AK: Yep. Follow a band around enough and then start working for a non-profit and then hire members of the band to build a website for your nonprofit and you too can become their social media and marketing manager. There's the lesson.
AM: Well it all works out then, doesn't it.
AK: It does!
M: So, what exactly is your, what is your--specifically what are you in charge of? What does--this is one of the questions sent in--what does a social media manager actually do? Is it more than posting on Facebook and Instagram.
AK: [laughs]Yes. And what I do does vary day-to-day, which is fun for us. We kind of wake up never knowing what the day is going to get us into. So, I will kind of caveat this, I don't know if what I'm going to share speaks for all social media managers and certainly for all social media managers of bands. I think that my journey and experience are very specific to having been a fan for as long as I have been. So, one thing I do want to make very clear so anyone listening knows is what you see on social media is very much the bands voice. It is not, you know, Alison robot sitting behind a computer and typing. I do help them kind of come up with what the content should look like and what the cadence should be and how often we should be posting and what we should be posting about. But what you're seeing on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter really is primarily Matt's voice with a little bit of Evan thrown in from time to time. And of course sometimes we do lean on Jay and Johnny and Ward for some content as well. So I try and be organized but the truth of the matter is we're all big, hot messes. And so sometimes it's more ad hoc than I would like for it to be. You know, so that's kind of the social media part of, you know, my quote-unquote job for Jump. And it's, of course, expanded. Just kind of, we're a--I call a small but mighty; we're a very nimble team. And we all tend to just jump onto the projects as they arise. So this year, you know, one of the big projects, of course, has been Patreon. And so I've helped, you know, weekly with that. And for that one I do actually primarily interact with Jay to kind of, we take a look at what we're going to post in any given month. We try and calendar it out, you know, kind of figure out what we can use you know, as far as the schedule for that goes. I've been helping with the merch presale that just launched this past week. So really anything that might touch anything online I probably have a hand in it, which is a lot of fun. I also helped, you know, with some of the stuff for the PledgeMusic campaign last year. So it's a pretty broad non-specific job but it is a whole lot of fun.
AM: Now, of course, we are looking at several different apps and mediums here but generally speaking, what would you say to process is like? And this sort of blends, also, into the next question which is, you know, when you have an idea what happens with it? So I guess, since it's pretty hard to separate those two concepts, if it just so happens that process overlaps with what happens when someone has an idea, just an insight into how something tends to go from being thought of to being posted.
AK: Sure! So, I primarily work with Matt and Evan, as far as the social media strategy goes, but we do have a group chat with the other guys and so sometimes I will pitch out to all of them and say, hey guys I need a video or a picture of XYZ. And they also have kind of standing requests that they kind of know if they do anything remarkable--like, Ward's done a lot of really cool stuff with Broadway shows in the past couple years. They'll sometimes, like, hey here's a quick video or a quick snap backstage so it's kind of an open door where we exchange content that way. And then I organize it. We tried a bunch of different, you know, organizational tactics; we were on Trello. I told Anne that many months ago and that made her laugh a lot, that we were using Trello to organize our content. And now we're using a space called ClickUp. And then it goes through a very rigorous process called Mattification, so[laughter] little trademark, copyright after Mattification. So what seems to happen is I will come up with the concept, we are going to post a Wondering Wednesday, we're going to throw a, post a, you know, Flash Back Friday or a Throw Back Thursday or whatever it is that we're going to post about. And I will put, you know, here's the picture we're going to use and here's what I want you to talk about, and then Matt will actually write the copy itself or I might give him a lead in and then he'll actually make it darling and funny and not quite as dry as I might make it. And then we slap it on up there. Sometimes it's Matt, he'll just take it and run with it and other times he'll, you know, inject the content into our calendar and I'll post away. How's that for a peak behind the curtain. Now you guys know everything.
M: It's all very interesting to me cuz I love the inner workings of social media. So this is quite, quite interesting.
AK: Yep. It's a team effort and of course if graphics are needed, you know for instance we are, we do have to do some paid content from time to time, like when we're going to be in any given town we'll start to do some promoted posts to let people in Charlotte or Asheville or Greenville know. So Evan, of course, is the brand master, so all graphics go through him. So he and I were working back and forth last night to get some graphics together. You know, we did work together, of course, on the merch graphics. So he--my specialty is making gifs, and I'm a snob about them; I do make them in photoshop. I don't use Giphy or anything else.
AM: Oh, yeah.
AK: So, of course, he created, he--so Evan designed everything as far as the new merch goes, and it's beautiful and some of it's hand drawn and I can't wait to see everybody in it. And then we kind of decided on what we wanted the theme to be and then I turned it into a gif. So really, it's a team effort that the band is highly, highly involved in. That's one thing I always kind of fear, I don't want anybody to think that I'm just some person who's come in and taken over their social feeds. It's very much their voice, their brand, their opinions and what they say, goes, and everything is passed by them before it ever goes to the internet.
AM: Well it, you know, just to interject before the next question which is Melanie's, it really does sound like you're corralling and directing and truly managing it rather than "I'm taking over it all and you're not doing anything." So you're certainly in the managing role.
AK: Mmhmm, absolutely. And we do have a, you know, an agreement, like, I never speak on behalf of the band. Like, I would never sign something with their names or anything like that. So, if you're hearing from them and it says "Evan" or "Matt"--and a lot of times they'll include initials and things like that or sometimes we just leave it open and blank and then you have to try and guess who it is, but yes, it's very much I, you know, kind of manage and conceptualize and then we all execute as a team.
AM: I rearranged stuff a little bit, Melanie.
M: [laughs]Yeah, I noticed that!
M: Yeah, wow. So what has been the biggest challenge designing socials for a band and fandom that was most active before the current platforms existed.
AK: You know, I think that that, I think it would be a challenge whether or not they had, you know, kept playing straight through or had formed in 2008, you know. So we all joke, we kind of know our demographic are, you know, mostly female although we do have a lot of great guy fans as well, and kind of in the 30 to mid-40 range. And so you just kind of have to be aware of the fact that everybody consumes media differently. So some people are all about it and follow, you know, Jump, Little Children's every word and get notified any time they post on Facebook or Instagram and other people are walking around in a complete state of oblivion. And it does make me laugh that every single time we post from any given town or venue, we'll get messages and we'll get, you know, we'll get comments, "what?! I didn't know you guys were back as a band!"
AK: "I didn't know you guys were coming here!" And that's probably the thing that just makes me want to cry the most is, like, I don't know what else we can do to reach these people and to say Jump, Little Children's back! They've made new music! They're on tour! Come back to the party, we're here! So that's, you know, the biggest challenge is finding people who may or may not be on social media, you know, finding people who just haven't had their heads turned in our direction yet. And it's a constant--you know they've been back since 2015. It is 2019 heading into 2020 and we're still getting "oh my god, I remember you guys. I can't believe you're back" messages. And I wish I had a magic solution to it and I just don't, other than post often and, you know, post content that people want to interact with so that more people see it so it becomes popular in feeds. Because that's the biggest game with social media is I equated to a high school cafeteria, and so Facebook and Instagram in particular deem what is worthy of being seen. So if we put something out there and nobody interacts with it and nobody finds it fascinating, they're going to stop showing that post in other news feeds which then, you know, kind of mutes and dampens our reach.
M: So do you use--I imagine that you look at the insights and it gives you a pretty good idea of what posts are reaching the most people and you tailor what you post according to that.
AK: Yes, and there is some fascinating, you know, insights with that. You know, one thing that I did learn very early on, is people react best when they can see the band members' faces. People consume social media especially with their eyes first. And I know I'm guilty of this. I'll see the picture and then I might read the copy and then I'll see who posted it. So if we don't put something out there that somebody instantly recognizes as "that's a member of Jump, Little Children" they might scroll on by even if it's the prettiest and loveliest graphic ever. So we have to be aware of that, so I'm constantly asking to see the guys' faces, you know, when they send me their stuff.
AK: Let me see your face! You know, so that's kind of, that was lesson number one. And the other one, and this one is hard to navigate as both a fan and a social media manager and also a friend to these guys, is that they actively don't want to be just a nostalgia band. You know, there's great respect for the albums that they've put out in the past and, you know, who they were pre-hiatus but they made a very active decision to put out new music and design a new look and a new feel that hopefully does blend in with the past but as a new way forward, right? And unfortunately one of the things that, you know, really gets the most number of hits, without fail every single time, are really embarrassing old pictures of them. [laughter] So we have to figure out how to marry that kind of giving the fans what they want to see, which is this "oh my god, here's a picture of you from 1998. Evan I can't believe that you wore your hair that way," or "Matt why did you line your eyes that way," you know, but "Jay, why were your sideburns that ridiculously long?" You know, so we have to give that because it's entertaining and it's funny and it gets a lot of hits but then also present, "hey, here's something new we just did." And you just kind of have to balance the two, which is a fun and exciting challenge, I think.
AM: I know there's sort of a feeling of, if you will, herding cats when it comes to, you know, getting everyone together, getting everyone to get whatever they need to submit to you and on time. And that is a challenge in contacting someone, following up and all that, I'm sure, sometimes feels like you're running around like a chicken with your head cut off. But I always thought that your background in working with sororities in college probably helped you with that. Would you say that is the case?
AK: [laughing] Called out, huh. [laughter]
AM: That's why I thought you would be so good at this, because you already know how to motivate people, how to communicate how to get something done from that.
AK: I absolutely think that I learned a lot of valuable lessons in college, and say what you want about sororities but being in one, and all--so in a sorority I always did kind of the sisterhood events and the social events. You know, I put on the formals and the semi-formals and the parties. And that absolutely led, you know, into a career in social media and marketing, 100%. I never thought of that in that way until you just brought that up, Anne, which is hilarious. But yes, all steps to the same place. And, I mean, it's funny because--so, I've actually gone back and I've served as an advisor to the same chapter of the same sorority that I was in, Kappa Delta at Queens here in Charlotte, NC where I still live. And it's funny cuz now, like, the advisors kind of take a stronger role, and this is now Millennial hating on the next generation, and so sometimes advisors are expected to do certain things for the chapter. And I, look, I was very verbal about "no" like, because by my doing those things in college, by me helping run the philanthropy events and the social events and the sisterhood events, it gave me a lot of really great life skills that I've turned into a career. So it's funny that you say that because, you know, I kind of have refused, in the past as an advisor, to do things on behalf of the girls in college now. Because I want them to learn and I want them to be successful. And you ain't going to learn if someone's doing it for you, right?
M: So, on to the next question. What has been your proudest moment working with Jump?
AK: Oh! That's a good question. Let me think through that for a minute. I mean I have to say that, you know, kind of my first real test--you know, so prior to "we're going to make new music, we're going to create a new album and by the way, we're going to crowdsource it; we're going to ask our fans to push us through that," that was a real unknown. That was something that we had never really tried for them in the past. And so, we kind of launched into PledgeMusic not knowing where it was going to lead us. And that was also the first time that I think I was really, prior to that I had really only worked with Matt and a little bit of Evan and I hadn't had--the other guys in the band knew that I was helping, but I don't know if they necessarily knew in what capacity. And so that was really kind of the first time it was like, "Alison is kind of our marketing guru, we're going to lean on her." And I think that overall, PledgeMusic went really well. We were able to get the funding that they needed, obviously--spoiler alert--to make a really beautiful album. I've talked to, people ask what's my favorite Jump, Little Children album? Like, has it changed over the years? And I have a hard time, because I think that Magazine will always be my favorite because there's the emotional connection. You know, we've now had 21 years with that album and that's a long time to be connected to a body of work. But I do think that Sparrow is their best album and I'm not afraid to say that. And it was, it's kind of cool to, like, hear that album and feel so much pride for these guys and the beauty that they put out into this world and know that I, in some small way, was a part of helping making that happen.
AM: Yeah, absolutely. I wanted to know what something, what is something that you might have learned about yourself in this process or in this position that surprised you?
AK: This, you know, helping your favorite band is an ego boost. It's a confidence booster for sure. And I will say that, you know, these guys are the best coworkers that anybody could ask for, and they are constantly so full of respect and kindness. And we all do get along really, really well. So, it's been a really, you know, kind of solid reminder that I am good at something, I am an expert in some field, in some way. Which I think everybody struggles with, right? Please tell me I'm not alone on that.
AK: So, it's been life-changing and life-forming in that. You know, in a great, validating way. But then, also, like it's been a good reminder to like, kind of fight for your dreams. You know, they really can become a reality. If you had told 18-19 year old me that someday I'd be working with and for these guy, I would have laughed at you really hard. I constantly, everyday something happens and I just, will look at a friend and be like, well 20 year old Alison is dead right now because that just happened! You know, Jay Clifford calls me! Like, that's weird, right? [laughter] He proactively dials my number and says, "hey, Alison, I need to pick your brain about this," which is hilarious to me. And so, you know, like it's just one of those things that's like kind of--go for it. Go for your dreams and it might seem silly but, you know, you can accomplish great things. Everybody has special talents and skills that serve this world in some capacity. I know that sounds really hokey but I mean it! And working with them has certainly taught me that.
AM: Well, you have validated your years of band love by turning it into helping them.
AK: Yeah, I turned it into a career! And I do, like, and I will say to them, we'll be having conversations about things and I'll have to clarify, like, is Marketing Manager Alison talking or is Fan Alison talking? And sometimes I do have to, like, kick their asses as a fan and be like, no that's not what people want to see or hear from you. So, it happens.
M: That's very interesting because I wanted to ask you what it was like transitioning from fan of the band to employee of the band and how you deal with that.
AK: Openly and honestly and with lots of careful reminders. It's funny, I think Evan is probably the most sensitive to, "I don't want you to lose that magic feeling," you know, right? And I do reassure him--and I mean it from the depths of my soul--they're still my favorite band. I am still in awe of them as musicians, you know. And I watch them on stage and I still get tingly feelings and, you know, none of that has changed. What's changed is I now know, and I don't think anybody who's a fan of Jump, Little Children and has been around for any amount of time and especially those who stay afterwards and talk to the guys, like, you know that they're genuine, right? Like, everybody can kind of get that. That these guys are the real deal. But having that further validated has been, you know, kind of great for me.
AK: So that's kind of one thing, you know, with going from fan to employee is you hope that it's not going to like, crush your soul. And it hasn't. It really has not. And what's been cool is now I kind of, I'm fan, I'm employee, and I'm also friend. These are guys that I would now call on in crisis or in celebration. And that's been my favorite, obviously. If I can be brutally honest, part of all this is truly becoming friends and having them become true friends to me. But yeah, I'll wear different hats and I'll usually just, I'll verbalize it. I'll say, hey I'm being Fan Alison for a second, I need to tell you this. And we argue. We disagree. We have our differences. I think, you know, we're talking before we got going with this about the different generations and I especially compare to them in very, very Millennial. [laughs] And I think that there's some, ha ha the Millennial's talking. There's never disrespect. I have to say that I've never worked in an environment where I do feel so much kindness and so much respect from my peers, employers, cohorts, whatever you want to call them. But there's an awareness that we are very different sometimes. And so we just kind of all approach it openly and honestly. And, to be frank, sometimes there are things where they're just like, no, we're not doing that. And that's ok too. AM: Well, I think that's actually, in addition to your background being able to herd cats in college if you will, that's part of why I've thought you're perfectly positioned to do this because you can work with them as fan, as friend, as with the person drawing everything together to post it. And, gosh, I just had something for a second there and I forgot it.
AK: Oh no!
AK: Come back, thought!
AM: It was basically--oh yeah! If I were to go back in time, you know, 20 years ago and tell myself here are the things going on with Jump and Alison's their social media manager, I would have said, "well, first of all what's social media?" And if that were explained to me, I would've said, "Oh, that makes sense." Cuz I can see that.
AK: I've always been a little bit obsessed with technology. I really have. Like, I mean, there's a picture of me somewhere probably around 3, maybe 4 years old sitting at my dad's, I think it was a Kaypro 2000. Very, very old computer of the mid 1980s. And I think that that picture says it all to me. And so I was obsessed and fascinated when we got our first family computer when I was in high school. And I got to take a desktop computer with me to college. And I remember when Friendster came out and that bled into MySpace. And I was so excited when Facebook went global and I didn't need a college address, cuz I didn't have one of those anymore cuz I'm too old. I've always rapidly consumed it, you know? And so, yeah, I do think that there is a little part of me that's like, well yeah! Like, of course.
AM: Yeah. And to sort of build off what you were saying about the generational differences, I do have a next question to formally read, but to touch back on that I know that, you know, in the scheme of things we don't have that seemingly that big of an age difference between ourselves and the members of Jump anymore. Of course, back when you're 19 they seem super old. [laughter]
AM: At the same time there is still an age difference and a generation gap in communication style and social media use; although, even within the band some of that is just personally not liking social media as much as someone else does. So, I'm just--if you want to expound on that a bit, are there specific challenges when it comes to getting people on board with the social media message overall?
AK: Yeah, and I have to wonder, having not managed any other band's social media, right; I've managed social media in many different channels and environments and verticals and industries and what have you, but this is my first band, you know. But I do, I think Jump, Little Children, they're very special flowers. We can probably all agree on that, right? And, so I wonder if some of these challenges are unique to Jump itself and its fanbase. They're a very accessible band, you know. They always have been. We've always been able to literally reach out and touch them. And I think that there's an expectation from some fan, you know, that they must continue in that cycle of sharing. And so I think it's hard for them, you know. We're like, where does Ward, the cellist for Jump, Little Children, and Ward, the profession musician, the husband, the father, the now kitten lover, begin, right? And so, yeah, I mean Jay is--probably goes without saying--the most, Jay and Johnny, they could probably tie; but Johnny will occasionally throw me a bone if he's around areas of cell service. I mean, Johnny is literally in the woods a lot of the time. So there's a lot of jokes about, like, we have to send carrier pigeons and smoke signals to reach him. But when he's reachable, I can usually get what I need from him. Jay does not take selfies. Like, this is a strict [laughter] guiding principle. And so it sounds so easy to say to a musician, hey prop your phone up in selfie mode and, like, give me the openings strums for the song you're working on today. And that's what--I think it's a unique challenge because that's what every band is doing so part of me wants them to do it cuz I'm like, look how easy it is! You're doing this, you're so good. Just prop the damn phone up! Right? But then there's this other part of me that's like, but I don't want to just grasp for the low-hanging fruit. I don't want to do something and make them do something that, just because every other band is doing it. And I think that's fun! It's a unique puzzle to try and solve, to like, how can I curate social media in a way that does not encroach upon the guys and their, you know, what they are and are not comfortable doing, while also helping them stand out in a very, very crowded space with a lot of other people taking selfie videos strumming a guitar. So it's something that I--you guys tell me, how are we doing? You know, I don't know. I kind of now am so in this world maybe sometimes I can't consume it as just a fan anymore. So I rely on you guys to tell me how we're doing.
AM: Well, I think Melanie follows more musicians on social media than I do, but I haven't had any issues so far.
M: Yeah, it's been really, all the content that is being posted is, it's good. [laughter]
AK: We're incredibly…
AM: We like it!
AK: Good! Thank you. Literally clicking the "like" button, like it, right? [laughs] Sometimes Anne will message me about a particular post and I'll be like, go like it! [laughter] Go interact with it in the feed! Don't tell me! That really, for anybody listening, that is the greatest thing that you could do, is click that "like" button or leave a comment or share it. Like, bar none hands down, that's how we keep the stuff in the feed for other people to see it. And we're also incredibly lucky in that we have Evan as a kickass designer. We've got good friends like Nathan Baerris, who take astounding photos, which really makes my job delightful and easy. And I can't imagine how much more difficult Ed Brantley and Valerie Schooling Brantley--I believe she's taken his last name--or a couple other photographers we get to work with. Who, Valerie is another one; she was a fangirl with me back in the late 90s early 2000s. And they got to do their promo shots for the pledge music campaign and she was texting me the entire time--sorry to call you out, Val--but, "I can't believe I'm shooting Jump, Little Children's promo headshots!" You know, just fangirling with me. And I'm like, girlfriend, I get you, I hear you, I feel you, I know what you're going through right now. It's pretty awesome. So the band is largely blessed to not only be as talented as they are but also to have very talented, very generous friends who do kind of help us bolster that content with some really, really pretty things to look at and listen to.
M: Well, I think you roundaboutly answered one of our questions, which was the most effective way that we can help spread the Jump love on social media. And you said that…
AK: Like, comment, share.
AK: Like. Comment. Share.
M: Yeah, I try to do that, personally.
M: I try to like, comment, and share as many posts as I can.
AK: And I will say, so the way that, especially Facebook and Instagram--Twitter is kind of its own beast that we don't, sometimes that beast just sits in the corner unloved for months at a time--but Instagram and Facebook in particular, they give the most weight to comments and shares. Which, like, I understand that it's probably ridiculous to ask every single Jump fan out there to comment on every single post and say "I really like this." That's why I use gifs, man. Like, if I'm excited about something I post either an emoji or a gif, you know. And I know that in some ways it might be a little bit silly for the people who know I'm also behind the curtain with some of this stuff, to then see me commenting "can't wait!" But it's all part of the game! I do it for every, you know, I don't just do it for Jump. For every other social feed that I manage, you can go look at the Lunch project's Facebook and Instagram and you will see me commenting and liking on all of those posts too. And it's something, I mean, if there's a post--and I'm sure Anne has probably been the recipient of this--if there's a post I really need people to see, like, something major like a tour announcement, I will 110% start texting every Jump fan that I know and say "hey I just posted, please go interact with it."
AM: Yeah. Gotta boost!
AK: You do. You have to let social media know that something is popular, otherwise it just, it'll write it off. And probably the, we talked about my biggest, you know, my proudest moment--one of my, like, I wanted to cry back in March. I had worked for a couple of weeks on that stupid Irish punk rock band name generator. I was really proud of that graphic.
AM: Oh yeah. Yeah!
AK: [laughing]I was really proud of that! And Matt and Evan, they kind of laughed at me. They were like, it's corny but, like, whatever. Like, you have our blessing. We can do that. They actually, some of the phrases that I used on that graphic, those were ideas they had given me. And I posted it and I literally posted as Facebook went down for almost an entire day. I don't know if anybody else is as scarred by that day as I was. But, like, Facebook--it was a outage. Like, nobody could get on. It was worldwide. It was, you know, calamity, catastrophe, just "facebook is down!" And it took Instagram with it! And it just--so that post went nowhere, man. [laughs]Nobody saw it. It was one of our, like, lowest engaged posts. And I think especially, we had put up some really stupid, like, I try not to go too punny and corny too much and just use it as like a back pocket weapon when I really need to get a post out there. But for Valentine's Day we had put up some…
AM: Oh god!
AK: [laughs] Some stupid Valentines from the guys. [laughter] But people loved it! It got so many reactions. That was one of our highest engagement. Cuz people like, sometimes some base level humor wins, right? And so I think I was so excited that--we hadn't intended for that post to do as well as it had, and so I think like, aw man, we're coming in strong for St. Paddy's day. Good Valentine's showing. You know, we know we're going to have to do something dumb for April Fool's Day. And like, we have certain holidays that we celebrate as Jump, Little Children. And I was so mad. But it does punctuate my point, man, that I put something out there and nobody interacted with it, Facebook didn't show it to anybody else. So if you are listening to this and you have a lot of free time on your hands, scroll back through several months of content and find that St. Paddy's Day post and go tell me your Irish punk rock band name.
M: You're going to have a flurry of…
AM: Yeah you were really hyped up about that.
M: You're going to have a flurry of likes and comments now. [laughter] The notifications will come rolling in!
AK: Yes! And other people are going to see it in their feed and be like, why are we discussing this in October? That's the thing about Facebook that makes me laugh so much; it just takes one person going back and liking something from sometime that's so random and then, and it's always like, so people think you're celebrating something you're not celebrating. Or it's like, really, like, wow you got a haircut. And it's like, I got my haircut five years ago, calm down. But Facebook is a strange and wonderful place, man. I could talk for hours, and I won't bore you guys with the nuances and the things people should probably know about interacting and those things. But that's enough storytime on that for now, right?
AM: I mean, you could if you wanted. [laughter]
AK: Nobody else wants it.
AM: If it's important for people to know.
AK: Yeah. If you see something in the feed at least give me a like. Preferably give me a comment, you know. You don't have to share everything. I don't want people to know how obsessed you are with the band. We know. [laughter]
AM: I think most of the people who know me know that.
AM: So the takeaway is, be sure to comment.
AK: Please! So helpful.
AM: Now, sort of winding down here, I thought this would be fun. Are there any embarrassing work stories you would like to share. Emphasis on the "you would like to share."
AK: [laughing] Oh, everyday is embarrassing for me. Actually not, cuz I have both no chill and no shame. So it's hard to embarrass somebody who has no shame. I think one of the funnier moments when we were putting together Patreon, and that involved you guys. That was lots and lots of hours of conference calls with lots and lots of people. That was no small effort in putting that together. Sidebar, that is one thing I do want people listening to know. There is not a group of guys that works harder. Like, and I had no appreciation for how hard they work, both on and off tour, until I saw it for myself. But it is mind boggling, the amount of time these guys put in to this band. So just be aware of that, ok? So we're on like, conference call number 892, nailing down these tiers. So, the tiers are now named by different songs. And the songs may or may not have something to do with either a reward or like, Jay wanted X-Raying Flowers because X for the number 10 and that's the $10 tier, for example. A lot of thought went into these tier names, you guys. But one of the first iterations was album names. And so I had named them in order, or so I thought, of the albums. So, I had Buzz first and Licorice Tea next and somebody wanted to know my process in naming the tiers. And I said, "well I named them in chronological order." And it got really quiet on the phone and then everybody's like, you know that Licorice Tea was our first album, right? [laughter] And then I, I don't remember who but I'm pretty sure it was Ward, cuz he's the biggest one to bust my chops. Ward was like, "I thought you were a fan, man." [laughter] So, just, there's little gaffs like that where sometimes I just like, go full speed ahead in a direction and I am, like, horribly wrong. I'll admit when I am, though. But that was one where it was just, there are a lot of--it got quiet and then it got funny and then there was a lot of laughter at my expense. So, plenty of those happen. There's a lot of, you know, joking about--I think Matt said at the end of the Sparrow tour, I could never be a ninja because I can't enter a room quietly enough. [laughter] Which is fine. So there's just a lot of teasing and joking, which you know, makes it funnier. But yeah, that's the embarrassing story that comes to mind first; I'm sure there are others.
AM: Well, are there any other things you'd like people to know that we haven't covered?
AK: Hmm. No, I mean, I sneaked in my I want you guys to know that they're genuine and hard working and wonderful human beings on top of being just astoundedly talented. And I've made my plea for, you know, interacting. We're really just at the point where, you know like, tell your friends about them if you haven't already. I wish everybody would like bring two new friends to the shows in December. Because there's some gas left in the tank. But we need to make some more friends, you know, we could always deal with more people at shows. And that's what's really helpful, if you guys, some of you may have seen this but especially during tour time when you're at the shows and you use Instagram and your Instagram is open. So that's a lot of qualifications I have to put on this next ask, but if you have Instagram and use Instagram and your Instagram is not private, if you will post stories and the tag the band. So you have to put the little "at" Jump, Little Children and make sure that we pop up there, I can then share those stories to Jump's story. Which I think only makes, like everything doesn't need to be from my perspective, right? Like, everybody, and that's something I love about this podcast that y'all are doing is kind of diving headfirst into Jump, Little Children fandom and what it means. So I would love it if I could crowdsource--man, we're all about crowdsourcing, right--I would love it if I could crowdsource some more content. And people, as you're enjoying both before, during, and after shows, post those pictures and the lyrics or whatever's speaking to you. Tag the band and let's get loud on social media.
AM: That's interesting to me that they weigh stories at Instagram that heavily, because they are only available for 24 hours, isn't that correct?
AK: That is correct.
AM: But it still churns up content?
AK: It does.
AK: And, so, for instance that's like--so when I say tag the band, in your story "at" Jump, Little Children but if you also hashtag it, that will add more weight to the hashtag "Jump Little Children."
AM: Right. Ok.
AK: And it didn't used to be that way. Stories having weight on whether or, a handle's or an account's interactions, when it first started it was more of a throwaway thing but more and more brands have hopped on board. And so Instagram has started to kind of cull the story interactions as well. So yeah, so live it up. And I say that, also wanting to respect the fans perspective and ability to enjoy the show. I am not asking you to spend an entire show with your phone up in front of your face so that I can have a good video. Like, I want you to come to the show and enjoy yourself. But something as simple as, if you're going to take a picture and you're going to post it anyways, just add that tag. Cuz I can't add it to Jump's story without that tag on it.
AM: Ok, good to know! Yeah, let's emphasize again that we do, infact, have a December tour coming up.
AK: Yaaay! It's going to be so much fun! Y'all, I'm on the bus. Fangirl Alison is freaking out about living in those close of quarters. [laughs]
M: I know, how close of quarters is it? I've been on a tour bus; they're not as big as you think they are.
AK: No, and, like, I've been on the bus before; I've just never slept on the bus. So, I'm usually like, I'm going to stock the kitchen for the bus, I'll meet you--I'll drive my own car and meet you at the next show. Yeah, so it is, it's going to be a lot of fun. I've already started asking questions. I'm a chronic over packer. [laughs] I have separation anxiety from my clothes, so that's going to be interesting. I like to do girly things like fix my hair and I guess I'm going to have to get over that, and like, having adequate time to put on makeup for a month. I think it's going to be one hell of an adventure. I'm looking forward to it. But also a little scared, cuz it is close quarters. We're going to be tucked in there tight together.
AM: Well, we are very excited for you and I remember back in the day when Matt would write journal entries about wishing they had a tour bus, like proper tour bus, rather than the Park 'N Fly.
AK: That is something that they do love. Especially the, somebody else has to drive us. Like, we can spend the down time actually, you know--and that's part of the thing, too, why they have a tour bus is that they all have other lives and other roles and so it does enable them to, during the day, get some work done if they need to; or just chill out, cuz lord knows they deserve it. And let somebody else take on the driving. So, big, fun adventure for sure. I do hope that we're going to see everybody at some various points on the tour. And yeah, we're looking forward to it.
AM: Get your tickets now! And also, of course, order your merch. Pre-order your new merch!
AK: Yeah! The pre-order on the merch, we're excited about mostly because we just, that came about because people want a variety of sizes. And even in the comments when we put some feelers out on social media, people were like "I only like ladies fitted tees" and other people were like, "I want really thick, snuggly huge things" and "I want something for my kid" and you want to cater to everybody and you want everybody to get what they want. So, I can't stress enough on the pre-order not everything will be on tour with us. So, if you see a color and a size that you know you want you can pick it up for free at the show. We're not charging for venue pick up. So it's no difference in price, you just place your order online and then you will literally come and see me and I will hand you a bag with everything that you want inside of it already. End of transaction. Couldn't be more fun, right?
AK: Thanks for the opportunity to plug things here. But yeah, it's going to be fun.
AK: Well, thanks, you guys.
AM: That wraps us up.
AK: Yeah, thanks for doing this podcast. It really is fun to listen to and kind of hear all the different perspectives of a fandom I'm quite wild about myself. And thanks so much for letting me come on and gab.
M: Thanks for being on.
AM: [crosstalk] Thanks so much for showing up!
AK: Everybody talk at once!
AM: Yes, thank you very much.
AK: Alright, well I will get off the phone cuz I know you guys have more work to do and probably want to continue with your day.
M: Thanks again, Alison.
AM: Thanks again yeah.
AK: [singsong] Thanks for having me! Alright, I'll talk to y'all later.
AM: Talk to you later!
["Johnny Jump Up" gradually fades in, plays a bit, then fades out]