Episode 38. Simon Barber and Brian O’Connor of Sodajerker On Songwriting

Sodajerker On Songwriting

“Sodajerker is a songwriting team from Liverpool, founded by Simon Barber and Brian O’Connor. The podcast Sodajerker On Songwriting features interviews with the world’s most successful songwriters.”

A “soda jerk” isn’t normally associated with songs, unless of course, you ask Simon Barber and Brian O’Connor. It all started with something that Sydney Pollack said, which then led them to an academic article titled “Linguist Concoctions of the Soda Jerker”.

“They’d come up with all these creative, alternate ways to describe things,” said Simon of the soda jerk of the 1950s American diner. “We thought, well that’s a great metaphor for creating magic out of the everyday, which is what the songwriter does.”

And so they went with it, adopting Sodajerker for their songwriting partnership and eventually Sodajerker On Songwriting for their podcast.

In this episode of MetaPod, we talk to Simon and Brian about their approach to interviewing the world’s most successful songwriters.

We also hear the lessons they’ve learned across Sodajerker On Songwriting’s ten years as an independent podcast. Simon and Brian also discuss songwriting’s position in the music industry, the impact of technology on songwriters and the challenges of the craft.

The two tell a bit about their own complementary songwriting partnership. And if you’re wondering who else they hope to add to their incredible archive of guests, you’ll find out in this interview.

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About Sodajerker On Songwriting

Simon Barber and Brian O'Connor of Sodajerker

Sodajerker is the creative partnership of Simon Barber and Brian O’Connor. Described by Esquire magazine as ‘the Frost/Nixon of tunesmithery’, their podcast Sodajerker On Songwriting contains the world’s most expansive archive of audio interviews with songwriters about their creative process. Now well into their 10th year, they’ve produced over 200 episodes of the show to date, featuring such luminaries as Sir Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach, Alicia Keys, Paul Simon, Sting, St. Vincent, Beck, Elvis Costello, Nile Rodgers, Jon Bon Jovi, Lindsey Buckingham and Diane Warren. Despite having been downloaded millions of times, the series remains completely independent and ad-free, and has been featured in virtually every major music publication since its launch. Last year the Sodajerker interview archive was added to the British Library in London for posterity.