Blessed are the interviewees

I have been fortunate to interview some amazing people over the years. A lot of the interviews came via my involvement in RRR’s Greening the Apocalypse, and some of them from loitering around Half Moon Café in Coburg Mall with a H4N Zoom. Here are ten of the interviews that stick in my mind.

1. V.Vale

V.Vale started RE/Search Publications, when Allen Ginsberg gave him $100. On Wikipedia he is quoted as saying he has “this weird theory that there’s only 1000 interesting people on this planet”. I phoned him in San Francisco at 5 o’clock in the morning Melbourne time to ask him about that idea. I love this interview because I stuffed up the recording and could only use V.Vale’s audio but his responses to my questions are so enthusiastic I adore it. RE/Search Publications are my all time favourite publishers, with Pranks! being quite formative in my development.

2. David Holmgren

David Holmgren is the co-founder of permaculture. In this interview he talks about his book RetroSuburbia: The Downshifter’s Guide to a Resilient Future.  I was going through a break-up at the time and found Holmgren’s eco-presence in the RRR studio galvanising. RetroSuburbia is a great reference—my favorite chapter being ‘Creating Your Own Livelihood’.


3. John Joseph

I first heard John Joseph, lead singer of Cro Mags, on The Rich Roll Podcast. John Joseph agreed to come on Greening the Apocalypse to talk about being a vegan ultramarathon athlete, and his book Meat Is For Pussies: A How-To Guide for Dudes Who Want to Get Fit, Kick Ass, and Take Names. He was entertaining to say the least but I don’t think my critique of veganic farming went down too well.


4. Alison Pouliot

Alison Pouliot is an absolutely brilliant fungi ecologist, photographer and historian. Yesterday I got her new book The Allure of Fungi (CSIRO, 2018) out of the library so I am rushing this post so that I can eat cold pizza while I read it.


5. Scott Ludlam

The only reason I got anywhere near the former Australian Senator was because Nick Jaffe from electron workshop lined it up. It was The Privacy Workshop, a symposium on digital privacy, rights, and access, and somehow I got to interview Senator Ludlam over a flatwhite. After the interview I thought that Ludlam was following me on twitter, but it turns out it was @scottludlamshair.


6. KMO

KMO makes C-Realm, one of the greatest podcasts of all time.

7. Shaun Chamberlin

shaun_chamberlinWhen Adam showed me a photo of Shaun Chamberlin from Dark Optimism, I felt like I was looking at one of my relatives. Then I found out that he was from Devon, where my family lived briefly in the early 80s, and a conspiracy that he is, infact, my long lost sibling was born. Shaun Chamberlin talked to Adam and I about Lean Logic, a book that he edited by the late David Fleming.

[image: Photo of Shaun I just stole off the internet. Sorry bro 🙂 ]

8. John van Wisse

In 2018, Bushy and I started Suffer In Ya Jocks, a breakaway show from Greening the Apocalypse, hosted as part of RRR’s Max Headroom segment. In this first and only episode we fleshed out our midlife jock tendencies by speaking to elite athletes. One of them was John Van Wisse, a man who once blacked out swimming the English channel and was resuscitated by Dawn Fraser! John was surprisingly down-to-earth for one so accomplished. I was glad to find out that sometimes he eats baked beans before swimming from France to England.


9. Adam Grubb

Sometimes you just interview your bestfriend. I interviewed Adam for Dolphin Lettuce Tomato (now known as Plimsoll Line) about bunya nuts (Araucaria bidwillii). Have you tried bunya nuts? They are THE BEST.


10. Richard Heinberg

Adam and I recorded this interview with peak oil theorist Richard Heinberg at the peak of my ramen obsession which is why I review pot noodles during the second half. Heinberg is the author of 13 books, including Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World. As was the case with so many Greening the Apocalypse guests, I was pinching myself the whole time that I got to speak to someone of such vision and eloquence, and I was kicking myself afterwards for being such a random idiot.

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