Name: Weird Paul Petroskey
Projects/Side Projects: Weird Paul Petroskey, The Weird Paul Rock Band, 57 Big End Halos
Years Performing: 34
With a career spanning almost 35 years, a catalog of over 700 songs and hundreds of performances under your belt, what do you consider to be your greatest creative accomplishment? Probably the "Phone Call With My 14 Year Old Self In 1985" video on YouTube. But I really don't feel like my greatest creative accomplishment has even happened yet.
What would 14 year old Weird Paul think of you today? I think he'd be glad that I am still creating content - that a worldwide audience can now see and hear - but he'd be disappointed that I still wasn't famous. I'm sure he'd also be angry with me for some of the life choices I'd made.
As Someone who generates so much content on YouTube how have you coped with YouTube's ever changing revenue policies over the years? The way I have coped with their ever changing revenue policies is to not give a damn. I don't like to play games and I'm not willing to go very far to compromise my art. The worse it's gotten, the less content I've made. I can't be bothered to have what I do be not be shown to the people who want to see it. There was a time that I thought I could get enough subscribers to almost make a living from YouTube. That's not possible anymore, it's not even possible to get that number of subscribers anymore. I used to only get 5000 subscribers a year. Now I've been getting 1000 every two months. I still haven't hit 33,000 after over 8 years. I should have a million by now. But because of how YouTube works, I'll never get anywhere. Keep in mind, I have 33,000 potential viewers - and still only get 1000-1200 views on a video. It's relatively useless. I'm now live streaming on Twitch, it will eventually be much better for making money.
Weird Paul is known for getting many strange gifts from his fans, what is the strangest gift you have ever received? Occasionally I'll get something like a CD case with the artwork and everything but no CD in it...like they didn't check to see if it was there before they sent it! Someone sent plant food, which is okay, but I can't eat it. I've had people send things that I couldn't show on YouTube...like full on pornographic playing cards! I've also had people send things for me to autograph and send back to them - like a jar full of peanut butter!
Which gift is your all time favorite? I hate to play favorites, I don't like making people feel they are inadequate or not as good as someone else. But I can say that I love when people put some real thought into what they send and not just a box of odds and ends. I also really love the Weird Paul artwork that I get.
What do you think Weird Paul will be up to in the year 4040, perhaps Weird Paul the hologram series beamed directly into our living rooms? Whoever has the rights to my likeness and life will hopefully be making a great deal of money. I hope that after I die, I become more famous than I was while alive. Like Ed Wood. I have so much content that I've never shared...of all kinds. And I'll keep making more. They can keep releasing it for years and years after I'm gone.
Famous Last Words..."I didn't get to finish..."
Artist Spotlight: Weird Paul
Welcome to Musical Osmosis
Over the past 6 and a half years I have been involved in several different podcasting projects. We've done a political show that lasted from 2013 until just before the 2016 election and then ended very badly (can you say hate-filled chaos parade?). We had a trivia podcast that fizzled out after 77 episodes with a whimper, and our Kettle Of Fish podcast that lasted 104 episodes and then sadly came to an end when my best friend and cohost lost both of her parents within a couple of months of each other and had to move back home to Maine. But throughout it all (my short-lived Tin Can Media Podcast Network, My children's book "Edward" that never got off the ground, my time spent as a political writer for such sites as "If You Only News" and "Daily Discourse" that went down in flames) the one constant has been the music.
I started the Musical Osmosis podcast back in 2013 when I realized I could actually talk to some of my musical heroes from the comfort of my bathrobe. The podcast ran for about 6 months as I chatted with everyone from Steve Moriarty from the riveting Seattle punk band the Gits to the great Chicago working-class punk pioneer Joey Vindictive. But something was missing. I had no zig to my zag no McMahon to my Carson no cohost to keep me in check and keep the show interesting with more than one viewpoint at the helm, so I abandoned ship.
Then in the summer of 2015 something serendipitous happened. I became Facebook friends with both Al Pist from The Pist and Larry Damore from Pegboy. Both of these gentlemen were personal heroes of mine, Al Pist because he is my all-time favorite lyricist and Larry Damore because Pegboy's "Strong Reaction" was the first punk album I had ever heard and it dragged me out of the stale depths of the metal world and into the vibrant and politically conscious punk world where I so belonged. Oddly enough I had tried to reach out to both Al and Larry in 2013 to no avail but it seemed the starts had realigned and now was the time to bring back Musical Osmosis.
But did I want to bring it back alone....?
The answer was a quantitative-NO! So the search began for a cohost. I say search but in reality, it was a shortlist of longtime friends I had talked with, listened to, and played music with over the years and at the top of my "mad respect for your musical knowledge" list was a man named Odell Norman. And as they say, the rest is musical history.
Over the past 4 years, Musical Osmosis has allowed us to chat with some of the greats from the punk world and beyond. But it has also given me the motivation to start searching out new music again after a 10-year funk of listening to the same NOFX and Screeching Weasel albums over and over again. And just like the name suggest we have gone through our own Osmosis as we have grown as podcast hosts and evolved our format to bring the fans what we consider some damn good conversations with old school punk legends like Dave Dictor and Jughead to artists who are redefining rock music like Bonnie Bloomgarden and Crow Jane.
This new website which will not only showcase our long-running Musical Osmosis podcast but will also expand into the world of video interviews and music reviews is just the next step in our journey. A journey we are happy you have chosen to come along on, but it will also serve as a fulcrum for my mission statement that I call "Weaponized Creativity"- the process of combating fascism and hate with music and creative expression. In my opinion, art is the last bastion against fascism and has never been as sorely need as today.
In closing, I want to thank you for reading the long stream of conscious ramblings of an almost 50-year-old punk dude and to remind myself that our podcast is only as good as our guests and only as successful as YOU the fans allow us to be. -Saucey