The latest updates from Sodajerker.

Songwriting Magazine feature

You may have read our interviews over at Songwriting, where highlights from our podcasts are regularly published. Well, they recently produced a feature on us for the Winter 2015 issue of their digital magazine!

In the interview, we talk about how we started the podcast, how we choose guests for the show, and our plans for the future. We also talk about the technical side of producing the episodes, which we haven’t really delved into before.

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P. F. Sloan (1945-2015)

P. F. Sloan

Phil was a fascinating character and we enjoyed every moment of our conversation with him on the podcast. From meeting Elvis to writing worldwide anthems like ‘Eve of Destruction’, he did it all and saw it all. He was a wonderful songwriter and the music world is poorer for his passing. RIP.  — Simon and Brian, Sodajerker

What follows is the official press release issued by Serendipity Media.

It is with deepest sadness that we are announcing that P.F. Sloan (Phil) passed away on the evening of November 15, 2015, at his home in Los Angeles. Phil had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer several weeks before and was fighting it valiantly. The world has lost one of its great talents.

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Allen Toussaint (1938 – 2015)

Allen Toussaint

“I write every day…I collect a lot of scraps everywhere I go. Little pieces here, and little wishbones and feathers there, and then I get home and try and make a chicken.”

 That’s the metaphor Allen Toussaint used to describe the craft of songwriting to us back when we interviewed him in June 2013. We’ve spoken to many writers over the last four years, and we’re hard-pressed to think of a more charming iteration of the process than that one. But, of course, Toussaint was the epitome of charm. It was present in abundance in every song he wrote, every piano lick he played, and every exquisitely tailored suit he wore.

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Getintothis interview


Sodajerker were recently interviewed for Getointothis, Liverpool music’s best-read webzine.

The interview covers a range of topics including how Simon and Brian met, how they started the podcast, favourite moments with their guests, and more.

You can read the full interview on their website.

Motown legend Lamont Dozier to appear on Sodajerker podcast


Through his work with Holland-Dozier-Holland and beyond, Lamont Dozier is responsible for co-writing and producing 54 #1 hits for acts like The Supremes, Four Tops, Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson. He has been widely acknowledged as one of the primary architects of the Motown sound.

As luck would have it, Lamont was in Liverpool for an event at the Liverpool International Music Festival, and we were able to enjoy an hour in his company talking about his songwriting process. You’ll be able to hear our conversation on the next episode of our podcast, Sodajerker On Songwriting.

Sodajerker podcast recommended in The Guardian

Guardian Guide May 23, 2015

The Guardian Guide for Saturday May 23rd 2015 recommended Sodajerker On Songwriting in their ‘Catch Up and Download’ planner.

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Sodajerker makes Slate’s list of best music podcasts

Slate's best music podcasts

Sodajerker On Songwriting has been included in Slate’s list of the best music podcasts of 2014. It’s certainly humbling to make the top ten alongside such luminaries as The New York Times, the BBC, WNYC and WTF with Marc Maron.

Thanks to Slate for the kind mention, and if you’ve still yet to listen to the show, perhaps this will provide the impetus you need to check it out!

Sodajerker interviewed by Musicians’ Republic

Musicians Republic

Simon and Brian were interviewed recently for Musicians’ Republic, talking about how they met, how the podcast got started, and some of their favourite guests. You can read it online.

Sodajerker part of new Esquire article on songwriting

Esquire article

An article in the May 2014 issue of Esquire magazine entitled ‘The Magic Ingredient: Is There a Recipe for Writing a Hit Song?’ features contributions from Sodajerker’s own Simon Barber alongside illustrious songwriters like Don Black, Neil Tennant, Brett Anderson and Guy Garvey. The highlight of course has to be the illustrations, which include a sketch of Simon replete with beard. Thanks to author Andrew Harrison for including us, and be sure to pick up a copy (Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys is on the cover).

UPDATE:  the article has now been made available on

Sodajerker podcast recommended by Esquire

Esquire article

Esquire have published a list of 21 essential podcasts to listen to over the Christmas period. We are thrilled to be included alongside podcasting giants such as Real Time with Bill Maher, Le Show with Harry Shearer, Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review, The Nerdist and WTF with Marc Maron.

Click the image to read what they had to say about our show, Sodajerker On Songwriting. If you’d like to check out the full article, it is available on the App Store and Newsstand for iOS.

UPDATE: The article has now been published in full on the Esquire website.

Special thanks to our listeners for supporting us in 2013 and for making things like this possible. We have some great stuff planned for you in 2014.

Happy holidays to all, Simon & Brian

Deaf School book references Sodajerker podcast

Deaf School: The Non-Stop Pop Art Punk Rock Party

In addition to recent mentions in fictional works like Nicholson Baker’s Traveling Sprinkler, and non-fiction books like Rich Podolsky’s profile of Neil Sedaka’s rollercoaster career, Neil Sedaka: Rock N’ Roll Survivor – The Inside Story of his Incredible Comeback, we have more great news to share regarding authors who have used the Sodajerker podcast as a source for their writing.

Much to our delight, our interview with Deaf School’s Clive Langer and Steve Allen is referenced in Paul Du Noyer’s terrific new biography of the band, Deaf School: The Non-Stop Pop Art Punk Rock Party. The first full-length biography of the band, this book provides an in-depth look at one of Liverpool’s most interesting and influential, yet rarely appreciated, treasures. You can pick up a copy of the book at Amazon UK or directly from the band’s website.

Du Noyer, who was, in fact, the person who helped us to arrange our Deaf School interview in the first place (!), is a Liverpool-born journalist and author who you may recognise as the writer of Liverpool: Wondrous Place, probably the definitive account of the Liverpool music scene, which is also available on Amazon.

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Sodajerker interview referenced in new Sedaka book

Neil Sedaka: Rock N' Roll Survivor - The Inside Story of his Incredible Comeback

We were recently delighted to discover that our interview with Neil Sedaka is referenced several times during the body of Rich Podolsky’s excellent new book Neil Sedaka: Rock N’ Roll Survivor – The Inside Story of his Incredible Comeback.

With a foreword by Elton John, this book provides in-depth insight into the tumultuous trajectory of Sedaka’s stunning career as one of the greatest songwriters in popular music. You can pick up a copy of the book on Amazon USA or Amazon UK.

Fans of music biographies might recognise that Podolsky is also the author of the excellent Don Kirshner bio, The Man with the Golden Ear (which is also available on Amazon).

Special thanks to Rich for including us in his work!