Mr. Malchus (left hand side)If you’ve listened to any episode of The Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour, you’ll realize that for Jeff and myself, the basement is the place where we get banished as punishment for bad behavior. (I knew that last trip to Taco Bell wasn’t going to be well-received, but I just had to go there.) For our Popdose brother Scott Malchus, the basement was something completely different.

While I (this is Matt speaking) didn’t claim the basement as an adopted home for my early music discovery, I can identify with a lot of what Scott has written about in the past few years in his Basement Songs column. As we discuss in today’s podcast, growing up for me basically involved two things: books and music. I constantly had music either in my headphones or streaming through the speakers and because of that, I can tie a lot of my life experiences back to the albums and songs that I was listening to as things and events were in motion.

The musical soundtrack that went with those moments was key and it’s something that sticks with me as the years pass and I remember those times and the people that I shared those experiences with.

So even though I wasn’t sitting there in the basement with Scott, listening to those songs and albums, his words and stories certainly took me there.

When I first heard that he was planning to make a book out of some of the best of the columns that he had written for the site, I was pretty excited and anyone who knows me will tell you that I can be pretty darn annoying when I’m excited about something….and it lasts until I hold the highly anticipated item in my hands, if it is a CD, a book, or whatever it might be.

With the Basement Songs book finally on my bookshelf, I can assure you that it was worth the wait. Malchus has taken the columns and remixed them for this print edition, complete with bonus tracks and new liner notes (read: additional paragraphs and stories) to create a cohesive narrative that makes this book feel like more of a story than a collection.

We spent a late Sunday evening talking with Scott about the book, to discuss the assembly process, the world of self-publishing and a variety of other subjects, including the whereabouts of former Night Ranger keyboardist Alan “Fitz” Fitzgerald.

For more than three days, we held Malchus hostage in a rented basement in Peoria, Illinois, to allow for adequate time to really talk about Basement Songs. Jeff and I wanted to become closer with Scott and experience that feeling that you can usually only find while waiting in line at Dunkin’ Donuts with friends who have offered to lend you money to buy a dozen blueberry cake donuts.

I’m not sure that we really achieved that, but we managed to get a good podcast out of our time together. On early Wednesday morning, as we said goodbye to Malchus and sent him on his way to promote the book via more traditional outlets (we were after all, pretty sick of him taunting us with words like “Entertainment Weekly“) and there was a definite sense of sadness. Something had come to an end, but the audio memories will live on, forever.

The Matt N’ Jeff Radio Hour, Episode 8: Scott Malchus interview 

Learn more about the Basement Songs book here and for God’s sake, purchase your own copy in paperback or Kindle.

Scott is donating 100% of the profits from all books sold to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.