Midway through last year, Dylan Buckley took the leap and decided to start his own podcast, ‘Dyl and Friends.’ Now in his second season with the Giants, the former Blue opens up about why he decided to go down that path, the success he has received so far, who he would like to chat to, and his hopes for the future.
Who has the best podcast at the Giants, you or Phil Davis?
Without a doubt I do. I actually didn’t know Phil Davis had a podcast, to be honest [laughs]. Normally when I look for podcasts, I look at the top 10, so I wouldn’t notice anything that sits outside of that.
Well, you can’t argue with audience numbers, can you?
Take me back a step or two and explain how you first came up with the idea to do a podcast, and why?
Throughout my footy career, I have always done bits and pieces with the media when I was at Carlton and always enjoyed that side of it. I liked hosting harmless videos for the club website and always thought of it as a bit of fun. When my time was up at the Blues, I started to think about what was next for me and I really enjoy podcasts — I have always liked listening to them — and the murder mystery ones I have been quite keen on, so I thought, what can I do? What can I bring to the table? Eventually, I landed on the idea of just interviewing my mates and people I knew and have continued to go down that path. Initially, I just thought it was a bit of fun and didn’t expect anyone to listen, but it has started to get some good views and I will continue to just go with the flow.
How about the name, ‘Dyl and Friends?’ Clearly it encapsulates what you just explained before about what you wanted the podcast to be, but how did you land on it as the name?
Honestly, it was just the first thing I thought of. I am a pretty relaxed sort of guy and don’t think too much into those things. I just thought, ‘I’m Dyl and I have my friends on so Dyl and Friends will do.’
You’re 11 episodes in… how have you gone about selecting your guests?
I have tried to find guys that have interesting stories and also guys that people want to hear from. Early on, I started with a lot of teammates because they were easy to get, and it was easy to interview them on the day off. Starting a new podcast, it is hard to land big fish, so that was the early plan but now I am trying to broaden my guests and get guys from other clubs — not just AFL but also some actors and musicians and other athletes. Anyone with a good story is what I want because I have found that it isn’t just about the name, it is about their story and what they have to tell. I want to uncover more good stories.
How receptive has everyone been when you have asked them on as guests? Have you got a good strike rate?
It’s been incredible! I honestly thought when I was asking people that they would say no, but everyone has been so forthcoming and so keen to jump on. Everyone I have asked has said yes, so it is one of those things where if you don’t ask, you don’t get. I am more confident just going for it and asking people now.
Which of the interviews have you enjoyed the most?
I really enjoy the ones where their players that I don’t play with and don’t know everything about them. I recently recorded one with Paddy McCartin, and I only knew him through one of my best mates, Jack Newnes. I had only had a few beers with Paddy over the years previously, but was confident he had a cool story to tell being a former No. 1 pick and playing with Type 1 Diabetes and enduring all of those concussions. I was keen to sit down with him and get to know more about him because his story can have a massive impact on not just the AFL world, but also for kids who suffer with Diabetes. That interview felt like a breakthrough because it introduced a whole new group of listeners through another club. Besides that, one of my other favourites was sitting down with ‘Razor’ Ray Chamberlain, which was just unbelievable. He is such a good dude and he couldn’t have been more generous with his time — we sat down for an hour and a half and had a couple of beers together in the off-season and just nutted it out. I couldn’t get him to shut up in the end!
Why did you think of him? Is it just because he is a much-maligned figure and most people wouldn’t know what he is really like?
I suppose I just was thinking about who people would want to hear from, rather than guys that are always in the media. Razor Ray has got one of those personalities and the perception in the media is that he is a bit cocky but he honestly couldn’t have been any different to that perception, he couldn’t have been a better bloke. The amount of people who commented and reviewed and said, ‘Wow, I can’t believe how good of a bloke he was,’ was awesome. To just sit down and have an open chat with him was really cool.
Do you expect any favours towards yourself and the team this year?
I really don’t know, but I’ll definitely be asking for some! We’re good mates now.
I’ve enjoyed the input from your mum with her recording. It’s a nice touch. How did you decide to do that?
I think I just knew that I needed another voice to break up the podcast. You don’t want to hear the same voice all the time, and obviously I don’t have any sponsors just yet so I thought it’d be good to include my mum. She is my biggest fan and she is the most important person to me and on the show I try to be myself and show people that I love my mum dearly and I just want her to be part of it. I thought I might have copped a bit of flak for it, but everyone has been really good.
Speaking of the sponsorship opportunities, I have heard the Noble Boy plug in an episode. Are you just looking to help them out? Is there a contra deal going on?
Yeah, we’re just helping each other out. I’m good mates with the boys who run it, Sam Grimley, Joe Daniher and Ben Stratton. Basically, they give me a slab and I give them a shout out, then I give that slab to my guests for going on the show. It’s just nice to help each other out. Another one I have is Rixx eyewear which is my teammate Tommy Sheridan’s sunglass brand and I give him a plug as well and give some sunnies to the guests that come on.
He certainly doesn’t miss an opportunity to promote himself does Tommy. Will he be on the podcast at some point?
I want him on, but he wants to hold off. I thinks he’s a big fish so he has given me a linear timeline, so it might have to wait for a few weeks.
The little episode descriptors are quite humorous as well. Are they your creation?
I tell my mate what is happening and then he puts them together. I’m not the best with my typing and my wording so I can’t take full credit for that.
In terms of the production, are you putting the episodes together, or do you have someone assisting you?
I record them and have all the equipment with me, but a representative from the club who I am really good mates with works with me to cut it all up. Everything that goes into an episode is my idea, and then he helps me cut it up and makes it all nice. It is a massive job and I am still learning how to do it.
Who are the sorts of guests that we can expect to hear from in the future?
I would love to land some big fish. I have a few really cool guys coming up — hopefully I’m going to speak to one of my former teammates Eddie Betts. I would like to get Steve Johnson and a few other boys like Lenny Hayes. I hope that I can sit down with a few more people with some really cool stories, but other than that I would like to get some other Australian athletes and not just AFL players. The bigger it gets, the more likely I will get some replies when I hit people up!
How did the Mitch Starc/Nathan Lyon episode come up?
Everyone that comes on the show, I literally just hit them up on Instagram and slide into their DMs and ask the question. I have been surprised at how many people who have replied to them. I never thought they would reply to the messages. I guess in a way the podcast is free advertising for them because we discuss them the whole time.
Are you feeling more confident with your interview craft, and are you armed with plenty of questions to ask while you’re recording?
I write down bullet points that I want to get across which has started to work for me. Early on, it was a little more all over the shop with what I was doing. The last few episodes I have had a bit more of a plan about where I want to go with it. Now I have a formula that I have worked out and I try to make it a bit more consistent for the listeners so they know where I am going. There are things I can still improve on, and I will get better with the more episodes I do.
Do you have a plan for yourself post footy? Media gigs, perhaps?
Not yet. I’m still enjoying seeing where it can take me, but down the track I’m sure I will look at moving into those sorts of things. I don’t want to be on TV or anything like that, but I am enjoying what I am doing now and if it led to a career at some stage I wouldn’t be complaining. One thing I am looking to do in the future is to film the podcast so I have vision of each episode.
That seems to be the way many podcasts are going. Do you have any specific podcasts you have tried to emulate?
I listen to a lot of podcasts, but none of them are like my own. I enjoy listening to the famous murder mystery ones — I’m a bit of a creep like that. I like a good murder mystery!
What is it about the murder mysteries that ropes you in?
I am a bit of a crime nuffy. I have always had an obsession with them. Maybe one day I will do one of those!
I look forward to it. Thanks for sitting down and good luck with it.
No worries. Thank you!