Ethan Nadelmann - Fighting the War on Drugs, Ending Marijuana Prohibition, and Creating the Drug Policy Alliance

Ethan Nadelmann is the Founder and Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, a powerful non-profit that has been fighting to end the war on drugs. Ethan and his team have played huge roles in most of the major drug policy reform ballet initiatives in the U.S. ranging from medical marijuana and legalization to prison reform. He’s been all over the news and media ranging from The O’Reilly Factor and Colbert Report, to podcasts like the Joe Rogan Experience or his popular Ted Talk

Ethan dives into his personal story, how he got involved in these issues, how he built what is now a massive organization with global reach, and his thoughts and feedback on the drug war, the history behind it, legalization of marijuana, and what the future holds. 

Listen on: iTunes | Stitcher

Jimmy Gonzales - The Art of Burning Your Ships, Playing the Cards Your Dealt, and Going After What You Love

Born and raised in a world surrounded by violence, drugs, foster homes and crime - Jimmy pulled himself out of a reality the majority of us wouldn't survive. He realized he had a passion for film in his early 20's, and committed his career and life to becoming a professional actor. Now at 40 years old, it's finally becoming a reality for him. 

Jimmy's story serves a great reminder that if we're willing to completely commit ourselves to the things we love, we can eventually achieve them. 

Over the past few years he's had roles in shows ranging from the Walking Dead to House of Cards, and has upcoming guest star roles on two new TV shows - Containment on CW, and Game of Silence on NBC, and will be co-starring in a movie with Nicolas Cage later this year. 

We discuss how he navigated his way through childhood, getting put in foster homes, how he discovered his passion, what it was like following his dream in his 30's (when all of his friends we're settling down), and the point in his career where he began to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

Listen on: iTunes | Stitcher  

Follow Jimmy on Instagram, Twitter, IMDb

Steve Rennie on Managing Incubus, Overcoming Resistance, and Making Shit Happen

From promoting concerts, to becoming a record executive, to managing the platinum selling rock band Incubus, Steve Rennie (a.k.a Renman) has been working in the music business for over 35 years. Today, he runs Renman Music and Business - a mentoring platform that helps aspiring artists and professionals succeed in today's music business. 

How we went from booking concerts at Santa Monica Community College and getting turned down from William Morris, to becoming SVP/GM of Epic Records, and managing one of the most successful bands in rock history is a killer story filled with honest, no-bullshit advice on becoming successful, moving through fear, and taking action. 

Listen on: iTunes | Stitcher 

Check out RenmanMB & Renman U
Watch Renman's YouTube Show 
Follow him on: Instagram / Facebook / Twitter

Bill Detamore on Making Drums for Legendary Bands, Being Authentic, and Creating an Iconic Brand

Bill Detamore is the Founder and President of Pork Pie Percussion, one of today’s most innovative, successful, and recognizable drum companies. The vast majority of his drums are costume, hand made, and have been played by some of the greatest drummers and bands around the world ranging from Green Day and Primus to Guns N’ Roses and Bob Dylan. How he arrived at this point is a long story filled with adversity, hard work, sacrifice, and a complete dedication to his craft. 

In this interview on the Story Riot podcast, Bill reflects on his life and connects the dots, which have led him down this uncommon path of running such an iconic brand. What unfolds is a deep conversation about the importance of finding your passion, how he mastered his craft while working full-time for the government, the sacrifices he’s had to make along the way, how managing the money is the most important aspect of any creative endeavor, and the importance of being willing to take risks, put yourself out there, and deal with failure.

Listen on: iTunes | Stitcher 

Pork Pie Percussion Website
Pork Pie Instagram

Robert J. Barnhart - A New Understading: The Science of Psilocybin

Robert J. Barnhart is the producer and creator of a new documentary called A New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin, which explores helping terminally ill cancer patients who are suffering from end-of-life anxiety with psilocybin. Psilocybin is a psychedelic compound found in mushrooms around the world, and is currently classified as a schedule 1 drug - making unavailable and illegal for anyone to use. Roberts film tells not only the science and history behind the drug, but the story of the patients who go through this treatment, the process, and the benefits they received from it.

Robert also sits on the board of the Heffter Institute and MAPS, both of which are working incredibly hard at legalizing a variety of psychedelic drugs for medical use. 

Listen: iTunes | Stitcher 

Download: A New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin

Nick Maher - Unplanned America

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Nick (far left) is the co-host and creator of Unplanned America - a travel show about 3 Australians who drive across the U.S. with no money, no plan, and limited equipment. Now streaming on Netflix and airing on SBS2 (an Australian network), they've finished 3 seasons and have just begun what seems to be a promising and rewarding career traveling the world and sharing their experiences through a camera. 

Listen on: iTunes | Stitcher

BUDCAST with John Rambo and Chase Ohlson

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To ensure that this podcast continues to be fun and evolve in the best direction possible, I'm going to start bringing on my good friends and throwing them in the hot seat(s). We will refer to these audio gems as the BUDCAST. Slightly different than my regular episodes - where I try to investigate and capture the stories behind great artists and creative entrepreneurs - the BUDCAST has zero agenda, direction, or purpose, other than to have fun and get my friends involved in something I love. 

However, I don't say that to devalue any of these guests - including the two gentlemen above. They're friends I have great respect for, and look up to in a number of ways. Both are great artists and entrepreneurs, and both are putting out great work at a relentless pace. All guests on the BUDCAST (and Story Riot for that matter) will meet these basic requirements, to not stray away from the core of this show. 

John is a Producer, DJ, and Co-Founder of Next Wave and Disco Naps. Chase is the Co-Founder of Buy the Best Drone, and is John's manager. Both also work additional full-time jobs during the week. I still can't figure out how they manage to get it all done. But I tried. Anyway, enjoy this conversation. 

Listen on: iTunes | Stitcher 

David Evanko - MINIVAN Photography

"You can always find a job... And I liked the direction I was going with the hotel, but it gets to the point where you can't be yourself. They're like, 'you got to cut your hair, and you go to dress this way, and you got to talk this way.' And that's not me. I'm not going to fake it the rest of my life... I'd rather be myself for the rest of my life, make less money, and feel good about what I'm doing. It never sat right for me."

On this episode of the Story Riot Podcast, I chat with David Evanko. After graduating college, with no previous experience in photography, he just started showing up at venues by himself and taking photos. Three years later, he's shot hundreds of bands that have come through the L.A. music scene, making himself well-known, touring with several brands, and getting featured in various magazines. We discuss everything from how and why he got started, to why getting robbed and loosing everything became a huge turning point, and his thoughts on dealing with the inevitable self-doubt that comes with creating anything. 

Listen on: iTunes | Stitcher 

David's Website

Max Temkin - Cards Against Humanity

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"I think people imagine that we had some plan and the pieces all clicked into place, and I think that’s also a story people often tell about their past successes. If you’re successful, it’s easy to look back into the past and see your progress as the result of like this clean thrust forward… But the reality was we were always panicking and trying to put out one fire after another, and we never knew what we were doing." - Max Temkin 

Cards Against Humanity Co-Founder Max Temkin gets on the podcast to discuss how him and 7 other childhood best friends created one of the most iconic and recognizable games over the last several years. From not accepting any outside investment, to shipping people boxes of actual bull shit on Black Friday, these guys consistently march to the beat of their own drum which inevitably keeps feeding their momentum and success year after year. 

Listen on: iTunes | Stitcher | YouTube

LINKS:  Twitter // Facebook

Charlie Todd - Improv Everywhere

Charlie Todd is the creator of Improv Everywhere, a popular YouTube channel and prank collective. They've been terrorizing New York City and the world with humor and fun since 2001, and have since completed 100+ missions and have built a foundation of 1.7+ million subscribers online, making Improv Everywhere a powerful and well-known online comedy brand. Being one of the first (if not the first) prank style YouTube channel and online show, they've done everything from performing musicals inside of grocery stores, to getting thousands of people to ride with subway system without pants.