If you’re a regular 225 reader, chances are you’re not of the opinion that Baton Rouge sucks.
And, perhaps ironically, neither are the three host-founders of the self-proclaimed “most famous podcast in Baton Rouge.”
Yes, the team behind the Baton Rouge Sucks podcast in fact has a lot of love for the Red Stick—jeeringly as they may tend to express it.
The three hosts—Zack Douglas, Zak Lanius and Deven Jackson—first dove into the BR underground playing in bands like Wimpsville, Shadow People, Mayhaps and Za-Bra.
Now, be it through their interviews with local musical artists like _thesmoothcat, Ria Rosa, Chloe Marie and many others, or their jousts with local celebrity chef Jay Ducote, the trio explores, promotes and yes, derides, just about every facet of life and culture in Baton Rouge since their inaugural episode in May 2018.
Whether they’re weighing in on pop culture, blasting local media or just going where the conversation takes them, they say it’s all in the name of comedy, irony and satire.
The Baton Rouge Sucks podcast airs on a loose weekly schedule, streamable on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. The team also shares uncensored thoughts and memes on the podcast’s Facebook page, where it has more than 14,000 followers.
225 sat down with the podcasters to chat about some of their unforgettable moments, the learning curve of hosting their own show, and their experiences with mild fame. batonrougesucks.buzzsprout.com
What led you to first make the podcast?
Zak Lanius: We had a bunch of friends in Baton Rouge who made weird art and music that we wanted to tell other people about. And we like drinking and joking around with our friends, so we figured, why not try to promote people and do that, and maybe it’ll be entertaining.
Deven Jackson: There were also a lot of shows happening around that time (read: before COVID), so it was a good way to get the shows out and promote them.
What was it like at the beginning?
Zack Douglas: Learning how to interview people was a little weird.
Lanius: I think we kind of decided–or at least I did–to just lean into being terrible at interviewing people. Sometimes you can get more information out of people that way.
What have been some of the most notable moments?
Douglas: One time we did a Band of Brothers watch-through, where you could sync our podcast to the show, and it was like you’re watching it with us. We also did Pissy Sad Sad Night, which was like an online open-mic.
Lanius: I beat Jay Ducote in a cooking competition.
How did that come to happen?
Lanius: I put out a challenge, and Jay accepted. He’d been on the pod a couple of times, but I guess we were just talking so much trash that he had to come on again.
When did you start to realize you had a real fanbase?
Douglas: People have come up to us that we don’t know, so that’s been weird—and cool, I guess.
Lanius: And we’ve had a lot of different people reach out to us about being on the podcast or doing collaborations with us.
Have they been people you wouldn’t expect to reach out to you?
Lanius: Yeah, or people we wouldn’t expect to, like, associate with us at all. They let us on the real radio once or twice, which was kind of weird.
It feels like a forbidden subject, but I have to ask: Do you make any money from the podcast?
Douglas: It covered Red Bulls at first, and now that we have to use Zoom, it covers the Zoom subscription.
Do you ever get tired of making the podcast?
Douglas: It’s like being in a local band: You play to 20 to 30 to, hopefully, 50 people, usually; and we have way more than that who listen to us. So it’s kind of hard to be like, ‘Oh, I should stop doing this thing when it’s more successful than this other thing that I put way more work into and did not get nearly as successful.’
Lanius: It always ends up being fun, because it’s really, at the least, just three friends hanging out and trying to make each other laugh.
Answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.
This article was originally published in the January 2023 issue of 225 magazine.