Rich Howells

NEPA SCENE PODCAST: MCR owner John Phillips on event design, NEPA music, and Breaking Benjamin

NEPA SCENE PODCAST: MCR owner John Phillips on event design, NEPA music, and Breaking Benjamin
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Recorded and produced every week by Internet marketing company Coal Creative in their production studio in downtown Wilkes-Barre, the award-winning NEPA Scene Podcast presents honest, uncensored interviews and in-depth discussions about local arts, entertainment, and the issues that matter to Northeastern Pennsylvania.

The live, multi-camera show streams in high definition on NEPA Scene’s Facebook page on Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. and is hosted by Rich Howells, editor and founder of NEPA Scene; Brittany Boote, owner of Boote Photography Studio in Forty Fort; and Johnny Popko, the senior marketing consultant at local radio stations Alt 92.1, Rock 107, and ESPN Radio. Viewers are encouraged to tune in during each hour-long episode and interact during the Facebook Live stream so that the hosts can address comments and answer questions as they come in.

After the live webcast, the show is available the following Friday as an audio podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Stitcher, while the video version can be seen on Facebook and YouTube.

The NEPA Scene Podcast is made possible by local sponsors Beer Boys, The Keys, Loyalty Barber Shop and Shave Parlor, the F.M. Kirby Center, Coal Creative, and viewers who tune in every week.

In Episode 28, we sit down with John “Guido” Phillips, owner and designer of MCR Design Group, director of production for Heavy Grass, a former local musician, and a freelance tour manager, previously working with bands like multi-platinum rockers Breaking Benjamin.

Before and during the interview, we drink crowlers of Framboise by Fegley’s Brew Works in Allentown and Bethlehem, Mango Wheat by Free Will Brewing in Perkasie (a brewery that Massive Beer Reviews has featured before), and Pineapple Express by Mispillion River Brewing in Delaware, courtesy of Beer Boys in Wilkes-Barre. We also do some shots of Jägermeister, which we immediately regret.

We talk about his time as a local musician in bands like UUU and OurAfter, how education plays a role in changing music scenes, founding the Steamtown Original Music Showcase and its ups and downs, Breaking Benjamin putting national focus on NEPA music and what was going on in the scene at the time, the area’s often negative perception, working with Breaking Benjamin and how people see the band in its different incarnations, the importance of a band’s story, working for Heavy Grass and his views on cannabis, doing business and detrimental taxes in Pennsylvania, achieving happiness, being a parent, what MCR does and the key to its success, Johnny and John’s long history together, and more.

We also take questions and comments from live viewers, addressing hopes of an OurAfter reunion, telling a story about a little girl meeting Benjamin Burnley, and hair tips. Additionally, we give tickets away to a live pro wrestling event at GSW Arena in Old Forge with meet and greet passes for Sean Waltman, a.k.a. WWE Superstar X-Pac.

Watch the live video version on YouTube:

Listen to the audio version on iTunes.

Listen on SoundCloud:

Listen on Stitcher.

Watch the original Facebook Live stream:

The views and opinions expressed during this podcast do not necessarily reflect those of the hosts, NEPA Scene, Coal Creative, or our sponsors.