As hosts of the phenomenally popular The Brett Davern Show with Marty podcast, Brett Davern, best known for his role on MTV’s Awkward, and musician friend Marty Shannon have, to date, racked up more than 500,000 followers across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram alone. With new episodes of the podcast airing now, the pair kindly agreed to this interview to chat friendship, dream guests and ultimate ambitions.
PW: How did the two of you meet?
Brett: I met Marty through my friend and fellow Awkward cast member Jillian Rose Reed.
Marty: I met Brett the same way Brett met me ... unless, of course, the rumors are true and he stalked me for a couple months before we formally met.
PW: How would you sum each other up in three words?
B: Marty is sharp, funny, and talented.
M: My boy Brett is determined, smart, and brave. I wish you would have let me have more than three words...
PW: You're both established individuals in the entertainment industry, but when did you first realize you wanted to be part of it?
B: I realized I wanted to work in the entertainment industry during my first school play in the 4th grade. That moment I got my first applause, I was hooked for life.
M: For me, it was when I realized how the power of music makes people feel a certain way and connects people. I don't remember the day, but I know it was early on.
PW: Brett, you rose to fame on MTV's Awkward. What made you decide to audition for the show, and can you recall your audition at all?
B: I remember the audition like it was yesterday. It was pilot season, so it’s a busy time for us actors out here. Awkward, which was called That Girl at the time, was my second of three auditions that day. I remember loving the script and wishing I would get the part. I am so happy that it worked out and the fans love it as much as I do!
PW: You've also had roles on shows including Shameless, Chosen and CSI: Miami, but what would your dream role be?
B: I don’t really have a dream role per se. I just love doing cool interesting projects with interesting characters.
PW: Marty, you're a musician, so which artists influenced you growing up, and how have those influences changed over the years?
M: I think I'll always be influenced by guys like Jason Mraz and John Mayer. I spent a lot of time as a young man staying up till 2AM watching Jason Mraz videos on YouTube. He was always playing small bars in some beautiful city with a completely silent and completely captivated audience -- it made my heart ache so badly to do the same. I have always loved the lyrics of a song more than anything else. I look up to guys like Jason Mraz, John Mayer, Dallas Green, Ray Lamontagne, and Jeff Mangum from Neutral Milk Hotel, as well as bands like The Decemberists and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
PW: How would you sum up your latest EP Twenty Six Hundred, and do you have a favourite track on the collection?
M: Twenty Six Hundred is the distance in miles between my old house in Florida and my new place in Los Angeles. So not only does it represent the literal distance I have traveled since starting music but I also tried to show how far I have come figuratively as well. It's an album that means a lot to me. I wrote some of the songs on my own and some with friends. While I never thought I would have “co-writers,” I realized that collaboration is very important, and that kind of realization into maturity is why I feel like it's been two thousand, six hundred miles since my old way of making music. "One More Night" is my favorite song from the album. It's a song about an experience I think we have all had -- when someone has to go but you just can’t accept or believe it. The song came out exactly how I wanted it to thanks to my amazing producer Matt Chiarelli, who I could not have made this album without. Blending happiness and sadness into my music is really something I love doing because, in my opinion, that is the real and honest human experience.
PW: Who came up with the idea for the two of you to start a podcast?
B: We are both really big podcast fans and have always thrown around the idea of starting one of our own. I found myself with some free time, so I figured, “why not now!” I called Marty, and he agreed, so then we recruited my friend Ben to produce, and we were off and running.
M: Brett asked me one day if I wanted to give it a shot. I love podcasts so much and jumped at the chance to do it.
PW: You've had a number of famous names on recent podcasts, including Monty Geer, Jillian Rose Reed and Nathan Kress, but, if you could get any celebrity on your show, who would it be and why?
B: Jon Gruden! It’s football season! But Scarlett Johansson would be cool too! ScarJo, call us back!
M: Obama or bust!
PW: The podcast has over 3,000 subscribers, and more are signing up every week. What do you think it is about your show that makes it so popular?
B: Me being an actor and Marty being a musician gives us a different perspective than most “interview” style shows/podcasts. We are not really interviewers of our guests; we are peers, so that gives the show a slightly different flavor. Not to mention most of our guests so far are actual real life friends of ours. So our audience gets to listen in on us hanging out with our friends. I think and hope that the energy really comes through the speakers when you are listening. Also, our recurring segments and games are always fun, and our audience seems to really love those. We have my mom on the show all the time, and people really like hearing her on there, which is fun for me!
M: I think it has so much to do with the fact that Brett and I are just friends that talk to each other, and the mics just happen to be there. There's a sincerity that comes through, and I think people really pick up on that. The same goes for our guests. I think they feel the genuine bond Brett and I have, and it loosens them up to the point where it's just a group of buddies having a good conversation.
PW: Of all the shows you've done so far, do you have any favourites or favourite topics you've discussed?
B: Some people have really opened up to us. I love it when that happens. Nathan Kress told us a super embarrassing story, Greer Grammer opened up about self-esteem issues in high school, and Tyler Posey told us about his fantasy make out session with his movie mom J.Lo. You never know what’s going to happen.
M: I just love hearing people talk about their passions, how they got to where they are now, why they do what they do ... nothing is more poetic than the honesty of someone's story.
PW: How has social media helped boost your audience/fan-base, and do you think that both yourselves and the podcast would have the following you do without it?
B: We use social media a lot! That’s the cool thing about the time we are living in; there are a million different ways to reach an audience. We are still playing with all the ways to utilize the internet. We are on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, we have a YouTube channel, and we have a website. You can also find us on Snapchat. Any I missed? MySpace? No, we don’t have that. BrettDavernShow for all those.
M: Social media is key to our success so far. I'm pretty sure it is key to everyone's success nowadays. It's pretty hard to function without the power of social media. I think what's so cool about our podcast is that we have sort of turned it into its own little form of social media. We talk to our fans with it. We talk about our days/weeks with it. Brett and I discuss stuff that matters to us and hopefully to the listeners. In those ways, it's a lot like Twitter or Facebook!
PW: Where would you like to see your collaboration go in future?
B: I would love to just see this thing keep growing: use the podcast to promote various projects we have going on, and see those projects bring attention to the podcast. Let one beast feed the other, so to speak.
M: We are both guys that are always trying to take it to the next level in whatever way possible. Everything from here on out can only help both of our respective careers AND our collective careers as podcast hosts.
PW: Are there any other projects in the pipeline you can tell me about in terms of your individual careers?
B: I recently did a three episode stint on Major Crimes on TNT, which is currently airing. I playing a bad guy -- very different from my character “Jake” on Awkward.
M: I just started tracking my next album. Hopefully, I can have some teasers by the end of the year! I cannot wait for people to hear it. I have also been doing a lot of songwriting for TV, so keep an eye out for ol' Marty Shannon in the credits of your favorite show!
PW: Finally then, what are your ultimate ambitions as performers, and what advice would you give to anyone looking to follow in your footsteps?
B: Advice? Never ever give up. There is always a way or something you can be doing to get yourself closer to what you want to accomplish. My ultimate goal is to just keep doing what I am doing right now. I think that, a few years ago, my work ethic was not what I wanted it to be, so I’m making up for that now.
M: I want to fill a theater with people who do not speak my language but know every word of my songs. I would cry, then die. It's what I work toward every day. As far as advice ... Leave home. Go far away from what's comfortable. Meet people. Go get a job in Norway scraping barnacles off a boat. Get super lost. Live in a place where your kitchen and bathroom are a few feet apart. Be sad and happy and angry and fall in love and get your heart broken. Be alone with your thoughts, and don't be afraid to not know why. Feel things righteously. Don't make sense of them. Accept yourself. Love yourself. And never ever forget that you have all the time in the world.
You can check out and subscribe to Brett and Marty's podcast on iTunes.