Monstercat Milestones: COTW 300
Six years strong, we’ve arrived at our 300th episode of Call of the Wild!
Hey Monstercat fans! Six years ago, we launched our weekly radio show with the help of the show’s director and host, Dan Scarcelli. Call of the Wild has played a big part in introducing fans to artists and songs over the years, and has helped form many connections in the comments sections and on social media! It’s one of the ways we’re able to voice Monstercat’s family vey Mowey Monstercat fans! Six years ago, we launched our weekly radio show with the help of the show’s director and host, Dan Scarcelli. Call of the Wild has played a big part in introducing fans to artists and songs over the years, and
What does the 300 episode milestone signify to you?
For me, 300 episodes of Call of the Wild means six years of doing a show every single week, and it’s funny because, when you think 300, it’s like 300 weeks, 300 episodes—that doesn’t necessarily feel like six years. But when you start to actually do the math, you realize how long it is. It feels very rewarding and like something I’m really happy we, as a company, continue to do.
How has COVID impacted Call of the Wild and/or the release schedule?
Listeners know that we’re very in-tune with current affairs, especially in terms of COVID, and we’ve addressed it on the show. In terms of producing the show, we’re fortunate that it hasn’t changed the schedule at all. The fact is, right now I’m sitting at home in my apartment. I was able to borrow a boom mic, so we can produce the show remotely. Same with mixing the content and live streaming it; it can all be done remotely. We’ve been able to introduce new content as well. Misthisteners know that we’re very in-tune with current affairs, especially in terms of COVID, and we’ve addressed it on the show. In te
In 2018, Monstercat split into Uncaged and Instinct. Did that have an effect on the music chosen for COTW?
In short, it didn’t change a whole lot about how we programmed the show. However, it did allow us to do some creative features. We’ve had Uncaged features, Instinct features, it allowed us to balance the two styles of music a bit differently on the show. What some have likely realized over the years is that Call of the Wild has gone back and forth with the amount of Uncaged and the amount of Instinct, and that’s mainly because, as we syndicate and the show becomes available on more platforms, there’s a different demand for styles. I would never want the show to lean entirely one way or the other, because that’s not what Monstercat is.
Prior to 2017, our radio show was called “The Monstercat Podcast”. Its new name, Call of the Wild, debuted after episode 151 in 2017. Who came up with the new moniker?
Oh man, that was a collaborative effort! It was myself, Darlington, Angela [the former host], Tyler [our former mixer]— there were a lot of us. We spent two months going through a bunch of different names and [Call of the Wild] ultimately was the one that everyone agreed upon. I learned from that experience that it's very hard to come up with a name for something... and it’s very hard to rename something! You just need to have valid reasons why and just go with it and make something out of whatever decision you’re choosing.
Were there any other names under consideration?
There was one with “Journey” in it, I remember “Unbound” was a word we were considering. I pushed for a name that lived outside of the word “Monstercat.” My one regret is that, at the time, I hadn’t explored my library of literature, and I wasn’t fully aware that there was already a successful novel written by a Canadian called “The Call of the Wild.” Had I researched, I think I would have definitely considered that and definitely rethought, or maybe rephrased the name.
The Mix Contest has been a staple event on the show and we’re coming up on year five. How did you develop the concept for the Mix Contest?
I need to give credit to my fiancée for that one. She got me hooked on reality game shows and the one that started the idea for the mix contest was called MTV’s The Challenge. Ironically, when I started watching it, we had just completed a sync deal with them, so the first season I watched was filled with Monstercat music. From watching that, Master Chef, Big Brother, Survivor—all of these shows were fascinating to me because they had people with similar skill sets competing against each other. I thought it would be really cool to develop a concept with that idea, and I was like, “how do I bring this back to Monstercat? How do I bring it back to Call of the Wild?” Well, mixing! I know a lot of our fans out there have said that they are home DJs. We originally launched it as a one-off, and it seemed to work and people liked it and it was really fun to do, so we turned it into a yearly thing.
What’s the most meaningful or standout comment you’ve received about COTW?
I don’t think this is just my opinion, I think this goes for anyone at Monstercat: we really appreciate when we read, listen, hear, comments about how our music or content or radio show was a positive influence in someone’s life. There are people who have met, dated, found a significant other or a friend through our platforms—those are connections that flourished online and then manifested into real life but would have never occurred if it wasn’t for Call of the Wild (or our YouTube channel or Twitch or Twitter, Facebook, etc). And that’s always special.
Secondly, I love when we hold real conversations about important issues that are occurring in the world. Last month we did a special for Earth Day, and last year we did a special on the radio show with #TeamTrees, where we talked about climate change, and there were very positive reactions to that. I think that’s very powerful.
There have been many radio show takeovers over the years. What is one that stands out as particularly memorable or special?
Oh man! Really, there’s no favourite out of all of them. One that stands out, maybe because I was thinking about them recently, was one we did with Sh man!wh man! Really, there’s no favourite out of all of them. One that stands out, maybe because I was thinking about them recently, was one we did with Skyellewhich I thought was really fun because she took over the show. She hosted it and she called on guests and did this mini takeover game. And that I think really started us down this path of tNh man! Reah man! Really, there’s no favourite out of all of them. One that stands out, maybe because I was thinking about them recently, was one we did with Skyellewhich I th
Visual artist Bisual artistwisual artist Bene Rohlmannwas featured on Call of the Wild recently. Do you feel like the door is open to feature more kinds of non-music
Absolutely—and for that episode, I need to give all the credit to Hollie [from our apparel team] who did an amazing job hosting! Hollie has always wanted to be involved in podcasting, and that was something that I think she was really going to excel in, so we got her involved and I know that there’s going to be more of these episodes coming out. It totally opened the door for guests beyond musical artists.
A few fans had questions for Dan ahead of our 300th episode of Call of the Wild!
Eligon: "Who does the cover artwork for the current COTW episodes? The landscapes illustrations look incredible."
It’s Mike Y. He’s done a lot of other artworks on our label as well. F.O.O.L, PYLOT, Feint—I know that there’s more there. I reached out to him because I really liked those styles and we commissioned him to do about 10 different landscapes. We interchange them and use them for different episodes.
Makwill: "Hey Dan, It's Makwill! I'm planning on starting [my] own music podcast with my friend; it will be half talking and half music—any tips for starting or work details? What problems might arise and how [can we] avoid them?"
Well, first of all, I think that’s a great idea! To get into the nitty gritty of how to actually create a podcast [...] on a higher level, I think that any project you start – a podcast or a livestream or anything – set a schedule and stick to it. Know that talent and skill and ease is only going to come after doing it for a long time. There will be times you may not be motivated to continue, but you need to stick to the schedule. In earlier times when we were doing the radio show, I got worried that we were going to run out of music. I remember there was a brief time that we went to half hour episodes, and that was because I feared we weren't able to keep fresh tracks. Then, as we kept doing it, I realized that we did have a sustainable release schedule.
Ethani: "Dan! What do you plan on doing with the Mix Contest this year? Will it still be happening even though Compound has been canceled, and, if so, what would the reward be for this year’s winner?”
The answer is yes, it’s still happening! Once we get past episode 300, we’re going to start rolling that out. I’m really excited for it! I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s going to occur on our Twitch and Mixer, like how we did last time. We’ll be sharing more info about the Mix contest soon!
Hellession: “Will the current visualization of the podcast change in the future? If so, why?”
Yeah, of course it will change in the future! When I’m not sure, but the biggest thing that I’ve learned from all those different changes is that, because this is a weekly show, any visual change needs to have an element of how we are going to sustain this every week. Right now, the format that we have, to give more life to our visual loops that we make for YouTube, I think is a very good system. Especially with new music coming out, there’s a lot of tracks now per episode that have animated background loops and not just artwork. Right now, there’s no plans to change it, but I would for sure say that it will change in the future.
Hellession: “Is there an archive of some sort Monstercat has or may have where visual sides of the episodes can be seen? If not, is there an official resource for the tracklist?”
It all depends. The show left YouTube a while ago. I have all the videos. I have every single video that’s been corrected, done, and backed up. Are they available publicly? No. Will they be at some point? Depends on the platform! Audio-wise, we’ve made sure that the show exists in its audio format from start to finish. You can find that on St all ,t all depends. The show left YouTube a while agwt all .t
Disharmonik: “What is your favourite moment(s) while working on Call of the Wild (anything memorable?)”
Episode 100 was very memorable! Tyler and I kind of co-mixed that. When I first started working for Monstercat, my first and second year was big, huge personal growth for me in terms of my profession. I had not expected this to be where my life would go. So, for me, those early mixes meant a lot because it was this justification that I enjoyed what I was doing and I believed I was doing it well and I saw people positively affected by things that I was doing! Thinking back, there are so many moments that give this really warm and rewarding feeling.
WalleFails: "What is the most memorable interaction that you've had with a member of the community?"
Probably with Walle! Every single time I’m in Twitch chat he jokingly calls me a scrub, so I’ve just stopped responding to him. He knows that I see it and I’m not offended by it. I think it’s hilarious.
Here’s to many more memorable moments on Call of the Wild!
For 300 episodes, we’ve been innovating through our weekly radio show to bring audiences closer to each other and to our artists. There have been so many incredible moments over these past six years, from having special guests appear on-air to hosting mix contests where members of our own community get a chance to show what they’re made of. None of this would be possible without Dan, so we’d like to give him a huge shout-out for all of the work he’s done since day one orchestrating Cor 300 episodes!