Yesterday the amazing people at FUSE allowed me to be in attendance for a taping of A Different Spin With Mark Hoppus on FUSE on Thursdays at 7 PM. The guest was My Chemical Romance. The taping began with My Chemical Romance sound checking. I stepped into the studio at FUSE and I was blown away with the size of it. It's tiny but they make the most out of the small space they have. As someone who runs a college TV show quite similar to this, I can appreciate little things like this. Their lighting and sound is incredible for a TV studio, it would make a lot of concert venues jealous to see the amount of equipment they have. Their lighting is what makes a lot of the performances so special. Using intelligent/moving lighting, it gives the vibe of a live performance and you lose the fact that it's a tiny TV studio.
The vibe inside the studio is great. If you read my previous entry with my dinner with Mark, you'll read that Mark is a genuinely awesome guy. He isn't a prick talent (See: Bill O'Reilly) who sits in the chair, does his bit, and then peaces out. Mark goes around and talks to everyone. He gave some gifts to the studio audience that entered to win a spot to watch the taping. He'll then go around and talk to the people in attendance. The best thing about Mark is his witty comments that he makes while everyone is prepping to record. If you've seen a Blink concert or know what the band is like, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. Let's not forget about his co-host Amy. She provides just as much charisma as Mark. She plays off of him so well and comes up with a lot of funny things off the top of her head.
As for the interview part, I prefer this over the "TRL" style any day of the week. Having the band sit down on a couch and Mark interview them is truly a pleasure and made it feel so intimate. Although Mark comes in with pre-prepared questions (Most likely thanks to lovely interns and producers), Mark makes interviewing seem like such an easy task. He is so conversational with the bands and can easily improv something and have it come off so natural. I think that's the most underrated part of the show and should be commended much more.
Do you want to know the only thing that sucks about the entire situation? I don't get FUSE in my dorm. FML.
First guests: John Mayer, Neon Trees, Linkin Park, The National
I wish I had an older brother. Someone to look up to, model myself after that person, etc. However, I fill the shoes of being the big brother. Sometimes I feel like I've accomplished that, but other times it seems like I've fallen well short of what the standard of being a big brother entails.
I took a trip to NYC yesterday to get to know more about FUSE's newest TV show called "A Different Spin." It's a format we're somewhat familiar with; it contains artist interviews, performances, fan questions, and the standard music talk show fare that we've seen over the last several years (TRL, Steven's Untitled Rock Show, The Henry Rollins Show). But this is where it gets different. You have two hosts: Mark Hoppus of Blink 182 and comedian Amy Schumer. It's not just your cookie-cutter entertainment show, there are panel discussions, field correspondents and interactive content that keeps the viewer engaged.
Where does that lead paragraph fall into place with this blog? Hoppus gives the aura of an older brother. Wise, yet down to earth. Accomplished but not one to brag. He is open to new ideas and willing to try new things. He didn't sit in the back of the room the entire time on his cell phone. He brought the conversation to the party. He talks to you as if he's your best friend, which should make relating to him very easy when he's hosting the show. Instead of being asked questions, he turned the table on everyone, asking for new music and asking about our past jobs that got us to that meeting. (Note: He even made fun of me for being underage since everyone was drinking and I couldn't. I was the youngest one there by at least 6-7 years).
After having the chance to sit down and have dinner with Mark, Amy and some amazing people at FUSE (Jessica, David, Lauren) I got the impression that this show isn't a forced venture. It's not a bunch of people in suits telling Mark and Amy to read a script verbatim and dictating who they have on the show. Mark and Amy have a natural chemistry together, even at the dinner you could tell that they get along so well.
"From the first day I met Mark, we were like brother and sister. We just trashing and making fun of each other," said Schumer. This electricity from the dynamic duo should translate well onto television, their witty and sometimes sophomoric banter should create lively discussions with the guests on the show.
Mark revealed how bands are selected: he has complete trust over the producers/writers because he feels that they have an amazing taste in music. He will bring in bands that he enjoys as well, however there is one rule to the show. "As long as they (The bands) are passionate about what they do then we'd love to have them on." He also added that while there will be a lot of popular bands on the show, he is excited about the possibility of working with "baby bands" if he feels they could do well on the show.
A segment of the show that allows the fans to get their own questions asked is called Question Mark. Fans can submit questions and 2 will be selected every episode for the hosts to discuss. While Hoppus said he can't guarantee you'll get an actual answer, he said it brings about chatter from everyone on screen.
Don't slack on Schumer either. She's not just a comedian who was cast to tie up the loose ends and keep the show moving smoothly. She's a music lover herself: her tastes range from Wu Tang and Mos Def to Arcade Fire and Sleigh Bells to classic rock. Her versatile taste in music should allow for her and Mark to play off of each other when interviewing the bands that come onto the show. She said her favorite parts of the show so far have been the live performances and hanging out with Mark.
It seems like A Different Spin is headed in the right direction. While the concept isn't the most original, it appears that the show should bring a breath of fresh air to an idea that's had a proven record of success in the past. Be sure to tune in for the first episode!
PS - A big thank you to Mark, Amy, and everyone at FUSE for the opportunity!