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Interview: Tom Marshall and RJ Bee on New Podcast Network Osiris

Mike Greenhaus | February 22, 2018

"I've been privileged to be with Phish as they grew from having two people in the audience to 75,000, and I’ve seen how fans have given back to the band in different ways and to the community,” says longtime Phish songwriter Tom Marshall as he traces the origins of his popular podcast, Under the Scales. “Those are the fans I want to interview—they not only have juicy stories, but they have also given something back to the band.”

Marshall is currently sitting in an office usually reserved for video sessions at Relix’s New York headquarters talking about the digital project he’s on the verge of launching with Helping Friendly Podcast host RJ Bee. Two of the best-known podcasters tracking the Phish scene, Marshall and Bee met two years ago and started talking about, as Bee says, “how we could bring more music content to more people, and how we could spend more time thinking and talking about music.”

The result of those conversations is Osiris, a new partnership with Relix that will bring a veritable arena-section of likeminded music podcasters into a single network. Osiris’ name is taken from a line in “Guelah Papyrus,” an old-school Phish composition that Marshall wrote with Trey Anastasio, and his goal is to share resources with other podcasters, focusing on deep conversations and critical analysis of bands both in and outside of the jamband scene. (“It rolls off  the tongue, even though it’s the Egyptian lord of the underworld,” Marshall says with a laugh of the network’s name.”)

“Tom came up with the code name ‘Osiris’ and that’s how we referred to the project, and it stuck,” Bee says. “We’ve come in contact with a lot of artists, managers and others seeking to engage more authentically with fans and with the community. So it’s this coming together of fans who care about the music so much that they’re willing to listen to an hour-long discussion, companies who are trying to connect with fans in a less generic ways and artists who are trying to engage with their audiences in more organic ways.”

Osiris is set to officially launch early this year and will be a visible presence both online and at a variety of live music events in the coming months. (Look for a Relix-branded podcast featuring Marshall, Bee and members of our editorial team in the near future, too).

“We’ve brought together some amazing podcasters who have put in a ton of work building their own unique, music podcasts,” Bee says. “These podcasts are the foundation of the Osiris community, which will connect passionate music fans with more content about the music and artists they love.”

Marshall admits, “I did three episodes a month for one year and was unable to become attractive to advertisers, even though I had a million downloads. And I thought: ‘Rather than being told this door isn’t open to you, let’s get 10 of me together.’ The cool thing about us is that we’re laser-focused on music and there’s a lot of people that want to talk to music fans.”