Daniel Lobell has been podcasting since the art form was introduced in 2004. He started the first podcast to feature interviews with comedians, Comical Radio, and has interviewed over 1,000 artists including George Carlin, Chris Rock , Larry King, Marc Maron and Maria Bamford. .
In his latest endeavor, Lobell, who is also a comedian and comic book creator, conducts interviews from his favorite corner in The Podcast Bus, Los Angeles’ only mobile recording studio inside a converted school bus.
“For a long time, I had the idea of converting a bus into a studio,” Lobell, who is married to community editor Kylie Ora Lobell, told the Journal. “It’s finally come to an end.”
The bus can record audio and video for four people at once. It is equipped with high-end amenities, mood lighting and a well-stocked mini-bar.
The bus can record audio and video for four people at a time. It is equipped with high-end amenities, mood lighting and a well-stocked mini-bar.
With a pioneer’s vision, advice from friends, and a great deal of technical research and tireless energy, Lobell customized his studio on wheels. “I wanted it to be a certain way,” he said. “It took a lot of time, investment and energy to get it the way you see it today.”
Lobell first had to figure out how to build an immaculate high-tech studio in a compact space. He also had to install air conditioning on the bus, which could reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in hot weather. “The air conditioning had to be quiet,” he said. “You can’t hear it, even if it’s on full blast.”
Lobell, who started out in traditional radio, covets the freedom offered by podcasting. “Radio, which I also love, was a different thing,” he said. “You’d be told, ‘You have to go to commercial break at this time,’ or ‘Your show has to be over by this time,’ whether you get to what you want to do or not.”
When Lobell isn’t working on The Podcast Bus, he releases his autobiographical comic book series, “Fair Enough,” which is in the style of Harvey Pekar’s “American Splendor,” recording his comic book podcast of the same name or doing stand-up comedy.
“People say, ‘You do so many different things,'” said Lobell, who has released two comedy albums on Stand Up! Folders. “I would say that I only do one thing: tell stories. I tell stories on stage, at the standing microphone, at the seated microphone, by writing the stories, having them illustrated. It’s the same skill on different platforms.
Growing up on Long Island, Lobell, who has lived in Los Angeles for 10 years, drew comics and sold them to other yeshiva students. With “Fair Enough”, he hires a different artist for each number.
“I work hand in hand with artists after drawing sketches of what I want each panel to look like,” he said. “I give detailed notes and when possible I give them reference photos to work on, like in my childhood bedroom, because they are real stories.”
Assembling each comic takes about a year. He’s published five issues so far, and his latest is about his lifelong love for Costco. “Each story takes as many pages as it takes,” he said. “It’s the good thing not to have an editor to answer to.”
On The Podcast Bus, Lobell will focus on working with professionals who want to start a podcast to promote their business, as well as nonprofits. He also records his own show; his last interview was with Seth Glass, “a wonderful musician, singer, songwriter and guitarist, who has an amazing story,” he said.
“He’s a witty guy with such eclectic knowledge, a student of Shlomo Carlebach and Aryeh Kaplan; a Jewish soul brother. I grew up with his music.
Lobell also works closely with her chiropractor, Dr. Daniel Rudé, who started a show called The Wellness Source Podcast.
“He’s a great on-air personality,” Lobell said. “I produced his podcast from the bus, and I feel a lot of joy doing it.”
As public as his life is, Lobell insists, “I don’t have to be on the air to enjoy it.