So You Want To Be A… YouTube Comedian
You’ve seen him be your favourite pop-punk and metalcore vocalists and you’ve seen him alongside Kellin Quinn and Tyler Carter. Jarrod Alonge has successfully picked apart the scenes we all know and love with his own unique brand of YouTube comedy, and it’s time BLUNT RSVP’d to the Pop Punk Pizza Party.
What first inspired you to make the Every…Vocalist series?
Well, I’ve been going to heavy shows since early high school (I’m a college graduate now). Even though I had been making the observations for many years beforehand, the ridiculousness of how vocalists acted on stage didn’t really hit me until early 2013. Aren’t there more than five cliché mosh lines to pick from? Do they really need to change their accents drastically in order to make people like them? Literally no human person would talk like that in any sort of normal conversation. While I can attribute many different vocalists to inspiring me to make the series, I can credit Matty Mullins of Memphis May Fire for being the straw that broke the camel’s back. “ALRIGHT you GUYS, let’s MOVE!”
At what point did you first realise there was an online outlet for your comedy?
The original purpose of my YouTube channel when I made it in 2009 was to upload guitar covers (most of which have been removed, fortunately). I would upload funny videos that I had made with my friends for school projects, and I had an insignificant number of subscribers. The eventual popularity of “Every Metalcore Vocalist” was a complete surprise to me, and I am still confused by its success to this very day. Since then, I have been able to get recognition for alternative music satire on my channel. My comedic influences include Jerry Seinfeld, Louis CK, Larry David, Demetri Martin, and Conan O’Brien. While these comedians hold a special place in my heart, I am also very influenced by various film writers and directors.
How much work usually goes into putting one of your videos together? Talk us through the process.
It depends on what kind of video I’m working on. Usually I make dialogue videos that involve some sort of mundane conversation. I write a script, but leave room for improvisation. Many of my videos are completely improvised. My vocalist videos are ‘lightly’ outlined, but mostly improvised. Filming can take anywhere between 30 minutes to two hours, and I usually end up with an extra 45 minutes of footage. Editing, however, is the bane of my existence. I consider myself talented at editing, but the overall process is exhausting. I’d say that a single minute of video is equivalent to four hours of editing (sometimes more, sometimes less). In a perfect world, I would just act as a director and have other people handle everything else.
What would you say has been the most surprising outcome from your videos?
The recognition. Even today I still don’t think my videos are that funny. The internet is a terrifying, unpredictable place, and I’ve left a stain on it that probably won’t wash out for at least another five years. There have been instances where I’ve been recognised at shows, but it’s usually very awkward and uncomfortable. I’m still getting used to all of this.
Have you had much financial gain from making your videos?
Enough to pay rent. I’ve had the opportunity to put advertisements on my videos through a UK-based company called Base79, but it’s just a perk. The best part about my partnership with them is being able to branch out and expand my audience. They’ve given me some awesome tips on how to boost views and maximise my subscriber count.
“Pop Punk Pizza Party” is the most gloriously pop-punk thing we’ve ever heard. Do you have any grand plans for the Sunrise Skater Kids?
Patty Walters has been a great YouTube collaborator. We plan to do a few more songs, but we’re not 100% committed to it. Our next song may be hitting on the ‘easycore’ subgenre. You haven’t seen the last of Sunrise Skater Kids…
Your knowledge of the scenes you cover is extensive – do your parody videos stem from a love of those bands or would you rather be listening to something like Mumford & Sons?
I wouldn’t have knowledge of these scenes if I weren’t active in them. Most of the bands I make fun of are very talented! I believe that every genre has its good bands and its (notably) bad bands. Oftentimes I ask my friends for writing assistance if I’m not up-to-date on a particular music scene. Almost all of the videos that hit on the ‘hardcore’ genre have been heavily contributed to by my friend Danny (who can be seen in “This Is Hardcore” and “How To Mosh”). As for favourite artists, I honestly couldn’t tell you. I like too many. I usually judge bands on their mentality and their ability to play live shows.
Musicians like Tyler Carter and Kellin Quinn have been on board with your parody videos, but is there anyone else you’re looking to work with?
I’ve been very close to making videos with other bands, but circumstances weren’t in my favour. I was super close to filming a video with Architects last month, but things didn’t go through. In the past I was almost able to film videos with letlive., The Devil Wears Prada, Chiodos, Beartooth, and Man Overboard (but with no success). There’s a small chance that I’ll be able to do a video with Man Overboard very soon, but we’ll have to wait and see if it comes to fruition. I’m cool to collaborate with anyone who’s open to an idea and willing to have fun with it.
We’ve read that you’ve just graduated and have plans to attend medical school. Before we’re all watching Dr. Alonge’s videos, what’s your overall aim?
The YouTube thing is a just hobby, to be honest. While I’ve always dreamed of being an important director, I simply can’t wrap my head around that being a legitimate aspiration. There are many other content creators that are much more deserving than I am and willing to put forth a much greater effort. It would take a huge offer (sitcom writer, movie director, talk show writer) to make me quit my current career path and commit fully to whatever it is I have going with YouTube. I have a huge passion for science, and a career in medicine has always been something I’ve wanted to pursue. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll be able to merge these two career paths into something awesome…
What advice would you give to people looking to get their name out there in the online comedy world?
Don’t do it for attention, and don’t do it for the money. Stay original (despite how unoriginal my videos may be), and don’t compromise your artistic integrity to get laughs. Always keep an eye out for new opportunities. Remain humble and ask others for help when you need it. Be kind to the people you meet along the way, as it will benefit you immensely in the long run. Remember that you’re not entitled to anything, and everything you have has been given to you by someone else. Most importantly, have fun. Even if you fail, that’s all that really matters.
Find out more about Jarrod here: