We had the good fortune of connecting with Chris Gonzales and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chris, why did you pursue a creative career?
Podcasting has been a passion of mine for quite a while now, and it is crazy to think that I’ve been hosting a show whether it be radio or podcasting since 2013. I chose podcasting because it is my escape from life and reality because I had nothing to worry about other than talking into a microphone. Some people use video games as an escape, or go out and have a few drinks with friends, or even just smoke to relax and take the edge off. I did all those things and they were fun but I still didn’t feel free from my reality. That reality was the same reality that everyone else in this world has, which is bills need to be paid, work is getting stressful, relationship problems, family problems, recent death in the family, all these things I couldn’t stop thinking about even while I was trying to have a good time with friends those thoughts just never escaped me for a second. It wasn’t until I started doing The Kickback podcast that I realized every time I hit that record button not a single one of those thoughts crossed my mind. So this might seem like a selfish reason but, I pursue podcasting for me and my sanity because when that record button is on I don’t have a single care in the world and its an amazing feeling. I still feel this way but my passion to continue to pursue this grew once I started to see the responses we were getting from our listeners. We were and still are getting nothing but positive feedback from our listeners, and I couldn’t be happier. To get comments and messages like, “I am in a hospital bed right now, laughing listening to you guys” or followers messaging us that they can’t wait for another episode to come out. It’s those type of responses from our followers and listeners that make me want to keep going and keep growing the podcast.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The Kickback Podcast LA is something that I care deeply about. It has been a part of my life for so many years that I don’t know what it would feel like if we just stopped now. Podcasting has become the butt of a lot of peoples jokes because everyone has one now. I am not one of those podcasters who hate on people who start their own podcast because you have to start somewhere, and trust me I remember my first podcast episode. It was when I started a sports talk podcast called The Hot Corner which I still do till this day. That first episode I remember so vividly because it was July 3rd 2017 and I was doing it with my co-host Joseph in an RV in a 7 Eleven parking lot next to the firework stand that he helped run. It wasn’t the best or my proudest moment of podcasting but it was my start and each and every single episode after that we kept getting better and better and till this day now that I am the host of 3 different podcast I am still trying to get better. That’s what I want people to know about me and my story is that no matter how many episodes I have under my belt, I am still trying to get better and grow from each episode I do. There is so much I have learned throughout my journey of podcasting and when other podcasters ask for advise, I tell them the same thing. That advice is to not be intimidated by these big huge podcast that have hundreds of thousands of downloads, don’t try to be like them. Be yourself because you want people to listen because of you not because of some character you put on. And if you want a celebrity on your podcast all you have to do is just ask, the worst thing that can happen is that they say no and you move on to the next. It’s never easy to build something up from nothing and sometimes it can get discouraging when you see other podcast grow faster than yours, but if this is something you truly want to do then stay the course and embrace and celebrate the little wins because that big win when it does come is going to feel even that much greater. I personally live my life by one phrase that was tattooed into my brain by my father. “Winners never quit and quitters never win.”
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
In a non pandemic year there would be so much for us to do. For example if I am taking my friend anywhere in LA during a week long trip, I am taking them to the Comedy Store in Hollywood. If its during the baseball season we would have to go to a Dodger game because the atmosphere there is awesome. And if I want them to party and have a good time drinking Heroes in Downtown Fullerton is the spot to be especially if DJ C. Reelz is there that night. Another spot I would want them to check out would be Club Rockit great 80’s music and overall vibe is incredible. And I think to round up the trip doing a podcast with them and after the podcast is over we all hangout with the whole Kickback Crew having some fun in our studio where we have a pool table, darts, we play cards and watch sports while we eat wings and order pizza at my favorite spot Pizza 21 in Whittier off of Norwalk Blvd & Washington Blvd.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people that I could shoutout and that deserve more than just a little credit for where the podcast and where I am today. For starters I would have to start with my family who deserve a huge shoutout because they have been nothing but super supportive since day one. Not once did they ever steer me away or put me down for doing a podcast. Also the Kickback Podcast would have never started without my older brother JR aka Deadmalt reaching out to me wanting to do a podcast together so I will forever give him credit for the creation of the show. To go way back to when I first started doing radio at WPMD, that station is a huge reason why I started this journey and the man in charge of that radio station Casey Piotrowski gave me the confidence and reassurance that I can host my own show. Of course I have to shoutout my very first co-host and best friend Joseph Vargas aka Tugboat if it wasn’t for him I think I would have been to scared and nervous to start radio but with him by my side I felt like we were the best duo on air. I also have to thank my co-hosts of The Kickback, Jesse, Abe, Louie, and Jay these group of guys are the best group of friends anyone can ask for. They support the heck out of me to the point where they did not hesitate when I asked if the can be my co-hosts for the podcast. Even though this was never their passion or dream to be a part of their own podcast they have flourished and whether they know it or not, they all have become amazing podcasters and I am so proud of them and grateful for being apart of my life. I have said this in the past, our show The Kickback isn’t just a podcast, we are a family and Erick, Danny, Jashua, Juan, Ricardo and so many more amazing guys and gals are part of this family that we call The Kickback. Special shoutout to all of the guests who have been on our podcast or who have asked me to be on their podcast. And I can never forget to thank everyone who has listened to the podcast and who support us each and every week by listening to the podcast along with spending their hard earned money buying our merch, THANK YOU! I couldn’t have done all of this with out all of your support.