Every Friday since April 2016, Keith Dube, Marv Abbey and Tazer Black have released an episode of their hit podcast 3 Shots of Tequila: an irreverent, often intimate, and always honest discussion about, well, pretty much everything you can think of (and a lot that you probably can’t).
Consider a selection of episode titles: 'Cheating & Body Counts'; 'Celebrities, Male Depression + More'; 'Water, Sex Dolls and Prison & Plea' Bargains'.
Yeah, it’s eclectic. Dube summarises the show best: “Imagine having access to a guys WhatsApp group chat and all the things that get discussed in there. That’s basically what you get when you listen to an episode of 3 Shots of Tequila. Nothing is off limits.”
It turns out a lot of people want access to the Whatsapp group. After honing their craft on local shows, the trio went on tour earlier this year, playing Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Leisceter before selling out the Shepherd’s Bush Empire.
Now ‘3 Shots’ is seeing out the decade with a one-off show at the Hammersmith Apollo on Monday 30 December. We caught up with Keith Dube as he prepares for the biggest shot of the lot…
Where does the name come from?
It was a very ambiguous name. Three black dudes: most people are gonna assume it's a certain type of podcast – but it's not. So when you click on it, I don't want you to know that it's three black dudes. '3 Shots of Tequila - what could it possibly be?' And Tazer really likes tequila, he used to call himself Tequila Taze. So, there's three of us, three shots of tequila.
But it's mainly the ambiguity: you see it on Spotify, you click it, and you're like, 'Oh! I'm surprised! I'd no idea it was X Y Z.' And that's when you decide whether you want to continue listening or you don't – but you've clicked it. And a lot of the time, people continue listening.
It's attracted a devoted following...
It's amazing. When Spotify does its little wrap-up thing at the end of the year, and it shows what you've been listening to, some of the stats and the numbers we were seeing! I saw someone who'd listened to 88,000 minutes of 3 Shots of Tequila - we've only released 6,200 minutes of 3 Shots this year! And in total we've released like 30,000; so it's three times over! They must actually enjoy it! I don't think there's anything I've listened to 88,000 minutes of. Ever.
Maybe my mum...
Even then! After a while, you're like, OK, we can pick up this conversation three weeks from now.
How did the podcast come about?
Oh, wow. At the time, I was doing radio. I moved from here to Australia, and Marv took over my show from me. When it was time to come back to the UK, I was thinking, 'what's the next step?' Taser was really interested in doing Youtube; I was like, 'I really don't think that's going to work for you.' Someone said, how about we do a podcast together?
My sister introduced me to podcasting: I had no idea what a podcast was. I was like, 'what the hell's a podcast?' So she introduced me to them, and I thought, 'that's interesting.' Came back from Australia, we recorded our first episode, no promo or anything, and we got just shy of 10,000 listens on the first day.
You really hit the ground running...
Yeah. The first episode we got a bit carried away; we got a bit too comfortable, and I think that's the fun of what we do, but we said some people's names, and we had to chop the first hour and a bit out. That's where the intro comes from: it's from the first episode, the stuff we cut out. It was right at the end of a long conversation where we were like, 'we're not putting any of this stuff in', because it would be grand opening, grand closing, you know what I mean? 'It was great while it lasted, that's that.'
Did you have a particular mantra or angle to the podcast when you started out?
Yes, we wanted to be ourselves as much as possible. James May, Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson: I love the dynamic between them, I can watch them do anything. No matter how you feel about Jeremy Clarkson, you can always watch them together and it's entertaining, no matter what they do. Because you like how they talk about stuff, you can listen to them talk about the same thing, over and over and over again.
Which one are you?
I'm probably the most polarising one, so I'd say Jeremy Clarkson!
Do you have a plan for each episode?
We tried that. 'We're going to talk about A, B, C and D!' And we'd start talking about one thing, and everything would go so far left. Never worked. Now we come into the studio, we'll have a conversation, and off the back of that conversation we'll get a feel for what kind of direction the show's going to go in. We never pre-plan anything.
How do you all know each other?
This is the one thing we always say to each other: I don't know! We've known each other for, like, ten years now. I think it's through a mutual friend. It's like a relationship: this is the day when you became my girlfriend. I couldn't tell you when we became friends. We've known each other for ten years and I couldn't tell you how.
Why do the three of you work as a dynamic?
We are very similar and yet very different, and we tap into three demographics. Women love Tazer, so Tazer's like the ladies' man. Marv is extremely humorous, and I'm probably the intellectual one. We don't want to have a podcast where there's three of one type because it would never work. Either we'd clash or we'd agree on everything.
What episodes have provoked the best feedback?
We used to have special episodes, kind of like a Royal Rumble, get all our previous guests in. And it would be an extremely wild show. So episode 69, episode 100 was a bit of a wild one as well.
Do you have a personal favourite?
Not a personal favourite episode but whenever we have our friend Margs on, those tend to be my favourite episodes. He's absolutely hilarious. He's a rapper, no-one knew he had a personality! When he came on, everyone was like, 'wow: he's extremely funny!'
He's also a qualified chef, learnt in prison, I think. He's like, 'listen, if I could put it in the pot, I can cook it.' He came with us on tour and the crowd loved him.
Or the ones we used to have with Savage Dan. He'd be in the studio and speak from the back, so people got to love him that way. He was a lot of the earlier episodes: the people's champ! He has the most outlandish stories, where you'd go, 'who does that?!' He was a next level of guest!
You go deep on a lot of stuff, sometimes intimately, sometimes outrageously. What do your girlfriends think?
We're all single at the moment. I've been in a relationship while doing the podcast and it was interesting! Don't listen, don't listen! She didn't listen: there would've been too much explaining to do. Sometimes we have to replace certain parts of the podcast with elevator music to make sure nobody gets too exposed.
Talking to women in general is difficult, if they listen to the podcast. Imagine going to a job interview and they already know everything about you: 'that's not what you said on the podcast!' Or they'll say stuff based on what you've said on the podcast. It feels like that show 'You': they know all about you already!
Ready for the live show? Here’s what the guys had to say…
Keith: “With this being our biggest show to date we are going to deliver the best show of our lives.”
Marv: “We’re really excited for this show. To be gracing the stage of one of the most iconic venues in London isn’t something we’re taking lightly. We’re going to deliver an incredible live show.”
Tazer: “People need to forget what they’ve experienced at every other 3 Shots live show so far. We’ve raised the bar with this one and we’re really excited for people to experience the show.”
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Get your tickets here. For more info, see thisis3shots.com