Seasoned television personality and entertainer Matt Wells makes the leap into the podcasting world, sharing stories and positive vibes on Good Things with Matt Wells
Matt Wells knows his way around a story. An artist, actor, musician and longtime television personality and host, the Newfoundland native owns credits across MTV, MuchMusic, Bravo and The New Music across decades in the entertainment industry.
Now, Wells has made the transition to the land of podcasting, and he’s doing so with the aim of spreading good.
“I had been flirting with the idea of a podcast for a long time because there are 45 billion podcasts,” Wells joked in a sitdown with The Herald. “And I’ve had this conversation a couple of times now, and my answers vary because I’ve had people ask me when I’m doing interviews about this. And the answer that I’ve come to now is something I’ve learned from doing the podcast.
“One of our guests, Sharon Lewis, this wonderful producer and director, she said something like one of the things that she has grown into or helps her get through what it is she wants to do and motivates her through her life is asking herself the question, ‘how is it that I can be of service today?’ And that really hit me, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot.”
Wells, a devoted husband and father, explained that listenership and advertising dollars came second to a desire to share inspiring stories of triumph and perseverance, aiming to throw out some good vibes and positivity into the ether with Good Things with Matt Wells.
“My motivation for doing it truly was observing how hard we are on ourselves, observing how difficult it is for all of us, no matter what age we are, to live through this filtered existence where we’re comparing ourselves to what we see on our phone of people living through a filtered life. Perfect skin, staged photos, staged days. And as a dad, I’m very acutely aware of that,” Wells shared, impassioned.
Darkness before light
“I wanted to create a space on this podcast where I could use the connections I had built over the years to get folks who are well-known on the podcast, who perhaps are admired by some people, to talk about those low moments before the high moments. To talk about the darkness before the light. Because I believe that, at least for me, hearing other people talk about it makes me feel a little bit better about my own journey.”
Across a dozen episodes and counting, Wells has swapped stories and memories with a who’s who of the entertainment world and beyond, from Canadian sports icon Clara Hughes to NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, Big Brother Canada host Arisa Cox, and Great Big Sea’s Séan McCann, to name a few.
“What I wanted to do was create a space where people could hear those types of conversations and understand that we are all connected by the struggle, the daily struggle. Some have it worse, some have it not so bad. But we all have it and good things are coming,” Wells explained. “They’ll hear conversations with Jagmeet Singh or Clara Hughes or Séan McCann, about the low, low moments. But they’ll go, they got through them, good things are coming.
“I want people to be able to relate to it,” he adds. “So it could be a music executive, it could be a musician, it could be a politician, it could be a TV host, it could be an author, it could be a chef. I wanted it to be a way to show that this transcends career choice. This transcends colour. This transcends anything. This is a very human idea that things get sh***y, but if we can somehow find a way to not give up, they’re not always going to be sh***y. And that affects everyone.”
Combining past reflections of his over 1,100 pro-interviews across television over 12 years, with names ranging from Chris Cornell and Ozzy Osbourne to Katy Perry and Mariah Carey, Wells balances insights and stories and weaves connections through his current crop of guests, finding theme and meaning in a rarer form of conversation, the often forgotten deep dive.
“So what I’ve done in the podcast is that before each interview starts, I recall a moment I’ve had through from the past and I connect it to the interview I’m going to do,” Wells explained, sharing that his own personal bucket list for guests continues to grow as he embraces this new and seemingly boundless format.
“Because I’m revisiting this after ten years, the list is limitless, it’s endless right now. If I wanted to throw a couple names at you, I wouldn’t mind interviewing Stephen King. I’d like to interview Paul Simon. I’d like to interview Lauryn Hill. I’d like to have those deep dive interviews with someone like that. That’s what the podcast allows me to do.”
Explaining that he’s still learning on the job – modest for the seasoned interviewer – Wells admits that, as long as there’s a need to absorb some positivity, he’ll continue to explore Good Things.
“This was just an idea that I wanted to throw out into the universe. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I didn’t know if I would do more than two episodes, and all of a sudden it turned into something way bigger than I ever imagined it would. So I’m going to just keep going with it, because as long as people are connecting with it, it’s worth my time. And that’s all that really matters to me.”
Good Things with Matt Wells is available on your go-to podcast provider. Stay tuned for our deep dive sitdown with Wells and bandmate Mike Rowe for our reunion interview with NL rockers Bucket Truck!