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We are all Fueled By Death: The story behind Death Wish Coffee's podcast

The origin of our weekly podcast Fueled By Death Cast

As I write this, it's officially been three years since creating the podcast Fueled By Death Cast for Death Wish Coffee Co. Since then, the podcast has changed and grown into multiple shows and recorded over 250 episodes. But the theme and the core of the show have always remained the same: We are all Fueled By Death. But what exactly does that mean?

From the show's humble beginning's as an audio podcast, found on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, the idea was always a simple one: Let's create a weekly podcast that showcases a conversation with someone that highlights what they do, why they do it, and asks the age-old question of 'What Fuels You?'

Fuel for the Fire

No matter what we do, whether it pays the bills or it's the hobby we love the most, we do it and continue to do it for many of the same reasons. Sure, the most normal and valid answers are money, family, and happiness, but when we look a little deeper we find we are all fueled by something even more unifying — death itself. This isn't morbid, actually, it is inspiring — we know that reaching the finish line in life is inevitable.

We all know one day we will die, yet what we do with our time here on this planet is valuable and what drives us to continue to do the things we love the most. One day we will leave this rock for good, and we all want to leave the world a little different before we do. Here are some of the more inspiring and entertaining answers I have found from asking this question "What Fuels You?" on the podcast:

"A lot of people think they're never going to die, or they're invincible, or that's why they do such stupid things all the time. I'm trying to fill all those moments with something fun, something that I want to do. Why waste your time doing stuff that you don't want to do, or that you hate?" - Ming Chen, AMC Comic Book Men

"It's that killer instinct, the will to live that's in everybody. I say everything in life's about mindset, so if you have the right mindset and you want to test yourself to the max, then you just have to keep pushing yourself. I always say I never lose. I either win or I learn." - E.J. Snyder, Army veteran, extreme survivalist, reality TV star

"If you zoom in deep enough to any life, to any form of life, and you find complexity. And I kind of applied that to my own life. That it's small, it's short.  I don't have as broad of possibilities as some do, because I don't have health. But you zoom in deep enough, you look at it the right way, and there's still just as much life going on. There's still just as much complexity and beauty." - Claire Wineland, activist, author, entrepreneur

"I guess I think death is a very amazing thing. And I think it's the only thing that keeps anyone humble, knowing that you, too, shall meet the same end as every other single person. I want to get as close to the moment where we're risking our lives but not dying. Cause that's my job, not to die." - Elizabeth Streb, STREB Extreme Dance Group

"It's scratching this itch of making people laugh and making people think differently and watch and seeing that reaction and getting a reaction. I know how much music and comedy meant to me growing up and still does. Being able to create stuff and share that, it's just what I love."  - Brandon Dermer, filmmaker

Changes: Turn and face the strange

From the first episode of Fueled By Death Cast, we wanted to create an inspiring podcast filled with conversations that work to show we are all connected, no matter what we do in this life. Death Wish Coffee has the ability to touch the lives of many different people from all walks of life, and therefore the podcast was able to talk with people highlighted in the public spotlight, alongside those that aren't.

It is nice to talk with a celebrity, but then it's incredible to learn that celebrity has the same loves, fears, and passions as the rest of us. Conversely, it is amazing to have conversations with people who aren't in the limelight but resonate the same way as those that are. Celebrity culture is celebrated enough, Fueled by Death Cast aims to embrace what connects us all — our humanity.

This idea, along with the theme of the show and the release date (Every Thursday wherever podcasts are found, including this website), is the core idea that has never deviated since episode one. Yet, the podcast has changed a lot since that first episode in an effort to constantly improve and provide the most entertainment and inspiration. Some of these changes include:

  • The beginning of the show used to be all entertainment BEFORE the actual conversation with the guest. These segments can now be found on various Live streams and videos throughout Death Wish Coffee's social media channels as well as the company's YouTube channel. The most engaging aspect of these is the weekly Update — which premiers live every Wednesday at 3 PM EST on Facebook, Youtube, and Twitch — to give viewers an inside look at new products and exciting events happening at Death Wish Coffee HQ.
  • Another one of these segments, Science!, has become its own show - appearing every Sunday wherever podcasts are found and reshown with a live Watch Party on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch on Monday's at 5 PM EST. These segments have spun off from just weekly science and space news to full episodic in-depth science series like the six-part Humanity in Space series and the ever-growing Halloween Science series.

Life After Death

This podcast strives to inspire and entertain with multiple shows and segments each week across many different platforms. This has led to a multitude of adventures, random encounters, and opportunities we never imagined when developing the podcast in the first place. Make sure to click subscribe on your favorite podcast platform or to the Death Wish Coffee YouTube channel. Also, subscribe to The Scoop — our weekly newsletter that brings the podcast episodes and other amazing content to your inbox every single Monday.

At Death Wish Coffee, we want to fuel your passions, and this podcast is just one way we are trying to do that. What fuels you, fuels us, and we want to be right there with you.

Maybe you are a musician or a music fanatic and love our episodes with Zakk Wylde, Breaking Benjamin, John Longstreth, Wyclef Jean, or Harry and the Potters.

Maybe you love space and science and tune in for inspiration with astronauts Nicole Stott and Don Pettit, theoretical physicist Dr. Michio Kaku, Virgin Galactic astronaut Mark 'Forger' Stucky, or former NASA chief scientist Albion Bowers. (Our coffee went to the International Space Station thanks to a conversation on the podcast)

Or maybe you are passionate about the daily grind, and look for inspiration from the workplace with conversations with Chad Rubin from Skubana, Nathan Hirsch from FreeUp, Niles Deneen from Deneen Pottery, or any of our Death Wish Coffee Employee episodes including conversations with CEO Mike Brown.

Or maybe you are inspired by comic book creators, or voice actors, or world travelers, or athletes, or entertainers. Whatever your passion, we want to help you fuel it, help you find new ones, and inspire you to fuel others. Together, we can all leave this world a little different, before we inevitably leave it for good. Together, we are all Fueled By Death.

Listen to recent podcast episodes here

WATCH OUR INTERVIEW WITH CEO AND OWNER MIKE BROWN: