Though Josh Modell isn’t a musician, the veteran entertainment writer has been covering music for decades. Over the course of his career, he’s held prominent positions at The Onion, The A.V. Club, and his current role as Executive Editor of Talkhouse. Before his work was reaching millions of readers all over the world, Modell was producing a Milwaukee-based magazine he co-founded between booking shows and working shifts at a beloved record shop.

Recently, Modell—a few months removed from moving back to the Milwaukee area—met up with My First Band host Tyler Maas at Milwaukee Record headquarters to talk about his lifelong love of music, notable moments from his writing career, and projects he’s working on now. Over the course of the conversation, Modell talked about his record shopping routine as a teenager, landing a job at Atomic Records, the start and cult following of Milk Magazine, his unconventional path to working at The Onion and The A.V. Club, the inner workings of the iconic “A.V. Undercover” series, his modern day efforts at Talkhouse, and what’s to come.

My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering, Lakefront Brewery, and Music Go Round Greenfield. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”).