Before Cody Ko and Noel Miller had racked up millions of views and become two well-known internet figures, they worked behind the computer screen, programming at media company Fullscreen. Cody and Noel joined forces as Tiny Meat Gang, the name under which they co-host a popular podcast and YouTube series. Extending their media empire and venturing into the music industry, the duo signed to Sony-owned Arista Records. Their self-produced rap track “Walk Man” and collaboration with blackbear, “Short Kings Anthem,” have seen tens of millions of streams on Spotify. Listen to their most recent single “Broke Bitch” here. Cody and Noel chat about their journey into the entertainment space, the dynamic of the duo, and the Tiny Meat Gang: The Global Domination Tour in our 16th issue.
Before any of the video/podcast/music stuff, you both were programmers. Did you ever think you could make something serious out of the entertainment realm? Or was it just a hobby you did on the side?
Noel: While Cody was doing Vine, I was doing standup comedy. I think we always wanted to get into entertainment, but it always feels way further away than it actually is. For us to be where we are now is pretty crazy.
Cody: I think it was gradual. It slowly became more of a reality. It was never something I set out to do in the beginning. I was more of a tech guy and programmer, and I thought I was going to be an engineer. That was my lane. Slowly, I realized I was more creative than I thought. Year by year, as I did more creative stuff, I realized more I could do it full-time.
How do you all decide on a topic for your YouTube series “That’s Cringe”? How much research goes into a topic before filming?
Cody: We’ll definitely do a little research into the video and the person behind it. It has to be right. That’s why there hasn’t been one in a minute. Nothing has come along that’s been perfect.
Noel: Our goal isn’t to get a bunch of people to laugh at a person. We use our judgment and ask ourselves things like, “Okay, does this person seem self-aware?”… unless it’s something deserved like advocating to smear period blood on your face as a health remedy. Then… yeah.
When working together, what do you think each of you brings to the table?
Noel: I bring food.
Cody: I eat it.
Noel: Cody brings the appetite. But really, I think we have reached a point where we balance each other out in a lot of ways. I’m way too dark and morbid on my own, but Cody is way more positive. When we meet in the middle, that’s where we find our best work. Cody’s also always early, and I’m always late. We are dead opposite of each other. It’s funny.
What’s one trait of the other person you wish you possessed more of?
Noel: I want Cody’s beautiful eyes. He wishes he had my ass. I have a great ass.
Cody: I truly wish I had his ability to eat slower.
Noel: Cody is going to die from fast inhaling. Cody is also always 10 minutes early. I’m always 20 minutes late. I think if I had that trait things would be easier.
Cody: I learned a lot about how to rap from Noel. I wish I was more naturally talented in that way.
Between being around/working with big artists like Post Malone and Blackbear, what are some tips you’ve picked up that you want to carry into your future work?
Noel: I think they make a lot of music all the time. I think that’s key. We’ve gotten better about making music. Sometimes when we start a song, we finish it that day. We also jot down ideas because who knows when it will be useful. A lot of artists say things like, “I wrote this years ago in a weird time.” I think it’s about capturing the pockets of inspiration.
Who’s an artist you all are dying to work with?
Noel: We always struggle with this one.
Who’s an artist that 16-year-old you would have died to work with?
Cody: Honestly, I loved the Swollen Members growing up.
Noel: Mine would have to be Sean Price.
Can you give us any hints about cool things to expect with Tiny Meat Gang: The Global Domination Tour?
Cody: We are working on a lot of things now. That’s the thing about our shows. We want them to be unpredictable to keep you on your toes.
Noel: The show is always changing. Expect that we are trying to keep it fresh.
You all have already accomplished so much together in the entertainment industry but is there an avenue you all are still wanting to explore?
Noel: I don’t want to speak too quickly, but I think we want to get into television and stuff on a bigger scale, kind of create things that are bigger.
Cody: TV, movies, and just keep getting better. I honestly think it would be cool to write a book one day when I have the time. To be in a place to have creative freedom and do what we want is a great place to be.
STORY ELIZABETH STAFFORD
PHOTOS DERRICK FRESKE