Brian Howe AKA Sikes is a Alternative Hip-Hop artist & producer from Pittsburgh, PA who is known locally for his work in various musical projects and other artistic endeavors. He also hosts START THE BEAT which is a podcast highlighting conversations between himself and all sorts of different jerks. Musicians, artists, comedians and all other types of screw-ups & undesirables. In other words… Some of the best people you’ll ever meet in your life. Start The Beat with Sikes is part of the Epicast network.

Music · Art · Underground · Pittsburgh // Figuring it out. One week at a time.

Start The Beat is a podcast about independent artists for independent artists. Each episode highlights different humans from all walks of life and their individual stories about inspiration, determination, struggle and so much more. Dive into the fantastic minds of these amazing people, absorb some useful knowledge and expand your perspective on the world around you! It's like, really important and stuff… or whatever. Curated, Produced and Hosted by Sikes.



Discussing the discovery of horror movies, heavy metal, video games, and sports while growing up with Gregg Harrington of Neon Brainiacs. Taken from Episode #196.

Discussing the how "budgets" for developing bands on major labels changed in the 00's and long lasting effect it had on the industry with Sid Riggs. Taken from Start The Beat #195.

Mike Steinmiller asks: How can bands incorporate new technologies to make live shows more immersive? There are plenty of options and resources easily avialable but I'm not certain how "new" most of them are. Also, depending on the style of music you perform I'm not sure now nessecary most of them are... Taken from Start The Beat #194.

Discussing the ups and downs of social media & marketing independent music with Sid Riggs. Taken from Start The Beat #193.

Focusing on yourself is the key. I recently sat down with local artist Joktan and the founder/owner of Apis Mead & Winery Dave Cerminara for a talk about understanding your customers/clients and how "competition" shouldn't affect how you handle business. Taken from Start The Beat #192.
Eating "Vegan" isn't as bizzare as you may think. A lot of people already eat plenty of vegan friendly foods without thinking about it and I recently discussed some of these misconceptions with the owners of Onion Maiden and John from Jakethehawk. Taken from Start The Beat #190.

Discussing the philosophies of punk, social media and watching your kids grow up with John Dick Winters. Taken from Start The Beat #189.

Discussing the disconnect between Teens & Modern Rock Music w/ Abby Krizner & BBGuns Taken from Start The Beat #188.

"You have to give yourself a break" - In conversation with Mike Seamans. Taken from Start The Beat #187.

What's it really worth? A discussion on "comfort foods" and independent business. Taken from Start The Beat with Sikes #186.

Sikes & Shy Kennedy on Putting the "DIY" back in the DIY music scene. Taken from Start The Beat with Sikes #184.

It's Okay To Make Fun of Yourself w/ Sikes and John Paul Zigterman. Taken from Start The Beat with Sikes #182.


In addition to hosting his own show, Sikes sometimes makes appearances on other peoples podcasts. Here is a list of some notable conversations.