Jerod Collins AKA The8BitDrummer has been streaming on Twitch for the last four years. He channeled his passion for creating music and turned it into a drum-focused live stream that entertains thousands of viewers every day. Check out the interview below to learn more about his story and journey to become a full-time content creator.
Streamlabs: Can you introduce yourself and how long you’ve been streaming
The8BitDrummer: My name is Jared Collins. I go by The8BitDrummer online and I’ve been streaming for, I think four years and one month now if I’m not mistaken.
Where did the name The8BitDrummer come from?
The8BitDrummer: I was actually at a concert with my sister for her birthday. It was a Miley Cyrus concert. And I’m just sitting there by myself because I am so out of place at this concert. So I’m just like on social media, and I had like an old name and stuff like that and I really want to rebrand myself. And I really like eight-bit music. I really like old video games. And I had been playing drums for about eight or nine years at that time, so I was just like The8BitDrummer, that’s a good idea.
So I ended up making the Twitter account, Instagram, stuff like that, which I barely used at that point in time. I didn’t know I was going to do anything with it. And that was like maybe two and a half years before I even started streaming or anything online. Like I had no online presence really whatsoever. But yeah, it just comes from my love of video games, video game music. I’m a huge connoisseur of video game music. Like that’s literally all I listened to and yeah, I like drumming. So that’s basically where the name came from.
Streamlabs: How did you first get into live streaming?
The8BitDrummer: So I started live streaming because I really wanted to do something to get myself out of an iffy situation that was in. I had just broken up with a long term girlfriend at that time. And I was in a really dark place. I wouldn’t call it full-blown depression, but it was pretty darn close. But I ended up at the church at the youth group that I was at the time. They had a drum kit and I was just like, you know what, I kind of want to make music. So I ended up buying pro tools. But pro tools never worked on my old laptop.
So I’m just like, wow, that was a waste of money. But it came with like a little effects processor, and I just plugged my drums into it and a friend of mine told me about twitch, and I was like, you know, I want to give it a try. So I gave it a try. I had no sound on my first stream, which, you know, is very detrimental to a music base cast. And it just worked out really well after I got everything kind of working. It just happened to be at the same time as the music section had opened up on Twitch. So it was like one of those crossroads that went perfect together. Basically, I just started because I wanted to better my situation. I wanted to have fun doing something cause I was a sad boy at the time.
Streamlabs: What kind of content do you normally stream?
The8BitDrummer: Basically drum casts. I do three hours four days a week, Monday, Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday. My cast consists of playing suggestions for people from the chat. Suggestions are free. Everybody can come in and make whatever suggestions they want. They just give me a YouTube video and I try to make it as fun and entertaining as possible.
Streamlabs: Did you ever think you’d be creating content full time.
The8BitDrummer: No, not at all, man. It’s like a dream come true, to be honest, because I’ve always loved music. I’ve always loved games and stuff like that. And the fact that both of them can collide and people enjoy watching what I do and I’m able to make a living off of this from people’s generosity is ridiculous. I’m talking to people who I’ve looked up to for a very long time.
“It’s straight up a dream come true to be able to do this for a living. I love it and I want to do it for as long as I can.”
What’s the hardest thing about live streaming?
The8BitDrummer: It’s hard to find a negative about it. I love what I do. I absolutely love it. The hardest thing is probably dealing with people who make things personal. That is my number one thing. Because if moderation action has to be taken against somebody, it’s not personal. It’s because of the fact that I’m protecting my brand and then protecting the people in the cast and I want them to have the best time possible. But whenever you have to time somebody out or ban somebody and then they make it a personal thing like, “wow, I can’t believe that you hate your fans,” that is probably the number one thing I can’t stand.
Streamlabs: Has live streaming opened up doors or opportunities you weren’t expecting
The8BitDrummer: Like, dude, so many, man. I played live at TwitchCon. I’ve done multiple charity streams. I’ve been contacted by video game developers to help with music production. I’ve been contacted for collabs with some of my favorite musicians. Streaming has been the outlet that has opened up so many doors, man. I’m four years into it and I have just now started getting connections with like bigger corporations, bigger companies and things of that nature. It takes a while. It really takes a while, but if you go for it, you’ll be able to make it no problem.
Streamlabs: Is there a particular tool or feature from Creator Sites that convinced you to build your website?
The8BitDrummer: I love the drag and drop feature of Creator Sites. It allows you to make edits on the fly. It allows you to change up content whenever you need to. It’s a very easy to use system that you can totally use to your advantage as a content creator. Even if you’re not just on Twitch, like you could do it with YouTube, you could do it with whatever you want to do. It’s a very nice way to have a landing site, a central hub for everything that you’re doing because you can add every type of link you would like, including ones that are not built into the site.
“Having a site really allows you to put all those things together and it just gives you a one-stop shop for everything that has to do with your brand.”
With a little bit of thinking outside the box, like getting a couple of graphics made and stuff like that, really using the image drop feature, like using images instead of using the builtin systems, you can make a really nice website for like pennies on the dollar comparatively. My most important feature is being able to make changes on the fly because there’s a lot of things that change in the streaming scene. I want to be able to post when we’re doing charity things and stuff like that. It just, it makes it easy to let your people know what you’re doing when you want to let them know because there are different things. You got Twitter, you got Discord, you got things of that nature.