Before what is considered the modern era, the show was still in its infancy; most of the time (with some exceptions), the show was only able to procure smaller, more local guests. The show was also not recorded live in front of a digital audience. Episodes from this era have a certain quaint charm to them, and would only hint at future larger success.
A turning point for the show happened in February 2019. Lars took a shot in the dark to DM a music artist he liked, Kill Bill: the Rapper, to come on as a guest. Aside from the aforementioned exceptions, this was a comparatively massive get for the show.
Lars also made a decision to try to cross-promote the episode on the Exo Discord server, and implore people to tune in live to the episode (something that had been made possible for a few episodes beforehand, but wasn't promoted at all).
Both of these choices led to the show being heard by significantly more people, and would allow the show to get on bigger and bigger guests. Lars would also work with those guests to cross-promote each episode and try to procure more and more live listeners. Likewise, with increasing Patreon income, the hosts were able to upgrade their microphones to a more professional setup.
Within a few months, The First Podcast was regularly interviewing much larger content creators, the Discord server blew up to almost 2000 members, and the listen counts skyrocketed.
Is the show better now? Edit
The hosts do not consider the pre-modern episodes to have been bad, but note that having a constant stream of guests on who entertain for a living has led to a strong uptick in episode quality.
Improvement aside, the vibe of the episodes has changed somewhat, as the show now has a live audience that the hosts and guests often acknowledge (and even bring on for occasional live questions on air). The recording of each episode has also become something of a social event because of this, with active pre- and post-promotion, as well as voice chat hangouts both before and after they occur.