What musical experience most set you on the path to a career in radio?
I don’t know about musical, but my first venture into radio actually started when I was about 11 or 12; answering phones for an AM radio show called “e-Auction Air” – a program dedicated to the subject eBay sales. The hosts referred to me as “Jack in the Back” which I never thought was that cool. I got really into audio editing in college, particularly musical production but working on podcasts and pre-recorded radio segments instantly attracted me. In terms of my actual on-air presence; commercial radio sweepers, mixtape DJ/producer tags and movie trailer voices have been funny to me for a long time, and I’ve always enjoyed imitating those extreme voices. Somewhere between answering phones, imitating Don LaFontaine and consuming a ton of different music over the years, speaking on the radio with a, mostly, normal voice ended up being a good fit for me.
What’s your favorite Austin music experience so far?
Oh, boy, there are a lot. One that immediately comes to mind is when I saw then-mayor Will Wynn introduce Bavu Blakes at ACL Fest back in 2008. Something about a local politician taking time out of their schedule to hype up a crowd of festival-goers (mostly stoned teenagers) for a hip hop performance in the middle of the day was just…something I never thought would unfold in front of me. Even though I was born and raised here, that was the moment I understood this city’s music scene was significant for a reason.
Why public rather than commercial radio?
Although I do love the idea of having a bevy of obnoxious sound effects at my disposal, the fact that we don’t work on a nationally-syndicated playlist is such a luxury; we have a great selection to choose from that continues to grow. I minored in History when I went to the University of Texas for Radio, Television & Film, and it’s awesome that I can take a moment to share historical tidbits about songs rather than cram Top 100 hits down the listeners throats. Oh and I can make mistakes and people don’t act like a robot is malfunctioning. Or maybe they do at home, how can I know?
How do you spend your time when you’re not spinning records on the air?
Producing sample-based trip-hop, reading pulp fiction novels, watching documentaries and old movies, particularly Film Noir and Westerns, and playing too many video games for my own good.
Finish the sentence: “Austin Music Is ….”
…best heard in a living room or in a back yard (but certainly not a garage). Becoming good friends with musicians in your hometown is a beautiful thing.