10 Questions with ... A.D.
June 5, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
A few years back, because my boss Don Jantzen used to play my old band (an obnoxious rap metal group that shall remain nameless) I got my foot in the door at KTBZ. I was moving to Houston from New York because I refused to ever dig my car out of the snow again. I had an aircheck that my friend WIll Pendarvis who was at K-Rock at the time helped me fake up. Jantzen put me on the air and I've been trying not to eff it up ever since.
1. Growing up in London, how were you influenced by Radio 1?
Hah! I was more into Capital radio, but Radio 1 had the only rock show in the country. It was an hour or two on a Sunday, I think, and I lived and died by it. I was SO stoked when Xfm started, because until then there was no 24 hour rock station I could listen to... and they spun my band a lot. I remember listening to them one day and hearing the jock talking into "Jane Says", by Janes Addiction, and thinking... "God I'd LOVE to do that..." I remember that moment every time I spin "Jane Says," and then I pinch myself.
2. What stands out the most from your first job in radio?
This is it! I was hired at The Buzz and Sirius on the same day. I started doing weekends on The Buzz and overnights on Sirius. I've just kinda progressively sucked less and less and weaseled my way through the ranks since then. I think the thing that stands out the most for me is that I can't believe how fortunate I am to do what I do. I pinch myself every day that I found a profession that is supported by my inability to grow up past the 10th grade
3. What is the most challenging part of your job?
I think that the biggest challenge anyone in media is facing right now is the challenge of staying on top of things in a digital world that is moving, changing and, evolving SO quickly. Everything from PPM, to Facebook timelines, to apps, blogs, and on demand content is changing literally every day. So little of this was an issue two or three years ago, and now it's a constant evolution. It's changed how we do EVERYTHING.
The record business is still operating on a dinosaur of a business model that's really not relevant in this day and age. Its gotta find its feet in the digital age. It hasn't yet... but I think it will. The radio business is changing all the time with more of an emphasis on all things digital too and I think that's healthy. These are challenging times to be in ANY part of the entertainment world... but it's also a tremendous time of growth. I feel like I've learned more in the last 12 months than I did in the previous four years.
4. What makes your night show on The Buzz unique?
My ability to turn ANYTHING into a yo momma joke... some people, paint, some people can run companies...this is my gift. I can link literally anything back to an encounter I've had with your mom while your dad was out of town.
5. How are you using Social Media?
To post pictures of my dogs. Also at first there was this notion that with appointment setting, social media can drive listeners to turn on the radio. That may be true to some extent, and I still act as if it is, but lately I feel like social media is used to drive traffic back to your blog, where you have an opportunity to brand yourself and the station even when you're NOT on the air and people aren't listening... It allows you to connect with the people that listen to you even when they're on the couch watching TV and checking Facebook on their phones. I'm sure as apps, on demand content, and streaming audio get to the next level that will change and evolve. Also when you drive traffic to your station blog with social media it lets sales weasels make more of that sweeeeeet digital advertising cash, which means the station stays in business and I have a job. Score!
6. Who are some of your favorite air personalities?
As a kid in NYC, I listened to Will Pendarvis, Cane, Booker, Whipping Boy, and Cabbie on K-Rock; I was SO transfixed by them all. Don Jantzen at The Buzz is amazing.... he communicates so much, so casually and clearly, and really involves you in such a personal way. Theresa at The Buzz is the same. When you listen to her, you feel like she's talking directly to you. I LOVE listening to Howard Stern interview people. He ALWAYS gets something out of people where they're like, "Hmmm, I've NEVER talked about this before, but okay..."
Oh! Paul Harvey. I love how you never knew where the "story" ended and the live read began. THAT is a lost art that I try to practice. I try to tie everything into something that I care about, and that hopefully listeners care about as well. I also love Nicholas Parsons and the rotating cast of characters (Paul Merton, Clement Freud, Graham Norton, etc.) on "Just A Minute," a round table radio game show on Radio 4 in England. Stream it if you haven't heard it. Genius.
7. What are you most passionate about?
Dogs, Seinfeld, The Beastie Boys, and getting to be creative every day. When MCA died, we paid tribute to him all day long on the air. The Beastie boys are my favorite band. To lose MCA was to lose The Beastie Boys and to lose The Beastie Boys was to lose a huge part of my life. I was in tears all night long on the air and so were people who were listening and calling in. To be able to share how special The Beasties were with the city was an amazing experience. Terribly sad, but incredible to be so connected to my community. Here's the post I wrote on the passing of MCA: http://www.thebuzz.com/pages/ad.html?article=10103125
8. What do you like best about living in Texas?
People complain about the heat, but I love the weather. I'll take 100 degree summers over 10 degree winters any day. It's a very easy way of life too. The cost of living here compared with New York or London is SO easy going.
9. What new bands are you most excited about?
The Dirty Heads. That doesn't count because they've been going since '95, but they're finally breaking. I can't put my finger on what makes them so special. Usually I prefer bands that are doing back flips and setting themselves on fire, and they're the exact opposite. They just kinda stand there and play... and I get goose bumps at their shows. So good. Also Dead Sara are the first band I can remember in a long time that made me immediately go "what the hell is THAT? And run to the interwebs to try and find out.
10. Tell us about your gig at SiriusXM and how you fit that into your schedule?
I'm on alt nation every now and then, and I'm the news guy on Faction, the action sports lifestyle station with Tony Hawk, Bam Margera, and Jason Ellis. I grew up skating, boxing, and riding motorbikes, so it's awesome to be a part of that world.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I make silly white boy wanna be gangster rap songs. www.reverbnation.com/theADallstars
Give us the back story on your old band?
I got a record deal when I was a kid. I was in a god awful rap metal band. We were signed and managed by the same people that looked after Korn, Linkin Park,and Limp Bizkit. Needless to say we were the one band that DIDN'T make it, but I had a blasty blast, toured the world, and sold some records. I look at it like most people look at college -- man that was stupid, but we had some fun and learned a thing or two.