10 Questions with ... Tom Butler
January 15, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started out as our late PD Andyman Davis' intern back in 1998. Worked my way up through the ranks. I now host The Independent Playground, Frontstage, and weekdays 6-9:30p.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
I first started listening to Toledo and Bowling Green's college stations when I was 15 and was turned on to a ton of new and exciting music. I decided I wanted to do that.
2. What stands out the most from when you started at the station 14 years ago?
I started out as Andyman's intern, so all of my earliest memories are hanging out with him, getting lunch with him, and hanging out at shows. I remember him always taking the time to talk to everyone who said hello. Aside from that, I'm reminded of my earliest Big Room performances. Eve 6 was the first. Grant Lee Buffalo was the second. It was the first time I'd really interacted with dudes in touring rock bands.
3. How has changing signals from 101.1 FM to 102.5 FM impacted the station?
It's been great! We can reach thousands more people and reach areas we couldn't reach before. Instead of being Columbus, now we're Central Ohio. While the move was a challenge. It reinvigorated us.
4. What is it like working for a cool hip owner like Roger Vaughan?
Amazing! Working for someone whose passion for music rivals mine is all I've ever wanted.
5. What part of your job do you like best? Least?
My favorite part of my job is getting to hear so much music. I really believe that there is more good music than bad and I want to hear all of it. My least favorite part of my job is not being able to keep up on listening to all the new stuff! I get frustrated when the non-music aspects of my life get in the way.
6. What is most important to you when championing new music for the station?
Is it any good? Will they come to town and play a show for us? Do they have a fan base? The most important thing is that the song is good and will fit in with our vision of what the station is.
7. Explain the Thursday music meetings and who is involved each week?
Our PD Lesley James, myself, and the other music team member, Rachael Gordon, meet up every Thursday at 12:30 and listen to all of the new music from the week. We rate everything we hear on a scale of 1-10. The meeting is open to the staff and we have most of the DJs there as well as representatives from promotions and occasionally sales. It thrills me that everyone at the station is as invested in the music as I am.
8. Why has the Independent Playground show you have hosted for so many years been so successful and what keeps you excited about putting together the show each week?
I think the Playground has been successful because it serves as an outlet for anything underground happening in Columbus music or culture-wise. My listeners are loyal and willing to follow me where ever I go musically. Doing the Playground is possibly my favorite part of my job. I love turning folks on to new music they aren't going to hear anywhere else.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _________?
Four cans of Coke.
10. What would surprise people most about you?
I'm actually quite shy most of the time.
What are your hobbies?
Collecting records, playing music, and skateboarding.
Last non-industry job?
Manager at a head shop
First record ever purchased?
"Join the Army" by Suicidal Tendencies
Ned's Atomic Dustbin/Jesus Jones in Ann Arbor 1991
Favorite band of all-time?
This is a tough one. Either My Bloody Valentine or Black Flag. They both mean a lot.