10 Questions with ... Ted Stryker aka "Stryker"
February 12, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I got my start in Tucson thanks to the great race car driver and brilliant radio man Bruce St. James. The station was Power 1490, the first hip hop station ever in Tucson. What a fun great station that was. Randy Williams, Mr. Slow Jams, made a great film about the station. Many film festivals have picked it up and are showing it. "Power 1490: AM Mayhem" is the title. Power memories-driving Skee lo to the mall and driving Da Brat around Tucson. Meeting Eazy E was also a huge highlight.
After Power was done I was part of the first-ever Alternative Rock station in Tucson thanks to Mr. Curly Chris Patyk (import the logs). 1-4-9-0 The End! was the station. It did well but the station did not last. A new Alternative station started on FM in Tucson and that is where I went.
92.1 KFMA Tucson's New Rock. Chuck Roast and Suzie Dunn really let me spread my wings on this station. I can't tell you how much I appreciate everyone I worked with in Tucson. Great people, smart people and very fun. I believe I lucked out working with people way smarter than me who taught me well.
1. What do you remember from your early days in Tucson radio?
I remember driving the station vans, setting up my own remotes, hanging banners, working very long hours, being a terrible music director, and a terrible promotions director. I had all those jobs while trying to get decent as a radio "personality".
I remember being so happy about the work we were doing. Always fighting the good fight. Most of us were so young and no idea what we were doing (Bruce was the only guy who really knew what the hell he was doing (especially with the "5 O'Clock Hey's").
I was the promotions director of The End Are you kidding me? I remember KFMA being on a dirt road. The overall Tucson experience was just awesome. We got into a lot of trouble/fun; we laughed a lot, and learned.
2. What stands out the most about when you started at KROQ almost 14 years ago?
I couldn't believe I was on my favorite radio station growing up, I also was in shock that the station was in a big building and I was looking down on the 134 freeway (remember my station KFMA was on a dirt road). It was also incredible that my main focus was not to screw up on the radio; I had zero stress about programming music and handling promotions.
3. After seguing to sister Top 40 97.1 AMP Radio for PM drive, what excited you most about returning to KROQ three years ago?
Returning to my "home" is what excited me. I felt so out of place on AMP. From the music, to the people I interviewed, to the constant questions every single day no matter where I was..."Why aren't you on KROQ?". After about 90 days I talked to Kevin Weatherly and was back on KROQ, my home.
4. What part of your gig do you love the most?
I love the professionalism and intelligence I am surrounded by. We have some smart people at KROQ, Lisa Worden (Dawg), Gene Sandbloom, and Aissa Juarez in promotions are so savvy, it also helps that everyone is very very cool. We also have this dude Kevin Weatherly, do you know of him, he's a real up and comer.
5. Tell us about your KROQ 4:20 feature?
Every day at 4:20 is a song I have specifically chosen that fits that day. It could be my favorite MUSE song (maybe MUSE is playing Staples Center that night) or it's a band nobody has ever heard or, or, I quite often world premiere songs from a huge band.
6. What new bands are you most excited about?
Capital Cities, The Parlotones, and 28 North.
7. Who is your favorite air personality not on your staff and why do you like them?
My favorite is Chuck Roast, not sure if he's still on but he was so good, natural, flawless, funny, and confident.
8. Tell us about your new TV show?
The past 24 months I've made a huge effort to get myself back into the TV world. For a while I did a lot of projects, than really slowed down a lot (my choice), and now I have that fire again. I've been doing quite a few projects from AXS Live TV, a movie called Sushi Girl, a car show, and random appearances on daytime talk shows. The show I'm doing now:
(debuted Feb 9th) is starting as a one off special paid for by Lexus and it looks like we're gonna do 11 more after.
How many shows are there on TV that are looking for that next big star? The answer is a lot, and those shows are great. All you have to do is stand in line for eight hours and you can be a star.
On my show, we're taking artists/bands that have put in work, hard work, and long van rides, playing to 50 people at times, getting record deals on their own and have done awesome. Now, let's get these bands even bigger! I root for bands to do well. I want the best for these artists who have worked and paid dues. Episode 1 features Family of the Year, Wallpaper, The Parlotones, and Seedless. I took The Parlotones for a tour of LA; we shot six hours with them for a four minute bit. I'm very excited that music I like is gonna get a shot on TV.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ___________?
Putting Purell on my hands, petting my dog Bonzai, kissing my wife, watching PTI and rooting for U of AZ sports. _________
10. What would surprise people most about you?
- I do a triathlon every year.
- That I've been on the radio for 20 years (you'd think I'd be better)
- I'm also a master of all things hip hop from 1987-1993.
What do you like best about living in L.A.?
It's my hometown. I know every inch of this city. I love the excitement and the "hubbub" of the city. I love that so many people are in their cars, it's a huge audience and a smart audience, if you screw up, and they'll let you know. I like that.