10 Questions with ... Dustin Fletcher Matthews
January 28, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
WIMZ & WNFZ Knoxville, WDYL/Richmond, WFXH/Savannah, WFNX/Boston, and WRXL/Richmond.
1. You have quite a resume for a 30 year old. How did you get started and who are your mentors?
And how do you know my exact age, All Access? Honestly I got my start digging through my mom's vinyl collection. John Lennon's "Imagine" kind of changed everything for me. I grew up listening to WIMZ and was fascinated by the mix of music and the personalities. In high school I called Shane Cox every day. No joke. Get home, call Shane, play N64... no homework. He finally caved and I was doing weekends for WIMZ at 16. Tommy Chuck, Jim Spector, Randi Ellis, and Randy Chambers were all huge early mentors for me. From RVA to Boston, Mike Murphy, Susan Groves, and Keith Dakin are responsible for giving me the skills to be the programmer I am today.
2. What led you back to Richmond for a second PD stint?
To work for Clear Channel Media + Entertainment. I loved WFNX and, having spent my "formative years" in Boston, I consider it home. However, I always wanted to find the right opportunity within Clear Channel, and I jumped at the chance to lead the team at a legendary station like WRXL. I absolutely love the forward thinking mentality and true commitment to the artists we have with CCM+E. Richmond is also a really cool town full of art, history, and great food.
3. What part of your job do you love most?
I absolutely love the creativity and writing the ever evolving story of the XL102 brand. Also, the team we have assembled here in Richmond. I work in a building full of stars who share a passion for music, the market, lifestyle, and winning.
4. WRXL's positioning statement is XL102 Richmond's Rock Station. What makes the station Alternative?
WRXL officially became XL102 in 1976 and has been "Richmond's Rock Station" ever since. That goes beyond the positioning statement. XL102 is an iconic brand that represents the rock lifestyle for Richmond. That means a lot of things to a lot of people. We honor our past while keeping a focus on contemporary music that connects with our audience. Alternative is rock and our audience is beyond passionate about what we are doing.
5. What makes the station unique?
The XL102 Chili Cook Off. Our spring festival show is actually the biggest one day event in Richmond for the entire year. Plus, it's just not a name; we actually have 30 different pro and amateur chili cooks vying for cash on top of a stellar line-up of musical acts. We celebrate the 31st anniversary on April 19th, so skip out on Coachella and come to the RVA! I know who to see for VIP wrist bands.
6. How would you describe your midday show?
Four hours of music nerdom, weekday's 10-2p. It actually is about the music with The Morning News, Commercial Free, and Leftover Lunch.
7. What has been your biggest challenge programming XL102?
Patience is my challenge at life. We've made subtle adjustments and some not so subtle adjustments (like bringing back the heritage name of XL102 from 102.1 The X), but nothing has happened overnight. After two years I feel like the station has finally found its greatness and relevance once again. I'm really proud of this team and our accomplishments. I would be nothing without Elliot, Mojo, Tamo, and The Dave's - Carwile (market VP) and Symonds (OM).
8. Being a "music geek," what is most important to you when championing new music for XL102?
Does it sound like Richmond and is there a possible story we can help develop. J. Roddy Walston "Heavy Bells" was something we got behind early, not just because he lives here, but because it sounded like Richmond and fit into the fabric of what we are doing musically.
9. What was the best concert you saw in 2013 and what made it so great?
There were a billion great shows, but it was Queens Of The Stone Age at Night 2 of XL102's Miracle On Broad Street. After the tightest, loudest performance of the year, Josh came upstairs to throw back with our winners and staff. He did tell me we were too buttoned up and that I should relax; "See all these people... this isn't a Monday night, it's a Saturday night." Then we sank a tequila shot. I think I understood. Anyway, I'll be that cool never.
10. What are you most passionate about?
Music, travel, and my 9 year old boxer, Rigby.
What music do you listen to when you're not working?
XFM, RadioBDC, NPR, The Mike O'Meara Show Podcast, Opie And Anthony, and Howard. Musically I'm all over the place, but currently digging Duologue, Nightmare and the Cat, J. Roddy, Arctic Monkeys (I plan on joining the band when they play Richmond 2/4), QOTSA, Jake Bugg, X-Ambassadors (who will blow your mind live), Kongos, and eagerly awaiting a copy of Against Me!'s record.