10 Questions with ... Myles Cochrane
July 15, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started with NPR-affiliate KSJD in Colorado when I was 14 and went on to essentially pay to be on college station KRFH in Northern California while going to school. After being the runner-up for an internship with KSLG, I found out their first choice had transportation issues. Yep, I was the backup intern! I went from sorting mail to subbing, tracking nights, afternoons, AMD, mornings, MD and then APD.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
Rides to school in the morning were made tolerable by Bob & Tom or Mark & Brian -- those guys cracked me up. I must have been 9 when I first called in a request to KRWN in the Four Corners area and heard 'em play back my voice. That made my day! From then on I wanted to try to do that for people. Plus, music has always been my go-to conversation-starter with strangers, you know, besides religion and politics.
2. What led you to K-Slug 5 years ago?
I took a radio production class with KHUM cofounder and co-worker Cliff Berkowitz whose fun assignments just didn't feel like homework. He told me about an open internship and connected me with then KSLG PD and still KHUM PD Mike Dronkers, a super-genius with a caring personality who runs marathons and stuff.
3. What do you love most about working at the station?
KSLG emphasizes live and local personalities. We don't just play songs, say interesting things and give stuff away; we do actual human things in the community with other humans. Hanging out with our listener friends in support of the zoo, a proposed trail, a local business, our concert series and whatever else gives us some of that tight-knit connectivity that corny sitcoms are made of. And with our format we have more of an opportunity to spin songs enough to add them to our recurrents before they chart -- that's such an incredible high.
4. How would you describe your morning show?
Conversational, live, and something I'm always second-guessing. But I feel fortunate to have the minds behind the county's go-to local news blog -- the Lost Coast Outpost -- right outside the studio for quick updates and breaking stories. Around the music there are always interviews, calls, giveaways, local references, self-depreciation, jokes, horrible puns and some humanizing imperfections. I do a rotary of segments one at a time featuring local news, state-and-national news, movie/music/TV news, odd news, the best of Reddit, etc. It's always changing. Even with all that I can usually cram 13 to 14 songs into an hour in the morning. People have enough to worry about on their way to work and school, so I try to make breaks as concise and easily accessible as possible.
5. Tell us about the station's slogan, "New Bands, New Songs, New Sounds?"
KSLG started in 2001 heavier with the times but eventually it started feeling kind of strange introducing artists like Alt-J and Phantogram with the words "new rock." With three quarters of our alt/indie playlist now only dating back a few years or less we wanted to go with something catchy that had more staying power. I could barely believe it when our GM Tom Newhouse came over from Hawaii last year -- one of the first things he told me was that he didn't care about ratings and he believed in us to be able to do something unique and special. When he brought in radio vet Sean Demery to help with programming and re-branding we were able to do just that and something else I always wanted: To loosen rotation.
6. What else makes K-Slug unique?
While we've got our core artists like Arctic Monkeys, Lana Del Rey, Black Keys, Grouplove, etc., we add a ton of indie bands with smaller followings. No money behind 'em, non-singles, deep cuts, or artists with only one song out? Doesn't matter, if it sounds right next to the stars in those spoke positions we'll spin it. Also in some cases I'm not afraid to make a radio edit of a track, so during the day we can often squeeze 15 to 16 songs into an hour. We poll our tuned-in friends by asking them to vote for the next Artist of the Month or to submit songs using a form at kslg.com. And the weekday three-song countdown of potential adds featuring a rotation of lists, charts, submissions and archived material is like an almost-daily new-music soundcheck.
7. What is it like working with your consultant Sean Demery?
Before I met Sean in person with his signature big hug I knew I'd like him -- he's best buds with Cliff Berkowitz so I had a feeling he'd be fun-loving guy with a good attitude. He's got a heck of an ability to coach on-air personalities, programmers and brand managers and he lives up to his experience at 99X, Live105, etc... When he talks I listen and take notes. I understood the opportunity for him with WYMS in Wisconsin was a great one and after his departure we still chat for an hour or two on Tuesdays and sample what he calls "aural" treats. Sometimes we're so in-synch that we bring in a bunch of the same songs and sometimes we're on complete opposite ends of the sonic spectrum which keeps things exciting.
8. What do you like best about living on California's North Coast?
Crab season! And the rocky, sandy beaches here pressed against those mega redwoods are seriously stunning. The air is clean, the skies are full of stars, the lifestyle is laid back and a majority of the people are friendly. For being so secluded we get a pretty decent music scene here, too.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _________?
Reddit.com/r/funny/ ... And my phone (as my wife would point out) ... And pretending like there were three blanks instead of one.
10. Congrats on your baby girl. How has becoming a dad changed your life?
Thank you! The priorities shift is definitely there. Audrey's mom Alyssa -- she actually used to do traffic for LCCI -- is amazing: She works in pediatrics and is so great with her. I'm lucky that she makes it easier. Still, good thing listeners can't see the rings under my eyes. You know those nights where beforehand you ate right, stayed hydrated, felt healthy, had no stress and there's zero excuse for a lack of sleep? I now have that excuse!
What are your hobbies?
I play guitar and make mouth noises that sometimes sound similar to singing. I love playing soccer, hitting the gym, snowboarding, going to shows, reading, traveling, and watching football on Sundays.
Last non-industry job?
Making brick-oven pizzas and washing dishes at a tiny brewery where they thankfully played tons of White Stripes, Modest Mouse and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
First record ever purchased?
I'd borrowed Led Zeppelin and hair-metal-mix cassettes from my dad, but the first one I bought with my own money was "The Very Best Of Deep Purple."
Static X. I still have hearing loss from that. Wait, what?
Favorite band of all-time?
Not because of the music but because of the musicians and their revered other bands: Them Crooked Vultures.