10 Questions with ... Kim Neaton
October 7, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
WCDB (SUNY Albany) '08-'09, WEQX '09-present (intern-current position)
1. How did you become interested in radio?
By spending a lot of time alone sitting next to a radio as a kid. Growing up I never imagined being on-air because I was pretty shy and terrified of speaking in front of people. But the sharing of music with a big audience was really exciting to me and I always wanted to figure out how to be a part of that.
2. What do you remember the most growing up listening to WEQX?
How happy I was when I discovered it existed. I gave up on listening to the radio for a while in high school but then a friend turned me on to EQX and it was exactly what I wanted out of a station. A great blend of music I already loved and exciting new music you wouldn't hear anywhere else in the area.
3. What led to you working at the station three years ago?
In 2009 I interned at the station during my last semester of college. I was a psychology and sociology major but had some extra credits to fill. I fell in love with the place. After the internship was over they always gave me the deal that if I went and put banners up at a show I could go for free. Shows were what I spent all my money on anyway so I thought that was amazing. Then three years ago I started doing more around the station, picking up how to do different things here and there, and then someone decided to give me a try at being on-air. I started doing the Dead Zone, then the local show, and now here we are!
4. What do you love most about your job?
Being a part of so many fantastic concerts, and sharing new music with our listeners. That feeling when you found a new band that you're excited about and you go to your friends and say, "Hey man! You've got to listen to this!" I get to do that every day with so many people, and I think we're doing a great job of picking all the right music to put out there.
5. What is most important to you when championing new music for regular rotation?
Always keeping in mind the spirit of "alternative", and making sure to keep a song's quality in mind more than just how catchy it is. It seems there's a lot of pop music being billed as alternative lately and it just simply isn't. If it's not interesting, cool or unique, why should we care and want to share it? Catchy isn't enough. I want to support great artists, not just hit songs, and always focus on giving our listeners music we truly believe in.
6. How would your describe yourself as an on-air personality?
I like to think I'm really relatable and pretty upbeat. On-air I'm the same goofy, sarcastic, self-deprecating music junkie that I am off the air.
7. Tell us about hosting "The Dead Zone" and "EQXposure"?
EQXposure is our local music show, and I'm really proud of what's on there. There is a wide range of sounds and an incredible amount of talent in our area. It's very community oriented around here too. Many different types of bands share shows because thankfully a lot of people focus more on appreciating the talent than sectioning themselves off in little scenes. I love helping listeners become aware of the great music in the area.
The Dead Zone is a special little place. I don't need to tell anyone that the mark the Grateful Dead have left on the world of music is one unlike any other. To me the Dead Zone is like an important history lesson and exploration at the same time. There's a lot of true emotion in what they did, it's comforting. Not only do I play classic Dead shows and recordings but also new projects from surviving members, and other acts in the jam band scene that are putting out fantastic tribute/cover albums and live sets.
8. How do you use Social Media?
For the station, the focus is usually just to get the word out about our shows, or showcase a new release. We also have an amazing photographer, Yulia Peshkova, who covers all of our events; she's always putting incredible shots up on our social media that captures the feeling of what we do. On my personal accounts it's mostly still music related, and of course the general social media complaining about the world and the people in it. I'm semi-addicted to Instagram, I'll admit it.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _________?
A good album to listen to on my drive home through the mountains. I'm thankful I have that long scenic commute, it's nice relaxing alone time to unwind.
10. What would surprise people most about you?
That I was voted prom queen at my senior prom. Believe me, I wasn't hot or popular, my friends just thought it would be funny.
What are your hobbies?
Other than going to about three shows a week, I spend most of my time at home sitting on the couch listening to and discussing music with my dude and the cat. I hike when I can, snowshoe in the winter.
Always a fan of a good nap.
Last non-industry job?
Direct care worker at a home for dually diagnosed teenagers. I cooked, I reinforced bedtime, and I was called every name in the book. It was mentally exhausting but I'm a better person (and better at winning an argument) because of it.
First record ever purchased?
I think it was a Fats Domino cassette in 4th grade. "Blueberry Hill" was my jam.
I went to a local hardcore show when I was about 11 because my cousin was playing. I didn't belong there. Lots of swinging fists and growling vocals that I thankfully couldn't understand the lyrics to at the time. Other than that, my dad took me to see the Backstreet Boys the same year because he thought that's what every girl my age wanted. I didn't, and I knew even then it would be embarrassing later in life. Such an uncool thing for me to say, but, at least I'm honest.
Favorite band of all-time?
Beastie Boys, without a doubt.