10 Questions with ... Ted Stryker aka Stryker
December 9, 2014
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.
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! 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. I also did a very very short stint on AMP Radio 97.1 on Los Angeles.
1. How would you describe yourself as an on-air personality?
This is the toughest question you've ever asked! Hmmm. I'm just myself. I know every inch of Los Angeles so I'm very local. I'm enthusiastic, positive, energetic, and I know the music very well and have what I think is a pretty good rapport with many of the bands. I'm also the #1 fan of KROQ, I'm glad I work here.
2. What is your show prep routine each day?
Internet. Twitter. Listen to Kevin and Bean. Listen to music. Think about songs. Investigate things.
3. What is your typical day like personally and professionally?
A typical day in my professional life is pretty much the same in my personal life. What I mean by that is, I seek 92% of my excitement, fulfillment, life challenges and social events all thru my professional endeavors.
This may sound so cliché but the work really is my life, I am so lucky to have any job let alone the job I have. I also have that block in my brain where I am rarely satisfied, how can I do better, be better, and take it all to the next level (you would think with my lunacy I'd be a bit better at radio ☺)
I start my KROQ gig at 2p but I am up early. I do cardio almost every morning, it makes me wake up and makes me feel good, and then it's off to meetings, rehearsals, Out Of Order, or gigs I do before KROQ at 2p. The last 3 years, it's been very very busy. KROQ is always the focus no matter how busy I am.
4. I absolutely love the way you front- and back-sell your 4:20 Song of the day. It's engaging, entertaining, and informative. What is secret sauce?
Thank you so much for that compliment! First, Lisa (DAWG) Worden is a huge part in terms of the song selection. This feature has 100% made me better on the radio and on camera. I approach the 420 like this: I ask myself the following questions and try to answer at least a few without stumbling and bumbling too much on the radio.
How does the song make me feel, where is this band heading (professionally), where have they been, who do they sound like, what does the song and band mean to me, why should YOU the audience like them, are they funny on twitter, are they wizards in the studio, what are there live shows like?
It's all about enthusiasm and passion for the songs and bands, I root for bands to succeed! #Stryker420 This feature has also been cool for me because of the relationships I've formed with many of the bands. BANDS LOOK AT TWITTER and tune in to the stream to hear their song on the radio. Even the "A" level bands!
On that same thought, the star of the show is KROQ and the bands that I play and interview. My job is to make them all shine, if they shine, I will hopefully shine too.
5. How do you use Social Media to interact with your listeners?
Social media is huge for me; I've got a very active group of followers who are the coolest! I try to engage with just about every person who tweets me. Even if it's just a "Thank you" to someone. I feel what I do online on all platforms (I have twitter, IG, a website, YouTube channel and a Facebook fan page) can add so much to my radio presence and station profile. If you post a great interview with Blink 182 or MUSE or any band, there is a great chance the fans of those bands will check me out, they'll stream KROQ, follow me on social media, investigate on line who else I've interviewed, and quite possibly, not a 100% guarantee, but just maybe they become one of your fans/friends/supporters all in one.
6. How has your job as an on-air personality changed since you first started at KROQ in 1999?
Being a good on air personality in 2014-2015 requires a lot more than just being good on the air (which I am still trying to figure out how to improve every day). No more can you just hide behind a mic. Being good on air means being great on webcasts, social media, having credibility and trust with bands (that's always been a high priority in the history of radio), and the audience will have the same trust. You also have to adapt with the changes that the boss wants, this can be tough at times, instead of complaining, own the changes and figure it out. I work in radio for god's sake, not in a 12 hour a day cubby hole office like the movie Office Space.
7. What's it like working for Kevin Weatherly?
Kevin Weatherly is Phil Jackson and Bill Belichick. Smart, calm, focused, clear vision, ideas, perfection in managing a team and individuals. He's a guy I always want to play for and succeed for. Kevin also has an infectious laugh and is such a nice and humble person but at the same time we all know he's the man.
8. Tell us about your recent appearance on Access Hollywood, the Hollywood Film Awards and the AMA's Red Carpet Show.
I've been getting quite a few calls lately to appear on shows (I got em all fooled), Access Hollywood was fun! Rolled on in, talked a bit about Nicki Minaj and that was it.
For sure the most challenging recently was the Hollywood Film Awards. I only had 45-60 seconds with people like Chris Rock, Steve Carell and Channing Tatum, had to fit in the broadcast portion on line for the show. The AMA's is exciting to work. A friend asked me the other day why I work the AMA's show when there are really no KROQ artists attached, my answer is "That's the reason, it's a challenge, makes me better for the KROQ job."
9. TV is a big part of what you do. What are you most proud of on your TV resume and how do you balance your TV work with KROQ?
With the TV stuff, I am making up for lost time. There was a time period, mid-2000s where I was very inactive and did not seek or put forth the effort to do TV. In 2008, that all changed, my focus and drive is very very high with no end in sight to let up. Just like in radio, I am still learning every gig I get on how to do it better. Most proud of on my resume - I'd say Grandmas Boy (I was the vegan restaurant host) and the first show I ever did. MTV's Who Knows The Band.
10. What do you love most about hosting "Out Of Order" each week?
I love seeing the faces of engineer Ted Woods and writer Corey Irwin. We have the best time making the show every week. Just us three dudes having radio fun. If any stations reading this carry the show, thank you (if you ever need personal liners to customize your station, just let me know).
How would you describe your Professional Baseball career?
Better than Moonlight Graham (Field of Dreams) I had one at bat, lined out to the pitcher and got no balls in left field. One inning of play.
How often do you get out to concerts and what was the best show you saw in 2014 and why?
I don't see as many up and comers as I used to, but still go see the bigger shows.
Best of 2014 was....The KROQ Weenie Roast
What are you most proud of from 2014?
I'm most proud of and appreciate everybody at KROQ. They put a ball on a tee for me every day, my job is to be prepared and smash the ball that is on that tee. My co-workers work so damn hard and are so smart. It's an awesome team that I am very very fortunate to be a part of.