10 Questions with ... Span
January 4, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Suffered through two runs at college and managed to pick up 220 credit hours, walk, but STILL not get a degree. Naturally, I took my talents to radio. Started out in 2007 part-time at WJXQ doing the work no one else wanted to. Two years later, I convinced management that I was good enough to hold down nights. A few months after that I made MD. In July 2010 I moved over to WVIC to do nights and was also made MD of WVIC concurrent with WJXQ.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
I loved radio, but hated listening to way too many of the jocks. I figured I could do better.
2. What was your favorite station to listen to when you were a kid and what do you remember most?
I don't remember the call letters, but it was an easy-listening station in Detroit. I remember sitting at home late at night from and letting the music work the knots outta my brain like a masseuse strokes ache from the body. The jocks gave me interesting bits of information and stayed out of the way of the music. Happy times.
3. How did you get nickname Span?
It's short for my full first name, Spaniel. But if I say "Spaniel" everyone wants to have "The Conversation."
Person: Like the dog?
Person: Wow, that's a cool/interesting/unique/clever/awesome name!
Me: No, it's not. It's odd. And I have it because my Mom wanted me to have my Dad's name.
Person: Your Dad is also named Spaniel.
Me: Yes, and no, he doesn't know how he got it.
Person: Will you give the name to your son?
4. What has been your biggest challenge moving from on-air at WJXQ to WVIC and adding MD duties for both stations?
The biggest challenge on-air was getting used to talking over silence since we used beds on JXQ. But since I, like every other person in radio, love the sound of my own voice I've taken to this new gig quite nicely.
Music-wise it has been keeping up with all the music. There was plenty on the rock side, but on alternative ... Geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeez! But I love it all so it only gives me an excuse to sit at my desk smiling for more hours per day.
5. What part of your job do you like best? Least?
The part of my job I enjoy the most is putting the artist right next to the listener. Whether through meet 'n' greets, listener events, shows, or whatever else we can think up the chance to put the listener right in front of the music they love charges me up more than anything else. But to make it happen everything else's gotta be on point so it's a fun challenge.
What I like the least? Charts. Grrrrrr...
6. What are the most important indicators for you when evaluating the plethora of new music to bring to the music meeting each week?
For WVIC I look for emotion. What does it make my body feel? Music, at its core, is energy communicated to your body via vibration. Does my body react to it? Do I feel it on a visceral level and revel in its arrangement? Do I wanna hug the producer and heap upon her or him my praises? If this is the case, then I just pull out the charts and do what everyone else does. I'm kidding about that last part. Really.
For WJXQ I imagine whether a stripper can move to it. I used to DJ for a strip club and when the girls clamored to dance to certain songs I knew I was doing it right. When the song rocks, the poles don't stop. I call it the "Candi With An 'i' Theory."
7. When you're away from work, what are your music listening habits to the radio, iPod, online, etc.?
When I'm walking, I listen to all the new music on my iPod. When I drive, it's the radio. I study how one song fits into the next and what the whole hour communicates to the listener via music, imaging, spots, and jocks.
8. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _________?
One full hour of music. If I don't get it, there will be great weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth -- tables overturned, bar stools embedded in walls, pandemonium. Or I just turn my radio back on.
9. What are you most passionate about?
Making music a fully-embodied, personalized, and accountable experience for the listener.
10. What would surprise people most about you?
I'm vain. It's a lot of work to maintain being sexy.
What are your hobbies?
Judo and finding obscure things on the internet that make my friends look at me funny.
Last non-industry job?
Delivering sandwiches for Jimmy Johns and bouncing for a college bar. I miss one of 'em.
First record ever purchased?
Def Leppard "Hysteria"
Michael Jackson's last tour with the Jackson 5. I remember it being loud due to all the pyrotechnics, then they all came out in blue spandex to sing "Can You Feel It." Took me a few years to recover.
Favorite band of all-time?
Ozomatli. My ear has heard no other band exhibit more sonic influence than them and still manage to rock the house.