10 Questions with ... Roxy Myzal
October 18, 2011
1) What was your first job in radio? Early influences?
Music Director of 99X, a station where we played Chic and Van Halen, Meatloaf and The Tramps. That was in 1976 ... when you could do that here in NYC. We became the most-listened-to FM station in the nation with a 1.35 million cume! My early influences: The Beatles, Stones, Led Zep. Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Frank Zappa, Beethoven. Miles Davis, Patsy Cline....
2) What makes your show unique?
hardDrive with Lou Brutus has become synonymous with new music. No matter where I have worked, I always tried to find the new artists first and get them to talk about themselves on the air. Our credo: "Think like a fan." We pride ourselves on getting listeners the biggest artists and getting the most out of them. Our relationships with bands are unparalleled. Both Lou and I work really hard at keeping those relationships. Plus, we love what we do and I hope it shows. I know our listeners appreciate us!
3) How is the relationship between programmer and record label changing ... for better or worse?
I don't envy the label folks. It's getting harder and harder to get new acts played. Too many programmers have lost the passion for music.
4) What's been your biggest disappointment in radio today?
That really great PDs aren't able to do what they'd like to do, or can't get back at a good station.
5) What do you view as the most important issue facing radio today?
Competition that includes so many outside players (starting with the iPod). We need to hard work to make radio compelling again! Make the listeners out there WANT to make us their first stop every day -- at home, in their cars and wherever they are! So many stations don't front or back-sell music! It's so important! Give out some info on the bands. We need to bring it back to basics. Engage and entertain! Don't sound like a jukebox! Bring back personalities!
6) What do you do with a song you don't like?
I am honest with everyone. If there's a song I don't think is right, I let them know. I am not always right. Sometimes I've missed some pretty big songs that I just didn't get a feeling about.
7) What's your take on current music? Is it as good as six months ago, better or about the same?
There are too many bands out there -- too many and not enough of them are good. Now with more people D.I.Y.-ing it, it just opens the door to more mediocrity. Having said that, I am so happy for bands who've been struggling for years and are finally seeing some success, such as Drowning Pool, Nonpoint and Sevendust.
8) If you are voicetracking shifts or syndicating for stations outside of your market, how do you get familiar with that marketplace/community?
On both hardDrive and The XL, we make sure to always mention call letters, slogans and towns. Lou does his homework and we provide stations with local ID drop-tracked by Lou. Plus he does localized ins and out of spots, reads local promos and travels to station events. Whether it's to talk about a band on tour or play listener requests, we always make it a part of what we do. We get a lot of interaction with listeners from all over the country (e-mail, phone calls, text messages), so it's a priority that even though we aren't in your studio, we make the listener FEEL like we are! Heck, we even have listeners all over the world who write in! It's great! And we also seem to know the names of hundreds of correctional facilities as well!
9) As an air talent, how has industry consolidation helped or hurt you? What effect has industry consolidation had on the way you program your station?
It has helped syndication. With everyone cutting back, we hope more people will look at hardDrive XL. Lou Brutus is an amazing and creative talent, and we are a solid product that gets great ratings wherever it airs.
10) What do you like best about working in this format?
The people. We are quite a bunch of characters, aren't w