10 Questions with ... Blando
September 24, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
WXNR-FM (Intern 2004 - 05, Part Time 2005 - 06, Asst. Promotions Dir. 10/06 - 01/07, MD 01/07 - present, APD 10/09 - present)
1) What was your first job in radio? Early influences?
My first job in radio was at WZMB, ECU's college radio station. My early influences were the music and when I found out there was a way to work surrounded by it I jumped on it.
2) What led you to a career in radio? Was there a defining moment that made you realize "this is it"?
Dumb luck. I was a Biology major at ECU and a friend, who was a Broadcasting major, mentioned he was applying at the campus radio station to put on his resume. I did a semester on the morning show because it sounded like fun and fell in love. Changed majors the following semester to Broadcasting.
3) How long have you been at WXNR (99.5 The X) and what makes this station so unique?
Eight years on the air and a year of part-time and my internship before that. This station is unique because of the diversity of our audience. ENC is a very conservative area, but we have to balance that with three Marine bases, an Air Force base, and a university. It's a strange mix and makes for an interesting balancing act with our sound.
4) You have the dual role as APD/MD and midday host ... how do you balance your time so both roles are effective?
Very carefully, ha ha. I come in early and get my web and social content built and ready so while I'm on air I can work on scheduling and other things like that between breaks. It gets hectic at times but it keeps me on my toes.
5) The syndicated Lex & Terry show is on in mornings on 99.5 The X. How is that show doing for you as a lead in to your midday antics?
It's great. L&T are edgy and a little crazy which leaves me a lot of room to work with as far as what would be considered "too much."
6) Greenville, NC is one of the few markets in America where there are two Active Rock stations battling it out. How do you differentiate yourself from WXQR (Rock 105.5) rocking across town from you?
Honestly, we try not to base what we do too much on what's being done across the street. Both stations have niches within the market where we thrive; we here at The X build our playlist and promotions around those listeners while trying to keep our sound diverse enough that we don't alienate the areas where we aren't as strong.
7) What's your take on current Active Rock music? Is it as good as six months or a year ago, better, or about the same?
Active Rock is definitely on an upswing at the moment. There has been a flood of returning artists from the '90s and early 2000s in recent years, but I felt like quite a few were just calling it in for the paychecks, but bands like Soundgarden and POD have dropped albums that are among the best of their careers while we have new artists such as Beware of Darkness and Heaven's Basement with very unique sounds making big waves in the rock world.
8) Here's a follow-up music question. Name three great new Rock bands we should know about and be listening to and why?
Ha ha, well I just mentioned two, so let's start with those. Beware of Darkness has what I can only describe as "it." A very unique sound, an insane live show, and a debut album that's amazing start to finish. Heaven's Basement was a band I kinda passed over when it first hit my desk. I didn't dislike it, but wasn't floored at first. Then I saw them live at Sunset Sessions Rock this past summer and it all clicked. The third for me would be Devour the Day. No frills, no sub-genre, just good, dirty, gritty rock.
9) How much does The X use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to interact with it's listeners?
Constantly. We integrate social media into everything we do, from promotions to listener interaction. It's really expanded our reach and with such a transient audience in the market with the military and college students, it makes it easier to keep in touch with listeners who have left the market but still rock The X.
10) Is Blando your real name and if so ... what does it all mean?
Kinda. My last name is Bland and in college I had a roommate with the same first name so everyone called us by our last names. One drunken night, a friend said "Hey Blan... doooo" and it just kinda stuck.
What do you like to do for fun when you're not in "radio" mode?
I'm a big videogame nerd. Got my NES when I was like six and have been hooked ever since. I'm also a big movie junkie, especially horror.
You're stuck on a deserted island and you only have five CDs with you. What are they?
Korn - Self-titled. Aerosmith - Pump. Beware of Darkness - Orthodox. Anthrax - Attack of the Killer B's. Slipknot - Self-titled.