10 Questions with ... Gary Allen
July 22, 2014
1) Please outline your radio career so far.
1979-1981 Tri Cities WA, Top 40 AM KALE (Disco was still cool) and sister station KIOK, Progressive AOR.
1981-1994 KEZE FM Rock 106, started out as a weekender, left in '94 after eight years as PD.
1995-97 WKGR The Gater in West Palm Beac, FL, PD/Mornings on the Classic Rock station.
2) What led you to a career in radio? Was there a defining moment that made you realize "this is it"?
Working on the Alaska Pipeline, freezing my headphones off, it was time to get an indoor gig, plus when I lived in L.A. as a kid I was a huge KHJ fan of Humble Harv. I would skip school just to hear Robert W Morgan Morganize the Southland!
3) How long have you been at KHTQ (Rock 94 1/2) and what makes this station so unique?
Since day one, in fact, one year before we flipped to Active Rock. Our listeners, The Moshpit Allstars, are the real personalities of our station. Our on-air interaction with them on the street and now through social media has proven to be invaluable.
4)You have the dual role as PD and morning show host ... how do you balance your time so both roles are effective?
For me, the dual role is an advantage. Active Rock is like a thoroughbred. You have to ride it every day to feel it and there's no better way to do that than in mornings, plus technology makes balancing the whole thing much easier.
5) Rock 94 1/2 plays a healthy amount of current rock. Approximately how important by percentage is gut, research, sales, video play, and chart position when determining the status of a record?
The track record of a band relative to the role that band plays in the overall enhancement of our brand is central to our approach. We have a five-year series called Too Broke To Rock, 26 free shows and counting with bands like Otherwise, Heaven's Basement, Nothing More, Wayland, Like A Storm, and the fan reaction to those bands tell you a lot.
6) 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 becoming much more diverse and less predictable with bands like Volbeat and Redlight King, plus the influx of some very talented Rock babes not to mention a great crop of younger bands like Nothing More, You Me At Six, We As Human, balanced out by the standard bearers like Godsmack, Seether, Hellyeah, FFDP and the road warriors like Pop Evil and Adelitas Way. I am truly excited about our format.
7) KHTQ has a reputation as a "tastemaker" station ... especially when it comes to playing new Rock music. How do you balance the new current rock and library music that so it doesn't adversely affect the station's cume and TSL?
We are lucky in the sense that Spokane has always been a great rock town with a great heritage that we take advantage of library-wise, featuring some of the legends who have played here live, such as Metallica, ACDC, Tool ... and when you roll a new Rival Sons or Adelitas Way around that, the seasoned rockers embrace it.
8) What are your three favorite artists or songs of this past year and why?
The Slash and Myles collaboration, for me, is the trifecta. It's Slash, it's Myles Kennedy. Myles is a Spokane homeboy whom I have been buds with for over 20 years; of course the contribution of a band like FFDP to our format is incredible and the emergence of a band like Volbeat.
9) How much does KHTQ use social media like Facebook and Twitter to help enhance the Rock 94 1/2 experience with its listeners?
Our social media presence has been a huge key to our recent success. We have a rewards program, the Moshpit Allstar VIP program with thousands of active members that we interact with in real time. That real time feedback from proven P1s is invaluable. In the words of Homer Simpson, "Ain't Technology Great."
10) You have your major station rock concert event, "Rock Hard At The Park," coming up on September 11th. Who is playing and is this an annual event?
Rock Hard At The Park 2014 is now in our 7th year in a row with co-headliners Rob Zombie and Godsmack. Also on the bill are Pop Evil, Skillet, Escape The Fate and New Medicine. All told, there'll be 11 bands on two stages. Our Moshpit Allstars Rule!