1. HOW DID YOU GET INTO RADIO?
Don’t get me wrong but my first career choice was NOT radio! Sure I grew up listening to Ralph Lockwood, then Aaron & Tasso on CKGM (in that stations good ol’ days) and enjoyed what they were doing but I never thought that one day I would be doing that! I was a teenaged Montréal musician playing clubs and writing music and I thought that was where I would end up. Some of our club audiences actually got a kick out of the things I said between the songs and after they started saying I should try radio I signed up at the John Abbott student run radio station, QSKY at the time (1985). I started as a news reader, I spent sometimes 3 hours writing a 5 minute newscast, then became a DJ doing an all Jazz show early in the morning. Needless to say radio got into my blood. I was accepted in Concordia’s Communications Studies program, no small feat and immediatley signed up with the campus radio station CIRL, which I’m sad to say no longer exists. While I was there I got a part-time weekend job at FM96 working with Len Dobbin which was a thrill on it’s own. That job quickly turned into a few overnight shows Friday, Saturday and Sunday after midnight. I worked hard at the craft for the 3 years I was in University and it payed off! When I graduated in 1990, they offered me a full time show evenings 7-Midnight which I eagerly accepted. A year later they bumped me up to the stations midday announcer. I tell people I just kind of fell into radio…like Alice into the rabbits hole….
2. WHY DID YOU “RETIRE” FROM RADIO?
I’ve been on the radio in Montreal continuously for over 20 years and I do still love radio! That said, it’s a kind of ‘been-there-done-that’ kind of thing…and I’m not sure there’s much more I can contribute to the artform. Sadly, in the last 20 years radio has really changed. To paraphrase the line of a fellow corporate broadcaster: the craft has been taken out of the hands of the craftsmen. For that reason I’m not as interested in dedicating my life-force to it.
3. WHO WAS THE MOST INTERESTING PERSON YOU’VE EVER INTERVIEWED?
I’ve interviewed a lot of people Marc Anthony, Phil Collins, Ace of Base, Nelly Furtado, Chantal Kreviazuk to name a few so it’s hard to pick. The strangest interview was with Ozzy Osborne, I had grown up listening to his stuff so it was weird for me to be sitting across from him but he was nothing like I had thought. Quiet, pensive, introspective and no bats in his lunch box by the way, I checked!
4. WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU’RE NOT ON THE RADIO?
When I’m not on the air I’m usually looking for material to use on the air! That usually means just living an average life cutting the lawn, shopping, hanging out with my family. My favourite place to get material for my show is standing in lines, that’s when I find out what people are talking about and what they’re saying about it. I do have other hobbies besides evesdropping….I love taking pictures, am an amateur astronomer and still dable in songwriting/producing.
5. YOUR SHOW SEEMS FOR THE MOST PART TO RUN SMOOTHLY, WHAT’S THE WORST THING THAT’S EVER HAPPENED?
Computer crash…need I say more?? My very first day on Q92 the computer that plays the music and keeps track of the commercials crashed …20 minutes into the show! I had no idea what to do… Personally, I think it was a test to see if I would able to bounce back and do a good show despite the crash. I think I did alright?!
6. HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH YOUR MATERIAL FOR YOUR SHOW EVERYDAY?
I read a lot, and watch the news, I’m a news-a-holic. It’s kind of sick in a way, I watch the news at the top of every hour hoping that it’s going to get better….it doesn’t. I tend to watch the non mainstream TV stations, TLC, Discovery, PBS, the extreme knitting channel (just kidding). And like I mentioned earlier I always have my ears open. People are always talking about something interesting you just have to listen….
7. IF YOU WEREN’T WORKING IN RADIO WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING?
I would like to think that if I wasn’t working in radio I would be working for an advertising agency on the creative side. I love playing with words and building a story using pictures and music. There are lots of similarities between radio and advertising besides the obvious. I think that on a personal level, I just need to be creating something, trying out new ideas, advertising would be another outlet for me.
8. WHY DO YOU ALWAYS MAKE FUN OF GEORGE W. BUSH ON YOUR SHOW?
He makes it too easy.
9. HAS BECOMING A PERSONALITY ON MONTREAL’S NUMBER ONE RADIO STATION CHANGED YOU?
Yes and No. Yes, it’s made me happier! Becoming number one has shown me that I’M NOT CRAZY, that my idea of what is entertaining radio is right on target. I believe that you don’t have to cater to the lowest common denominator to be successful, that you can sound intelligent and fun at the same time and that you don’t need to run off at the mouth either. We do a pretty entertaining show content wise and we play more music to boot! If by ‘changed’ you mean on a personal level with my wife and kids, no, it hasn’t changed me at all, my 7 year old still calls me poo-poo head….
10. HAVE YOU EVER USED THE WORD ‘CONFLAGRATION’ ON THE AIR? (big fire) Uhhh, no. But now that you’ve mentioned it I’ll have to work it into the show…I love a challenge! :0)