Center Stage on Live365 this week is Now Wave Radio - "Sounds of Yesteryear for Today's Ears." We spoke with station manager Dmitri Baughman about their history with radio, their station's programming, and we got some music recommendations. Check out the interview below!
What made you get started in radio?
I've always been interested in sound, audio, and music. From a young age, I hid walkie-talkies around the home and would "broadcast" music and DJ updates from my bedroom. Friends of mine and I would record radio programs on a portable tape recorder that included skits, "advertising," and music segments. I put speakers outside my bedroom window and played DJ for neighborhood friends.
My father bought me my first Depeche Mode cassette at a young age, which laid the foundation for my musical tastes today. I even ran a pirate radio station while in college until a local ham found me and threatened to report me to the FCC! (A local paper reported on it. The archived interview is here.) I ultimately majored in Communications in college, but the draw of computers and technology took me down a different career path. Podcast production, audio mixing, and my Live365 station have kept my audio creative outlet going.
What brought you to Live365?
While looking for a streaming provider, I always had licensing challenges in the back of my mind, but with the thought of pursuing everything myself. Live365's service offering to remove those headaches made the decision to go with them an easy one.
What's your favorite part about running your own radio station?
I love hearing from and interacting with listeners who have similar listening tastes. We get to discover and listen to new music, share bands, and discover shows and festivals together. It also lets me use my technical skills - including audio technologies, computer programming and scripting, graphic design, cloud computing, and others - for a personal and creative outlet. While the station is relatively new, I'm coordinating with friends to expand on regular shows, a weekly podcast, and getting the word out.
Tell us about your station's programming. What can listeners expect when they tune in to your station?
We mostly play up-and-coming alternative artists that specialize in synthesizer soundscapes with an '80s new wave feel. A lot of genres are represented, such as synth-pop, dark-wave and goth, synth-wave, and many more.
We have three regular programs that dive deeper into some of these: a retrospective show that looks back at post-punk and new wave from those eras that laid foundational sounds, a "Newer New Wave" show that presents the latest in new music from current artists, and "Sounds Like" that explores covers, remixes, and newer music with comparisons to other artists and music. More shows are being worked on, like a weekend party mix show, a Dark Wave showcase, a Sunday slow-down program, and others. The station's website is NowWaveRadio.com, where everything from on-air personality profiles, podcast archives, and regular programming schedules can be accessed.
Name one artist that you play on your station that is underrated in your opinion.
Drab Majesty - This band has been exploring a modernized "dark wave" sound with unique themes in mind. Their album The Demonstration is about cult mentality, specifically the Heaven's Gate cult and references to their operations of the mid-'90s.
What's your favorite music memory/moment?
I like to share my story of growing up in Texas surrounded by country music and cowboy boots, but having parents who listened to disco and other non-mainstream music. As mentioned before, my father came home with a Depeche Mode Black Celebration album cassette thinking I'd enjoy the music. I was hooked and my love for new wave, post-punk, and other lineages started my musical foundation.
Please list your top 5 or 10 songs, with a brief reason why each song made your list.
Some of our most-requested songs include these:
“Dot in the Sky” - Drab Majesty
The most-requested song by this band: it's got catchy lyrics, a great chorus, major/minor transitions, and a Xymox/The Cure familiar sound to it.
“Hypnotize” - FM Attack
This indie band is gaining a lot of attention for their synth-pop sound that gives a big nod to the '80s new wave sound. This is a very danceable song, and has some great synth-scapes and even a Daft Punk-style processed vocal.
“MORE JOY! (feat. CHAI)” - Duran Duran
They were a huge band in the '80s and continue to reinvent themselves with this newest song that's very dancy, poppy, and upbeat.
“Bennington” - Information Society
They had a couple of huge hits in the late '80s, but kind of disappeared since then. We got a lot of positive feedback when playing this particular song that they released only a few years ago. It's unique for them in that it's a remake of an old John Maus song, but very modernized and given the Information Society synth-pop treatment.
“Only Lonely” - ACTORS
Another great new indie band from Vancouver, BC, ACTORS has great guitars, bass, and backing synths for a modernized Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music sound.
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