Live365's "Featured Spotlight Station" this week is Axis Radio! We spoke with DJ Sauerkraut about their setup, what listeners can expect to hear, and the station's favorite songs. Check out the interview below!
What brought you to Live365?
We were a group of podcasters that wanted to play music. The licensing included was a big draw for us to come. We were working on licensing beforehand and just found it more convenient here.
What's your studio like?
We have 5 studios currently coast to coast: 2 in Nova Scotia, 2 in Ontario, and 1 in British Columbia (BC). Our main studio in Niagara Falls uses a Behringer 12-channel Mixing Board, 3 Neewer 800 Mics, 1 Snowball USB Mic, and Behringer Noise Canceling Headphones. The entire system is then tied together with a Lexicon Interface and we use Mixxx to broadcast. Currently though at the time of writing, all DJs have been moved to home studios due to COVID-19.
What can listeners expect when they tune in to your station?
We are a coast to coast radio station with DJs from different time zones, and each DJ has their own unique flair. In the mornings, we have the Country Connections with Don Pearse from the Elk Valley in BC, followed by Mellow Lee in Nova Scotia with his mix of rock and some disco just to keep you on your toes. We also have Kilted Keith out in Nova Scotia as well with his rock mix, then Sauerkraut and Meatballs with their comedy show/real world talk and music. Occasionally, we have Sauerkraut in Your Ear Hole, a history of music where you get background information on bands and hidden gems you never knew about!
What has been your favorite moment as a DJ/Station Manager so far?
So far, our favorite moment has been watching our interactive chat grow. We watch people log in and wait for them to build confidence to comment. Once they comment for the first time, they always come back and the chats get better. We have made it so listeners can now request songs in the chat and if we have them, we play them!
What is the best concert you've ever attended, and why?
I have been to many concerts and they've all had their special moments. I will say the first concert I remember was the Anger Management Tour in Toronto. There were a lot of different bands and groups there. The most memorable ones were Papa Roach, Limp Bizkit, and Eminem. Sauerkraut and Meatballs saw them together in their late teen years.
What artist (dead or alive) would you love to see live, but haven't had the chance to?
So many to choose from. I know Mellow Lee would say ABBA for sure (or, actually, most likely the Beatles now that I think of it). Sauerkraut would have to say the Tragically Hip, and Meatballs would choose Nickelback (He would not, even if his life depended on it, tell you that, but I feel deep inside his hate for Nickelback actually comes from his secret desire to love them!) Honestly though, he would choose Nirvana, Kurt Cobain specifically. Kilted Keith would choose Primus for sure, and Don Pearse would select Dean Brody, a good ole country boy from BC.
We asked for some of the station's favorite songs. Here's what they had to say!
So many good songs to go through! I am going to do the most requested songs. First, when our station started, we wanted to be unique and play some stuff that wasn't getting as much play on other stations. The first song people requested was "Banjo Odyssey" by The Dead South.
Soon, requests started to pour in for some music from Faith No More, and the most popular request was "Epic."
Don Pearse was one of our first DJs to go live and he wanted to play something close to home, but he also wanted to rub it in to our friends to the south that we have something that they don't have. If you didn't know, it's "Stronger Beer" by Tim Hicks. Don loved this song so much that it has become how he ends all of his shows!
Mellow Lee has been instrumental in helping with selecting some music for the station (although Sauerkraut is the Music Director, he does get input from all of the DJs). Mellow Lee constantly bugged Sauerkraut to get more Audioslave and Soundgarden. His favorite song is Audioslave's "Doesn't Remind Me."
One of our first loyal listeners on the Don Pearse show constantly asked for a song called "One Horse Town" by Blackberry Smoke. The station management finally decided to get some music by them and we were not disappointed. The same listener then went on to introduce the Music Director to Jason Isbell as well.
The very first song that was ever uploaded to our station when we went live was from a Canadian group that our Music Director has seen many times. Most people think that we just randomly selected a CD to upload, but there was some thought that went into it. We wanted people to know we were here and we wanted to answer one question for them. The first band uploaded was the Sheepdogs and the very first song that started it all was "I Don't Know," followed by "Who?" by the same band. Why? Well, when someone asked "What was the first song you ever played on the station?", we could say "I Don't Know" and if they asked about the second song, we could say "Who?", and they would think the Who. We are kinda corny like that. Also, the video really does capture a great time in music history and is all about what we promote - peace, love, and good music!
Meatballs has always been into heavier music. His favorite song to play is "Bad Company" by Five Finger Death Punch! I mean, who really doesn't like "Bad Company"?
When we added Kilted Keith to the lineup, he requested some...you guessed it, Primus! He wasn't picky, in fact, he said, "just anything by Primus." Well, ask and you shall receive. "Wynona's Big Brown Beaver" should do the trick!
Sauerkraut, being the youngest of the group (by 2 hours, we verified that because 2 of us were delivered by the same doctor the same day, to different parents), has a wide range of music that he likes, literally the guy listens to all genres. He says he will give anything a try, but some of his favorite music is Creedence Clearwater Revival. His favorite tune is "Fortunate Son."
Recently, we have introduced Metal Mayhem to our lineup in the late evenings. There have been a lot of requests for various heavy metal artists, but still the most requested would be Avenged Sevenfold. We are not sure why they didn't call themselves Avenged Elevenfold, but anything after that just sounds silly. The drum beat in "Nightmare" gets our listeners every time, and is what attracted the Music Director to this particular band. Enjoy the track, which is a suiting song to sum up our station. (Just kidding, we are not a nightmare, check us out!)
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