Clashed Attitudes: What goes into hosting a radio show?
Radio K listeners were treated to a new voice in July, when the University of Minnesota's radio station introduced Clashed Attitudes, a new punk themed show to their line-up. Hosted by students Gus and Morgan, the duo aims to present a wide spectrum of sounds, all under the broader "punk" umbrella. Morgan, a Japanese major, comes from Eau Claire, WI, and Iron Range native Gus is studying Applied Economics. Gus also plays in Fight Cunning, and the two can be found around town at varied concerts and record stores when they're aren't in studio or in class.
Gimme Noise got hold of them to talk about the show--the semantics of taking requests, choosing guests, and just where they'll draw the line on what to play on air.
Gimme Noise: How did you pick the name Clashed Attitudes?
Morgan: I think I pitched "Attitude" in reference to Bad Brains because I was listening to that song a few minutes before we talked about it. We had a few in mind, and "Attitude" just wasn't very good by itself. We wanted hard syllables.
Gus came up with it. It has a lot to do with how there are so many ways to view punk rock--attitudes, if you will--and our show is about trying to bring the best of those together without being fundamentalists.
Gus: As Morgan said, the idea is that we're trying to expand peoples' minds as to what they think of as punk rock. We want to clash their attitudes they've created about punk rock.
How much of your playlist comes via request?
Gus: We love it when people call in and request songs. With each show we have gained people's awareness and involvement and love our listeners' input. We always want to play more requests. And, in the end, it's not our show, it's the listeners'.
Morgan: We play just about anything people ask for, because we see the show more as a community rather than what we want to hear. 90% of the time, if someone requests something we'll play it. Unless we don't have it, can't play it, or it's too far of a stretch. We currently get a handful of requests per show, but are always willing for more. Our Facebook is a great place for them, or you can call in the studio at 612-626-4770 when we're on air.
The show emphasizes the variety of styles that make up punk. What bands/types of music won't you play? Skrewdriver?
Morgan: Well, I come from an ethnically diverse background... so I'm not a fan of Nazi punk like Skrewdriver. I honestly tend to avoid it. A lot of it is at the core decent and even good music, but the values essentially frighten me a bit. I don't support segregation or nationalistic values for any group of individuals, whether they're political, militia-minded, or just social. I believe that all people are people, and that should be all that matters. Not to say I pass judgment, I know some very kind individuals with such beliefs. It's just not for me, so I find it hard to play bands like Skrewdriver.
I personally believe that punk music and society as a whole has evolved past such hates. Other than the aforementioned, I'm pretty open-minded, as long as I think there's some talent, or tradition, or interest, I'm down to play it.
Gus: I think Morgan's response really expresses how we feel about that issue. I think there are some other aspects I don't like to support as much, such as intolerant straight edge groups. I fully support people who are part of the straight edge movement, but if expressing your views entails beating people up, I'm not cool with that.
What is your stance on playing music that you like on the show? I presume you like the songs you pick out, but is there a criteria for listener requests?
Gus: Each week I like to bring something new. There is always going to be a set of music I play that includes bands I absolutely love. At the same time, I really try to vary up what we play each week and hit all facets and genres of punk. There are definitely songs I play that aren't my favorite, but I know someone out there listening is totally stoked that one of their favorite songs came on the radio and they wouldn't be able to hear it anywhere else.
Morgan: I like to pick classics, stuff I think is great, and stuff I think is notably interesting or different. When it comes to requests though, as long as a) it's radio friendly or we can edit it so it is, and b) we have it somewhere, I can dig it. We play music for the listeners, and if they want to hear something, there's little reason to say no. I'd also like to point out that listeners' bands are always welcome to send in their music.
Who are some of your favorite local bands?
Morgan: I grew up on D4, In Defence, and Regret. So they'll always have a special place for me. It's hard to say favorite though. There are so many bands that are good on their own merit, it's hard to pick favorites. Listen up! from back in 2005 or so is one of my favorite bands ever, I really enjoyed their sets. I've been digging The Manix a lot lately, too. Arms Aloft, as well - not exactly local, but close enough.
Gus: One of my new favorite locals are Braver. They play a great mix of smart pop punk with a twist. The Manix put on a good show, as do The Sundowners, Blood Sweat and Beards, Our Own End, and Class of '86. On the heavier side of things I really enjoy Lungs, Brain Tumors, Much Worse, The Terrordactyls, Wild Child and, of course, In Defence.
Your live guests have been a variety of local and national acts. Do you have a preference or goal on how this balance will work?
Morgan: We honestly just want to get everyone we can in. It's hard though, because there are limitations at the station - it takes more than just Gus and myself to get a band set up and live, and there are about ten other specialty shows, a few more arts and culture shows, as well as the regular programming to keep in consideration. Radio K's engineer, Joe, is awesome, and has been incredibly helpful and persistent with us - for that I'm most grateful. In my ideal, we'd have a band and/or guest in every week - but it just isn't possible at this point. I especially like having local guests come in, I think it's great for the community.
Gus: For me, I love scouring upcoming shows and bands that are coming through and trying to find groups that I think our listeners would be really excited to hear. Like Morgan said, we have great staff at the station that help us out and makes all of our guests sound great. I'd love to have as many national acts come through as possible. It's great exposure for the show and I love for our listeners to have the chance to see a side of their favorite bands they might not get anywhere else.