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For five years DJ Ziba Zehdar has broadcast via UC Irvine's KUCI-FM 88.9, using her indie rock/electro-friendly ZM Radio as her outlet to share the music she loves.
DJ Ziba Z.: I've played the violin since second grade. I was in the UCI Symphony Orchestra. So music's a big part of myself.
OC Weekly: Do you like orchestral music as much as the rock music you play on your radio show?
Yes. In the beginning I played more classical than I do now. I'd throw it in every once in a while. It was way more random. Now it tends to be more indie/dance rock and electro.
Independent music can be a lot more participation-friendly than other genres. Did that attract you to the music?
I just like it, but I would like to get more involved with it. Before anything I was a show-goer and music listener. It was just something I grew into when the opportunity came.
Is music a career goal?
Nothing definite. Since my degree was biology, I'm looking into becoming a scientist, but at the same time having music as a big part of my life.
Have any favorite local venues or bands?
SolArt Gallery in Santa Ana—a lot of bands that have played my show played there. El Centro Cultural del Mexico in Santa Ana used to also be a venue, but they've just moved so I don't know if they're still going to do that. That was a great place to see underground shows. One of my favorite local bands was I'm Gonna Stab You, and a member is now in FM Bats. I had FM Bats play my radio show.
What band's been the most out-of-hand?
I'd say FM Bats. They spilled their colored drink on our brand-new carpet and kind of got in trouble with our engineer. It's hard to watch the band for the whole two hours and make sure everything's going smooth and still manage to play the next track on the radio. But nothing too crazy has happened. Usually bands want to play and are well-behaved.
Do you usually play your own music or the station's library?
I tend to use the station's library. What I do have is usually bought from live shows. I usually only buy vinyl because it's harder to find and better to play live.
Do people think it's strange that you primarily buy vinyl?
Now people usually only use their iPods. I don't think people even buy CDs anymore. Maybe, in some ways, buying anything is strange to people.