What does a music director do?
At some other radio stations, the music director chooses what is going to be played, but since we're a free-form station I just make suggestions. Then the DJs are open to pick and choose what they want or bring their own stuff as long as it fits station policy.
What is the station policy?
Whatever is not mainstream. If KROQ or MTV are playing it there's no reason for us to play it. So we try to keep stuff independent. The stuff that we're playing you really can't find anywhere else, which is what makes the station special and unique.
What's your radio show?
It's called Things That Are Square, on Thursday nights from 6 to 8 p.m. When you start at the station they give you 3 to 6 a.m.—the crap slots—to make sure you're dedicated. But I've been there long enough that they let me on when people are actually awake. I bill it as an eclectic show because I enjoy music of all types—which is probably why they let me be music director. I play more mellow rock, pop and indie, but I'll also throw in hip-hop and electronic and mild experimental to keep it interesting.
Do you ever have bands in the studio live?
I haven't just because I tend to be shy. But I encourage other shows to do that. I make sure the right people are aware of bands that are available. Interviewing is not my strong suit. It's scary for me. I'm an indoor kid.
How long do you think you'll be with KUCI?
It'll end with a spectacular suicide, maybe. [Laughs] No, I doubt that they'll kick me out, because I work hard. I'll probably give up the music director thing eventually. I'll probably still do the show. It's something I enjoy, and it means a lot to me, and I don't see a reason to stop. I don't intend to structure my life so it's so hectic that I don't have time to go down to a radio station for two hours a week and play music I love for people.
Do you give any special consideration to local music?
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As music director, if something comes into the station from a local band I definitely pay more consideration to it. Every college station should support its scene. I try to include as many local bands as possible.
Have any favorite locals?
There's a band called Slings who are from Anaheim. I unfortunately don't get the chance to go out and see a lot of local bands, which is sort of criminal and probably looks bad in the OC Weekly. It seems that music is so much more easily accessible now that it's difficult to keep up. But I foolishly try. Maybe one day I'll be the creepy old guy at the show who's wearing something inappropriate. Hopefully it won't come to that and I'll age gracefully.
THINGS THAT ARE SQUARE AIRS ON KUCI-FM 88.9; WWW.KUCI.ORG. EVERY THURS., 6-8 P.M. VISIT SIERRAMARTIN.COM/SQUARE FOR INFORMATION.