SEPTEMBER MD of the MONTH
101.5 WIPZ – Ranger Radio
University of Wisconsin
How did you first hear about WIPZ?
Okay, this is probably going to be a weird response. I found out about WIPZ, because my house is across the street from a church. (It gets weirder.) The church has a closed school attached to it; at the school, bands practice there. One night, my mother heard music outside that she really liked, and she decided to go find out who was playing. To her surprise, she met the drummer of the band, which ended up being the station director of WIPZ at the time. My momsie, being her motherly self, mentioned that I am a lyricist. The director then recommended to her that I join the station, because I was already set to go to Parkside.
How long have you been at WIPZ? What is your history there?
Well, its been a while. That is for sure. I knew about the station before I even started my classes back in September of 2015. I joined a few months into my freshman year after the craziness of the high school to college transition calmed down.
As for my history, I have done A LOT at WIPZ. I started off as an assistant on a literature-based talk show called, The Pub in the fall of 2015. We talked about books, poetry, etc. I will admit, it’s cliché, but music is where my heart has always been. After doing The Pub for a month or two, I did some promotional stuff for a while, which honestly, I felt like was going to kill me with its dullness. Also, I am the host of an 80s Show still. Anywho, I became music director in April of 2016 when our former director became manager. The position was open, so I took it!
What are you most proud of accomplishing/changing at WIPZ since you became MD?
I think my greatest accomplishment as music director has been expanding Parkside’s range in terms of bands/organizations we work with. I have a few contacts around the world that I would have never gotten to speak to if it wasn’t for my radio position. I’ve had the honor of speaking to Sophia Aslanides, the former vocalist of Blood Stain Child. The band did metal versions of iconic Studio Ghibli songs. Yes, I’m definitely a fan of those movies, and their music is mostly sci-fi-like, so basically, I’m in love with them. I can’t forget about Blackout Balter, too. To interview a band that worked with Dave Keuning of The Killers, was just one of those, “Whoa, I’m really doing this…” kind of moments.
How does WIPZ make itself known throughout Kenosha? What sort of things do you do to connect with the community?
WIPZ gets involved with the community quite a bit. There are almost too many things. The athletic scene is probably where we have the most impact. We broadcast numerous sporting events in the area. As for other things we do, we recently helped with Bark for Life, which is a local event. It is a noncompetitive walk event for dogs and their owners to raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society’s fight against cancer.
What do you love most/dislike most about Kenosha?
Hmmm, I am actually not from Kenosha! I live about fifteen to twenty minutes away from Parkside. I will admit, I love Petrifying Springs, which is the park that surrounds Parkside. It is amazing sight to see, especially in the fall.
When it comes to what I dislike most about Kenosha, I wish there were more things to do on our campus. It’s pretty quiet, but I think that is the point. We are in a park after all. It’s kind of a double-edged sword; you want something to do, yet the quiet is nice. It depends on the day and how social you feel.
What artist/band have you heard for the first time this year that has impressed you the most?
Oh, dear. There are so many artists I have been exposed to this year. There is not a single artist or band that wins the spot for most impressive. I had never heard of the following until this year, and they are all some of my favorites along with many, many, many others:
• Captain, We’re Sinking
• Cloud Nothings
• Direct Hit!
• Free Throw
• Mother Mother
• Port Cities
• Portugal. The Man
• Super American
• The Districts
• The Dolly Spartans
Do you have a favorite artist or album you never get tired of listening to?
I don’t think I can say I have a favorite artist exactly. It often changes depending on how I feel. Some days I can be like, “I’m all about those hardcore Dance Gavin Dance and Beartooth records, I want to order a pizza, and let’s listen to every single pop punk record I own.” On other days, I could be sobbing to old Maroon 5 and The Fray songs. I’m strange like that. Just because it’s mainstream doesn’t make it bad; artists get where they are for a reason.
As for an album, I will never get tired of Say Anything’s, All My Friends Are Enemies: Early Rarities. It still holds down the spot for being the most relatable set of songs I have ever listened to. There isn’t a bad song in that collection.
What is the best live show you have ever attended?
Hands down, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee was absolutely amazing. First off, the tour was called the Zombies in America Tour. Like, come on, that alone got my attention. Second, I grew up listening to Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin; Andy is one of my idols. Third, the whole set was space-themed; there was this giant, projected space helmet with these beautiful images spiraling inside it.
It was truly an ethereal experience that made me cry when I was there. “Dark Blue” and “My Racing Thoughts” were always songs of comfort for me when I was going through high school; it just broke me emotionally to hear Andrew sing the words. It’s safe to say, I will never forget that show.
What’s the best gift anyone has ever given you?
I have never received a gift that has truly wowed me. I’m annoyingly quite fond of gestures over gifts, and I guess I’m waiting on perfection. If I had to pick one, though, I would probably pick a digital grand piano. I pointed it out online, and it was my Christmas present from my parents last year. I really like playing it in synth mode, and I have composed a few sci-fi based songs with it.
If you could choose, what time period in the past would you most want to travel back to and visit?
I’ve always had an odd fascination with the idea of magic and necromancers. I used to have a hardcore dedication to Wizard101 when I was in middle school. With that, I would be interested in seeing what went down during the Salem witch trials. I also think it would be pretty neat to see how the 1920s were. It seems like people appreciated classiness a bit more during that period.
Do you have a favorite restaurant in town you always make sure to take guests/visitors to?
Alright, coastal guys. It’s Wisconsin, you know we like our cheesy things. I’m a huge fan of Charcoal Grill, which I believe is just a local chain. I always get something called the Wisconsin Cheddarhead. It’s a hamburger with Cheddar cheese on both sides served on an English muffin, and it comes with homemade chips. There is one that comes with an egg and bacon, too. Cheesy eggs are life, my friends. Plus, the restaurant has a cool atmosphere — tons of TVs, a bar, giant vinyl sticker decorations, etc. I’m pretty fond of it.
What’s the one thing you can’t do without?
SPOTIFY. I think I would be a college dropout if it wasn’t for Spotify. My massive playlists have gotten me through some long nights and challenging times. Music has always helped me concentrate, and it keeps my confidence up when I feel like I’m going to have a breakdown. I believe I have quite literally thousands of hours racked up in songs.
Dog or Cat? Doggies. Woof. Woof.
Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi
Morning Person or Night Owl? Night Owl
City or Country? Ummm, suburbs?
Watch TV or Read A Book? Uh, it depends on the book and show? I’ll go with a movie in most cases just due to time frames.
Sunny or Rainy? Rainy
Dine or Delivery? Dine
Beard or Clean Shaven? Beard
Pants or Shorts? Pants
Do you have a current favorite TV show obsession?
Uh. Okay. I just might have a massive crush on Manfred from Midnight Texas. It helps that the show is supernatural-themed, too. I’m watching The Living and the Dead right now as well. Colin Morgan is in that one, and yes, he used to play Merlin in Merlin. You already know, I like me some magic and creepy things, and The Living and the Dead has some of those vibes.
And finally, and most importantly, does adding nuts to dessert (cookies, cake, brownies, etc.) make you happy or make you mad?
I don’t want nuts in my desserts. Keep them out. I like my baked goods soft and moist. Nuts make me furious, and I love dark chocolate. DON’T MESS WITH MY CHOCOLATE.