LIVE ON THE AIR - August 9, 2011
Mohawk College 135 Fennell Avenue West
INDI 101 Radio station 101.5 FM
You don’t quite know the concept of being live until you’re, well, live! Avishka, Jenny, and I were excited to be guests on “The Mixtape with Max Wray” on Mohawk College’s radio station, INDI 101. Max, being a friend and, at this point, somewhat of a regular feature on our blog, hosts his weekly radio show Tuesdays from noon to 3pm, playing an eclectic mix of tunes (it’s called “The Mixtape” for a reason!) and interviewing local personalities. We’re still in slight disbelief that we should find ourselves in that category! Pulling into Mohawk’s campus on the mountain, sharp at noon, I heard Max’s introduction to the show, which I’ve heard countless times before, being a regular listener. How surreal that, this time, he announced the I Heart Hamilton Tour girls would be on the show, talking about, as he put it, “going everywhere you’ve been too scared to go” in Hamilton and discussing their favourite places in the city. That did nothing to calm my nerves as I excitedly texted Avi and Jenny to find out where they were. It was almost time for our radio debut!
Before tracking down the radio station, we took a bit of a walk to collect ourselves and check out the sights. I was not very familiar with Mohawk’s campus, so it was great to get a chance to see it and its recent new additions. We had a classic impromptu photo shoot, which never fails to entertain us and attract strange looks from passers-by, but we way were too anxious to take much in so we headed right for the station.
Walking into the studio, we were pleased to see that it worked out perfectly that there were three chairs, three microphones, and three sets of headphones set up in a semi circle facing Max. (Although we wished Carly could be with us that day, we knew she was listening from work, and gave her a shout out on the air, of course!) We sat down and didn’t have much time to prepare before we were live to air. I had joked beforehand that our first radio appearance would probably be comprised mainly of giggles and dead air. As Max knows firsthand, I’m not the chattiest person in the world, and I told him it seemed like a good idea at the time for us to be on his show. But the time had come, and we had no choice but to go for it!
Max had really done his research, and aptly kicked things off by playing The Turtles’ “Happy Together”, which was the first song we sang at live karaoke on our very first night of the tour. We were impressed. Max had come prepared, having read our blog and he even had it queued up on the computer right there in the studio. We really enjoyed chatting with Max about everything we’ve seen so far, our favourite places in the city, and what this tour means to us. He really understood what we’re all about and was completely on board and enthusiastic about our project, which means a lot. Max spoke about how particularly with people in our age group, more often than not, any leisure time is spent just going to bars, and people are sometimes at a loss for what to do. He also noted how people don’t always speak so positively about Hamilton, and that we’re dispelling all of that with our tour and are seeing for ourselves everything the city has to offer. Most importantly, Max was quick to emphasize the bond between the four of us, joking that we either really do care about each other, or we’re really great actresses. It has been our friendship driving the tour every step of the way and the tour has been as much about us as it is about Hamilton. We love that; we are, after all: “4 friends, 1 city”.
During our interview I got to give a couple of shout outs to friends who we’ve gotten to know better through past tour stops. One of my favourite parts of the tour has been getting to observe and participate in other people’s lines of work. This includes our photo shoot with founder of Monsters Vs Me, Jay Perry, and getting a tour of Boxcar Sound Recording Studio from producer and musician Matt Montour. Both of those guys were tuned into the show and the tweets and text messages were flying as I spoke of them on the air.
Max even put us to work, getting us to do a little radio duty. I announced one of the songs after it was played and Avi did the weather (which I made her do in a British accent – it was amazing). We also got to make a few song requests and chose, appropriately, Death Cab For Cutie’s “You Are A Tourist”, as well as tracks by some local artists and friends Kirby and The Ascot Royals.
We stayed in the studio for the duration of the show and chatted with Max the entire time. So much so, I almost forgot I was live on the radio and it’s hard to distinguish from memory what we said on and off the air. As nervous as we were in the beginning, it quickly became a relaxed and fun experience. It was most definitely a fiesta, which is the highest compliment we can pay to anything. We’re all about experiencing new things on this tour as we explore the city, and this is one tour stop I’m proud to say we accomplished! I think my inner chatterbox was unleashed. How about an I Heart Hamilton Tour radio show? Just throwing it out there…