Thursday, 22 January 2015

Sunday Night Experience

Not long after the disbanding of Grasshopper, Mike Chapman got a call he and myself had been waiting for. After our experience on "The Seminal Load" at 105.5 CHRY, Mike decided to apply for his own radio show, and now it was going to become a reality. The station must of appreciated the fact he worked at CIAO Radio, so they offered him his own time slot at CHRY. They offered him Sunday nights from 10pm to 6am if I remember correctly....or perhaps it was 11pm-7am... Or 11pm-6am... I can't quite remember.

Nevertheless Mike was totally stoked, as were myself and Mike Myre. It was a pretty big time slot to fill, so Mike enlisted us as co-disc jockeys to take part in this new venture. Our show would go on to be known as "The Sunday Night Experience" and we vowed to make it a listening experience for our audience, offering them a wide range and variety of music.

As we headed there for our first broadcast, we tuned into "The Seminal Load" as they held the time slot before us. Low and behold, Derek was their guest, trying to push his new brand of "Grasshopper" unbeknownst to myself, Mike had created a loop of Derek singing the line "I'm so alone" from the Grasshopper song "Born Loser" The recording he chose however was a terribly unusable acapella take. Derek was totally out of key and his voice was screeching and cracking.

Mike assumed Derek would tune into our show on his commute home, so he ran that loop in continuation for about 10 minutes. Once the cheap shot was out of his system, we proceeded to unleash our first episode on the college radio underground circuit. The hosts of Seminal, once friendly people, were clearing out as we took over the airwaves, but they  now seemed almost snobby towards us or uncomfortable, due to the whole a grasshopper issue I imagine. "Fuck em', I thought to myself.

Mike kicked things off with some old funk & jazz such as Miles Davis, James Brown, and Parliament, just to name a few. After an hour or so he transitioned into some break beats and instrumental hip hop and electronica, which eventually led to rap and hip hop songs. 

This took us right to 3:33 am, where myself and Myers stepped in with "The Power 333" our salute to thrash metal and hardcore. We selected this time slot to do such as it was half of 666, the number of the devil. We went by the aliases "Cronos Jr." & "The Aggressive Perfecter" both of us speaking in terrible broken English reminiscent to Max Cavalera from Sepultura. We spun heavy tunes for 60 minutes, then Mike C stepped back in at 4:33am to continue the action with a variety of strange and wacky music. 

We also had a call in segment where friends would phone us and we'd have on air discussions about randomness, we'd also get into busting live freestyle cyphers as well. This was definitely the highlight for me. For the last hour of the show Mike C. slowed things down a bit with some mellow reggae jams, in ode to all the early birds getting ready to start the day. We figured it would be a nice way for folks to go about their morning rituals with some chilled easy listening. 

Our first show went pretty well, and we were even able to record it live in the studio. It was a total trip for me, having access to a radio station with absolutely no supervision. We could smoke in there and pretty well do exactly whatever we pleased, even if it involved stealing a few choice records from time to time. 

CHRY had what was known as a cart machine. "Carts" were similar to the old 8 track tapes, and most of them contained commercials or plugs for the station provided by well known musicians such as Cypress Hill. We chose our favourite carts as to actually have some cool commercials from time to time. As the weeks went on, we started making our own carts in the station, as they had all the means to do so. Now we could actually advertise our own show, as well as our "mini-shows" within the show. 

It was truly a highly fun experience and Sunday had now become my favourite day of the week. I looked forward to heading into the station every sabbath. Of course by morning time we were all exhausted, burned out, and ready for bed, but it was totally worth it despite being a volunteer gig. It also gave us a platform to expose our rap group "3 n' Pass" as we could play our music and promote any live gigs we had coming up.

It felt great to be apart of something with meaning and substance, which I was longing for after Grasshopper dismantled. Our listening base wasn't huge, but we had listeners and that's all that mattered to us, and we were gaining more of an audience every week. Those Sunday nights were creating some of the best memories one could ever hope for, and I never wanted it to end...

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