Full Value Review Info
By Bill Gould and Jared Yunis
Bill: So, Tazy, Where’d you go to school?
Tazy: Um, at U.C. Irvine
Bill: What’d you major in?
Tazy: Music. I was born in Philly, grew up in Northern California, went down to UC Irvine to go to school and on the second day I was ever on the campus at UC Irvine I discovered the College, one of the news people sort of pulled me into the studio and I actually read the news –
Bill: Right there on the spot.
Tazy: Right, and I was there for 12 years.
Bill: So that was your job?
Tazy: Well, it was all volunteer, I wish I would have gotten paid… (Laughs), I actually started doing a jazz show. I played piano, and I was very much into the jazz thing, so when I got there I put in the most hours, and my first show was a jazz show and it eventually became like an interview show, and I actually got to meet and hang out with some of the biggest names in jazz of all-time. It really instilled in me as an up-and-coming musician the whole process of artist development. So, I started out just doing a whole jazz thing and I wasn’t really too concerned with other music at the time, and then I went home in the summer of 88 or 89, I think it was 89, and um, my brother convinced me at the last moment to go see this one show at the River Theatre in California, and I wasn’t gonna go – it wasn’t jazz related, but he wanted me to wheel and deal to get his video camera in so he could videotape the band so we could watch it on TV at home.
So, hell, I don’t how he did it, but he convinced me to go, I went there, and uh, the first band was an offshoot band of Operation Ivy called Dancehall Crashers, and the second band came up, and this is what really made the light bulb go on – the second band went on, and they were from Fresno, and they were called Let’s Go Bowling, and they were playing this stuff – this music, called Ska, and I’d heard it before, but it sort of sounded like jazz, and here were folks that weren’t like 5 times my age, they were the same age as me, and the audience was also my age or younger. Seeing these guys, and essentially, they were doing solos and everything, and I was like, “wow, that’s really cool, tell me more about this music called Ska!” so that was the uh, the reintroduction to Ska music for me. Now, mind you, in junior high I was into two-tone stuff, but I didn’t know it was called Ska at the time. I was into like Madness, The Beat, and then growing up, Fishbone was one of my favorite bands, but I wasn’t making the connection to what the rhythm was called.
So, uh, anyway, that was the reintroduction, and it got me so motivated that my brother and I produced a two-hour radio documentary with video footage also involved. It was based on what became the first-ever mention of third-wave Ska. And it was just U.S. bands and I got in touch with and met all of them. I mean, the show had like 31 bands from all over the country, everyone was involved, uh, it had the last interview with Operation Ivy, No Doubt was part of it, Fishbone was part of it, The Skatellites, The Toasters, I mean, it’s just remarkable for the time frame, I mean, it got so big that at the time “the poor man” who was on KROQ was also hosting a show on KDOC called “request video,” and I made a bet with him before my show aired that if I could get The Untouchables to make an appearance on his show that he would plug my program that was airing on KDCI for three days on KROQ.
So, I won the bet, and we were actually on Request Video for three days, the first day it was The Untouchables, The Skelletones, and myself, second day it was five different bands: No Doubt, Donkey Show, Gangbusters, who else was there? Uh, Better Than Nothing, and I wanna say The Skelletones as well. The third day I couldn’t make it, so I guess Better Than Nothing did like an acoustic thing and that’s when the radio show aired, and the title of the show was “The Ska Parade.” At the time it was the most listened to program in UC Irvine’s history, basically. So, the following January they gave us a weekly show. That was the birth of the weekly show, The Ska Parade.
Now, the whole time doing that, my brother kept pushing me to – cause basically Ska in its basic element needs to be experienced live, so he was always pushing me to have the bands play live, do whatever they can, you know, so he was always pushing the live thing on me, and I kept pushing him back. Anyway, he always seemed to win over, and you know, we started having all these different bands come on the show. Most of the initial performances weren’t all electric, it was all acoustic, like impromptu acoustic stuff, you know, but that was the beginning of the show, and every show had a guest, whether they were playing live or interviews, or phoning in or whatever.
On the show, this was the first place that bands like No Doubt got their first ever airplay, I mean, and then they used to me, like, “we’re not gonna come play the show again unless you book a band called Suburban Rhythm,” so I would book Suburban Rhythm and then No Doubt would have to come play on the show again, and that was sort of the relationship for a long, long time. So that’s basically the early days, and then um, every year I would do a special of like, the best of the performances of the show. And they became popular and we realized that a lot of the kids were making tapes of the show and listening to them when we weren’t on, so then we’re like, “well, let’s see if we can do a benefit,” and at the time the radio station was like $70,000 in debt.
Bill: Oh, wow.
So, we go, “okay, let’s do a benefit!” Basically, the best of shows became “Step On It: The Best of The Ska Parade Radio Show” CD, and one of the bands on it was a band called Sublime, and a song called “Date Rape.”
To sort of let you know my progression, by this time I was interning over at KROQ in Los Angeles. The morning show thought I was funny, so they used to have me answer the phones, and then I actually got hired in promotions and used to drive the van, so when I was doing that, the whole time I was there I was pushing this whole Ska thing, and uh, two of my so-called buddies became the assistant music directors at the radio station and they wanted to prove themselves, and at the time, um, musically – well, let’s see, it went from, you know, the grunge, which is like watered-down punk for the most part, to the pop-punk with Green Day and Offspring, and the next inclination for the music, the natural inclination for it was to go to Ska, or third-wave Ska. And so I gave an advance copy to the assistant music directors and they came back to me and asked me – well, they liked this band called Sublime and they had a live track of a song called Date Rape, and so, they asked me to get a studio version, because my version was live, and that wouldn’t work, you know, so at the time I was friends with everyone and they hooked me up and the night before Acousti-Christmas ’94 we were in the programming director’s office and I remember there was like a Lakers game going on and I gave them an early Christmas present, and it was a copy of 40 oz. To Freedom and a copy of Robbin’ The Hood, and we were all listening to the CD in the programming director’s office and they were like “Well, we like this track called Debit.” I’m like “Well, I really think Date Rape will work,” and I left to go to my promotions meeting and I said, you know, “See what you can do.” Next thing I know, guess what gets added to the station a month later, and I get all these calls and I’m like – I’ll put it this way. When I was an intern I got to sit in on one music meeting at KROQ and I did that, and I don’t know how, but I knew exactly the mindset of where the programming department was at the time and what they were looking for and all of the different steps of what was needed to make the song work on the biggest radio station in the U.S.
So I actively became like the middleman with working the Date Rape single, and that’s what put the band on the map. But the thing that was really funny about them was the fact that – see, the way that upper programming at KROQ viewed it is, you know, they wanted to show that the new music directors were doing good, and that they helped out this local band from Long Beach, and then there’d be a big bidding war and they’ll release something new and then we’ll play it a little bit and drop them, and that was it. And that was the plan. But they didn’t know that Sublime had already been signed by a subsidiary of MCA called Gasoline Alley, which was Rod Stewart’s label.
Bill: I didn’t realize that.
Tazy: So that was the reason why they couldn’t just tuck it under and it became huge, and not only was it huge, it was like all the radio promotions stuff was there, but also the full-on fan support was there. I mean, Date Rape was number one in requests at KROQ for six months. It was number one in rotation for three weeks and it was the song that, you know, created the third-wave Ska revolution. The only drag with Sublime was – and you gotta realize how impossible to fathom this is, but Date Rape at the time was a four-year-old song on an independent record that flopped, and yet between us, we really worked it to be one of the biggest bands from the 90’s.
And the thing about Sublime was that they were a bunch of drug-addicts and the whole situation with them was “Oh my gosh, the guys did what? Okay, how can we fix it?” And that kept coming up, regardless, whether it was their first Love Line appearance, I mean, you know, a big FCC violation is to show up at a radio station with alcohol at the radio station. I mean, that’s like a big FCC violation, or maybe station policy violation. Regardless, I’m like convincing them to put it in the men’s bathroom outside the radio station, so, it’s like they would be there for Love Line, when Riky Rachtman was hosting, and during the commercial break they’d run to the men’s bathroom and pound, and then run back to the studio and then they went on Jed’s (Jed The Fish) show later that year and I was like sick, I couldn’t get out of bed, you know, and I’m like “guys, you know what you can do,” you know like, “you remember from last time, right?” and then “Oh yeah, yeah, Tazy, we know.” Dude – they light up in the studio with Jed, the band got suspended from airplay, I mean, it’s just a bunch of things that happened at the time to the point where KROQ wasn’t gonna play them anymore.
And on top of that, they hated playing Date Rape, cause it was a four-year-old song and they already played it out, and they wanted to play the new material – and everyone wanted to hear Date Rape, but they didn’t want to play it. So it was a struggle on every single end to deal with that band. So that is why they went to a band that was nicer – like instead of like lighting up in the studios at KROQ they show up at the studio with a pretty girl that baked homemade cookies for the DJ’s. Now, who are you gonna deal with? And that was a band called No Doubt. Now, ironically, the folks who took me to my first Sublime show were Tom and Adrian from No Doubt, cause I was pretty good friends with Eric Stefani and I used to hang out at the house, and Tom and Adrian came over and said “Dude, you have to see this band” so we all went down to The Coconut Teaser, and that was the first time I ever saw Sublime, and it was like a year later that I got back in touch with them (No Doubt) and then they played live on my show.
And that was the moment that just like clicked, I mean it was like the best live performance that these guys had ever done in their whole lives. And then two of their songs made it on the benefit CD and then you can see the progression, you see the doors opening. So that was – cause KROQ didn’t want to deal with them at the time – the music director flat out said that he would have nothing to do with No Doubt, you know, and this is in the midst of the Grunge revolution. You know, their first record flops, and it was funny that that’s what put it on the map. I actually had stuff that Tom sent to me – a tape with a real nice note saying “I don’t know if this will ever happen to us, but would you mind debuting something from our new record, you know, maybe you could do the same thing you did with Sublime. (Laughs) And it was a song called “Just A Girl.”
Bill: Oh yeah, wow.
Tazy: So anyway, you see the start of all that’s happening, so then all the sudden it seems like the radio show at UCI seems to be put on the map – everybody who even remotely plays a Jamaican rhythm all the sudden wants to be on the show. Sure enough, we’re having The Specials play live in the studio, we have The Skatellites, you know, Fishbone comes in, Untouchables – you know, you get the picture. Everybody who was anybody came in and played live, you know, it wasn’t just interviews, it was like, the full band setting up, electric, everything, during the course of the show, and that was the gig, and then on top of that I would team that up with the up coming bands, so there was all these up and coming bands, like Reel Big Fish, The Aquabats, Save Ferris.
I mean, the first time Save Ferris was on my show that was when Tragic Kingdom was coming out, and they were huge No Doubt fans and I had Gwen call in, and you can see how weird that is, I mean, looking back, that was what I was doing like every week. So then we hit a point where we’ve had every possible third-wave Ska band on the show, and we’ve had all the major Ska bands play live in the studio, so you know, how much farther can you take this? So a manager friend called me up and said, “Tazy, I know that this band isn’t Ska, but would you like to have The Descendants live on your show?” Now, Mind you, two of my favorite bands growing up, especially in my high school years were Fishbone and The Descendants. Okay? The manager of The Descendants calls me up and says “would you like them to be live on your show?” And I’m like, “UH HUH!”
And so that went really well, and I was like, “Oh, okay, well maybe the audience is cool with other rhythms than just the Jamaican rhythms.” So that was the start of where I started having bands from other styles of music actually come in and play live and I started spinning other styles on the show, and since then, I mean, we’ve had over 450 different bands representing 24+ genres of music. It’s like anybody who’s anybody has come and at least has done something for the show, whether it’s actually been in our studio, or done another show that was exclusively just for us. And that’s been the progression since 1989. Obviously it’s sort of hard to call the show “Ska Parade” when you have bands like Fugazi playing live, or The Jurassic 5 in the studio. It’s a little tough. I mean, the audience gets it, and the bands got it, but I just sort of got tired of everyone just assuming that –
Bill: You didn’t want to just associate it with Ska
Tazy: Well, it was also, like, I felt like we had done everything possible and how much further can you take it except to expand and just search for good music. So, tying in my early jazz days at the station, basically all those jazz days just really instilled in me the whole progression of the older artists helping the younger artists and just creating this real healthy progression for bands and artists to get to the highest level of their art. That was really what we were focusing on with the show, and I think it’s become a really healthy medium between the over-ground and the underground. It’s like, here we’ve had all these bands go on to sell millions of copies of their records, and yet, for the most part they want to come back and still be able to play the show because that will get them in touch with the grass roots. Then I’ll team it up with an up-coming band that wants to get to the over-ground, or, bands who normally wouldn’t do something like that would make an exception for our show.
That’s what I’ve been doing. It’s made a lot of other people very rich, although it’s been a labor of love on my end of things, and, unfortunately, it, for the most part doesn’t pay the rent. But, it’s like, I don’t know what it is, I just can’t get enough of it. It’s like the search to find those gems before anyone. I mean, it’s almost like being a classic A&R guy. I mean, you know, my medium was on the radio. The other thing is I was told years ago to test the waters of commercial alternative, and I didn’t want to go to KROQ right away, but, I don’t know, I think that was a little too intimidating for me.
Bill: I can imagine.
Tazy: So, I brought it to a station that I thought would be a good medium before getting to the KROQ level. So I brought the show to KCXX in the inland empire with the hopes that it would catch on, you know, to test it and actually get ratings so I can show that to advertising folks, and that’s what did and I ended up being on KCXX for 4 years.
Bill: That’s where I first heard you.
Tazy: And the other thing that’s remarkable about that station is if you look in the history of commercial alternative stations that have gone against the biggest alternative station in the country, every station that’s attempted to go against KROQ has been literally blown out of existence except for one station, and that’s KCXX, and it’s still there today, and it’s because of a team of us that actually cared to do something. So I’m glad that it at least has life. The down part to that is I think we proved to be so much of a threat to the competing station that I don’t think they want to have anything to do with me.
Bill: Because they don’t like you anymore.
Tazy: Dude, I kicked their ass for 4 years.
Bill and Jared: (laughing)
Tazy: So, you know, I’m sorry I can’t appease your ego on that. I think they’re sort of kicking themselves because, “well, we could have had that show.” So instead of taking the show, because I’d be glad to bring it to that station, it’s just…
Jared: Their pride.
Tazy: Exactly! Dude, you know, they don’t see it that way. So instead of going “ok, it’s your time, go up to the plate,” they’d rather not deal with it.
Jared: That’s politics for you.
Tazy: And they’d rather, you know, try to re-write history and stuff. For instance, this weekend on VH-1, they’re having “Behind The Music with Sublime.” Guess who wasn’t interviewed and probably won’t have a mention of any involvement with sublime? But, at the time, I know what really happened.
Bill: You weren’t in it for the glory.
Tazy: I was in it to make the music that I loved to get to the next level, because at the time I thought that by helping all these people get to that, that they’d take me up to the next level with them, and that wasn’t necessarily the case. See, I get the nice pretty plaques on the wall, but you don’t – dude – Money is a much different issue.
Jared: See, I can identify with you on that, because, I mean, this is part of the reason why we’re doing the website - to get bands who don’t have as much exposure here a little bit more exposure so maybe people will –
Bill: People that won’t get exposure on Clear Channel stations.
Jared: Yeah, for example, one of my favorites, The Faint.
Tazy: Uh huh.
Jared: You know, you were the one who played The Faint, and I was like “man, you rule!” Because nobody else had – practically nobody else had even heard of them.
Tazy: Well, with them in particular, see, I’m always keeping my eyes and ears open, I mean, I’m always searching for good music, I mean, that’s my passion. And, when I get tips, or I see, like I monitor a lot of the other specialty show’s play lists, and if there’s something that catches my eye, I’ll jot them an e-mail, and they’re like, “Yeah, Tazy, maybe you should check out this band.” So, with all this communication, it’s like I’m seeing, you know, where I’m able to find and try to contact a band, like The Faint.
So I contacted the record label, the record label sends me the stuff, and if I think it works on the show I’ll play it. If not, then, try again next time, but I’m glad that a lot of people entrust me to at least give it a test listen – and by the way, I do give everything a test listen. Sometimes it takes me a while, but I actually do listen to everything – whether it’s the band in the basement, or the biggest band in the world, you can still send your CD, and I will listen to it, and if it works for the show, I’ll play it. If not, you know, don’t let it hurt your ego, it just means try again next time and on the next time maybe something will happen. I can’t tell you how many different bands at first I thought just weren’t up to par – quite honestly sucked, but that kept at it, and maybe because folks like myself would go, you know, “You’re not up to par yet,” and they will work harder at their craft, and then, you couldn’t believe it, like a year later, it’d be the same band with the same song, and you couldn’t believe it was the same band! And then you knew they were ready.
Jared: Well, it pushes bands to try harder.
Tazy: Exactly, and some folks, you know, don’t understand it, and in fact that just happened like a week and a half ago. You know, an up-and-coming band sent me their stuff, and you know, they were doing all the right steps, really, you know, trying not to be too pushy about, you know, “did you listen to it, did you listen to it?” I listened to it, and I’m like, “they’re not ready yet,” so I, you know, sent them a nice – I mean, my responses are like the nicest you’re gonna find from anyone. You know,” it wasn’t up to par compared to the other releases, but please, you know, let me know what’s up in your future endeavors.” Which is nice, and polite, and encouraging, and dude! They’re like demanding, you know, money for their CD, and I’m like, “You’re sending me a promo copy for…” You know, what am I supposed to do? Email you, and go “you owe me $500 for me to review your material?”
Jared: Exactly, it’s a give and take.
Tazy: Exactly, so, uh, anyway, I got a kick out of that one. But most times people are understanding, they’re all, “OK, well, we understand, we’ll keep working at it.” Let’s see what else. I mean, gosh, there’s just so many stories.
I had known Mike Halloran – we’re gonna get to Premium 92.1. I’ve known him since my KROQ days, and, how I befriended him was really by chance. I was working for KROQ in the promotions department, and at the “weenie roast” they put me in the front ticket window to coordinate guest list stuff, and up comes Mike Halloran with his family, you know, his little baby at the time, and at the time he was the programming director for 91X, and guess what? Not on the list. Okay? I got him and his family in. And we’ve been friends ever since. And then when The Specials played for the first time, it was like out 300th edition of the radio show. I mean, what a historic thing is that? And that night, they played at Soma in San Diego, and The Specials wanted me to introduce them over the guy who ran Soma, over Mike Halloran and so the way they set it up was I guess the owner of the club went out and he’s going, “okay, here’s this guy blah blah” and he thought I was gonna go out and flop on my face. And it was like the best introduction I’ve ever done in my life. And Halloran comes up and he’s like “Dude, that was really good!” And then I think he was considering me to get on 91X at the time, but then that was when he was ousted.
Bill: Was that when Jacor bought them?
Tazy: Uh, I don’t know about that, but you know, shifts of power and stuff like that. So we’d been in touch, ran into each other quite a few times at the different music industry festivals and stuff, and I saw him last march at South By Southwest in Texas. I was looking for work and so I asked him, you know, and he said “Well call me in three weeks,” So that’s pretty good, you know, he’s the P.D. for mp3.com, you know, maybe something’s at mp3 that, I don’t know what’s happening. So, I call him, and then it’s like 2 more weeks, and then eventually I finally get the call, “We’re starting a radio station an owner switched formats and I want you to do specialty,” and that was the call and I was more than happy to do that, and liked the challenge of going up against the 800 Lb. Gorilla, although it was like multiplied, because, you know, nothing against Clear Channel it’s just there so huge of a corporation now, so it’s like, not only are you going up against the biggest station in San Diego, but you’re going up against the biggest radio conglomerate on earth. But the one thing I’m able to do is I know I’m able to do a solid thing that’s able to get ratings which generates revenue, you know, I do my things that tend to work and, so everything’s going fine and dandy and then, I got in trouble… not by choice, sort of by precarious incidents that were beyond my control and I’ve done everything in my power to correct it and there’s nothing more I can do except wait for Halloran to go “Okay, I talked to the owner and you’re welcome to come back.” But that hasn’t happened yet and I don’t know if it will or if it won’t. If not, I do an online version of the show, and I know a lot of people – I mean if you can imagine doing my program as long as I have with all the compilations – anyway, you know, every show gets like 40,000 listeners.
Bill: Wow, really…
Jared: That’s phenomenal.
Tazy: It’s pretty intense. And so you know, when I got back on regular radio, I sort of let the internet go on the slide, because it just repeats, you know, but boy, to have this happen really got me motivated to do the online version of SP Radio One again, and so I did that, but the next thing I know the streaming service goes down. But the good news is that just came back up early this morning, so, I’m back in business. So it just means now I have to determine if I want to still produce The Birthday Show, or not, which I sort of feel bad, because the episode that’s up there hasn’t been up there as long as it should have been. So, it’s sort of a weird thing. So, what are your opinions on the matter? Should I do the Birthday show or should I just skip that week and then go to the following week?
Jared: I don’t know, uh –
Bill: I think I’d do the birthday show after a certain period of time.
Tazy: I know, but, the thing is like, the time frame is – I could do the birthday show and then it’s The Holiday Show, but then I have to skip the one in between. So, you get the picture. And the one in between has some pretty decent talent on it. Not to say that the birthday show doesn’t have decent talent. It has one of the Jamaican pioneers, Eric Monty Morris. I have this laserdisc of a documentary that they call “this is Ska.” It was when Ska came up in Jamaica back in the early 60’s. Instead of the Skatellites as the backup band it had Byron Lee and the Dragoneers and they had like a plethora of singers, so that had Eric Monty Morris and they had Frank. And they would come up and sing their song, and then Jimmy Cliff came up and sang, and had all the original Jamaicans doing all the steps, oh it was rad. Anyway, so, Eric Monty Morris, you know. So I got him to do a birthday show with one of the local LA bands backing them up, it’s phenomenal. So, going back and forth, my birthday was last week, maybe, should I do it tomorrow?
Lisa: Could you combine the two on some level?
Tazy: Yeah, but then I couldn’t fit all the live band stuff. So, I mean, I like the live band stuff, you know, but it’s also a new music show, so I have to balance the two.
Bill: 40,000 listeners, huh?
Jared: I’ve never heard of that for the Internet, for an independent broadcast.
Tazy: Yeah, but it’s worldwide.
Jared: I run a tiny Internet radio station on Live365.com, and I’m impressed if I get 1,500 listening hours a month, so, that’s pretty good. Having 40,000 listeners is excellent. Anyway, I have a question. What was it like having The (International) Noise Conspiracy on the show?
Tazy: It was cool. Before, it was like, all the sessions had to be in our studio. Then, when I didn’t have a studio – it’s sort of ironic, it’s like, I have all the equipment, but I don’t have a place to bring the bands, and the only bands I can really bring to my place are folks who could do it without drums, you know, so sort of semi-electric, sort of acoustic. Singer-songwriter stuff for the most part. So, you know, where am I gonna bring the bands for this? A couple of the clubs have been really super-nice in letting me basically tag-team with them doing shows. So basically, it’s like going to a show, but they’re also doing the show that’s gonna be recorded and edited for the radio. That’s what we did with The (International) Noise Conspiracy on Cinco de Mayo at Chain Reaction in Anaheim. I can’t give enough props out to the folks at Chain Reaction, they’ve been amazing. But they also know that I do spread the word out, you know, most of their shows sell out anyway nowadays.
With The (International) Noise Conspiracy, I’d been trying to get them on the program for a while, and I know the owner of Burning Heart Records from Sweden. But I was just happy that the band said yes! Because it really comes down to, “do you want to do this for the radio show, or don’t you?” And they said yeah, sure.
Jared: I know their philosophy is to get their music out as much as they can.
Tazy: Well, true, but they also want it to get out in a responsible manner, you know, they don’t necessarily want their stuff to be heard on KISS-FM. They want it played in the right shows that are gonna showcase the band for what they are.
And Ironically, their show is the one I had to postpone because of the September 11th tragedy. If you’re listening to it, you know, you wouldn’t necessarily “get it,” but it’s just at the time it really didn’t seem like the right thing to do, to have an anti-establishment band that’s very communist based singing a song with the title “Reproduction of Death.” It’s the first song that they played (at the show).
Jared: But that’s such a great song! (Laughs)
Tazy: It’s a great song, but not for September 12th.
Jared: Yeah, I hear you there.
Tazy: The only reason I was playing their set that early is because I was all set to go out to the CMJ festival, and I was gonna be on the panel and I was gonna see The (International) Noise Conspiracy, I was gonna do my whole show based on all the cool bands that were playing at CMJ, and that completely went out the window.
Jared: I know a lot of the bands that I like were gonna be playing there, and they weren’t able to go, because of obvious reasons, and I’m sure they were kind of weary about traveling to New York at that point.
Tazy: I wouldn’t be flying at this point in time, either.
Bill: I got no desire to be on a plane at this point.
Tazy: It’s not that I’m frightened about that, but I just know that the security measures that we have are not up to par. If you go to Europe, or you know, Israel, dude! You are not gonna get near a plane with any of that stuff. True story, a friend of my mom’s who plays Croquet got on a plane recently with her croquet needles in the bag, in her carry-on.
Bill: She took that on with no problem…
Tazy: No problem. Yet, they’re confiscating toenail clippers.
Bill: What are you gonna do with some toenail clippers?
Tazy: I don’t know!
Jared: And they’re not handing out plastic knives. I hear that they confiscate shaving razors, and yet, you can still buy them at the airport gift shops.
Bill: That makes good sense.
Tazy: I mean, they haven’t done mandatory screenings for check-in bags, and they’re still only monitoring like 20%. So for the time being… car. Even though statistically not on par with airplanes –
Jared: But at least you’re in control of your own destiny.
Tazy: You got it, for the most part. But uh, so anyway, that was The (International) Noise Conspiracy. They were very cool and glad that they were able to do a session. So, I don’t know, what other bands? I’m still trying to get The Faint, but by the time I started getting into them they’d already come through town.
Jared: They’re supposed to be coming through L.A. soon. They’re definitely one of my favorite bands.
Tazy: Yeah, I think it’s a good record. In fact, the funny thing is the song that I’m playing is called “Agenda Suicide.” I mean, you know, it’s like Saves The Day, “At Your Funeral,” you know, it’s just, bad title, great song.
Jared: Well, you know, the title isn’t exactly descriptive of what the message is about. I mean, Agenda Suicide is kind of about wasting your life working for the dream of owning a home, and when it’s all said and done, you’re still working a job until the day you die.
Tazy: I really do like them and the nice thing is they have a friend of theirs who’s in LA now, not necessarily a manager, because they’re mostly self-managed, but it’s like a key advisor.
Jared: I know they said that for this album they were having a professional promotion company to promote it.
Tazy: Well, I know the record company does do like college promotions, you know, to CMJ college stations. But, word definitely spread about that one. There’s another band that I really like that I actually just did a session with called “Yellow Card.”
Bill: I’ve heard of them.
Tazy: Which was quite good. Well, the folks at Chain Reaction turned me on to them, and just to let you know how good these kids are, they got the ears for the guy who signed No Doubt. They’ve come down to the Chain Reaction to check them out. And they have a fiddle player! It’s cool, you know, they have good songs, young guys, and really strong musicianship.
Jared: I like bands who try something different, it’s really cool. There’s a band from Omaha, uh-
Tazy: Which one?
Jared: Neva Dinova.
Tazy: Oh, I haven’t heard them yet.
Jared: They’re not really known out here, I actually called a record store in Omaha called Homer’s to get their CD. But, uh, they have someone who plays the saw.
Tazy: The saw?
Jared: They use a saw.
Tazy: Oh, the musical saw.
Jared: Yeah. They play the saw, I was tripping out, and I originally thought it was a theremin, because it sounds a bit similar, but then I’m like, no, that’s a little different. But then I looked at the liner notes, and it says that the singer plays the saw, and I was just tripping out because my grandfather used to play the saw.
Tazy: Oh really? Right on.
Jared: Yeah, there’s a pretty big buzz about that band in Omaha. They’re pretty good.
Tazy: Would you email me their information?
Jared: Yeah, sure.
Tazy: Do they have like a website or something?
Jared: They do have a website. It’s nevadinova.com.
Tazy: Dude, I like to give a good listen to anyone regardless of format. I could care less if it’s country, or rap.
This is a good story; you know the band Bush... Regardless of the No Doubt connections, they do write some decent stuff, and when the new single came out, I managed to get a copy, and I wanted to be one of the first ones out of the gate and play them, so it’s like, I would play that, and then I would play some obscure really cool up-and-coming band. But, in my mind, it was just good songs. And then Halloran and Marco come running in and go “Tazy, that’s why we love you.” Most specialty people would go “a band like bush sells millions of records, sell out band, don’t even want to deal with them, blah blah blah” And I’m like, well, if you like something good-
Jared: It shouldn’t matter.
Tazy: Yeah, it shouldn’t matter. So, then I’ll play it on my show, and then not only would I think it’s cool, but then also everyone else thinks it’s cool, you know, so I gave myself a pat on the back, I liked that. They said that mine is the only specialty show that they know of that can do something and actually be enthusiastic about a band regardless of whether they were huge or small.
Jared: Yeah, well I like lots of music, I just tend to find more music that I like, you know, in independent music, because there’s just more out there I think. It’s not a knock on mainstream at all, it’s just that in my opinion, the smaller bands, I guess they’re more down to earth, the seem at least more “real.”
Tazy: Well, all the bigger stations tend to be more you know, over-ground, because you know, obviously they’re under more control from one point. You know, I think we saw that with the list of recommended Clear Channel “songs not to play after September 11” list.
Bill: That was a good blast.
Tazy: I mean, there were some of them on there, you know, what were some of them on there for?
Bill: And the one that didn’t get on that list was “Killing An Arab” by The Cure. How could that song not be on there, I mean, it’s not exactly telling you to go and kill an Arab.
Jared: It’s based on the book “The Stranger.” But, yeah, they want to sway people from uh, making people think about September 11, and yet they don’t want to sway people from going and doing something irrational.
Tazy: Yeah, I mean, omitting The Cure’s “Killing An Arab” and then having like “why is this there,” you know, The Beatles “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”, you know, and it was because someone thought that the letters could be construed into the letters of the initials of Osama Bin Laden. And that shows you the mindset of where these people are. Where it’s only about the music that can be adequately promoted as radio, through the indies (independent promoters), although I can say that a lot of us that are very passionate about the music, even at Clear Channel and Infinity stations – I mean, that’s why we all got into the business in the first place.
Tazy: In regards to 92.1, at this point, this is all that really needs to be said. I have not left the station –
Jared: Yeah, because I know one of the trade websites said that.
Tazy: There are a lot of glaring wrong things about that, for instance, Rand has been the APD (assistant programming director) of 92.1 since they started, but for some odd reason it wasn’t listed when they started. Now, they list him as, oh he just came on board. No, that’s not true. Well, Halloran actually called me the other night and apologized and said what was told to R&R Magazine, which is Radio And Records, is that Marco had left the station, and that I was in hiatus and not reporting my play list for a while. For how long that is, who knows? And that got misconstrued to, all the sudden I’m the assistant music director? I mean it made me look really good. I’ll put it this way, I thought Marco was awesome. From the short time I got to work with him, dude, just totally hit it off with him on a personal level, and you know, music wise, the guy just knows how to pick ‘em. I’m still not a fan of the Afroman, but, hey, I give Marco credit that he knows how to pick a hit. Saves The Day is another band that he played, too. You know, we’ll be on this band, and then all the sudden KROQ will play them.
Bill: I was amazed with them doing the Gorillaz song. 92.1 was playing that from the get-go, and 5-6 weeks later 91X picked it up, and then I started hearing it on other stations…
Tazy: Different programmers use different things to influence them, to get their ear, so to speak. So, I think at that particular point in time, the biggest station in the country was monitoring 92.1’s play list to see what was working, which is flattering, but also comes down to what they’ve always seemed to do for me, which is always to see what I’m doing and taking without, you know, giving props. But I still get along with everyone, I just don’t think they want to work with me on a professional level (laughs).
Bill: Yeah, as long as you’re not part of them.
Jared: You haven’t sold your soul yet (laughs).
Tazy: I mean, it’s quite frustrating, then again, you know, these are the cards I was dealt and the nice thing is that I know that I have a lot more talent and probably a lot more persistence than what a lot of people would have had in the situations I’ve been put in.
But getting back, so this is what needs to be let out in regards to 92.1. I’m just on hiatus, I have not left the station, and until I hear that officially from Halloran, then, I’ll let everybody know. For the time being, I really would appreciate it if people could go to www.skaparade.com and listen and spread the good word and tell everyone else to listen to the online version of SP Radio One – which should work on most modems.
Bill: It works on my 56K.
Tazy: Yeah, it works I think even for folks who have 28.8. And just to give you some tips, PC Users: If you’re going to listen to the show, please use Winamp. Mac users: I recommend Soundjam, but I’m sure there are other better programs. Realplayer sucks, has and always will, unless they do some type of miracle to their programming. QuickTime is good for viewing movies made in QuickTime, but not necessarily for MP3 streams. So, you might wanna update that MP3 player. So, to recap, PC Users, Winamp, Mac users, I recommend Soundjam or some other compatible MP3 player. You’ll be able to hear it with no problems, there shouldn’t be that much buffering, and everyone will be much happier. And just to let you know, the shows air like they’re actually on the radio, so if you catch something like maybe at the tail end of a band’s set, well guess what? It’ll come up again within the next – you know, so each of the shows are gonna be around two hours, and it’ll just loop at the end of the two hours, so if you miss the beginning, guess what, it’ll come up again. So, that’s how it works, and um… glad it’s back up!
Also, in regards to 92.1, not to make the story too long, but I really do thank you for your listenership and support, and it’s really up to you if you want to have the show back on the station. And what it’s gonna require is not only calling up the station, but actually sending individual letters written to the station, that would help. And, maybe we could do like, Save Tazy Fund, you know, I mean if the station cares about the money, well, let’s raise the money for the station! It seems sort of silly, but-
Bill: It’s a small station.
Tazy: Exactly, I mean, I have a show that works, that when they hear stuff on the show they wanna go out and buy the record and they wanna go see the bands when they tour, and they wanna wear the clothes or the shades or the shoes or whatever. They wanna go skiing, they wanna – you know, you get the picture. So, you know, that door is still open, and if people wanna contact me they can contact me through the website (www.skaparade.com) as well.
I would like to continue doing the show. It hasn’t necessarily been all my choice to do this, but I’ve done everything in my power to have them wanna bring the show back, and it really comes down to Halloran going up to the owner and fighting those battles that need to be fought. Hold on, let me say that again. Fight those battles that need to be fought because if we are to continue as an independent station and if they want to get to the next level and I know that there is a next level, it would be in their best interest. I believe that, I hope that you guys believe that.
Jared: Of course.
Tazy: I hope the station would agree with that, but I don’t know.
Jared: I think you’re tops, I mean, you play stuff that nobody else has even heard of. I mean, it’s good stuff.
Tazy: Well, it’s stuff that doesn’t get the voice that it necessarily deserves. Mind you, every time I was playing something I kept getting things added to full rotation on the station. I think I got something like 13, 16 different things that came from my show added – and I only did 21 shows!
Jared: And I think what it comes down to also is, you not only have a good ear for music, but you’re willing to take the time to listen to stuff. And not everybody does that.
Tazy: Well, when I drive in the car, unfortunately, it sounds silly, but I don’t listen to the radio so much, I don’t get to listen to my own personal cd’s, I’m listening to the stuff that people send me trying to find those gems. And I tend to find them time and time again. Sometimes I go through good periods, sometimes I go through bad periods, but they keep coming up. And by the way, we’re in a good period right now. (Laughs)
Jared: Have you ever listened to Cursive?
Tazy: Uh huh, yeah I have their record. I think I marked like one or two songs off the cd, but I haven’t had a chance to play them yet. See, there’s the other situation. I have so much stuff that I want to play that it’s hard to include everything. You really have to space it out.
Jared: Yeah, they’re another great band from Omaha. Omaha, is just, I don’t know…
Tazy: I don’t know, there’s something going on with bands from Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania… and Omaha. It’s like Fresno with Let’s Go Bowling, with Ska music. It’s like, how can a band come up from Fresno of all places?
Bill: There’s nothing in Fresno.
Tazy: No, exactly, in fact I’ve experienced
that, too. We did a video for out first release with my label with the
video called The Ska Parade Documentary that featured four bands pretty
much in their element in interviews and live performances. And then
I had like, The Donkey Show, which is like way classic third wave Ska
band from San Diego, uh, it had The Skelletones from Riverside, it had
jump with joey, which was the band that I credit with re-launching the
whole, you know, bands wanting to go back to the Jamaican roots, where
Ska came from. Anyway, some of the Let’s Go Bowling stuff, we
actually went and spent a weekend in Fresno… and learned how to
play darts (Laughs). I got the whole culture of Fresno down. You know,
went to Denny’s on your birthday. You know, stuff like that. Got
to see the calendar where they have the football team, and every time
the football team scored, they’d shoot off like $500 worth of
fireworks, you know. So, they had a calendar that had the High School
football team, in their uniforms - cowboy hats, cowboy boots and fireworks
going on in the background. And then they have Let’s Go Bowling
and that was Fresno. (Laughs)
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