DJ Spotlight: Nick Rogers ’15 and Stuart Mitchell ’15

by Teddy Farkas ’16

10647210_1502028686704336_6830695582771205545_nShow: Dimensions of Heresy on Thursdays from 10 to 11 p.m.

DJs: Nick Rogers ’15 and Stuart Mitchell ’15

Majors: History

Hometowns: Nick was born outside of Boston, but grew up mostly in Washington, D.C. and attended high school in Nairobi. Stuart is from Wilmot, Illinois.

I realize you haven’t been on the radio before this year. What inspired you guys to start “Dimensions of Heresy”?

Stuart Mitchell: I remember it vividly.

Nick Rogers: Oh yes.

SM: We were both here over the summer.

NR: As was Chuck [Charlie Collison ’15].

SM: The illustrious king of the radio. And we were sitting behind Nick and Kevin’s [Pan ’15] Acland and we were just casually imbibing in spirits and Charlie brought up that he was king of the radio, which I had no idea, and then he told us we could have a radio show like we wanted and I said ‘Nick, do you wanna have a radio show?’ and Nick said ‘Yes’ and here we are today.

NR: There’s a little more to it than that. That’s how the seed was planted, and then Stuart was also running a game of Shadowrun over that summer. It was us and Nick “The Most Judgmental Gun In The West” Connolly [’15], Charlie, Zac Caputo [’15] and Bimmy [Timmy Broderick ’16] and Issa [Polstein ’15].

SM: Also known as Ming, Candice, and Kareem.

NR: And we played down here [in the WKCO office] a couple of times and it was the first time I’d hung out in WKCO, I think.

SM: ‘Cause we were trying to play in all these other rooms [across campus], but Safety kept locking them, even when we could get into the science quad.

NR: It was a lot like being a bootlegger, probably.

SM: So, we could consistently get down here and [it was] not the ideal space, but it had a bunch of couches and a good surface that everyone could use and I could use that whiteboard to draw stuff.

NR: And then at one point [Charlie] was like, ‘Well if you help us repaint the offices, you’ll get your own radio show,’ and we never repainted any offices.

SM: But we did our intern hours.

NR: And look at us now—we have our own radio show.

Why the title “Dimensions of Heresy”?

SM: I also remember that fondly, also something over the summer. So if you take History 126 and 127 with Professor Bowman, which is the Early and Later Middle Ages … you get a prize for traversing over a millennium of history together. My prize that semester, since I also took the Crusades seminar, was an unopened VHS copy of a movie called The Warlord starring Charlton Heston and it’s abysmal; it’s the worst movie about the Middle Ages ever made.

NR: So bad.

SM: So we watched it over the summer with Lydia [Shahan ’15] who was also in that class and the thing about it is that it takes place after the Norman conquest and the village that it takes place in still has Druids and there hadn’t been Druids in England—

NR: For centuries, almost a thousand years at the this point.

SM: So, they get there and they’re walking through this place with a bunch of idols and stone carvings and Charlton Heston looks around and he just says, ‘This land hath dimensions of heresy’ and we’re like, ‘What does that even mean?!’

NR: So that’s what we called our radio show. I think Lydia actually [named] it. She was like, ‘That’s the name of your radio show.’

SM: And she was right. Dimensions of Heresy. We really liked it.

Would you like to describe what type of music you like to play for the WKCO audience?

NR: I think we kind of lean towards the metal-y side of the spectrum.

SM: Oh definitely.

NR: But the problem with saying that is that people who are metal fans are the biggest fascists in the world and they just like to put everything in their box.

SM: Some of them are literal fascists.

NR: Yes, also there are a lot of figurative fascists and they’re like, ‘Aw no, ah, you’re only listening to black metal, like this is heavy metal, I only listen to new wave/stoner metal, urghh.’

SM: Every band comes out and creates their own sub-genre, so they can be like their own thing.

NR: And it’s just bad.

SM: People try to make charts, people try to yell.

NR: r/metal is one of the worst communities on Reddit. Never go there.

SM: Well, I mean if you’re looking for metal music, go there.

NR: But don’t browse the comments.

SM: So yeah, metal music pretty much, but we just played ‘Banana Phone.’

NR: We love ‘Banana Phone.’ We play … what have we played?

SM: Well, I mean people also request.

NR: We played some Turquoise Jeep.

SM: Some Turquoise Jeep, but it’s mostly just what Nick and I want, which largely ends up just being metal music.

Is metal music something you’ve loved since you were kids or is it a more recent interest?

SM: Eh, sorta. I mean, I didn’t start listening to a lot of music until high school and then it was mostly just sort of like ’80s metal music, new wave, British heavy metal, things like that before hard rock, but I don’t know. I don’t really like these distinctions so much. I don’t know what I’m talking about.

NR (in silly voice): Labels, man. I mean it sounds trite to say that, but actually. I think there’s some merit to it. I mean, my journey into metal has been relatively recent, definitely, and largely actually is a product of doing this radio show. It’s been a good time. It’s been a learning experience. I found one of my new favorite bands, The Sword.

SM: Oh, The Sword, they’re great.

I know you guys also enjoy having segments on your show. What are each of your favorites or are there ones that are very consistently a part of your program?

SM: I guess we have like three? But we mostly do two a week. Although we should do that third one this week, just because we haven’t in a while. So the one we do each week is ‘Guess the Heretic’ where we come up with a heretic and give you clues and if you guess the heretic correctly we’ll give you whatever song you want.

NR: We are running low on heretics, though.

SM: Yeah, there are only so many famous heretics. I like the ‘Sea Shanty’ segment where Nick and I sing sea shanties, which we haven’t done in a long time.

NR: We’ve only done a couple of those. We also do ‘Keeping It Clean with the FCC’ where we play sanitized versions of mostly urban music. That’s a good one.

SM: Yeah, the FCC puts a lot of work into making censored versions so that our ginger ears can listen to it over the radio.

NR: There’s one that we did only once which is when I was eating a pear on the air and we asked the audience to guess what kind of fruit I was eating and they came up with nothing.

SM: Yeah [laughs], it’s too bad. Sometimes you give, you don’t get. I guess those are the three we stick to. I think we’ve come up with some other little single segments. But those are the three we’ve done the most.

NR: Sometimes we do one-offs.

SM: We’ve had a couple of radio specials, but that’s not necessarily segments.

NR: We do have a series of commercials our friend Tim Scully [’15] made in Garageband.

SM: They’re really good.

Could you talk about your leader board?

SM: Yeah, so we have a leader board. It’s in the back, up in the corner, hopefully it will last forever, and it is an account of some of our most avid listeners who’ve really helped the show through, cause they listen consistently. So right now there’s only four people on it. We’re trying to grow it. They’re in no particular order. It’s about how we got them on there. We’re trying to get some more people up there. The leader board’s an incentive to not only listen but stay engaged in the show and it’s a good time. I think those people have listened quite a bit.

Do you have any last comments to say about the radio or your experience you’ve had over the past academic year?

NR: I think that Charlie said it halfway through last semester that sometimes seniors can be joiners and that’s definitely true. Seniors are like, ‘Oh no, I’m leaving this place; my youth is fleeting; how am I gonna value things for the rest of my life? How will I know if I’m happy? Blah, blah, blah’ and so they join a bunch of stuff and kind of half-ass it. But this has been, I mean, I don’t think we half-assed this show.

SM: No, I think we’ve done a pretty good job.

NR: And we really like doing it and I really wish that we had gotten involved in the radio earlier.

SM: Yeah, I never thought of me being a radio kid and here I am.

NR: It’s a lot of fun.

SM: I own two radio shirts now and I’ve devoted a whole year on Thursdays at 10 to sitting in this tiny room. I also think that we have succeeded in our original mission, which was to revolutionize the way people listen to and do the radio.

NR: Definitely.

Again, you can listen to Dimensions of Heresy Thursday nights at 10 p.m. on WKCO 91.9 FM or on WKCO.org. Like the show on Facebook!

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