DJ Spotlight: Heather Peterson

Interview By Isa Mojares ’20wkco picture.jpg

DJ: Heather Peterson

Show Title: REVOLUTION ROCK

Time: Tuesdays, 7-8 pm

For those of you who don’t know, Heather works at the college Bookstore. Officially, she’s known as the ‘Sales Floor Supervisor/Apparel Buyer.’ If you see her around, say hi! This past week, I got to sit down with her and her brother, Erik, to talk a bit about her love for college radio, and her new show.

Follow the jump to read the interview!

Isa Mojares: So, you work at the bookstore, yes?

Heather Peterson: Yes.

IM: And how long have you had your radio show?

HP: I’ve had my radio show since the beginning of this year, so it’s been, you know… I’ve had maybe 6, 7 shows.

IM: What made you want to get involved with radio at Kenyon?

HP: Due to my role at the bookstore, Seth Reichert contacted me about some things, and it just kind of spiraled from there. And I’ve been extremely passionate about college radio for decades. So this is literally a dream come true for me, to be doing college radio at a place like Kenyon.

IM: Did you listen to college radio a lot when you were growing up? What’s your relationship with college radio?

HP: Absolutely. Well, before the internet, before all the instantaneous technology, there was college radio. And college radio broke all of the bands that influenced all of the bands that you guys like today, that I like today. So, it’s a tradition. A DJ will play three or four songs, and you better have pen and paper, because if you liked the song two songs back, you gotta be keeping track, you gotta be on your game. I’m very passionate about college radio.

~ We paused for a second as the woman at the VI insisted I have something to drink ~

Erik Petersen: She’ll fight ya!

HP: She’s a sassafras.

IM: Did you have a favorite college radio station?

HP: I spent high school and a significant amount of my time in the Pacific Northwest, and my friend Mark Hanford had a radio show on BSU Radio –Boise State University Radio – called Mutant Pop, and I loved that show. And he was one of my heroes, and he became one of my best friends, which was very cool.

IM: That’s really cool!

HP: Yeah it was really cool. So I love KBSU. And, not really a college radio station, but KEXP in Seattle used to be KCNU, which was kind of more of a college radio station, and I really like that one as well.

IM: What kind of music do you usually play on your show?

HP: I kinda play a little bit of everything. I’ll play… You know, 80s, 90s, 70s, a little bit of everything . I love punk rock, but punk rock is a state of mind, and, to me, punk rock began with Johnny Cash, who is actually considered a country guy, so you know. I kinda like to play a little of everything.

IM: You mentioned a lot of rock, and I noticed that your show is named ‘Revolution Rock.’ Why did you choose that name?

HP: That’s right. “Revolution Rock” is a song by The Clash. It’s from a really great record called London Calling and I just kinda felt like ‘Revolution Rock’ was a great way to umbrella everything that I wanna do. I’m amazed when I first began doing the show because I thought, ‘Aw, there’s going to be such a gap between what I like and what you guys like’, but even tonight! Yara and Nate played Lullaby by The Cure, and we played Lullaby by the Cure! [Heather and Erik had just wrapped up a special ‘Halloween Hangover’ broadcast of her show]

IM: It was on the airwaves twice tonight!

HP: Yep, and that has happened, like, three times! So, yeah, I like a little bit of everything.

IM: I know you said your show is relatively new, but how has having a radio show influenced the way you listen to music, or your taste in music?

HP: It hasn’t really influenced my taste, per se. It is truly a pleasure for me to present you guys with some stuff that you may not know. And stuff that has influenced, again, what you guys are listening to today. When I first started working at the bookstore, I was talking to one of our student workers like, “Well, who’s your favorite band?” and I was bracing myself for who that was going to be and she said Modest Mouse!

IM: Totally!

HP: Yeah, and I was like oh! Of course! So it hasn’t really influenced what I listen to, it’s just a pleasure to be very mindful about putting a playlist together and to present that to you guys.

IM: What’s your typical process for putting a playlist together, or to get ready for a show?

HP: A lot of it is about what I’m listening to at the time. Just kinda what I’m feeling, what the weather’s like. Like tonight we [Heather and her brother] did this Halloween bit.

IM: Since you’re new to WKCO, so far, what’s been your favorite memory, or favorite part?

HP: I really love all the graffiti in the booth. It’s hilarious. I love how it’s painted, and then each year it’s repainted. It’s awesome and it’s great, kinda this temporary situation where you’re like “Well, we know this is all going to be gone a year from now.” But I mean, there’s all sorts of great stuff there already, and we still have second semester!

IM: Have you added to it yourself, yet?

HP: I have not yet.

EP: I added a little bit!

HP: He added a little bit tonight, yup. I’m picking my moment.

IM: You’re waiting for it.

HP: Yup, yup.

IM: Is there an album, or an artist – just one! – that you can name that has made an impact on you, on your life?

HP: My favorite band of all time is They Might Be Giants. What I love about them is that they are the kings of having extremely somber, depressing music against a melody that is so infectious and so upbeat, and so hm hm hm hm hm [she hummed a quick tune] but then when you really listen to the lyrics, you’re like this sounds like death metal, right?

EP: Yep.

HP: The kings of the wonderful melody that’s all [she hummed again], but they’re singing about all this depressing stuff, all this dirge.

~laughs~

So, I think that’s really brilliant, and they’ve been my favorite band for quite a while.

EP: Very high contrast, the lyrics apart from the music.

HP: I really like bands that have a visual element. Most of my favorite bands, they’re all visual artists as well. So I like that. I like the idea of a multimedia kind of presentation.

IM: Well, thank you so much for talking to me tonight, it’s been such a pleasure!

HP: Thank you!

Tune in Tuesday nights from 7-8 pm to jam out with Heather on REVOLUTION ROCK

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