Behind the Mic: Ahmad Dixon, Peter Swan & Joseph Hoang

This week, I interviewed Ahmad Dixon, Peter Swan and Joseph Hoang about their show, “The Diner is Always Open,” for another Behind the Mic. They asked if they could each be interviewed separately. Of course, I obliged.

The first person I talked to was Ahmad. He is a second year history major. While Peter and Joseph sat on top of a dumpster, Ahmad gave a detailed explanation of what he thought their show was about.

He said their show is, “An eclectic mix of comedy and surrealist diatribes about nothing in particular. It’s a show about nothing, like Seinfeld except, not as well put together as Seinfeld. It is like public broadcasting at its finest because it’s very amateur and it doesn’t take itself very seriously. It also changes from week to week because it has no plan.”

Their most recent show was themed. They were broadcasting from the Soviet Union into a gulag. They talked about “Twin Peaks” (the movie), and the David Lynch song and “The David Lynch Show.” And at the end of the hour, they did an improvised song.

Ahmad said that he named the show “The Diner is Always Open” because a diner is always open, it’s comfy and anyone is invited. He said that being in a diner is an experience because there is always a lot going on, and that’s what he wants his show to be. Since he was a little kid, Ahmad wanted to do college radio. Now, he has been in KCR for a year.

Next, I interviewed Peter, who is majoring in English and is also a second year. When describing what he thought their show was about, he said that there is not much continuity from week to week. He explained that the show is basically them improvising everything, trying to bounce off each other, and just having fun with whatever they do.

Peter then told me how he met Ahmad and Joseph. He said that he didn’t know anyone when he joined KCR. So, he approached Ahmad and Joseph, who knew each other, and asked if he could join their group. After making fun of his shirt, they told him that he could join their group. The next day, was orientation for KCR, where one of them came up with their show name.

After that, Peter described his favorite things that they have done on the show. The first thing he mentioned was that they always bring former KCR General Manager, Matt Hoffman, into everything they talked about. However, his absolute favorite thing they’ve done is make covers of songs at the end of the show. The first year, he said they covered Taylor Swift songs, and now they cover Lorde. He explained that the covers of the songs are not really any of the artists’ songs. It’s really just the three hosts making random music and making up a song as they go.

The last person I talked to was Joseph. He is a fourth year, majoring in history. When I asked him what their show was about, he said, “It’s about the music, yet we slowly have not played music in the past few weeks.”

I also asked him about the name of their show, to which Joseph answered, “I think Ahmad came up with it, but I don’t know what they said.”

His favorite thing that they have done was doing a whole show on reading the old comments on the CDs in the studio. He explained that some CDs in the studio have comments on tracks that people recommend listening to. However, others had comments that were funny to read on the show. He also mentioned that they always talk about Matt Hoffman because they love him. And, that Thomas Torres is frequently on their show because he gets them.

Joseph told me that he’s heard from a lot of people that he is the Ringo Star of the group, not the best out of the three but the most lovable one. Outside of KCR, he records music on his Tascam Analog Set Recorder and is in a band.

If you want to check out their show, tune into “The Diner is Always Open,” every Wednesday at 2 p.m.

Behind the Mic: Marco Galang, Vincent Chong and Michael Pontiveros

Marco Galang, Vincent Chong and Michael Pontiveros host an entertaining and unique show every Tuesday at 2 p.m. “MVM Airlines” is a skit and music show that plays Japanese Disco, Future Funk and some Kpop.

When I sat down with them, the trio described to me how they came to join KCR. Marco, Vincent and Michael have been friends since high school. They knew that they would be attending SDSU together. The summer before their freshman year, they came across a video called “How to Save Your Shows,” by KCR member Brian de Vera on Reddit. This video made them want to join KCR together once they started college. Upon the start of their freshman year, fall 2016, they debuted their show “MVM Airlines,” on KCR.

During their first semester hosting their show, the three of them spent a lot of time in the production studio. They created skits and content that was representative of their airline theme. Every show starts with an intro, where listeners can hear the sound of a plane ascending and the ring of the seat belt light telling passengers to put on their seatbelts. One of the hosts then starts off the show. They even gave themselves roles in relation to the theme. Marco is the captain, Michael is the co-captain and Vincent is the head flight attendant. With these roles, they perform skits in the middle of the show about crazy situations happening on an airplane. Finally, listeners of “MVM Airlines” end their flight with the sound of the plane descending.

Unfortunately, after the end of the first semester, they didn’t obtain the credits that every KCR member has to earn. So, they went on a hiatus, until this semester. They still maintain the same theme, only they don’t have enough time to make as many skits for the show as they would like. However, they are working on expanding their music taste, inviting guests onto their show and earning their event credits.

If you feel intrigued, want to laugh or just want to listen to good music, you should definitely tune into “MVM Airlines,” every Tuesday at 2 p.m. You can also follow the show on Twitter and Instagram.

Behind the Mic: Thomas Torres

Every Friday, Thomas Torres’ show, “Super Radio Hijack,” gives listeners a great start to their weekend.

Thomas Torres is a senior majoring in music composition. He has been in KCR for four years, and describes his show as lighthearted and a good time waster. Inspired by Reggie Watts, he tries to keep the show as “wacky as possible,” by playing music, talking and DJing.

While talking to Thomas, he described the two types of shows he has. The first, is a regular music show in which he plays any type of music and talks about anything. During this type of show, he invites guests to chime in on various topics. Some guests that have appeared on the show are Ahmad Dixon and Brian DeVera, both KCR members. The other type of show he hosts in his time slot is a DJ show. During this show type, Thomas is mainly DJing and giving shout outs. He explained that he likes to change it up approximately every two weeks, in order to keep the show fresh and interesting.

As opposed to many other KCR members, Thomas explains that there really is no format for his show. The most organization there is is changing between a music show and a DJ show every few weeks. Apart from that, he explained that having a format to follow would make him feel too restrained. This way, he still has the liberty to take his show anywhere he wants while being wacky and fun.

Thomas also talked about the name of his show and the original idea of what his show was going to be when he first joined KCR. Four years ago, Thomas and his first cohost had the idea of having a sketch comedy show. The show would be about someone taking over the radio station. With that idea in mind, they came up with the name, “Super Radio Hijack.” Although the idea of a sci-fi comedy sketch show did not stick, the name did, and Thomas has kept the it ever since.

Apart from “Super Radio Hijack,” Thomas is also the KCR engineer, is on management and works on the KCR zine, The Sound. He also DJs, makes music, paints, draws, writes and works as the audio visual technician at the Aztec Student Union.

Make sure to tune into Thomas’ show, “Super Radio Hijack,” every Friday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Behind the Mic: Natalie Bucher

News is such a fundamental part of our lives. You can hear it and experience it anywhere.

Natalie Bucher’s puts her own spin on morning news shows by covering everything from national news and pop culture to campus news on her show, “In the Know Before Your Joe.”

Natalie, a third year majoring in public relations, said that she tries to cover local, national and world news for the first 15 minutes of the show. Then, she covers pop culture and entertainment, followed by campus news and any interviews she has scheduled. In between sections, she plays music that is related to the topics of the hour. For example, she played the song “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” by Billy Joel, after seeing backlash from people on Twitter towards the California Wildfires. She also played the song “Cheap Sunglasses,” by ZZ Top, after discussing a burglary where someone got their sunglasses stolen.

As for the guests on her show, she tries to invite professors and young entrepreneurs that can give good advice and information on a given topic. One notable guest was professor Martha Duran. While on the show, she gave financial advise for students and talked about the best ways of budgeting, detailing how people should be spending their money.

Despite the fact that she has only been in KCR for one semester, a lot has changed since her first show. Now instead of doing a show on her own, Natalie has three co-hosts. She explained that they were nervous to have a show on their own, so she invited them to be a part of her show. She also said that she likes having them on her show because it allows for more perspectives, ideas and opinions on stories, as opposed to just hers. Apart from that, it makes the workload of creating a high quality show less, if there are more people working on it.

Another big change for Natalie is that she became the news director of KCR. She explained that her job is to go over events she wants people to cover during meetings, and she tries to be available to others within the news section. She told me that her goal as news director is to not let anyone go though what she went through her first semester in KCR. Natalie described how she was always stressed about her show because it was a lot of work to do by herself. Knowing how stressful hosting a show can be, she decided that she didn’t want other people to be stressing out over their show. It should be, “A safe space and a place to grow,” said Natalie.

Natalie told me why she initially decided to join the news department in KCR. Ever since she was young, she grew up watching a lot of news because her parents always played it at home. She remembers thinking that how reporters “dissected” the news was fascinating, and that made her want to do the same thing in KCR.

Since joining, she has found new ways and opportunities to grow. Natalie described a time when she had the idea of live streaming the Open Forum for the mascot change at school. She was given the tools to do it herself, and it was a big learning experience for her. Natalie also does the hockey game play by plays for the sports department in KCR.

When she’s not busy with KCR, Natalie likes to go grocery shopping with her roommates, running, hiking and eating food. She also works at KPBS.

Make sure to catch her show, “In the Know Before Your Joe,” every Wednesday morning from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.