The Sounds of State-Scott Granlund and Jared Kleber

Just yesterday, I met up with Scott Granlund and Jared Kleber at their apartment to record my final interview of the semester. Scott is a coworker of mine at KPBS and mentioned to me early this year that he was starting a radio show, I’m glad I was able to squeeze he and his cohost on at the very end. I hope you can tell as you read but this was a very fun interview, one of the best I’ve had in my opinion. Scott and Jared have great chemistry and made it a fun conversation. Scott talks almost as fast as he thinks while Jared’s more measured pace somehow fit neatly together. It made transcription pretty hard but I really wanted to capture the spirit of the conversation for my last interview.

A reminder one last time: I try to transcribe the conversation as it happened, to capture the cadence and structure of our speech I put grammar in a secondary role. So without further ado, here is the final interview of the semester:

Cameron Satterlee: Alright, I am with Scott and Jared, welcome guys, thank you for being on.

Jared Kleber: Thank you.

Scott Grandlund: Thank you, sir.

CS: So, what is your radio spot?

SG: Our show is called the Family Garage, we play garage rock, psychedelia, proto-punk, new stuff, old stuff, the time is ten pm on Sundays and it’s an hour long show. And we talk about random stuff too.

CS: Alright. You’re getting ahead of me, man.

SG: I’m sorry.

CS: No it’s cool. It’s a good answer. So how long have you guys been with KCR?

JK: This will be the end of our first semester.

SG: Yeah this is the first semester we’ve had this show. And we weren’t there before.

CS: How did you guys partner up?

SG: Well we live together, and we’d been talking about doing a show together for I want to say a year, we wanted to do it sophomore year and then we never really got our act together. And then finally we were just like (claps hands) apply online let’s just do the thing, and we kinda sat there like “what should we play?” It was literally one night, cause we knew we wanted to do a show together just to do something different and do something new. We were literally just sitting on the couch saying “what should we play?” And we just kinda workshopped it then and thought of this idea of playing garage rock; kinda a blanket genre where we could do a little bit of everything. And we thought we’d talk about stuff in between songs and we tend to talk about a lot of weird stuff.

CS: Alright well that sounds pretty interesting. You said you kinda just pulled out garage rock sorta randomly, how come you decided on that specifically?

JK: I think we were originally—I think we had talked about it—we were at a record store and we were listening to garage rock and I was like “we should just do that” because it’s kinda a blanket genre. A lot of things can classify themselves as garage rock. You can play stuff from the 60’s and onward and it wouldn’t really matter if it’s not particularly garage, it could be a little punk, it could be a little psychedelic. It’s kinda a nice blanket genre for rock music which I don’t think gets a lot of play anymore, so it’s pretty nice.

SG: Yeah that’s right. I think the record store thing especially. What we were just hearing while we were in Off the Record, in our apartment, at Thrift Trader and stuff just is nice, “I wanna do that.”

JK: Yeah we wanted to play music that you don’t really hear anymore.

SG: Yeah.

JK: You would only hear it if you went and found it yourself or you go into a record store and you’re talking to some old guy at a record store and he’s like “you should listen to this.”

CS: Well maybe it’s fitting that you guys are on Sunday with the alumni shows cause they play a lot of stuff kinda like that too.

SG: Keeps with the theme I guess.

CS: Uh huh. So I guess you sorta answered this already, but I wanna know a bit more in depth I suppose what made you want to do the radio and be rock DJ’s?

JK: Well we are both film students and I think we understand media quite a bit.

SG: Yeah.

JK: And I think that radio is just another form of media and I think that it’s interesting and not as big as it used to be and it’s kinda something that’s still interesting to me. I know we both are people who listen to a lot of podcasts. And I think that a lot of people assume that podcasts are the thing that’s gonna kill radio or something like that. But it’s different, and the idea of a medium where you don’t have to see something and you can just learn new things and hear new things is always interesting to me.

SG: Yeah I would agree. I think that we were just kinda interesting in another form of broadcast really. Especially with the kind of music that we ended up playing, it worked out really nicely. It’s an old kind of medium that we can showcase this music that is old and classic too. Just the idea of the radio show, that there’s two people who are controlling what you’re listening to and you hear their comments about it and what their takes on the world are. In that respect, for the podcasts especially, you’re just hearing what people think about stuff. We just thought why not put our opinions out there.

CS: Cool, yeah that’s great answers you guys. So you guys mentioned it earlier but you play this garage rock because it allows you to play different kinds of music from a long period of time. Is there anything recent that you play?

SG: Mac DeMarco.

JK: Mac DeMarco.

SG: We play some Mac DeMarco, we play some Walter TV.

JK: Black Lips. The Garden. Death Valley Girls. I feel like it’s weird, smaller stuff.

SG: FIDLAR, once. So it’s just smaller, more punk-y bands. We played a bunch of Alabama Shakes a lot on our show too cause they have a new album out. So I mean, it’s more of that blanket theme where “yeah, this is some kind of rock, alternative thing” so let’s play it. So it’s really stuff we like too.

JK: It’s all stuff that’s really small. You wouldn’t hear most of the bands we named on the radio. Those people survive online or on college radio.

CS: You guys are doing your part then!

SG: It’s just our civil duty.

CS: (laughs) Yeah broadcast it out. So you guys are roommates and have known each other for a while now, would you say you have good chemistry on the air?

Both: Yeah.

SG: We met in orientation actually, before college actually started. He was one of the first people I met and we talked for a while, we made our schedules right next to each other, and we ended up having the exact same schedule freshman year. We had every class together and we ended up living in the same dorm hall three door down from each other. So we’ve been friends for a long time now, and then we moved here to our current apartment and we’ve been living here for two years, and we’re living together next year too. So there’s good chemistry. A little good back and forth every once in a while, we sync up and say the same word at the same time and it’s kinda funny. I dunno, it works, works for us.

CS: Hey cool, I know exactly what you mean cause I met my cohost at orientation too.

SG: Really?

CS: Yeah, fun story. So, last question, I always like to ask this, how would your perfect show go? Just an ideal, perfect hour. How would that be?

SG: Well we’ll do a music news, coming down the pipe section, and then we’ll do a random this is what’s going on in our lives talk, and then we’ll do a random here’s a thing that’s happening in the world usually. So the craziest thing in the world, if there’s a lot of great music news to talk about, some funny weird stuff happened, and some weird stuff that happened in our lives that are funny to talk about and then all that. And then every other week we actually have “bi-weekly double shot,” we made a sound bite for it, we play two of the same artist back to back. So I guess if we have a really good playlist for the night and just things that flow well and then it could also tie in well with some of the music news. I dunno, every once in a while we hit our stride and we’re kinda funny at the same time we hit it. We’ve had some good shows.

JK: I think an ideal show would also have guests, we’ve had guests on to also talk about sports for ten minutes.

SG: For no reason.

JK: Because we don’t know sports as much, so it’s kinda funnier. Because you can do a sports show, but it’s kinda funny if you do a sports show and you don’t know sports, you don’t do sports very much. You just kinda have your weird own views on it so I think that’s kinda interesting. We always talk about hip hop news on our show.

SG: Yeah that keeps happening.

JK: We don’t even do a hip hop show but we do hip hop news. And I feel like our listeners probably don’t like that but there’s not a lot of garage rock news. There’s more hip hop news.

SG: We actually addressed that on our first show. I’m sorry, this answer has gone kinda long.

CS: It’s fine.

SG: But we kinda addressed that on our first show. We said we can talk about garage rock news but all it would be like would be “these guys got a new EP out, they’re touring 16 places you’ve never heard of, it’ll cost no money and ten people will go to the show. Yeah they’re not gonna do anything too weird.” Meanwhile literally we had three shows in a row where we had news about the rap group Migos because they kept getting into a whole lot of trouble. That was like our Migos news segment.

JK: Like stabbing people.

SG: Either stabbing nine people at an Albany concert.

JK: They got arrested for guns.

SG: Arrested for guns at the University of Georgia. They’re just doing weird stuff.

JK: They’re crazy so every week we check up on Migos basically to see what they’re up to because they’re insane.

SG: So it’s more fun to talk about them and then we’ve got some funny things that happened last minute like Mark’s mom’s show was funny.

JK: Yeah we found that one of the cohosts of the show the hour before us, his mom always listens.

SG: To our show.

JK: And she was picking him up one time and she was like “I like your show. Much better music than my son plays.” And we were like “shouts out to Mark’s mom.”

SG: We were just talking about her on air, it was really cool. Even if it’s ten people that listen, it’s great to hear that we have the one Mark’s mom. Mark’s mom likes our show!

JK: Yeah some mom somewhere likes our show, it’s pretty cool.

SG: Yeah, so we do it for Mark’s mom.

CS: (laughing) Alright.

SG: That wasn’t really an answer to your question much, I guess it kinda was.

JK: Our ideal show would have five minutes devoted to Mark’s mom.

SG: (laughs) A guest, maybe two.

JK: A guest of some kind.

SG: The Migos literally just blew up the state of Idaho.

JK: A Migos section.

SG: I dunno how much we could squeeze in. I guess the funny part of our show is that what we talk about never matches the music.

JK: No.

SG: We’ll talk about the music but our conversation has nothing to do with it.

JK: We’ll be like “hey did you hear about this thing?”

SG: “Anyway, FIDLAR coming up next!” Yeah. So there you go.

CS: Oh man, well that—

SG: You can take whatever you want of that, please don’t feel like you don’t have to translate all of that.

CS: No that’s cool. That was actually really awesome. Thanks guys.

SG: You’re welcome.

So there you have it, Scott Granlund and Jared Kleber. Again, I thought it was a great interview. Scott and Jared are clearly taking full advantage of what KCR has to offer as a way to express a unique vision on the radio. You only have one more opportunity to tune into their show this semester: Sunday at 10 pm. But I’m betting they’ll make a triumphant return to the online airwaves next semester.

This was not only my final interview of the semester but I believe it will also be my final interview for the Sounds of State. I may return next semester to the KCR blog, but I am retiring from this project. Thank you all for reading, it has been a pleasure.

-Cameron Satterlee

Sounds of State-Joey Bautista and Bridget Rickman

Hello everybody. I’m Cameron Satterlee and I’m introducing a new series for the KCR blog. You might remember my series from last semester called The Goldmine, in which I profiled a classic rock album every week. For this and hopefully next semester I’ll be going into a different direction. My new series is called Sounds of State and I’ll be interviewing our amazing DJ’s here at KCR College Radio. I was aiming for 5 minutes but likely they’ll go longer than that. I’ll be posting a slightly edited transcript, removing the pauses, and the “likes” and “ums” that we all have. But otherwise I’ll maintain the interview as recorded so as to not alter the message and cadence of those speaking. That means that it’s not very grammatically correct, but you’re reading this on the internet so you should be used to this. Without further ado, here is Sounds of State!

Last Thursday I went to the KCR Turn Up event at the Farmer’s Market to meet up with Joey Bautista and Bridget Rickman and take up my first interview for Sounds of State. It was a fantastic fall day in San Diego so of course I was sweating through my black Giants t-shirt. Our featured artist at the Turn Up was D. Focis, a rapper out of Detroit spitting his game and talking about how us college students should take advantage of our opportunities and get an education in between songs. Joey came up early to meet me so we chatted for a bit while waiting for Bridget to arrive. I was scribbling furiously in the shade because I didn’t have my questions formulated for my first interview. Joey seemed content to listen to the music on the steps facing D. Focis. He wandered off to grab some food, Pad Thai by my reckoning, at the Farmers Market and ate it while enjoying the music and the day.

Bridget showed up about ten minutes before the hour with her cousin, who would be privy to our interview in the studio. The four of us made our way to the Communications building as Bridget and Joey had their show at 1. We got settled and were also joined by Brendan Price, one of the most important cogs in our student organization. Brendan made conversation with Joey and Bridget as they set up their laptops in preparation for the music to begin. Once on air, they introduced themselves as Skull Kid (Joey) and Taco Belle (Bridget). They let their playlist spin and then granted me a gracious interview in the middle of their show.

I found Joey and Bridget to both be very friendly and open with great senses of humor. I may not have been used to interviewing people but they seemed to be pros at answering my questions. Some were pretty simple, but my more interpretive questions were handled with ease. Their answers at point approached the realm of the profound, which I consider a huge victory for my first ever interview. But all the credit goes to them for allowing me their time and being fantastic interviewees.

Here’s how it went:

 

Cameron Satterlee: Alright so looks like we’re recording. I am in the KCR studio with Joey and Bridget. Now, what is your radio slot? I’m just gonna go over the easy questions first.

Joey Bautista: For sure.

CS: Alright, just for the record.

JB: For the record.

Bridget Rickman: Alright, we are Thursdays from 1 to 3, we’re in the Indie Invasion radio block.

CS: Alright cool. So how long have the two of you been with KCR?

JB: This is my second semester here, so yeah just still getting my feet wet metaphorically.

CS: Cool.

BR: Yeah and this is my first semester here at KCR. I was a guest DJ a couple of times last semester, but this is my first official semester.

CS: Cool cool, welcome. So how did the two of you become cohosts?

BR: I met Joey on the freshman Facebook page. We were talking about music. He posted about music and I was like the only one that commented.

JB: I posted the lineup for this festival called Burgerama, it’s this garage rock festival that’s in Santa Ana. And that lineup got announced the same time as Coachella. And I posted the Burgerama lineup in the freshman Facebook page thinking that “hey I can make friends this semester this way.” But the first response was “WHO CARES ABOUT THAT, let’s talk about Coachella” and it got six likes on its comment and I’m like “Man I’m just gonna delete this” and then this girl comments and is like “Why not both? Both lineups are awesome!” And that turned out to be Bridget so yeah.

BR: We just bonded musically over that and became cohosts.

CS: Cool.

JB: Yeah.

CS: Alright so would you two say you have good chemistry as cohosts?

JB: Would we?

BR: (laughing) I think we have really good chemistry. We’re both a little awkward at times but I think that together it works out.

JB: Yeah we’re just awkward people.

BR: Yeah.

JB: So it balances out kind of.

CS: Alright cool, yeah that works. So what music do you play?

BR: Joey and I both make separate hour playlists, and we play a little bit [of each]. It’s the same kind of music but it has our own flair on each playlist. I play a little more garage rock and sometimes a little pop punk, and Joey can talk about what he plays.

JB: I know last semester when I had my own shows I’d play mostly indie pop and garage rock and punk. But this semester I’m focusing a lot more on lo-fi pop music. I don’t want to say I’ve outgrown garage rock, but it’s just not that big a part of my life anymore. So there’s that.

BR: His music taste has surpassed mine. To put it that way (laughs).

CS: Alright. So you say you do the Indie Invasion but you got a bit more specific in genre so thank you that was going to be one of my follow up questions. This one is sort of playing off that also. So why do you like these specific genres?

JB: I mean with lo-fi pop for me, I like a lot of bands like Elvis Depressedly and Alex G and Teen Suicide. And I think the appeal to those kinds of bands for me is and that genre as a whole, is that lyrically it’s really sincere. They get lumped into this kind of stereotype or trope of being overly sad, and I don’t think sadness is something that they glorify, and I don’t think sadness is something that should be glorified. But just the honesty and sincerity of it is really what appeals to me. And it’s really catchy so there’s that too.

BR: My music, since I play a lot of surf punk, garage rock, it’s just a little more upbeat and easy to listen to no matter what you’re doing. I like catchy tunes also. And I like upbeat, I really really like upbeat sounds that I can kinda like dance around to.

CS: Alright great, those were fantastic responses, thank you. So are there any other genres that you’re interested in or is this just your main focus?

BR: For my show this is my main focus cause I kinda like to stick to general sound but I listen to mostly everything. I like pop music and I listen to EDM and all that fun stuff. But for my show this is kinda the genre I stick to.

JB: I’d say about the same. In terms of I stick to my guns when I come to our show, but I listen to everything as well. I especially love Insane Clown Posse (laughs) and Nickelback. Those kinds of bands. I’m really into-

CS: Are you being serious?

BR: (laughs)

JB: I mean you can put that in italics (laughs).

CS: I just had to ask cause I wasn’t sure.

JB: To be totally honest, while Insane Clown Posse and Nickelback both hold very special places in my heart…I listen to a lot of hip hop as well. I think if I wasn’t doing a show on Indie Invasion I’d definitely be doing a hip hop show instead.

CS: Alright. Yeah when I type this up I don’t think the sarcasm or jokes are going to go over as well.

BR: Sorry.

JB: (laughs) I just had to get it in there.

CS: No that’s you. It’s just that I type up “when I asked what kind of music you listen to, Joey said Insane Clown Posse” so that’s what it’s gonna be like.

JB: They fall under hip hop, so you can cancel it out by saying Insane Clown Posse…and Kanye West!

CS: Alright sorry we got a bit off track a little bit.

JB: (laughs)

CS: No it’s cool, I like where this is going. You’ve been very helpful so far.

JB: Thank you.

CS: I mean the worst thing would be if you answered “I like music it’s cool” and I would just have nothing to work with. But you’ve been very helpful. I’ve got a few more reaching questions but you’ve had some really good answers so far so I’m hoping these will also be pretty good. So why is music important to you personally?

JB: You want to go first.

BR: Yeah yeah, I’ll go first. It’s a tough question cause as big of a part as music is in my life I don’t think about it too much it just comes easily. I listen to what I listen to and if I like it I listen to it. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t like music. Music is just a huge part of everyone’s lives no matter what you listen to. Music is important to me cause I mean music can make people happy no matter what, no matter you’re listening to.

JB: Any way, for me music is something that I attach a lot of memories to and it’s something that I can measure in time. Like when I was a freshman I had my Beatles phase. When I was sixth to eighth grade I had my “I only listen to underground hip hop” phase. When I was fourth to sixth grade I was like “I like pop punk” and Fall Out Boy and all that. So I think music as like a benchmark for periods in your life is definitely something that I believe in. And apart from listening to music I also make music. I play in a band. And I feel that-this is the obvious answer but playing in a band and making music, just writing songs, is just a great way of getting your ideas and your feelings into something tangible. Like I write a song and then I see that as an achievement. Like for sports people they have their trophies and their medals and all that. I have a song that I can write and then I hold it up as a trophy for myself. Like “oh hey I learned to forgive someone that I never thought that I could” or “hey I got through a really bad depression…a really long bad depression” or something like that. So just using music as points in my life to look back on and to look forward to. For me that’s what it means to me.

CS: Wow. (Laughs) Thank you. That was very great for the two of you thank you. This is a bit less of an esoteric question. Is there anything you’ve been listening to or obsessing about lately? A band, an album, or a single song.

BR: I kind of like to obsess over anything I’ve been listening to at the moment. I’m really into The Frights right now which are a local San Diego band. They kinda play surf punk, dirty doo wop, that’s what they categorize themselves as. And it’s just really fun and upbeat music and the guys are all really cool so I like to play their music no matter what I’m doing at the moment.

JB: For me what I’m obsessing over right now is everyone on the record label called Orchid Tapes. They put out a bunch of lo-fi pop stuff which is what I’m into obviously. But singled out from all those artists is a band-or two projects-called Elvis Depressedly and Coma Cinema. Which are both fronted by this man named Mathew Lee Cothran. And I’d say that lately that for at least the past half a year he’s been my main inspiration. Not just for writing music but in terms of philosophy and everything. And just the ideas he puts into his music and across all his projects each release has left me feeling more inspired than I’ve ever been in my entire life. And that’s not just in terms of writing music but in creating and maintaining the relationships I have in my life. So I look up to him not only as someone whose music I enjoy but as a person.

CS: Alright thank you. I think that just about does it for us. I’ve got one more question, this is kinda a fun one you can answer really quick. Describe a perfect show for the two of you.

BR: One where I wouldn’t be saying “um” every other word maybe, or not looking to Joey for some help because that happens sometimes.

JB: I think a perfect show would be where we don’t stutter once.

BR: Yeah, happens quite a bit. Especially when you’re just doing improv.

JB: Yeah, we don’t plan these things out. The only thing we plan is our playlist.

BR: Yeah.

CS: Alright, thank you. I think that just about wraps it up for us. You know it was eleven minutes so that’s pretty long.

It turned out to be longer than the 5 minutes or so I originally planned, but I thoroughly enjoyed the interview. I’m thinking that most of them will run longer than 5 minutes. Not wanting to take up more of their air time, I shook hand with the duo and bade them goodbye. I got about as far as the bike path on Campanile when Joey ran me down telling me that I forgot to take a picture of them to put on the blog. Backtracking to the studio, I snapped a few photos and thanked the duo profusely once more before leaving once again.

Joey and Bridget both sent me some songs to put on the blog in case any of you listeners are curious about what they’ve been talking about.

Joey’s songs are: Her Sinking Sun by Coma Cinema, Harvey by Alex G, Give Me Back to the Sky by Teen Suicide, and Weird Honey by Elvis Depressedly.

Bridget’s songs are: High School Girl and Kids by The Frights.

So that was the first interview for Sounds of State. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! Be sure to listen to Bridget and Joey from 1 to 3 on Thursdays on KCR College Radio, the Sound of State.