Tell me a little bit about your involvement with WBOR.
I’m a music director on management. I’ve been a DJ since the beggining of sophomore year and music director since the middle of sophomore year. I’ve had one show for a long time with a co-DJ, Jay Priyadarshan ’14, and I’ve had my own show for a couple years now.
What does a music director do?
I get new music from anyone who wants to be played on College radio, and I do little reviews for our DJs to show them what they might want to play on their show.
What’s your show called?
My solo show name is Thomder and Lightening. The show I have with Jay is “The Lazy Zoo with Tom and Jay.”
How did you get involved with WBOR?
I wanted to do a show all freshman year but I was a little indecisive about it, I didn’t feel like I had a lot to contribute. Sophomore year I was like, “Let’s do it,” and I got a show with Jay. Immediately after that, I started meeting management and they needed a music director, so I applied sophomore year.
What kind of music do you play?
So, genres are hard, as I’m sure you know. The college music journal is the way we chart a lot of our music. By their classifications I play rock, loud rock, RPM, world, and hip-hop. I’m definitely on the garage-y, soft-rock side.
How do you come up with music to play on air? Is there an art to arranging songs?
Often it’s what I want, although I’ve been getting better at starting with something softer and more widely known, and then I can move into a more specialized zone. My M.O. is to play stuff that’s just coming out or being charted—very new albums—because it’s good to showcase those artists and there’s some novelty there.
What was appealing about getting a show?
The classical appeal is you get to play your own music and people have to listen to it. You get to monologue and talk about what you care about. Like, sophomore year Occupy Wall Street was going on so I got to talk about that on my show. It’s a direct relationship with the community, more direct than I think a lot of the systems we have at Bowdoin are.
How do you interact with the community?
This is one of the bigger radio stations around that people listen to, so you have to cater to their tastes. People call in to my show. And we have a lot of community members who are DJs.
What would you like to do with your platform on WBOR?
When we talk, Jay tries to make jokes on the air. I try to mention things that are important to people. I prefer issues outside of the Bowdoin community because I think the majority—or at least our more permanent—listeners want to hear about that. I’ll let the other DJs cater to the Bowdoin issues.
Now the fun questions: What’s your guilty pleasure song?
“Gas Pedal”…I definitely like that song and I definitely feel guilty for that. Although maybe I shouldn’t feel guilty about my pleasures.
Who sings that song?
I don’t know. That’s part of why I’m guilty.
What about a song you couldn’t live without?
Tame Impala—“Half Full Glass of Wine.”
What makes it so special?
It’s so simple, but it’s everything I like. It’s drone-y, melodic. The song makes you familiar with itself.
Does that song pretty well represent your taste in music?
I think so, yeah.
What’s the song that’s had the biggest impact on you and your taste in music?
This takes me way back to high school, because that’s when I started getting in to stuff that I listen to now. I’ll go with “Street Spirit” by Radiohead.
What is one thing about your taste in music that you don’t think people could guess based on what you play on WBOR?
I feel like I do bare myself on my show. Maybe I don’t show enough about what I dislike. Maybe I could play a song and say, “I don’t like that because of x, y and z.” At the same time I’m sure people think I’m kind of pretentious based on what I’m playing, so maybe I should assert that I’m not.
So, what are you working on at WBOR now?
We want to do certain programming slots. We want no more dubstep on Sunday mornings, or talk shows in the afternoon when people will be driving around.
Anything else you want people to know about WBOR?
I want people to know that for campus clubs and organizations, if they want to do something on the air, we’re totally open to that.