R.A.P. Interview: Keith Eubanks

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R.A.P.: What musical background do you have?
Keith: I used to take piano lessons when I was ten. I've played a variety of musical instruments, a little bit through high school. I never went with anything very seriously. I also sang all through high school. In fact, I've sung pretty much all my life. I've never really been able to read music, but I've always been able to wing my way through singing and playing the instruments. I'll tell you, the experience has really come in handy, just the knowledge of how music is structured and how club songs will go in eight counts and sixteen counts. It really helps in building music beds the right way. I think that working knowledge of music helps when you're putting these things together. Plus, it makes it a hell of a lot faster. You know you've got to go eight or sixteen beats before the thing is going to repeat itself or change somehow. Then you'll make an edit right there and either go to a different piece altogether, or you'll go somewhere else in the same song. There have been times when I've been asked to edit or re-edit a song we have on the air, and recently I had one of the record reps come in ask me to do an edit for a song. Having a working knowledge of how music is built really makes editing music a whole lot easier.

R.A.P.: Is there anything you dislike about the production gig at Power 99?
Keith: Sometimes I don't handle stress very well. I'll let it get to me. Whenever I see something about stress management in psychology publications or even the newspaper or hear something on TV or the radio, my ears perk up and I listen because I learn about new ways to deal with stress. There have been days when people thought I was going to jump out the window. Now, it's better than it was, but it's still there. When you've got six people that want things yesterday, and you're the only person there to do it, and you know you're on twenty-three thousand commercials as it is in every stop set, and you can't do them, you're like, "What the hell am I going to do? Where am I going to get the voices for this?"

That's probably the hardest thing to deal with, everybody wanting everything yesterday. On top of that, there's that "appearance promo" I mentioned. Seven days a week those have to be produced, sometimes two of them a day. Between making sure the Account Executives get the information in, making sure the jocks get their part done, and coordinating all of it, sometimes I feel like going out on a killing spree. I really think a lot of it is the format because we are so promotionally driven and out on the street all the time; and we're always talking about it and producing things talking about it. That's where a lot of that stress comes in. There are so many elements that have to come together.

Every six months, I get to my "fill" point, and I'll take a long weekend. I'll save up a lot of my vacation time for winter because I'm a big skier. I spend a lot of time out west in Tahoe and Colorado. That's a big stress reducer for me.

R.A.P.: How's your relationship with the sales department?
Keith: Very good. The sales department played a big part in me getting the job. I was doing things for them when I was working part-time and overnights that pleased a lot of the salespeople. A lot of them pulled for me to get this job. If it weren't for these salespeople and George Lowe, the morning show producer, I probably wouldn't be in the position. I've weathered this first year of hell on earth and emerged a stronger and more calm person for it, and I think the salespeople are all happy with me. I go into the sales meetings a couple of times a month and say, "Okay, bitch at me. What do you need more of? What do you want done differently?" For the most part, we all get along, and again, I'm friends with a lot of them.

R.A.P.: Any plans for converting to digital production soon?
Keith: There are plans to take that old 8-track studio that nobody will even walk into and transform it into a digital studio. We recently had a brief look at the AKG DSE-7000, but to be honest with you, with the way the economy is right now, a lot of things are on hold for the time being. We're considering it but not moving on it right now.

R.A.P.: What's in the future for Keith Eubanks?
Keith: I've never even been to New York or LA, but for some reason, I might want to work in one of those markets somewhere down the line -- maybe at an ad agency again, but it would have to be in a creative capacity.

For now, I couldn't ask for or create a better environment anywhere, and Rick Stacy has been just wonderful to work with. To get the support from the sales staff and everybody else is just great. It's a tremendous experience to be here. Sometimes I wake up and ask, "What am I going to do one day?" I've achieved this goal I never ever thought I would achieve at the age of twenty-nine. I'm at the only CHR here, doing what I want to do. I really don't want to go anywhere else.

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