R.A.P. Interview: John Frost

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R.A.P.: Tell us about the studio you work in.
John: I don't have a lot of toys. The one toy I do have, and I swear it's the best piece of machinery anywhere in radio because it's made for radio, is the Orban DSE 7000. This digital 8-track is literally the fastest thing I've ever seen. As far as getting projects and even nominal little tasks done, I'm able to work at just such a high rate of speed. Machinery cannot stand in your way if you're trying to create something. If the machinery stands in your way, then you could lose your vision. You could lose your interest. You could lose your attention span. That's the only toy we have, but that thing has added years to my creative life.

R.A.P.: Is Raymond working out of another studio?
John: Yes. We have two studios now, and we have two of those DSE 7000s, one in each studio. The DSE makes everything so easy to put together. Even our interns are able to figure it out in half an hour and start putting together productions, which really helps because then we're able to see new creative forces coming up all the time. We have two studios and a variety of people who want to get in there and create stuff.

R.A.P.: How is the station utilizing the current technological frenzy of information highways, the Internet and on-line access?
John: There are a bunch of K-Rock Web sites not sponsored by the station, and then we do have our own Web page or something going up. I don't know if it's on the Internet now or whether it will be soon; but I have seen the artwork for it. We have a lot of fanatical fans who are really into one form of music or another that's served by alternative, and a lot of them apparently have computers because we get a lot of Internet mail. And we read lots of Web sites and things. There's one called "alt.KROQ.fan" something. I can't remember the rest of it, but people are posting letters and letters and letters about K-Rock, about things they like, things they don't like, speculations about K-Rock, everything, and that's not ours. It's somebody else's. But we watch it, and it's another way of getting feedback from your listeners.

R.A.P.: Do you know if there is any audio being put on KROQ's Web site?
John: Yeah, our Web page has different jingles every time you punch a function, I believe. If you're trying to find out about one of our DJs, I believe that you'll hear some of their show or something just by punching on them. So, yes, audio is a big part of the K-Rock Web site.

R.A.P.: What do you think of the digital delivery systems like DGS and the others that are coming out with digital commercial delivery?
John: The DGS is all-right. The one I like, at least so far, is the DCI. I don't know what that stands for, but the reason I like it is that I'm able to send as well as receive. So, I'm able to get some song that we just found or something else up to our sister station in San Jose in about a half an hour just by recording it into the machine and sending it through. Every day I see more stations being added to their list. That's a list of people that we can all communicate with, and, I guess, send audio to and get audio from. But you might have to ask to be a send site like I did. So, if you have DCI or plan to get it, request to be a send site, then we can all send each other stuff.

R.A.P.: Are you doing any free-lance work?
John: I can't image other radio stations because of my contract with Infinity, at least not without their expressed written consent. So, that's one place I've been holding back. But as far as doing commercials, as far as working with record companies, as far as doing cartoon voices and that sort of thing, I'm out there. I just did a voice for a CD-ROM game for the new Sega Saturn system. I'm the voice of a bug in a game called "Bug." I get hit by a lot of things, I say smart-ass stuff, I push on things, and I die and things. I got to say a hundred lines for that, and it's pretty cool to see yourself on a CD-ROM game as a bug, a little green bug.

There are a million agents in this town, and a million voice-over jobs in this town. However, because I don't have an agent, most of the work I've received is from people hearing things they like in the imaging of the station. And even though I don't work on the air that often, a lot of people know me by name just because I've been doing it for eight or nine years and doing weird stuff. People will recite to me something I did six years ago. It's more important to them than it is to me. I don't remember it. I don't remember what I was saying, but whatever it was, I bet it was funny.

R.A.P.: What would you say is your greatest talent?
John: Versatility. Being able to do ten or fifteen voices. Being able to write a promo that requires six different voices in some kind of situation then being able to voice them all because I'm the only guy at the station at the moment and then turn around and do a serious promo and turn around and do some serious PSAs about AIDS and then sing our forty-minute jingles and then do some cartoon voices and whatever else they need done. That's what I gotta do, and it's something a lot of people should work on, their versatility.

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