R.A.P.: Tell us about the room.
Brian: It's all new. We've got a brand new Wheatstone console, the MX-70 8-track Otari, two Otari MTR-10's, the Eventide H3000 Harmonizer, two SPX-1000's, and a compressor. I've got a Roland S-10 keyboard/sampler, a Yamaha rackmount sampler, and we're getting ready to get an Emax. Then I've got a couple of my own keyboards up here for sweeps and such. I've got an Akai and a Yamaha that I use for zips and zaps.
R.A.P.: What are you using for production libraries?
Brian: I'm glad you asked. If anyone out there is looking for a library, they might want to check out Rick Allen's new library. I just bought it from him. He's got an incredible library. I use it on all our promos and sweepers, and it's very inexpensive, as libraries go. That's another nice thing about Jacor. They let me have the tools I need. They let me buy this library from Rick, and we've also got PowerPlay from Airforce. Plus, I just got in the new "Weapons" package from Brown Bag.
R.A.P.: You found out about Rick Allen's library before we did. How did you do that?
Brian: I've known Rick for several years. I finished my time in Indianapolis at WIBC-AM. That's where Rick was before he went to New York. I took his place at WIBC. Rick's a great guy. A lot of the things I know about keyboards and samplers, Rick taught me when I was in Indianapolis. There are several great production guys that came from Indianapolis. There's Eric Edwards who left WNAP to go to work for Emmis at WENS. Of course there's Rick Allen, and then there's Ron Carter who is now at KZZP in Phoenix.
R.A.P.: Do you have any formal musical education?
Brian: No. My knowledge of samplers and the way they work is honestly from Rick. I'm not a big one for making music, per se, but I love using the samplers and synthesizers for vocal effects, lazer shots, and stuff like that.
R.A.P.: Would you say your experience with the keyboards and samplers played a major part in your getting the gig at the Power Pig?
Brian: Not really because Marc is probably not the world's biggest fan of sampled sweepers. I think one of the keys to success is being able to read what that PD likes. The guy is not hovering over me, but you've got to learn what the man likes. Marc doesn't like an over-produced radio station, and he considers a lot of heavy duty sampling over-production and irritating. I think what got the job, at least what Marc told me, is that my production is very tight and he loved the attitude. He says there's a tad bit of "cockiness" in my reads, but not so much that it comes off arrogant. He said, "You're perfect for the Pig," so take that as you may.
So I don't think my sampler and keyboard experience was necessarily instrumental in getting the gig. On the other hand, there are people out there that I do sweeper packages for that just want them sampled all over the place, and knowing how to use the gear has come in very, very handy. You mention sampler and a lot of people always think of that stutter effect with the voice. They don't realize how many other ways that sampler comes in handy, as with the placement of sound effects or keying a cash register to the music bed. That all makes for a promo that sounds tight, and there won't be one thing in the course of the promo that will sound irritating. The sampler has a lot to do with that.
R.A.P.: We've had several calls from subscribers telling us how they just can't get their station to spring for a sampler so they can get the experience on the machines. Any advice to these people?
Brian: A lot of small market stations have called me wanting to know how to get the gear. If you go to your General Manager in a small market and tell him you want $2,500 for a sampler, nine times out of ten, he's going to laugh at you. But a lot of times, you can find people willing to trade out that equipment. Take my Roland S-10 for example. I got that from a guy in Pittsburgh who worked a deal with me. I only paid $700 for it. The machine listed for around $1400. Don't be afraid to go to your salespeople and have them pull a few strings. Talk to your PD or your General Manager about a trade. Show them what kind of plus the unit is going to be for the station. Don't just walk in and say, "I need twenty-five hundred dollars."
R.A.P.: Please tell the world. Where did the name "Power Pig" come from?
Brian: I'm not totally sure at this point. I can tell you that when Jacor was doing some research on what would be successful in Tampa, "Power Pig" was strictly a code name for a format. It was our format, and that was the code name given to it. When they talked about different things that would be successful, they gave each format a different code name. When the question came down as to what we would call this radio station, this format, the decision was made to just throw this format on the air under the code name. In a worst case scenario, they would just pull it off the air if it didn't appeal. The next thing you know, the people in this town are calling us the Power Pig, and Power 93 became secondary. I don't know if this was really planned or not.
R.A.P.: Aside from "attitude," what would you say is the basic programming philosophy that seems to be working so well there?
Brian: First of all, I think Marc Chase has gained the respect of his superiors in Jacor with his success at Y107. He got that by making Y107 an "outrageous radio station." He does things that are very unconventional, as radio goes. We like to consider ourselves a parody of what radio really is. We have a couple of places in the hour where we will play a positioning statement, and the rest of our sweepers are for just having fun. You don't always have to pound home that message of "the most music" or "the most variety" every time that you do something. People remember the radio station because it's fun. Chase has managed to keep it very off the wall. Nobody is more outrageous than this radio station, and I think that's the key to it. We've got people listening and wondering what's going to be next. I've had guys come to me and say, "You know, I don't necessarily love the music you guys play, but I love the things that you do." When you've got people listening to music that's not necessarily their favorite, just because you're a wild group of people, then you're gonna do it. Then add those people who love your music and what you're doing.