RAP: Production for an Alternative format requires some pretty intense music and effects. What production libraries are you using?
Mike: For spots we're using "Attitude II" from TA&A, Toby Arnold & Associates. That's what I use for a good majority of the music beds and stuff. I just got a CD from Jeff Thomas, the Production Director for Virgin in London. His "Killer Hertz" CD is the most phenomenal thing I've ever heard in my life. I just got it last week, and I've been dying for it. I got a demo tape from Jeff--actually, Keith is the one who sent us the Jeff Thomas demo cassette--and I listened to it and said, "Man, this is what I've been waiting for." It's real easy to use, too. I've also got the "XFX" series, volumes one and two, and those are put out by Sean Caldwell.

RAP: Who writes the commercials?
Mike: The sales reps will write most of those. I'll revamp them if I feel they need it.

RAP: You've sent spots in for The Cassette that were pretty involved, and you were credited as the writer on them. Do you go to that extreme on all the commercials you produce and write?
Mike: If I get a spot and the sales rep writes a little note and says to get as crazy as you want with it, then that's where I'll go. But we have a lot of basic reads, too. As a matter of fact, I would say the majority of them are that way.

RAP: Do you have deadlines for commercials?
Mike: Usually, they start the next day. I get a production order that says, "This starts tomorrow."

RAP: How many commercials would you say you are writing and producing during the week?
Mike: I'd have to say between twenty and twenty-five.

RAP: That would keep you busy. Are you knocking out spec spots, too?
Mike: Not so much, no. I think I've only done about four or five this month. Maybe even less than that.

RAP: You sound like you're doing a lot between the commercials and the imaging. How do you manage your time? You said earlier you weren't much of an organizer.
Mike: Basically, I'll get in here first thing and have a good load of spots I'll have to do. I'll put them in a little "this starts tomorrow" pile. Usually, the first couple of hours, I'll do some imaging. I'll do some sweepers or stuff like that. Once I stop that or I get a creative block or a mental block, I'll just start knocking out the spots. Usually, by four or five o'clock, the whole load is in, and I can figure out where I'm going from there.

I haven't yet learned the time management thing or the little tricks, the little time savers and stuff. But hopefully, the longer I'm in the business, the more experience I'll get. I've still got tons more stuff to learn.

RAP: Have you developed a "formula" for producing a great promo? What's your creative approach?
Mike: I don't know. I think I like using a lot of high-powered stuff like fast beats and crazy sound effects and stuff like that. But, I don't want to add so much stuff that the whole thing sounds like mud. I don't really have a particular formula or anything like that. I just go in there blank and whatever I come out with, I'll know if it sounds good. I guess that's subjective.

RAP: Is the station still using carts?
Mike: Yes. There aren't any plans that I know of to go digital. I'm sure they would like to have it, but I guess they haven't been looking into it. That would be nice, though.

RAP: It sounds like The Edge is treating your creative mind well.
Mike: Yes, and like I said before, it's very laid back here. One of our promotion assistants had the best description of the station and the people who work here: "If you've ever seen the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer cartoon during Christmas time, the old land of the misfit toys is pretty much what we're known as." I kind of like that. It's still a business, of course, but you're allowed your freedom of expression and things like that. How many people can go up to their Operations Manager and call him a bald bonehead and get away with it? There's a lot of room for creativity here, and I'm very thankful for that.

RAP: You've been in radio for only a few short years. How do you perceive this business at this point?
Mike: Crazy. I like it. I never have the same day twice, and I've got a lot of freedom to do what I like doing.

RAP: What's your production philosophy?
Mike: Just try to make it fun for yourself. I think I can identify with our listeners even though I'm probably quite a bit older than they are, but, yeah, if it's not fun, why do it?

RAP: What's down the road for you? Are you looking to move up into the majors?
Mike: Oh, absolutely, I'd love to. I might like to go back to LA because I have some friends there, or I would love to work with Jeff Thomas and the guys at Virgin.