Of all the new experiences I’ve had over the Tour, going live on the radio is one of my top favourites. It’s something I always wanted to do, since the days of playing “talk show” and interviewing by Barbies. Yes, that happened. Our radio debut came last summer when Avi, Jenny, and I were interviewed by our friend Max Wray and we were happy to share our discoveries in the city. I remember how nervous we were, but it didn’t take long to get chatty. I also got to do an impromptu interview with Jamie (Gunner) Smith during Supercrawl, and that was my first time meeting Gunner, who has since become a friend.
A year later, I got to jump back on the airwaves! I was particularly excited to visit McMaster’s campus radio, 93.3 CMFU. During our time at Mac, Avi and I spent so much time in the bubble tea/games room, which is right across the hall, and I always used to peak into CFMU’s window and was drawn to the station, thinking what a cool gig that must be. So this tour stop was really something I had always wanted to do. Knock another one off the checklist!
I arrived fashionably early in the morning to be a guest on “In the Neighbourhood” with Matt Jelly and Gunner (airing Tuesdays and Thursdays 8-10am). Matt was off for the week, and filling in for him was guest co-host Joey Coleman, journalist and news-junkie extraordinaire. It was great to meet Joey after following his work on Twitter and knowing how hard he works to keep up with local news. Making it a full circle moment, I was there to promote The Playlist 1.0, our fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hamilton, and it turns out Joey grew up as a member of the Clubs and does a lot of work for them to this day. He even came prepped for the interview in his BGC t-shirt and hat!
It was lovely and even comforting to be back at Mac. It had been a while since I walked around the campus, and it made me smile to walk through the Student Centre, as I’ve done countless time before. Even popping into Union Market with Joey to fuel up with coffee made me very nostalgic. Did I mention it was early? The coffee certainly helped.
We had a fun interview, chatting about the history of the Tour and our upcoming Playlist 1.0. Gunner even spun some Playlist performers – “Tulips” by New Hands and a triple shot of Canadian Winter, with “City Lights,” “You Know What You Are,” and our theme song of sorts, “Get the Show on the Road”.
One point that struck me during the interview was when Gunner brought up our previous radio interviews. He admitted that when he first met us Tourists, he really didn’t know what our motives were, but then got to understand the spirit in which we’re going about our blog. We genuinely wanted to get more involved in our hometown, challenge ourselves, and inspire others. It was a simple enough idea that grew into something greater and I think it’s amazing that in a year’s time, people are still following along. The blog, our friendship, and our lives individually have all evolved significantly over the past year and I never imagined this is where we would be, the following summer.
The CFMU studio itself is quite big, with three separate studio spaces, a bunch of offices, and a huge archive of vinyl and CDs. I enjoyed the comfy green and black lobby area, with the giant CFMU logo on the wall, and a scattering of their well-deserved Hamilton Music Awards perched on a shelf. That’s the second time I’ve gotten to see one of those bad boys in person! After signing off, Gunner gave me a tour of the space and showed me some of the technical radio production elements.
I took a little stroll around campus before walking down to Westdale Village, and ended up meeting my dad for lunch at Bean Bar. It was a much-needed Bean Bar visit – those sweet potato fries are a favourite of mine and I really like the restaurant itself.
My thanks again to Gunner and Joey for a fun interview! Have a listen to below from our part of the show.