After learning of Robin Williams' passing on Monday I was shocked and disappointed and curious about what happened, much like I expected most people were. I logged on Facebook and posted something short like, "Jesus, Robin Williams is dead" and left it at that.
I deleted the post later because I saw the tsunami of personal tributes take over the news feed and felt whatever I had to say wasn't adding anything constructive. Then news came out about how Mr. Williams died and the shock went away, but my curiosity and disappointment didn't.
I volunteered as an usher at The Sundance Film Festival the year Robin Williams' film "One Hour Photo" made its world premiere. I was able to watch the film because the volunteers are rotated into different positions so everyone can see some of the films. It was a very different picture than anything I had seem Mr. Williams in before. For those who haven't seen it, it's an edgy film that focuses on obsession and how loneliness can lead to mental malfunction.
After the film was over Robin hopped up on stage for a Q&A and lightened the mood of the heavy-hearted audience who had just sat though something they obviously weren't prepared for. He turned the Eccles Theatre into the best open mic night I have ever been witness to. He joked about Utah culture and his "Mormon Posse." He went on for about 45 minutes. The audience: in stitches. Then he took time to shake hands and say hello to everyone he could before heading backstage to the volunteer area where I had snuck off to since I preparing for the next screening and grabbing a snack.
I clumsily said, "hello." I was a bit surprised. He asked me how I liked the festival and where I was from. When I told him I was a local he asked me about good places to go biking in Utah. I can't remember my response, but we talked a little about snowboarding as it was something I actually knew a bit about. It was a brief chat and odd in how casual it was since I was talking to THE Robin Williams.
I'm not relating this story to name drop, but with Mr. William's death this chance meeting came to mind. I was in the right place at the right time and got to meet a movie star who just seemed really nice and comfortable with people. He didn't have a security detail with him or a crew - not even his Mormon Posse.
I mention this story because when I think about those 45 minutes Robin Williams was performing impromptu and the amount of enjoyment he brought an auditorium of people with his presence and humor, immediately after a dark drama no less, a well of sadness invites itself into the front of my consciousness. Knowing some people pay for highs with extreme and dangerous lows is a heavy and confusing train of thought.
I have seen those lows with people very close to me - very low. I don't want to go into detail, but I have sat in emergency rooms. I've seen havoc and worry wreaked. I have been through it as a witness and it sucks. It's shit. And it's debilitating and can be distancing at time when distance is not what someone really needs.
So I thought I would post a link to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention with the idea that there might be someone around you having a hard time or perhaps they have been for a while, that there may be a discussion to be had there. Maybe you've felt off for a while yourself and think, "That's just how I am." Why bother taking a chance? Maybe ask a few questions. Here is a link. Click if you need it.
A few weeks ago at Vans Warped Tour, Richie T and his team of expert producers recorded 5 straight hours of interviews - that's around 25 artists FYI. Over the past few weeks, we've been releasing videos of these interviews on the daily: bands like Less Than Jake, Real Friends, The Maine, Anberlin, and tons more!
In today's installment, we have trendsetter Jordan of The Ready Set, triplet Tay from We Are The In Crowd, and well-coiffed bros Dave and Bennett from Crown The Empire.
Listen to the interviews and read a short write up below!
The Ready Set
Jordan of The Ready Set showed up at our Warped Tour tent in a gentlemanly hat and Jackie O glasses to talk to us about other Warped bands we should know, his upcoming headlining tour, and then Richie turns travel agent to give Jordan tips on how to vacation in Maui.
From: Fort Wayne, Indiana
--- His Second Warped Tour ---
We did it in 2011, first time...2011 was cool, but this time I think is better because I kinda knew what I was in for with it. In 2011 it was a lot more, much much heavier bands, and I lean more on the pop side a little bit. Now I think we’ve got much more of an overlap with friends of ours like We Are The In Crowd, The Maine, Mayday Parade, Breathe Carolina, and bands like that where I think we share somewhat of a similar fan base. We’ve been having better crowds, it’s just been a great time. I love It.
--- Warped Bands we should check out ---
The coolest thing to me about the tour this year specifically is a band called Saves The Day is on our stage which, that’s one of my favorite bands. I have a Saves The Day tattoo, in fact. So that’s my absolute favorite band to watch…We have some friends in a band called Air Dubai who I don’t think they’ve done [Warped] before…They’re the nicest dudes and they usually play a little bit before or after us every day, so we have a similar set time. I get to catch they’re set a lot and it’s really great.
--- Upcoming Headlining Tour ---
After tomorrow, heading home for a little bit, gonna film a couple music videos, then doing a headlining tour in the fall which coincidentally starts here in Salt Lake City. It’s October 26 is the first day of it.
--- Vacation Plans ---
Well my first plan of business is to hang out with my dog and cat for a bit, ya know just chill with them. And then I think I’m gonna go on a vacation…I’m gonna go to Hawaii, just kick it for a little bit. I’m going to Maui. Taking in the scene, I’ve never been there before. I haven’t gone on a vacation since I started The Ready Set.
We Are The In Crowd
--- The Band Name ---
We were originally called The In Crowd, which was just another bad name. We made it longer because we had a copyright issue with a band from Jamaica who decided to go on a reunion tour, they’re like a band from the 70’s. So when our band started in 2009 we were trying to get the rights to the name and they said no.
--- Being on Warped Tour for the third time ---
This has been the easiest Warped Tour for us, and I think just because of experience. Everyone knows what their role is, because each tour is different whether it be a club tour or a festival tour or traveling overseas or whatever it is, we all try to help ourselves stay sane. But here, here it’s so different because it’s like – there’s a routine every day, to the point where you eat at the same time, the exact same time every single day. Catering’s only from 12 to 2, I don’t know, you just get used to it. We’re so used to the people on the tour and it’s just nice to know the ropes. It’s comfortable at this point.
--- What’s coming next ---
We have a couple weeks off and then we’re going off in the Philippines with some of the bands that are on the tour actually. I think The Summer Set is on our date, and so is Echosmith, so that will be cool. And then we’re home for most of September and we have a really exciting Fall tour that’s coming up that’s not announced yet.
Crown The Empire
Bennett & Dave from Crown The Empire talk about how Dave came to be the band barber, what they’re favorite pizza toppings are, how they stay in shape on the tour, and where they’re off to after Warped Tour.
--- Dave the Band Barber ---
Dave: Honestly, our drummer one day needed a haircut really bad and I was like, “Dude, I think I can do it,” and I had a little kit. I just tried it and then he was like, “It’s really not bad!” So I just did it every time and I was like, “Ok I’m getting better at this!” So I just tried it with everyone else like, let me cut your hair. I’ve cut tons of hair now and I’ve just gotten way better at it over time.
Bennett: He does a great job.
--- The Band Name ---
Dave: At the time it was totally random. It kind of developed a meaning throughout our career. But at the beginning they came up with it – our guitarist and bass players right now. They’re the original members of the band.
Bennett: In the garage where they started the band, they were just chillin and they had a big list of [band] names. We have bunch of bad ones that we talk about all the time. One of them was “Strawberry Centrefold”. Neither of us were in the band at the time, thank God.
Dave: Yeah we didn’t have any of these ideas.
Bennett: “Laying in Circles”, “A Tree Without”.
Dave: “Purple Is Grape”.
Bennett: We could’ve been Purple Is Grape. That could’ve been real life.
--- Staying in shape on tour ---
Dave: Not gonna lie, It is the hardest thing in the world to make yourself do it ‘cuz when you’re out on tour like this – especially with the heat and everything like that – you’re exhausted from just you’re day in general and what you have to do. But we take the time out of every single day to work out. We make sure we lift weights and do cardio.
Bennett: We get really creative with the certain exercises we do.
Dave: An hour and a half every day.
--- Latest Album – The Resistance: Rise of the Runaways ---
We actually just released our album. It’s called The Resistance: Rise of the Runaways. It’s a concept album it’s got a whole story behind it that would take forever if I got too deep in to it.
Seriously. The best thing you'll see. ALL.WEEK.
Captain Shackleford from the TV show Wicked Tuna: North vs. South talks to Radio From Hell about old North vs. South rivalries, tuna season, and ICCAT - conservation of tuuuuuuuna fishhhhhhh!
Captain Britton Shackleford and his family live in North Carolina where he has been able to fish commercially. This is a relatively new way of handling fish which was able to make him stand out amongst other fisherman for National Geographic’s show Wicked Tuna: North vs. South. Captain Shackleford’s family have been involved in catching and producing seafood since 1670: “I tell people all the time, fishing is not what I do, fishing is what I am.” He explains that a "good" fish is deteremined by color, fat content, amino acids. Will the ocean ever run out of fish? Captain Shackleford says no - as long as America stays part of the ICCAT International Commission For the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas then the Blue Fin Tuna can stay safe in the ocean.
National Geographic’s Wicked Tuna: North vs. South premieres Sunday at 10 pm.
Saints & Soldiers: The Void Filmmakers Interview with Radio From Hell
Radio From Hell Sat down with Adam Able & Ryan Little to discuss their new film: Saints & Soldiers: The Void
Where did you film Saint & Soldiers: The Void? How many of them are there?
This is the third one. And we filmed this one in the foothills of Alpine, Cottonwood Heights in the old paper sugar mill, and at the Utah State Hospital, that has this castle behind it, in Provo.
This isn’t a continuation of the other ones is it?
No, all of them are individual stories that are thread together to explore the humanity within war and people in circumstances on either side of the conflict and the decisions that they make.
You can find out more about the film here
Interview with Dennis Hof with Radio From Hell
Dennis Hoff from the Bunny Ranch talks about his new show King Of The House, plastic restraint tape that doesn’t stick, and a segment about being psychoanalyzed that will be premiering Thursday August 14th at 11 pm on “Hooker Box Office” (HBO).
Two psychiatrists analyzed Dennis Hof on his show. “There’s a whole segment that they analyzed me with a psychiatrist and I can’t wait! I thought this is something that would never air. The first time, I'm trying to be honest with you, because I'm like this is going to be on TV and then the second time I just kind of let [it] down and winded up giving it to them the…'whole Hof experience'."
Intern Zach here. Today marks my last day as an intern for X96 and the Radio From Hell program. Before I go, I thought I’d like to share with you some lessons I have learned from my experiences at X96
1. The meaning of “sleep-deprived” Getting up at the unholy hour of four AM everyday has taught me to never take sleep for granted. Not even one hour. Here’s an idea of what I look like right now:
2. Endless experience of audio editing I’ve stared at computer screens like this for longer than I can remember:
3. You will get headphone hair… you’ll just have to deal with it It doesn’t matter how many hours you spend on doing your hair, it will always end up looking like this:
4. "Grammar Nazis" are everywhere
All over the chatroom, all over Facebook, EVERYWHERE. This has helped me become more self-aware of my writing and grammar. Or maybe it has made me become more paranoid. I can't tell.
5. Running remote events is kinda like babysitting You have to watch over expensive items, you explain the same things over and over, and you give away as much candy and stickers as you can in order to make someone happy
I FEEL YOU, FRANK!
However, I did get to go see a lot of cool events like the Reggae Rise Up Festival, RSL games, and Vans Warped Tour for free!
6. You never know who you might meet
I got to hang out with the guitarists of Anberlin, Christian McAlhaney and Joseph Milligan (left), and the vocalist/bassist, Roger Lima, of Less Than Jake (right). Anyone could stop by the studio at any given day.
Okay, that was NPR. But I would freak out if the cookie monster made an apperance at X96. I would probably take his cookies. Maybe just one. 7. Anyone can be a writer or a journalist. I never thought of myself as a writer. I’m just a guy who likes to talk about music. However, I realized that most people who work here at X96, and in music journalism, fall under the same category. Thanks to my time at X96, my writing has been viewed and opened up to a much broader audience.
Going back to school like...
All in all, my experience at X96 was rewarding. I lost a lot of sleep, got a lot of free food and donuts, saw a few concerts for free, met some of my favorite bands, and had a lot of laughs along the way. Sure, sometimes Kerry, Bill, & Gina and everyone else might make you feel like this sometimes:
But, your overall experience here will leave you feeling like this:
… And who knows where you’ll go from there. If you’d like an internship experience similar to mine, email Richie@x96.com
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