Patrick Walford is a young Canadian guy with a lot of ambition. Walford is a music journalist, radio host, TV personality, sports broadcaster, technical producer and probably a few other things we’re forgetting about. His primary endeavor these days is the Rock The Walls radio show that broadcasts Thursday and Saturday nights on idobi online radio. The show is predominantly focused on metalcore, hardcore, ska and punk rock and has developed quite the following over the last several months. We recently got the chance to speak to Walford about his radio show, his life, his interests and what’s going on otherwise in his crazy life.
You’ve certainly had an accomplished career thus far that only seems to be growing. Tell us a little more about the Rock The Walls radio show.
Patrick: At first it just started out as something fun to do once a week after classes and interviewing bands where it allowed, but in January 2011 when I started doing my show on idobi Radio, that’s when things started to get serious. It’s always been done as a one man crew/do-everything-yourself approach for all the tasks having to do with the show (booking interviews, song selection, hosting, production for commercials and Radio IDs, etc.) since starting out besides my weekly Show Graphics, Promo Photos, and The Show Logo at this point.
I grew up in a small town of 10,000 people (Alliston, Ontario about an hour North of Toronto), so having over 20,000 people listening at any given moment is pretty surreal. I’m super thankful and fortunate to have such a supportive team at idobi Radio always backing the show. We are from all over North America, but its always felt like one big family.
If you would’ve told me when I was 15 that I would be doing a Radio show and interviewing bands, I definitely wouldn’t have believed you (laughs). I was always a fairly shy kid in high school and I think it surprised a lot of people (myself included) when I started to interview a lot of my favorite bands and some huge bands I had listened to since I was growing up as a teenager. Even 5 years ago when I was finishing College, still never would’ve thought I’d be doing the show on idobi for (what is nearly) 5 years and counting. It’s awesome!
What has fueled your interest in radio and broadcasting?
Patrick: Discovering new bands/music to play on the show and speaking to bands about their latest releases, many of which I personally identify with. First and foremost before a host or producer, I’m a music fan. I still get just as excited and nervous at the same time as when I did the first ever broadcast of Rock The Walls in College.
How can people hear the show if they want to tune in?
Patrick: Monday to Friday the idobi Howl Mid-Days and Thursday Nights on idobi Howl they can listen at this link: http://ido.bi/howl or on the TuneIn Radio App by searching “idobi Howl”
Saturday Nights on idobi Radio they can listen at this link: http://ido.bi/player and on the FREE idobi Radio App available for iOS, Android, and Windows Phones.
Where would you say your musical interests lie specifically? What is your personal favorite type of music?
Patrick: When I first began, my tastes were A LOT different. While I still enjoy some of those bands, my musical taste in bands ranged from Motion City Soundtrack and Set Your Goals to All Time Low and The Rocket Summer. That new Motion City Soundtrack record is awesome and they are still my favorite band to this day. From 18 to 25 however… Now I am mostly listening to/covering metal and hardcore music and its many subgenres in between. Bands like Veil of Maya, Nekrogoblikon, Parkway Drive, Thy Art Is Murder, August Burns Red were a few of my favorite releases and interviews this year.
You’ve done over 400 interviews, many of which with some of the most popular rock bands today. What has your favorite interview been and why?
Patrick: Maaaan… that is a very tough question. There have been a ton over the years where I am legitimately flabbergasted on not only how they came together, but how awesome the bands were as people. It would literally be impossible to pick just one, so I’ll pick a couple: Tom Delonge – Warped 2008 (I believe this is my first ever on-camera interview? This was a huge trip… literally my 4th or 5th interview ever. Think you can tell by the way I’m nervously reading the questions off a page. Now I don’t carrying any questions/cue cards into a interview).
Anytime I interview Winston McCall and the guys in Parkway Drive. Andrew WK once thanked me post-interview for the great questions and said anytime I wanted to come party at his bar (Santos Party Haus in NYC) it was on him (laughs). But I can say this is with complete 100% honesty: 99.8% of all interviews I do, the guys/girls in the band are awesome people. When I interview a band after we had already done a interview months/years prior and they remember me, that’s an awesome feeling.
I was interviewing a band out on tour with Asking Alexandria (The Family Ruin) when Ben Bruce of Asking Alexandria walked in (TFR is signed to his label KBB Records) and said, “Hey! I remember you! You’ve interviewed us before here a few times, what’s up man? Let’s all get beers after our set!”. I had a pretty good laugh and was completely shocked he had remembered me considering how many interviews that band has undoubtedly done in the three years between doing one.
Also cool when a band tells you that they really enjoyed the interview and it was one of the best they had ever done. It never gets old hearing that and it’s reassuring as to why I’m doing this.
What do you think fueled your interest in music growing up? Did you grow up in a musical type of family?
Patrick: I think what fuelled my interest in music was some of the music I heard playing in video games like Burn Out and The NHL Series growing up. A lot of the songs in the game I felt were pretty catchy and awesome. A lot of those game soundtracks had bands like Brand New, GOB, The Matches, Motion City Soundtrack, Jimmy Eat World, Rise Against, etc. Right around the same time Guitar Hero/Rock Band were coming out was about the time I was also getting into “the Warped Tour genres” of music.
What made me want to pursue a career/pastime in it was definitely that first show I went to, August 7th, 2007, Motion City Soundtrack at the Opera House in Toronto. From the first to the last note they played, I was completely mesmerized. After I saw them for the first time along with a trip to Warped Tour 2007 a few days later, I was hooked on going to shows. Any bands I was a fan of, I was determined to see at one point or another.
The interviewing aspect came into play as I contemplated/wanted to go to school for broadcasting and journalism in my senior year of high school (2007/2008). I did not grow up in what you would consider a “musical” kind of family. My father would always show me some awesome bands from the ’70s and ’80s, but that was about it.
I read that you interned at MTV News, TSN, TSN Radio 1050 and Toronto rock station 102.1 The Edge, all at the same time! How did you manage to pull this off?
Patrick: It was pretty hectic for a couple of months, but in the best way possible. Whenever I hear any kids/adults complain about their couple day a week or 20 hour a week internship, I laugh. My schedule for a couple of months basically consisted of waking up at 3am to head to TSN Radio, and ending around 6/7pm each day after MTV Live wrapped up or (if i was at TSN) Off The Record wrapping up filming.
At that point for having the other 3 internships in early 2011, I had already been interning with 102.1 The Edge for over a year, but it was less frequent than the daily Monday to Friday schedule at the other three. Most weeks I would do the content producing for the morning show (at TSN Radio) typically from 4 am until 10:30-11. From there I would either go to intern on Off The Record (on TSN) or at MTV.
Both were equally as fun in different ways. What a lot of people that I’ve met don’t know is way before my doing my radio show, I was obsessed with sports. I’d wake up at 6:30 in the morning to watch SportsCentre before school and I kept track of every major sport pretty closely.
You obviously love music, but do you play it yourself? Have you ever been in a band?
Patrick: I do not play music myself. I played The baritone in Grade 9 music class, and took guitar in grade 10. Expert Guitar Hero player and pretty good at Rock Band drums though (laughs). There has been a time or two I’ve gone on stage for friends bands to do guest vocals which was fun, but not something I would ever say I’m “talented” at (laughs).
From music, to radio, to journalism you have a lot of different interests. Where do you see yourself and your career in five years from now?
Patrick: That’s a great question, looking back to nearly 5 years ago to when Rock The Walls aired for the first time on January 3rd, 2011, I never would have thought it would’ve gone this long or gotten this big. I’m really thankful for the opportunity to do my show several times a week and to have amazing co-workers at idobi Radio. This year alone I interviewed everyone from Lamb of God, Bullet For My Valentine, Testament & The Devil Wears Prada to bands like Yellowcard, Mayday Parade, New Found Glory, and even WWE Wrestler/Fozzy Frontman Chris Jericho who I’ve. It’s been a hectic year, and this is all while working a full-time job on top of doing interviews/attending shows. I see myself still with idobi Radio in five years, while possibly branching out to do some other things within Journalism such as divulging back into sports or even something like covering video games. There is really endless possibilities with this job/career. As long as I am still enjoying and am passionate about what I do.
To be 100% honest with you, no matter if/where I am doing my Radioshow and interviewing bands, the most important thing is that I am happy/having fun doing it and the listeners enjoy it. I’ve seen way too often in this field of work, whether it’s music, radio, sports. People get burned out and their “dream job” turns into a massive stress. I also cannot tell you (and I’m sure you’ve seen the same thing interviewing bands/artists in person) how many times I’ve seen people “get into” interviewing bands and covering shows and they suddenly think they are the greatest person ever and are better than everyone. You are not Larry King. You are not Jimmy Fallon or James Corden. That “rockstar” kind of attitude of some people who do interviews absolutely kills me. It’s bullshit. The bands are the stars of the interview, not you. I wish the people who sometimes do interviews had the band in-mind before conducting interviews where you actually discuss the bands music, career, et, not what their favorite beanie baby is or which Disney character they see themselves as in a movie.
What’s next for you? What are your plans for the near future?
Patrick: Keep on keepin’ on! Continue to do the show and bring/introduce more awesome new bands on it as well as the grizzled vets of the scene. In the next month or so, you will see a transformation in the way that RTW posts content. You’ll practically be getting new audio/interviews/news nearly every day as opposed to twice a week on the show or once during the Mid-Day shift through the week. I guess you could say the show might be come a little more PODTastic. I’ll also be doing more video content.
Thank you guys very much for your time. I’ve read PureGrainAudio since I was starting out doing this whole Interview Bands/Blow Your Speakers via maximum tunage during my Radio show. It’s seriously an honor and a privilege to be interviewed on here. Catch you at a show in the 416 real soon!