Impact 89FM (WDBM) is more than just music; we’re more than a radio station. Our new “Meet the Directors” series invites you to get to know the people behind all the content we produce for our readers, listeners and loyal fans.
This week, we meet Jesse Taconelli and Ryan Tyler of the music team, and Maeve O’Dowd and Conor Lynch of the audio team. Jesse, a sophomore journalism major, is WDBM’s co-music director; Ryan, a fifth year senior media and information major, is also WDBM’s co-music director; Maeve O’Down, a junior media and information major, is WDBM’s audio production director; and Conor, a junior media and information major, is WDBM’s chief audio engineer.
As leaders of the Impact’s audio team, Maeve and Conor produce everything from the PSAs, bumpers and promos that you hear live on air, to mix and mastering audio for a variety of other video products including in-studios, artist interviews and voice-over acting. As directors of the music department, Jesse and Ryan listen to and suggest new music for the radio, communicate with artists’ promoters, and work with our promotions director to schedule, coordinate and organize some of the artist interviews and in-studio performances that come through the station doors. Together these four are responsible for keeping all the various audible sounds (and music) fresh, fun and informative for the Impact’s listeners, and for that we thank them.
Why did you decide to join the Impact?
Jesse: I needed a belonging at school. I came from Western and I knew I’m into music and I also like working on teams and meeting new people, and I found that here so I stuck around a got a job.
Conor: I already have a two year audio tech degree, so I wanted to put it to use. Also my mom said I needed a job, so I applied for this job, and I got. Also I was on audio team and had made some friends here already.
Maeve: I like music and radio, and I wanted to get better at sound design and audio production so I started volunteering here, then I got the job as audio production director and it’s been great.
Ryan: I actually volunteered here by accident. I was looking for a job because I hated the job I had. I found an application to be a DJ here and I wrote up this really thoughtful– I was trying to get this job hard. So I wrote one up and sent it to the training director at the time, and then a short while later I found out was a volunteer thing and I’ve been here ever since.
What’s your favorite part about working at the Impact?
J: The amount of music and connections in the music world that I find every day.
C: The people probably.
J: That too, you can put the people in for me also obviously…
M: We all agree that we like the people… I also always like knowing I probably have someone to go to a show with here. There’s always someone to do that with.
R: To build on the people thing, there’s so many people here that you can talk to people on one side of the studio and it’s completely different than the conversation on the other side of the studio. One minute you’ll be talking about MSU sports, then next minute you’ll be talking about emo music, and the next minute pop music, and then the next minute you’ll be talking about the dumbest, most niche meme you saw on Facebook that day. So, I guess just the diversity of the crowd here is what makes it important.
If you could eliminate one artist off the face of the Earth, including the people they’ve influenced, who would it be and why?
J: 21 Pilots, because it’s like white-boy rap mixed with reggae and pop. It just brews into something vile and is tough to swallow.
R: That’s rough
C: I’d probably say Beethoven, mainly the everyone he influenced part because classical music is stupid.
R: I don’t have a specific artist I hate more than anyone else, but I would want to get rid of SoundCloud.
C: Hey now!
R: Well the whole reason is I feel like music lost some authenticity when we made it so accessible. Not that accessibility is bad, and I’m sure it’s done a lot of goodness, but I would rather it be a more authentic thing for worse or for better.
M: I’m trying so hard to think—
C: I change my answer to Pit Bull.
M: Oh, that’s a big one! I’d be fine without Carly Rae Jepson.
C: Woah! What?
J: What the F— is your problem?
R: See, I feel like that’s a respectable take.
M: Same with Katy Perry.
J: OK, that’s fair.
C: Carly Rae Jepson is not just some stupid pop star.
J: She’s amazing. She’s incredible.
M: I guess I just haven’t listened as much to her newer stuff.
R: You could say that about Katy Perry though. Katy had some bops back in my day.
C: She did have some bops, I will say.
If you had a million dollars, how would you spend it?
C: I’d probably build a record studio and just like never leave. Maybe also invest some of it so I didn’t have to make more money ever, and I’d just stay at that spot forever.
M: I would probably buy a couple small shacks in a bunch of different countries, and a plane so I could get there.
C: That honestly might be pushing a million dollars.
M: I don’t think so. I think I could really pull it off.
R: If I had a million dollars, I would just try to make it two million dollars, so I would invest it right away. I would stay poor as hell. It suits me.
J: I would get my mom a house, I’d get my dad some guitars, I’d give the rest to all of my crushes and keep none of it for myself.
C: Wow, selfless!
R: Like what kind of house for your mom though? If you’re going to buy her—
J: The nicest house she wants. I refuse to elaborate on this.
If you could have a super power, what would it be and why?
J: I’d like to read minds, not to intrude on people, but more so to acquire as much niche knowledge and interests that I could. Like imagine being in a room full of billionaire investors with insider trading knowledge and making all the guap. I’m kidding, I’m definitely a socialist. But ya, just minds and knowledge. I strive for knowledge.
C: Uhm… Invisibility. Well, I don’t know. I don’t have a good answer.
M: Emo s—.
C: Because I’m already invisible enough.
M: Oh my god! Spare me.
C: I’m just kidding. Maybe like stopping time, just pausing and then like doing whatever, and—
J: Putting your butt on stuff…
M: You know when you just wanna put your butt on stuff but you can’t.
C: I want to have invisibility, but only when no one is looking at me.
All: *laughs loudly*
M: You just like appear…oh my god. I think it would be cool to — I mean flying would be dope, but I think it would be cool to breathe underwater. I’d just do that all the time.
C: So you just want to be a fish?
M: I would like be able to like morph into a horse or something. Oh, morphing! What do they call it? Animorphic? I want to be able to do that.
C: Her superhero name would be horse girl.
R: Nah, she’d be the centaur. She’d be part of the Justice League.
M: No way! I don’t want to be a centaur. I want to be full horse or full me… just shape shifting would be cool. I could just be anyone, that’d be funny.
J: Can my super power be attractive and financially supported?
R: So, I’ve thought about this question a lot, and basically whenever you get a superhero power, there’s weaknesses too. If you have the power of flight, you’re going to be cold flying all the way up there. If you’re invisible, you’re gonna get hit by a car. If you breathe underwater the rest of your body isn’t used to the water, so you’re gonna die…
M: I’m assuming that power comes with like a pair of gills and probably webbed feet, very “Shape of Water”-esque.
R: I just want the most useless superhero power so there would be no weaknesses. Like a super fine metabolism. That’s all I want.