Ian Camfield: 7 Questions (Uncut)
Since launching “Camfield in the Morning” on Alt AZ 93.3 on April 20, British DJ Ian Camfield has regaled listeners with odd news, interesting interviews and, of course, copious indie rock. We caught up with him between songs.
1. You've been a radio DJ in the U.K. and in New York. How does being on-air in Arizona compare?
The listeners in AZ are way nicer. I think the sunshine helps people's temperament. Everyone has been very welcoming and enthusiastic to be a part of the show, whether they talk to me on Facebook, twitter, or on the phone. New Yorkers also took to my show, but not so quickly. It took a couple of months to win over the guys in Jersey, who would call in saying "Who's the limey?!!"
2. You do a great job as solo host of your morning show on Alt AZ 93.3, "Camfield in the Morning." But if you could pick a morning show partner, anyone from anytime in history, who would be some of your candidates?
I would really like to host something with Craig Ferguson. I love James Corden on the Late Late Show, but I was a big fan of Craig. He was never a big deal in the UK, but came to America, loved it and really cracked it over here. He did it by being good, and really showing everyone how much he loved the country. He even became a citizen, his autobiography is called American On Purpose. So I think we have a lot of common ground there, as far as the desire to be a part of American media goes. Knowing we could have stayed in the UK, but we really had a hunger to be a success in the States, cos, quite honestly, it's way better out here! Plus, I know he was great at coming up with material on a daily basis, cos his show was also on five days a week. I'd quite like to share that workload!
3. Over the course of your career, you've played a range of music genres for different stations, from country to adult contemporary to alternative rock. What are your own favourite music genres and what do you like about them?
I think Alternative is in a great place right now, and that is proved by the resurgence of the format. Ten years ago stations were flipping out of Alternative, since Alt AZ signed on in PHX there has been a number of other markets flip to Alternative. The popularity of acts like Florence And The Machine, Royal Blood, Catfish And The Bottlemen, Fitz And The Tantrums etc have reinvigorated the genre. I think post the 90s Grunge explosion Alternative struggled to find its place as a format, but the cycle of music means it's been redefined with fresh talent, and is very strong right now.
I also like a lot of Hard Rock, some of my favourite bands are groups like Motorhead, Five Finger Death Punch and Iron Maiden. I have hosted specialty shows on various stations championing that kind of stuff.
I can't say I was ever a big Country fan. That gig was more about being on a London radio station at age 16, which was a big achievement. I grew to appreciate some of the greats, like Glen Campbell. Who I actually saw on his final tour, after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and he was magnificent. Even with the illness. But I can't tell you I have a Country playlist on Spotify.
4. You just started hosting your morning show this past April, but do you have any favourite local bands here yet?
We did a great session at the Graduate Hotel with Kongos a couple of weeks ago. They're local and I really like them. Funnily enough, they also spent some time living in London, although not much, cos they don't sound anything like me. But they've been in the valley a long time and call Phoenix home.
5. What do you miss most about England?
About ten people and cheese! The cheese is better in England! It's a bit rubbery here in comparison! I am close to family and a few friends in the UK, but aside from that I really miss nothing. I love the lifestyle out here, I love how friendly the people are and the weather is great. In comparison with London, Phoenix is like living on another planet, and I really like that. I say on air, I'm America's biggest fan, and I really mean that. It's wonderful being in a place which thrives on ambition and celebrates success. I think if you choose to live in a certain country, then you really love that country.
6. Your show starts at 5:30 a.m. What time do you usually get up and what is your morning ritual like?
Alarm goes off at 4:20, I shower, check emails in case something important has happened overnight, then get in the car by 4:45. I get to the station just after 5. I plan most of the show the day before, so when I get into the building I'll go through the plan with my producer and get any audio clips ready. Then we hit the air at 5:30. The show may not run exactly as I mapped it out the day prior, sometimes listeners call in with reactions to a certain bit and they take you in a completely different direction, which is great. I think it's essential to be flexible and I love listener participation. But it's also good to go in with a plan of what you're doing when, and how you're going to get to 10 a.m., which we do each morning.
7. How do you find so many different things and amusing things to talk about in the mornings?
Show prep is the key! I have a number of resources I use. But I can't tell you what they are, cos then all the Morning Shows would be using them, and I need everyone to listen to me. Otherwise I'll have to go back to England, and I don't want that! I've got too used to the free coffee refills here!
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