KEXP's Headed for New York

John Richards explains why spending half the year in NYC will be good for Seattle listeners.

Listeners in the Big Apple will no longer have to rely on their broadband connection to get their fix of John Richards, Kevin Cole, and evenings of world music. Seattle's indie-rock tastemakers officially announced this morning that they have partnered with Radio New York 91.5 FM to create Radio Liberation, bringing the above-mentioned shows to N.Y.C. airwaves. Broadcasts begin March 24.To shed a little more light on what KEXP's partnership with Radio New York will mean to local listeners, I chatted with Richards (host of The Morning Show), Tom Mara (executive director), and Andrew Corey (programming manager).Here are the answers to a few of my questions. Note, some of my questions are paraphrased for your convenience.Will you be playing more New York bands now?Richards: I already play so many New York bands, actually. Usually every hour a New York band comes up just by shear quality. I can't imagine ever turning my back on Seattle music. I've been jacked into Seattle bands for years.I hear you'll be splitting your time between New York and Seattle. Is that true?Richards: Yes. Starting in June. It'll be about 50-50. Well, 70-30 this year. 70 being in Seattle.Will this be a Seattle show broadcast in New York City, or something different?Richards: I think it's just going to continue to be The Morning Show. I actually don't think the sound of the show's going to change at all. I guess there's going to be more mention of where I am. It's still a Seattle-based show, a Seattle-based station.How will local listeners hear a difference?Richards: I think the difference they'll hear is exposure to more music. I've been able to find more music. And geographically find more up-and-coming bands. I've been broadcasting out of New York for a long time. There's a reason we played Interpol first, and LCD Soundsystem. I think you'll hear us discovering more bands, just because of what N.Y. is, being a mecca, being close to Europe.How will this be better for Seattle listeners?Richards said there will likely be more in-studio performances, including those from artists who might not visit Seattle.Mara: From a mission perspective, it just makes a lot of sense. Being able to export our talent that has already emerged in Seattle and put it in front of 14 million people. That's just a good thing.Richards: I thought about that today when I was playing Blue Scholars. (N.Y.C. listeners) might not have ever heard our local hip-hop scene (until our show). To me, that's so great for our musicians.Regarding syndication:Mara: We're going to be learning a lot in this coming year. We don't have aspirations to syndicate KEXP to other stations yet. I don't think we should think about that until we have this experience under our belt.John, do you want to be the Carson Daly of indie rock?Richards: If I never become Carson Daly, I will be successful in my pursuit. Now, if I can bring more music to more people, that'll be great.

 
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