PBS 106.7FM are currently promoting their PBS Radio Festival 2020: You Can’t Stop The Music. You can join up or renew your annual PBS membership, or simply make a donation via the PBS website (until Sunday May 31), during the station’s biggest online and on air fundraiser of the year. Tune into 106.7FM to catch tales from PBS’ past, cherished memories, guest appearances and your favourite PBS presenters sharing their thoughts on the many, many benefits of being a PBS member including, of course, a treasure trove of prizes.
We thought we’d do a few presenter spotlight’s during the festival, the first being Chris Pearson who does Pojama People on Wednesday’s from 10pm to midnight. Desert Highways is a proud up to date member of the station and supporter of this show. As well as for music in general, Chris does a lot to support the Melbourne music scene and we’re very proud to have been on his show numerous times including on air interviews in the studio, live sessions and Desert Highways releases being played on air.
The Radio Festival is vital to PBS to keep it functioning as we know and love it, to keep it moving forward and especially at this time, as they’re moving to a new premises very soon! If you’re a paid up member, well done! If you haven’t quite gotten there yet, please do so right now HERE! For more links, please see below the Q&A.
Desert Highways: How did you first get into community radio, PBS in particular?
Chris Pearson: I started listening to PBS on a regular basis when Triple R brought John Safran into the breakfast team. It was the last straw for me and breakfast announcers trying to be funny. Shut up and play your guitar, the Frank Zappa phrase, says it all for me.
DHWYS: How long have you had your show and what’s the drive behind it?
Chris: Pojama People will have been on air for ten years in a few months. The drive behind the show is live-in-studio specials, interviews and spotlighting upcoming gigs.
DHWYS: What styles do you primarily focus on?
Chris: Pojama People is a bit eclectic. Prog rears its head more often than some would like. Post rock, psych and seventies classic rock make regular appearances but mostly it’s a stoner-heavy psych vibe.
DHWYS: What do you get out of doing your show?
Chris: I have the great privilege of being on air for two hours, 10 till midnight each Wednesday, bringing new and well-loved music to listeners. I get a lot out of the feedback I get from various sources.
DHWYS: Why are shows like yours and PBS as a station important to the music community and Melbourne at large?
Chris: Shows like Pojama People, as with the other heavier shows on PBS, is an avenue for up-and-coming artists to have their music played on air and be interviewed about upcoming shows. Also a large dose of interviews and spotlights on upcoming gigs.
DHWYS: Why is it important for PBS listeners to sign up and become a member of the station?
Chris: It’s very important to have members join the PBS family as it’s where approximately 70% of our income comes from. Without members there is no PBS FM with all its wild variety of music from Bluegrass to Black Metal.
DHWYS: We’re at a very strange place in time with COVID-19. What role to you see music and PBS has right now and is it different from the usual?
Chris: PBS in light of corona is a respite for the ears in my opinion. We play music and are an escape from the constant stats and news on other media.
DHWYS: What do you think is going to be important with music / live music after restrictions are lifted?
Chris: As restrictions are eased it will be interesting to see how the landscape has changed with venues facing new challenges and PBS will be at the forefront informing listeners and gig-goers of what is happening.
DHWYS: Have you started anything new, picking up any hobbies, interests while in isolation?
Chris: I am a builder and I’ve been working during isolation as it happens, fixing up a couple of venues using the downtime to do some much-needed repairs.
DHWYS: How have you been coping with COVID-19 isolation?
Chris: Corona isolation is a very strange thing at PBS, especially with radio festival on at the moment. There is usually a massive amount of volunteer activity at this time with phone room member packs being filled and posted out to the new and renewing members. Announcers and bandmembers popping in to talk about why it is important to be involved at PBS.
DHWYS: What is something your listeners wouldn’t know about you?
Chris: Something my listeners might not know about me is that I’m Scottish. You’d never know it from my Australian accent.
DHWYS: What music are you listening to right now?
Chris: Right now, ABC Classic FM Beethoven.
More generally, Music mostly recorded live, as Pojama People is only playing live music at present. I miss seeing live shows as much as anyone and feel I can fill the gap in some small way.
DHWYS: What are some new releases / bands that are on your radar?
Chris: New releases are a bit light on the ground at the moment, however there is an excellent new Mogwai soundtrack, and Kadavar did an excellent live-in-studio set recently, the new album from Howlin Rain, who were due to be out here from the States recently with Endless Boogie, is a belter. Locally the new Cable Ties album is going to be album of the year for me.
DHWYS: Do you have anything special coming up on future shows?
Chris: I have been replaying studio 3 sessions that I’ve recorded over the last few years and some select studio 5 lives and coming soon, in and amongst those there will be some re-edited interviews with Adrian Belew (Frank Zappa, King Crimson, David Bowie, Talking Heads), Lydia Lunch, Steve Albini to name a few.
DHWYS: Any words of wisdom you’d like to leave us with?
Chris: I’ll leave you with this thought, when I present Pojama People it’s as if I’d come to your house with a box of records and played you some of my favourite music for two hours and as a bonus you still have some beer in your fridge. So invest the price of those beers in a PBSFM membership.
Pojama People with Chris Pearson is on Wednesday night from 10pm to Midnight. Tune in at PBS 106.7FM or stream it live from their site www.pbsfm.org.au.
To join / renew your membership, and to donate to PBS 106.7FM please CLICK HERE.