WSUM welcomes new Broadcast and IT Engineer

  • Post Author
    by Talk
  • Post Date
    Wed Aug 23 2023

By Matthew Thompson| Photo by Sarah Kirsch


Matthew Thompson: All right, well, welcome, WSUM family, to a new chapter, as Laura G is leave- has left us in July. We have a new member of the community, the family or whatever we want to call it. I don't have an official title for it. But we are welcoming Andrew to WSUM. And Andrew, what's your last name? Schneider? Andrew Schneider to the WSUM family. So, Andrew, to start us off, what is your official title?

Andrew Schneider: My official title? Yeah, my official title at the station is Broadcast and IT Engineer, which is a very broad title. But basically, if it is tech around here, it probably goes through me at some point.

MT: Definitely, definitely. So if we have any issues, basically come to Andrew. And what is it like being a tech person for a radio station?

AS: It is a lot. It is being ready at kind of a moment's notice for a variety of different issues with varying levels of urgency. Sometimes it is trying to just clean up cable management under a desk or in a rack. Sometimes it is getting a text message at midnight, because we're off the air. Sometimes it's just educating folks on, you know, the proper setup and how to get quality audio. So it's really just a lot of different things. All kind of generally related to broadcasting and audio.

MT: Yeah, no, definitely. So just basically making sure that we have a smooth ship sailing here at the studio.

AS: Exactly. Yeah. Generally, if a, if an engineer is doing their job, it's tough because you don't notice they're there.

MT: So, so basically, we should be noticing you as little as possible. So-

AS: If I'm doing my job, right, yeah.

MT: Okay, so if we notice you, we're gonna be like (claps), Andrew, what's going on?

AS: If you see me checking stuff out, yeah, there might be something that I'm investigating.

MT: Definitely, definitely. So how did you get involved with radio?

AS: I started back in my undergrad all the way back in — oh God — 2012. I started just as a QA, I was technically a community member volunteer, I went to Edgewood College, not UW. So as a result, I was never technically a student volunteer, I was always just a community member. So I was a community member DJ for a number of years. But I had a lot of weird — not titles, because I never held an official title but just a lot of weird stuff that I did. I actually met Kelsey back in my undergrad, our GM, we used to run what is now Snake Sessions. It was called at our day Live at WSUM, and we actually ran that together. I was basically her assistant; she needed a second pair of hands. Because back in those days, we would book like three live bands in a two hour block, which is just not something that a sane person should ever do. So she was like, “I need an extra pair of hands on Saturday afternoons who does not have classes?” And I was like, “I don't have classes. I'll show up. Why not?” So I just started doing that. I was a music DJ trainer for a little while as well, because the exec staff in that era needed somebody to cover the training session during meetings. And I was like, “Hey, I'm not exec, I'll do it. Why not?” And they were like, “Sure, you fit the bill.” But then I once I graduated college, I came back I think my first show back on the air was right at the beginning of 2022. I had been thinking about coming back through the pandemic because I was like, you know, I'm trapped in my house all the time. I want a hobby. But the timing never worked out. I was having dinner with Kelsey one night. And I kind of conceded. I was like “Yeah, I was thinking about, you know, maybe going through training and coming back,” and she said, “please do. I need somebody who won't come in drunk at night to do a night show.” And I was like, “Great! I could do that!”

MT: And so you have a music show, right?

AS: I do. Yeah.

MT: Yeah. What's the show called?

AS: The show's called the Left Hand Path. It is currently Saturdays at 10pm though that might change next semester, but it is, I think, the only metal block on the FM signal.

MT: Oh, so it's metal?

AS: Oh, yeah!

MT: So you listen to metal music?

AS: I do, yeah!

MT: So what are your favorite bands right now?

AS: Um, I mean, my favorite, like, my favorite active band, out of the band that I considered my ride or die at the moment is this band called Revenge. They are from Edmonton, Canada. Their base they're very extreme, just in terms of their sound just a real cacophonous like Wall of Sound sort of aggression. I can't get enough — the biggest knock that people send and have against them as they've written the same album six times, but that album is really good! I don't care, I'm fine with it. But yes, I tend to play mostly like black metal on my show — a little bit into the death metal scene as well as grind-core, but it's primarily all black metal all the time.

MT: Yeah, definitely. That's really cool. So you've been here at WSUM basically for a while, it's just now you get to get an official position.

AS: Exactly. Yeah-

AS: Yeah, I've never been a badger before. I was not a badger in college, and I am one now as a working staff.

MT: That's awesome. That's awesome. Well, we're excited to have you on board.

AS: Thanks!

MT: And so this has been our interview with Andrew Schneider, who you will be seeing around the station this coming semester and future semesters. For WSUM News, I'm Matthew Thompson.