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WAM INTERVIEWS: RTRFM presenters on Radiothon & WA’s best acts

14 Aug



RTRFM‘s annual Radiothon is upon us, requiring WA music lovers to dig deep for the independent station. To celebrate this and the Radiothon Party Saturday 15 August, WAM interviewed presenters (and let’s just say it, Perthonalites) Caitlin Nienaber, Devo, Rok Riley, Will Bixler, Holly Doll and Dave Cutbush about why the radio station is so important to the cultural fabric of WA, and their picks for the best in the west!



Your show: Breakfast with Caitlin. Weekdays between 6 and 9am. Music, regular guests, conversation, live performances and good times to start each day.

How long have you been at RTRFM and what’s driven you to volunteer your time to the station? I started as a volunteer at the station in 2009 and started presenting Breakfast in January this year. I love everything about RTRFM: the people, the music, the events, even my 6am starts … I love being a part of a community and being able to listen to the best radio station in the world.

Why should people subscribe? RTRFM is unmatched as a media organisation and a champion of West Australian music. There’s nowhere else that has the history, the independence and the passion of so many people behind it. Our volunteers and our audience are essential for our survival.

Your fave show? Rok Riley’s Friday arvo Full Frequency show is the winner for me – the tunes are sick and the vibes are high! I have so many favourites though – Artbeat, Saturday Jazz, Black & Blue, Golden Apples of the Sun and Drastic on Plastic are a few…

Fave 3 WA acts that get you going and why?

► Joni in the Moon – Joni Hogan has an incredible star quality – even if she’s coming in to sing just to me on Breakfast, she’ll dress up and put on a show.

► Koi Child – They might come across as loose dudes, but they’re tight-as on stage.

► Pat Chow – Their song Pleasure Unit is off the hook.

Predicted highlights at the Radiothon Party? Magnolia’s Late Night Live backyard talk show bringing many laughs and many more weird moments… Scalphunter tearing Jimmy’s Den a new one… The fabulous Catlips inside Connections… Hip-shaking good times at The Bird with The Spunloves…



Your show: Friday Full Frequency. Many styles.

How long have you been at RTRFM and what’s driven you to volunteer your time to the station? I’ve been at RTR for about 18 years. What’s driven me is a belief and love in music and its power to bring good people together to do amazing things.

Why should people subscribe? Because RTR is a rare independent voice of the local community. It’s getting harder and harder to find this these days. And because it plays incredible music and gives so many people, both those presenting and listening a sense of belonging in this city.

Your fave show/presenter to listen to? I love every show on RTR for different reasons. Its diversity is incredible and every presenter is uniquely amazing. But Underground Solution has been a huge influence on me and continues to be! That show makes everything feel ok no matter how shit things are.

 3 WA acts that get you going?

► Catlips

►Mei Saraswati


All really incredibly talented and captivating performers. Oh, and Basic Mind.

Predicted highlights at the Radiothon Party? Catlips is always incredible to watch live – can’t wait to see what Splash Brothers play too, and the Monarchy DJs always bring it. Going to try and to run so I can catch Rat Columns and The Spunloves too as I haven’t seen them perform yet and know they will be amazing!



Your show: Rhythm Trippin and occasionally off the bench for Full Frequency. Saturday Nights 11pm to 1am. Drum and bass, hip hop, breakbeat and everything in between.

How long have you been at RTRFM and what’s driven you to volunteer your time to the station?

Since 1997ish – so that’s a fair while! It’s mainly being part of an awesome community and being surrounded by likeminded people. And at the time when I started, it was the chance to play music that you couldn’t hear anywhere else on radio in Perth.

Why should people subscribe? To support the station that supports your ears! Without RTRFM Perth would be a very bland place musically.

Your fave show/presenter to listen to? Friday Full Frequency with Rok Riley. She always plays the best tunes and makes the end of the week bubble along.

Fave 3 WA acts that get you going and why?

► Scalphunter – The best thing I’ve seen in years and years. Straight up, no frills, balls-out punk.

► Mot3k – Two techno producers making some serious noise worldwide. Watch this space.

► Cup & String – A pair of producers making some seriously bass heavy garage and 2-step.

Predicted highlights at the Radiothon Party? Scalphunter blowing people away. Again.



Your show: Out to Lunch, Thursday. The OTL that your Mum, your children and your pets hate.

How long have you been at RTRFM and what’s driven you to volunteer your time to the station? I started at RTRFM in 1992. It is a real station run by humans who give a fuck and listened to by people who don’t eat the mainstream shit they are fed by corporate arseholes.

Why should people subscribe? At its best, RTRFM is riveting listening. It is the kind of station that keeps you enthralled in your car when you have arrived at your destination. It reminds you what time it is by the consistency and inconsistency of its programming. It defies the ever-expanding commercial takeover in this country. And it offers an alternative to a public media which is increasingly under the thumb of the federal government. At its best, RTRFM pushes boundaries, makes you contemplate, is totally weird and yet is passionate, inclusive and thoughtful. RTRFM is an ever-changing, evolving and expanding community. Without it Perth would be a far less appealing city. RTRFM is the city’s cultural heart. Help power the fight for the sound alternative and #digdeep during Radiothon 2015.

Your fave show/presenter to listen to? Hard one! I have a few but I could pick 20. Paisley Ray and Captain Trips on Woodstock Rock, Scott, Scott and Deryk on Critical Mass, Sarah D on Posted, The Black Captain on anything and Sandy on OTL.

Fave 3 WA acts that get you going and why?

► Drowning Horse – So heavy, so brutal – yet such gentlemen.

► Mt Mountain – I get high just listening.

► Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving – Not bad for Eagles supporters.

Predicted highlights at the Radiothon Party? The Whipcracker dancing on a table top at Connections.



Your show: Full Frequency, Thursday from 3-5pm with myself and Jo Lettenmaier. And Bass Check once a month, Tuesday nights from 11pm-1am. Full Frequency is specialist electronic music show, with no boundaries or genres. The styles I predominately play are hip hop, dubstep (proper dubstep!), instrumental beats, jungle/D&B, footwork and other experimental bassy sounds, with every show finishing in a live house and techno DJ mix. We are also big supporters of local producers, so send us your tunes please local producers!

How long have you been at RTRFM and what’s driven you to volunteer? I have been in and out of the RTRFM studios for the last three or so years, officially becoming a presenter nearly two years ago, and taking over the reins with Jo on Thursday Full Frequency in May 2014. I am extremely passionate about quality underground dance music, with the Full Frequency show introducing me to many new sounds over the years of listening to it. To be given the opportunity to take over a show that influenced me so much and ensure excellent electronic music is accessible on FM frequency band in Perth drives me each and every week to dig deeper. RTRFM offers amazing music (be it local, interstate, or international) that can not be heard elsewhere on the radio in Perth. Not only that, but the news, current affairs, interviews and informational segments are second to none, and it is amazing to be a part of it all.

Why should people subscribe? People should subscribe due to the last paragraph above – the content RTRFM provides is not only exceptional, but not on offer by any other radio station. It is an amazing community full of people from all backgrounds, with one thing in common: They are all extremely dedicated, passionate people, committed to bringing the audience the absolute best radio available, from local environmental information on Understorey to the latest in Dancehall on Jamdown Vershun, and (almost literally) everything in between. Subscribe to ensure this all remains available!

Your fave show/presenter to listen to? This one is way too hard! I love so many shows, with favourites being Disco Science, El Ritmo, Bass Check, Soulsides, All City, Global Rhythm Pot, Jamdown Vershun, Underground Solution, and Ambient Zone. My all time favourite (for quite a few years now!) would have to be Friday Full Frequency with the incomparable Rok Riley though. She is such an amazing, enthusiastic person, with a love and knowledge of electronic music that is an inspiration. She is half the reason I am doing what I am doing!

 Fave 3 WA acts that get you going and why? Again, very tough question, but I will list the first three that spring to mind (all who have amazing live shows):
► Mei Saraswati – an extremely talented producer and singer, she has been consistently one of the best acts in Perth for many years now. Her sound is a combination of amazing chilled beats and soundscapes, coupled with her stunning voice.

► Leafy Suburbs – another one of Perth’s finest talents, a man of many groups and aliases, Lyndon makes awesome synth-based experimental grooves, some ambient and others that you can definitely get down to.

► Diger Rokwell – yet another legend of the Perth electronic music scene, this man’s back catalogue is as varied as it is quality – full of psychedelic beats and “world music” flavours.

Predicted highlights at the Radiothon Party? Everything! In particular, getting to see Catlips, the {MOVE} Djs, and Rok Riley vs Andrew Sinclair should be a night of quality dance music. I’m also really looking forward to seeing The Kill Devil Hills again (one of my favourite bands for the last 11 years!), The Spunloves (great new garage rock) and Heathcote Blue (beautiful folk sounds).



Your show: Rock, Rattle & Roll (Tuesday 7pm – 9pm): Rockabilly, Rock N Roll, R&B, Blues, Surf, Garage. El Ritmo (Tuesday 9pm – 11pm) Exoitca, Calypso, Caribbean, Jungle, Latin. Burn The Airwaves (Thursday 10pm – 12am) Punk, Ska, Hardcore, New Wave, Garage

How long have you been at RTRFM and what’s driven you to volunteer your time to the station? I have been at RTR for about 4 years now. I have been listening to Rock, Rattle & Roll since I was a little kid and it was always a dream of mine to be a guest speaker on the show. I got that opportunity about 10 years ago and then my next dream was to become a presenter, which came true after I moved pack to Perth. I love being able to share the tunes I love or have recently discovered with others, and being apart of RTR means the world to me as I get to also support the local community and stay in touch with what is going around our amazing little town.

Why should people subscribe? You should subscribe to RTR because RTR puts in so much love and energy to support Perth’s music and arts.

Your fave show/presenter to listen to? Love listening to Soulsides. I have discovered some amazing artists listening to Soulsides and it is a great way to groove through your evening (or day if you are re-streaming).

Fave 3 WA acts that get you going and why?

► Them Sharks – Their mixture of ska and punk is the perfect combination!

► Grace Barbe – I literally cannot stop grooving when I hear her tunes.

► Nerve Quakes – Their tunes reminds me of being a teenager listening to Siouxsie & The Banshees in my bedroom trying to rebel the world hee hee.

Predicted highlights at the Radiothon Party? Looking forward to the line-up and the mayhem that will be happening at Jimmy’s Den.




Government of Western Australia Department of Culture and The Arts Australian Government

WAM is supported by the State Government through the Department of Culture and the Arts, and is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.