Podzilla 1985

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fifteen on Friday

With the invention of streaming music on just about every device you have in your pocket, on your watch, and secretly implanted behind your ear, it's hard to find a reason to get excited about a radio station. 

Then there is Real Rock 99.3 in Southeast Missouri. Not only does it have the guy with the amazingly rocktastic voice doing ads (you know the one I mean, what the hell is that guys name?), but you have the one and only Hunter Hendricks at the helm of the ever popular "Shut Up and Rock" morning show.

Double H is no ordinary DJ. He knows his stuff, he's a long time gamer, and we fought the good war for many years at a corporation so evil we can't even legally say its name. Seriously, we can't. They have lawyers like we have crushed dreams. We've been compatriots together, friends together, and casualties together, and we still make time every morning to catch him on the radio.

Through all of the adventures and changes in his life and career, Hunter has remained a charming, accomplished, and interesting human being. And that's just the kind of person we created this segment for.

It's the RETURN of Fifteen on Friday - fifteen questions, one interesting person.

How did you get involved with the radio DJ scene?

Here's the Spaceballs "SHORT short" version: Back in my senior year of high school in '03, I was asked to commentate my alma mater (New Madrid County Central)'s basketball games for 105.3 KYMO. I knew next to nothing about basketball, but I caught on fairly quick, and the speaking part came naturally. From there, I got my Bachelors in Mass Comm and finished the radio program at SEMO, interned at River Radio in the promotions department, and got hired on at the end of that. So from there, the rest is pretty much history.

You've interviewed some pretty cool people on 99.3, who are some of your favorites and who do you never want to talk to again?

My all-time favorite interview was actually for 102.9 K103. I got lucky enough to actually have WWE's The Miz come into the studio. Most interviews are done via phone, but this was a rare exception, and not only was he a great interview, but he was really gracious about sticking around for pictures afterward.

Worst, though? No offense to the guy, but Jack Swagger was the most boring interview I've done so far. It seemed like he was really tired, which I understand, but he clearly didn't want to be on the phone that morning.

What is it like becoming a recognizable voice that everyone knows? Has the celebrity status gone to your head?

Ha! You'd be surprised, actually--most people are too nervous (or too unsure of their assumption) to actually say anything, and I've been recognized as much by appearance as I have by voice, I'd say. I'm flattered, certainly, and I've even signed a few autographs over the past five or six years, but as long as I'm continually fed peeled grapes and fanned with gigantic leaves, I'll remember my humble roots.

Do you listen to any of the music you play on your show, or do you feel queasy whenever it comes on outside of work?

Definitely still a fan. The Foo Fighters eat up a large chunk of my iTunes playlist, along with Avenged Sevenfold, Three Days Grace, Soundgarden, etc. Still, though, there's something to be said for radio fatigue; when I'm away from work, I do find myself trending toward more soulful stuff--Sara Bareilles is a big favorite of mine--or the taste of my college days (The Starting Line, Motion City Soundtrack, etc.)

Most overplayed song on the radio right now and all time?

Right now, it's In This Moment's "Adrenalize." Good tune, but I'm singing it in my sleep lately. Of all time? I could probably live without hearing Metallica's "One" again.

You're a gamer, we're gamers, can you answer the big question? XBox One or PS4, and why?

I can answer that question, but it's going to be a cop-out answer of "both, eventually, and neither immediately." The last system I early-adopted was the Wii, and mine threatened to brick right out of the box, so I'm pretty much permanently scarred on buying anything in its first production run. That said, Sony's obviously got the PR upper hand at the moment, and Microsoft is trying to force me into a camera peripheral that may not even work in my relatively-small living room, so the first one on my shopping list will likely be the PS4.

Did you get a chance to check out E3? What upcoming games are exciting Double H?

I did! Honestly, I was really excited to see something (ANYTHING) related to Kingdom Hearts 3, but as far as impending games go, there are a handful on my list: Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Splinter Cell: Blacklist are my current-gen picks, while Watch_Dogs looks like it'll be a must-buy for next-gen systems. However, the one that really has my attention at the moment is the farthest away, and it's going to require a new console, too: Super Smash Bros on the Wii U, of course.

You worked for quite a few years in selling games, has your views on gaming changed since being on the other side of the counter, and are you disappointed in the crop of gamers today?

 I wouldn't say I went through a total paradigm shift or anything, but yeah, it's different. When I was working in game retail, I would try pretty much anything that came across the counter, but I'm definitely pickier now, due in part to being busier as well. If I'm buying a game, I'm probably planning to keep it, at least for a while. As for today's gamers, my only disappointment is their insistence upon multiplayer, especially when it's unnecessary, and even if it's done well. I'll forever grieve over the Mass Effect trilogy not remaining a single-player epic throughout all three installments.

Shop at Gamestop or a hammer to the groin?

There's a "ball-peen" joke in here somewhere; I just know it.

We know you like to frequent the nostalgic game shops for those classic titles, do you prefer the retro stuff or are you more into the current gen scene?

In general, there are far more classic games that I remember fondly than there are "new classics," as it were, but this is the same problem you run into with music, or movies, or anything else in pop culture: the cream rises to the top, and years later, it's all you remember. That said, I love retro gaming, but in all honesty, I'm far more likely to pick up my 360 controller than my Super Nintendo one on a whim.

The war between Microsoft and Playstation is nothing new to old school fans of the gaming scene. Nintendo or Sega, where were your loyalties in the first console war?

I was kind of a gaming hipster (before it was cool, of course) early on, so Sonic was infinitely cooler than Mario to me...but even then, I recognized that the NES (and later, the SNES) had a better overall game library. My Genesis pretty much existed solely for the Sonic series and the superior version of Aladdin; otherwise, it was Nintendo all the way.

You're also a well known old school wrestling fan, do you still keep up with the current product?

I do, but admittedly, not as much as I once did. There was a time when I would've set an alarm to get up on the weekend and watch the Saturday morning shows, or I would go out of my way to find a friend who had UPN so I could watch Smackdown!--now, Monday Night Raw is about the only one that's regularly slotted into my schedule, and even then, it has to hook me in the first half-hour or so, or I'm out.

Wrestling's quality has been accused of declining since the era of the Monday night wars, is it still fun for you?

Sure, but again, not to the same degree was it was once before. I think a lot of that comes with age and experience; it's most fun for me now when I can't actively predict what's coming next. It's why guys like CM Punk and Paul Heyman jump to the top of my favorites list--they bring something intangible to the table that keeps me hooked.

Best wrestling game of all time?

Oh man, don't do this to me. Okay, I love the Smackdown series, but I spent the most time with WWF No Mercy and WWF Wrestlemania 2000 for the N64, and that was during the height of my wrestling obsession...and since The Rock (who is still my all-time favorite) was featured more prominently on the No Mercy box, let's go with that. Cliche`, but there's a reason for that.

Tell our fans when and where they can hear you, and give us a peek at the future plans of the great Hunter Hendricks.

Well, you can hear me hosting the Shut Up and Rock morning show on Real Rock 99.3 from 6:00 to 10:00 AM weekdays and Saturdays, and then I jump to 102.9 K103 for a little country from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM weekdays, including the All E-Quest Lunch Hour at noon. If you're outside our listening area, we're available online at realrock993.com or k103fm.com.

As for me personally, you'll just have to keep up with me to find out! I'm on Facebook at facebook.com/officialdoubleh, and on Twitter, I'm @DJDoubleH. As for gaming, my PSN and XBox Live handles are both RockstarDoubleH, but fair warning: I don't play online much, because I am a hermit and a killjoy. Maybe we can trade messages like virtual pen-pals or something.

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