Meet the new hosts of Radio K morning show Rock & Roll Over

Meet the new hosts of Radio K morning show Rock & Roll Over

For the past 17 years, the U of M's Radio K has run the morning show Rock and Roll Over, and it received two brand new hosts this week. Kind of. Abbie Gobeli and Zach McCormick aren't exactly new to Radio K -- Zach has been part of the team for six years, and Abbie has been there since 2011. Listeners will also recognize Zach as the former co-host of Radio K's Off The Record. 

The pair have quite a schedule lined up for the three-hour weekday morning show that is the revamped Rock and Roll Over. Mondays will feature episodic programs like Radio K International or K.U.K., Tuesdays focus on local music, Wednesdays feature previous in-studios, Thursdays will rotate themes, and Fridays will bring in a special guest DJ. Quite the rotation to keep track of, especially given the air time starts at 6 a.m.

Gimme Noise caught up with Zach over the phone to ask him some questions about changes to the program, staying awake for the whole show, and living in the Golden Age of Twin Cities music.

Gimme Noise: Before Rock and Roll Over, you were on Off The Record. How is the format different for you?

Zach: They're both flagship Radio K shows. With Off The Record, it was much more of a set show. The idea is kind of a more local side than what we would normally play, a lot more focus on indie rock stuff and a lot of the newer local stuff. With Rock And Roll Over, it's kind of a new show, and there's a little more creative control there. I'm able to have a lot more input, whereas Off The Record is kind of a set thing.

These days, what we're trying to do is bring it back to being a Radio K morning show, to integrate more station content and what we do at Radio K -- local music, guests from around the Twin Cities, that kind of thing. The idea was to have Radio K's take of on the traditional morning show -- less talking than the Current's Coffee Break, but more than an average Friday show.

Zach McCormick
Zach McCormick

Does it really suck having to be awake and ready to go at 6 a.m.? How do you manage to stay awake?

The first week was really difficult... 4:45 was a really difficult wake up time, then to be at the studio by 5:45 and on the air at 6 is rough... but it's pretty easy to wake up to playing music. I guess the only problem so far has been in inclement weather, since I bike, and then I get to the studio and I'm covered in sweat.

What's it like co-hosting with Abbie? Do you think you guys can play off each other well?

Abbie's great. We didn't really know each other before we started working with each other, and we've got different backgrounds. I come from a lot of Twin Cities punk rock and hip-hop, and I'm really into old soul, and she's really into the new stuff, the new local indie bands. I tend to be sort of luddite sometimes skeptical when it comes to that stuff, so I think we balance each other.

Abbie Gobeli
Abbie Gobeli

So what are some of your favorite local bands at the moment?

Audio Perm, from South Minneapolis. They're really great, the beats are pretty good... if you're at all into local hip-hop, they're probably my favorite hot new group. Frozen Teens have been really impressing me lately, they're catchy Twin Cities pop-punk type stuff. And, of course, there's the old stand-bys: Heiruspecs, I Self Devine, Dillinger 4... I'm from South Minneapolis, so hip-hop and punk, that's always going to have something of a place in my heart. If I could resurrect one band, it would be Merge Left. I still listen to the one little record they made, and I think, "Man, if this band would have stuck around, they could have really done something."

The Rock and Roll Over program seems to be running a different theme for every day of the week. Thursdays feature a different theme each time -- what's this week's?

Tomorrow is vinyl. We pick stuff on kind of a weekly basis, and I hope to have a vinyl episode at least once a month. That's something that listeners respond to, that there's still someone there putting a needle on a record. There's something to be said for the sound of it, the physicality.

So, honest opinion: Twin Cities music scene. Golden Age? Everything we've ever wanted and more? There are a lot of strong opinions out there, and I'm curious how you weigh in on this one.

I don't know if the Golden Age of local music ever left the Twin Cities. Being a Minneapolitan at heart, I think we just crave validation. I think we've been cool for a while, and I think anyone who's been involved with music here will tell you that. They'll tell you that we've always had one of the strongest scenes in the country, and now, thanks to the internet or the styles at the moment, groups like Polica and Doomtree kind of take off. There's nothing that could be lost from local bands getting attention... hopefully we'll draw more interested people.

Is there a lot of buzz right now? Yes. Is there a lot of pressure? Yes. It's easier to play a song by a band that everyone knows, but I feel like Radio K exists to play the new basement band, and the Current exists to play the new Peter Wolf Crier. It feels really tight, but that's kind of exciting, where you're constantly fighting to get attention. Local music has never been easy. The Golden Age? It started back in the '60's, and I don't think it's left yet.

That's a really great answer.

(Laughs) I've been thinking about that one for a long time.

Cool. So, anything big coming up for Radio K that we should know about?

I'm not sure if I can talk about it officially, but... there's a big live music thing coming up involving Radio K, involving the resurrection of a big Radio K name... and we'll be announcing what it is on August 1.

Rock and Roll Over takes place every weekday from 6-9 a.m. at 100.7FM, 104.5FM, 106.5FM, 770AM, and online at 

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