David Best

What’s your name and your DJ name?

David Best, no DJ name

What’s the name of your show, and when is it on?

I have two shows: A Complete Breakfast, Saturdays, 7:00 – 9:00am; and the other one is The Wall of Death, Sundays, 7:00 – 8:00pm. 

Please describe your show. What’s its format?

Both my shows are free form music programs and I guess I don’t adhere to any genres but each show has its own tendencies, which change over time. Recently on A Complete Breakfast, I’ve been playing folk, blues and classic rock—sort of more cheerful stuff than I play on my other show. On The Wall of Death, I’ve been playing a lot of ambient music and 20th century composers and pop music but in a more dark and experimental vein. Wall of Death used to be on 7:00 to 9:00 Saturday mornings and it sounded a lot more like A Complete Breakfast does now. The name Wall of Death started out as a joke—it’s the name of a Richard and Linda Thompson song but makes it sound like it would be heavy metal music—but now that I’m on in the evenings, things are starting to go in that direction. Often I’m watching the sun set out the studio window, reflecting on the previous week and need some heavy noise to help me relax.

What drew you to participate in KMRD?

Growing up in North Carolina, I used to listen to a local college station whose format was almost entirely free form music, and I really liked being able to tune in without any expectation about what I was likely to hear. So I’ve always wanted to be a part of something like that. Being a DJ motivates me to keep looking for new music and new sounds. I still listen to that college radio station a lot and still draw a lot of inspiration from what I find there, and sometimes I find things online. I have lists going years back of songs, artists or just snippets of lyrics I’ve heard, so if I run out of fresh material, I can always go to that list and find something. Usually when I search for something online, I don’t just find the one song or artist, I’ll find other stuff related to it and then I’ll start to put a show together based on what I find. 

What’s the appeal of doing a radio show? How does it fit into the rest of your life (job, creative passion, family)?

Now that I have a show on Saturday mornings and one on Sunday evenings, it really bookends my weekends in an interesting way. It does help keep my work week from bleeding over into the weekend, and I’m self-employed so that’s a serious risk. Doing the 7:00 am show really disciplined my sleep schedule. After I stopped doing Wall of Death at 7:00 am, I kept waking up at 5:30 for weeks afterwards, automatically. I decided I wanted to be on early morning again after I had to be a witness in a mock trial for a friend in law school—we had to be at the courthouse at 7:00 am.

What difference has KMRD made in your life?

At about the same time that I started being a DJ, I also joined the Madrid fire department and was working at a research lab operating scientific equipment, so the number of buttons, switches, dials and gauges that entered my life all at once was pretty mind-boggling!

Being involved in the radio station has been a way for me to connect with the community in Madrid, meet my neighbors and develop friendships. I’m grateful to KMRD for creating a social space in Madrid that isn’t a bar.

What are your hopes for your show/for the station?

My hopes for my shows are that they always go smoothly without any technical difficulties and that I never run out of new stuff to play.

I’m really excited about KMRD producing documentaries and original reporting about our town, its people and its institutions, and finding new ways to be a resource for the community.