* DJ of the Week – Hunter Kurtis *
DJ: Hunter Kurtis // DJ Von Kurtz
Genre: Loud Rock
Show: “Extreme Sounds”
Major: Computer Science
Hometown: Tacoma, Washington
What kind of show do you have and how long have you been a KUPS DJ?
I have a show that like, through metal music primarily, I try to tie lyrics together to tell a story around some theme. And I’ve had a show for about a year now – I’ve been a DJ for three semesters in a row.
Tell me more about what your show is.
Last semester, I had a similar idea where I’d pick an adjective that I was feeling that week and then I would pick music that sort of fit within that adjective. For example, I did one about nature and I found a bunch of songs that sounded nature-y or their lyrical content was about nature. And that was fun, but I wanted to try to challenge myself a little bit more so I thought using the lyrics to tell a story would be a little bit harder, and it’s been more fun.
What inspired the show name “Extreme Sounds”?
My friends call my music choices extreme, so I felt like they were extreme sounds.
What was the first concert you ever went to?
It was this punk band, the Die Hunns. And Duane Peters was their singer and he’s a skateboarder. But my first concert that I really remember was Metallica back in 2008 – that was fun. It was so loud I couldn’t hear for a day or two after, it was cool.
What was the first CD/vinyl/cassette tape you bought?
That’s a good question. It might have been either a Beach Boys CD or this German band – it was one of those. Yeah, I think it might have been a Beach Boys CD, I love The Beach Boys.
How did you get introduced to the music you play on your show?
In middle school, I went through a big Linkin Park/Metallica phase. And then in high school, I hung out with the metal kids. And they showed me music they got, progressively and progressively heavier in a way. So it was kind of just through my friend group. It started with Metallica, then it went to Lamb of God, Whitechapel, and from there, just darker and darker I guess.
Who are some of your favorite musicians/albums?
My favorite musician of all time is Devin Townsend, he is great. My favorite band is Strapping Young Lad, they’re a Canadian band, they broke up in 2007. All the bands I like are disbanded actually. Animosity is probably my second favorite band and they broke up in 2009. I’m really into Mastodon, they’re about to drop an album this Friday. And… who else? There’s a lot – I really like music. I got the new Ed Sheeran, haven’t really listened to it yet.
Are you an Ed Sheeran fan!? That’s so unexpected after hearing what you listen to.
I mean, my girlfriend likes Ed Sheeran so I listen to Ed Sheeran. He’s not bad. I listen to good music – if I think it’s good, I’ll listen to it. I don’t really care about the genre.
What’s your favorite part of being a DJ?
I like being able to share the music I enjoy with a wider audience. Because for a while, no one would listen to music with me ‘cause my musical taste is not in the “popular” sense. So it’s cool to be able to play music that I like and have people who enjoy it tune in and listen. And I try to explore metal in a way that’s not just like, the stereotypical Cannibal Corpse style of music. I try to focus more on the guitar playing and the musicianship of the music to show that there’s a different side to it than just this evil demeanor that most metal bands are giving off.
(Interview by Shanna Williams, Digital Media Director)