Gimme Your Answers (Beyond the Stage): An Interview w/ Raina Douris

Raina DourisEver wonder what happens beyond the stage? Well we do. These roadies, managers, guitar techs, lighting directors, A&R, and even positions you may not have known about make the music you love come alive! We had the opportunity of speaking with former on-air personality for 102.1 the Edge, and Indie88‘s Music Director and Host, Raina Douris. Raina has been sharing her love for music on air for years now, and when I think of someone who’s driven and passionate about sharing music with the city they adore, the first person who comes to mind is her. It was a pleasure chatting with Raina about Indie88, outtakes, bands we should keep an eye on, and more, so dig in!

AMBY: Hi Raina, cheers for speaking to AMBY. How did you first get into your industry?

Raina Douris: Hello AMBY! Thanks for having me! Well, I first dabbled in radio when I was a kid with a tape recorder. I’d record my own commercials and radio shows that no one ever heard (although, I’m sure if someone HAD heard them, they’d conclude that I was a radio prodigy. [Just kidding. Seriously. They were probably terrible.]) But for real? I went to Ryerson’s Radio & Television Arts program. At the beginning of my second year, I started interning with 102.1 the Edge’s Intern Army. Things moved pretty quick after that. Soon I was also an intern for Corus Radio’s Interactive Department (web stuff) – where I founded the Edge’s Indie Online program – an online platform that aimed to give a home to local independent bands. One day, the Program Director at the Edge (the boss) heard me on-air promoting Indie Online with an announcer, and he said: “Hey. You should have talked to me before just going on the radio, you can’t just do that… BUT you sound pretty good… would you be interested in doing more on-air work?” To which I replied… “YES.”

AMBY: Please explain to people what you do.

Raina Douris: I’m the Music Director and Afternoon Drive Host for Indie88. That means that, along with the Program Director, I help shape the sound of the station. More specifically, my job is to go out to shows, to keep my finger on the pulse of Toronto’s music scene and to listen to EVERYTHING I can. Plus, once we launch our full announcer schedule, you’ll be able to hear me playing you tunes and talking every afternoon, Monday – Friday.

AMBY: You’re an afternoon host on Toronto’s Indie88. Congrats on the new gig! What’s your favourite track to spin so far?

Raina Douris: That’s like asking me which of my babies is my favourite! It’s a tough one… but the sweetest spins are when you get a chance to play something on air that’s NEVER been played on the radio in Toronto. Things like Animal Collective… LCD Soundsystem… those ones are fun. And playing local acts like July Talk and Dinosaur Bones is always special. On Friday, August 16th, I got two hours to play anything I wanted – that was one of the most fun two hours of radio I’ve ever made — you can check out that playlist right here.

AMBY: Rain’s World is an absolute treat! What’s one of the best moments you’ve had while recording an episode?

Raina Douris: Oh, man, every single one had its beautiful moments. Let’s see… there is an outtake , probably the only outtake I ever posted from those episodes, of The Darcys drummer Wes & frontman Jason telling the longest, most boring, and somehow most hilarious stories ever — through puppets. It’s here. It’s 10 minutes long. I’ve watched it probably at least 10 times.

AMBY: What is the craziest work-related thing to happen to you?

Raina Douris: There have been tons. Meeting bands & musicians I’ve always admired… being allowed to even talk on the radio in the first place… getting this job! One big one I’ll always remember was being whisked away to the secret White Stripes show when they were in town a couple years back. That was pretty nuts.

AMBY: Which bands should we keep our eyes open for?

Raina Douris: I’ve just heard about this band Weaves – they performed at NXNE in a sweaty, crowded basement, and put on one of the most electric, buzzworthy shows I’ve seen in a while. I think Pup is gonna hit big in pop-punk land. And Mac Demarco – he’s already getting out there, but I think he’s probably one of the most interesting Canadian artists making music today.

AMBY: What is the best and worst thing about your gig?

Raina Douris: Best: Getting to play music I love for the city I love. And then getting to talk to that city about that music I love…. and getting to go out to shows for work. Worst: I have a crippling caffeine addiction.

AMBY: Which three albums changed your life?

Raina Douris: Big Shiny Tunes 1 (seriously, it was the first CD I owned, and I played it until it stopped working.) Ben Folds Five – Whatever And Ever Amen. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Paviliion.

AMBY: Who would you like to be most and least stuck in an elevator with?

Raina Douris: Most: Ira Glass, Least: Taylor Swift

AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about you that nobody knows yet?

Raina Douris: I had the word “Internet” tattooed on my ankle a couple summers ago in a kitchen. Maybe not the wisest decision, but I still love it because the Internet RULES, you guys. Also, I like to draw stuff:


Thank you Raina, for giving us your answers!

Follow Raina on Twitter here, and Indie88 here.

Alicia Atout

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