Denisa Kraus
The Navigator

From left: Ian James, Dave Read, Will Hills, Stephen Eisenkolb. Photo by Denisa Kraus

Interview with the hosts of The Huge Explosion, the weekly eclectic music parade on CHLY

Navigator: Why The Huge Explosion?  

Dave Read: My reasons for doing the show are the enjoyable gentlemen’s hang out sessions with my friends. We listen to some nice tunes, have good conversations, promote events, and get some opinions on the air to the people out there at the same time.

Will Hills: At this point, I’ve just become jaded, and I have to keep doing it for the longevity. At the heart of it, it’s my deep love of community radio and having a platform for broadcasting my opinion.

DR: Having the freedom to play whatever you want, say whatever you want.

Stefan Eisenkolb: Being anything decent is the purpose of me doing this show.

Ian James: There are no boundaries to The Huge Explosion. We can go really outside the box or we can stay in it. I love music and sharing it, sharing the show with these guys, and hearing their music.

N: Who do you hope to approach with your show?

SE:  People looking for new music.

WH: Music lovers.

SE: But not necessarily music lovers­—more like music explorers. You can be a music lover and listen to the same album every day.

WH: A consciencious audience, then.

IJ: I think we have a lot of artists of all kinds in our fan base, not necessarily only music fans.

N: Which parts of hosting do you enjoy the most?

IJ: I like talking about albums—who played on it, what year it came out and where.

DR: I like that, too.

SE: Picking music, probably.

WH: Mixing music, the actual playing of it.

IJ: And finding new music throughout the week is pretty exciting.

DR: Yeah, we all get new music from each other. Everybody brings something to the table and has a little bit of a story to go with it, to back it up. You leave the show and you know a lot more about music.

N: How do you prepare for each episode?

(Everyone giggles.)

IJ: We have a sauna and a hot tub at the aquatic centre…

DR: Followed by a sushi dinner prepared specifically for us by a secret but world famous chef who—

WH: shall not be named. “He who shall not be named.” Next question.

N:  What’s the most life-altering thing you’ve learned from hosting so far?

SE: Probably just how easy it is to be a DJ.

IJ: You can play 20 minute songs on a radio and they won’t shut you down.

DR: First time I levitated was the most life-altering thing for me. You guys haven’t levitated in here? I was leaning back in that chair and was like “wow I’m totally levitating.” It was to some unbelievable music.

IJ: For me it was when we played the new Volcano Choir LP, the entire A side. It was epic.

WH: No comment. Next question.

N: Where in Nanaimo do you go for inspiration?

WH:  The river. Can we all agree on that answer?

SE: I think I’d rather say the sea. Anywhere, just hear the sound, and smell.

IJ: Bowen Park for me most recently. And Colliery Dam Park.

DR: Will and I went to Pipers Lagoon this summer with Damo [Suzuki] this summer. It was epic. We saw eagles. Damo had his camera and was like, ‘oh shit,’ but, of course, they flew away before he could get the shot. Twice. That was classic. I like my jam room downstairs in the basement where we play music and do other stuff. It’s good to have, it’s a luxury.

WH:  I’m a big fan of my back yard.

N:  When you aren’t hosting your show, what do you do?

DR: Nothing. Pick records. I spend most of the time picking the records for the show. From the moment I leave here to the moment I arrive again the next Friday.

SE: That was a complete fabrication.

DR: Yet not entirely.

WH:   I’m not ready to give all the details.

DR: His lawyer can’t be reached at the moment.

WH:  I’m a student, I play music, read stuff occasionally. I play in a band, Colliding Canyons.  We all have bands. Stefan’s got Noose Tree.

DR:  I play in a band called Moths and Locusts.

IJ: I’m in Colliding Canyons  as well, and I play drums and banjo. We have a new band, playing our first gig on October 18.

DR: We also all play collectively in a superband—a fantasy band called Seven Potatoes. It was named by the legendary vocalist Mr. Damo Suzuki. He played here on July 6,s and eight of us [musicians] were fortunate enough to be his backing band, because he comes to towns and doesn’t have a band with him. He just improvises. Whoever plays behind him does whatever it is they do. It’s not always rock, it’s all over the map. So we got to play.

N:   If you could host your dream show…

WH:  You’re looking at it!

DR: We could use a couple couches instead of these office chairs, and a lava lamp would be wicked.

WH: Some drapery, more cushions, more turntables, and the old ones fixed.

SE: Maybe some vinyl collection, too.

IE: We’re living the dream show.

Listen to The Huge Explosion every Friday from 3-5pm on CHLY 101.7FM, or find the podcast at