The Goo 1
Regular JOHN BRERETON BEHIND THE SCENES PHOTOS BY
: NORMA BURKE 8RADIO 8Radio, the online station whose motto is ‘playing the music we like’, celebrates ten years in existence this September. Founded by former Phantom FM boss Simon Maher, the station is a veritable treasure trove of great music from across the genres, all ably presented by a mix of experienced and fresh voices and has been at the forefront of championing great new Irish artists. We caught up with one of its main transmitters, the irrepressible Dan McDermott, as he prepares for another stint on FM to celebrate their birthday. What sparked your love of the wireless Dan? Many things - but the earliest to spark my interest in Radio was Ian Dempsey, and I remember hearing him introduce U2’s 'Mysterious Ways' and as a kid, experiencing new music, having a pride about U2 - but not really understanding why, and I thought the song was great - the opening riff is, for the time, so unique. I wanted to play that on the radio! Buying music was expensive then, but Radio offered you your favourite music all day. I wanted to be one of those voices on the radio. I wanted to be that companion in a person’s day. I wanted to be the one to hear the track for the first time - before everyone else - and then play it; over the air. For free. On a device that anyone could own. And you could change and choose stations. I loved how open and universal it was - and it still is today, but in a different way - at that time though, the price to play was tiny - the cost of a cheap radio - that was it. No fees. I also love the tech - that it’s possible to have a song PAGE 32 playing simultaneously, in every home in the nation… The song you think is cool, you’re sharing that moment with potentially hundreds of thousands of people - maybe millions! You’re having this big conversation. I mean come on - that’s a very cool and intoxicating thought. IT’S POSSIBLE TO HAVE A SONG PLAYING SIMULTANEOUSLY, IN EVERY HOME IN THE NATION How did you initially get into radio broadcasting? After years in retail, I worked in Sales at Spin1038. I had talked myself out of going after my dream of being ON the Radio, and instead I thought “Well, you can work IN Radio”. Spin and 98FM shared an office and studio facility, and I became friends with the legendary sports broadcaster, Johnny Lyons, who encouraged my love of radio and suggested I speak to Ballyfermot College, for the Radio Production Diploma. I applied on a chance to nothing, in late applications. Got the interview, got the place - and took the leap! DAN MCDERMOTT Studied for 2 years, got work with iRadio while studying, had some great experiences there thanks to the team led by the PD Alan Swan. Had a great experience in College too - made lifelong friendships with colleagues and faculty. Founder and MD of 8Radio, Simon Maher, was my lecturer in college and I’m proud to say; my good friend these days. Simon mentored me through my career with iRadio, Nova, Christmas FM, and 8Radio.