By BRADLEY ZORGDRAGER
People are usually sent for anger management against their own will and rarely check themselves in.
But that’s exactly what 5,000 people are doing every week when they tune into the Anger Management show on the Conestoga College radio station, CJIQ.
Mike Thurnell, program director for CJIQ, said although the rating services make it impossible to get the number of people tuning in for one night, they estimate approximately 5,000 listen to some metal music between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. on Thursdays.
The show is also streamed live via the CJIQ website and on Stickam, which allows people to regularly tune in from places as far as Australia and states such as California and Oregon.
Andrew Geddes, or Gruesome Geddes as he’s known on the show, is the show’s only host. He said many people have different ideas of what metal is, but he generally defined it.
“Metal is aggressive, passionate music with heart. Compared to a lot of top 40, there’s actually instruments being played.”
He said Anger Management mainly plays metalcore, deathcore and post-hardcore, but branches out after midnight for a section called Classic Cuts, where anything goes. He’s played music as diverse as Slayer and Queen during this section, which typically runs for 15 minutes to a half-hour.
Geddes decides when to return to his regular programming by gauging listeners’ interest on the show’s Facebook page or Stickam. When he first started the show, over six years ago, he would only get a few phone calls per night. He said the program is “totally interactive” now, which helps him choose what he plays to keep the listeners happy.
“If you don’t keep the audience entertained, they’re just going to switch and go to YouTube or their iPod or whatever.”
It appears that Geddes is succeeding in entertaining his audience; Thurnell said CJIQ did some research on the general appeal of their shows and Anger Management was one of the most recognized and enjoyed programs.
“Anger Management is one of our most successful shows. It’s definitely the one that people comment on. … Obviously we have a lot of listeners who tune into the regular CJIQ format, but in terms of the specialty programs Anger Management is probably the No. 1.”
Geddes has some other tricks up his sleeve to satisfy listeners, including the Geddes Book of World Records segment in which he tells funny, true news stories he finds. He tries to keep them as bizarre as possible, such as Darth Vader robbing a convenience store and someone catching him while he attempts to get away on a bicycle.
In his International Days Of section, Geddes brings the most pointless holidays he can find to his listeners’ attention, including Talk Like a Pirate Day or National Kick Butt Day.
Geddes also has a Rant of the Week that allows him to go off on funny topics, such as his hatred of Febreeze commercials, or more serious subjects, such as people who drink and drive.
Geddes, who isn’t paid, said he does the show for fun.
He cut his teeth in the radio industry at age 14, when he co-hosted a Jamaican music show, with the on-air name Reggae Drew. He got his own show at age 16 because CJIQ was looking for shows and since he already had some experience working there, he was a shoe in.
According to Thurnell, the show has just grown from there.
“We thought it would be successful, but I don’t think I envisioned just how far the show’s come. I mean six years? And when you look at the evolution of the show, you know. As he himself (Geddes) says, he was like a 16-year-old kid with a stack of CDs.”