Erin Bond – Fredericton’s Music Cheerleader
Erin Bond strongly believes in the quality of music coming out of the East Coast. Since 2011, she has been waving the flag of local music as a campus radio DJ at Fredericton’s CHSR FM. In a relatively short period of time, Bond, or Bondo as she’s know to her listeners, has firmly established herself as the city’s voice for independent musicians through her programs, most notably, Homemade Jams.
“Homemade Jams is probably the show I’m most passionate about,” said Bond. “I was doing a show called Anything Goes on a weekly basis when station manager Tim Rayne saw what I was doing and how much I loved music. He called me up and asked if I would be interested in doing a daily show playing local music.”
Rayne’s plan was to structure the station’s weekday programming around three daily programs in key time slots. His idea was to position three consistent daily shows that CHSR listeners could rely on.
“Tim did Instant Breakfast in the mornings,” said Bond. “Our program director Mark Kilfoil was already doing noontime’s Lunchbox, which talks about events happening in our city plus interviews with locals promoting their projects, and I started to do the drive-home show which I named, Homemade Jams.”
While working full-time managing a retail store, Bond jumped on the opportunity to become part of the station’s main weekday programming and made time in her busy schedule to develop the show into something all her own.
“I would come to CHSR in the mornings before work and pre-record my episode for the day, then go to work,” she said. “I did this everyday. At first it was a bit daunting because I didn’t know a lot about the local scene. I did a little digging, online research, and checking into albums we had in the CHSR library. The more I listened, the more I loved what I heard, and the more ashamed I became because here I was listening to Top 40 mainstream bands and commercial radio, completely unaware of the amazing music that was happening right here in my backyard.”
“Local music is completely under-promoted and under-valued. Fredericton’s music scene needs a cheerleader, and that’s me.”
“CHSR takes pride in the local music scene and we want to share it with everyone,” she said. “If there’s a band out there who’s looking for some exposure, we’re more than willing to play their music and have them into the station for an interview or to promote their upcoming shows. We’re a community radio station and are here to serve the community. Musicians or not. We also realize the lack of city venues and throw the occasional show when and where we can. I currently host Live in the Blue Lounge every Friday evening from 7 to 9 in the UNB Student Union Building’s Blue Lounge. It’s a opportunity for up-and-coming musicians to play in front of a modest crowd and hone their performance skills while also providing live music for those who are either underage or don’t enjoy the bar scene. These shows are free for anyone to attend and I’m always looking for performers of all genres including spoken word.”
Bond’s commitment to supporting the scene goes beyond her work at the station. She also has a business providing artists with essential services outside of airplay and after-work interviews.
“I work under 2 Dogs Productions,” she said, “offering services like creating press sheets, distribution and tracking to Canadian campus radio stations and scheduling interviews nation wide. From working in a campus radio music department for a few years now, I know how the game is played just as good, if not better than anyone else. My sole intention is just to give local musicians the best possible chance for exposure. If musicians ever have questions or are looking for a little guidance, they can always contact me at any time. I will be completely honest with my suggestions and recommendations.”
Bond currently juggles three programs at the station, an ambitious workload for anyone, yet somehow she manages to stay on top of it all. Passion goes a long way.
“For music shows I have Homemade Jams, which is weekdays from 4pm – 5pm and plays only local bands and musicians. It has become one of CHSR’s flagship shows and just celebrated its second anniversary on October 1st. I host Anything Goes on Tuesdays at 8pm and play the best new music that is sent to the station. I like to keep it as Canadian as possible but we do get some real gems from all over the world. I also host Spotlight. There are new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday from 6pm – 6:30pm and each episode spotlights a brand new Canadian release. I have spotlighted bands of every genre, from Alert The Medic and The Balconies, to Sleepy Driver, Tanya Tagaq and BadBadNotGood. The only criteria is that it’s Canadian, and it’s good.”
A tremendous workload brings tremendous responsibility. Each show that hits the airwaves involves planning, plotting and lots of pre-show prep. Fueled by her love of music, local artists and her will to help build and maintain an infrastructure that nourishes and supports people making music, Bondo somehow remains driven, focused and on task.
“Burning out isn’t an option,” she said. “This is something I really believe in. I’m not looking for recognition; I don’t have any hidden agendas. Fredericton has such a talented music scene and I just want it to be heard.”