From Eskimo Joe to Radio GM

Staff Writer

Eskimo Joe guitarist and co-founder Stuart MacLeod is the new General Manager of Perth community radio station RTRFM 92.1. He takes over “before the end of the year”, according to the station.

MacLeod says RTRFM was the first station to play Eskimo Joe in the late ‘90s.

“I remember the first time I heard one of our songs on the radio on RTRFM,” the 38-year old recalls. “That was a huge moment for me. In a big way, RTRFM was responsible for that paradigm shift in my thinking that I can do this.

“This station has provided so many new and emerging artists with not only a platform to present their art, but also the confidence to back themselves. It’s really important to have that support when you’re starting out.”

In MacLeod’s case, his music start came after he studied Engineering and Commerce at the University of Western Australia. He began writing songs for Perth band Freud’s Pillow, which included his best friend Kavyen Temperley. The pair had been next door neighbours since age seven and attended the same high school. They later formed Eskimo Joe, playing their first gig at the Perth heat of the Australian National Campus Band Competition. They won the national comp, leading to a recording session in Sydney and a slot on the Livid Festival.

Aside from his Eskimo Joe duties, MacLeod has spent the last several years working as an acoustic designer outfitting recording studios, as well as presenting 96FM’s local music show Access All Areas.

“The thing that has always driven me towards RTRFM is that it’s all about passion,” MacLeod says. “It’s not only passion for the music, but also current events, politics, knowledge… Whatever you’re listening to on RTRFM, people are putting it on here because of their passion for it, and their desire to share it with their community.

“It’s not about appealing to a broad audience, it’s about sharing your knowledge and the things that are important to you, the things that bring you happiness, or the things that your community should be aware of. That’s something you can’t get from streaming services like Spotify or Pandora. It’s about the people, personalities and shared experiences. That’s something that community radio has, that nothing else can provide.”

MacLeod’s plan for the alt-rock and talk station is to expand its online community as a way to share ideas and knowledge.

“I’m also really keen to develop projects that nurture new and emerging talent, within all sectors of the arts world. RTRFM is such an amazing hub for people to come together to express themselves and I’m honoured to be an integral part of that.”

MacLeod replaces Jason Cleary who was GM for 3-and-a-half years.


Read more in The Music Network here.

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