Chris Xynos, Radio Host. Interview conducted by Tony Kariotis of GreekPosts.com
Tell me a little about yourself!
Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia to Greek parents who actually met in Melbourne after moving to Australia in search of a better life. My parents instilled in me a strong sense of family and culture. I was sent to Greek School to learn the language and even though I spent more time outside of the classroom as I kept getting kicked out for being disruptive it’s something that i’ll always be grateful for.
I am and always have been a big music fan. At the age of around 15 I convinced my parents to buy me a guitar and took some lessons in the hopes I would become the next Steve Vai. I quickly realised however that learning guitar took a lot of time and commitment which I wasn’t willing put in at the time as I was more interested in riding by bike and playing with friends out in the street.
What does being Greek mean to you?
Being Greek is something that is not easily put into words, but some of the things I associate with being Greek are: working hard, overcoming adversity, family, glendi, rich food and so much more that can only be understood by actually being Greek.
What makes you proud calling yourself Greek?
I’m proud of the rich history ranging from the myths of the 12 Gods of Olympus, the Ancient Philosophers, the struggle for Independence, Rebetiko and Folk music (I’m not much of a “Entehno” fan) and the stories they tell. And while I can only claim to have a very broad knowledge of each of these things the feelings they can evoke are very real.
As the lyrics of the song “My Culture” say:
I am the sum total of my ancestors
I carry their DNA
We are representatives of a long line of people
And we cart them around everywhere
What inspired you to get into the Radio field?
I guess it was a case of realising that while I was a music fan I was never going to be a musician so I was looking into what other avenues I could explore that still involved music without being a performer. Somehow or other the idea of radio came into my mind so I started exploring it. In doing so, I found out that a local community radio station which I had recently started listening to were running “Become an announcer” courses. I completed the course, got myself a spiffy looking certificate and submitted a show proposal at the end of it.
Without getting bogged down in the minute details of how it all came about, roughly 2 years after submitting my show proposal, I was offered a permanent spot on the PBS grid which I took up and haven’t looked back since.
Tell us a little bit about the Radio station and your role!!
A detailed history of the station PBS (Progressive Broadcasting Service) 106.7 FM can be found at https://www.pbsfm.org.au/history. Essentially though It was started 40 years ago by a group of people who were "dissatisfied with the 'Pops & Classical' approach of current broadcasters ... and decided to try a fresh approach" and since then has been going from strength to strength. It is mostly run by volunteers with a skeletal staff who are passionate about music in all its forms and is one of the most well known community stations in Melbourne. In terms of styles of music played at the station, you can hear everything from Eletronic Dance, Hip Hop, Metal, Doo Wop, Blues, Jazz and just about everything else. It also boasts what is thought to be the longest running Soul music program in the world “Soul Time” which is presented by Vince Peach.
My role at the station is as presenter of the show “Connections” (currently with a rotating cast of co-presenters and previously on a permanent basis with my good mate Sasha who I had to drag kicking and screaming into it). which airs fortnightly on Monday mornings from 2am - 6am Melbourne time. The premise of the show is “finding out who is connected with who and how (musically speaking) in the music world by playing songs from solo and side projects as well as cameo appearances or covers recorded of other artists tunes.”
I also try to throw in songs by non mainstream Greek artists whenever I can and have had the privilege of speaking to a handful of them and presenting their music on the air.
How often do you get to visit Greece? Where do you stay!?
I usually visit every 2 years and have been doing so since I was in my early 20’s. I mostly stay with relatives in Athens and in the Peloponnese region which is where my parents are from. I like to try to visit at least one town or city which I have not been to before each time I go.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?
Melbourne has been called the “live music capital of the world” as well as “the world’s most livable city” and is also known as the city with the largest Greek population outside of Greece so it stands to reason that there are many Greek events around town. There are regular Greek clubbing nights as well as nights focusing on “Alternative” music from Greece which seems to be thriving at the moment.
Also, as well as presenting on the Connections show on PBS I try to do what I can to bring attention to the independent Greek music scene by putting together playlists of non mainstream music artists whenever I have time which can be found at https://www.mixcloud.com/alternativekindradio/.
Thank you, Chris! We look forward to following your journey!!
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