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News July 16, 2020

Dylan Lewis talks new Double J weekends presenter gig: ‘It’s going to have something of what Recovery was’

Dylan Lewis talks new Double J weekends presenter gig: ‘It’s going to have something of what Recovery was’

The music industry doesn’t do mornings, especially on weekends. That’s when Dylan Lewis comes alive.

The veteran TV and radio host completes a full circle by signing a new contract with the ABC which puts him over the airwaves when the rest of us are having a lie-in.

Starting this weekend, Lewis is the new host of Double J’s weekend from 9am – midday, until year’s end.

Gen X music nuts will remember Lewis for his triple-caffeinated hosting gig with the cult classic Recovery and The 10.30 Slot in the late-‘90s.

Lewis was confirmed this week to the new role, after recent slots filling in for Tim Shiel on Arvos, and hosting Mornings over the summer.

Lewis is a music and media allrounder, with credits for hosting Video Hits, emceeing the AIR Awards, winning Celebrity Big Brother in 2002, rocking out with his band The Haploids and for his multiple Australian Commercial Radio Awards-winning stint with the Nova Network, which spanned 13 years, most recently with Nova 919 in Adelaide.

The livewire host grew up in the Australian media landscape. But as he tells TIO, Lewis never quite grew up.

You’re clearly comfortable doing live TV, radio, hosting awards ceremonies. What’s your happy place?

It’s actually playing music. Performing. That’s the root of all the different kinds of work I do.

If I’m emceeing, it’s usually a rock ‘n’ roll music thing, if I’m doing tele it’s normally music. If I’m on the radio I’m playing music, but it’s all because of my actual passion for music.

I love playing it, I love writing it. I love teaching it, listening to it, talking about it. So, that’s the overall umbrella for which everything else falls underneath.

How did the ABC pitch the gig to you?

It all started way back last year before COVID (said in a salty pirate voice), I was doing a Recovery reunion, documenting the quarter century of all that. I was doing some hosting for that, so I was in the ABC a bit. I was leaving my job at Nova in Adelaide and so, all around that time, it seemed like a good opportunity to start trying some more stuff with the ABC again.

Going back home to Aunty.

Then I did a summer show on Double J in January, I filled in for the lovely Tim Shiel and did a few gigs here and there for Double J. This opportunity came up to take the weekends shift and I said “yes, bloody please”.

It’s perfect. It’s the station I listen to at home. Between that and ABC Classics, depending on my mood.

I actually bloody love it in there. I love the music that we play. All the people, announcers, presenters, I’ve crossed paths with a lot of them before. There are rockers in there, like Tim Rogers, Henry Wagons. It really is my people.

To get a gig on there it feels right. I’ve been having this unusual sensation of late, going into work. The unusual sensation is happiness. Walking into that place, the building, the radio studios and seeing the people around the office, I’m genuinely delighted to be there.

The people are really nice. Good hearts. They’re there for the right reasons. Everybody there just loves music. As soon as it came up, it was a no-brainer.

We’ll play ’90s stuff, which a lot of stations won’t do. That’s my fave. Older stuff as well: ‘60s, ‘70s stuff, ska, a bit of punk. The ABC caters to all my needs.

abc building

ABC

Will you be programming your music?

Because I’ve been filling shifts, I didn’t want to go in and say, “hi, I’m here for four days, here’s what I want to play.” I’m trying to be nice and polite. I have noticed since doing a few shifts there, the playlists have degenerated. They seem to tweak them in my favour.

Once I get into this roll on the weekends, I don’t want it to be a drastic change straight away, but I would like to transition slowly from how Caz (Tran) was handling.

After a while, a little bit more of my influence might make its way in there, but honestly I don’t even need to. It’s not like other jobs that I’ve had where nothing that I’d want to play is played.

There’s Kate Bush popping up in my playlists. Beastie Boys.

Maybe if I’m doing a special, a theme for a show, then I might start trying to steer the playlist here and there.

I’ll try to not get sacked on my first weekend, not be annoying and try to just feel what people want on a weekend. That’ll be the mood I’ll be bringing to the radio. If I can get some interviews in, that’ll be great.

What should we expect from this new “Dylan Lewis era”.

I’ve got a little older since Recovery, but I don’t think I’ve matured much at all. I’ve got kids, I’m a dad. But I seem to be on their level.

It’s just going to be fun.

The neat, full-circle nature of having started doing Saturday morning TV with Recovery which was 9-12, now to do 9-12 on Saturday and Sunday, still at the ABC, it’s going to have something of what Recovery was: it’ll be passion, energy and genuine. It’s real.

My love for the music is real, that’s going to come across on the radio.

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.

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