Mike Smith is well-known around the 3CR community, not only for his eclectic avant-garde music program Let Your Freak Flag Fly, but also in his capacity as a trainer, outside broadcaster, and for his rugged good looks. We caught up with Mike setting up his ubiquitous badge stall during 3CR’s recent musical extravaganza at The Tote in Collingwood.
Nice collection of badges…
“I bought the badge machine from America, and it’s pretty easy to knock out a few hundred one inch badges. Kids especially love them. But it’s a pretty cheap and easy way to generate a few extra bucks for 3CR. I’ve also set up the badge stall at events like the Harvest Festival, which is organised by Marcus Mulcahy. Marcus presents the show right after mine on Saturday evenings (Blue Green Footprints).”
How long have you been presenting your show?
“Well, in its current form, Let Your Freak Flag Fly has been going to air on Saturdays between 5.30 and 7.00 for the most part of a decade, but I’ve been presenting shows like this for years now. I remember doing graveyards from two in the morning until dawn. They were pretty fun, really.”
But now your settled into the Saturday afternoon drive slot?
“Yep. Freak Flag follows on from the jazz show, and then Marcus plays alt-country afterwards. It’s a great slab of quality community radio, and plus its heaps of fun.”
You do the show with Lotti Stein?
“I wouldn’t be able to do it with out the amazing Miss Lotti. Lotti does an incredible job as sound technician, which involves recording live bands each week in Studio 3. Some of the bands we’ve had on are pretty left of centre too, and Lotti makes them sound fantastic. We make a fine team. Actually, Lotti makes a fine team on her own and I try not to get too much in the way…”
Lotti often presents the show as well?
“Yes, Lotti is also an excellent presenter. Freak Flag Fly has a segment called Lotti’s Corner where Lotti mixes it up with music and other things she has been discovering. Also, she has her own program on 3CR – Wayward Girl Wicked Woman on Monday afternoons.”
And what can people expect to hear on Let Your Freak Flag Fly?
“Well, music that you won’t hear on other stations frequently if at all. Experimental noise, which I think Melbourne is a world leader in producing, such as recordings of no-input devices, field recordings of cars and fences, home-made and found instruments, plus individuals and bands who are in some way or another really pushing the envelope as to what is accepted by society as music. Experimental and noise orientated music is vastly under-represented outside of community radio, and its another thing which I think 3CR really excels in.”