There are so many interesting people involved at Radio Blue Mountains both behind the mic and behind the scenes, that we thought we’d share their stories here on the RBM website.
Q: Hi Brad, thanks for taking time out to speak with us!
A: Thanks so much for the invitation, it’s a pleasure to be here.
Q: You present the Men’s Mental Health Show on RBM every Tuesday morning from 11am – 1pm. Without delving too deeply into your personal life, is it okay to ask; what was it that inspired you to bring a Men’s Mental Health Show to air?
A: Mate it’s quite simple really. I made an attempt on my life back in 2014 after my marriage broke down. At the time I felt there was really no other way out and that I had become a burden upon others. So like so many men before me I decided to end things. I sustained 27 facial fractures and spent time in and out of comas and blood transfusions etc. in 2014 alone I spent 31 weeks in hospital. My Dr at the time said to me “there’s obviously a reason as to why you’re still here, it’s up to you to work out what that reason is”!
Powerful stuff really.
Q: You seem to have a real knack for getting men to talk on your show. In your opinion, are men more willing these days to get in touch with their inner thoughts and feelings, or is it a struggle to get men to open up?
A: No it’s still definitely a huge struggle for men to become vulnerable or open up, there’s still the stigma of suck it up/man up or deal with it later and that of course becomes suppressed but will always rise to the surface later. I find it’s easy however to get blokes to chat without the ego if you make yourself vulnerable first. It’s just another way of reaching out really. Having a direct approach and asking things such as “are you thinking of harming yourself” is crucial as an example.
Q: Are men represented well in modern day media? Are we seeing men represented better in TV, film and advertising in 2023 than before, or is the “Dad bod” lumbering buffoon who can’t talk about anything other than footy, beer and cars still the go to Ausse male stereotype?
A: It’s a great question. I think it’s quite evident that we are making headway with Mens mental health issues through the media. Gus Worland from gotcha for life and Shannon Nevin who’s the founder of walk n talk for life are perfect examples of that. It’s also embedded throughout all the sporting codes where as men and women in sport must attend mental health courses etc. so we are getting there.
Q: If a man is reading this article and struggling to stay afloat, what advice could you give them?
A: Well firstly I’d direct them to The Mens Mental Health Show podcast of course as there is much gold in information there. I’m a firm believer of therapy and breathing techniques etc However the biggest advice I can offer is to say that you’re not alone, there’s so many avenues of help and I’ve always said blokes can call me 24/7. Boudi Maassen who is a psychotherapist and co-hosts the show with me is incredible and can be reached on 0424-416969. My number is 0404 077 666 .
Q. You’ve been at RBM for a number of years, which indicates that other than Mental Health you’ve got an interest in the platform of live radio. Who were your favourite radio stations or presenters growing up?
A: I use to love Vic and Mal on triple M as a kid, very cleaver, funny and entertaining. I also listened to Lawsy in my late teens and early 20’s and have had the pleasure of meeting down at the finger wharf in Woolloomooloo.
Q: What was it about Vic and Mal that appealed to you, do you think? Was it the music they played, or the way they spoke, or what was it do you think?
A: I think with Vic and Mal they were really the first to interact with the listeners as far as games, singing, jokes and really paved the way for those who followed.
Q: When you’re on air, how do you maintain your thoughts and keep on topic? Do you bring a script, or bullet point notes with you into the studio?
A: Haha! I live with a condition called Bipolar type 2 I’m often manic and there’s always a lot going on between my ears. I often liken it to a LosAngeles spaghetti highway. I do however on occasions take notes but because Boudi and I are often sharing lived experiences or interviewing I like to keep things off the cuff as it comes across more authentic I find
Q: What advice would you give anyone interested in getting involved in radio?
A: I think picking your topic or purpose is extremely important and try to find a point of difference with what you are trying to deliver. I think if you can do that then it will help with your motivation and longevity.
Q: And what’s your favourite pastime outside of RBM and men’s mental health?
A: I love my cricket, I had 2 spinal surgeries in 2022 which ended my 37 year career but still an avid fan. Since the settlement of Covid I’ve been watching a lot of live music with my daughter and friends. We are so fortunate to have so much talent up here in the mountains and I’m a huge fan of Matty Tonks and Nic Danta
Okay some fun, rapid fire questions now, Brad.
Favourite Band? Black Crowes
Favourite Song? Sackcloth and Ashes. Matt Tonks
Favourite Music era? 80’s garage rock
Favourite food? Seafood
Favourite Drink? Bickford’s Lemon Cordial, haha.
Favourite holiday destination? Thailand
And finally Brad, complete this sentence: “If I won a million bucks tomorrow I would . . . . . “
I’m really not a big fan of money mate in fact I’m bloody hopeless and often give it away or spend it on I-tunes. Tell ya what, we’ll use it to buy our own premises for RBM!
Thanks very much, Brad.