Interviewer: Sophia Troetel
Interviewee: Alex Scherotter
Date Interviewed: February 20, 2023
Edited By: Liam Larkin-Smith
Link to Youtube Upload: https://youtu.be/jBeTSt3aXG0
Link to Sound Cloud Audio: https://on.soundcloud.com/7rwev
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Alex: Okay, I think we're good to go.
Sophia: All right. You're listening, KAMP Student Radio. This is the KAMP Interview series. And today I Sophia Troetel am interviewing:
Alex: Hi, I'm Alex schroeder. I'm currently the jazz music director here at Camp. Yeah.
Sophia: Anyway, let's get right into it. So I wanted to ask, what are you currently studying here at the University of Arizona?
Alex: So right now I am a design arts and practice major with a minor in mechanical engineering. I've- it's kind of been moving around because I had a little change of pace. I didn't want to go fully engineering. So we're in kind of a little bit more arts based design now, which is more fun.
Sophia: And what direction has your major in minor taken you in these past couple of years at the university?
Alex: So I've been really math focused, and I took differential equations, and I kind of realized I did not want to be doing it anymore. I realized this is going to be the basis of most of what I'm going to be doing. It's so important, and I'm not only not good at it, I don't find it interesting, and I find it unintuitive. And I was like, this isn't really what I'm looking for. So I'm going to move into this more art based, which kind of aligns with a bunch of my personal projects that I've been going through right now, which is trying to be more part of kind of local community, trying to find things that are happening and be a part of them.
Sophia: Do you have some examples of these projects you're currently working on?
Alex: Yeah. So one thing is I've, I've been trying to become more of a part of the BCC, which is a local community center, Blacklidge Community Center. It's pretty cool. They do a lot of cool programs. Recently, I did a printmaking workshop where I learned how to do full screen printing from start to finish, how to clean the screens, how to burn screens. Yeah, it's really cool. I got my own little, like, kind of patch that I had fully pressed the ink through. It's interesting, and it's fun. And I've just kind of grown to find that one of the things I find really important is a sense of community around me, and I want to have something that exists around me even when I leave school.
Sophia: Is that part of the reason you decided to commit to the university? Because of how large it is, student groups that exist here?
Alex: No, I wanted to get out of California, to be quite honest, which is a sentiment I know a lot of Californians share is, it's kind of expensive, and my dad had gone here, and it's kind of a pretty area. I love the architecture of University of Arizona. The brick building.
Sophia: Let's talk about it.
Sophia: It's, like, so historic. It's just beautiful. You feel like you're transported to a different era completely.
Alex: And the other thing is that the brick buildings I've seen brick buildings in other places. They look kind of bad. They look amazing in the desert. They go great in the desert. If there's one thing I would say, maybe a little bit less of, it's nice. I like the grass, but it feels a little out of the place.
Sophia: No, because the mall I feel so bad for her when she gets completely ripped up by people and they have to reseat it every couple of weeks. But no, I love the brick. It's very historic, and it has this sort of, like, uniformity to it. When you're walking around, you feel like you're on a campus. It's not just a mish-mosh of buildings and, like, a hodgepodge. You feel like you're part of a community. And speaking of community, we know each other through KAMP. Oh, yeah. So I would like to ask how you found your way to KAMP and how was your first involvement with KAMP?
Alex: So, for me, KAMP, my involvement in KAMP started back. Fall semester. No, spring semester. Last spring semester, it was the club fair. So it was around this time of year, and I was walking by the club fair, and I was like, I don't really know any clubs I'd want to join. And I got a cd thrown at me. I was like, you know what, radio? That sounds like a good time. And I wanted just kind of a way to I'm sometimes bad at communication and indicating, just, like, talking in general with my parents is like, this is also a good way to share without the commitment of having to go to a full on phone conversation and talk about things I don't really want to talk about.
Sophia: Exactly. I feel like the vibe of KAMP is, like, they won't pick up a phone call from a stranger, but they'll do, like, an hour radio segment, and it's like, those are our kind of people. So I wanted to ask what your journey was like to becoming KAMP music director of Jazz.
Alex: It's actually it's very easy to become, like, a part of KAMP and become something that you if you want to influence camp, it's really something that you can do if you feel that KAMP is important to you and it feels like something that you want to be a part of, you just can go do it. I, for me, it was two days before the applications were due, and someone said to me, Alex, you should apply. And I said, you know what? I'll apply for jazz, world and jazz. I don't think anyone else is going to apply for World and jazz to be like, it's just not music a lot of people listen to. And I was like, you know what? I'm- I'm going to go do World and jazz, and I'm going to push jazz and people are going to start listening to jazz. I don't know. That's just kind of how it happened.
Sophia: I love that. Speaking of what sparked your initial interest in jazz, do you have any particular memories or moments of jazz in your life that were particularly influential to you?
Alex: So, really, before taking on the entire role of jazz director, the only jazz I really was a part of or listened to was I did, like, middle school jazz band. That's the only thing. So I really did not even listen to jazz before I became the proper jazz director. And now I do. And I'm like, wow, this is really good, and there's so many gems to be found. And the spark for me was realizing that so many people's image of what jazz is to them is just completely different than what so many jazz artists are making today.
Sophia: What do you think is the difference between people's perceptions of jazz and contemporary jazz?
Alex: So, perception of jazz right now is kind of a pretentious music genre. It's the genre that
the old people are listening to and the music snobs are listening to.
Sophia: The coffee shops are playing it.
Alex: The coffee shops are playing it, and it's just not something that's really- It's kind of hard to sit down for a ten minute instrumental song. It's not really reasonable to expect everyone to be like, yeah, this is what I need. It's not it's not always very catchy. It's not it, doesn't a lot of time, you'll enjoy the hook to the jazz song, and then you'll just kind of get lost in the rest of the song and be like, this is not really what I'm looking for. But with contemporary jazz artists, it's there's, they take there's a lot of jazz fusion, and the floor for the music is a lot lower than a lot of other genres, because most people, at least attempting to get into jazz, have a really solid foundation in music, and when they incorporate these other structures and genres, it can really help elevate it.
Sophia: Do you think that this contemporary jazz can appeal to young listeners, people in our generation?
Alex: Oh, easily. I've found so much stuff that people were like, wait, this is jazz?
Sophia: This is jazz?
Alex: This is good? I like this?
Sophia: I like jazz?
Alex: So last semester, during a lot of my internships, one of the roles of as a music director is you have people come in and they do a half hour show, or they come learn how to work the board before they can have their own show. And a lot of the time, I'll be playing jazz because that's what I try to play from the jazz stacks, because a little bit of,
Sophia: MD of jazz,
Alex: MD of jazz, feels like it's my own little responsibility to play from the jazz stacks. But there was this one guy also named Alex, and I was like, you know what? I don't have anything right now to play. I'm going to do your entire internship, play you a bunch of my jazz, like, modern jazz favorites. And he was like, this is crazy. And he was like, this is- this is like something I've been missing. One of the greatest things that people really enjoy is jazz and R and B fusion. They meld so well because they come from very similar roots and they're both really
Sophia: musically compatible.
Alex: They're really compatible and they create really great pieces.
Sophia: No, I can totally imagine, especially today on TikTok with the sounds. People will take take, like, a sound and mix it with something like contemporary, and people are like, oh, my God, this is crazy to think that we can be doing that with completely different genres that are slept on or underground. So your show is a jazz show primarily, which is Sandwich on Sourdough. Do you want to tell me the journey of hosting your own show and why you decided to name it that?
Alex: I think when I joined, there was a bunch of other people to join. I think I did my internships fast and quick. I was in I had my show within, like, a week and a half, two weeks. I think out of the group of people that joined me, I was the fastest one to get a show because I was like, you know what? I'm not going to dawdle around. I joined for the radio. I want to play my stuff on the radio. And something that was a really big part of my routine for last year was I would whenever I lived, I came to campus for math early in the morning, so I needed to get breakfast and Steak and Shake had, which doesn't exist anymore.
Sophia: Oh, no. Where was this?
Alex: This was in the Union where the Indian place is now. So that used to be a steak and shake had a breakfast menu that barely anyone ordered off of, and they had a sausage, egg, and cheese on a biscuit. But the biscuit was dry and terrible and awful because it's like biscuits need to be in the right setting to be good. So true. One day they didn't have a biscuit, and they were like, we could put it on our sourdough bread. Oh, my God, this sandwich was crazy. I got that for breakfast four days a week for the entire semester. It was so good. It was this crispy bread. It was savory. The sausage was good. The egg was good. The cheese was good. I love a good breakfast sandwich. That's what I'm no.
Sophia: So true. So true.
Alex: It's all you need. I've started making them myself at home with, like, English muffins. And
Sophia: we love an English muffin.
Alex: I've come around and you know what they are? They're sourdough English muffins.
Sophia: Oh, my God. They're amazing.
Alex: Self fulfilling prophecy. Did not even realize I'm back on the sandwich on sourdoughs for breakfast. And it's really good. Breakfast sandwiches just they taste good. I don't know what about them, but the sausage patty with the cheese and a little bit of egg on the sandwich is good.
Sophia: Being from New York, let me tell you, breakfast sandwich culture runs deep. You have to have your bacon, egg, and cheese every morning. It just fuels you. You're ready for your day. Not too heavy, not too greasy. You get the right sandwich, and you can just get all that energy for the day. It's just perfect. And your journey of hosting the show.
Alex: Oh, yeah. So, I mean, it wasn't too crazy. I chose a name, I got in, and I started playing music. I played through alternative stuff, and I just kind of played through the giant catalog of music I'd been saving and I hadn't been able to talk to anyone about for a while because I was like, I just play my music. I don't talk to anyone about this. So I was like, just let's enjoy it. And that was pretty much it. It wasn't anything too crazy. It was just playing music.
Sophia: Do you come up with themed shows or do you just go off the top of your dome just feeling it like jazz
Alex: for the most part. I try to kind of put a succinct group together of something to maintain a theme over a show this semester that has kind of I've just kind of ran out of music that I want to play that I haven't already played on the radio from artists. Because I'll play one thing from one artist and I'm like but I want to play something from the same album. But I did that last week and. My music taste has really kind of shifted over the last year and a half because I went down the rabbit hole. Something shown to me by KAMP of the album by Big thief Dragon a New Warm Mountain. I Believe in You. And that album was crazy and it is just kind of stuck in my brain. For the last year, it's still stuck in my brain and I started getting into jazz and so I just kind of started shifting away from the alternative that I was listening to and now I'm just kind of in this different place.
Sophia: I love that. Speaking of having an album or a song that really just like scratches your brain, what is your current favorite song or album that you've been listening to?
Alex: It's still the same album.
Sophia: Same album.
Alex: Me and my roommate Lachlan, I don't know if he's still stuck. I am stuck. I cannot get out of the stupid album. It's folk. It's great. And it's really going hand in hand with my I want to go take myself camping more often because it's really Folky indie alternative and I just want to be able to go out whenever I want and I want to go camping because the disconnect and not being able to connect to a phone or connect to anything is so, so great for me. I know that sounds like so
Sophia: no, I feel you very
Alex: typical, but just. Being out of nature with a fire, playing some music that is folky or jazzy is incredible. It's just so good. And it's why I'm really excited for our upcoming camping trip. I am so excited as well.
Sophia: I don't really go camping, but, you know, it's time that this city girl gets outdoors. I was about to say, is there any particular track off of that album that really sticks with you as a listener?
Alex: So the two ones that I really think I love the most is Change. I'm really bad at listening to lyrics. My brain just kind of glazes over, but I'll learn them and I'll sing along to them and I'll be like, yeah, this is good. So it's Change and Simulation Swarm, which are two great songs. They both kind of just show what the album is all about, about this folky, wonderful, just great sound
Sophia: So you feel they are representative of the album as a whole.
Alex: I think if you want to know what the rest of the album is going to feel like, you're going to like that. And pretty much every person I've talked to who has listened to this album says it's just so good. It just hits.
Sophia: I love that. No, being in KAMP has just been an incredible experience for me. I know everyone in KAMP really loves it. It's just personally, you know, getting away from everything and it's just you and your music. There's just no other experience like it, you know?
Alex: What's your favorite part of KAMP been?
Sophia: Oh, my favorite part of KAMP. I feel like Arizona has this reputation for having a lot of. Basic people question mark. A lot of people who dress the same, sound the same, have the same conversations. I was kind of looking for a place where I felt like I could find a community. And being in KAMP, there are just so many interesting people. Everyone has this unique outlook and expression, whether it's their personal style or their personality. And I love the mds. They've made KAMP so accessible, shoutouts to Raul, Sophia T. They just have really been welcoming, not only for all the new people. When we applaud when there's a new member of camp, I think that's something that's so precious and welcoming that we do as a community. And I feel like anyone can find their place in KAMP, and I feel like that's hard to find, potentially, in a really large school,
Alex: For sure.
Sophia: And outside of KAMP, and jazz is a genre, what are your interests and hobbies and passions?
Alex: So I am also a large nerd on the outside. On the outside of camp, I'm part of the EBoard of the Magic Gathering Club here on campus, which is really fun. I've been playing board games and this card game since I played Magic since I was in middle school. So it's been a long time. It's a kind of trading card game where you play and you battle your opponent and fight them with monsters and spells and bring them for 20 or 40 life to zero. And it's another great form of community because I got to go talk to people about cards, and I recently have kind of been able to mesh KAMP and the Magic Club by starting our old weekly podcast.
Sophia: Oh, I love that.
Alex: Yeah. So we sit down for an hour, and believe it or not, we have to cut ourselves off. We have so much to talk about, and it's so fun. And no one who doesn't know Magic will care at all about this or listen to it at all because it's just not me.
Sophia: So niche.
Alex: It’s so niche. But for my friends who like the game and my friends who are in the club, it's good cost, super impactful. Yes.
Sophia: And let's see Magic The Gathering Club. Any other extracurriculars that you're involved with?
Alex: What else have I started doing? Oh, my goodness. I've been slowly trying to take up learning the base as well as I've been trying to put together, slowly over time, like a good camping kit. So that means I got a little charcoal grill from, I was over at fries when, like, grocery stores on the top of the freezer section, they have, like, random things up there. So they had this grill, and it was $40 down from $70. You know, I like a deal. So I was like, this kind of looks great. This is kind of all I'm looking for, because I want to be able to take a grill. So I got a grill. So went to the guy who was like, hey, can I get that grill over there? And he was like, yeah. And he lifted down. He'd dropped it on the ground.
Alex: Which was great. And I've also been scrounging through Facebook marketplace. Oh, my god. Can I tell you?
Sophia: Let us hear this.
Alex: I love Facebook. Marketplace. I've been finding so many good things. I've found. Sleeping bags. I've found what was, I got a great chair. REI chair. $80.
Sophia: My God,
Alex: $15. It's got wood. Wood on the side. It folds up, it clips up. It's a find. You can find anything you need.
Sophia: Do you think it's like modern day thrifting services like that? craigslist mercari
Alex: It's the average person's Thrifting, because Thrifting still exists. This but it's so much easier to be, like, 12:00 at night. You're like, I'm falling asleep. But I'm kind of curious. What's on Facebook Marketplace. And you start scrolling, and you go through the categories. You look through the musical instruments. You find stuff cool. There I found a cajon, which is one of those the boxes with the hole on it and the snare on the inside. That's like a drum, which I've been thinking about getting because it has a scratch. So we're selling it for discount because that's a great camping instrument. That's great for getting outside. Just kind of trying to disconnect myself. I've also been getting into just cooking at home.
Sophia: Let's talk about it.
Alex: Okay, let's talk about it. That's what I like to hear. But I've started really cooking stuff this last week. I made pasta from scratch, which was awesome. Oh, my God. It's so much easier than you think. It is flour and it is egg.
Alex: And that's all you need. And you just kneed it. You push into it for, like, maybe ten minutes. You got it ready. You pop in the fridge, put it in the fridge for half an hour. You bring up little pasta maker. You crank it. Clamp it to the table and you start grinding.
Sophia: Did you do, like, fettuccine, like, long noodles? What was the vibe?
Alex: So they were both kind of we did two different sizes of noodles. We did very thin, kind of like almost spaghetti like noodles. And we did kind of thicker, a little bit wider noodles. And so the first time I made a carbonara and we fried pancetta, and it was so good, it was so cheesy. We got the parmesan from whole food, so it was good. And we cooked that. And then the second time I made my own sauce from scratch. I just took some parmesan, some ricotta. I think it was a different white hard cheese and some heavy cream.
Sophia: Pecorino Romano.
Alex: Romano, yeah. There we go. So we took romano and mozzarella, and I took some of each, threw it together with some heavy cream with these thick noodles and some chicken and oh, my God, that's so good. What else have been making? Curry. I've been doing
Sophia: let's get specific. Indian curry. Japanese?
Alex: Japanese curry.
Sophia: Oh, my God. Let's talk about it. My mother is half Japanese. I grew up eating Japanese curry like, three times week. Like a little potato, little onion, chicken. So good. Better, right?
Alex: Let me turn you on to something,
Alex: You know what's like katsu.
Alex: Dino nuggies. They go crazy with the
Sophia: oh my God. I can picture it.
Alex: You can picture it?
Sophia: I can picture it.
Alex: They're crazy. It's the perfect size. It coats it perfectly. It's the perfect tasty. It's like chicken katsu.
Sophia: I love that.
Alex: Right? It's so good. I love it. I put in the potatoes, I put in onions, sometimes carrots, and then the dino nuggies and it goes so hard and it's so easy because you go to the grocery store and you package curry. You get those little curry, the cubes and you toss them in.
Sophia: So simple.
Alex: It's so simple. And you would think the meal took like 3 hours to make. And you're just sitting there with the dino nuggets and potatoes and you're like this last and it microwaves so well.
Sophia: It does.
Alex: You would not expect it to
Sophia: Next day curry restaurant level. Seriously. The thing is coming from a family that's like very heavy on cooking. Making our own food, making our own meals. My family wants listeners to know that cooking Japanese and cooking Italian is so simple. People go out to the restaurants thinking that it's really difficult to make, that it's not that accessible. It is so simple to make solid Japanese and Italian meals. Honestly, any cooking, as long as you put passion, love, care, it's doable.
Alex: The hard part is finding the right recipe that doesn't over complicate everything. Because that's the issue I have with so many recipes. When I go online, it's it'll be like 20 ingredient recipes for something so simple. And yeah, that'll taste really good.
Sophia: It tastes great. However,
Alex: However, I am a college student
Alex: On a budget. I need to get the five ingredient version. The version that I don't have to spend 3 hours preparing so I can get a simple dinner that tastes really good.
Sophia: Exactly. No living in a dorm. I cannot wait to have my own space because the community kitchen is not the vibe. Especially when people are so inconsiderate they leave it a mess. I'm like I cannot do this. But I have been cooking more and it's like very exciting to hear people are getting into it because making your own food, something about it, it just feels special. It feels different knowing that you prepared it for yourself. And then when you finally taste your like creation, the hard work, the effort you put in, nothing compares. Nothing compares. What is your favorite thing to cook then, since you've been getting into it?
Alex: I kind of hit all my favorites already. The pasta has been incredible. I've been so happy with the pasta. I kind of joked about I have joked in the past about how grilling is, like, kind of funny. It's like the men just want to grill. It makes food taste better. The grill texture. The grill texture at the grilled flavor. Oh, my God. And it's so easy for no reason. It's like, why is this just taste good? And it's such an issue to me. It's like, I spend all this time cooking, like, nice food, and then I like, I pull out the little charcoal grill that I have, I put a burger on there, I put some cheese on there, and that's all I do. And it tastes amazing. And I'm like, damn, it's really not that hard.
Sophia: Made by you. For you. With love. We love that. So have you gotten into camping pretty recently, or have you always been, like, an outdoorsy person?
Alex: So I haven't always been super outdoorsy, as in, like, I'm always going outside, but camping has always been something I look forward to, and going outside and enjoying nature has been something I look forward to. I think the real break for me was back right before this was, like, mid COVID. Me and three or four buddies, we went hike, backpacking into the Sierra Nevadas, and we did it. It was just, like, the four or five of us, and we just were no service up by these lakes, just walking around and enjoying it. And I was like, this is ideal.
Sophia: Being with nature.
Alex: It's just being with people you like and enjoying a space where that's the only thing to do. We're not there to get distracted, and it's just. You have no commitments because I'm so easily torn by “I need to go do this thing” because I'm a very big like, there's so many things I want to do in a day. Exactly. And when that gets stripped away from me and I don't have the agency to be able to choose what I have to do
and I have to be committed to the things that I brought with me and the plans that we set forth. And it's only a few things, that's amazing.
Sophia: No, I completely agree. I'm not really the biggest outdoorsy person, as I mentioned, but I'm really looking forward to this trip as a way to really get in touch with my inner peace, my inner nature. And again, the camaraderie of KAMP, I feel like is going to make it a better environment than if it was just like me backpacking it alone, not the vibe. But I will say, if you're interested in camping, be it a solo trip or a group trip, the desert, The Southwest is one of the best places that you can do that, if you haven't already, The Ghost Valley. Beautiful place to go camping. The sky. As you may know, Tucson has one of the best vantages of the stars in the entire nation. Our astronomy program at the U of A is one of the best in the entire nation because in Tucson, you have a completely unobstructed view of the stars. From Death Valley, you can see the Milky Way galaxy. Unobstructed naked eye.
Alex: I think that's going to be the other parts you're going to really enjoy about camping. Is it's so like that at night, you just sit there with the fire and all you got is the people around the fire. You struggling to go find more wood because no one ever brings enough wood and just kind of looking up and being like, wow, this is just easy.
Sophia: I know. Especially when things get so complex. It's just, I feel like important to remind ourselves that we're just insignificant specs in a massive cosmos. Our problems are not that great. These are not that important in the long run. Actually a technique that I've used sort of for coping. I ask myself, is this issue or is this problem going to be bothering me in one month, in six months, in a year? And if the answer is no, I'm like, I'm not going to let this cloud my mental space. Do you know what I mean? Do you have any coping techniques for when things get overwhelming or you have persistent issues or challenges?
Alex: I think the best thing you can always do if you're really frustrated about something is just try to get away from it for a bit. However you do that is up to you. I personally like going on a walk, maybe going to a restaurant and just kind of sitting alone eating some food and just, go to one of your comfort restaurants and just sit there for a bit. Food solves a lot of problems and it helps you just break yourself away and leave your phone at home. Just go and be there. Maybe bring some music or maybe bring a book. That's all you need.
Sophia: Exactly. I would also say a lot of people don't want to do the ‘going out to eat solo, being alone with your food’. But I feel like it's essential.
Alex: You got to give it a shot. Exactly. It could feel a little embarrassing at first until you realize it's just kind of liberating to just go out to eat by yourself and just sit there, like sit in a sit down restaurant and enjoy your food without any pressure of anyone else. Like any pressure of conversations.
Alex: You're there to enjoy the food and just kind of be by yourself, which can be so important and freeing.
Sophia: I completely agree. I would also like to add that taking like a moment to just be with yourself and tune everything away, not only is it going to enhance the meal, the experience, but it allows you to be alone with yourself, which is the natural state of human in. We're born alone and they say, oh, you were born alone, you die alone. I think that's corny. I would like to say though, we spend all of our lives with this person and that's ourselves. And so I feel like we can be so unnecessarily cruel to that person. That's the person that we're going to go to sleep with. That's the person we're going to wake up with every day until we die. And I feel like we need to cut that person a little slack sometimes.
Sophia: Next question is, what are your plans following graduation? Do you plan to pursue art or something in engineering or take it in a left field, go into music?
Alex: So one of my personal little beliefs is that planning far ahead is a bad idea,
Sophia: Not a long term planner.
Alex: I think long term planner planning only leads to stress. And the realistic truth about life is you don't know where you're going to go. And planning exactly is going to lead you to get stressed about it. You are going to go get opportunities that you're not going to know existed until you come across them and you're going to talk to people and meet people and they're going to make pathways for you and that's how you're going to go on. And it's so hard to just say, I don't know where I'm going to be going, or I don't think a path is really what I need right now, but sometimes that's really what's going to happen. And it's kind of freeing to be like, I'm going to do what I can now to help create those spaces where I have the opportunities to meet people and take those open doors.
Sophia: So you would encourage people to try to live in the moment.
Alex: It's not even living in the moment. It's more of kind of a liberation from what you think is going to really impact you
Alex: It's a limit of freeing yourself from your self expectations of what you need to be doing and what's going to be happening. Because things go wrong and things go right and you have some control over that. But a lot of the time it's hard to know you can set yourself out to do something and it can just not happen.
Sophia: Exactly. Plus you have to free yourself from external expectations, especially going to college for the first time, all of our expectations before them were pretty much parental or from school. Feel like college, getting away from it is the time that you start making those choices for yourself. Also, you brought up a point earlier that you're not going to know all of these people in the present. I found an interesting quote online that said that we haven't met all of the people who are going to love us and I think that's really interesting. Would you like to divulge about your personal life?
Alex: I'll pass, personally for now.
Sophia: We'll skip. We can come back to it or not personally. What is your favorite part about being involved with KAMP? Just to circle back.
Alex: Yeah, so getting back to KAMP, it's been a bit since we talked about that, but for me KAMP is kind of a smaller community on campus that is more in line about the things I want to be a part of. And it's more people that are interesting because it is hard to find. Get away from all the frats and the sororities and all of that which surrounds you everywhere. And it's so hard to escape because there's events on the mall and it's
Sophia: Normie culture.
Alex: Normie, it's not even normie culture, but it's like it's just everywhere and you don't realize it. And it's just kind of nice to have, like, a little room that you can go to on campus.
Sophia: Breath of fresh air
Alex: A breath of fresh air. Though it does get overheated as hell here
Sophia: In like meetings, absolutely.
Alex: But it's nice to have a little bit of routine. I love a good routine of things I have to be a part of. Yeah. So it's that little part of being community and being a part of something where people are happy to see me because it's difficult to just meet people. That's one of the hardest things for me today. It's just meeting people outside and being able to talk to someone and just joining somewhere that has a shared interest or people that want to talk about something is the best way to just meet people. And I think that's the biggest thing, is it allows me to meet interesting people
Sophia: Exactly. And find a common ground. So what has been your favorite memory of being involved with KAMP?
Alex: Oh, goodness.
Sophia: Big question.
Alex: It's a big question. There's been a lot.
Sophia: Personally, I would have to go with some of the KAMP bangers. Lot of fun.
Alex: KAMP bangers are good. I always like a good after-meeting activity. Those are always super fun. It's hard to pin down a specific
Sophia: Could it be like your first show or an anniversary show?
Alex: I don't even know. I don't think I have a particularly favorite memory. It's just sometimes so hard to pin down what really is. I think some of the parties have been really just getting to talk to people is great, but it's just all different forms of generally the same thing. The setting changes, but the people are the same.
Sophia: I agree. I feel like that's a good thing about the community. We have the meetings. You see them in their professional mode and the party, it's like a little more casual. You see them in their own element. It's been a really good way, I feel like, again, to get to know people, seeing them in those two different atmospheres, because people are obviously going to present themselves very differently at, like, a school club meeting versus just a party where it's a recreational activity with friends. So what do you wish people, the students of the university would know or should know about? KAMP Student Radio?
Alex: Wow, that is a broad question. I think the first and most important thing is that we exist.
Sophia: No, completely.
Alex: It's kind of a sad thing to say, but I think 90%-95% of the student body does not even know we have an active radio station.
Sophia: Completely agree.
Alex: I think it'd be really cool if more people who wanted to be part of this community could really came and and stayed and really became part of our big group of people, our larger KAMP community. And we expanded and we have like a full I think it would be crazy if KAMP Radio Day was not just where we did the full 24 hours of broadcasting, was not just once a semester thing.
Alex: Like, we have shows all the time. That would be the dream is that we have a completely full schedule where everyone's broadcasting. Maybe there's some downtime at night when no one wants to be here,
Alex: But just imagine, like, coming in here and there's someone always broadcasting. And I think that's the biggest thing is that. More people become a part of KAMP.
Sophia: I completely agree, especially because people don't understand how easy it is to pass the DJ certification. Plus there's not a lot of barriers to entry A and B. I feel like people are so welcoming and accepting that the process of becoming oriented to KAMP is simple and straightforward and you can really find your friend group here. I feel like a lot of people tell me seniors, like Annika who are graduating are like, I found my core group of friends at camp, like the closest people that I trust. And I feel like that's sort of an important space. And I do wish that more people knew about it. I feel like I liked it's a little niche, a little underground, but I do wish that it was more of a general knowledge thing at campus in general because I feel like even just listening is like a fun thing students can do that they don't even know exists.
Alex: No one knows the link. The only people who know how to listen to the radio are the people in the club.
Sophia: Exactly. And like, the three friends that we tell, we're like, listen to my show
Alex: Grandma! Shout out to grandma.
Sophia: Exactly. Well, what do you wish that people or students at the U of A would know or should know about jazz music?
Alex: There is just so much cool stuff. If you want to find artists that you will be listening to, like, you'll be like, this is good. The top artists, I would say that you would find this is really cool, Butcher Brown just released an amazing album last year called butcher Brown Presents Triple tray which is big band RnB jazz. Crazy amazing. There's Code by The Comet is Coming from their album Hyperdimensional something or another. But if you look up, The Comet Is Coming, their latest album is edm Electronic Jazz. That's so cool.
Sophia: Can you even describe what that would sound like?
Alex: Imagine like. Space age jazz with, like, saxophones going dodododododododo. It's crazy. I don't really know how to explain it, but just
Sophia: I can picture it.
Alex: You picture it. Picture like if you shifted rave music to sound interesting.
Alex: kind of it's hard to explain, but it's jazz, but it's electronic and it's modern,
Sophia: Is it retrofuturistic or just futuristic.
Alex: It does not have any defies boundaries. It doesn't have any old notes to it, which is
super cool. If you want to hear a great new artist who sounds like a classic jazz singer, if you want to get into that, Samara Joy. Just want Samara Joy. Samara Joy just won a grammy for Best New Artist, competing with a few other people that shouldn't have been on that list who are not new artists, which was a little weird.
Sophia: Let's talk about it. The Grammys were kind of a joke this year, but
Alex: Samara Joy, I think, was a good win. Also. Best rnb album was a jazz album. Robert Glasper presents black History, Black Radio Number Three. Amazing album. Robert Glasper. That was such a good album. And it was Best rmb, and it was a jazz album. So if that doesn't tell you anything, it tells you that jazz is coming back in a way that is really cool and accessible.
Sophia: Accessible. So that leads me to my next question, which is, what do you think the future of jazz looks like? Do you notice any trends or patterns in contemporary jazz music?
Alex: For it to become accessible to people. It's jazz fusion. It's these modern takes, which is really what I see happening. It's people taking the roots of jazz, of improvisation, of really beautiful pieces that are melodic and sound good to the ear and making them modern and accessible and introducing these great elements to them.
Sophia: I love that. And let's see, in terms of, like, modern, contemporary jazz, are there any artists that you want to spotlight?
Alex: I think we hit the three that I think
Sophia: We hit the top three.
Alex: The top three that I think that if you want to hear what it sounds like, those are the ones that really have hit me recently.
Sophia: And outside of the genre of jazz, who are some artists or albums that you've been getting into?
Alex: I've been really getting into punk music lately, which has been really fun. I really love the community that surrounds punk music. I wish there would be a larger scene around here because it's getting better. It's definitely getting better. There's more shows. There are shows, the BCC that are pretty good. And it's a great venue. It's a little tiny room with stuff going on. So big punk fan. My favorite artists are right now are Rhodeodendron from Portland. Great artists. I like Kill Michael, also from Portland. Save vende. I saw them perform over here in a little print shop. They're great. Their sound is so good. I really like I saw Bib downtown. There's just so much stuff to be listening to that you just have to go out and find.
Sophia: What about the KAMP in studios? Did you have the chance to experience Coffin Hotbox?
Alex: Yeah. Coffin Hotbox. I wasn't here for that. But I've heard their drummer played in band who played here last year that I helped set up, No Face. And it's great to have people come in here. I'm really excited because I personally want to I'm interested in becoming a bigger part of that next semester, maybe even applying for the Production Director role, which would be exciting because I really want to get artists that I like in Tucson in here to play music and really promote that.
Sophia: I love that. In terms of live music, do you think that that's one of the really special things not just about KAMP but about Tucson as a whole?
Alex: Yeah, I think it's really great that we have a bunch of venues downtown. I have different problems with each venue, but that's
Sophia: Do you want to get into it?
Alex: 191 Tool splits their venue halfway down the middle with a great for 21 plus shows where the under 21 stand and the over 21 and it's super weird. Rialto every time I go there. I don't like the slanted floors. It gets sticky. The acoustics are not the best. I actually really like Club Congress and Congress. I think they do a great job. Century Room is also pretty great. The Rock has too many over 21 shows. It's really frustrating. And that's another big frustration with a lot of Tucson music is a lot of it is behind that age barrier which is frustrating. Those are the big venues that I really know about. But those are the gripes that I have.
Sophia: No completely agree. I've been trying to get more into live music because I know that that's just one of the great opportunities, not just about with KAMP hearing about it, being informed, but also just getting out there in Tucson. I feel like there are so many underground niche artists that you can discover just by going to these shows.
Sophia: And to lead up to some of my final questions. What is your favorite part of being a student here at the University of Arizona?
Alex: It's being part of KAMP and being here. And I really love the Tucson atmosphere. I love the sunsets. I love the really unique nature. I love the mountains being right there. And I like just kind of having kind of a grungy city to live in that feels safe and feels comfy.
Sophia: Oh, I completely agree. I feel like tucson is so overhated. Especially.
Alex: It's Arizona that's overhated.
Sophia: Oh, my God. Completely agree. I'm having the time of my life. The sun. Sun rises, sunsets, desert foliage. Let's talk about it. Stunning. Plus, as I mentioned before, one of the best sites for astronomical observation in the entire nation, which is honestly really impressive when you think about it. It's Tucson. I feel like a lot of people are like, oh, Dirty T. I hate that nickname. This is cleaner than, like, so many cities with the same size population. Plus, I feel like this is not talked about enough. But one of the perks about living in Arizona is we get all of the best fast food chains. The mix of Cali, the south, east coast, midwest, we have it all
Alex: So real. We have the in and out. We have the Canes.
Sophia: Popeyes, Culvers.
Alex: Everything is here.
Sophia: And it's so What A Burger from Texas? Here.
Alex: Yeah. You're like, what fast food place do I want to go to? Oh, it's here. Yeah, it's here.
Sophia: It's here. Like, truly, I feel like we hit the just sweet spot for all the national chains. Like DC. Is here. D. C? DQ.. I was not to say I loved the dairy Queen in downtown by union on 6th. So nice. Because I'm like, where where can I go to get a little sweet treat? Like they flip upside down in front of me. Dairy Queen.
Alex: Oh, yeah.
Sophia: Exactly. Speaking of, what is your favorite place to eat? Not just on campus, but Tucson as a whole? Big question.
Alex: Big question. I have a list of saved restaurants of like 30 or saved restaurants. So I don't have a favorite place, per se. I'd say something you got to try. If you come into Tucson, you got to try one of the Sonoran hot dogs. Just go to one of the stands. Do not go to a restaurant. Go to a stand. That is your key. Yeah, that's it.
Sophia: I completely agree. We've been driving around and seeing a sushi truck in the desert, have no idea if it's good or not. I feel like it's either going to be the best sushi I've ever had or the worst, and I get life threatening food poisoning. But I feel like that's the thing about Tucson. So many hit or miss restaurants, and the hit ones are so good. You're like, why has this not been my life before? And the misses. Really big misses. Let's talk about the Panda Express in the union. Why is it the worst food quality of any Panda Express in the nation?
Alex: Because it's in the union.
Sophia: Because it's in the union. People say that they get, like, panda express or chick fil a from non union locations, and they're like, why was that ten times better than going to the union?
Alex: The union is terrible and it has no good food options.
Sophia: You don't like any of the food options in the union?
Alex: None of them, no.
Sophia: You just get tired of them. If you live on campus for a year, you're like, I need to get the I need to get out of here. I need to get out of here asap. But on campus, is there anything that you can recommend to students?
Alex: Cactus grill is pretty good.
Sophia: Is that so? I've never been. So it's all you care to eat?
Alex: All you care to eat upstairs? So many tables and the foods aight, it’s pretty good. It's got options. It's got what you need.
Sophia: What do you recommend? People grabbed a little bite of something.
Alex: I don't know. Whatever you fancy. It's hard to say. It's a buffet.
Sophia: It's a buffet. We love a good buffet. But I'm also a little scared because I've heard horror stories. But did you know Vegas is, like, one of the best places for buffets in the whole world? I need to go to Vegas, just not only for that. There's a lot of reasons, but, like, the buffets. Glad to know that we've bonded over shared love of food and cooking. But I would like to know, if you're not a fan of the food on campus, what is your favorite part of the campus? Like, for example, love the unicorn statue that's hidden behind Gittings.
Alex: You got to love the turtle pond.
Sophia: Oh, my God. Turtle Pond.
Alex: Turtle Pond and EnvironSci Two are the best places on campus.
Sophia: No, truly, first of all, so stunning when you go in the lobby area and you're just looking up at all the trees. It is just wonderful. Truly.
Alex: We're running out of time. I'm almost
Sophia: We are almost running out of time. However, we do have a moment. We can wrap things up. Let's see. What advice would you give to new freshmen starting out with the U of A?
Alex: Go to the club fair and go. Use all your resources to find the communities you want to be a part of. And if it doesn't exist? Find the people around you who are interested in those communities and start it yourself. It's really not that hard.
Sophia: I agree. I'm 100% starting out as a freshman seven months ago, I feel like I was not, you know, nervous because I was, like, so excited to just be away from home, starting fresh, you know, a new voyage personally. But I feel like find in the union, just in general, there are so many posters of different events, things you can do on the instagrams. There are so many things that you can find free events and it's just like a like minded students. And that has been our KAMP interview with Alex Scherotter.
Alex: Thank you so much.
Sophia: Jazz director of KAMP thank you for being here.
Alex: Of course. Thank you for having me.
Sophia: Of course.
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