Volunteer Profile: Anne Sielaff

What drew you to WMPG and to saturday night for your showtime?

I had been doing a college radio show at Southern Connecticut State University for 5 years. Then in January 1994, I moved to Maine. I was the metal director at WOWL, so I asked some of the record companies I dealt with, what stations I should try to do a show at when I moved to Maine. So that’s how I was led to WMPG. My first show was Fridays 4 – 6:30 am, which I did for just over a year. I found out that there were a lot of people that have to work overnight. Then I did Tuesdays 11:30 – 1 am for a while, then finally got moved to the Saturday 11 – 1 am slot. I have a lot of listeners that will call after a year or more of being out of town, and they are happy to still find me at WMPG. The only down side to doing a show late at night is that I’ve been pulled over for speeding about 5 times. The cops are always looking for drunk drivers around the time I’m heading home. And I happen to have a lead foot, so when I’m the only one on the road, and I’m going a bit over the speed limit, I’m an easy target. Actually, the ONLY time I’ve ever missed my show unexpectedly was when I was arrested on Brighton Ave, at 3:15 am on my way to my radio show. They got me for illegal use of plates (long story, but really, I wasn’t aware that I was driving with illegal plates) and driving with a suspended license- which I was able to get dropped in court because it wasn’t really true. I had to call WMPG from jail to tell them I wasn’t going to make it to my show… that was a long night!

Do you play any instruments or have any band experience?

It’s funny you ask this question! After so many years of working with music as a deejay, I finally took up playing the drums. I bought a cheap drum set a couple of years ago and took some lessons. My husband has just built a small studio in the basement, so now I can play my drums, and not have all my cats yackin’ on them. Maybe some day I’ll be able to actually play a whole song — then I can dream about being on stage some day…

In all the time youve been DJing, what have you noticed most about where Metal is going these days?

True metal has stayed hard and there are always new bands trying to break out of the box. But all too often, everyone tries to sound like everyone else. WMPG gets about 10 – 15 new CDs each week, and most of them sound kind of plain. But every once in awhile, I’ll pop a new CD in and just get blown away by the uniqueness of the sound (for example, the first Nothingface CD and the first Slipknot CD). I think that metal has branched out a lot more. There is death metal, heavy metal, old school, hardcore, industrial, and progressive metal. A little something for everyone. I would also like to mention that being a woman in the metal world can be difficult at times, seeing how it’s mostly men I have to deal with. I’m a huge advocate for women’s rights, and it’s hard to see some bands use women in the typical commercial way. Hey, sex sells, but I also feel that’s the easy way out. Most true metal bands focus on REAL issues, and have powerful messages of standing up for yourself, being proud of who you are, and trying to change the policies of a corrupt government. I think people just assume that because metal is played fast, with lots of screaming, that they are just angry and violent. But most of the music is just a great escape, and a nothing beats a mosh pit for releasing a bit of stress.

Station Manager Jim Rand mentioned you met and married your husband here at the radio station. Tell us about how that happened.

Well, my husband, Jason Beal, was the bass player for the local band audioblacK, and he had seen my music video show, “Musical Mayhem”, and had listened to my show on WMPG. He had always wanted to meet up with me, and when audioblacK had a new CD out, he and the drummer, J2, called up during my show and asked if they could come by the station to drop off the CD. I remember when I first looked at him in the studio, I thought, “here is a good looking guy, tall, is in a kick-ass metal band, and yet he looks very ‘clean cut’.” After talking with him for a while, we exchanged phone #’s, and we started hanging out together. Our first ‘date’ was a GWAR show, where we both got sprayed in fake blood and moshed in the pit. And then 2 years later, we were married on Halloween 2004. We have WMPG engraved on our wedding rings. It’s funny, but when we first met, he only owned one black t-shirt, and had short hair. Now he is almost always in black, and is trying to grow his hair as long as mine. I love WMPG for lots of reasons, but meeting my husband is the best thing MPG has given me! I just wanted to mention that one of the best parts of doing my radio show, is getting all the positive feedback from listeners. It means a lot to me to know that people wait all week to hear my show. I have had people bring me ice cream during my show, and I had a few kids try to walk to my show, via I-295, and were picked up by the cops, and their parents had to pick them up at the police station. I have a very faithful and loyal audience from the Windham Correctional Facility. I have 2 photo albums full of letters and art work they have sent to me over the past 11 years. To know that I can help someone feel better, less stressed, and just take them away from their everyday bullshit for 2 hours a week, makes me feel great. Music can be a powerful motivator for many things, and I love having the opportunity to share it with whoever happens to tune in on Saturday night.