Behind The Airwaves | Andrew Barry

Written by on 6 August 2021

Andrew Barry is the host of the Wednesday Drive, 2 – 4 pm, every week on RDU 98.5FM. A name synonymous with the station, Andrew Barry is known for his incredible interview skills, razor-sharp wit, eclectic music taste and larger than life personality. 

We caught up with Andrew Barry to get an insight into how we got involved with RDU, how he preps for a show, favourite RDU moments and what he loves about Christchurch.

Behind the Airwaves is a blog series where we get to know our much loved RDU 98.5FM show hosts a bit better, what they are vibing musically, what they love about RDU 98.5FM and what is so great about living in Ōtautahi!

Check out the interview below.

How did you first connect with RDU 98.5FM?

Way back in my university days, a friend of mine, who volunteered at RDU, knowing I was a music fanatic kept insisting I come up to the studio, (then on campus), one day I finally did, and it all just fell into place from there, best decision I ever made! Despite early nerves and a touch of imposter syndrome, I’ve always felt so at home and welcomed by the team right through to today. 

What’s your favourite story about RDU 98.5FM?

I just love the audacity and nothing’s too tough nature of the station, from the days of the Horse Float RDU-nit Studio to huge events like Zorza and Super- Freq in 2018. I still rate highly the RDU led petition that got The Clash to play Christchurch way back in 1982, legendary stuff. 

What has been your most memorable on-air experience?

Getting the opportunity to interview Chloe Swarbrick in the studio was pretty incredible. She’s someone I admire, and I think she’s doing great work for New Zealand, we ended up basically co-hosting for an hour, too much fun.

How do you usually go about preparing for a show?

During the week I fill my notebook with all sorts of musical ideas from online and whatever is happening around Christchurch before I try and get the chaos into some order and then on Wednesdays, a big lunch- (El Fogon in Little High’s a favourite)- and plenty of caffeine.

What does RDU 98.5FM mean to you?

Music, Friendship, and a huge amount of fun. I still feel so lucky to be involved.

What’s your favourite other RDU 98.5FM show and why?

There are tons! But Monday Drive with Violet is always the perfect vibe to start off the week, and I’ve long been a fan of Vintage Cuts, ideal for a lazy Sunday. 

What’s your favourite way to spend a weekend in Christchurch?

Dinner and drinks on a Friday night, into a relaxed Saturday afternoon lunch with friends, maybe taking in some of the sights or just around town itself. Then a gig that night, before wiling away Sunday at the local watching either the mighty Black Caps or the Manly- Warringah Sea Eagles, depending on the season.

Favourite gig you’ve ever been to in Christchurch and why?

Too many to narrow down to just one, Brian Jonestown Massacre at the Civic pre earthquakes, Transistors/ Salad Boys/ Best Bets Space Academy 2019, and the mind-blowing live energy of Guitar Wolf on the same day the Black Caps beat Australia in 2011 all spring to mind, and then there’s The Schizophonics, every single Situations show, the list goes on…

What’s your favourite restaurant/bar in Christchurch and why?

This might be the hardest one yet! Space Academy wins by a nose. Great venue for live bands, run by some of the most genuinely good people around in Hamish and Richard, very generously priced beers, and some of the best Pizza in town. 

If you could interview any artist from around the world, who would it be and why?

Liam Gallagher, or Tim Rogers from You Am I, I think they’d both be really interesting guys, classic company and probably have a lot more to them than their often gruff exterior. 

Purveyor of midweek hump day good times, with a focus on local and international, new and vintage indie music. You’ll also find plenty of guitar-based rock and roll and alt-country. With almost 10 years under his belt, host Andrew Barry always tries to have a few surprises up his sleeve with excursions to the electronic music spectrum once and a while.

Tune in to Wednesday Drive for your weekly fix of great music including your 5pm track of the week, news, interviews and local gig info. 4 – 6pm, Wednesdays.

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