Wed 25 Mar 2020 to Sun 5 Apr 2020

In the early hours of March 23, Chris Xynos delivered his very last Connections, an Insomnia program that ran for almost 5.5 years.  We spoke to Chris who maintained a PMA (positive mental attitude) at all times, from 2 am-6 am every second Monday…. 


How did you present an insomnia shift for 5.5 years? What changes did you have to make to your life to enable that?

With great difficulty! In all seriousness though, while I would usually get some shut-eye beforehand having an alarm wake you up at 1 am is never ideal. All that being said when I was in the studio and presenting the show I was in my happy place and wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else. As for life changes, I am lucky enough to work for a company that believes in work/life balance and I was able to get every 2nd Monday off which would allow me to present the show every fortnight


You had a co-host for a few years there - Sasha Brookes. How did that come about?  Was it more fun doing a show with someone else?

I met Sasha while volunteering in the Music Library and he had told me that he had completed the announcer course but never actually presented a show. When I asked him why he told me he didn't feel comfortable doing so. Given I'm a bit more of a show pony than what Sasha is I couldn't quite grasp this and flippantly said something to the effect of "It's the easiest thing in the world, let's do a New Noise shift together and I’ll show you" so we did and he loved it. I eventually got offered a permanent slot on the grid and invited Sasha along for the 1st few episodes which ended up turning into (roughly) a 4-year partnership. As for "was it fun doing a show with someone else?" Both presenting solo and with someone else has its positives and its negatives. I'm a bit of a control freak, so Sasha & I did butt heads at times but overall yes it was good to have company during the wee small hours as well as someone I could pick on.


How will you fill your time outside of PBS? 

By keeping as busy as possible. International travel is my biggest non-music related passion which I have been doing regularly for about 20 or so years now and plan to do again once the apocalypse is over. Aside from that, take pics of Melbourne's awesome street art when I can get out and about and a little while ago I kinda rebooted my pre-PBS radio show The Alternative Kind on (don't blame me the crappy name, I didn't choose it). In addition to all of this, I plan to stay involved with PBS in any way I can and hopefully contribute in any way I can once our current situation improves (which I have full confidence that it will!)


What drew you through the doors of PBS?

In a similar way to what Wendy Tonkin said in her own questionnaire, I guess I was searching for myself. I had been listening to PBS on a more regular basis and had been looking into radio courses when I discovered that PBS was running their own "become an announcer" courses. I completed said course got a spiffy looking certificate at the end, submitted a demo and eventually got my own show.


What is your favourite program at PBS? 

How do you narrow it down to just one? Every single show is awesome and while sometimes the music played may not always be to my taste, the enthusiasm of the announcers has a way of making you at the very least give it a chance.

When did you start volunteering?

2012-ish in the Music Department.


What do you do at PBS/what you have done? 

Announcer and general dogsbody during open days, radio fest, etc.


Personal PBS highlights?

Receiving an e-mail from Don Was to say he enjoyed the show after doing a Was Not Was feature episode, receiving a message from Living Colour after playing their tunes, interviewing Karen Lawrence & Fred Hostetler of the great blues-rock band Blue By Nature, getting a call from a listener during the 1st episode of Connections to say congrats on getting my own show... I could keep going but I won't. 


What kept you at PBS?

The people and the music primarily, but I certainly didn't complain when free beer was on offer.


What does PBS mean to you?

It means community, it means passion for music, it means fun but also a lot of work to produce quality programming.


The 'P' in PBS stands for progressive. How do you envision that PBS can live up to that?

By continuing to advocate for independent musicians/artists and announcers/people who support them.


Thanks to Chris Xynos for the years of dedication, generosity, and effort shared with PBS. Listen back to the very last episode of Connections where Chris plays the songs of Genesis, Lou Reed, George Duke and more!  


Sasha and Chris with Kylie Auldist