Show of the Week: Defend Good Music

Written by on February 8, 2017

Every week of programing we will be highlighting the Black Squirrel Radio Show of the Week!

This week’s show is Defend Good Music

Defend Good Music airs every Monday from 10pm to Midnight. Host Craig Zombar has been with Black Squirrel Radio for 6 semesters, he and his co-hosts Matt(y Cuts) Cutler and Jake Gambatese defend pop punk, metalcore and other genres while promoting the local Cleveland/Akron music scene!


Describe your show:
Craig: This show is a normally-unplanned show where me and my cohosts come into the studio and play the best pop punk, metalcore, and other music people want to hear. We’ll also talk about what is going on in the underground scene that day and what’s going on in our personal lives. I feel that the spontaneous concept is the most fun because we never really know what’s going to happen before we go in, and the results always work out and make the show more interesting. I may plan a couple of songs, or have an interview w/ a local or touring band planned, but other than that it’s just me spamming the living hell out of Facebook/Twitter encouraging people to listen. 🙂  (And that method has also worked!!! :D)

How did you come up with your show concept:
Craig: When I first started at Black Squirrel Radio, I wanted a show to where I could play the stuff I listened to (pop punk, metalcore, etc), so I thought of the “Defend Pop Punk” mantra started by the pop punk band Man Overboard. That mantra became the battle-cry/symbol of the latest generation of pop punk bands, and made Man Overboard a ton of money in merchandise sales. (They legally copyrighted/trademarked the logo/phrase, it was a big deal). But then I thought I would really only be limited to pop punk with that name, so I wanted a more ambiguous title. That way I could play anything. Good music is good music right? It can be defended too. I came up w/ Defend Good Music, and it’s just stuck around for 6 semesters now. Honestly I don’t even think it’s the best name, but it’s like the WWE where if you start with a gimmick, it just stays around forever.

What do you do in your free time:
Craig: When I’m not doing Black Squirrel Radio things, like my show, or meetings, or cleaning out that darn digital jukebox, I’m checking out bands online, and contribute to a couple of fan pages/small music websites. I also go to as many local shows as I can hustle rides to and I play a little Xbox One as well.

Matt: Go to shows, of course!

Jake: I play bass

Who are some of your favorite bands/artists:
Craig: The Wonder Years, The Story So Far, Pierce The Veil, Knuckle Puck (also known as Kanookla Pook), Man Overboard, blink, New Found Glory, Streetlight Manifesto, old Fall Out Boy, State Champs, Real Friends, Waterparks, Seaway, Chunk No Captain Chunk, Four Year Strong, Hot Mulligan, Homesafe, Marina City, Silent Planet, Wage War, Fit For A King, A Sense Of Purpose, Sorority Noise, The Grievance Club, Sum 41, Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake, Anti-Flag, All Time Low, Moose Blood(the best emo music since MCR, just saying….), MCR, A Day To Remember (how did I just think of them now?), hmmmm, I could do this for awhile. But I’ll stop it there :).

Matt: Mayday Parade, Waterparks, Against The Current, Valencia, CRUISR, All Time Low, State Champs, With Confidence & Movements.

Jake: The Wonder Years, Movements, The Story So Far, Violent Soho, Microwave, Sorority Noise & Knuckle Puck

What is your favorite BSR memory:
Craig: Okay there a so many *Donald Trump* so very many i tell you. They’re all very good. so good. But in seriousness I would say DGM last semester getting #3 overall in the final Top 20. I knew we would most likely in the Top 5. so I heard #5 called, #4 called, me & matt are sitting there like holy sh*t….., #3 us. When I started I never even thought I would be a good DJ let alone in the running for being the top listened to show at the station. It’s been a great ride, and we’re trying to end it the right way w/ #1 if we can ;).

Matt: When we had Hallie and Radames from Trusting Obscurity on the show and we hit 100 listeners. Hallie went nuts!

Jake: Every time I have been on it’s always lit.

What do you hope your show legacy is:
Craig: To inspire more people to get into BSR, I met my 2nd cohost Steve in class, and he was inspired to start his own show “Creative Control”, as well as the latest class-met cohost Matt wanted to start “Alt Rock 101” next Fall hopefully, and now he is cohosting a show called “He v. She” w/ another one of my cohosts Kait. Kait and Matt have the best chemistry in the world, and will be hilarious together having their own full 2 hour show. BSR is a great place and I always try to find ways it can be improved and promote the station. We’re losing a lot of folks at the end of the semester this year, but I know things will ultimately change for the better and BSR will get more awesome.

Matt: I just hope my new shows “Alt Rock 101”  & “He v. She” can be successful, and could inspire more people to join. I am super glad I did!

Jake: DGM being known as an incredible show playing some of the best music with relevant discussions while also promoting the local scene like crazy.

What is your dream job:
Craig: Becoming an FM DJ at a radio station. And also working A&R/Public Relations for a label/magazine in the music industry. Also hoping to have a job that isn’t really a job, and be happy with my life overall.

Matt: I think it would be awesome to start my own independent record label, but working for one would be just as good.

Jake: Singing in a band/working in the music industry

What is the best way to defend good music:
Craig: to listen to our show Mondays 10pm-12am EST at pls listen, pls click the link. ^ me w/ my plugging….. but no really the best way is support your fav artists through merch/music sales/going to every single show you can, and screaming their lyrics back at them. Also get into as many bands as you can. Literally it’s the best thing I’ve done.

Matt: When someone doesn’t like your music choices, explain to them why they should give them a chance. Tell them why you stand by that band or artist. You might be able to persuade them!

Jake: Promoting your local scene, going to shows, showing up early to those shows to see opening bands, buying merch and supporting bands that have made it.

Note: The logo was made by one of our listeners Gisele who’s from Spain. She’s also a known Chibi cartoonist for the scene. I think we’re like the smallest group/entity she made chibis for. I still think it’s a fun/dope logo and glad we have it. (Craig)


Be sure to tune into Defend Good Music every Monday from 10pm to Midnight only on Black Squirrel Radio!

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