El Paso Music Scene

Jack Lutz Interview

At 22 years of age, Jack Lutz, a.k.a., the Jack of Rock, is the youngest DJ at KLAQ-FM, 95.5 on your dial. I ran into him at the Slunt/Cantina Flys/Gypsy Rose show the previous Sunday, and he agreed to be interviewed for EPMS.

EPMS: Who came up with the idea for Q Connected?

Jack Lutz: Really, Courtney Nelson, the Program Director, Glenn Garza, Music Director, and myself.

EPMS: What is it basically about?

Jack Lutz: Basically about showcasing everything in new music, punk, emo, ska, metal, alternative, underground. Also, to showcase local talent. To get local bands out there, and give them a shot at being heard.

EPMS: What would people be surprised to know about you or Q Connected?

Jack Lutz: Good question... people don't know the time that goes into it. We prepare weeks in advance, looking for new music or seeking bands. Me? 1) I like cheese a lot, and 2) I spend a lot of time with kids that are abandoned. There is a place in Central El Paso, a kids' shelter near Austin High School. I'll drop in from time to time and drop gifts off.

EPMS: Is it hard to compete with Clear Channel?

Jack Lutz: I don't think so. Knowing that Clear Channel is almost a monopoly in radio, people want variety in music... we'll always change to something different.

EPMS: Do you have any experience as a musician?

Jack Lutz: Yes. I play bass guitar.

EPMS: Have you played in any bands?

Jack Lutz: No, because I play 7-string bass, and some people would be intimidated by that. I play a fretless 7-string. As far as getting a band together, I'd love to do that.

EPMS: Do you know who else plays 7-string bass?

Jack Lutz: Yeah, the guy from 202. I really like them, I see them a lot.

EPMS: I saw them about 10 days ago. You can see that thing from across the room. How long have you been with KLAQ?

Jack Lutz: Going on 3 years.

EPMS: How long has Q Connected been going?

Jack Lutz: Gosh, off the top of my head, maybe five or six weeks.

EPMS: Where do you see yourself in five years?

Jack Lutz: Toughie.. a) either working here, owning the place (that's wishful thinking), or b) doing theater in New York.

EPMS: Which of the Seven Dwarfs are you: Happy, Grumpy, Sleepy, Sneezy, Dopey, Doc, or Bashful?

Jack Lutz: I'd be Dopey. Definitely Dopey, because, for one, I think the guy behind his dopeyness, is intelligent. He likes to have a good time. Women like that.

EPMS: Who is the most impressive big shot you've met?

Jack Lutz: Man... I'd have to say, Slipknot. Corey Taylor of Slipknot.

EPMS: Local interviews that stand out:

Jack Lutz: I'd have to say, it's a toss-up: Two bands, Lylah, or Ripcore. Both are gonna play at the Balloon Fest. Lylah is on the verge of becoming the next big thing. Ripcore, from Silver City... When you hear them, you know they're on the verge of something themselves. Both are laid back, very outgoing and energetic. You definitely have to check them out. Are you going to the Balloon Fest?

EPMS: Umm...

Jack Lutz: I'm gonna make sure you're there, no ifs, ands, or buts!!

EPMS: LOL. OK, I'll be there. My twelve-year-old daughter, Adriana, is really impressed that I know you.

Jack Lutz: I'd like to get to that point with my kids. I don't have any kids that I know of.

EPMS: Which sandwiches are better, peanut butter, jelly, or peanut butter and jelly?

Jack Lutz: Peanut butter and jelly, with Iron Kids bread.

EPMS: Good gossip on your co-workers?

Jack Lutz: Courtney Nelson is a sweetheart. Johnny Walker's a complete ladies' man. LOL.

EPMS: If I come back in three months with a microphone, who should I talk into singing?

Jack Lutz: You should definitely talk to Kat Tyler because she rocks, man.. She opened for Stevie Ray Vaughn, years ago, at the Balloon Fest.

EPMS: Does KLAQ have a softball team?

Jack Lutz: We did, we played Disturbed, the heavy metal group at Cohen Stadium. I wasn't in it, I was cheering from the stands. Might I say, we dished out a whupping.

EPMS: What is your educational background?

Jack Lutz: I went to American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, finishing here at UTEP.

EPMS: Why did you leave school in New York?

Jack Lutz: The tuition was obscenely expensive. I lived in Upper Manhattan... Homeless, it costs about $1200 a month to live in a box. Also, for my mom.

EPMS: Was it hard to get this job?

Jack Lutz: You know, LOL, it's so funny you'd ask that. I was doing football on Friday nights for KROD, our sister station. This was when I came back from New York City and Tucson. I came back to KROD, then I asked Steve Kaplan, "Hey, can I have a job?" It's been all downhill ever since. If you love music, if you know music, and have an outgoing personality and hate money, no, it's not hard to get a job as a disk jockey.

EPMS: How did you like the (Slunt/Cantina Flys/Gypsy Rose) show on Sunday?

Jack Lutz: Great. I loved it. I look forward to it every week. I had Troy, from Queens of the Stone Age, on the show. Out of the blue, Abby (Gennet) calls up. You got to interview Abby, too. Abby is obviously hideous to look at. I'm being extremely sarcastic. She's one of the most attractive women I've ever met, and talented as well.

EPMS: Did you get a butt-crack signing?

Jack Lutz: What?

EPMS: That's one of the things they do after the show.

Jack Lutz: My butt-crack is not something to be viewed at all.

EPMS: Are you looking forward to Breaking Benjamin?

Jack Lutz: Absolutely. Once again, I'm loooking forward to another great show at The Corral. The people at The Corral are really nice guys.

EPMS: Do you ever go to Juarez?

Jack Lutz: Here's the thing: I'm 22. The last time I went, I never saw so many 14- and 15-year olds in all my life. They really need to establish a college night down there.

EPMS: If you had to choose an alternate career, between fireman, ballet dancer, or third trumpet on Tonight Show, what would it be?

Jack Lutz: (long pause). Third trumpet on the Tonight Show. I'd want to eventually work my way up and take Leno's job. I don't think he's that good; I can't wait for Conan to take over.

EPMS: What is the biggest problem with the music scene in El Paso?

Jack Lutz: The biggest, honestly, is, we have this music scene waiting to erupt, yet I truly think a lot of promoters who are looking for the next big thing are skipping El Paso. El Paso is a melting pot for local talent.

EPMS: What is the biggest problem with El Paso?

Jack Lutz: The women.

EPMS note: ???????

Jack Lutz: The women here are so ... how to say... different... it's so hard to find a woman that is into rock 'n' roll, punk, metal, emo... At Coronado High School, for the life of me, I couldn't find a girl that liked Metallica, Pantera... even in college, it was hard to find a girl that dresses up like at those rock shows. Heaven help me, if I ever do find a woman like that, I'm gonna marry her.

EPMS note: I think we're going to have a new contest!!

EPMS: The best TV show among these three: Three's Company, Green Acres, or Seinfeld?

Jack Lutz: Three's company, by far. Suzanne Somers has been in my fantasy file since I first started watching Nick at Nite.

EPMS: What is your favorite all-time TV show?

Jack Lutz: Man, like that's like trying to pick my favorite children (and I don't have any that I know of). The Real Ghostbusters and Married with Children.

EPMS: How soon will Regent Communications pass Clear Channel?

Jack Lutz: I think we're doing it right now.

EPMS: When you're in charge of Regent, what changes will you make?

Jack Lutz: Man, you ask great questions. When I'm in charge... I'm definitely gonna bring Courtney Nelson along with me... I'll put Johnny Walker on the AM show. I don't think people realize how funny he is. I'll make Buzz president.

EPMS: Besides yourself, who is the most successful Coronado High School graduate?

Jack Lutz: I'd have to say... Omar, of The Mars Volta, also Marcel of The Mars Volta.

EPMS: How many times have you been in hot-air balloons?

Jack Lutz: I've been in one twice. What's really weird, I'm not afraid of heights. I like the floating feel.

EPMS: Why only twice?

Jack Lutz: Those are the only two opportunities I've ever had.

EPMS: Tell us more about wanting to get into the theater:

Jack Lutz: When in New York, I performed on stage a couple times. Not on Broadway; theater plays in New York City.

I was following one of my idols, which is Orson Welles. When he did radio and theater at same time, in 1920s or 1930s... Those are my two loves. I could do either one homeless, I really don't care if I ever get paid.

When he did the voice of the shadow in the 30s... when he went to New York City, he lied about plays he was in, stuff like that, he was really ambitious. The 20s, 30s, leading to the 40s, when he became huge with Citizen Kane.

EPMS: How do you know so much about those periods?

Jack Lutz: My dad was born in 1918, he had me in his 60s, so I was surrounded by nostalgia. His name was Jack Lutz, too.

EPMS: What was the difference between the school you went to and the school in the movie, Fame?

Jack Lutz: There was a huge difference. Everybody and their grandma was gonna be the next big thing. Everybody in that business was very ambitious, there was lots of back-stabbing, narcissistic people.

Really, I don't want any part of that... crowd that wants to chase a wet dream. If I'm gonna go out there and try and make something of myself, I'm not gonna try and step on anybody... I want to make it on my own skills.

- Charles Hurley

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