Jane Gazzo: “I was totally oblivious to bands that were under the influence of narcotics.”

From her humble beginnings on community radio in Melbourne Jane Gazzo has enjoyed one hell of a ride; learning the ropes on live TV as part of the Recovery team in the 90s she went on to work for triple j, Radio 6 in London and now beams into our lounge-room each week as a regular presenter on Channel V.

Currently on the hunt for a co-host to join her and the rest of the Channel V lineup, Gazzo took some time out from interviewing musos to share some of her career highlights – including getting up close and personal with Sonic Youth and hanging out with Jarvis Cocker.

Way back when you started out on Melbourne’s RRR radio- can you remember who the first musician you ever interviewed was?

When I started at 3RRR I was about 16 years old and had probably interviewed every local artist around Melbourne at that time, but I do remember the first international artist I ever interviewed. It was David Gedge – lead singer of cult indie band The Wedding Present (who are touring Australia for the first time in 22 years this week!). I was a massive fan of the band and remember him being quite jovial and very funny. It turned out to be a fortuitous meeting. We are still friends to this day and he always jokingly reminds me that it’s his fault I continued on this path. In a way, I guess it is. If he had turned out to be a terrible interview maybe I would have been burned from speaking to frontmen of indie bands ever again.

You shot into the public eye as co-host of Recovery alongside Dylan Lewis in the 90s and there are obviously lots of moments we’d love to ask you about. The first one is your interview with Chino from Deftones. He was clearly very ‘tired’ – what were your memories of tackling this live on TV?

It’s funny because I don’t remember Chino being ‘tired’ at all. I just remember wanting to do a good job. You have to remember I was a young, naive twenty year old under a lot of pressure on live TV with not a lot of experience under my belt back then. I was totally oblivious to ‘tired’ rockstars or bands that were under the influence of narcotics (and I’ve since found out there were many!). I was quite green and only thinking of the next question I had to ask in the four or so minutes we had allocated for the interview.

You also interviewed a very jet-lagged Sonic Youth, how nervous were you before that interview?

Most of the international bands who came on Recovery were jetlagged! The call time for most bands was 7am, this could be disastrous if the band had played a show the night before or only just arrived in the country after a major long haul flight. Having said that, I really enjoyed that Sonic Youth interview. I thought Thurston, Kim and Lee were really down to earth and quite lovely.

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