The BuddhaMan, One Of L.A.’s Great Longtime Deejays

The BuddhaMan

Meet The BuddhaMan, One Of L.A.’s Great Longtime Deejays

For more than three decades, Alan K. Lohr (also known as BuddaMan) has been one of the most important and high-profile on-air radio personalities in Southern California – first, as a deejay at top alt-rock station KROQ-FM; and more recently, as the driving force behind the Radio Domination Streaming Network, along with his own seven-day-a-week show, “BuddhaMan’s International Experience.”

All Access Magazine writer Doug Deutsch (DD) interviewed BuddhaMan recently.

DD: What made you decide to become a music deejay in the first place?

BUDDHAMAN: When I was about eight years old I was listening to radio shows from the 1930’s and the deejays who were on the at that time. I thought to myself that was what I wanted to do. I used to ride my bike down to the local radio station and just hang out and watch the deejays spin records. I knew from that very early age that is what I wanted to do. Play music for the world.

DD: How did you get the on-air name, the BuddhaMan?

The BuddhaManBUDDHAMAN: I collect Buddha’s. In 1995 was teaching voiceovers from my home studio and an American Buddhist Monk came to take lessons. He was amazed by my collection and said “You are a Buddha Man”. I told my wife Kathleen and she said if I ever get a radio show again that is the name I should use. So that is the how that happened.

DD: You were a deejay on KROQ-FM during its heyday. Describe that experience?

BUDDHAMAN: That was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. I was there when the punk movement was happening in England and here in L.A. and N.Y. I decided I wanted to play progressive music mixed with local and new bands. Everyone at KROQ was basically doing what they wanted to do. Darryl Wayne was both a deejay and the Program Director. Pat Welsh was the GM. I had all my own sponsors and I got to interview Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Robert Fripp, John Waite, Journey and so many more. I discovered the band Oingo Boingo fronted by Danny Elfman. The guitarist of DEVO said I was first one to play them as well. KROQ was one of the greatest memories of radio I had. It was the end of FM radio as we knew it.

DD: Talk about your yearly KONGFEST concerts, what are they all about?

BUDDHAMAN: KONGFEST I have done twice. I have had over 600 bands and Musicians on my Saturday night radio show, “BuddhaMan’s International Experience.” I thought, ‘so why not take some of those bands and have them perform on stage and broadcast that show to the world?’ I had nineteen bands the first time I set out to do KONGFEST. It gives the musicians a chance to get their music out there and be heard live. It is about the music and letting people know that the music industry as we know it now does not represent what truly is out there. I try to bring the best acts that I have had on my show and showcase them to the world.

DD: What’s changed for the worse about radio, rock and roll, and music in general over the last few decades? And what’s changed for the better?

The BuddhaManBUDDHAMAN: I think what has changed is that shows like American Idol and The Voice showcase music that the corporations what us to hear. That is not a good thing. Luckily we have social media and other ways for bands to get the music out to the general public. It is still very difficult if you do not have the talent or the drive to do all the work that needs to be done. This is a good thing because the artist takes over where the record company would normally start to change what that artist has to offer. Plus there is a nifty little tool called Autotune. This tunes the voice of anyone to sound like they may have talent. Now I won’t say that does not have its place in the studio. But, the musicians must be able to replicate on stage what has been recorded. The great thing is that they have all the tools they need to go forward if the all the pieces are there. Great musicianship.

DD: Let’s talk about the radio stations you run and deejay on, Radio Domination Streaming Network (RDSN) and How did you become involved with these?

BUDDAMAN: I was on another Internet radio station and a guy named Jayden Prince was listening to my show. I was simulcasting The International Experience on KXRX, the first station on RDSN. Jayden came up with the idea to have a radio network. I joined when he created KONGmonsterrock,net because I know that music really well. In 2012 I purchased the network with another partner so I could create radio the way I thought it should be done. I produce my show every day from 11am – 1pm and a 5-hour Saturday night radio show that spotlights up and coming musicians, poets, bands and whoever walks in that studio door.

I also produce many other radio shows for KONG and I am GM and Program Director for that station. KXRZ my metal station is in a club in L.A. and I have a country station, KXTO, an active rock station, KXRX, and one that is waiting for someone who knows the music, KXFU, an alternative rock station. It is quite a selection we have at RDSN.

DD: What do you predict for the future of Internet-driven radio?

BUDDHAMAN: I predict that Internet radio will grow and it will prosper over the coming years. I started out in internet radio in 1998 in a Garage in Van Nuys, Calif. No one was paying any attention and it was very costly to have an Internet radio station because no one was doing it. Now there are a lot of shows and stations. The ones that will survive are the stations and networks that sponsors will come on board for. Internet radio is the future of radio.