Mike The Enforcer “Reflecting on the Radio Years” By: Rob Smittix
Written by Staff on July 28, 2021
What an honor to speak with a local radio alumni today. Most known for his catch phrase “Ya bastard!” Ladies and gents, I bring you Mike the Enforcer!
RRX: Interviews suck so let’s have a conversation. I don’t really like doing interviews at all.
Mike: I would always ask the questions I thought the crowd would ask but put a little bit of a twist on it. Like what have you been doing since you got out of radio? Do you miss it? Of course, I miss it. Where else can you actually go to work and enjoy what you do?
RRX: I’m so happy to be working with RadioRadioX, I haven’t done radio in so long. I missed the perks.
Mike: The perks were great but for me it was always listening to new music that was coming out. New music is so slow these days, you hardly hear about it anymore. When new music came out back then everybody was on top of it. So that was the perk for me getting a chance to hear music come out before anybody else did. You know? Taking trips and stuff like that, yeah, they are memories. I went to Vegas with The Edge, I went to Wreslemania with 104.9. That was a great trip, it was insane. They put us up in Orlando, gave us tickets to the Hall of Fame induction ceremony the year Rick Flair went in. Tickets to Universal Studios… aw man they hooked us up! They closed the restaurant down the night before the ceremony and the only people in there were WWE superstars and the media, which was us. I sat at a table with Mean Gene Okerlund, Jimmy the Mouth from the South, The Great Khali and Mark Henry. I got to meet them all, so those were perks but again if you do your job right that’s what you should get.
RRX: When I think of perks, it was the food I missed most. I had so many food sponsors, I ate for free every day!
Mike: When I worked at The Edge there was a pizza shop downstairs Mrozek would always go down and get it. “You got to get the pie, guy.”
RRX: Oh my God I worked with Mrozek at that location before you did. He would eat that pizza so much. I didn’t think their pizza was that good at all but it was convenient. You could throw on 3 songs, go grab a slice and come back before you had to talk.
Mike: (Laughs) Exactly!
RRX: When did you get started with radio?
Mike: I want to say it was ’98 or ‘99, it was pre-911 because I was on the air for that. I started with PYX doing traffic for the Wolf and then they sold out to another company. That’s when Reverend Dave called me, I went and met with him and he said he wanted me to do a feature called the “Cage Match.” He gave me the premise and said here you go. He said take two songs play them back to back and take phone calls, that’s all he said, I built it into Who are you? Where are you? What’s your vote? I said alright I’ll do that but I want to bring back mandatory Metallica. He said “yeah no problem”, 11 o’clock every night we’ll do three Metallica songs. I had free rein over that from the get go.
RRX: I started playing Metallica on the classic rock station I worked at and our interim program director shut it down. He said the station should operate like McDonald’s and we should give them a number two from the menu. His example was to play John Mellencamp’s, “Pink Houses” and “Jack and Diane”. The station folded soon after and now all classic rock stations play Metallica. What a putz.
Mike: Don’t get me started, people around here don’t get it. The biggest thing people want is local. You got a killer boss because Artie gets it. He gets that variety is the spice of life.
RRX: So, it was PYX that you started at?
Mike: Started at PYX, went to the Edge, then I was at Channel 103.1, after that I went to 104.9, then I went and did traffic for Magic the AM station. They had me doing traffic. I’ll never forget it, the morning Randy Macho Man Savage died they had me do the traffic in his voice. Oh my God it was so funny.
RRX: That’s a great resume you’ve got there.
Mike: But like you said earlier, radio today is definitely not the way it was back then. I did the beer nights at first, schlepped all the equipment around, I paid my dues doing the internship. So, to get where I got to at the end, I was humbled, I was surprised how many people were actually listening. I would hear about it but never paid attention to the Arbitron ratings or anything like that. My pat on the back was when people called me, “oh we’re having a great time, we’re drinking, that was a great song you played.” That to me was my accolade, that’s all I wanted.
RRX: Oh absolutely. Now, real quick, just to switch gears you’re obviously a drummer, most recently known for playing with Murderer’s Row.
Mike: I grew up with Bobby Riley, I’ve known him since pre-kindergarten. I found out their drummer left and Bobby called me up he’s like hey you want to come over? So, I go over he gets me behind the kit, I play an AC/DC song, he goes “You want to jam with us?” I said sure. It was a good time. Murderer’s Row, I love those guys. We’re Burgh boys for life.
RRX: Have you put drumming on the backburner for a bit?
Mike: It’s funny you should say that. A friend of mine just contacted me to put some drum tracks down. What the hell, I’ll get behind the kit for a while. I put all this money into it, I might as well get behind and play it.
RRX: I’m so glad I’m not a drummer it’s so expensive. Have you ever thought about getting a sponsorship?
Mike: I ain’t that good man. My moniker is I’m the area’s most okay-est drummer. There’re guys out there that’ll blow my doors off, I know that and I respect them for that. I just like to do it and have fun, I’ve been doing it since I was a kid, ’85 or ‘86 something like that. I can’t get enough of it. I love it! It’s probably the best therapy according to my vascular people, they say it’s very good for my arteries because I’m moving all of my limbs at the same time. It’s going to keep me alive.
RRX: Well I appreciate your time.
Mike: Keep up the good work and keep fighting, ya bastard!