Kurt Vile &The Violators and Russ Borris at WFUV (photo by Brenna Keeley)
WFUV's music director Russ Borris loves music, so it goes without saying that he loves his job. But he says it anyway.
"The gig is great," he confirms. "It's incredible to be so directly involved in how the station sounds on a daily basis. Discovering new music and new artists is a huge part of the job, and it's nice to be able to share those discoveries with the staff as well as our audience."
In fact, Borris enjoys radio work so much that he started it on a volunteer basis, at a small, noncommercial station in his native New Jersey. He assisted the music department and recorded some promos for air before eventually landing a paying gig as "an overnight guy," and, later, music director. After honing his skills at a few different stations, he joined WFUV in September 2001, where he works closely with music director Rita Houston on shaping the station's eclectic yet distinctive sound.
Russ is heard Friday nights at 9pm on The Alternate Side, and often on WFUV, including Saturdays from 10am-1pm, subbing for absent weekday hosts, and pitching in during fund drives. "Basically, I just try to play music that I'm excited about and want to share with listeners that will get excited about it, too. I'm me on the radio, no wacky shtick or announcer voice. It's just me."
Borris is just a regular guy who happens to know a lot about music. He fits right in at the humble yet esteemed WFUV. He counts Black Sabbath, Johnny Cash, Depeche Mode, Neil Diamond, Nirvana, R.E.M., The Smiths, Bruce Springsteen, and Tom Waits among his favorite musicians.
"I really appreciate the opportunity to meet so many great artists, see great shows, just to be part of radio station that means so much to so many people," he says.
A lifelong "Jersey boy," Borris lives in Monmouth County with his wife and son.