Young DJ Miles Schuman at the mic.
Audio of Show: "Adolescent radio host bringing you the best shows on Internet radio - The Shoe. Live with The Shoe."
The Shoe, aka Miles Schuman, is a native of Southwest Harbor, who, at the age of 14, streams his own rock show live on a Web site called blogtalkradio.com. It attracts around 5,000 listeners a week - some from as far away as Russia and Brazil - and is rated the number one rock program out of the 15,000 shows that air on the Web site.
Schuman - who plays the bass in a rock band himself - says it all began during lunch break at a Rock and Roll fantasy camp he attended in Philadephia when he was just 10 years old.
"I was sitting at the table and this guy had long hair, he was talking to me and he said, 'So you're a bass player?' And I said, 'Yeah I'm a bass player.' And he said, 'What's your favorite band?' And I said, 'Ozzy Osbourne.' And he said, 'No kidding - I used to be Ozzy's bass player.' And he started showing me all these pictures."
The veteran rocker at the table was Rudy Sarzo (right in photo at left, with Schuman), who has also played with Whitesnake, Quiet Riot and Blue Oyster Cult, among others. The two became friends, and a few months later, Sarzo agreed to be a guest on his newly-established rock show.
Audio from "Live with the Shoe":
"I have Rudy Sarzo here, he is a legendary bass player, I actually had him on the show once before. How you doing Rudy?"
"I'm doing terrific, how's your bass playing coming along?"
"It's going pretty good. I'm doing a lot of stuff with your brother Robert."
"Well, the cool thing about blogtalkradio is that you can have either the microphone set up, and the mixers and the interfaces and all that stuff, which I use now," Schuman says. "But they also give you an option - you can just call a number on your phone and host it from there."
And this is how he operated in the early, pre-adolescent days from his bedroom in Downeast Maine, armed with nothing more than a lap top, a mic and a phone.
From these humble beginnings Schuman grew his show to include an impressive list of rock star celebrity guests: former Pantera bassist Rex Brown, Guns 'n Roses axeman Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal and vocalist Geoff Tate - one of the founding members of prog metal rockers Queensryche. Schuman's interview with Gene Simmons from KISS received about 25,000 hits.
How did a kid barely in his teens entice such big names? Part of it, says Schuman, is that a lot of artists share the same publicist. "You'll go and look to see who the artist's publicist is, and you'll see, 'Oh, I was talking to that guy last week. So then you'll send him another email, and they already know who you are, they already know that you're no joke and so they're willing to book their people on the show."
Tom Porter: "What questions do you ask? How has your interviewing style evolved since you were 11?"
Miles Schuman: "When I was 11, it was really just, 'How did you know guitar was your thing? How did you know bass was your thing? How did you meet the others members in KISS?' for example. Now, more recently it's been more about what they have going on, if there's any controversy."
For example, when he recently interviewed Geoff Tate of Queensryche, he took the opportunity to quiz him about the controversy surrounding the band's split. And here he is talking last month with Michael Sweet of Stryper about the possible conflicts associated with being a Christian heavy metal group.
Miles Schuman: "Do you think that Stryper is well looked at in the Christian religion? Even though you are a Christian hard rock and heavy metal band, heavy metal specifically is always associated with Satan and somehow weird ways like that."
Geoff Tate: "Right. But you know we kind of get it from both sides, we're not 100 percent accepted in the Christian side, in the church, if you will. And we're not 100 percent accepted on the mainstream side or the world if you will."
The Shoe's success has already attracted corporate sponsorship from a clothing and apparel company. And as for future plans, Schuman is looking seriously at clinching a syndication deal for his show on FM radio in the near future.
But whatever happens, for the next few years radio will continue to be a sideline: Miles Schuman is still only in the eighth grade.
Audio of Show: "This is Miles 'The Shoe' Schuman. I will see you guys right back here next week. And, by the way, it's my birthday tomorrow, so happy birthday to me tomorrow- I'll be 14 years old, no longer a 13-year-old rock and roll radio host, going on to 14-year-old rock and roll radio host. All right, this is 'Legacy,' off 'No More Hell to Pay' (A Stryper album)."
Photos: Courtesy Miles Schuman