Get to Know Eva Walker, Host of Early on KEXP

Powering KEXP
Emily Fox

Starting Sept. 13, 2023, KEXP is rolling out a brand new radio lineup. While we're introducing some new faces and voices to our on-air family, there's also some familiar DJs moving into new slots. Such is the case with the wonderful Eva Walker. In recent years, Eva has been holding things down as the host of our Pacific Northwest music show Audioasis – she plays in a Seattle band herself, fronting The Black Tones. Now Eva is picking up the baton from Gabriel Teodros to become the new host of Early, Mondays through Fridays from 5-7 A.M. PT. 

To introduce (or reintroduce) Eva to our listeners, KEXP's Sound & Vision host Emily Fox caught up with the Early host to learn how she's planning on acclimating to the new time slot as well as three songs to get to know her. Read or listen below and check out Eva's first edition of Early in the streaming archive

Emily Fox: So besides DJing at KEXP, you're also in a band called the Black Tones, which is wonderful. And shows like playing gigs as a musician happen late at night. So I'm just curious, how are you feeling about the early morning? 

Eva Walker: Oh, boy, I'm so glad you asked. Well, you know, we've gotten to the point now where weekends are kind of our best friends for shows and booking shows. But usually anything happening on a weekday for us at this point is likely going to be out of town anyway. So, I'll be having a sub. But, you know, I wake up, believe it or not, at 3 a.m. just about every day before any of this was happening and before – if I may talk about my pregnancy... 

Oh, yes, yes, yes! Congratulations! 

Thank you. I don't remember what the term is called, but I'm one of those that I can't sleep a straight six, seven, eight hours. That's just not how my brain or genetics, whatever... 

Even before pregnancy? 

Even before pregnancy. All these years I've been calling it insomnia, but that's not what it is. I just can sleep only a certain amount of hours a night, so, in sections. And it's called something and someone reminded me of it being something that's kind of primal that kind of goes way back. But like, I can sleep 3 hours here and then I'm up and then take another section of sleep and it's quite common. And all these years I thought it was insomnia. All these years I thought I was supposed to be sleeping eight hours straight. But there's not one way to sleep. So this actually is going to work out for me. 

Oh, my gosh. And that means you're a good napper, too, I hope. 

Yes. During the day – I try not to sleep during the day for the most part because of my thought of it being insomnia and trying to save my hours for night. But instead I've learned to embrace it and be like, "No, you can sleep two hours at a time, be up, sleep the other two hours." And again, I wish I remembered what the term was, but this actually works out pretty well for me. Like I said, I'm up at 3 a.m. every day, just naturally. I don't even need an alarm, but I will have one just in case. And then when the baby comes, they'll have me up every two hours anyway. So it works out great. Because people were like, "Are you are you worried?" I'm actually not a night owl at all. 

So when's your due date again? Just so folks know. 

End of February, early March. 

I can't wait. So I asked you to bring three songs today that are meaningful to you. And I left this open-ended. They could be new songs. They could be songs that have defined you throughout your life and songs that you're excited to play on Early. Tell me about the songs that you're bringing today. Let's let's talk through each one. What do you love about them and their meaning to you? 

Yes, it was really hard to narrow it down to three. I have like seven, but I was like, "Nope. Three. Stick to the assignment." And as I'm talking, I'm changing my mind about one of them right now because they've all been rotating. But I'm going to start with, I think, if you listen to me sub on the variety show, you know I always fit in somewhere a Kraftwerk song. And I think Kraftwerk works very well at 5 a.m. in the morning. And I think the song that I'm probably most excited about, it's very long, but I love "Autobahn." There's one time on the air I play the entire 23 minutes of it. But yes, definitely some Kraftwerk tunes. But let's go with "Autobahn." I probably won't play that one very much because, again, it's 23 minutes, but I will play it. 

What is the second song you'd like to share with us today? 

I think the second song I'm going to go with... So, the very first time I actually went on Early – I've only subbed on early one time and that was for World Goth Day – and I had a really fun time doing my rendition of Goth, which was based on American history, music from the 1920s, 30, 40 songs that had a lot of themes surrounding death and trauma and things like that and that kind of music, that old blues music. The grainy sound also works really well in the morning, and one of my favorite blues artists is Blind Willie Johnson. I look forward to playing a lot of blues in the morning throughout my time on Early, but I really like the song he does "Dark was the Night Cold was the Ground," which is also included on the golden record that's aboard Voyager one and Voyager two. Carl Sagan put it on there to represent the feeling of loneliness, which the golden record, of course, is a collection of sounds and music and images and everything that represents Earth and the Earthlings here. And that song was included. But I'm going to go with that song, "Dark was the Night, Cold was the Ground." 

I should also say something about Eva, if people don't know Eva very well, is that you are a big fan of space. 

Yes. Oh, yes. 

What is the third song you'd like to share with us today? 

I think I'm going to go with... Ahhh, I'm bouncing around a few, But you know what? I got to represent the hip-hop. I'm going with Public Enemy. I love, love, love, love, Public Enemy. And one of my favorite songs is "Public Enemy No. 1." It's a classic. I did a live event not that long ago, and they told me to choose my walk-out music and it was that song. And they asked, "Why did you choose that?" I was like, "You know, I chose this because I had asked the KEXP listeners what would their up-to-bat song be? And mine was, is this one." And since I'm probably never going to ever play Major League Baseball, any time someone asks you to walk out to music, this is going to be the closest I'm going to get to having an up-to-bat song. So I'm gonna go with "Public Enemy No. 1." I finally get to play them. We all know I've subbed, but now I have a show where I can play whatever I want. I'm stoked. 

So something else that I love when I listen to you is you had a little theme that you created for Audioasis. Are you going to have a jingle for Early? 

You know, that is the magical question. On my last episode of Audioasis last Saturday, my twin brother co-host with me, and we asked the listeners that. He was like, "Hey, if you have any questions for Eva, ask!" And that was one of the questions, was I gonna have an Early theme. And I was like, "You know, right now, I have zero ideas for one." I have a show intro, but I don't have like a jingle. And so we kind of just said, "Hey, listeners, if you want to start from scratch and create a jingle for Early, I will gladly take them." 

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