We’d like to take some time to celebrate our former staff members, and everything they brought to VENOM! Without them, we would not be us.
Simon Jaeger: Founding Network Administrator (March 2019-July 2022)
Nanaimo, BC, Canada
I’m a tech and audio enthusiast, sporadic bookworm, audio producer and very casual musician. These interests have persisted since my early childhood, during which I could often be found taking apart answering machines, making radio edits from radio edits I recorded to tape, playing with terrible toy keyboards until I discovered every single feature, dialing random 1-800 numbers, or reading the numerous talking books my mother found at our tiny local library.
For my 10th Christmas, she gave me a cheap radio transmitter that broadcasted on just one frequency, mixing together the output from its built-in microphone and tape player as well as whatever I decided to plug into it. After the novelty wore off, I realized I was pretty bad at broadcasting. When I got a computers, I realized I was pretty good at making other broadcasters and their content sound more professional, and my steadily increasing knowledge of audio equipment has caused me to become a frequent adviser for aspiring DJ’s. Additionally, I’m in charge of setting up and maintaining VENOM’s servers, e-mail service, and associated software, and it’s been very satisfying to watch the technical side of this project come together and pick up new tricks along the way.
I was originally approached as an external consultant, but I enjoyed working with the rest of the team and learning the necessary technical skills so much that I convinced them all to let me stay.
Outside of VENOM, I work as an accessibility tester and own a website that hosts voice chat servers. In my spare time, I can often be found tinkering with some obscure hardware and software combination, yelling at Linux, or making terrible concept demos of mashup ideas. My musical preferences vary quite a bit from day to day, but I quite enjoy the direction mainstream EDM is taking, and often listen to piano music at night or in the background.
Simon built the foundation VENOM runs on today. From choosing the server to setting up email, streaming, TeamTalk, and providing perspective in management meetings, Simon was an integral part of founding and running VENOM for the first three years. Thank you so much.
Malik Wilson: Programming Director (March 2019-January 2023)
I am an artist/producer specializing in Rap, pop and R&B. I release music daily on my YouTube channel Question Official, and have one over 15 beat battles throughout the US. Music was a big part of my life even before I could speak. I was a talented drummer by age 5, and in the same year recorded my first song. My goal is to connect a wide number of different people through the universal language of music. I have always enjoyed broadcasting, and would study FM radio air checks and morning shows as a kid. I’ve previously worked in broadcasting and management on another network, and am excited and proud to assist in bringing you VENOM!
Ailish Poss: Contributor (March 2019-January 2020)
I have worked in internet radio since 2002 where I got my start on a friend’s station called “Goodwash Radio.” Since then, I have worked with quite a few stations over the years, playing a variety of music ranging from classic rock, love songs, world music and more.
However, radio isn’t my only passion. I enjoy reading, writing, socializing with friends and family, and I also like some TV and a good movie from time to time. I also sing, and have performed for both small and large crowds, and enjoy writing and playing music with my brother and fiancé when time allows.
Outside of my hobbies, I am a people person, with years of experience working customer care and have even worked in childcare. One of my biggest dreams is returning to school to study social work and AIS, (American Indigenous Studies.) For now though, you can expect to hear me weekly right here on VENOM, where I hope you enjoy my shows and live contributions.
Life is too short, so live free, love deeply and make the best of your days. They are the only ones you get. 🙂
I loved these shows. Ailish provided excellent content in a time where we had more managers than broadcasters. She was the third broadcaster we brought in, and helped us form VENOM.
Armando Maldonado: Contributor (January 2022-May 2023)
My name is Armando Maldonado, also known as DJ FreeSpirit. I currently live in corning, CA, about two hours north of Sacramento, which is the Capital of California. My love and passion for music began at a very young age. I was always interested in various instruments like Guitars, Piano and most of all, drums. In Fourth Grade, I participated in Choir, being that i was mainstreamed in Corning Public Schools since Kindergarten. Two years later, I joined Band and was a percussionist. I continued this until my senior year in High School and upon graduation, I let that go in order to pursue my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Behavioral and Social Sciences from California State University, CHICO.
In 2015, my interest in Internet Radio Broadcasting took shape upon hanging out on a TeamTalk Server. An idea of me having a radio show was talked about and I ran with it and pursued my hobby. I’ve broadcasted for various Internet Radio Stations throughout the years, and now it is my hope that you will join me each and every Wednesday from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM for The Mexican PartyHouse. My goal is to bring you a melting pot full of content, ranging from English and Spanish Music, as well as Story time for those who are young and young at heart.
Working with Armando was a lot of fun! His content was always unique and interesting, and he’s a great producer. We appreciate all of the great content he brought to VENOM.
Drew Mochak: Contributor (March 2020-August 2023)
Mountain View, CA
I am a 30-something tech worker in the bay area with years of experience broadcasting crap to my friends. When not ruining your life (sorry!) I can occasionally be found playing games on Twitch.tv/Object_InSpace or (somewhat less occasionally) spewing my garbage opinions on Mastodon. I enjoy progressive rock music, which is another term for pretentious rock, as well as symphonic rock which means even-more-pretentious rock. I like burgers, spending time with my friends, and blowing stuff up.
Thoughtfood was packed with great content, and I will miss having something fun to do on a Sunday afternoon! Drew would argue that I didn’t have enough Sunday afternoons free for that to matter, to which I wouldn’t have much to say. You can find Drew on Twitch and every Sunday night on The Arcade.
Emmerel Rice: Contributor (March 2019-January 2020)
Hey! My name is Emmerel Farah Phox, or Emmy for short, and I am The Original Qrýtczýr of Syn. Here on VENOM, I host Into the Black, a program dedicated to all forms of progressive, underground metal, industrial and so much more.
I have been doing Internet radio now for nearly six years, and have spent time entertaining the masses with my particular brand of madness on a few stations before VENOM. I’m also a multi-instrumentalist, song writer and composer, and have had experience in playing live gigs and recording my own solo material as well as working with my former Progressive Metal band, (Badger.) Basically, music is my life and soul.
When I was younger, I used to love listening to the radio. During my teenage years, my favorite station was 98 KUPD, The Big Red Radio, out of Phoenix Arizona. I used to love recording what ever shows I could on tape, then blasting them in my ears while I was at school. Around that time, I started entertaining the idea of going into radio as a career, but later found out that there was a lot of red tape in the industry, so many rules and guidelines that had to be followed. Anyone who knows me will tell you that rules and I have always had a hate/hate relationship, and between that and being told that very few ever really make it in radio, I lost the drive to go to school for broadcasting. But I still loved to listen and fantasize. Instead, I put my heart in soul into learning guitar, keys, drums and bass, learning music theory and how to make the ideas in my head come out and into a computer for editing and sharing with the world. Over time, I got pretty good at that, and found myself going to band auditions, jamming with local musicians and honing my skills.
However, in 2014, my ex-girlfriend landed a show on an underground Internet station out of the UK and encouraged me to give it a shot and apply for a position. I knew nothing at all about the software I was expected to use, and I had never done anything quite like this up until then. So, naturally, in typical Farah fashion, I half-assed my trial show, stayed consistently stoned the entire episode, and even sexually assaulted my microphone at the very end as I didn’t think I was going to get asked to stay on. That show would later become the premise for my first show called “The Fire Pit.” Keep in mind that anyone who worked on this station acted like they were fifteen, even if they were forty. From that point on, I was in love with Internet broadcasting. From that station and to the next a few years down the road where I hosted another program called “The Synner’s Pit,” I did my best to provide the best entertainment I could, even if the entertainment came at my own expense. “No shame, more game,” was my motto. And entertain I did. That first station is also where I met Shane Lowe and many of the others you can hear on VENOM, and since then, we’ve been great friends.
When VENOM was still in it’s conceptual stages, not quite yet even a full idea, I was approached by management and asked if I wanted a slot on what would later become VENOM.FM. Obviously I jumped at the chance to run wild again, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Aside from radio and music, I am a transgender female, writer and blogger. My fiancé and fellow VENOM broadcaster Ailish and I live in Minnesota with our three cats, Mia, Ozzy, and Mystic Shadow, or Misty for short. I still compose my own music and enjoy collaborating. I am always tinkering around with new musical sounds and genres. I enjoy talking to new friends, educating the masses about transgenderism, and reading.
The second person we brought onto the team, Emerel has been a friend of VENOM before we were even close to starting. She helped come up with our name, designed our logo, gave us lots of advice, and created killer content!
Jimmy Steel: Contributor (July 2020-September 2022)
Hi, my name is Jimmy. I’m 26 years old and I live in Alabama. I’m probably one of the few here without a fancy title. Just a guy who really loves music of all kinds, and loves to share that love of music with others. When I’m not in front of my computer, nine times out of 10 with a stream of some kind up somewhere, I’m outside working with my plants. I’ve got a 120 sq foot greenhouse, which is currently undergoing expansion to a little bit less than 240 sq feet. I think the plants I grow also reflect my eclectic nature. I’m pretty well known to most of the local nurseries as the sort who walks in and spends the next 30 to 45 minutes engaging them about any interesting plants they have. This usually results in money spent and a new plant to add to my budding collection. That’s pretty much all there is to me honestly. Music and plants… and before I end up digressing on to some tangent about musical plants, I’ll say goodbye. I hope to see you on my show!
Talk About It was one hell of a unique show. Usually funny and always interesting, Jimmy is an irreplaceable part of VENOM. We love you, man!
Justin Heard: Contributor (March 2021-January 2023)
I am Young Grandpa Justin, also known as Justin Heard. When I was a little kid, I carried around a tape recorder, and would record songs on the radio and pretend I was a DJ. I roped my family into playing the roles of news reporter, weather man, and traffic reporter. I began my career in underground online broadcasting when I was 14 (in 2012) on Crash Coin Radio, and later became a manager of Grenade Radio. I hosted The Random Basement for nearly 7 years, creating enough incriminating evidence to bar me from public office.
After Grenade Radio exploded (not in a good way) my life changed completely, which is not related to the end of Grenade at all. I converted from being a nominal Christian to an Orthodox Christian. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from the University of Georgia, and at the time of writing, am pursuing a Masters in Divinity degree at holy Cross Orthodox School of theology. I have served as Vice President for the Orthodox Christian Fellowship at UGA and Georgia College & State University. I also help teach Sunday School at St. Philothea Orthodox Church.
Outside of my studies and ministry, I served as president of the Georgia Association of Blind Students for 6 years, and served one term on the National Federation of the Blind of Georgia board. In 2018, I became a NFB scholarship winner, and in 2019, went to Tanzania to work with students with disabilities and their communities. I currently serve on the NFB of Massachusetts Cambridge Chapter board, and lead the NFBMA student group.
When I have free time, I enjoy reading Fantasy and Christian literature, watching various shows, and spending time with friends. I married my wife Blaine in July of 2021, and we have a crazy cat named Blaze. I am honored that Venom asked me to host Grandpa’s Good Time Gospel Hour, and hope the show will edify this community, and glorify God.
Justin is one of the people who brought me back onto the radio scene in 2013, and is one of my oldest friends. It has been such a pleasure working together again through VENOM, and I learned so much from the Gospel Hour each week. The podcast is still available here if you didn’t get a chance to listen live, and it is well worth your knowledge. You can still find Justin as a leader of The Arcade each Sunday, and I don’t think he’s going anywhere!
Michael Johann: Contributor
I have had an interest in radio ever since I was fifteen, and always loved listening to the local morning shows. If I started in radio as a profession, my goal was to feature on a morning show! However, after looking at several colleges, and realizing there are few options for broadcasting degrees, I decided to major in music instead. However, my love for radio never died, and I tried getting a job at my colleges radio station, but I quickly turned it down when I was told I would be limited in what I could say. After that I started looking in to online radio. I even tried starting my own internet radio station, and after several failed attempts to get something going, I found venom!
Other than radio, my passion is music. As of this writing I am currently pursuing a degree in vocal music education. I also play many instruments and produce my own music, which I upload to my YouTube channel.
I also stream live on Twitch
I don’t have much at the moment, but you can follow me on twitter for updates.
Michael contributed so much to the VENOM family in his time here. He started hanging out with us as a listener in early 2021, and has become one of our most genuine friends since. He attended the first V Con after knowing us for only 6 months, and rest assured you will be able to find him on shows like The Arcade and the Allstar Jam even today!