With a name like Nails you would think Toronto’s newest on-air radio personality would be doing his remote broadcast from aisle 16 of The Home Depot on Terry Fox Way in Mississauga.
But, in fact, Nails Mahoney was quite comfortable behind the microphone setup at the Q107 table nestled just inside the contractors’ entrance helping the home renovation store Wednesday with their annual Contractors’ Appreciation Day.
How many people mentioned the connection between his name and the galvanized building product?
“Only one…” said Mahoney, “…the guy sitting right beside me: Harrison the (Q107) tech. I think (the customers) were just too polite.”
Mahoney takes over the 6-11 pm time slot at the powerhouse Corus classic rock station on a full time basis following a few months of staff fill-ins after the departure of Dominik Diamond last August. And much like Diamond, Mahoney brings a wealth of experience from behind the mic from gigs in Canada and overseas.
Originally from Ireland, he’s graced the airwaves on FM stations in Dublin and also spent some time on-air in Vancouver.
So why the move back to Canada while family stays back home?
“The reason I’m here is because you don’t refuse a station like Q107 – it is one of those legendary stations,” he explains. “I was talking to one of the chaps earlier on and he asked: ‘why did you come here?’ It’s one of the biggest stations on the planet. When people ask you where you’re working and you say XYZ-FM, they say ‘where’s that?’ When you say Q107 they say ‘Oh!’ So you can’t turn down a station like this. You have to do it. You just have to.
“When Q107 asks if you want to join up you say ‘yes’.”
Such an unusual name should bring some initial interest to the evening time frame on ‘The Mighty Q”, but Nails Mahoney is only his on-air moniker. His real name is Brian McColl.
“I used the Nails name years ago at a station in the UK called Atlantic 252 and I just thought I’d give it another go,” he said. “I stopped using it for about 10 years and then I thought I’d air it out again and see what happens.”
Whatever you might want to call him, Mahoney’s first month on-air has been practically seamless. His on-air style has been easy on the ears while he builds a relationship with listeners. And building a relationship on the radio is like building a relationship between two people in ‘real life’: you’re polite at first and put your best foot forward until you become more comfortable with each other. Then you can proceed to the ‘let-your-hair-down’ stage.
So what stage are listeners at now with Mahoney?
“I’d like to think we’re at the ‘comfortable-enough-to-fart-in-each-other’s-presence’ stage,” he joked. “I would hope so. Maybe a little self-conscious about it but willing to try. If you can accept the fart at this stage then we’re doing okay.”