Monday through Friday, Clay Pigeon wakes up at 4a.m. to take the Path train from Manhattan to Jersey City, where he hosts his morning show, Wake N Bake on WFMU. Listeners from the Hudson Valley and beyond tune in to the station to hear music they can’t get anywhere else, with a side of Clay’s self-described “Midwestern sensibilities and conversation.” On the weekends, his schedule is unpredictable and he likes to keep it that way. “I think I have ADD, I have a hard time focusing constantly,” Pigeon admits. “I have a hard time not talking on the radio… but I don’t think it’s such a bad thing?” Definitely not a bad thing.


I’m not a morning person, but I am a person who wakes up with a lot of energy. I drive my wife crazy—I’m chatty and I just wake up talking. Sometimes I tend to flame out a few hours later when everyone else is finally waking up. Last night we went to see Mother the movie, and because of our weird sleep hours we both woke up at six a.m. and laid there talking about the movie for an hour and tried to go back to sleep. It’s been a challenge adjusting to the hours, but because I love what I’m doing so much, it’s easier to tolerate. It’s not a matter of not wanting to do the work, it’s a matter of not having enough hours in the day to do it more.


I really spend just about every waking minute thinking about the next creative thing I want to do. My strength in life that I was given—whatever, I’m not real Christian per se but I believe in something—we all have our strengths and this is mine: I create profusely and then hopefully some of it is good, rather than focusing in on one thing trying to make it precious. I learned a long time ago to fearlessly just spit it out there and find out what sticks as opposed to waiting in life for that moment and letting fear hold you back. Doing something and having it fail is not failure, you know? You just learn.


I find right now, since I’m working such strange hours, on the weekend it’s really, really easy to just collapse on the couch and watch movies or shows. It sounds really pedestrian, but my wife and I watch Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones. TV isn’t the enemy. In fact, I think this is one of the best ages on television. However, there’s something to be said about just mindlessly watching television and letting it wash over you as you eat some junk food.


I’m also a political junkie, so since the election I’ve actually made a conscious effort to not watch it is much. I want to be aware—I’m aware—but I don’t want it to dictate my mood because I can watch five minutes of political television and feel really upset and outraged.


We have some really interesting friends—one of them is a French guy who knows all of these chefs so we end up going out to eat with him at restaurants we otherwise never would’ve heard of. One of the most exciting things about New York is what your friends do. At first it can be a drag because your ego wants you to be the best, and it’s disarming to discover that there’s lots of other people just like you who have the same amount of talent or more than you do. But if you accept it, then you realize the upside, which is that there’s a lot of people that get what you’re trying to do who want to collaborate with you.


My wife and I walked down to the gallery district last weekend and looked at a bunch of art and got inspired, went out and bought a bunch of painting supplies, but there’s just not enough time. It’s frustrating in a way because the art supplies are sitting there and I want to paint, but when is that day going to come?


I either run or I smoke cigarettes, so luckily now I’ve been off cigarettes for a couple of years. I’ve started and stopped over the course of my life, and if I don’t run and be addicted to that, then I’ll get addicted to other things.

I’m not a fast runner, but I think it’s as much mental as it is physical. I sometimes think of the worst things while I’m running, but by the time I’m done I’ve cycled through it all and I feel great. It gives you self-esteem, you know? It’s one thing I can do in my life: when I’m done, no matter how shitty I’m feeling about myself on some level, at least I did that.

I always run at night or at sunset. Or in the rain—it’s one of my favorite feelings. I like to be that nut who’s out running in a rainstorm. There’s something hardcore about that.