Brian, Scott & Ron
Colleen via email
Hello, Dollfaces, thanks for this interview. I have seen you posting on my metal sister and founder of Obscure Chaos Zine on her personal page and now the zine pages as well, Do you feel having good friends is a good way to promote your station on their pages and has anyone got annoyed that you have posted on their page? What pages have you found most supportive to help Metal Thunder Radio out?
SCOTT - I would say that the guys from Prime Evil and of course Ed Farsthey and Wendigo Productions have been the biggest help to us in the (almost) year we’ve been around. But, the support from all ends has been great! Nobody to my knowledge yet has complained about us posting on their pages. Hopefully it stays that way!
BRIAN – Yep definitely agree with Scott that Prime Evil, Ed & Wendigo have been in the forefront of support, but I would also say the Mike from MP Project, Mike from Lardhand as well as Unworked Apparel have been right there as well. As far as Facebook pages I would say of course Obscure Chaos Zine, RMHO, LadySkullShine Entertainment, Love of Metal & Yvonne’s World just to name a few.
RON - I would not want to forget anyone but, we do have many friends who support & promote us. One that comes to mind is Gini from the http://www.examiner.com who wrote a very awesome article about the live show broadcast. I don't know of anyone who has been annoyed by us posting on their page.
Your station hasn’t been around for a very long time but it’s making a good connection in the metal scene. Reading your profile page it states, “Our weekly, live online radio show airs every Tuesday at 9pm EST.” and you’re on for about an hour and the rest of the week it’s quite, why? Did you think about having an auto-dj for the remaining days or maybe getting other Dj’s to join your team?
BRIAN – I wouldn’t want to have an auto DJ. I’ve see a lot of stations that have an auto DJ just so it can run 24/7 but I can’t see that people would be tuning in at 4am. To me the one hour live show we do should be an event for the bands, where they know when they will be played & can promote it. With an auto DJ the bands would never know when they would be played. As far as only being on once a week, it’s tough to find time to do this since we all have jobs & personal commitments.
SCOTT -For me it’s mainly a time constraint thing, I run my own business so I’m tied up with work obligations seven days a week for the most part, and because of that, have very little free time.
RON - We all have day jobs and it takes a fair amount of time the put together our 1 hour show. We are just getting started right now but both of those suggestions could be possibilities in the future.
Do you find it expensive to run a station and is this a reason you have t-shirts to help cover the cost of the shirts and the station? Has it been helpful? Wear can one purchase a shirt from?
BRIAN – There definitely is a cost associated with running the station but I try to find the most cost effective ways to do things. There was a lot of research to find the most inexpensive way to stream, we use older computers & have a primitive phone system but it all works & that is what is most important.
RON - Yes the t-shirt sales are meant to alleviate the cost of running the show, but to date we've sold one (1) shirt!!!!!! A shirt can be purchased by going to the merchandise page on http://www.metalthunderradio.com
What can one expect when they tune in?
RON - Listeners can expect to have an awesome time listening to sick underground metal music and 3 guys (plus the occasional guest) talking about metal and other things, but mostly metal.
SCOTT - People can expect the best in underground metal from around the world. We don’t discriminate either, if it’s halfway decent, we’ll put it on our show! Some people have asked why we don’t play Slayer, old Metallica, etc and the bottom line is, those bands don’t need our help, and you can hear them on mainstream radio. All though we will pull out some rare live Exodus and Slayer from back in the 80s from time to time.
How many listeners to you have at this current moment and who are your biggest supporters?
BRIAN – Listeners to the live show vary week to week but each show is also available on iTunes & I know there are a lot of people that download it. As far as our biggest supporters, aside from those listed above (MP Project, Lardhand, Ed, Prime Evil etc.) I would have to say that Adam from Toronto & Fredrik from Sweden (CEO at Concept Sweden Management) are among our biggest supporters. They are always in chat during the live show & help keep things fun & interesting.
You’re bio also states, “Our playlist is comprised of the best underground bands from around the world” today many have a different concept to what “underground” stands for, in your words what does it mean to you and what styles of music do you accept for your station?
SCOTT - Underground to me means music that doesn’t have the benefit of mainstream radio play, or mainstream promotion. Bands that still have to do everything themselves, promotion, merchandise, etc. This doesn’t mean that a band can’t be signed to a label and still be underground. Many great bands that we feature on the show every week are in fact signed to independent labels but are still considered underground bands.
RON - Just bands who are trying to get their music out there. They don't have a big label promoting their music. Some of the bands are signed to a label but the band still does most of their own promoting and stuff. We accept metal of all types: thrash, death, power, black, hardcore, plus more...
BRIAN – Echoing what Scott & Ron said, underground bands are bands that are still pushing themselves. Whether signed or not, they don’t have a big promotional machine behind them. They are still out there selling their own merchandise, handing out fliers for their upcoming shows & basically funding their own efforts. As far as the music we accept, we take all kinds of metal but we’ve also received a good amount of rock & hard rock songs as well. To the point that we’ve had two separate special rock shows.
Where can bands send their material too and what format do you take?
RON - There are a number of ways that bands can get us their music. Facebook (facebook.com/metalthunderradio), Twitter (@metaltradio), Email (firstname.lastname@example.org), and the Contact Us page on http://www.metalthunderradio.com All song submissions should be in the mp3 format.
Being that your station runs for a short time it makes it harder to keep the bands in a regular rotation. How often will these bands submitting their material be heard? How are you working that out or is it a onetime deal?
RON - That depends of how many songs they have submitted. Of course the more songs they submit the more they will be heard.
BRIAN – Each week we try to have as many new bands as possible, but we will always repeat a couple of songs & like Ron said the more songs they have submitted they more they will be played. We also have each show on our website along with each band that we played that night with links to their pertinent sites so even if we might have only played a band once or twice, visitors to our website can always find them.
What bands have you heard for the first time and now you have become a fan of?
SCOTT - There are a lot of bands that we feature that I consider stellar, some that come to mind right off the top of my head are Bull Riff Stampede, Klank, Dead Label & Slasher.
RON - There are too many to list. There are a lot of talented bands that are not being heard. That is the whole point of our show, giving these bands a venue to be heard.
BRIAN – Adding to the bands Scott mentioned I would have to say the bands that I think of right away are Estampida, Kill Syndicate, Tellus Requiem, Diztord, Gormathon.
Have you done live band interviews?
SCOTT - Yep, we sure have. Did a live phone interview with Mike Usifer from Prime Evil, and we also did a taped phone interview with Tord from Sweden (Diztord).
RON - Plus a number of on-air call ins. We also interviewed all the bands at the live broadcast show (King from Deceased, Ronnie & Danny from Malignancy, Mike from Sacrificial Blood, Mike from Prime Evil, Drew from Midnite Hellion, Duke & John from Thorn Constellation) .
Did you book the show or just hosted the show On January 12, 2013 St. Vitus Bar in New York with Thorn Constellation, Sacrificial Blood, Midnite Hellion, Prime Evil, Deceased, and Malignancy? How did the live streaming go with your listeners and how was the overall turn out? Are you going to do another show with Wendigo productions?
SCOTT - That show at St Vitus was a collaboration between us and Ed from Wendigo Productions. We came up with the bands and Ed worked his magic and got them all to agree to do the show!
BRIAN – The live show really went well considering we were kinda doing this blindly. We didn’t have any point of reference of doing this before. The club was completely sold out & the online audience was phenomenal. It was great that while we were interviewing various band members, people listening online were also asking questions via chat. It was a great way for the bands to talk to their fans who were not in NY. In some cases we had questions coming in from fans in various countries around the world. We did have a bit of a buffering issue but overall it went off without a hitch. I am sure we will be doing another show sooner rather than later.
What are your own experiences in the metal scene, band, promoters, club owners, etc.? What styles of music do you enjoy most outside of the station?
RON - I was the lead guitarist for Shadow of Demise & let’s just say I have a very eclectic Ipod!!
BRIAN – I was the bass player for Sudden Fear. We played every place we could throughout the 90’s & came across a plethora of promoters & club owners. Some good people & some assholes. I’m sure Scott & I could spend hours telling stories of our time with SF but we’ll save that for another interview. As far as music I listen to, mostly metal but also some rock & classic rock.
Who came up with the idea of doing an on-line radio station and who came up with the name?
BRIAN – I had the idea of doing a radio show after I had gone back to school for broadcasting. They tell you that the best way to get into radio is to have an internship & build a demo reel to hand out to stations. Since I have a full time job & a family I didn’t have any time for an internship so I decided to try to do something on my own. I came up with the name & had asked Scott if he wanted to do it with me. After a few shows Ron came down to hang out & it clicked so he quickly became part of the team.
The radio industry is constantly changing & right now more & more people are moving to online radio & podcasts. So we’ll see how far we can take this.
Did you always want to be a DJ or did it just happen?
BRIAN – It actually just happened. I originally went to broadcasting school to learn the behind the scenes aspect of radio & to get into production.
So far what is one of your funniest moments since you started the station?
BRIAN – I would say the funniest thing that happened so far was when Scott couldn’t make it to the show but was able to call in for a few minutes. While he was talking the computer crashed & his last word just kept repeating until the computer shut itself off. That moment has made it’s way into our intro & will live forever as the day that Scott became a robot.
What do you think is the single most important thing for a new metal band to do to promote themselves?
RON - Hustle. Don't just lay back and think everything is going to be handed to you. Also support. The scene, other bands, and anyone who is trying to help you.
SCOTT - In my opinion (Scott) the single most important thing a band can do to promote themselves is write great music. And get out there and play! And don’t just rely on others to promote your shows, get out there and hit the pavement and promote youselves! Utilize the internet, facebook, twitter, etc. Get as many people to hear your music as possible. To sum up, bust your ass day in and day out! Don’t be lazy and think you’re too good for the grunt work. No, you’re not. And if you want to have a shot at making it, you better be willing to bust your ass! Ok, that was more than one thing haha
Keep Rockin’ All Knight and Good Luck with your station. I’ll have to stop over one evening. Tune in Every Tuesday Night Live 9 p.m. EST. . . Any last words for our readers?
RON - Keep the metal scene alive.