1.) How long have you been on the air?
A1 – Our Show, in the current format came into being on 30th January 2018, so we’ve been doing this for a little over 2 years now.
Initially it was just me, and I wasn’t even sure if anyone would listen. I just knew that no-one was doing what I wanted to do, and our local scene needed some way of being supported and helped, both musicians and venues.
started doing a second show on a Sunday Lunchtime, and I’ll be honest, I didn’t much like it, but I needed to raise MY profile and this was a good way of raising the profile of The Tuesday Night Rock Show.
To my surprise, The Tuesday Night Rock Show did better than I ever thought it was and the ‘behind-the-scenes’ work for it became so great that I had to drop the Sunday lunch show as I just didn’t have the time anymore, I was getting emails from bands from all over the World, and PR and Management companies were asking to work with me, which was mad, as I was just a guy, on a community radio station, playing Rock and Metal music.
About a year ago, Helen joined the show as Producer, as there was (and still is) way too much work for me alone to do. We get about 20 emails a week, most of which have new music submissions, which need to be listened to (and we do listen to them all) and answered. Obviously, we also have to put the show together each week, and do this around jobs, and family life.
2.) What's your favorite part of hosting a radio show?
Legit our favorite part of hosting the show, is introducing the listeners to bands they have probably not heard of before. It’s one of the reasons I started the show and it’s why, in those rare moments of doubt when I think about giving it all up, that I/we keep going.
3.) How many bands have you played that were an underground act who eventually made it big?
That’s a very VERY difficult question to answer, we have played a good number of bands who sent us their first recordings, who are certainly now big on the local music scene, and have since gone on to do UK wide tours and a couple that have done foreign tours in support of bigger bands. We have also played underground bands that ABSOLUTELY should be much much bigger that they are, and just haven’t quite turned that corner.
4.) What's your plans for the future?
To basically continue what we are doing, it is the heart of the show. Now we have the contacts that we do, we will be sending our own recommendations to PR and Management companies, and there is a plan afoot to do a live show, a gig, where we will do the show live and have bands doing short live sets, on stage, in front of an audience. All those things have had to be put on the back burner until we see how current World events play out.
5.) Got a funny / interesting story for us?
This story needs back story for context. The radio station has been in a ‘fluid’ state, since just after I started presenting the show. We needed bigger purpose built premises that better catered to how the Station was growing, so we’ve been without a permanent home for the last 2 years, due to planning permission being withdrawn 6 months after a build started and then having to go through the process of locating another suitable building, which we have and work was going great, right up until Corona Virus stopped EVERYTHING.
Anyway, we had been presenting the show from a temporary studio housed in a shipping container for a couple of months and a local(ish) band that I had been working with asked me to host their ‘World Premiere’ launch of their debut E.P. It was the first time I had been asked to do anything like this so of course I jumped on the idea. We had about a month lead in time to the actual launch, so both the band and I advertised and ‘bigged up’ the launch and the show a LOT, teaser trailers, social media posts, P.A’s the whole works.
The night of the show came about and all was going swimmingly until I got a panicked telephone call from the Station Manager warning me that we were at capacity for ‘Band-Width’ use and the station was VERY close to crashing. Again, this was purely because of the temporary nature of the studio and not having the full server, internet connection setup we would normally use.
So yeah, that was a bit tense, I don’t know the full tech ins and out, but I am led to believe it all got a bit Star Trek and all power was diverted to keeping my show on air that night, power was diverted from weapons, shields and life support systems, back up station dropped, social media dropped and all that good stuff.
6.) What's your average listeners?
As we are an internet station (DAB is coming once we are in our permanent home) it is difficult to accurately estimate average listening figures, however, I’m told that we average, based on bandwidth usage (Or something like that) between 7 and 8 thousand devices (phones, tablets, smart speakers etc) logging on every week. I know from feedback that a couple of venues tune in and play us across the PA system, and there is an Auto-shop ( see I can speak American) in Alberta, Canada that tunes in ‘to hear the English Metal Guy’ (direct quote), so actual listener figures is not something I would dare guess at.
7.) What are you looking for in new music?
This is something we have talked about a few times on air. It would possibly surprise you to hear some of the submissions we have received over the past 2 years.
We have only two hard and fast rules about the new music we play, and they are –
1 – The music falls loosely into the rock and metal genres.
2 – It doesn’t sound like it’s been recorded in a bedroom on a battery operated tape machine.
We have had recordings from Karaoke apps sent in to us asking us to play them on the air, and we have had very bad recordings of people singing (loose term) along to songs in their bedroom.
We don’t even have to LIKE the music we play, some of the tracks we play really don’t ‘do it’ for us, but that aside, we can still appreciate the effort that has gone into them and the fact that a lot of people will like it, so it gets played, taste is speculative and what people like to listen to is very personal.
INTERVIEW BY JEREMY AMACK