a Metal Monday post
This is going to go in a different direction this week, and might be the new focus of the weekly Metal Monday post.
If you want to see the new take on Metal Monday, click the link HERE.
I’m lucky enough to live in an area with a dedicated FM rock station. They cover about a 50 mile or so radius and I can listen to it during the majority of my drives. At least, I can listen to the morning show. Great, funny talk on my way to work and if I miss it, I’ll grab the podcast version. After that though I can predict everything that’s coming. Shinedown, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, one of 4 Rage Against the Machine songs. Whatever band will be playing nearby in the next month, then never hear that song again the moment the concert is over. It’s a joke anytime my wife is in the car with me. No matter how long or short the car ride is, a Red Hot Chili Peppers song will play. In fact, I’m going to conduct an experiment. It is 6:30 PM on Monday as I type this sentence. Let me see how long it takes until a Red Hot Chili Peppers song comes on. Hey, RHCP have some great songs. I agree. But so do dozens if not hundreds of other bands that I never hear on a rock station.
I’m not even kidding. This is just the FM dial. Nothing on my part. No requests, no cheating, nothing. “Californication” comes on 3 minutes after I typed that.
Yes, some albums I’ve talked about aren’t going to get a lot of radio play. So let’s go with the current Billboard top 40 Mainstream Rock songs. Top 10… yes, to varying degrees. Some played every hour, some maybe once a day. 11-20, about half. 21-30, maybe 2 of them? 31-40, zero.
This is the current 40 biggest rock songs in the U.S. and at most 15 are played on the biggest rock station in the area. I’m not asking for death metal, or obscure groups. But I think the biggest ones would be a given. Take that out 10-20 years and I should not hear Rage or the Chili Peppers more than once a day because there’s too much other great material out there. Pantera, Hell Yeah, Ice Nine Kills, Judas Priest. Just to keep it mainstream: Wolfmother, the Used, anything Pearl Jam past the “Vs” album. Hell, even Avenged Sevenfold which is arguably the biggest metal band in the last 10 years is barely played.
For those of you who don’t know, I had a brief stay at a different radio station about twenty years ago. Radio stations have to make money, play certain songs, and cater to broad audiences. They also get in tons of new music every week in hopes that some DJ loves a track and plays it a couple times. You can’t work at a station and not constantly be exposed to music in the genre your station specializes in.
Which brings me to the tipping point. King’s X played a concert nearby recently. Only one person on the radio had heard of them. Rock/metal band that’s been around for 40 years. 4 mainstream rock top 40 songs. Charted albums on US Rock, UK Rock, and US Indie charts. Even a song on the Bill & Ted soundtrack.
I haven’t read every comic. I haven’t seen every wrestler. But if you mention a series or a guy who has been around for 40 years with notable moments I’ve at least heard of them. I’m not there with rock/metal yet but I’m getting there. I’m also not paid to be on the radio and literally have this stuff laid at my feet.
While this is a lot of ranting, it is leading up to not complaining. I can’t change the radio station. But I can be the change. If I’m upset people aren’t promoting this music, then I’m going to do so. This ties in to my friend Will’s rant from a month ago. Everyone is focused on retro and ignoring great new content. This is part 1 today and in part 2 I’m going to hit you with some great new music.