Bladerunner Radio just spent a muddy four days at Rocklahoma in Pryor Oklahoma. Our third Rocklahoma ever. Our crew hunkered down through some pretty typically insane Oklahoma weather with some really cool people at the media tent. Media tent, a group of mostly independent radio, magazine and media people. Kudos to Rocklahoma for giving us all the opportunity to be there, we thank you very much and also a very special thank you to the new media tent people from Pryor who where extremely polite and friendly.
The majority of the artist who came through the media tent were also independent unsigned artists. As much as it is an important mission of Bladerunner Radio to bring you these new upcoming bands, it’s also equally important to maximize our time and bring you the latest information straight from the mouths of some of the larger bands. This year in the media tent, most of us witnessed the larger bands driving by on golf carts being dropped off at “Radio Row”. We have the option of applying to get into Radio Row. Naively for the first two years, we applied for it, with the hopes of possibly getting in. It was quickly realized that Radio Row is actually Corporate Radio Row. Bladerunner Radio gets it.
We can assume there is a fair amount of money that changes hands for advertising with corporate radio and because of this, they should be at radio row. I would just prefer not to be insulted by being lead to believe it was available to everyone. Just take that part of the application process out. From the media tent this year, all of us small independent media types helplessly stood by watching golf cart after golf cart of the bigger name artists being hand delivered to the 6 corporate radio row recipients. Scott Ian, Halestorm, Pretty Reckless and on and on. We were even prewarned on the dry erase board the Pretty Reckless were doing Radio Row only. Scott Ian was the most amusing drop off.
I’d be interested to see how many Clear Channel stations play ANY Anthrax songs at all? I’ve worked for corporate radio for 25 years, and with maybe the exception of XM Satellite Radio…I don’t recall being allowed to play Anthrax. Scott did the corporate shuffle down radio row, and the corporate “bloggers” were all more than happy to welcome him in and get a picture and 10 minute blurb. I’d be interested also to see how many of these stations actually played an Anthrax song after that blurb. If they even played him at all.
We approached Scott’s rep onsite and was told he was “only doing radio row”. I addressed Scott directly on Twitter and he stated that he wasn’t bypassing the media tent, “he wasn’t asked to be there” We asked, and we were denied. The majority of the time it’s the handlers who mismanage the band’s time. In this case Anthrax missed a great opportunity to maximize the people who truly support the band. The independent people inside the tent. I’m sure at this point Anthrax doesn’t need any of us but the point is, if you are going to spend the time to do interviews anyway, why not do them right. Halestorm and The Pretty Reckless are being played on corporate radio. This was mostly a good use of their time. But the independents inside the media tent are supporting them as much as we can in our own way. They could have maximized their time a bit more productively at a 4 day music festival by coming by the media tent.
We’re all professionals, we’re not a bunch of overzealous fans looking for autographs and DNA samples. What else were they going to do…sit on their tour bus? Hang back stage and play Stump The Trunk…again…all day with the festival host? An hour of your time for people who WANT TO HELP YOU. Some day Halestorm and The Pretty Reckless may not be corporate radio darlings. They may very well be the future Candelbox. Eventually we may get them in the media tent, when they also are independants. I’ve been on both sides, the corporate version where you are hand delivered artists for interviews, and now on the indy side where you have to fight and work, and aren’t allowed the opportunity to take things for granted. As much as it would be nice to sit back and be handed these artists for doing nothing more than having corporate approval, I enjoy the fight.
I enjoy the struggle. It makes me feel accomplished when our team achieves a goal. We did it on our own, independently. We didn’t get all the big names radio row did, but we are able to proudly wear the badge that our company is an asset to the radio and music industry, and not the reason that is now so awful. Here’s something that Scott Ian, Halestorm, and The Pretty Reckless and their handlers are also ignorant to; corporate FM radio pays around 5% royalty fees to the artists, online radio pays 55%. It will be years before that’s respected or even a knowledge. Other than the typical behind the scenes industry bullshit, and all the damn mud and rain, it was our third favorite Rocklahoma ever.