I moved back to my old hometown ten years ago and after a few years I got in touch with my old radio mentor at the community radio station where it all started. I got tones of promos and I got to interview all these cool people for Slavestate.se for whom I am a freelance writer so why not use these interviews for radio? So that's how Into The Void Radio was born. Two years ago I started to put the live community radio shows up on Mixcloud and got in touch with the people of Grip Of Delusion and they thought it was a cool show and wanted to get it on the station on Sundays at 5 pm CET. So I started doing it in English and that's where we are today.
What motivated you? Why here, why now?
I think my main motivation is that it is so god damn fun to do this. I really enjoy the craftsmanship of doing radio. Being in the studio Thursday nights doing the live broadcast or do the editing of special editions at home editing shows on the laptop is the most fun thing I know.
And I have built myself a big network of bands and labels that keeps it interesting. I have been writing about heavy music for some 15 years now and I can say this time right now is the most exciting time since, well I don't know, the early 90's?
There are so much going on and so much great new music to be played on the radio that it is impossible to keep track of everything. I still dig the big label bands but it is down below in the underground the real deal is happening if you ask me. All those independent labels like Riding Easy, Ripple, HeviSike, and others make my work so easy. And Bandcamp is a revolution for unsigned bands and us who wants to discover them. It is a great time for rock'n'roll if you ask me.
What's your prior history in the music world?
As a teenager back in 1986 or so I was a total metalhead. So I got my fix of heavy metal on a radio show called Rockbox that was broadcast on the national public service radio. I still love that show and I got tons of old tapes with Rockbox on that I ripped to cd. This got me into radio and some years later I started doing this little show on the local community radio station with some friends. Some of the are still involved in the background even now. I think that was in 1989 or so. We did that show for almost six years before I moved to another city to go to the university. Well let's jump forward in time to the beginning of the new millennium. I started to write reviews for some small webzines and then Close Up Magazine that is Sweden's oldest and biggest magazine for extreme and heavy music. And after that I started doing interviews and reviews for Slavestate.se and I still do. I've been with them for 12 or 13 years now. I got to interview tons of cool people like Danzig, Death Angel, Udo Dirkschneider, Jaz Coleman, Blackie Lawless, Opeth, Entombed and more over the years. I learned so much talking to all these people and writing all those articles. I have interviewed almost all of my old heroes from when I was young. I only got three people left on my bucket list to be honest and that is Dee Snider, James Hetfield and Tom Araya. But now days talking to smaller bands about creating heavy music is so much more interesting I think than talking to old heroes about the good old days.
Any special projects planned?
Well, we just finished the series of The Summer Of Doom where we asked 8 people from the new heavy underground scene to choose the music. That will continue in some form later on this year. Then I would like to continue our series of interviews with record labels and the people behind them. We've done Southern Lord, Neurot, Earache,Kozmic Artifacts, Riding Easy, Ripple and HeviSike but there are so many more cool labels out there. Otherwise we will keep talking to all the new bands of the heavy underground and playing all the new music that is coming out all the time.
Are you looking to tap into a particular local scene or were you aiming to capture a sound?
As a swede I will always promote Swedish heavy music of course. But what gets my attention usually is a good riff and the right attitude. It's hard to be specific. Into The Void Radio is designed to play all sorts of heavy music as long as it got the riffs and the attitude. I got a open mind to the concept of "rock" I think. It might be because of that my dad indoctrinated me with Frank Zappa at a very early age. Zappa is actually my first memory of music whatsoever. And I have been involved in the Swedish rockabilly scene in the early 90's when my mentor at the community radio ran a recording studio in true 50's style where I hung out all the time meeting lots of cool dedicated musicians. Then there was jazz and experimental electronic music about ten years ago which I discovered through a friend who is a talented saxophone player and a cool cat veteran in the Swedish 70's jazz scene. I listen all kinds of music. I would like that diversity come across more in the show. But for now I'm happy with the way it sounds at the moment. We go for the heavy riffs and that genuine feel of heavy.
Tell us about the shows name and logo.
We had lots of names over the years for the show. Pipeline, King Kong, Mojo radio and others. But Into The Void Radio is obviously a homage to Black Sabbath who is everythings origin. But in our intro we also have John Garcia from Kyuss talking to me about how the music filled the void in their hearts out there in the desert. So the name seemed fitting. When it comes to a logo we still trying to find one. We have done loads of graphics for the show but not a real logotype. Any artist who wants to give it a shot pro bono are welcome to contact me. Yes David Paul Seymour and Matt Wilkins I'm talking to you, ha ha!
What changes do you see ahead for the music industry?
Seeing the rise of independent labels and new heavy bands the last few years have go me to really dislike the big record labels business model. I have seen that from the inside and it is truly a dinosaur. And as any dinosaur they are doomed I think. Both the bands and the audience expect to get more control and not follow some big marketing plan. A band does not want to wait nine months to get a album released and the audience expect to get the music almost the same day as it is recorded. And I think people want their music on different sorts of platforms and formats. I think the return of vinyl is great. That in combination with streaming and the technology that has made it possible to record and release music has stirred things up on so many levels.
And this whole cloudcast radio thing and blogs for small sub genres of rock that we are a part of is also a challenge I think for the music industry. In the past there were a few channels for the labels to spread the music in. Now there are thousands. Having been doing this for almost 15 years I can tell the bigger labels have a problem handling this in a good way. They need to have a much more open mind to this in the future. Otherwise they will die.
What's the biggest challenge facing you today as an independent broadcaster?
As for the pure on air broadcast all the fees and costs just to play the music is killing the small stations. At least here in Sweden. And the streaming online stations are have similar problems as I understand it. We are using the free version of Mixcloud as main platform to get Into The Void Radio out there because the have a nice model for paying the artists via ads on the site. And we could get ads on the show I guess to get the funding to do this but then it would not be independent for real would it?
I think big record labels have to much power when it comes to this matter. The call the shots and are trying to control everything. I have no problem with bands getting payed for their music but you need to do it in a way that benefits us all. We do this because we dig the music with a passion.
Seems like there are a lot of independent heavy shows emerging these days. What will you do to set yourself apart?
What do you look for in the bands you choose to play and interview on the show?
I listen to a lot of music every week that is sent to me. Usually you can decide quite soon if it has that thing. It's hard to explain as I said earlier what it is that catches my interest. It's that famous “something” I guess. And if the music really gets me going I usually reach out to them for a talk. That's what I really dig with this new scene of heavy underground. People are really easy to get in touch with and are almost always willing to talk.
Who today is really kicking your ass?
If we are talking about other radio shows we have Doomed and Stoned, Electric Beard Of Doom, Pacific Stoner Time, Atom Heart Mutha and Henry Rollins show on KCRW. They are always an inspiration. When it comes to the music the Swedish west coast with Gothenburg as big hub is really exciting these days with bands like Cities Of Mars, Vokonis and Monolord of course and the Wizard Of Fuzz Festival. It is really exciting to see what is going on there right now.
What would you like to see happen for the future of the music industry and your radio show in particular?
Well as I said before the old music industry need to change itself and open their minds. As for Into The Void Radio the down to earth vision is to take what we have now and make Into The Void Radio a brand that stands for high quality interviews, great music and being a channel for both the listener to discover new music an for bands to get a outlet for their music and reach new listeners. But I will always dream of be able to do this for a living and run it as a independent free form radio station. I dream of the day I can do late night radio with beatnik poetry rants, playing eternal riffs and just go with the flow. That would be awesome!