The Syndicate, Metal Insider’s parent company, is a promotion and marketing company that has championed the metal scene for almost 15 years. In our weekly Radio Spotlight, we’ll offer a look behind the scenes of metal radio from some of the stations and outlets playing metal that the Syndicate works with to spotlight the newest underground music on the airwaves and the people that bring it to you. Read on for a look at how a mid-sized college station in Idaho put metal back into free-form, followed by a brief look at some new records making their way to the airwaves, courtesy of the Syndicate.
Featured Station: KUOI-FM (Moscow, ID)
College alternative (free-format)
University of Idaho
Where’s the metal?
Currently there are four major metal shows on KUOI: The Beef Vortex Wednesdays from 12pm-2:30pm, Noises From The Attic Fridays from 8:30pm-11pm (Anthony’s show), Confinement Loaf Saturdays 11pm-2am & The Rise of Priapism on Sunday nights from 11pm-2am.
What’s going on here?
Idaho isn’t a state you’d think of as having an underground music scene, and Anthony Saia is completely aware of that. But he’s done everything in his power to build it by piloting KUOI and broadcasting out fiercely independent programming, wearing program director, station manager and (currently) music director hats throughout his time there.
“When I took over as program director in 2009,” Saia says, “a lot of our paperwork was completely unorganized, our station a mess, equipment was failing, and our automated computer system was in need of a dire upgrade. I deleted all the music from the digital library and rebuilt the automated computer system to be more diverse – to represent more of the free-format spirit. It took me 14 hours to rebuild it the first time. The subsequent four rebuilds didn’t take nearly as long.”
In theory, free-format radio means that a DJ can play anything they want within station and legal regulations. With that in mind, Saia’s reconfiguration involved building other genres of music, including metal, electronic music and more hip-hop, into the predominantly indie-rock programming the station had. “At first, there was a bit of backlash from the previous establishment,” he remembers. “I ended up changing the way the station had sounded and operated after previous tenures of management had slowly started to neglect the station. But I think that once everyone knew that I wasn’t going to come in and drastically change everything they knew, I was accepted a little bit more as leader.”
Since that revamp, KUOI – at one time the only radio station Moscow residents could pick up, Saia points out – has gained regular metal programming and showcases everything from Mastodon and Pantera to more underground riff pushers like Yob, The Accüsed and Witch Mountain. He’s hardly the only DJ playing metal, and that’s indicative of the excitement he’s generated in the community and at the station. “I’m just glad that there is a metal scene in Moscow, and the fact that KUOI seems to be leading that charge now has got me completely stoked,” he says.
Sample hour from Noises from the Attic:
Candlemass – Marche Funebre (Vinyl)
Candlemass – The Light Of Thebes (Digital File)
Yob – Silence Of Heaven (Vinyl)
Death – God Of Thunder [Kiss Cover] (CD Re-issue)
Death – Spiritual Healing (Vinyl)
Pantera – Mouth For War (CD)
Pantera – Cemetery Gates [Live] (Vinyl)
Mastodon – Black Tongue (Vinyl)
Mastodon – I Am Ahab (Vinyl)
Mastodon – Battle At Sea (CD)
Mastodon – Trampled Under Hoof (Vinyl)
Deftones – You’ve Seen The Butcher (Vinyl)
Isis – Celestial [Signal Fills The Void] (CD)
Converge – Jane Doe (CD)
New at Metal Radio This Week:
Periphery – Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal (Sumerian)
Periphery’s extreme progressive metal approach (call it djent if you’d prefer) is connecting with a lot of people right now, as this just sold upward of 11,000 copies.
For the Fallen Dreams – Wasted Youth (Artery)
This is hitting radio right before a high-profile tour with Suicide Silence and Unearth that should give the Michigan-based metalcore act a nice boost in respect.
The Syndicate, Metal Insider’s parent company, is a promotion and marketing company that has championed the metal scene for almost 15 years. For radio promotion, street marketing, publicity, event marketing and brand consultation in the world of metal, contact us here.