Radio Spotlight: WZGM/Asheville NC’s Torrence Welshans

Posted by on August 10, 2012

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.  This week, we’ve heard from a college-level music director who just graduated and ported his metal show to the commercial big time.

Station type:


Owned by:

News Talk 50 (locally-owned)


1350 AM


10,000 W

Where’s the metal?  

On The Iron Forge, Fridays 10pm-12am

What’s the format and goal of WZGM?

With a line up as diverse, fun, outspoken and unpredictable as Asheville itself, WZGM offers listeners across western North Carolina a home on their dials (or on their smartphones) where they can hear news, independent talk, comedy, music of all genres and community conversations… all in one place.  Best part? It’s locally owned and operated!

How are you set to operate within their framework?

We’ve got two hours a week to play the music you don’t normally get to hear on terrestrial radio.  Metal. Not hard rock, not alternative, not active rock. Metal. We’re playing it louder than everything else. There’s a local spotlight showcase to support musicians in the area, such as playing their music and talk about their upcoming shows. We’ll get them on-air if there’s an opportunity. The idea is to give people a metal community on-air that we don’t have in this area.

The Iron Forge started at WASU/Boone NC, a college station.  What were some proud moments from your time there?

Any time someone called in to the show and said thank you. That’s what we’re working for. Radio is for the people in the community, and when they show their appreciation, you know that you’re doing it right. 

The first time a band contacted me was titanic as well! Of course we played them! Even though it was addressed to Demon Dudley…that bastard. You broadcast from inside a pentagram, open a channel for a demon to talk through your body, and he’s the guy everyone loves. The things I do for the audience…. My body will never be the same.

So, what’s up with this Demon Dudley character?

Demon Dudley…I’m a big KISS fan. Gene Simmons’ performance during “God of Thunder” will always be one of my favorite images. So I thought, why not have my own demon? Probably not Jewish, because I’m not kosher. So I summoned one up, couldn’t pronounce his name, so I gave him one (alliteration)! Now he won’t leave the show. Which is cool. It’s always good to have two different opinions on a story, even if one may be a little more demonic.

What do you hope to take from being at WASU and apply to commercial radio?

Keeping the spirit of this show intact. We play metal. Not active rock. Not hair metal. If we’re to be told to turn the show into another classic metal show, that plays hair bands and classic rock,  we’ll pull the show. The college spirit is coming with us. Yes, we’re going commercial, but we’re going to sell to the real metal audience. It’s their time to rule the airwaves. Hair metal had its chance, they blew it. Or snorted it. One of the two!

What’s the next step from here?

Syndication. We’ve gotta build the fan base locally first. Then expand. Much like a touring band. Gotta tour hard to make an impact. Soon the metal will overflow from the Forge and spill across the state of North Carolina…then…the entire country!

Sample hour from The Iron Forge:

Mastodon – Blood and Thunder
Soulfly – Legions
Vision of Disorder – Loveless
Cancer Bats – Road Sick
Huntress – Eight of Swords
Prong – Put Myself to Sleep
Anthrax – In My World
Periphery – Make Total Destroy
Killswitch Engage – Darkness Falls
Gypsyhawk – Hedgeking
Temptations Wings (local) – Conqueror of Giants
Testament – True American Hate
As I Lay Dying – Cauterize
Whitechapel – The Night Remains

New at Metal Radio This Week:

Loudness – Eve to Dawn (Frostbyte)

The seminal Japanese metal band celebrated its 30th anniversary last year.

The Faceless – Autotheism (Sumerian)

California’s finest technical death metal band takes a turn for the progressive here on their long-awaited sequel to 2008’s Planetary Duality.

Dublin Death PatrolDeath Sentence (Mascot)

Chuck Billy (Testament) and Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza (ex-Exodus, ex-Testament) join forces once again for their second thrash release together.

Texas Hippie Coalition – Peacemaker (Carved)

The “red dirt metal” practitioners’ brand of over-the-top groove will go down well with Black Label Society and Hellyeah fans.

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.

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Categorised in: Radio Spotlight