By Terrah Baker
TFW got to sit down with the creator and host of the show, and here’s what he had to say:
Q: What started this whole zombie invasion, outbreak radio idea?
A: Back in 1994, a friend and I started our first band — an experimental electronic act along the lines of Cabaret Voltaire, Skinny Puppy, Coil, etc. I was living in Denver at the time, and there was this cool guy named John who ran a record store downtown called “Locals Only.” As the name suggested, all of the music he stocked was from local artists, sold mostly on consignment. He provided underground musicians like myself a place to sell their home-recorded cassettes and CD’s, and it was also a great place for networking. I’m sure that he made very little money (if any) from it, and the store didn’t last long, but the concept of engaging with the local music scene really resonated with me. Over the years, I’ve operated several record labels, wrote reviews for Zines, coordinated multi-artist CD samplers, produced soundtracks and remixes, and organized musician coalitions and online regional band directories. And in a way, all of these ventures, including the new ‘Outbreak in the Ozarks’ radio show, are an attempt at “paying it forward”.
Coincidentally, it was my friend Bryan Elsloo (who happened to be the other member of that band we started about 20 years ago) that contacted me to discuss the possibility of starting an online radio station — Outbreak.fm. We liked the idea of “infecting” listeners with good music, like a virus. Bryan is now a well known electronic music producer and house deejay in Denver, and originally he wanted to focus strictly on electronic music. However, for my involvement, I had a different idea — to produce a radio show that highlights some of the more “alternative” acts from the Arkansas/Missouri Ozark region that I now call home.
Q: Why did you decide to focus on more indie, rock, alternative styles of music?
A: Since moving to Eureka Springs about eight years ago, I have noticed that the Ozarks is home to many talented blues/folk/country/bluegrass and classic rock type acts. Whereas bands that might be described as alternative, indie, electronic, or underground seem rare. But it only took a bit of persistence and Googling to find more than enough quality tunes for the first hour-long episode of Outbreak in the Ozarks. As evidenced by the tracks selected, the Ozarks truly has a rich tapestry of sound that doesn’t always fall squarely under the “hillbilly” and “mountain music” genres that many have come to expect from our part of the country. So, in addition to “paying it forward”, the show is also designed to shatter some of those expectations and stereotypes, and give these deserving underground acts more exposure.
Q: What musicians can listeners expect to hear about in upcoming shows?
A: I’m already getting lots of messages from listeners with suggestions on future acts to include, and I’ve got most of the tracks for episode 002 selected. But that can also change at the last minute, should I get a notification of some new releases. My plan is to include brand new music when possible, with original music taking priority over cover-songs, and I’m hoping not to duplicate any of the songs I have already played in previous episodes. And of course, Outbreak will only showcase local/regional acts.
Q: What would you like to see the show become?
A: My immediate plans are to make this a monthly broadcast. However, there’s a possibility that it will occur more frequently, as long as I can find enough quality music to keep it fresh. In the future, I may conduct interviews with the artists, and might also include some exclusive live recordings. My friend and co-founder, Bryan Elsloo, in Colorado is also planning a similar “Outbreak in the Rockies” broadcast that showcases the acts in his region. It would be great if there were like-minded deejays from across the country (perhaps the globe) that wanted to produce similar ‘Outbreak’ shows in support of their own local music scenes. We are currently working on getting the Outbreak.fm website up and running, and it would be great if we ultimately had a directory of “Locals Only,” Outbreak-styled online radio stations.