(TL:DR) We're done, thanks for the memories.
Well, you might have heard by now, but we've decided to put this whole POWERZONE thing on ice for a while. An indefinite hiatus, is the official term (I think). Show 350 will be our last one on July 23rd 2022.
Why? I thought everything was going so well?
A few things, really. We've done Powerzone for almost 10 years. That's a heck of a lot of work. Let me explain what goes into a show:
- Hours of listening to loads of different tunes and figuring out which ones work together
- Physically getting hold of the tracks needed (contacting labels, buying them)
- Putting tracks in a useful order
- Writing a script/notes for shows about the different tracks each week
- Physically recording the show (either traveling to the studio or arranging to get The Roadie over or recording online)
- Adding interviews/reviews etc when applicable
- Editing the show after recording
- Creating/maintaining jingles, graphics, playlists
- Social media updates, creating memes, etc
- Keeping a running spreadsheet of playlists so the same songs aren't played too often
- Sending away playlists to labels every week
There's more too, of course. And all of these are little jobs, that I mostly enjoy, but they don't half eat the time. I would guess around 10 hours a week.
So why are you quitting?
Well, the above, for starters. Can any of you afford to take 10 hours a week out of your lives? Every week. For 10 years? I need to plan every weekend around the show. That's time that I could be spending with my wife and daughter, and I'm gonna!
Social media. I fucking hate it. Particularly Facebook. It's a pain to tag bands. It's a pain to schedule posts and it's a pain to get any engagement whatsoever without paying for it. It's not possible to post in several groups at once, for no particular reason. Of all the people that follow the PZ page, only a handful (less than 10, sometimes) see the posts. I'm sick to death of it. Even when followers do see my posts, it's hard to get a like, share or comment out of them. I'm the same as everyone else, admittedly. I see hundreds of bands and pages asking me to 'do' something, there simply isn't enough time in the day. That's just the way FB is; a giant advert with arguments going on around it, and without the show, I'm likely to drop off it anyway.
But here's a kick in the teeth: Some bands that send you their songs to play, and when you do, they don't bother to like/share/promote the show they are featured on in any way. Let me clarify: this is absolutely NOT every band. The ones that do bother get played over and over. But this is an "I scratch your back" situation, and bands are the only ones who can potentially benefit here, since I don't make money from the show. And when they don't bother to help themselves, it's exasperating. How hard is it to put a post up saying "Our band is featured on this week's show! Listen here!" and put a link up. Or even easier; SHARE the post I've put up already on their behalf.
Recently I left a FB group I used to share the show in. Now, bear in mind this is a group for local metal heads. There are like 80 people in there. It's dead apart from the odd (once or twice a month) post from the group owner that gets zero engagement if I don't. So it's not a big miss that I don't post there and only did so out of habit. The reason I left, though, was that the group owner asked me not to post on the wall, as it was 'cluttering up' the group. Clutter. That's what 10 hours of work every week was. And relevant to the group, too. The dead group that literally no one was posting in except as mentioned, and me, once a week. FFS.
Money: I've been doing 10 hours a week for free for 10 years. Sure, I've sold a little merch, but it's always at cost. And that is simply for the cheap thrill of seeing the show's logo out there in the wild. I was never going to make money out of it, that's the music business, unless you're a top band or something. And I knew that since I wasn't a complete whore to the labels and played a niche show where I picked and chose the content I loved, I'd be unlikely to make friends in high places. Again, that wasn't really my intention, but it would have been nice to cover costs somehow. Cab fares getting to the studio and back must have cos hundreds over the years if not more.
Engagement. On social media is one thing. But since I've moved away from live shows, listeners have dropped right off. I actually think we have a better show now, but nobody seems to be listening anymore. Ok, so it's going out primarily on a night when everyone is already out or busy. But we do have 6 hours of airtime weekly, and it is recorded, so can be listened anytime, right? Even when we get little in terms of listeners requesting or commenting, I could see that the show was being heard on Mixcloud, hell, we used to get high into the Mixcloud charts for metal fairly often! But now, for those 10 hours of work, we might get 120 minutes listened. Is it worth it?
So there's that. And this whole thing might have come across as bitter, but I think the good outweighs the bad. I'm guessing most of you will have dropped off by now thinking "Thank Christ this moaning twat is off the air soon". I know for sure people don't read the statuses I put up on Facebook since I've added little easter eggs occasionally that no one has picked up on.
Get on with it!
I've made a lot of friends from the show. Some of them are gone, moved away, former listeners who always stayed for a chat. Some of them are in the local scene, which is thriving thanks to their passion. I hope we can stay friends, cos I'll still be around at gigs.
Loads of great metal. I have amassed a huge collection of the stuff. I buy a lot of albums just to play on the show cos I think you guys will like them. I'm also sent a tonne from labels. Can't complain about that. There's just so much good stuff around.
When social media goes right. I've become friendly with loads of bands overseas (and here in the UK) that I'd probably never have interacted with otherwise, including a bunch of big names. That's always lovely. When bands really appreciate the airtime and they say 'thank you for playing us!'. I bet we've sold a few albums for a few bands too.
Time spent with the Roadie. You guys may or may not know Joe. And he won't mind me telling you, he's got Asperger's, and struggles socially. I got him on the show after 6 months of doing it solo primarily to try and bring him out of his shell a bit. And it seems to have worked. He goes to gigs alone, he's written and performed solo shows himself and has his own part to play in ours. He even has his own YouTube channel. He's lost weight, and become more confident with it. It's been great to see the change in him over these years.
M2TM judging. It's not always been easy (see previous blog!) but it's nice to be trusted to make such decisions with my fellow judges. And to see bands improve year upon year, sometimes after we've offered some advice, but mostly through their hard graft and practice is a great thing to experience. I have my own suggestions for a replacement judge for next year which you can be free to ignore.
All these things mean a lot to me, and I'll miss them. But now I need to spend some time with my family, and put some time into getting healthy, both mentally and physically without fretting about putting a show together. Right now, we've no plans to come back but never say never. We'll keep this website up and running for a bit anyway so anyone can listen to the old shows.
If you have made it all the way here, fair play. I thank you. I think the show has run its course, and it's time to put it to bed for now. Maybe if it does return one day it'll be in a different format or something.
Many many thanks to all the listeners we have had over the years. Deep appreciation to Scotland Rocks Radio and Voodoo Radio for taking us on when Calon FM went kaput (and thanks to Calon too, but BOO for not bothering to invite us back when you resurfaced, that's loyalty for you after we volunteered there for 8 years). Also thanks to Todd on 2NVR in Australia for playing us down under.
Thank you to all the great bands that we've become friends with over the years. There are too many to name but you know who you are. I've hugged a bunch of you lately. Keep doing the right thing and you'll get your rewards.
Also many thanks to Ever Metal, who have been a rock for us, constantly helping us out and sharing our stuff, I hope to do a bit of reviewing for them at some point in the near future.. And to North East Wales Metal Productions for all the great gigs and trusting me to judge. We'll still be around.
Cheers for reading, we'll see you in the pit. - GoM (Dani)