I tend to have a short attention span when it comes to weekly commitments – yet, once in a while, I find something that grabs my awareness and makes me clear my schedule. My newest addiction is IndieUprising!! My friend Erica introduced me to this weekly podcast put together by Sean Duregger. After listening to the first broadcast a few weeks ago, it is obvious that Sean is onto something (and his taste in music is right up my alley)!!
So, Sean - tell me a little bit about how you started IndieUprising. What exactly is it to you and what is your long term goal(s)?
IndieUprising had it’s start as Sean’s Unsigned Rock Show. I have a background in Radio and Video Production, but a career never panned out in either, so I’ve always had an interest and dabbled in both. One day, I had just bought a brand new iMac and started subscribing and listening to various podcasts. The idea popped into my head late one night, to start up a podcast of my own using the format of a college radio show I had called The Underground. So, the next day, I set up a MySpace account, named the show, Sean’s Unsigned Rock Show (inspired by my favorite music video show on Fuse, Steven’s Untitled Rock Show), and I started contacting some friends in bands I knew. The show started to gain the attention of bands on independent labels, so I wasn’t playing strictly “Unsigned” artists any more. After a frustrating brain storming month, I was inspired by a line I heard in the movie, Children of Men. I named the show IndieUprising and now am working with labels like Equal Vision Records, Deep Elm Records and a handful of smaller independent labels showcasing their bands. I still have a large amount of Unsigned artists involved with the show.
IndieUprising is me doing my part to showcase a lot of my favorite bands (but not limiting it to strictly my tastes in music). So many bands bust their asses and never make it anywhere. I’m just doing my part to try to get exposure to as many hard working bands as possible. Independent music is where music is still exciting. There’s passion behind it and it hasn’t been tainted by the Corporate Music Robots.
I really have no long term goals yet. Right now I just want to focus on producing a top quality show. I figure if I do that, the rest of the pieces will fit together. But it would be cool to someday have a team of people involved with the show. I would love to just do this for a living, but have too much responsibility with providing for my family to just throw caution to the wind. I’m just enjoying the ride right now.
The IndieUprising website is packed with movies of the week, numerous album reviews, favorite band polls, recent news/headlines - even a store!! Is this a one-man-show or do you have people to help you with your weekly gig?
IndieUprising is 100% a one-man-show right now. My background in web design and multi media really helps me to easily get a lot of content put up. It all comes pretty easily to me. Some weeks are more productive than others, and now with the new baby here, I definitely have less time to work on things. But, I have a pretty strong routine down and am a night owl, so that helps.
The one bit of help I get is a few participating record labels send me their press releases which serve as most of the news content for the site.
What or who are your own personal music influences and how does that reflect what you choose to play on your weekly podcast?
My personal musical influences are pretty diverse. In High-school I was introduced to Punk Rock by a buddy of mine named Zarrie (who’s currently in a band called Albino Spiders). He and another buddy named Brad were my educators in everything punk rock. We’d go see Dillinger Four every chance we had, and First Avenue in Minneapolis was like a second home to us.
But I expanded from just punk rock to a lot of different types of rock. Right now, the bands that have stayed with me are Social Distortion, Face to Face, Fugazi, Sunny Day Real Estate, The Appleseed Cast . . . I can go on and on.
My musical taste comes through in the show, I’m sure. It’s definitely a Rock show. You won’t find any Rap or anything crazy on there. There’s enough sub-genres to Rock to keep everyone happy. I try to be as unbiased as possible. Sometimes I’ll play a band that I’m not too fond of, but I can’t let my personal tastes in music run the show. It wouldn’t be fair. But, my personal tastes do have a slight influence. I mean, I have to be excited about the bands I’m playing!
What is the most challenging thing about the IndieUprising project / podcast?
Right now, the most challenging thing about IndieUprising is balancing between my wife, kids and my real job. I love to do this show. It’s easy to get caught up in it and push everything else aside. So, it’s a balancing act I have to do in order to be a great husband and father, and I have to be realistic and not let it get in the way of my real job.
What is your “real job”?
My “real job” is acting as General Manager for a Land Development company in Southern California. It’s as un-rock-and-roll as they come. But, it was an opportunity that would allow me to provide for my family and survive the cost of living in Southern California. I work 10 minutes from my house and the office hours are flexible, so it works out.
How do you choose your material weekly? How much of what you play is your personal choice and how much is suggestions from elsewhere?
I don’t really have a system for choosing material every week. I get so many submissions and it boils down to the songs with the best production and best songs. About 75% of the material chosen is personal choice, with the rest coming from suggestions from listeners. I get a lot of bands emailing me and sending me Myspace messages. Sometimes the bands that are most persistent will get on the show faster. But only if they have great songs. I really have to be tough with some of these bands, you’d be surprised the kinds of bands that email me.
Word to the wise, if you want to get onto a radio show . . . make sure you have a good recording! Nothing is worse than a crappy recording sandwiched between amazingly produced songs!
What is one of your most memorable band interview stories? Who has been the most fun to chat with?
My most memorable band interview was with North Carolina band Yearling. I record the interviews using an audio program on my computer. We had a great 20 minute interview, I was extremely happy with how it went. I thanked them and hung up, then realized I hadn’t hit the record button! I was so embarassed. I had to call them up and re-do the interview. It turned out OK, but the first interview would have been amazing.
Alanna from Medicated Kisses was the most fun with an interview I’ve had. She has a kick-ass personality and is an amazing person. I love the band as well, so that helps.
I personally already listen weekly - but, let's say I don't .. Convince me to listen to your podcast - What is the one top reason I should subscribe weekly??
If you want to hear 100% independent music, not shoved down your throat by a Corporate Conglomerate that is only interested in numbers, if you love finding new bands every week, and want an un-biased opinion on bands and music, than this is the show for you!
I’m not the best radio host, I say “um” and “cool” way too much, I’m not the funniest guy in the world. But, I think the bands and the music make the show what it is, and I’m blessed to be meeting so many incredible bands. These bands that get excited about being on my show and submitting music, and the labels that have jumped on board are what make this show what it is. And I’m extremely humbled and thankful that people care enough to check out the show!
Click here to check out IndieUprising.net!!! Take a peek at IndieUprising on MySpace and listen every Tuesday on xndradio.com (5pm/PST, 7pm/CST, 8pm/EST) OR subscribe to the weekly podcast of the show (posted every Wednesday)!
*by Jen Panczenko, who's excited for new Radiohead!! :)