Giving Indie Rock Artists a Voice
Technology and the internet has changed a lot in our world since it became available to the common man. The way we search for employment, do research, and consume entertainment. Radio is one such form of entertainment that has blown up worldwide, whether associated with a terrestrial (traditional broadcast) radio station/network, or an independent, internet-only radio station.
Internet radio (also known as “webcasting”) is an audio service transmitted via the internet, involving the “streaming” of media, bringing listeners a continuous stream of audio that typically is not paused or replayed, as is broadcast media; and as opposed to on-demand file serving and podcasting, which involves downloading rather than streaming.
Internet radio offers every format of entertainment that a traditional broadcast station does. Today I decided to profile a gentleman who has worked in both broadcast and the new media.
Timothy Bednarz was once an on-air personality (aka “DJ”, aka “disc jockey”) for old school broadcast radio stations in the San Francisco Bay area. Today he has an internet radio show, (Creative Original Artists Rock) C.O.A.R. Radio Show on Jam City America, where he plays the music of independent artists.
Tim, you were previously an on-air personality aka “disc jockey” in another life. Please tell us about that.
I grew up among a musical family, and I always loved the people who played and talked about my favorite music, as much as I loved the people who created and performed the music that I loved. I knew as a young kid that I wanted to do both – be a DJ as well as a Rock performer so I set out to do just that.
While I was sharpening my skills to be a Rock singer/front man I was also very much into all the DJs that I looked up to. I loved how they were doing their radio shows, especially the men and women who got to program their own shows, before generic radio programming took over. My dad had a friend who was a big time DJ in Minnesota, who let me see the behind the scenes world of commercial FM Rock radio, so when I moved from Minneapolis to the San Francisco Bay Area, I had my sights set on becoming a professional Rock singer, and if that did not work out I would take my shot at professional radio.
As I attempted to make a career out of my Rock experience from 1981 until 1994, only to see it not succeed, I went after a radio career in 1996 by taking broadcasting classes at Foothill College and eventually got on their air at their world-famous KFJC 89.7 FM from 1996 until 1999. I did various radio shows there as a fill-in host, as well as hosting my own overnight called Timothy J’s Gravething. I also was a part of KFJC’s news programming, called the Sez Who News, along with co-creating a program that analyzed tabloid and mainstream news, called Radio Tabloid.
In 1996, I got an internship at San Jose’s KFOX FM, and then ended up at San Jose’s KBAY FM where I was part of their Promotions and Marketing team. I worked my way up to hosting a weekend radio show as well as becoming KBAY’s Morning Show Producer until 2003. In 2003, I became the Morning Show Producer for sister station KEZR which lasted until 2009 when there were massive layoffs.
After a few years away from radio, I was asked to do Internet Radio by a few station owners, when I did interviews on their stations as the vocalist for a band I was in, promoting our new album at the time. In the summer of 2013, I created the C.O.A.R. Radio Show, which had its first broadcast on Jam City America Radio, and here we are still at it.
With internet radio, you obviously enjoy freedoms that has not been enjoyed by broadcast radio DJs in a very long time. What do you enjoy the most about doing the C.O.A.R Radio Show?
I enjoy being my own Music Director as well as being my own Program Director. The whole reason I created the C.O.A.R. Radio Show was to take what was my online blog titled, ‘Creative Original Artists Rock’ and turn that into the programming of the radio show.
The show is all about being a champion for and putting a constant spotlight on unsigned and independent, non-mainstream Rock music artists to prove to all who listen that there are amazingly talented Rock musicians of many styles out there, creating as good if not better Rock music than those established Rock music artists that get pounded into your ears multiple times a day, every day, from the commercial terrestrial, and the now commercial satellite radio, as well as all the internet-based radio shows and stations who seem to want to emulate those commercial Rock radio stations.
I see that you sell t-shirts. Tell us about that venture.
The t-shirt idea came about because I wanted a way to advertise for the show, since I am on the internet, buried among all the other stations and shows who also promote via Social Media, but I also wanted a way to give back to animal rescue organizations that my wife April (aka Producer April) are passionate about and always make donations to yearly. So, I get to have people to be ‘walking billboards’ for the show that features Rock music artists that they believe in as much as I do, AND they know that when they buy a t-shirt they are also helping April and I send donations to these animal rescue organizations. It’s a Win-Win-WIN!
They can buy the t-shirts from us in person. I always announce on the show, and through the show’s social media pages which original rock showcase we will be attending that are the SF Bay Area, or send an email request via the email link at: www.coarradio.com
For our readers who are artists themselves, how do they go about submitting their music?
The C.O.A.R. Radio Show website at www.coarradio.com is the ‘hub’ for bands/artists to submit their music via the email address link. I request MP3 or WAV files, or they can send me a link to their Dropbox, Google Drive, Bandcamp, SoundCloud ReverbNation etc., or they can send me CDs via snail mail and they can ask me for that in an email as well.
So all styles/genres of original Rock music are accepted for consideration?
Yes, even Synth-Pop. No Cookie Monster Metal, Screamo or Rap need apply. Songwriting and production are also very important to me. I take into consideration the style of the music, and then I start listening for hooks and production.
As a music fan, name some of your favorite (signed, national act) Rock artists, and what are some of the newer Rock artists that you like, both signed and unsigned?
Let me start with the bands I love that I feature on the show. I call them “band crushes” or “artist crushes”. I get them featured under the C.O.A.R. Radio Show ‘Spotlight’ at media partner Mayhem Music Magazine at www.mayhemmusicmagazine.com.
In no particular order Swamphammer, Thadeus Gonzalez, Stalin, Diamond Lane, The Devil in California, The Trims, Kat Robichaud, Bray, Beautiful Machines is a good variety I think from the SF Bay Area. Even though Diamond Lane is from LA, they have ties to the SF Bay Area. That is just scratching the surface. We could be here all day with that topic.
As far as established, iconic bands that influenced me as a Rock music artist, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, KISS, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Prince, David Bowie top the list for certain.
This is more of an issue for Jam City America than yourself, but have they had any problems with entities such as BMI or ASCAP? When I first tuned in, someone was performing an acoustic cover of Pearl Jam’s “Black”.
They don’t have any issues, because the owner of the station pays all the fees and is legally licensed.
What are your hopes and dreams for the show’s future?
My hopes are the continued growth and reach of the show. I want to be a difference-maker and have the show, and its content music-wise, and what I talk about stand out from the crowd. I realize there are thousands upon thousands of internet based radio shows along with thousands of Rock stations based on the internet to go along with all the terrestrial and satellite Rock radio stations and shows that I am among, but none of them are me. I approach my show as I did when I was a Rock performer: with passion and joy. I truly believe in the music artists I feature, and I truly dislike the tribute band culture that is pushing them all to the back of the room. It has always been hard to be an original music artist but I think it is even harder now because they are competing with what they have always competed with- the cover bands and DJs but now we have the tribute bands that are being treated as preferential headliners. Don’t get me started on the lack of all ages Rock shows that add to the hardship.
Thank you, Tim for all that you do for the independent artists to help get their music heard. Remember, folks – Support your local Music Scene!
The C.O.A.R. Radio Show airs On Demand 24/7 on Platinum Rock Radio; Live Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 2pm PT on Jam City America Radio on Tuesdays at 2pm.
To get the C.O.A.R Radio Show no matter what station it is on, you can use the TuneIn app for Windows and Mobile devices: http://www.tunein.com/
Catch up on shows with Tim’s Mixcloud page: http://www.mixcloud.com/tjbednarz/
Jam City America
“Free Radio Airplay for Indie Bands and Artists”