Big ups to Radio Adelaide FM for broadcasting an interview with Soundpond founders Adam Daze and Todd Skipper today. If you missed it, we’ve got a copy and a transcript up on the blog here. Find out about the station’s journey, what’s next, and get some insight into “behind the scenes” and what it takes to land a show! Mediarites”, aired 1/05/12
Behind an industrial kitchen on Rundle Street, there’s a small hive of activity called Soundpond. To tell us more about this media wonderland Luke Eygenraam spoke to the pair of Adelaide music fans who have created Australia’s 1st online, live multimedia broadcast station which streams live DJ’s 7 days a week. He provides the narrative.
Presenters: Walter Marsh, Laurel Crouch Producer: Luke Eygenraam Panel: Bryanna Griffin
Luke : There are many many thousands of internet radio stations streaming all day long on the world wide web. That sounds like a music lovers paradise, well the fact is that the overwhelming majority of those stations are automated playlists, they are nothing more than a playlist on a computer somewhere, endlessly cycling through tens of thousands of songs. There’s no personality. No spontaneity. It’s kind of dull, and it’s kind of lame. Soundpond is different.
Adam Daze : Yo, Adam Daze from Soundpond.net, guess you could call me the General Manager type dude, I think my title was “El Kommandant” for a while.
Skippy : Yeah yeah, I’m Skippy, we don’t really have proper job titles as such. On facebook I refer to myself as “General Badman” at Soundpond
Adam : (laughs) CEO of Badass
Skip : (Laughing) Yes I suppose we’re the co-founders to use more traditional Terms.
Voiceover : Soundpond is an Adelaide based internet radio station of sorts. There’s also streaming video, and everythings live. It focus’s on DJ’ing, wether that be old-school turntables, usb sticks and laptops, and wether your into hardcore rave music, or sweet sweet funk and soul.
Skippy : Ah, the idea came to us when we watched a film called “A Boat That Rocked”, which was based on 70′s pirate radio, like Radio Caroline
<Audio Break from movie>
Voice 1 : Radio One Newsflash, with John … news coming in that the famous radio rock, has a large hold on it’s side, and is (uh) sinking into, the north sea.
Voice 2 : So if uh, if any of you out there knows anyone in suffolk with a boat of any shape or form, give em a ring. Here’s a rather long record
Skippy : Being from London, I used to listen to a lot of pirate radio, and um, I always wanted to do something along those lines…but I wasn’t quite “ballsy” enough to do the illegal thing
<Audio soundtrack of ship flooding, panicked yelling>
Skippy : But the idea was born there, and Adam actually stayed up all night. I woke up in the morning and I had a link in my facebook inbox, he’d just created an online radio station overnight with us with a video stream
Adam : We put the word out to people saying, “hey, who’d be keen if we did a radio show…a station type thing…we can find a room for this much, music licence for this much, we need some equipment and stuff like that…BUT…you’re all gonna have to chip in, to make this space”. We put the word out, and between putting that word out there and locking in a full 7 day schedule took exactly 6 hours, so there was demand there, which was suprising to us.
Voiceover : The premier difference between Soundpond, and the myriad radio stations streaming online every day, is that everything on Soundpond happens live.
Adam : You could think of it as being internet radio, but that generally that feels kind of lame. What we do is a fair bit cooler than your average internet radio station. Studio on rundle street, about 40 odd artists doing shows 14 hours a day. Video stream on the site, chatroom…you can see everyone, chat to them, and everyone else watching…it’s instantly interactive. It’s all local, all 100% live, thats what makes it really unique.
Voiceover : Adam and Skip essentially saw Soundpond as something they could setup for their friends and colleagues in the Adelaide DJ scene.
Skippy : we were all DJ’s and, outside of the clubs…well, even including the clubs we didnt have many outlets to play our music. It’s not the kind of stuff that was on commercial radio. While community radio was playing some of the music, it’s still the kind of stuff that wasn’t getting any love on the airwaves at all.
Voiceover : Traditionally palces like London, New York, or Detroit are what you think of when it comes to DJ culture, or Dance Music in general. But the guys reckon that being in Adelaide had it’s advantages to setting up Soundpond.
Skippy : Yeah I’m not sure it would have worked in the same way if it wasn’t in Adelaide actually, because everyone that was an initial showhost when we started were all people we knew personally. Adelaide actually has a real sense of community. There’s lots of different sub-scenes as well, so just having Soundpond has brought everyone together. Adelaide’s too small to have segregated pockets of communities in Dance Music, so it’s great we’ve brought all kinds of music fans together.
Voiceover : Streaming radio throughout the world from sleepy old Adelaide is forming a stronger community here and internationally, in ways that Adam and Skip had never anticipated.
Adam : In the first year we had 7,000,000 hits in 100 countries, and thats when we didn’t have an office or a phone line, so the exposure is insane. But recently we foun a guy who had travelled from Alice Springs, this wasn’t really dj’ing so much…he kinda walked in the door and was beatboxing
<Sample from recorded beatbox set>
Adam : We kind of recorded that, put it online, our own community shared it and got 5,000 youtube videos in one day. Got picked up by an American Radio station that called us on Skype to interview us, and got profiles for this guy. From the middle of nowhere, suddenly has fans on his facebook page and that kind of thing. IT’s really cool that we’re starting to get to the point that if someone comes on board with something interesting, we can give them that kind of exposure
Voiceover : At the moment soundpond manages to pay for itself, but, if support continues to grow it could become a legitimate viable business.
Skippy : Adam works on the project fulltime, I work part-time at another job, but I spend all day monday/tuesday there.
Adam : It makes enough to cover it’s bills and it has from day one, but in terms of earning a wage? Ah, not really…but that’s okay because um, we’re still developing the business side…it was never meant to be a business. IT’s been running about 2.5 years now, but we only started taking it seriously about six months ago so it’s just starting to take off. We’ve got lots of volunteers helping out and people chipping in ideas. Pretty soon it looks like it will be viable in that way, which is exciting. It’s really cool to see other local businesses supporting us, we just had one give us an equipment sponsorship to setup a training studio, so we can now take the guys from our schedule, especially the guys with unique skills, and teach others. So we got another studio you can rent out, we can teach you how to dj, make music, or something particular like scratching….and we can find the best guy in the state to teach you that. So…yeah that’s really exciting to see this year.
Voiceover : It’s this healthy attitude towards sharing skills and culture through the medium of internet radio that is most impressive about soundpond.
Skippy : We got some guys that play soul, funk, disco…and then we’ve got some that play hardstyle and hardcore, like 160bpm full on dance music. So, any kind of music from that DJ culture is welcome on Soundpond, absolutely anything.
Adam : Basically the less that it’s represented or the less that it’s known, the more we’re interested in it. What we’re trying to get away from is this new phenomenom that is “DJ’s are superstars”
Skippy : Yeah we appreciate all different styles, yeah I’m a vinyl junkie myself, but we have people on the station that will play Vinyl, cd’s, usb…controllers on laptops…it’s the music first. If you’re an elitist about the format then your actually….your not actually looking at the music.
Adam : The medium does’t matter, thats all changing so fast, I think it’s part of a performance.
Skippy : It’s very inclusive, is what we’re trying to be as well. Inclusive of all different styles of music, all different ways of playing that music, even different age groups as well. We’ve got guys from 16 all the way through to their 40′s involved, so we’re trying to be inclusive, not exclusive.
Be sure to check out Soundpond.net , or, look them up on facebook for more information.
Link to audio and original posting. http://bmediaradioadelaide.com/mediarites-2012/program-08-april-31-2012/