The Forge

about The Forge

The Forge is a podcast dedicated to bringing you the best underground rock and metal you won't hear on mainstream radio. What started as a weekly show on a local college radio station eventually became its own full-fledged station before technical issues caused The Forge to go off-air. Happily though, I'm back with a podcast format, which will hopefully release new shows on a weekly to bi-weekly basis, featuring great tunes from heavy bands from the Midwest and beyond.

(I'm leaving the stuff below intact for now, because it represents the journey, the idea, and ultimately the goal--I hope to oneday relaunch The Forge as a 24/7 station, but until I get everything lined up the way I hope to, a podcast will do.)

The Long Version...

Founded by Rob Salem, The Forge is a labor of love that has been built around the idea of creating a community--a sense of family, if you will--around the local rock and metal scene, by pulling together musicians, promoters, venues, labels, and of course fans in a way that is beneficial to everyone by giving them a place to listen to each other and to be heard by others, and to network. That inclusivity has expanded beyond the music though and has reached out anyone that the "mainstream" or "normal" world would consider "alternative" or "counter-culture": metalheads, punks, rockers, skaters, artists, roller derby teams, tattoo artists, gamers, nerds, geeks, "freaks," body piercers, burlesque artists, and so many more from so many walks of life who make up the community that The Forge serves.

One of the core concepts of The Forge is that local bands--the unsigned guys that slug it out every weekend in the local bars and clubs, often playing for next-to-nothing and next-to-no one--are just as good, if not sometimes better, than a lot of the bands that "make it" and get regular exposure on terrestrial radio and in mainstream popular media. We think they deserve to be heard. In a scene that is so over-saturated with varying levels of talent and ability, The Forge has taken on the daunting task of finding the best of these up-and-coming bands and giving them a voice and a place to collectively call "home," while stacking them against the "rock stars" of their genres and proving to the fans that there is an entire world of worthwhile music waiting to be discovered. On The Forge you'll hear a rotation of music that puts an emphasis on undiscovered/underground bands while keeping familiar favorites in play.

What sets The Forge apart from mainstream commercial and terrestrial radio stations (besides the obvious freedom from FCC regulation) is its virtually limitless playlist--with a library that is well over 25,000 songs and continually growing, and more than one thousand of those songs currently in its default rotations, listeners are guaranteed that even if familiar songs and artists come up, the listening experience will be fresh and interesting every time they tune in. The Forge stands apart from other internet stations such as Pandora, Spotify, and Last FM not just in its variety, but also in its live hosting and in the fact that its commercial spots are specifically geared to appeal to its targeted listening audience. Like terrestrial radio, listeners will hear commercials, but fewer than on FM or AM, and unlike other internet stations, those commercials will be of direct interest to the fans: concert announcements, band promos, CD releases, etc. Finally, while we appreciate and respect the work and efforts of other DIY/homegrown internet radio stations serving the heavy music community, The Forge is unique among them in its presentation; bridging the gap between the corporate and commercial terrestrial and internet stations and the DIY/amateur stations, The Forge offers its listeners a professional platform that has the familiarity of traditional FM radio with the freedom of the internet.

Browsing through this site, and taking a listen to the station will show you that The Forge is serious business. But not too serious. Seriously. We take the community aspects of what we're doing very seriously, because this thing is something that has been built specifically to be given back to the community that enabled it to exist in the first place. The Forge was started by one guy, but has found its success in the scene, because of the scene. The community that is its home is an integral and foundational element of what The Forge is and has become. In short, The Forge could not and would not exist if it weren't for the bands, promoters, venues, and labels, and ESPECIALLY the fans, supporting it, sharing it, promoting it, contributing to it, and of course, listening. And while we take that, and the music itself, and the professional presentation of that music very seriously, we don't take ourselves too seriously. We're here to play some kick ass music that makes us feel good (because some of us feel good while being angry) and have a good time.

Thanks for dropping by, thanks for tuning in, and most importantly, thanks for helping make this thing what it is.

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