Montreal based 24/7 radio streaming service Punk Rock Radio is up and running in the great white North. The service which also includes this handy-dandy app which you can download here. Chris Bro started the service back in May of last year.
The service started out with the simple concept of providing Canadians with a much needed punk rock radio station. As a Canadian I can tell you finding somewhere to listen to punk music that 1. you don’t already own and 2. gives you more variation than the endless supply of Spotify playlists featuring the staples of every band. Once in a while I like to get outside my comfort zone and that’s what PunkRockRadio.ca brings.
Check out the interview below.
First off who are you guys?
PRR is a totally free independent web radio station that streams punk rock music 24/7 without adds.
When did you start the station?
May 3rd, 2017 to be exact. Just before Pouzza Fest in Montréal. It was good timing, with all those summer festivals and the return of the sun after a long winter. Took a few months to build it together, and lot of trial and error to understand the new platform but mid-April of last year we were ready to start broadcasting and testing microphones, mixers and incoming calls. So after a few weeks of practice with close friends as listeners, we fixed some issues and finally hit social media and spread the word.
Why did you start the station?
It’s actually a good mix of timing in my life, a void filling idea and love of punk rock. I was unhappy with my job, that was more an unstable part-time job than a real full time gig as promised. With time to kill at home I started to tell myself i can’t be unhappy the rest of my life, what will I do, a lot of questions in my mind. I asked myself what kind of job would make me happy? I knew punk rock related work would be fun. Then I realized that lot of web sites, web zines, podcasts, You Tube channels and other media were dedicated to punk rock music, but there was no radio for the music we all love. Hundreds of playlist on Spotify with the same songs over and over split by awkward adds that I really can’t stand and boom! Why keep complaining? When you can create your own media, with your own vision of it and air some good music on the radio.
How do you choose what your going to play?
It’s really a personal taste, if I like it, I will air it. For now it’s a good mix of good old So Cal 90’s punk. With all the bands we still listen to, and new bands that I like, who I feel need more exposure. We have been airing under the radar bands from all over Europe where skate punk is more than alive these days. Also have the local playlist everyday from noon to 1 pm filled with bands from Québec only. This is for the main playlist, now every show that we host has different flavors that comes with different show hosts. Go to listen to them and you will find the perfect match, they pretty much have the right to play anything punk rock, ska, hardcore and sub-genre related. The only rule i have is to avoid American Jesus and Bro Hymn, 2 great songs that we all have heard 1000 times so i prefer play other songs from the same bands.
Any plans on expanding the station to include interviews, stories, news, etc.?
Yes always looking forward, for now we have five different radio shows plus four podcasts and talking with more collaborators. Two things punk rock has taught me along the way is DIY and Unity. This whole radio is based on those two concepts. Working with everybody involved, bands, promoters, bookers, labels, fans, and media in order to keep the punk scene alive and healthy is really something special, starting with airing good music to good people.
Where does your love of punk rock stem from?
Love at first sight or note I should say. I don’t know, I grew up as a teenager in the 90’s in a small town outside Québec city. Trying to skate in summer and snowboard in the winter like most of the kids around. Listening to crappy cassette tapes that my friend stole from his older brother. The 80’s have exposure these days, while nobody talks about the 90’s. It was cool growing up back then and to be a part of the golden days of punk rock.
Why do think punk rock is embraced so openly by the great province of Quebec?
To be honest, I don’t know, but it was and still is really a thing. In the previous question I mentioned that I came from a small town where all the kids were into punk rock, but it was the same for every small town all over the province. Fast music with good riffs and words that we couldn’t even understand but we could feel it, the energy. I guess that was all we needed, some good energy to get through winter and high school.
So with that I’ll let you scurry out grab the app, and we won’t hold it against you Yankees who decide to start tuning in. Any bands that would like to hear your tunes on Punk Rock Radio feel free to send the team an MP3 at firstname.lastname@example.org so they can get your tunes to the masses.