When you’re a fan of something, it’s only natural that you should want to share that love with as many people as possible. You want to infect them with your enthusiasm, hoist them along, and hope that they are as compelled as you by whatever hobby or interest has captured your imagination.
Pleasingly, in an odd sort of way, I get to do this every week. As a presenter of a voluntary radio station, Acacia Radio, I am able to play MY favourite heavy metal and hard rock songs to anybody on the planet who might want to hear them. My love of music has extended as far as Madrid, Dubai, America, Germany – all from inside a tiny building in the middle of England.
Presenting on Acacia Radio is pure hobby. None of the presenters get paid for our troubles, we do it simply for the love of the music. And yet, for me, it is still a terribly exciting prospect, even after two years on air. I have done things through radio that I never could have envisaged when I first started out, and it continues to inspire me, and help me grow as a person.
I wanted to be a radio presenter purely because I love heavy metal. Nothing more, nothing less. There aren’t an awful lot of mainstream metal stations out there, certainly not in England, and I thought it would be good to fill that void, particularly as Acacia Radio didn’t have a metal show at the time. I thought that I’d just be playing my favourite classic metal tunes week in, week out, having a jolly good time as I did so. But in a matter of months, I was getting in touch with new bands, who were sending me music I had never heard before, for airplay on my show. Friendships were made, bonds were forged, and bridges crossed. Music was, and still is, being sent to me from all over the world. All of a sudden, I was playing a single from the recent album of a Spanish thrash metal band!
It wasn’t just the music, either. One heart-stopping afternoon, I found out that I had secured an interview with the drummer of one of my all-time favourite bands – Lordi! That is a story I will save for a blog post all of its own, but suffice to say, it was an incredible, daunting, and exciting experience….
Is there a bigger point to this post than me sharing the ins-and-outs of my hobby with you all? Of course there is! That point is this: Dreams can come true. Whether they’re small dreams, or grand aspirations, the same fact applies. During an awful time at secondary school, when I was made to feel like an insignificant nothing, it would have been a huge surprise to know that somewhere in my future, I would be in charge of my own little show, receiving the thanks of genuinely good musicians from across the globe for helping to spread their music further. To know that I was making a difference, and in some small way, being admired. Even more recently, during particularly stressful times at work, the reminder that I’d got an interview lined up with the vocalist of a horror punk band, or exclusive new music to play from a European power metal group, served as a reminder that I am somebody. That I’m not just a robot going through the motions. Part of me has broken free, un-caged and soaring higher than I could ever have imagined.
If I can chase my dreams, then so can you. Get out there, show the world what you can do. Go and make a difference, and share your love with the rest of us. We’re waiting for you…