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Live Punk Rock Blasting Across Your Internet
DJ Rossstar
It is the only place where kids can hear their favorite bands played and actually ask them the questions they want to know. - DJ Rossstar
by Josh Davidson
 Chorus and Verse: DJ Rossstar
DJ Rossstar and Tony from Mest

DJ Rossstar is a music fan using technology’s new avenues such as the Internet to expose others to mainstream and local music. The ‘net radio host gives mainstreamers the chance to say what they may not be able to on traditional radio shows and unsigned acts a forum to be heard along with those whose career has reached success.

Bands Rossstar has interviewed either on the phone or in the studio include Eve 6, Goldfinger and Jimmy Eat World. Some of those on the show have taken up Rossstar’s offer to play acoustic versions of their songs or selections from their CD. The show, “DJ Rossstar’s Punk Rock Show Live,” is available to listen to through the Internet, showing that opportunities are surfacing beyond your run-of-the-mill radio airwaves for those who want help the music scene. The ‘net has given Rossstar a shot at creating the show he would want to hear as a fan.

It also gives folks anywhere in the world the chance to hear what is going on from the bands in Washington, DC, where he records. Conversely, bands throughout the world can wind up on Rossstar’s show.

This supports the theory that good music is out there, if you are willing to search for it. As the Internet expands into a tool for those like Rossstar to share their musical interests, that search may not be as involved as it has become for the numerous bands already on the search engines.

As new doors open, the music fan is becoming as important as the musician in exposing the world to great music.

Rossstar with Johnny Vegas of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

Chorus and Verse: How did you come up with the idea for your site? What is its main purpose?

DJ Rossstar: The website is to introduce people to what my radio show is all about. It offers pictures from my interviews as well as a list of who has been on the show and who will be on the show in the future. The Internet is the best way to gain exposure and that is what www.djrossstar.com is there for!

It is the only internet radio show out there that has interviews with bands live every single week. The show airs once a week on Wednesdays between 6-8pm EST. People can listen in from all over the world through WinAmp or Real Player. Some of the e-mail I have received from fans have been from Belgium, Argentina, Germany and all over the United States. They hear about the show for it is promoted every week on over 50 punk news sites including absolutepunk.net and punknews.org. The show is special for I do not only play music and give prizes away to callers but I feature live interviews on my show every week.

How were you able to get some of the more mainstream groups and people you have interviewed to take part? Have they appeared on your live show?

Most of the more mainstream groups were excited to do the show for it allows them to say what’s on their minds for they know the real fans are listening in. Some times bands will reveal stories and secrets on my show that they haven't told any other media before. Actual bands that have been live in the studio are Brand New, Andrew WK, Bayside and Home Grow. But, all my interviews are live over the phone every week.

What do you do to promote local unsigned acts?

I have one band a week from the (Washington) DC area come live in the studio to perform acoustic or just to play their CD and talk. I also have bands send me their demos and each week I play four unsigned bands and I have them call up the show live and tell the audience about their band. I am in DC so the bands come from Virginia, DC, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Rossstar with The Used

How does having known names on your site help the acts who aren't [as well-known]?

Every week I mix the unsigned with the known and therefore people who are listening in to hear a live interview with someone like The Used will be exposed to the unsigned bands I play as they listen to the show.

Where are the live tapings recorded?

The shows are broadcast out of a small studio in Washington, DC.

What bands have you interviewed live on your show?

I have done over 60 bands in the past year. To name a few, I have interviewed Simple Plan, Mest, The Used, Goldfinger, Pennywise, Less Than Jake, Thrice and many more. The full list can be found at www.djrossstar.com/list.html.

How did you get your start with interviewing and recording bands?

I started by setting up interviews with any band I could and then I got access to the station as I entered school. My first live interview was with Home Grown and that helped out a lot.

Rossstar with Pierre from the band Simple Plan

I have shirts to promote the show which have been worn by bands on tour such as Allister, Home Grown, Don't Look Down, All-American Rejects, Yellowcard and even Steven who hosts the TV show IMX on the Music Network Fuse. From my show I have received a listening base of over 5,000 people a week. I have been invited to host many music festivals as a result of the show including the Flipside Festival and Radio Disney Festival. My site has been visited by over 34,000 people in just 18 months and my mailing list has continued to grow up to 351 at this current moment.

It is the only place where kids can hear their favorite bands played and actually ask them the questions they want to know.

[ Website: www.djrossstar.com ]

Josh Davidson
Josh Davidson has written music feature articles for Jersey Style and served as the Jersey Shore rock columnist for Steppin' Out Magazine. Other music writing credits include Aquarian Weekly, Jersey Beat, Backstreets and njcoast.com. He has written free-lance for the Asbury Park Press' Community Sports section and has written featured articles for its news section, as well as covering campus news and sports weekly for the Signal, the College of New Jersey's (formerly Trenton State College) student newspaper. He has worked as a staff writer for The Independent, and his work for Greater Media Newspapers has also been published in the News Transcript. He is a former beat reporter for the Ocean County Observer who presently is a news writer for Symbolic Systems Inc. supporting the US Army's Knowledge Center. His music writing covers a vast range of topics, from the current cover band craze, highs and lows of the original scene, to the early days of the Jersey Shore rock scene in Asbury Park. He is also a musician, having written hundreds of songs as a singer/songwriter, and playing them out as a solo/acoustic artist. He has also played with cover bands, including It Doesn't Matter, and several original bands, including as the guitarist for the solo project of singer/songwriter Dave Eric. He continues to work on solo material and is presently the guitar player for Jersey Breeze.
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