From Iceland — Fight for Your Right to Stay on the Air

Fight for Your Right to Stay on the Air

Published April 13, 2007

Fight for Your Right to Stay on the Air

So, the Mayor, huh?
Andri: Yes, he is in my pocket, our new best friend.
Búi: I have him on speed dial.
Is it difficult to get distinguished figures like the Mayor to appear on a morning radio show on a rock station?
Andri: We had actually been chasing him for some time, but he always believed we were some idiots, which of course is not true. Yesterday I called his secretary and told her that we had had all sorts of distinguished guests on our show, Members of Congress, former president Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, so if the Mayor was not going to talk to us, it would just reflect badly on him. He called me an hour later and said he would come tomorrow.
This is at least the second time you guys establish a radio station for your show, what is it like having to go through this repeatedly?
Búi: It sucks.
Andri: Mmm, it sucks.
Búi: It is disgusting really, being forced to deal with all the technical aspects and getting things off the ground. It takes a lot of time and energy. When you finally make it to broadcast, you are drained. But there is fun involved in the struggle as well.
You never thought of giving it up?
Búi: Yes, so many times.
Andri: I mean, to do what? We do not know how to do anything else. If we are fired, we just have to establish a new station.
Búi: We believe we still have something left.
Why did 365 Media close the previous station?
Búi: Obviously because the station was getting too big and strong and it was interfering them in the market. We had very high ratings, and as soon as our old station was closed, sales at some of 365’s stations jumped. This is not the first time they did this. I am just tired of talking about this. They simply cannot stand the competition. Instead of taking the fight and trying to build something off the ground and show some originality, they just smother everyone else with their checkbook. It is just so cowardly. But I guess there is nothing to stop them from doing this. It just reflects badly on them…
Andri: No… That is just the point; nobody cares about stuff like this in Iceland. Búi: Their reputation suffers.
Andri: I doubt that many people canceled their subscription with 365 over this affair. Búi: No, you are right, Icelanders never take any action. But like I said, there is no law against this, they have the money to do it, so if they want to, they do it. They do not give a shit about dirt bags like us. It is fact; you can do anything with money.
Would you work for 365 if the offer came?
Andri: Yes.
B. Definitely.
Andri: For the right amount, no problem. Everyone is a whore in this business.
Búi: I would go work for them anytime.
If the call came just now, offering you the same slot would you just up and leave?
Búi: Yes, I would accept it on the spot.
Andri: Yeas… For the right amount. I will do anything for the right amount.
Búi: Anything is available for the right amount. And seriously, you should never say never.
Andri: That is why you should not be shitting all over them the way you have been doing Bendtsen. It reflects badly on you. What if you have to go work for them tomorrow? You should be more careful. Búi: Well, okay… Could you keep that part off the record then?
No, this is the fat of the story right here.
Andri: The Grapevine is never off the record Bendtsen.
Búi: No, you are right. Well, I am just stating an opinion; it does not mean I cannot work for them. I am just telling it like it is.
Andri: Oh, so now you want to back out of it? Búi: I am just saying something everybody knows anyway.
This is a tough business isn’t it?
Andri: Yes it is, but it is fun. Well, no, it is not really. It sucks.
Búi: Obviously this business sucks, although the job can still be fun and demanding and all that. But, as you can see, it is not the people involved; it is the environment that is poisonous. It is very difficult to maintain any sort of competition under these conditions. You are always up in the air, until one day you are fired. That is the only really bad part.
Andri: But it is still not so bad, per se. We have gained from being fired repeatedly. We have twice received three months severance pay for doing nothing. The last two years, we have spend six months doing nothing… On full salaries no less. And then we get a summer vacation on top of that; so basically, we have spent eight months doing nothing. That is pretty sweet.
Búi: Yes, it’s easy money.
Let us turn to something else. You have said that you want to give more attention to Icelandic rock music. As experts in the field, how is Icelandic rock music doing?
Búi: It is doing good, and has been doing well for several years.
Andri: I agree, it is doing good, but I wouldn’t say that it is doing any better than English rock music or you know, I don’t know about the Faeroe Islands…
Búi: We usually use a per capita comparison.
Andri: That is a useless statistic. But there are many good bands operating. It is a new development to be able to go out on almost any given night a see a show someplace. It was not like that ten years ago.
Búi: Yes, but it is sad to see how this sector is constantly being shunned. Just see the difference between how musicians are treated here or in Sweden for example.
Andri: Is it? Isn’t it just the musicians that are whining? Búi: No, not really.
Andri: How is it being shunned?
Búi: Take TÞM for example, it is being closed down and nobody gives a shit!
Andri: But shouldn’t musicians just be able to pay for their own practice space? They choose to pursue this.
Búi: Well, maybe. But it is not like there are practice facilities everywhere.
Andri: No, but they get paid to visit other countries.
Búi: Andri, you have to look at this compared to what is the norm in the countries around us.
Andri: Like where? Búi: Sweden for example
Andri: Sweden? Pfff…
That is true; I think I am correct in saying that Sweden has the third highest export revenue from music of all countries.
Búi: Exactly! I am just talking about taking better care of the musicians, there are so many people involved with in music and it means so much to so many people. Just look at what we are spending money on. How much money is just being spent on some bullshit like some embassies in foreign countries while this is left unattended? It is not like this radio station intends to save the world or anything, but at least we intend to do more for the Icelandic bands.
Tune in to Capone every weekday morning between 07:00 – 10:00 on Reykjavík FM 101.5.

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