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Interview with Mark Lamdanski & Carol Riordan
of World Wide Indie Radio

Thanks for stopping by to read our interview with some very supportive people to the indie music scene! Mark Lamdanski & Carol Riordan of World Wide Indie Radio. Their slogan is "All Indie, All The Time" and it's totally true! We have been working with Mark and Carol for a few years now and figured it was time to do this interview! Mark finally accepted the bribe, uhhm, I mean invitation to do so! No but seriously, you could not ask for a better group of people to support you than all those who work at World Wide Indie Radio. They provide many services for those who work hard and have a good musical product. With 8 simulcasts and a syndication, their reach for the artists continues to grow! Besides Twitter Tuesday Live they also have Indie News at Noon, Carol's Blog and they often travel to help with award shows and to do interviews! So with that, we present our interview and we hope you enjoy it!



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Let's start off with the story about how Butterflies Radio came to be and how it ultimately became World Wide Indie Radio.
Ok, here it goes….I met Carol in an online virtual world called Second Life. Back in the day, I was an at-home dad, so I had a lot of time on my hands and kept myself busy, and had a pretty good social life in that virtual community. In this world, you have the ability to build just about anything you’d like. SL even has its own currency, called Linden Dollars. Anyway, you can do just about anything in SL, including go to these ‘night clubs’. You dress up your avatar and it can actually dance to the music. The main purpose is to hear good music and meet and socialize with all kinds of amazing people. Carol and I decided to build our own night club. We had to decide on a name. Carol showed me this graphic of a butterfly on some sexy red lips. The picture is actually titled ‘Butterfly Kiss”. I thought it would make for a great logo for the club and we decided to call it Butterflies Night Club. It because a pretty successful and popular spot! We had a ton of regulars.

Well, one of the other really cool things about SL is you can stream ANYTHING in-world. So SL became a popular venue for independent musicians to perform LIVE for anyone that would listen. It was actually a very popular thing to do – go to these live events. So, we added a stage to the night club and began inviting these artists to perform there. It was a big hit. The problem was, when there were no gigs going on, we were streaming main stream music at the live venue. I didn’t like that and Carol and I decided to start our own little radio station as a compliment to the club. We, of course, called in Butterflies Radio and only streamed independent music.

Eventually, it became a lot of work and we got tired of running this whole club. We left Second Life but kept our great friendship. We were getting such a good reception about the station, we decided to keep it going and just focus on it! Fast forward a few years, and a few thousand songs on rotation, we wanted to phase out ‘Butterflies Radio’ mostly because it didn’t describe what we really were and I felt like it was holding us back from getting new listeners. I applied for a digital broadcasters call sign and WWIR was available, hence our new name, World Wide Indie Radio.


At the 2014 Artists in Music Award, your show Twitter Tuesday Live won the title "Independent Radio Show of the Year, congratulations on that, well deserved! What advice could you guys give new indie station upstarts?
Mark: Thank you! We’re very honored and it validated all of the hard work that Carol and I put into the show.

My advice to the upstarts: If you’re trying to get into this business to make money, try another business. The one indisputable fact that Carol and I have come to realize is that running a station that supports emerging, independent artists, cannot make a profit. Carol and I do it for the love of it. We have a passion for promoting all those amazing musicians out there that are not getting a fair shake – that are not getting heard. If you have the drive and the willingness to work your station for free and are doing it for the love of the indies, then you’re in the right place. Work and work it hard. Get on all the social networks and stay active all the time. Connect with the musicians. Network like crazy. Go out and practice what you preach – i.e. go see as many indie musicians in concert as you can. Most importantly, create a niche. Having an indie station is not a niche. Ours is TwitterTuesday Live. It’s different from other shows out there and that’s what makes it stand out. That’s what earned us the title "Independent Radio Show of the Year”.

Oh, one more thing. Get involved with big events, such as the Artists in Music Awards, the LA Music Awards, etc. Go to SXSW or Bonaroo if you can! Meet and mingle!


The show format changed this year from a two hour show to a 1 hour show which now focuses almost entirely on the artist/band interview of the night, good move I think. What do you miss most about the old format? I personally miss "Carols' Choice".
Mark: Yeah, I miss Carol’s Choice as well. We had to make some sacrifices in order to bring the show to an hour. But, overall it’s working much better for us. While I don’t necessarily miss anything about the 2 hour format, I do, sometimes, feel like we are short-changing our guests. That hour goes by SO fast! But, we felt we had to make the change. In the end, it benefits our guests more because an hour-long show is more attractive to syndication.

CAROL - Yes I miss my choice as well, and not being able to promote the MSI song of the month and The INDIE MUSIC BUS Artist of the month, however I will now do this in my weekly newsletter. I do miss the quick fire questions too, they were great fun! But to organize a 2 hour show is very hard work and to just have the hour now is less stressful for me. But as Mark said it will make for better syndication on other radio stations, which is good for the guest artist!


What are the most difficult parts in running your radio station? What are the most fun parts?
Mark: I can’t say there is anything particularly difficult about running the station. The biggest challenge is finding the best music to add to our rotation. That’s not difficult – but it’s time consuming. I will say, though, that what can be difficult is dealing with the idea that it’s SO HARD to convert people from top 40 stations to tune into ours. Also, convincing people that independent doesn’t mean ‘crappy’! Just because a band hasn’t made it to the big time doesn’t mean it’s because they’re not good! As Carol will also attest, the worst are your own family and friends. When you don’t their support, it makes it even harder to deal with.

For me, the most fun part of running WWIR is meeting all these wonderful musicians! Not just on Twitter Tuesday Live, but also on Facebook, Twitter, Email and, my favorite, actually going to see them perform live! I have met some of the greatest people in person.

CAROL: The most difficult thing for me is convincing my family and friends that what we are doing is very real and the artists that we promote are of the same if not better standard to mainstream artists. It can be very disheartening when we put in so much work for some people to not be interested! The fun part is meeting people from around the world, listening to some great music, and of course talking to some awesome artists on our live shows!


I am sure this is a question that many musicians out there want to know. How does an act get a live interview on your show, "Twitter Tuesday Live"?
Twitter Tuesday Live is booked up months in advance. Carol has the responsibility of choosing the best of the best to appear on the show. We have some requirements, one of which is, you must have at least 3 songs on our rotation to be considered. You can get on our waiting list by going to our web site and clicking on the link ‘Appear on TTL’.


What's it like to do the "Artists in Music Awards" shows and events and how did you get involved? Do you remember when and where you first met Mikey Jayy and when did he add TTL to his station?
Mark: We’ve been honored to be a part of the Artists in Music Awards since it’s inception over 3 years ago. It’s so much fun just attending, let alone having an actual part in the show. To be honest, I don’t remember exactly how we got involved. I think Mikey contacted us by email and asked us if we wanted to be on the judges panel, which we happily accepted. That led to us being asked to present 3 awards in the first year – one of which was to this year’s Indie Music Bus Artist of the Year, Katie Cole!

I was familiar with Mikey because of his show The Great Unknowns Presents. WWIR used to syndicate it. I say ‘used to’ because he doesn’t do the show anymore. Unfortunately, I don’t remember when he added TTL to his station.

CAROL: I love being involved in the AIMA, I believe that its a great opportunity for all independent artists. It is becoming bigger and bigger each year and it's been great watching it grow. Mikey Jayy is awesome, it has been a pleasure working with him for these past 3 years! My only regret is that living in Australia, its hard to attend every year so had to miss this year's event, however, it was so awesome that Mark was able to be there and do a live show from the event!


Would you say you have your dream radio station or are there things you would like to improve upon?
Well, I love the station as it is. There are plenty of things I would like to change, though. We have the ability to have remote voice tracking DJs now and would love to have some people ‘intern’ for us!

I won’t lie. While Carol and I love what we do and are happy to continue doing it for free, we, of course, would like to make some money doing it. This would allow us to put our full-time efforts into the station. With that in mind, we do have some upcoming changes to our format. I can’t say what they are now. But, I can tell that it may not be popular with some folks. It’s important to note, though, that what we have in mind could ultimately bring in more listeners which, in turn, gets our indie artists more exposure. Of course, with more listeners, we may also get an opportunity to sell advertising or sponsorships. So, it could be a win-win for everyone.


You guys have a great segment, "The Deserted Island Question" where you put the artist or band members on different islands with only the natural things that appear on an "deserted island" and three things of their choosing to take that are not people. I have decided to do something similar in this interview.

I am placing you BOTH on the same island with all the food and water you'll need for your stay. This island is rather small but comfortable, you both get comfy tents and sleeping bags with solar powered lighting. Now, you each get three items to take with you that are not people, what would you take and why?
Mark: First, thank you for the comfy amenities and solar power. You’re a lot more generous than Carol! I have a feeling, though, that leaving us both on the same, small island may result in just ONE of us coming home – if you know what I mean…nudge nudge, say no more!

So, I would need:

  1. A weapon to defend myself from Carol hitting and kicking me because of all the wise-crack remarks I make.
  2. A few extra terabytes of hard drive space – you know why.
  3. A computer with satellite internet, which I can plug into the solar power, from which I can do my remote voice tracking!


CAROL: Wow Walter, you are so kind....maybe I could learn a few things from you, when I pose this question to our guests....no it wont happen! hmmmm this is going to be hard, spending an hour a week with Mark is bad enough, not too sure about being stuck on and island with him!

  1. A really good pair of Ear Muffs - Mark is correct, his wise cracks would drive me nuts and I would definitely end up hitting him!

  2. I would take my favorite book of all time "Sweet Savage Love" it is about pirates! lol I would lose myself in this book, dreaming of being rescued by a handsome pirate, hence the terabyte Mark is going to take would be rendered useless as I would be so engrossed in my book that I wouldn't talk much - that would probably drive him nuts lol

  3. I am an old fashioned girl at heart and I like doing things pre-computer, so I would take a journal with a pen attached so that I could write my life story! Marks 3rd thing will also be useless....where on earth is he going to plug in a computer???? Then I guess if Mark misses his computer that much, I might use some of my paper to play old fashioned Battleships and Hangman with him!



  4. You know though, it would be a great experience to be stuck on an island with a good friend, without access to phones....we might actually talk to each other instead of having our noses in our phones all the time!


Carol, you're the HOST now and Mark the Co-Host and you get to have a show you formatted, what would you do? What do you think of her idea Mark?
Mark: Won’t work. As Carol knows, it’s all about me! :p

CAROL: totally ignoring Mark...........That is a really hard question Walter and one that I have thought a lot about. I was going to think of something that would make Mark cringe but I couldn't! You know what, I don't think I would change the format, I think we have got it just right! I really like it! It would be a nice change though to make Mark do a bit more work on researching the guests prior to the show.....that would give me a rest! I do seem to do a lot of the work, don't I?!



Visit World Wide Indie Radio

www.wwirradio.com
Twitter.com/allindie
Facebook.com/Butterflies.Radio
Carol's Blog






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Here is the interview Butterflies Radio did with me, Walter Hargrave.



Bio

Butterflies Radio was founded originally in February, 2009 by Mark Lamdanski and Carol Riordan as a way to help promote independent musicians that were performing within Second Life. As they began to understand the industry more and became enthralled with the variety and expanse of independent musicians worldwide, Mark and Carol began recruiting indie artists outside of Second Life.

Within a few months, they had hundreds of songs and realized how important it was to help give a portal for these talented musicians to get their music heard.

The station was not taking off like they had hoped and, about 6 months after it was founded, Mark and Carol took Butterflies Radio offline to rethink and redesign the mission for the station.

When Mark finally realized the power of social networking, he restarted the station with the idea of promoting and recruiting by using Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and more!

Since it’s re-inception, Butterflies Radio has exploded in popularity within the social networking world.

Mark and Carol started Butterflies Radio as a hobby, and as a way to help promote the indie musicians around the world. To this date, Butterflies Radio is commercial free and does not plan to sell on-air advertising. The station relies on donations to help cover expenses.

Mark’s primary focus is the actually running of the station, including receiving and screening the music and making sure the tunes get added to the rotation. He also hosts the weekly live and interactive Twitter Tuesday LIVE where you can get mentioned on the air, just by mentioning @allindie on Twitter!

Carol concentrates on the promotion of Butterflies Radio and she is the one you will mostly find on Twitter. She gets feedback on the music as well and let’s Mark know when a tune just has to come off rotation!

Between Mark and Carol, both sides of the world are covered. Mark is from the South Florida area and Carol is in Perth, Australia.