The Offbeat

Interview: George Rock of World Rock Countdown


George Rock runs a radio show called World Rock Countdown which aims to find and share the world’s up-and-coming hottest bands.

Can you describe what your goal is with World Rock Countdown?

Actually I’ve got a few I’d like to achieve. One would be to bring the feeling of discovering music back to the people. It used to be that you went down to the record store and took a chance on a new record, thats not the case anymore. Downloading music has changed the game for the better and for the worse. It may be harder for bands to spread the word about themselves now than ever before, but everything you do is visual, content is a must. Up until Facebook took the reigns from Myspace, things went to another have to promote your band in ways that is different. Plus you better have a wad of cash to promote your posts, pay people of stature in the industry to maybe make things happen for you. The only good thing about the digitization of music is that it’s mobile, and bands can get the money directly through iTunes and other distributors..the only thing is selling the record.

I want people to realize rock isn’t dead, thats why instead of the conventional countdown like all other radio shows, I preferred to change things up in a “Top 10 Bands You need to hear this week” – style.  Keeping things fresh is key, people don’t want to hear the song more than once a day, if they do they can go on Youtube and put it on repeat.  We’re in the beginning stages, the content is pouring out for the World Rock Countdown. Eventually, would like to syndicate the show and even do a television reality show where we actually travel to different countries to speak with bands we’ve discovered.

You worked in the radio industry for a decade. What made you finally leave?

I can’t believe it’s been a decade actually, seems like just yesterday I began in the industry.  When I first started it was exciting, and like all my friends in the radio industry we all love checking out new bands – because it’s a break from that song that’s been on a reoccurring schedule for quite sometime.  I went from full-time radio work to part-time and still do hometown radio shows on a station back home from time to time.  I left because I had to pursue this opportunity. It was time to take the plunge.

Do you think you would have started World Rock Countdown if you hadn’t worked in the radio industry first?

Since I was 5 years old, I knew I wanted to be in radio. I had my boom box with the microphone and I always loved talking through the microphone. My whole life growing up I was told I never had what it took to be on the radio, even some of my school counsellors told me I couldn’t get into the course at the College for radio. After I pursued something else in College, I flunked out and the next year I returned, but this time in that radio program I was told I could never get into. Always follow your heart, don’t listen to anyone but yourself.

After working in the radio industry for almost 8 years, I had the pleasure of going to Los Angeles and finally meeting a colleague at the American Top 40. I’ve always been interested in the AT40, especially with Casey Kasem and meeting one of his producers changed everything for me. After we conversed for hours on end, it was clear that I had to do.  It all clicked.  It took a ton of work, secrecy, and struggle to get to this point. I honestly believe things happen for a reason, that was a life event.  Without that I don’t think it would have ever happened!

You obviously spend a lot of time listening to music to see what treasures you can find. Who are some of the best artists you’ve discovered?

Well lets start this off by saying all the artists are very good, but this is what I am currently spinning right now. It’s ever changing

I am currently listening to a band called Acres from the UK, Congression from Canada,  I am the Haunted from USA to name a few.

Do you make a concerted effort to find unusual or outlandish artists, to combat hearing the same thing on the radio all the time?

It’s no longer an effort to find new emerging artists, its become more of a habit. It goes well with a cup of coffee or two, and it usually lasts a few hours. Discovering new rock artists is kinda like christmas morning to be honest.

You say you want to uncover the “planet’s top emerging artists.” Do you think there isn’t enough geographical diversity in radio and the music world?

There’s not enough diversity in radio.  So many bands around the world that are just killer new bands for you to become fans of.  The music world has diversity, you just have to discover really dig to find it. Thats why the World Rock Countdown should be your new home for finding new bands weekly. You may end up buying a record or two.

What are you looking forward to next with World Rock Countdown?

Bringing it to conventional radio, spreading the word, television show, and a music festival.

Check out the World Rock Countdown website here.