In a time when Spotify, iTunes and Pandora are the go-to services for people to listen to music, it may be hard to believe that there are still those of us who listen to radio to get our music fix. When it comes to the availability of good rock radio stations, however, the choices are getting fewer and further between. The wave of pop, easy listening and country radio stations continues to ride strong, and listeners of one of the few remaining rock stations in Southern California got a rude awakening recently when they learned they soon would fall victim to another great station being pulled out from under them.
On December 21, 2015 the Inland Empire’s X 103.9 announced that it was ending its 20-year run as the IE’s beloved alternative rock station. The minute that it was announced on Facebook, countless fans of the X wrote to express their outrage at the format change. I was blow away myself when I heard the news, but my frustration was thankfully short-lived. One of station’s most popular DJ’s clearly took the fan’s disappointment to heart and decided to do something about it.
Daryl James, or “Dirty D” as he was known on the air, is the saving grace for all the diehard rock fans that felt the blow on December 21st. He decided it was time to realize a dream of his by starting his own internet radio station, and just like that…..Dirty Radio was born! Needless to say, the former listeners of X 103.9 (including myself) were ecstatic to hear the news, and I knew I needed to speak with Dirty D himself to get the lowdown.
ON REQUEST: First off, I personally just want to say thank you for what you're doing in creating Dirty Radio. I was blown away (like many others) to hear of the station format change at 103.9. Can you tell me what your initial reaction was when you first heard the news?
DARYL JAMES: Just like any fan I was sad to see it go. I spent many great years there. X1039 was a huge part of my life it was defiantly a shock for myself and many people and it left all of saying what now.
OR: Anyone who has ever listened to one of my interviews with artists knows how I feel about top 40 or "radio friendly" pop fair. No disrespect to that genre, but let's just say it's not for me. It seems more and more difficult to keep good rock radio stations alive anymore. Do you think internet radio is ultimately going to be the saving grace for rock fans?
DJ: Yes I do, rock music is a life style. The online world can embrace a more edger sound, a more raw broadcast that terrestrial radio stations doesn't support as much.
OR: You have more than 20 years invested in the Inland Empire radio scene, but this new venture with Dirty Radio is a pretty big step and turning point for you. What was the number one motivation for you to take such a big leap in putting this whole thing together?
DJ: It has always been a dream of mine to have my own radio station, immediately after the demise of X1039 I was urged by the community to start an online radio station and it has become more of a reality everyday. When I was 14 years old i had a pirate radio station out of my bedroom all the kids out of my junior high would tune in at night then spent over 20 years on commercial radio. I feel doing Dirty Radio is a grass roots operation that will allow me to play the music I love, express all my creativity, bring a lot more local content, and build something I believe in.
OR: Something that I find very exciting personally about the 24/7 format of Dirty Radio is just the wide open opportunities it will allow you to have total control in the content you present to your fan base. That must be like being a kid in a candy shop after having to stick to specific guidelines for so long. What are you most excited about?
DJ: This is truly a dream come true, I am able to build the ultimate radio station while knowing my fan base is eager and ready for this and I will be able to support bands that aren't currently on the radio.
OR: When do you anticipate being able to officially launch Dirty Radio, and can you tell our readers where they can find you and tune in?
DJ: We are trying to launch between January 20th and January 30th. We will have a free app available in the Android and iPhone store and on the TuneIn app , you will be able to stream us on our website DirtyRadio.Fm and there will be direct links on all of our social media.
Dirty Radio on Facebook