First Take: Little Steven Van Zandt Page 2
Can't have that - even though Joey Ramone would have been the first one to tell you how important they were. Exactly. Exactly. It's funny, but I hope the entire alternative format loosens up because it's almost entirely based on hard rock. We've got this whole new world started now. It's flawed, but you're starting to see some progress. Probably 10 or 12 of the bands we've been playing finally got signed to major labels.
I ask these stations: Just play something new, whether it's from the new guys or the old guys! Garage rock has its own charts in Billboard now [Coolest Garage Songs and Coolest Garage Albums], and it's getting recognized officially as a genre, and that's a good start. We'll get more bands on the road this year, we'll start our own record label, and we'll try to get the word out as much as we can and create an infrastructure for rock and roll. The old infrastructure is gone, and the mainstream music business in general is really not reformable. So I decided 5 years ago to create this format and create a new music business outside of the music business. We're making progress, you know?
So you don't sleep that much, is what you're saying. Not, not that much anymore. It's a pain in the neck - a luxury I can't afford. [laughs]
It's an interesting time to be doing all this. Everybody in the music industry is in some sort of a panic. But I see it as a cleansing, a rebirth that can start right now.
Radio Broadcast News
Back to Sirius business. What do you think of satellite radio in general? I think it'll continue to grow. It's obvious when you spend 24 hours with Sirius that there's a fantastic amount of programming choices. I think there's no limit to it, really. I'm sure we'll end up with 10 million subscribers fairly soon. That'll be a significant number, a potentially substantial audience for certain shows, and quite competitive with regular broadcast radio.
At the same time, I don't see them as mutually exclusive. I think it's rather adolescent and silly to have this adversarial thing going on. If you look through history, every single old medium is just scared to death of the new medium. That goes back to radio to records to TV - whatever the new medium is, the old one says, "Ohhhhh, this is the end." [laughs] This is never true. TV ended up saving the movie business, you know?
In this case, this could be a very complementary relationship, with satellite radio playing the role of innovator, experimenting, trying new things, new DJs, and new ideas, and, once they get refined, licensing them back to broadcast radio. Sort of like a cable-to-network syndication type of idea.