The Fyre (and Ice) Burns
A couple weeks ago, we told you about The Originals Music Series, a local weekly showcase hosted at Chicago Restaurant in Allentown by Tracie Lovett and Amy Danner, better known as Ninja and Pitbull of the Fyre and Ice Show on Neue Regel Radio.
The internet-based radio show, running strong on the internet for three years and counting, deserves its own look. Tracie and Amy, in their continued public service to all things independent music, host the show every Tuesday night from 8-10 p.m. on Neue Regel.
It started simply for the duo, with nothing more than a cell phone, a laptop, and the Spreaker app. The early setup presented its challenges to the show’s hosts.
“We were actually playing music on my laptop, but recording the show through my cell phone,” Lovett said. “So, I was actually sitting the phone on top of my speakers.”
“We couldn’t talk (while the music played). That was the worst part,” Danner recalled. “Now, we have the DJ setup with mics that we can turn off and on.”
Since then, the duo has moved beyond Speaker and to a number of internet radio stations, to varying degrees of compatibility and success based on location and timing.
“We weren’t even on the same map (as some of the stations) with our goals,” Danner said.
Then, the relatively local, New Jersey-based Neue Regel Radio came calling.
The Culture of Neue Regel
“When (Neue Regel Radio founder Mike Presti) offered (the position) to us, it was all about timing,” Danner noted. “Their whole attitude is positive. There’s no negative. They give back to the community, and the way it’s run is so different (from other stations).
In giving back to the indie community, Presti himself has his own radio show called the Launch Pad, which airs Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. The station owner interacts directly with the bands he provides an opportunity, buying their music whenever possible.
“Last week on his show, he said that he had $7,000 worth of indie artist music,” Lovett said. “He refuses to have them give it to him.”
While each show on Neue Regel tends to stay more in the rock sphere, Danner explained that every show has a theme. For the Fyre & Ice Show, opportunities remain open to a wide spectrum of artists.
“We’ll do some blues and a little bit of heavy metal, but we’re straight up rock and roll,” Danner said. “We have brought in a few country acts. We’re a little more open than some of the other shows.”
The station’s shows also share music, working together to create a database of hundreds of indie artists.
“If another show comes across a band that doesn’t fit their show, they’ll hit us or another show up,” Danner said. “Now, we have this huge database of all the music that was purchased and sent to us to utilize.”
Fighting for Respect
Operating a successful internet radio show doesn’t come without challenges, with external forces that can make music licensing and relevance difficult to maintain.
“There were times where I really wanted to throw it all in and be like, ‘I’m done. I’m tired of all the drama and headaches,’” Lovett said.
However, validation comes in the form of a mutual respect between indie artists and those who support them.
“Bands constantly thank us, but I would much rather the bands thank themselves, because they’re the ones that deserve the credit,” Lovett said. “We couldn’t do what we’re doing now if it weren’t for the bands and their music, hard work, talent, and putting themselves out there for us.”
It’s easier to do as an artist when you know the support you receive is genuine, and the duo has spent years on the scene offering their authentic selves to the cause.
“I think a lot of these musicians already had respect for us, knowing that we were going out and supporting them,” Danner said. “When we started the Fyre & Ice Show, it was just another step.”