Lady Gaga, T.I. & Metallica Help Launch SiriusXM All Music Talk Channel 'Volume'
The only thing music geeks like better than listening to their favorite songs is talking about them. That's the big idea behind SiriusXM's Volume, billed as the first-ever 24/7 music talk radio channel. The newest experiment on the satellite network's dial (106) launches Monday morning (Oct. 17) with the daily live drive time (7-10 a.m.) talk show "Feedback," anchored by former VH1 host Nik Carter and veteran magazine editor/writer Lori Majewski. They'll run down the day's latest music, gossip and trending news while taking calls from guests and listeners as part of what the channel's creator says will be a brand new radio concept.
"We wanted it to be [staffed by] people who really had something to say and have been there and have the kind of access most fans don't have and who continue to be in the mix -- going to shows, getting backstage and in the studio and bringing their opinions -- the kind of stuff you kill for if you're a music fan," said former VH1/MTV staffer Roger Coletti, Volume's executive producer.
With that in mind, the talent line-up will feature a stacked roster of veteran talent. Legendary hard rock DJ Eddie Trunk, will host the noon-4 p.m. ET daily show "Trunk Nation," where he will share stories from his 35-year career and interview artists, with Metallica's Lars Ulrich stopping by during the first week. Legendary TV producer/writer Bill Flanagan will host "Written in My Soul with Bill Flanagan," an interview program where he'll dig deep with music icons, including Robert Plant and Paul Simon, while former MTV talking head Kurt Loder will conduct interviews with musicians, authors and filmmakers on "True Stories with Kurt Loder."
In addition to artist-driven shows from the likes of Melissa Etheridge ("Melissa's Basement," featuring interviews and collabos with David Crosby, Pat Benatar and others) and Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian's "Never Meet Your Heroes," one of the more intriguing pairings on the daily roster will combine noted music journalist and author Alan Light with original MTV VJ and 30-plus year radio veteran Mark Goodman on "Debatable." The 4-7 p.m. ET daily call-in show will have the two deconstructing the news of the day and digging deep into their music geek obsessions.
Light said he's fascinated to see how the show plays out once callers get in the mix. "We all know that there are plenty of people whose opinions about music are as passionate as those about politics or sports," he told Billboard. "And how many hours we have spent discussing and debating and arguing about our preferences and tastes and ideas about music history. There's never really been anything like this... that's tried to cover such a wide spectrum of music culture, and nothing that's looked to bring listeners into the conversation this way."
While Light is new to radio, Goodman told Billboard a chance encounter in the SiriusXM hallways with Coletti made him feel like the "clouds had opened" when he heard the concept. "I've been doing this well over 35 years and never been able to work at a place like what this channel will be," he said. "I have to do interviews in radio where I have to fit in a question and answer with no follow in 90 seconds. This is about deeper dives, as well as more fun top 5 lists that everyone loves to argue about."
The channel will also fold in the weekly "Rolling Stone Music Now" podcast with profiles of up-and-coming bands and interviews, as well as journalist Elliott Wilson's "Rap Radar Report," the new-releases focused "Album Review Show," a trivia game show hosted by former MTV/VH1 personality Jim Shearer and a music and technology series called "The Last of The..."
"We're trying to cover all of it as best we can," said Coletti, who promised plenty of exclusive interviews with artists in which they don't necessarily come by just to plug their latest project, but dig deep into their careers and passions. Among the first week's highlights is what Coletti said was an emotional chat with Lady Gaga that ended with the singer in tears. "It's really about what's going on in music right now. It's dictated by what artists are doing now, who's making noise as well as going back and revisiting stories people haven't heard from their favorite artists spanning many genres."