and Jeff TuckerSun Staff ReporterDo you ever greatly miss the late, lamented sound of the now-defunct Z-Rock metal syndicated radio network? Do you jones for the likes of Rage Against the Machine or Megadeth?Are you finding it difficult to even locate any heavy metal on the airwaves at all?I practically had given up trying to search for metal. It seemed non-existent, obliterated by the powers that be, ignored or shunned by programmers and advertisers alike. Yet I know there are thousands of metal fans like me who are missing the music terribly and who keep it alive in our hearts and minds, as well as on our CD players, tape decks or turntables.Airtime salespeople find metal to be a tough sell, unless you're pushing Budweiser or tongue-piercing. Programmers generally treat the format as a pariah — as anathema to business success.But not all metal fans are tattooed bikers. Many of them exist in the American mainstream, and they are a neglected demographic, screaming out for attention.I was strolling through the mailroom at work one day when I heard what the young kids and the oldsters alike were listening to in that backshop. It was metal! Beautiful, sweet metal! Literally music to my deprived ears.Today northern Arizona, tomorrow the world.That's the lofty goal that LoudRadio has set for itself.Flagstaff and Sedona now enjoy the company's hard rock and heavy metal sounds on 100.1 FM. Loud Radio is an affiliate of www.OnlineMusic.com, based in Napa, Calif."It's a terrestrially syndicated offshoot of the Internet," Guy "G-Ster" Giuliano, vice president of programming for LoudRadio Network, said in Sedona, where LoudRadio, broadcasting under the call letters of KLOD, standing for K-Loud, is based.Giuliano directs programming for K-Loud (and also for KQST "the Q," broadcasting top 40 alternative) out of Sedona with 100,000 watts of power, providing a strong, ultraclear signal for all those jonesing metalheads.The new Metallica stuff is about as revisionist as the format gets, although hard rock also is included (Fear Factory's remake of Gary Numan's "Here in My Car" is an example of LoudRadio's wide, somewhat eclectic scope).But mostly the station depends on old reliables such as Ozzy Osbourne, Slayer, Megadeth, Metallica, Pantera, Type O Negative, Corrosion of Conformity, Sepultura, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, AC/DC, and in their softer moments, even Led Zep, Nirvana, Sabbath, Montrose, Guns 'n' Roses or Tommy Bolin. And a whining Axl Rose is about as soft as it gets.LoudRadio also embraces newer fusion elements contributing to the metal scene, like Rage Against the Machine, Godsmack, Torso or Dying Tribe. Local bands such as the Eight-Balls are not ignored by any means. For example, there's the station's heavy promotion of the upcoming Man o' War/Eight-Balls gig on Sunday, Oct. 24, at the Rock, the renowned slammin' bar in Tucson.The station mixes its "retro" classics with its hot new magma. The result is everything that a hard-rocker loves to hear, old or new. For me, it is the perfect format. Thankfully, there's no "Evenflow" and I can see the "Backdoor Boys" CDs flying over the cliff at Oak Creek like Frisbees.Throw in some imaginative, fun-loving, nominally insane DJs and some snatches of theme music and voice-overs from Looney Tunes, Bewitched, Brady Bunch, the Flintstones, the Addams Family — all the stuff I loved while I was growing up — and you have a station so legendary that I fear it will be stolen from me by some mysterious evil force buying it out or otherwise trying to silence it or steal its thunder.For even though this is supposed to be The Land of the Free, there still are those Blue Meanie forces who would love to squelch the likes of LoudRadio.Even the station's motto reflects this: "If it's too loud, maybe you're too old."The station's promos urge you to "lock it in and rip the knob off." Don't worry, guys, you don't have to twist my arm. That radio knob is already long destroyed. I listen to nothing else but LoudRadio, every waking moment that I'm at home. No need to convince me."We're trying to put LoudRadio in the top 30 cities nationwide," G-Ster said in Sedona. "If we can break into L.A., this thing's going to be out of control. But we're just playing music. We're not trying to be political. We're not getting on the air to harass or terrorize anyone."He thinks Sedona is a great place to start: "It's like another planet, the same color as Mars, but much more beautiful."The immediate goal is to feed the starving masses in Flag, Phoenix and Tucson and then branch out.And LoudRadio already has branched out to the tune of 8,000 miles away — to faraway Guam, of all places."Rancid Randy" Ramirez, the "Tweakin' Puerto Rican," one of LoudRadio's stable of talented, intelligent, innovative RatPack DJs, spent nine years in the military, so he was excited to learn that a huge chunk of the U.S. military on the horrible hellhole island of Guam had adopted LoudRadio out of desperation.Although the military was not too excited about having those GI Joes grooving to metal, there was little that the top brass's hobnail boots could do about stomping on the independent station. "They don't have the right to block us," G-Ster said."There's a nine-foot LoudRadio poster on a building in Guam," Rancid Randy said proudly. (Meanwhile, Jeff and I were trying hard to stay upwind of His Rancidness — just kidding, he actually smells like he showers daily).G-Ster says potential foes like the Eagle needn't worry: "After all, they're playing John Cougar Mellencamp and we're playing Slayer."Any heavy metal fan worth his uranium has gotta be rooting for the RatPack to go worldwide. Already they can pick up the music on the Internet, and a Z-ROCK-type nationally syndicated network does not seem far-fetched.Rancid Randy, of course, has his partners in grime, including Mad Max, Krazy Ken, Joey the Wop and the G-Ster hisself.Are ya moshin' to those screamin' grindin' Industrial Sounds? Well, heck, e-mail the RatPackers at www.LoudRadio.com. You'll be glad you did.And while you're at it, don't forget to wrap yourself up in your giant copy of the First Amendment while you lullaby yourself to sleep at night with the soothing sounds of Slayer.LoudRadioTune in LoudRadio at 100.1 FM in Flagstaff and Sedona. E-mail in your requests and comments to www.LoudRadio.com. Visit the Web site at www.LoudRadio.com. Download or buy the music at www.OnlineMusic.com. Check out the Man o' War/Eight-Balls gig on Sunday, Oct. 24, at the Rock in Tucson.
— Access Flagstaff