Nick Perkel is the host of WMSC 90.3’s Japan Nick’s Rock and Metal Pandemonium.
Q: What got you into rock journalism?
A: I was doing blogs and created my own zine that I distributed around Los Angeles, in an extremely limited quantity of 15, called “Good Music that Hurts Your Ear Drums” in 2009 at the Knitting Factory. I actually have a published interview within an issue of the Aquarian Weekly from May 21, 2014. (Tim Barr then of Recluse, now of Silverbird.)
I walked into the radio station of WMSC in April of 2009 and by September 2010 I was doing my first shows as the metal director. I was really into heavy metal and am a big collector of music and started doing call-in interviews and ticket giveaways to increase the notoriety of my show.
My first interview was with a singer of a heavy metal band from California with Witchhaven. I then got in touch with some musicians from Texas, Bruce Corbitt (singer) and Scott Shelby (lead guitar) for the Dallas/Fort Worth band, Warbeast, and was able to get WMSC as well as Montclair State University mentioned on the influential heavy metal news site Blabbermouth.net. I also began to syndicate a heavy metal radio show from Chicago called “Neil Wonnell’s Metalmouth.”
In May 2011, I was voted DJ of the year by my peers at the station, and that encouraged me to begin visiting the Maryland Death Fest from 2011 to 2014. That also inspired me to fly to Texas to see the bands Rigor Mortis and Pure Rubbish in concert and get interviews from some of those musicians.
Summer of 2011, I started inviting bands to do in-studio interviews with me and have had a few of them perform live on my radio show.
Q: What do you want to leave behind with rock journalism?
A: I wish people could recognize the articles and radio shows I have done to look at the history of the rock and heavy metal personalities that I focused on with airing their music and interviewing them, either for live radio or on a podcast on my Soundcloud account.
Q: What do you want to be known for?
A: I would hope people looked at my program as a seminal program for breaking and supporting new and old school bands and music scenes from Texas, California, the Pacific Northwest, Northern Europe and parts of East and Southeast Asia.
Q: What is rock journalism to you, and what are you contributing to it?
A: I look at rock journalism as a way to leave a historical footprint on heavy metal musicians, some of whom I was a fan of that are no longer around. It is very important to record their stories now while they are still around. I love collecting rare pressings of albums and airing tracks from those releases on my radio show to share with the world.