For a place known as the Steel City, it should come as no surprise that Pittsburgh has a pretty solid stockpile of metal.
Still, even those who can delineate the differences between West Coast Thrash and Norwegian Black Metal probably don’t know that Pittsburgh metal bands alone can supply 24 hours a day of metal, seven days a week.
That’s the plan for The Metal Edge, a Millvale-based online radio station, debuting November 12.
For the past two years, the all-digital radio station, River’s Edge Media, has been running a 24/7 stream playing all Pittsburgh music, and a few talk shows.
“It started as a podcast, recorded in a closet in my attic,” says River’s Edge Owning Partner (and DJ) Brian Crawford. “A couple months ago we had over 40,000 listeners, and [we] usually average between 20-30,000.
“It’s rivaling AM stations. I imagine we’re beating a lot of private stations on the dial. But we’re not on the dial — we don’t plan on going there.”
The River’s Edge crew has planned their second 24-hour station, The Metal Edge, for quite some time. However, those plans have been on the back burner, so to speak, since the station caught fire.
“After the building burnt down in the spring, Mr. Small’s [Theatre] offered us the chance to move into their old recording studio,” says Crawford. “So now we’re in a $40,000 studio in one of Pittsburgh’s best music venues.”
The River’s Edge has tapped metal scene veteran Jonathan Keilback (Only Flesh, The Existential Gentlemen) and Zach Fehl, who writes for MetalInsider.net, to build the network.
“Pittsburgh has a huge metal scene, and people don’t always realize it,” notes Crawford. “We wanted to highlight the scene, given the passion of the fans. It doesn’t always get the attention — it’s a bit harder, in terms of intensity. You’re not going to get much heavy metal on most traditional radio outlets.”
So Pittsburgh bands like Dethlehem, Klaymore and Greywalker will now have another kind of amplifier. Of course, there’s a multitude of genres within metal, but 24 hours a day gives The Metal Edge room to play them all. Whether you’re more of a fan of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) like Judas Priest, or stoner/doom/desert metal like Queens of the Stone Age, in Pittsburgh, someone’s probably doing it.
The River’s Edge will now play all genres of local music except metal. The only times you’ll find non-music programming are 9-11 a.m., when they run several talk shows that cover sports, comedy and politics. Crawford also has a museum review podcast, where he and a friend go to a museum and review what they like or dislike about it.
River’s Edge shows can be found at riversedgepgh.com, and on Soundcloud, Google Play, Facebook video, Youtube and the TuneIn Radio app.