KEXP’s new metal show, Seek and Destroy, starts Saturday!

photo by Laura Musselman

photo by Laura Musselman

by Hannah Levin

From the first day I was brought on board at KEXP just over two years ago, I’ve been a vocal (read: periodically obnoxious) advocate for an increase in our programming of hard rock and metal. KEXP has a de facto emphasis on independent artists, while hard rock and metal are historically perceived as the major label fodder of repetitive, mainstream radio programming. Because of those dovetailing factors, it can initially be difficult to see why it’s so important that we begin pulling harder stuff into the mix.

However, as any devoted fan will tell you, metal never dies. In fact, it’s experiencing a massive renaissance at the moment — and one that is perfectly in line with KEXP’s mission to bring listeners the best new music you won’t hear anywhere else. Over the last several years, there’s been a huge influx of progressive artists who have synthesized punk and DIY elements with their love of classic metal, resulting in a gold rush of bands with as much brain as brawn. Acts like Pelican, Isis, Mastodon, The Sword, Kylesa, Torche and SunnO)) are all examples of this phenomenon, as is the bumper crop of Northwest artists leading this charge, including Helms Alee, Red Fang, Akimbo, The Valley and Mico de Noche.

This is not to say that we’ll only be focusing on the new, indie and stateside: a sense of historical appreciation for metal’s roots and recognition of its international community is important as well. Co-host Tanner Ellison and I plan on scouring the globe for unearthed gems in all of metal’s subgenres, from thrash and grindcore to death and black metal (the later of which is definitely Tanner’s area of expertise). We’ll also regularly re-examine the classics, including the key players that made up the NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) back in the day, and important U.S. regions, such as the Bay Area and Midwest, which nurtured groundbreaking scenes during metal’s formative years.

Metal is a genre with obscenely passionate, opinionated fans, so I have no doubt we’ll soon find ourselves in, ahem, spirited dialog with our listeners. We welcome the dialog and hope you’re as excited for the Halloween launch of Seek and Destroy this Saturday, October 31, from midnight till 2AM, and every Saturday thereafter. I will continue to host Audioasis every week, with Tanner and I trading off S&D hosting duties every other week.

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  1. Time Bomb
    Posted October 28, 2009 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    It’s about time! I’ve pretty much stopped listening to KEXP over the last two years as the programming tilted way too far into Adult Indie Easy Listening. It will be nice to hear some of the huge pool contemporary rock that is out in the world today. Looking forward to your show!

  2. steppdecke
    Posted October 29, 2009 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    Looking forward to the show!

  3. DAvE E. mArTiN
    Posted October 29, 2009 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Fuck to the Yeah!! I’ve been waiting for this to happen for years. I love you Kexp, and even more now that you’re balls have finally dropped

  4. Metal Delirium
    Posted October 29, 2009 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Wtf? You have to know that the KISW metal show is on from 11pm – 2pm. Why don’t you do a different time slot?

  5. Andrew C
    Posted October 29, 2009 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    YES! I can’t wait to have a metal show on KEXP. This is going to rule.

  6. Audioasis 2???
    Posted October 29, 2009 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    This is virtually all you ever play on audioasis already, PNW metal/hardcore/whatever you call it. Can we assume that you will start playing more diverse music on audioasis now that you will have an ‘official’ show dedicated to this type of music???

    I get so tired of hearing old Soundgarden tracks on your ‘local’ show when there are literally hundreds of Seattle bands out there that are currently making amazing music, yet you choose to highlight very few of them.

    The tracks that you do choose to play on audioasis that aren’t of the hardcore ilk are from the same local bands that get representation on KEXP all day long every day of the week. While your hardcore tracks on audioasis are providing diversity to what kexp usually plays, your knowledge of what is going on in the seattle music scene otherwise, is seriously lacking. I am very glad that this Seek & Destroy show has been added to kexp’s programming…I hope we see a change in what you choose to highlight of the Seattle music scene in your ‘local’ show.

  7. dAvE E. mArTiN
    Posted October 29, 2009 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Really dude….KISW? C’ mon.

  8. furrymoonboots
    Posted October 29, 2009 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    All Hail Satan!

    There’s always room for another mindless pointless endless guitar solo in hell!

  9. TheJudge
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    I’m glad to see Maiden’s “Piece of Mind” in that stack of albums. From Killers through Powerslave Iron Maiden had one of the best runs of any metal band, easily classifying them as my favorite of the genre.

  10. ben verellen
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    way exciting!

  11. jro
    Posted October 31, 2009 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    it’s about time.
    Just too bad it’s in such an obscure time slot.

  12. Blackened
    Posted October 31, 2009 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Keep it current – Despised Icon, Skeletonwitch, Pig Destroyer, Obscura, Origin, Krisiun, Faceless, etc. Of course, no complaints for the heavyweights Meshuggah, Gojira and Lamb Of God either.

    Horns up mutherf*kahs!!!

  13. FuManShoes
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Caught a bit of the show on the way home last night. Nice set list! Loved the Old Man Gloom inclusion. Keep the hits coming. Next: The Haunted!

  14. Damon Creed
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Everything old is new again. KCMU featured a metal show, Brain Pain, hosted by West Seattle’s own Jeff Gilbert.

    The challenge remains hearing this sort of stuff periodically mixed in during regular programming hours. What a treat it would be to hear some SunnO))) on KEXP during daylight hours.

  15. fist the fight
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    Good job on your second show! You guys played a good selection of metal and broke down all the different genres!

  16. Tony
    Posted November 9, 2009 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Well hey maybe we can have BRAIN PAIN come back like in 1986.
    Of course that back in the KCMU days

  17. Adam Jones
    Posted November 25, 2009 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad to hear you’re instituting a metal show to your already expansive collection of genre-specific blocks. But I’m baffled as to why in the hell you slotted it DIRECTLY against the only other metal block I can dial into my tuner: 99.9’s Metal Shop, a fantastic show for all things hvy.

    Is this some sort of line in the sand drawn against a corporate station? Could ambient-techno-afrobeat -happy hour not make a shift to accommodate NW metal listeners?

  18. Posted November 25, 2009 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Sorry about your frustration, Adam, but another radio station’s programming has never factored in to our own programming, regardless if it’s a commercial station or not. The time slot for Seek & Destroy fits best into our programming schedule, and that’s how the decision was made. Of course we’d rather you listen to our station, but if you must listen to another, you can always go back and listen to the show on demand at any time within 14 days on our streaming archive!

  19. chris
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 11:58 am | Permalink


  20. Thomas Brown
    Posted March 12, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    I have a bunch of kcmu,kisw and years worth of brain pain on cassette that’s going on Youube. what a great radio show…I’m listening to seek and destroy by metallica as I typed this,lol.

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