I figured I wanted to make a statement in front of the friends and fans of HatchetRadio about how I personally feel. My statements do not reflect any one else on HatchetRadio’s as this article is personally to our fans from me, so don’t hold anyone else accountable for my feelings and the words that we are going down. In 2003 we founded HatchetRadio as a team, we had so much support, so many folks just tuning in and listening to the wicked shit that we grew and grew and grew. Our staff grew, our technology grew, as did our fan base. When social networking first came to us, we didn’t understand it. There were so many Myspaces, Twitters, Facebooks, it was hard to pick a team to side with. So we did them all. In my personal opinion we were not pleased with the cesspool known as Twitter, any troll with an e-mail account could readily sit under their bridge and criticize everything without even putting any thought into it. So we chose just to go to FaceBook because we felt it was less of a hassle. In the years we’ve grown, we’ve met some amazing folks who’ve joined our ranks. Leffy, Sinista1, MasterWillz, Sayjin Tyler, D.B., Redwood & The Wolf, Chief187, L-Wright, Muffin, Ragamuffin, Cyber Narcotics, Z’Nuff Starr, we all formed Indie Republic with the exact same goal in mind. Promote Indie Artists, the artists we loved, and each other, and for nearly 7 years we did just that each and every week from Sunday to Saturday, hitting up folks, checking e-mails, delivering some of the best podcasts out there we could do but the rules started changing on us without conferring ANY of these Independant Stations, and not for a bad way, but for a good way. Giving artists more control over their content. Giving artists directed access to their own creations, producers & labels better glances at their product and it was amazing to watch.
We never had to hound artists to give interviews, we never had to really put any work in to get them on air, it was just a simple ask. Every artist we contacted would leap at the chance to be on air with such a talented group that for 7 years we compiled a massive database of podcasts from The Main Event, The Final Round Show, The Booth, The Traphouse Rocks Show, and many others collaborating together. In 2017, however, the rules changed once more. YouTube became more strict, as did FaceBook, Twitter and all of the other social networking and streaming websites out there. It became much harder to live stream interviews, post them up on these media websites without getting copyright issues. We’ve had to explain this to fans individually that “Hey we can’t do that anymore, they are copyright striking our content” Cyber and myself even went as far as to editing out the music that was supplied to us by the artists and their team because we had to go through UMG, & ASCAP to verify that we were allowed to play that music on air, which became painful because they wanted to see our blueprints, our demographic information and all that before during and after the shows. The staff here started seeing the signals in the sky again, as artists were losing control of their content to these big companies.
I personally had some things in my life that prevented me from coming back to some of the shows. I heard things like “Flake” or “Under-Achiever” when in the reality I was burying my parents after their long bouts with cancer. I had a producer from another show off network become extremely insensitive to my personal losses because I had to take time to myself and work on my own mental health, learn more about my personal issues, so that I could get over that large mountain of loss and it’s been a bumpy one. In 2019, HatchetRadio was coming back online with more promotion, more shows, and better quality of production that was passed down from Indie Republic & EventLevel. We assumed the mantle of the Network with just a simple ask and we reforged our legacy gaining more traction and steam with a few shows here and a constant show that has kept us afloat with Sinista1 & The Booth. HatchetRadio’s silent partners in crime have been running the gig from the back end and have done a great job. Our Social Network numbers are dwarfed by our actual on air numbers at our website or streaming partners which yield 195k Likes on Shoutcast/Radionomy & Tune-In has thousands of Favorite Stations. That told the entire staff that our job wasn’t to appease the social networking Gods, but our fans who tune in every day at work or at home via their mobile devices, not the droll of trolls that plague social networking like parasites.
In 8 days I plan on returning to the airwaves, but not on here. Not on Social Networking, but where my roots were the strongest, the best, but where I could be myself, ON HatchetRadio. I have a social anxiety disorder now because of my mental health decline. I’m not a people person and that’s not fiction that’s a fact. I tried hiding it from friends and family and that in itself was the wrong thing for ME to personally do because I was starting to burst at the seams. I was covering it up with drinking and mistreating others, and I can’t apologize enough to the people I was around for the way I was being, and the way I was allowing myself NOT to be vulnerable to the right folks in my personal life. So I took the advice of some of my closest and dearest friends, and just went silent on the issue and kept my dignity by doing so rather than personally self-destructing all over those I cared about, and possibly ruining opportunities for others. That’s what a leader has to do sometimes, you have to take breaks, and not allow yourself to become a monster. I have been alcohol free since 2019. I have been open about this because I feel that there are some people out there who are reading this message right now, and saying. Man I feel you on every aspect, and I thank every single one of you for your patience and allowing me to have my anonymity for so long.
Now onto what’s happening in the now. We have a pandemic going on. It has affected the lives of the entire world, us included. None of us are rich, None of us are wealthy, we’ve put our money into ourselves and invested our time into our work. I’ve sported a 9-5 most of my life to make ends meet, and did this as a side job to entertain folks with great shows. We will not stop dedicating our lives to the thing we love the most. Talking to you all the fans, delivering amazing shows with stellar content of the best quality we as a group can deliver. When we contact artists and interview them they are safe. No Masks required, because we are doing it from our own homes via the web. Every artist who’s interviewed with us or been a part of our team for their moments in the light have all been able to do it mobile. We will continue to do so because it’s for the safety of us, the artists, and the people we love. I personally support medical freedom, as do some of the other guys here, but put no bones about it, some of us have had to have vaccinations for our “Off-Air” lives to ensure the safety of our families and others around us. Some of us have not. I will NOT take away or mandate that ANY of our staff members be vaccinated in order to be a part of our staff. That is their personal decision and we will not put that on their already stressed plates. The reason being is that it’s a choice, and yes there are dire consequences for some, and medical reasons for others, just like a heart valve replacement, or Staged Cancer Treatments, you are given the choice to follow through, or to let it run its course. I respect their personal decisions, and they have respected mine. DeadBilly, my long time best friend, has shown up with his mask on in my house, I’ve told him to take it off because I love him and I don’t’ want him uncomfortable in the Fortress of Solitude. I personally am not for or against vaccinations. It’s a personal choice that should be admired. If you’re getting one, you’re brave, if you’re fighting for your own personal choice for your own reasons, you’re brave. That’s called Freedom. That’s what our country was founded on. Freedom of Choice and of course Freedom of Consequence too.
The bigger portions we are seeing now is that Artists, Concert Venues, & Government entities are personally mandating that everyone show their vaccinations, or show proof that they haven’t contacted COVID. While I don’t agree with that because my ancestors are German/Jewish who were forced to wear Stars of David on their clothing, have forced serial number Tattoo’s and have paperwork on them at all times in Germany, I can only sit back and watch this with shame in my heart as I watch peoples personal choices be picked apart by “Mandates”. I do not support “Mandates” nor do I support venues who support mandates without absolute scientific reasons. My only ask for our artists and fans is that you remain safe. We will continue to keep you updated on the venues who are requiring them, and ask that we no longer support those venues as it is obvious that they are not educated well enough or have the safety standards to keep the fans and concert goers safe enough that we can all join in on the fun. You’re bucking freedom of choice, and lacking freedom of expression. Boxing in and alienating fans who do have concerns over public safety just to make a quick buck during a pandemic off of vaccinatiosn that have proven to not be efficient enough against several new mutated strains of this disease. The science field is still out, disagreeing with the CDC, the WHO, and most other government entities who have a checkered past of misinformation and inhumane testing. Remember the Tuskegee Experiment? As quoted by our favorite talk radio show Sinista1 and to coin the phrase “Do your homework, Do the Math.” Evidence needs to be concrete and answers need to be more stern before you can deliver out mandates. Again We at HatchetRadio will keep you informed of venue changes, government mandates for these shows. Whether you agree with them or disagree, it is the owners job to ensure the minimum safety of their fans to make their money in these hard times. Thanks again folks for your input and be safe out there. We love you. – Rick O