Harkive 2016 – The Final Countdown – 8 days to go!

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On Tuesday 19th July Harkive will return for its fourth year to once again collect stories online from people about the detail of their music listening experience.

The project asks people to tell the tale of HowWhere and Why they listen to music on a single day each year, with the aim of capturing for posterity a snapshot of the way in which we interact with the sounds and technology of today. Since launching in 2013 the project has gathered over 8,000 stories, and on Tuesday 19th July we’ll be doing it all again. We hope you’ll join us by telling Harkive your story.

We’re now on the final countdown to Harkive 2016, with just 8 days to go. As we have done in previous years, in the run up to the big day we’ll be posting some ‘example’ stories from people who do interesting things with their music listening. Today we welcome radio DJ, TV presenter and musician, Johnny Doom.

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Johnny has been working for the rock station Kerrang! Radio for the last 12 years, recently started the Amp’d TV show for local station Big Centre TV, has written for various rock magazines, and has released albums with bands such as Doom, Sore Throat, Cain, Haxan, Police Bastard and Rainbow Grave.

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Johnny kindly agreed to keep a record of his music listening for Harkive on Monday 27th June, 2016, and documents his experience below:

9am – Sit down with a cuppa and start work. First job on Monday is to add new songs to my Kerrang! Radio playlist. Although some of my show is scheduled automatically in Selector, I also have a list of 26 songs which are chosen, rotated and updated by myself. For this I make a folder and over the previous week, download various tracks from PR company emails, dropbox links etc. All songs have to be listened through for texture, variation or quality and also to see that they are lyrically clean. This week I listened to and added Every Time I Die – The Coin Has a Say (which is some new fast abrasive hardcore), Greywind – Car Spin (a melodic rock brother / sister duo from Ireland) and some heavy chuggy goth tinged metal from Motionless In White – 570 (a fresh track from their new unreleased album). The tracks are then sent down to London via We Transfer to the Head Of Music, Loz Guest who uploads them to the Kerrang! System and sends out the weekly playlist.

10am – Once the tracks are sent over, I then start to write the script for my Amp’d TV show which I film on Monday evenings from 6.30pm until 7.30pm at the Goldmine Centre in Walsall, the headquarters of Big Centre TV. Script wise, I have to fill 11 minutes of airtime (part one of the show) with news stories, videos, gig guide etc. As I am scouring the internet for new music videos to show, I usually browse the Kerrang Magazine webpage and link the content into the script as Youtube links. The videos can then be downloaded and placed in to the show. This week I was given an exclusive first play of a new video / track from The Dead XIII called Daemons, a new band called Cane Hill from New Orleans who are making waves, with a track called You’re So Wonderful. For the gig guide section of the show I just chose two of the touring bands and again put the relevant Youtube links into the script. I always watch the video and check for offensive content or swearing. This week I chose The Dead Daisies – Midnight Moses (some modern classic rock) and an older track from hardcore veterans, Sick Of It All with Take The Night Off. Once the script is finished, I email it over to my producer Des Tong, who will transfer the text onto the autocue and download all the videos to be inserted into the show.

12pm – Start recording my 3 hour Kerrang! radio show for Monday evening , 7pm -10pm. For this I usually have my playlist ready and just record the 18 voice links around that, from my desk at home. Sometimes I will add a fresh track (or spotplay) that isn’t in the playlist, to add something new. This week I didn’t add anything so, I just worked faithfully from the playlist. When doing this I don’t hear the music, but have to gauge the style of track in terms of how I go into or come out of it. When all links are recorded, they are then sent down to London to be scheduled into the show.

3pm – School run. I usually drive to the school, so I’ll have my stereo on. Today I’ve been listening to some grime from a young artist called JME. His album Integrity has been on in my car for a few weeks as a break from guitars. It’s full of dark basslines and clever lyricism and good for driving.

5pm – Drive over to Walsall to the TV station. This can be quite a perplexing journey with heavy traffic, so i always take a pile of CD’s just in case. It’s a good chance to listen to some new albums in full. This time I listened to the new album by French prog metal band Gojira – Magma and little bit of Letives new album – If Im the Devil

8pm – Usually get back home and feel content at getting everything done and completed. This often prompts me to buy a few ciders and sit and unwind in front of the TV watching various Youtube videos, listening to music and watching films on the computer through the television. This week, I ended up listening through some new tracks we recently recorded for my punk band. These are four rough mixes, without vocals, so it’s a good chance to listen for mistakes, mixing issues and developing how lyrics will fit over the tunes. I also usually end up listening to full albums using Youtube. Tonight, it was a mixture of Black Metal from Darkthrone – Panzerfaust, some electronics avante pop from Grimes – Halfaxa and some noise rock from Brainbombs – Urge To Kill. At some point I usually awake on the sofa, the music still playing or rotating on Youtube and go to bed.

If you enjoyed Johnny’s example and would like to tell your own Harkive story in a similar way, you can do so by emailing submit@harkive.org on or after 19th July with the tale of your listening day, writing as much or as little as you want. If email is not your thing, you can contribute your story in a number of other ways, such as by Tweeting with the hashtag #harkive, posting something to the Harkive page on Facebook, or by adding stories and images to Tumbr and Instagram – just remember to add the hashtag #harkive to your posts. More information on the ways in which you can tell your story are on the How To Contribute page.

Harkive 2016 is just 8 days away. We do hope you’ll join us on Tuesday 19th July by telling us the story of your listening day. If Harkive sounds interesting, please do help us spread the word by telling your friends about the project. In the meantime you can keep an eye on the project by following us on Twitter, or by liking our Facebook page. If you have any question about the project please feel free to email us.

Thanks again to Johnny for his story. If you’d like to follow his activities, you’ll find him as @johnnydoom on Twitter. We’ll have another story for you tomorrow as the Harkive 2016 countdown continues.