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Freeflow’s still gunning for the radio

Vancouver rock-reggae band hits Squamish on Friday

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Vancouver-based quintet Freeflow is well known in the city's music scene for its reggae-affected urban rock. They formed as a jam band a decade ago and have released two albums. In 2009, they competed in the first-ever Peak Performance Project as a way to gain more exposure.

They're at it again, this time taking on the 104.3 The Shore's Song Search. We asked drummer Ryan Davis why in this age of the Internet, they're still gunning for local radio airplay and he had some interesting comments on the state of the music industry.

Pique: Do you feel that the radio still has the power that it used to have?

Ryan Davis: It still does have the power, it's just different. Before, you would walk into a radio station and would pay the DJ some money, then they would put your record on and everyone would listen to that one station. It had a different power but I think it still does (have power). The exposure is still great. It's harder to get on, I think, to get the kind of airplay that you would need to get the exposure. I still think, yes, the power is still there but it's just sort of in a different state.

I know that all the bands that I know of and work with, because I'm also a booking agent, that's their main goal - how can they get on radio? So I know that it's still there. Whether or not radio does as much for the band as it used to, everybody's still pursuing it the same as though it were.

Pique: Why are people still aiming for the local radio when with the Internet you're casting a wider net?

Davis: I think that everybody still has that mindset that you have to get a hit on the radio. I think also too that with the Internet, even though it's been around for awhile now, people are still not really sure on how to capitalize on it, and really where to do it and how to do it. These radio contests are so fantastic because they put you in touch with the people that know how to do it, like the social media networks on how to design the proper website and what to say, what not to say.

People are going to have to learn because it's just going more and more that way, not only as far as getting radio spins but even just selling music. Online is just, you have to be into it. You have to be really easily found and online is the obviously the place to do it.

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