Sofia’s I Hate Mondays is an extremely vital project of Vladimir Ignatov, who has been doing his thing since 2007. First of all, I Hate Mondays Radio is an underground online radio, broadcasting 24 hours, 7 days a week! Moreover, “I Hate Mondays” is a booking project for hardcore and punk. Furthermore, the IHM website remains a unique hub of local news, information on events, and a great source of information for musicians and bands. Vlado shares my love for promoting DIY artists and good music, so be sure to associate IHM with a good place for the newest releases from the Bulgarian underground scene.
Listen to Vlado’s “I Hate Mondays” show every Monday from 10:30 PM to 00:00 AM EET (GMT+2) on I Hate Mondays Radio and scroll down to check out my interview with the mainman behind this admirable project.
Hey Vlado! Thanks for your time, man! How are you? How’s everything?
Hello Karol! Thanks for your time as well! I am great, busy as hell, but that’s life. I am doing a charity concert for Animal Rescue Sofia in 13 days and I am really excited about it! Here you can read more about this.
We will be now raising funds for their clinic and it is a really important cause. Last November I also organised a charity concert for them, they needed 210 000 euro to buy their own place, and the campaign went great and now they are located in “The Farm”. I have a 3 year old jack russell terrier named Bullet and everyone who has a dog knows that dogs are family! This November I am going to Birmingham, England to get him a brother – a staffordshire bull terrier named Kash. I waited for his birth about an year and he is like a month old now and can’t wait to go to England in November and bring him to his new home and to become a part of the family. Cheers and big thanks to Debbie Desmond and Alan Desmond, who run the Ellitebull Staffordshire Bull Terriers Kennel, a small family breeder which do the things in the best possible way and are an example for everyone who loves the breed!
Ha! So it’s not about the radio alone, huh? Besides the radio station, what does IHM stand for?
Yeah, I am involved in a lot of things I love. As I mentioned this is the 2nd charity concert that I organize, so I Hate Mondays Radio stands for all the important things I believe in. Hardcore Help Foundation is an organization I admire a lot, Rico has done sooo much for three years, so I can say that HHF is a big inspiration to me! I will strive to continue helping important causes and helping the ones in need. Hardcore and music as a whole can help a lot and this is truly something that gives hope and good emotions to all the people involved! So my message – help the ones in need!
Why “hate Mondays”? :)
Well, that’s so back in the past, the radio becomes 7 years old in November, but I will tell the story :D So on that Monday night (19th of November), I was playing music to some friends in a skype conference call and talking stuff and like a joke I decided that I should create my own radio station. And on the next day so I did – I created I Hate Mondays Radio. And the phrase “I Hate Mondays” comes from Garfield, as he was also in the first radio logo. :)
What can you tell me about how this project came about and how you got involved?
Well, it can be said that IHMR is a DIY media run by me, of course a lot of people helped me over the years with design, articles, radio shows and etc. The current site was made and developed by my brother, I waited a long time for it, but of course am very thankful. So in brief – I Hate Mondays Radio is an underground online radio for hardcore, punk and hip-hop music. I believe that there are not many radios like it (if there are some at all), so it is something very important to me to keep it broadcasting (24/7). I have my own radio show every Monday (which is called “I Hate Mondays” :D ), now the summer vacation is over and I will start doing it again. There were also other shows during the years. The most long running after mine is called “Mics, turntables, spray-cans and records”, a hip-hop show which is hosted by 2 very good friends of mine and I hope that they will start doing it again as well :) So the main idea of IHMR is to be the radio for the hardcore, punk and hip-hop fans, where they can enjoy listening to their favourite music online – on a PC, laptop, smartphone or whatever, for free and 24/7!
And also is my hobby – I don’t make any money or profit of it, even the opposite – I have invested a lot of time, money and efforts in it during the years. But I love doing it, so everything is fine! :)
What actually radio is today? The Web gives a lot of possibilities to users in having own radio stations, but what are some of the differences comparing to regular stations? Can you provide us some technical details and insights into this business?
Well, you know that “video killed the radio star” :D I believe that the online radios will take the place of the regular ones, it is a process that has already begun. Let’s say that it is not that hard to start your own online radio station, the hard part is to offer your listeners something that they can’t find on the other stations. And I believe I achieved that with IHMR – if you know another hardcore, punk and hip-hop radio with 24/7 broadcasting please share it with me :) A very vital part of the radio’s site is “The Scene” section, where everybody can find the coming events in our Bulgarian hardcore/punk/hip-hop scene, galleries of gigs, a big list of Bulgarian and bands from all over the world and some links to interesting zines and portals.
Ok, so you’re kind of a local information hub, aren’t you? How many people are involved in the radio project?
Since its creation, one of the most important missions of IHMR was to support our local scene, so it can be described as an information hub :) Right now I am the only one involved and running it, there were other people through the years helping, but now it’s only me again. That’s why the volume of information on the site is not that big, but the facebook page is more active.
How do you view your strategy with regard to IHM station?
The strategy is to gain more listeners from all over the world, it should be an international radio for hardcore, punk and hip-hop, not only a local one. That was the main idea behind it since the very beginning. I’ve been involved in our hardcore/punk scene now for about 13 years, organized gigs for the birthday of the radio with bands like SKARHEAD, NO TURNING BACK, DEVIL IN ME, did also random shows with foreign bands. Now with the 2nd charity gig knocking on the door I can say that I prefer doing charity and fundraising gigs for great causes and helping than just regular ones. So yeah, I will continue what I’ve been doing for the past 7 years :)
What are some of the challenges you need to face and overcome to grow stronger?
The biggest challenge is everyday life – I have a regular job, Bullet and soon Kash, and other things that I run. So may be the biggest challenge is lack of time and the fact I am running the radio by myself. There is the money factor as well.
How do you look at copyright issues? What would be the dreamed-of idea about using music for such purposes as underground stations?
Well, the whole hardcore and punk scene is an underground one, so is IHMR – an underground online radio. The music and the bands are being promoted by the radio, so they can gain fans. Every time I talked with bands, they were very happy that I play their music on the radio. Here you can hear a lot of the shouts recorded by bands for IHMR, the list is getting bigger and bigger as the years pass. I haven’t heard about hardcore and punk bands wanting money from copyrights :)
Yeah, I am aware of that, that’s why I made a list of those labels and albums connected with them some years ago and I am not airing them :)
Haha, damn bloodsuckers, aren’t they? ;)
Is there an archive where we can download your shows for more comfortable listening?
Haha, I wouldn’t say that, as I mentioned in all my contacts with bands, all they care is that their music is broadcasted and they’re thankful for this. I have my own archive, but not an online one, may be I should start uploading them to a dropbox or something.
Vlado, have you always had the same collaborators or has it changed over the years? How do you see this whole involvement evolving over the years? How would you contrast the current scene with older times you experienced?
Well, I worked with a lot of people during the years (mostly designers), and am happy with the help all of them provided. My good friend Alex (aka Chikata from LAST HOPE), has helped me with the booking of the foreign bands and the events I did, it is nice to work with friends :) And there were some other shows on the radio, which by one or another reason are not on it anymore, but the guys did some good stuff, already mentioned my friends Pepi and Ivcho who are responsible for the hip-hop show “Mics, Turntables, Spray-cans and Records”. The design for the coming concert is done again by the incredible Geri Stancheva, pro bono and for the previous show for Animal Rescue Sofia as well, and also for the last show I did (IN OTHER CLIMES in February). Big thanks to her, she is doing an amazing job! The involvment is different for all people, but there are for sure people willing to help the underground scene and IHMR as well.
The scene itself has changed a lot throughout the years, like everything else in life. We have seen most of the biggest names of the world hardcore/punk scene coming to Bulgaria and being totally delighted with our scene. This happened mainly thanks to Alex (LAST HOPE), who is one of the pioneers of the scene and had big impact of the development of it and bringing so many foreign influential bands since the very beginning of our scene.
How vital is it when it comes to fresh blood? Are there many new bands recently formed in your area?
Fresh blood is extremely vital for every scene! There are not many recently formed bands, the one that is on my mind is POSLEDEN OPIT (LAST TRY), which will be also playing on the charity gig for Animal Rescue Sofia!
How many people are coming to shows in your neighbourhood?
This is a hard question, it depends on a lot of factors. When there is a big name the hall is packed, if the band is not so popular and known there can be from 30 to 100 people. The factors are : day of the week, popularity of the band, ticket price, is it the first time in Sofia or not and many more. Bands like AGNOSTIC FRONT, MADBALL, TERROR always mean a full house – from 500 to 1000 people :)
Is there a particular subgenre of hardcore punk that Bulgarian bands specialize in andlike the most? I see a lot of old schoold hardcore bands coming from your country and very few post hardcore / screamo acts. Would that be a correct assumption?
Yeah, this is a correct assumption, although we have bands of all the subgenres, not equal numbers but still :)
Do you have your favourite style?
I have favourite bands and performes of all styles, not only from the hardcore, punk and hip-hop scenes. I listen to everything I like, I don’t restrict myself to just a few genres :)
Ha! And that’s how it should be, my friend.
Ok, Vlado. I guess that’s all I’ve got for now. Is there anything you’d like to share via this interview?
Support what you believe in, support your local scene, be yourself and be a good human being. Stay real and true!
Cheers and thank you for your time, Karol!