Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Interview with Jon Morter the Rage in the Machine.

They say that you should never meet your heroes, so I didn't. I called him. Jon Morter, the man behind the Rage Against the Machine Christmas campaign, may not be everyones idea of a hero, but he certainly made my Christmas and for once stopped corporate culture pissing all over the masses. That's more heroic than I will ever be.

We chatted for about half an hour, and he came across as genuinely bemused by his new found status, delighted by people's reaction and childishly excited about the future.
His latest venture is a campaign to get Top of the Pops back to its weekly format. It's a much tougher task, but its the joy of trying that made the RATM campaign a real success. As he said:

“We thought if we got rage to number 1, let’s try something harder! Can we find enough people of the social networks to get TOTP back...yes I think we can! It’s definitely going to be a bigger challenge. How ever many people we get the BBC may still decide not to take the risk.”

The idea seems to make many people's eyes roll, but actually its a damned important campaign. We have no chart show whatsoever on TV - something noted by industry people like Mark Goodier, Paul Gambaccini and Dylan White.

"TOTP got me into lots of stuff I wouldn’t have known about. I remember watching White Snake when I was 7 and thinking, 'that’s good.' They weren’t pop and there wasn’t any internet back then so I couldn't have found them otherwise. It’s only X Factor that gives us a regular dose of music now. TOTP used to be the one stop off to see whats going on"

With a few format changes TOTP would make a very welcome return - particularly if the performances were live and the playlists a little more varied. Chart coverage no longer cuts the metaphorical mustard.

"I think a new show needs a new format, and amalgamate TOTP one and two – mix archive footage with live studio stuff. Why shouldn't Motorhead come after Leona Lewis?"

The campaign has started well, with a much quicker take up than the Rage Facebook group. Started at midnight on New Years Eve the group already has nearly 4,000 members and media the news has already hit the major papers (see my article in Music Week). In fact, our chat was cut short by Kerrang calling.

"THe last couple of weeks haven't really sunk in yet. I'm still working my way through the 7000 messages we received. The whole Rage thing isn't over yet. Simon Cowell has offered to take us out for a drink when he's next in London too."

I'm pretty sure it's Simon's round.

No comments:

Post a Comment