by MythofRock

In the age of digital platforms and podcasts, a lot of people insist on listening to radio! Radio has its own magic and finesse, no matter what, and listening to radio shows remains something enchanting! A radio show that Myth of Rock has distinguished is “Rock Diadromes” at Ellada 94,3FM, which is hosted by Stefanos Tsakagiannis and is dedicated to rock and metal music. In this presentation, we will delve into the history of “Rock Diadromes” and share an interesting interview with Stefanos Tsakagiannis!

by Dimitris Zacharopoulos

The radio show “Rock Diadromes” embarked on its musical voyage on FM stations eighteen years ago. Established as a distinct presence in the radio landscape, the show dedicated itself more to rock and less to metal music, spanning from the ’60s to the present day, covering a wide spectrum of sonic expressions. During its initial three years on the airwaves of 101FM Argeiaki Radio and Alpha isimeria Argolidos 102,3FM, the show developed a unique character, hosting interviews with artists such as Domenica, Tsopana Rave and Diafana Krina. These interviews added depth to the program. Unfortunately, after this period, “Rock Diadromes” entered a state of “hibernation”. However, in 2020, facing the challenges of Covid-19 and quarantine, the radio show thawed out and returned with renewed vigor, exploring online platforms and rejoining the airwaves with even greater enthusiasm and passion. In 2023, the return to traditional radio was highly successful, as the show joined the program of Ellada 94,3FM in the Sports Weekend zone. In this slot, “Rock Diadromes” concludes the first of the two days of the most athletic weekend on FM, offering the best musical companionship. With love and dedication for radio and music, “Rock Diadromes” continues its journey, offering its listeners a paradise of rock music and emotions.

Hello Stefanos!

Hello Dimitris. First of all, I want to say a big thank you for all of this. Especially to you, Dimitris, whom I liked and appreciated from the first moment I met you, and I saw your passion and enthusiasm for music.

When did you start listening to music? How did you become a rock music fan? Which were your first rock/metal music heroes?

My musical ear started to develop a taste for rock back in high school, at the age of 14. It was then that my cousin Christos Tegonikos introduced me to bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam, while my close friend Giannis Stefanou, who was the godfather of the radio show and my longtime companion on the airwaves, ‘educated’ me musically with Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, AC/DC, as well as Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, and Manowar! That’s when I started my own collection of audio cassettes – yes, we used to listen to cassettes back then – and also made my first attempts to play the guitar…

How did the idea of presenting the radio show “Rock Diadromes” come up, 18 years ago? Which is your relationship with radio?

Responsible for my involvement with radio was an old high school teacher, Mr. Christos Delivorias, whom I coincidentally met in a store in 2005. Knowing my passion for rock music, he sparked the idea and put me in touch with the then station manager of Argeiaki Radio 101FM, in the city of Argos, Argolida, Mr. Konstantinos Argyrakis, giving me the opportunity to present “Rock Diadromes” through his station. Mr. Argyrakis was a true radio mentor for me, helping me immensely throughout this journey, and I thank him from the bottom of my heart! I will never forget the first time I went on air and felt that sensation akin to what you feel in dreams when you can fly over cities… Since then, every time I am on air, I have exactly the same feeling. I believe that even when I die, I will continue to host a two-hour radio show broadcasting either from the depths of Tartarus or from the Elysian Fields…

What styles of rock and metal music do you play at “Rock Diadromes”? Do you play only classics or new releases too?

I won’t lie, it’s a matter of psychology. Depending on how I feel, I create the setlist for the show, and then I build the framework around it. So, it might include something from AC/DC’s 1975 album “T.N.T.” or from the upcoming “Invincible Shield” by Judas Priest in 2024. Of course, “Rock Diadromes” covers the broader spectrum of rock and metal music, and the content is not limited to classic bands.

How difficult was it to have a rock radio show in radio stations of the Greek province?

It’s very difficult indeed. But the same applies to Athens. However, I believe it’s not so much about whether it’s in the provinces or not, but rather about the overall lack of music education in Greece.

Someone might ask, “Does rock music educate you musically?” Yes! Any music that is written on a musical staff and whose lyrics speak of values, morals, and ideals educates you. But it also partly defines you. The target audience for rock music has generally shrunk, simply because in the provinces, the audience for this genre is even smaller, making it even more challenging.

After a long hiatus, you and “Rock Diadromes” came back on internet platforms. How was it getting back “on track”?

There’s a saying that what you leave behind stays behind. It’s good not to have a great distance left behind… But radio is like riding a bike; once you learn it, you never forget it!

How different is it broadcasting online from broadcasting on FM?

Although internet radio has improved significantly in recent years, in general, it lags behind, in my opinion, in two key areas: technical expertise/equipment and the quality filtering of radio producers. It’s not easy to set up and manage a radio station (regardless of FM or web), and of course, not everyone is cut out for it! It’s superficial to think that downloading a program, starting to broadcast, and calling yourself a radio station is sufficient, just as it’s superficial to believe that knowing 50 songs and having a microphone qualifies you as a radio producer! On the other hand, FM radio (with all its flaws), which is also available on the internet simultaneously, not only has all the aforementioned advantages but also possesses that sweet nostalgia that makes radio a cherished medium. There are many people out there who, to listen to music at home, don’t open their laptops but turn on the radio! And when you turn on your home radio, it’s like opening your door and welcoming each radio producer. There are many people out there who, to listen to music in their cars, don’t use their phones but tune in to their car radios! And when you turn on your car radio, it’s like having a co-driver, no matter how far or near you go, with each radio producer accompanying you. This is what makes the difference with FM radio; the listener is truly with you, and you are truly with the listener.

How much was your return to radio affected by the pandemic and the quarantine?

It was the fuel that reignited the fire burning quietly within me, I can tell you that… I’ve always wanted to get back into radio, and the fact that during the quarantine I was given the opportunity to do so through web radios helped me remember techniques and methods, which aided me greatly. It was a good stepping stone for me to return to the level of FM radio.

You finally joined Ellada FM during 2023. How did this happen? How does it feel a radio producer in Ellada FM?

My friend, sports journalist and producer, Lefteris Siampsaris, joined the team of Ellada Sports 94,3, and while speaking with the head of the team, journalist Giorgos Helakis, he made a reference to me… I did 1-2 auditions and … Now I am a member of this wonderful team since October ’23. Although the show I host is purely music within a strictly sports radio station, it harmoniously concludes Saturday night in the best musical way… With good rock-metal music! Here, I must say that rock is closely associated with sports, especially football!

How much different is it to be broadcasting on a national FM station from broadcasting on a local FM station/online station?

As I mentioned earlier, the differences are significant. However, keep in mind that being a radio producer at a station like Ellada Sports 94,3FM requires responsibility and specialization.

“Rock Diadromes” has hosted interviews with diverse rock artists, for example Domenica and Diafana Krina. Could you share some memorable moments or insights gained from these conversations?

It was wonderful to have these artists pass through the microphones of “Rock Diadromes”. When you talk to such people, you truly draw energy and wisdom… I remember vividly the enthusiasm of Tsopana Rave, the professionalism of Domenica, and of course, that unique aura from Diafana Krina! Let me share a fun fact from the interview with Diafana Krina… Not knowing yet that we would be interviewing Diafana Krina, we made an open invitation to the listeners for the upcoming show so they could come to the studio, get to know “Rock Diadromes” up close, and participate in the show on air if they wanted. A few hours before the show started, we were informed that Diafana Krina would be giving an interview on “Rock Diadromes”! One of the biggest Greek bands would be giving an interview on our show! Anxiety and stress started to build up. We were fully focused on preparing for the interview. Hours passed, the show began, and half an hour later, our secretary informed us that there were over 30 people gathered outside the station! The audience responded to our invitation… we were thrilled! So many people came to meet us… we were encouraged! And while thoughts and emotions overwhelmed us about the overwhelming turnout after our invitation… the secretary entered the studio and asked us: “The groupies outside are asking what time Diafana Krina will arrive. Do we have any updates?”

How do you maintain a strong connection with your audience, and what role do listener requests or feedback play in shaping the content of “Rock Diadromes”?

For me, there are three types of listeners. Firstly, there are those who listen to a radio show solely for the songs it plays, disregarding the importance of the presenter. Secondly, there are those who listen because the radio presenter engages them, placing the musical content in the background. And finally, there are the integrated listeners, who are the fewest, who listen for both of the above reasons. As I mentioned earlier, the setup of a show touches on my psychology. However, many times, a listener will suggest a band or a song, and I will incorporate it into the setlist of an upcoming show. From the listeners, I often learn a lot. You know, music is like the universe, infinite and constantly evolving… Anyone who thinks they have fully discovered it is doomed to repeat themselves.

Looking ahead, what are the future aspirations for “Rock Diadromes” and how do you envision the show evolving in the coming years?

I don’t like to talk in grand terms; I’m someone who prefers to let my work speak for itself. I don’t know what the future holds. I’m like a parent to this show, and like every parent, I want the best for my child.

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