‘The White Label Lounge’ highlights music groups
Posted: January 15, 2013
The Winchester Star
Winchester — Pete Buchbauer and Steve Nerangis know they must be doing something right with their new music TV show.
On “The White Label Lounge,” which airs on the Roku television station Zom-Bee TV, the two hosts interview obscure, rising, or well-known musicians to highlight their music and their bands.
A few months after the show launched Oct. 14, the duo is drawing increasingly bigger music acts, said Nerangis, 40, of Leesburg.
“Early on, we were going back to people we knew for connections to get bands,” said Nerangis, who is also co-owner of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. “We have gone very quickly from interviewing local bands to interviewing members of Styx and Kix.”
Zom-Bee TV is a new Roku channel that also launched Oct. 14, said Buchbauer, 29, of Winchester. The Roku digital video player allows customers to access Internet streamed video through their televisions on more than 600 channels.
For the moment, Zom-Bee TV, and by extension “The White Label Lounge,” is available only through Roku, a company that streams programs, but negotiations are under way to provide other outlets, he said.
“The White Label Lounge” is a laid-back, interview-based show that is bringing music and music videos back to television, Buchbauer said. Each episode features an in-depth interview with one or two bands. The co-hosts also like to play two or three music videos — one from the band if it has on and two more Buchbauer and Nerangis like and want to share.
With programming on cable channels like MTV leaning more toward reality television, shows that focus on getting to know bands and showing their music videos are few and far between. That doesn’t mean bands aren’t still making them, though, he said.
“YouTube is a great source for bands,” said Buchbauer, who works for Virginia Eagle Distributors. “And a lot of times bands attach a video to an album on iTunes.”
The episodes vary in length depending on the interviews but usually last between 30 minutes to an hour, including commercials, Nerangis said. If an interview is going really well, they have the luxury of keeping the cameras rolling.
Most of the episodes are filmed at a studio in Chantilly at Zom-Bee Studios, which is owned by executive producer John Cusato.
Revenue from selling advertising helps cover costs. Only after the show is turning a profit will the co-hosts be paid, Nerangis said.
The two hosts also go on location to concert venues to meet with bands, he said. They were filming interviews for months before the show launched.
When it comes to choosing bands, the pair doesn’t limit the scope of the show to one genre, Buchbauer said. They try to cover rap, pop, heavy metal, punk, and other types.
The first episode that aired featured The Deadneks, a Winchester-based band that describes its sound as psychobilly – similar to rockabilly but with horror and heavy metal overtones. Next came an interview with Jonathan Sullivan, the bass player for Kid Is Qual, a dance band.
Other bands followed, and the duo got their big break when they scored press credentials to a July concert in Columbia, Md., on the Warped Tour, a touring music and extreme sports festival, Buchbauer said.
They had a full day of interviews with musicians such as Larry g(EE), a soul singer; Senses Fail, a punk band; Vampires Everywhere!, a goth industrial band; Lostprophets, a Welsh punk alternative band, and Cherri Bomb, an all-girl rock band.
“After we were able to send requests to bands saying we have interviewed these bands, it just snowballed,” Nerangis said.
Others the pair has interviewed include In Flames, a Swedish metal band; Foxy Shazam, a rock band, and Austin Gibbs, an alternative rock musician.
Some of the highlights for Nerangis have been interviewing Chuck Panozzo, bass player for Styx, and Brian Forsythe, guitar player for Kix.
“Both of those guys are not the faces of the band and are not always the ones interviewed, so they had a lot to say,” he said. “We really try to find out things about the musicians that fans don’t already know.”
Buchbauer is just thrilled with the responses to the show, both from bands and fans. Knowing people appreciate the show and what it is trying to do is wonderful, he said.
The idea for the show came from the creators of Zom-Bee TV, Dale Jackson, who directed the independent film “Maxwell Stein,” and film music supervisor Paul DiFranco, who worked on projects such as “Soul Surfer” and Wes Cravens’ “New Nightmare.” The channel features classic horror films and original programming.
Nerangis met Jackson when he screened his film at the Alamo. When Jackson and DiFranco were planning the station, the two men asked Nerangis if he would like to host a music show on it. He agreed but asked to bring on a co-host, selecting Buchbauer, whom he didn’t know well.
“Now we talk on the phone several times a day,” Nerangis said.
Both men are Handley High School alumni — Nerangis graduated in 1990 and Buchbauer in 2002.
Nerangis went to the University of Maryland, where he received a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1994. After college, he managed a band, Agents of Good Roots, until it was signed by RCA Records. He started working in radio locally and then in South Carolina.
He returned to work in Winchester in 2003 when his family was developing the property around where the movie theater now sits.
After leaving Handley, Buchbauer tried St. Francis University, but found playing music to be more his style. He played with several groups, including Popular Outcast and Toulouse Lautrec, both punk bands. He managed those bands when he played with them, and he is doing the same for another pop punk band, Stella on Fire, although he does not perform with them.
Both of them having a music background has helped, Nerangis said, and the show has steadily improved as they have found their stride.
For more information about “The White Label Lounge,” go to facebook.com/thewhitelabellounge.
— Contact Laura McFarland at firstname.lastname@example.org