When the RAWK Final Four rolled around this past March, tensions were afoot in the longtime Christian booking organization. Dave Crume, RAWK's president, claimed treasurer Dale Strom was out. Dale said he wasn't.
Well, sounds like if Strom wasn't out then, he most definitely is now. I chatted on the phone with him today about his brand new RSN Productions, which just announced it's booking Japandroids at the A Club on Sept. 9 and Best Coast at Stage 54 on Halloween (DUDE!).
"It's just that [RAWK] was too slow," Strom says. "There were too many people involved."
Strom rattled off a list of big-time bands he has spoken with about coming to Spokane (we promised we wouldn't say anything until they're confirmed). He says that RSN, like RAWK, is a Christian organization. But that doesn't mean they only book Christian music; Strom says the Christian aspect of things is merely a part of their mission.
"We'd rather do more general market shows than the Christian ones," he says. "I want to bring in the best music that we can… We want to be in a relationship with the whole community and support folks no matter what."
Though RAWK hasn't been officially pronounced dead, Strom says he hopes to create some sort of high school battle of the bands competition (similar to the long-running RAWK Final Four) with RSN. He says that it's a huge undertaking, but the Final Four produced so many great musicians over the years that he'd hate to not continue that tradition.
"If we can do something with the high school thing and keep a version of the RAWK Final Four going as a way to help the younger bands get started… I keep hearing so many parents — and kids themselves — that comment how valuable that was. And there’s so many [musicians] that got their start through that."