A South Dakota Christian radio station makes waves
By ALEXA GIEBINK
Jun. 11, 2018
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A local radio station is making waves on the Christian music scene.
Since launching in 2007, TheBlast.FM has grown its operations to include four internet radio stations that reach thousands of listeners daily.
Program director Colin "Cruz" Strombeck streams a range of Christian music from TheBlast.FM headquarters in Emery, which has about 450 residents.
"When I got started in radio in February of 1990, never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd be talking to people on six continents around the world," said Strombeck, 47.
Years ago, the Tripp native felt a calling to spread his love for God through Christian rock and metal music. However, Strombeck's hardcore approach often proved too radical for many local radio stations.
So the mass communications graduate from USD decided to strike out on his own and launch TheBlast.FM. Finally, he had the freedom to curate his dream playlists.
"We are kind of the red-headed stepchild of the Christian music industry," joked Strombeck.
The mission of TheBlast.FM is to use aggressive, progressive Christian music internet radio to attract youth and young adults to the message of hope, meaning and purpose, and eternal life found only in Jesus Christ.
The company's inaugural station, the Blast, is a mix of Christian rock, alternative and heavy metal. And for fans of Christian pop and rap, there is the Blast Blender.
Meanwhile, the Implosion offers a steady stream of hardcore Christian metal Strombeck describes as "brutally in-your-face Christian music."
Strombeck's fourth and newest station, The Blastozoic Era, plays Christian rock, alternative and metal music from the 80s, 90s and early 2000s, the Argus Leader reported.
After launching three months ago, the classic Christian rock station has already expanded to FM and AM radio in Sioux Falls.
The Blastozoic Era is now a weekly radio show heard on TheBlast.FM's first affiliate, Sunny Radio.
"We are so excited to work with Colin to bring this retro Christian rock music radio show to Sunny Radio," said station owner John Small.
The show airs Sunday afternoons from 4 to 6 p.m. following Casey Kasem. Those who live in the Sioux Falls metro area can tune in on 93.3 FM, and fans further out can listen on 1520 AM or online at sunnyradio.com.
"Our 80s format already has a few of the artists in regular rotation, but Colin has a deeper library that offers our regular listeners a fun treat to hear music from their past," said Small.
On the Blastozoic Era, listeners can expect to hear bands such as Mad at the World, Barren Cross, Bloodgood, Bride, Petra, Skillet, Disciple, Guardian and the Prayer Chain.
In the past few weeks, TheBlast.FM's four stations have drawn nearly 500,000 unique listeners in 82 countries.
"It's pretty cool that we reach people in places like Pakistan. We have listeners in some of the most anti-Christian countries," said Strombeck, who dreams of having a listener tune in from Antarctica someday.
Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com