"I thought he was kidding," Edington recalls. "Because I was always joking with them, saying, 'When are you guys gonna give me a job, huh?'" Upon receiving confirmation that the offer was serious, Edington had a weekend to ponder his next move. The decision to leave Lawrence wasn't an easy one, and, in true death-metal fashion, he invokes both blood and mortality in expressing his affection for the locale. "Lawrence will always be in my blood," he vows. "I love it, and I will go to Lawrence to die."
Still, Edington decided that he'd done all that he could for the Lawrence scene -- by hosting "Malicious Intent" for four years, by booking extreme-metal bands that had passed over the region in the past for shows and by actively promoting local groups such as the Esoteric and Relapse-signees Origin. He squeaked by on income from a part-time job at the Bottleneck, devoting much of his time to these projects unpaid. "I had to decide whether to hang out in Kansas on a $500 budget or to make a larger difference," he says. "The best thing I can really do for Lawrence is to move into a global position of influence."
So now he's learning on the fly about the other side of radio promotion. To anyone not plugged into the brutal-music underground, Edington's task might seem akin to the life of a lonely, perennially rejected telemarketer hawking an unpopular, offensive product: "Hello, might I interest you in working Gorelord's 'Force Fed on Human Flesh' into your rotation? No? Okay, how about Regurgitate's 'Ruptured Remains in a Doggybag' or 'Festering Embryonic Vomit'? Or Blood Duster's 'Raping the Elderly'? Hello?"
But surprisingly, Edington says it's not too much of a challenge to get Relapse's roster of demonic growlers onto the airwaves. He cites CMJ's loud-music airplay chart, which lists both Gorelord and Blood Duster in its most recent Top 100. "There are [shows like 'Malicious Intent'] everywhere, and there are 98.9-sized stations that feature a four-hour extreme-metal show," he says. "That's a pretty large trend in the industry that Kansas City hasn't caught on to, putting extreme-metal on a 100,000-watt station with DJs that take it seriously. [Such stations] believe in the extreme stuff, and every chance they get, they'll play it instead of Puddle of Mudd, Taproot, Incubus, shit like that."
That's not to say that Edington finds room on the radio for all Relapse's hellspawn. Getting progressive-thinking DJs to acknowledge art-sludge powerhouse Neurosis is a cinch; getting gore-splattered grindcore artists in the door is another matter entirely. And then there's the language issue. Though it's difficult to understand the lupine howls, spitting-snake hisses and gasoline-guzzling belches of death-metal's array of vocalists, there's no getting around announcing a song named, say, "Funeral Fuck" (Exhumed). "I can bypass that by thoroughly researching the record first, finding the glaringly obvious bad words and marking those songs as DNPs [do not plays]," Edington assures.