Alum’s documentary explores WSOU’s impact on music industry

The storied 65-year history of Seton Hall’s student-run radio station, 89.5 WSOU, is coming to the big screen this month with the feature documentary “Pirates of the Airwaves,” directed by Seton Hall alumnus Rob Longo (’92).

The film will premiere on April 6 at the Garden State Film Festival in Atlantic City, N.J. It features interviews with past and present WSOU staff members as well as prominent bands that have gotten their start on WSOU’s airwaves.

“Pirates of the Airwaves” digs deep into the core of what Seton Hall’s college radio station has meant to its members and loyal audience through the years and what the station has done to further promote the heavy-metal music scene as a whole. Simply put, Longo believes the station’s underdog story is one that needs to be told and one that will inspire more to tune into 89.5.

“Hearing there was an alumnus who wants to get our story out there is really exciting,” WSOU news director Elizabeth Pavlovsky said. “Word is getting out through a larger audience about how big of an effect WSOU has on its listeners and bands.”

This film not only revolves around the community the station serves, but it also will be partially funded by the community as well — Longo set up an indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to put the final touches on “Pirates of the Airwaves.” The ultimate goal of the fundraiser is to earn $20,000, and it even offers incentives to help reach it.

Station manager Erin O’Grady said she is glad a broad audience will learn more about WSOU, such as which bands were first given a chance by the station either from in-studio interviews or on the broadcasts over the years.

“Bands like Senses Fails come back to WSOU every year to stop in whether they are touring or not just because they respect the station and give thanks for their beginnings on the station,” O’Grady said.

WSOU music director Alyssa Mulligan noted that “Pirates of the Airwaves” will allow a more mainstream audience to discover all the positive aspects WSOU has shed light on in the metal scene.

“Metal sometimes carries negative connotations. Hopefully the documentary shows how it has made a positive impact on a lot of lives,” Mulligan said.

Brett Montana can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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