The Last Exit for the Lost started out as Rockin' the Night Away way back in September of 1985 and was hosted for years by Jon Lovely. He eventually left and it changed hands here and there, changed the name to The Metal Cage, and eventually ended up in the possession of Seriah Azkath. His first show was June 3, 1994, and he has been doing it ever since. (Prior to this, he published a music zine called The Web: A Literary Journal of Extremes in Music and Entertainment, which pretty diectly lead to him taking over the radio show. The zine ending it's existence in Spring of 1998 after 15 thick issues.)
The name changed to The Last Exit for the Lost (named after one of Seriah's favorite Field's of the Nephilim songs) about a year or so after Seriah took over the show. The change was made due to his wanting to include more than just Metal on the show, although it has never lost it's Metal core. "I wanted to have a radio show where you could hear, regularly, everything from classic Mercyful Fate, to Laibach, to Fields of the Nephilim, to Overkill.", stated Seriah about the goal of the show. The shows' musical diversity is currently way beyond that, playing all kinds of Metal, new and old, Goth, Industrial, Punk, Hardcore, Comedy, Indie Rock, and some things that defy categorization completely. The Last Exit for the Lost is one of the longest running Metal shows on the air, has one of the biggest catalogs of music to draw from anywhere, and is unique in many ways due not only to the diversity of music, but because of the strangeness in between.
There have been MANY co-hosts during the years, but the one that started the really strange path the show took, was named Handy, the Handpuppet of Doom. This spontaneously happened around December of 1997. From there, Handy became a VERY popular character on the show. You can hear his first appearance on Volume 1 of the Best of CD's in the media section. In fact, the first 6 Volumes are mostly Handy. To this day, he occasionally makes an appearance. Since then, there have been many characters and co-hosts that have come and gone, some there only briefly, some have stayed for some time. The 'People on the Show' section of this site has the current crop of hosts, co-hosts, and special guests. You can also find early material from the show in the Media section on Best of DVD's, the Retro DVD's, which stream free, are three volumes of early material on the show and it's history.
In May and June of 2000, the station moved from College Town in Ithaca up to East Hill. At the time, this was not a welcome change, as the huge, spacious building in College Town was quite simply awesome, and the new building was small and in the middle of nowhere. This however, did change the show in many ways. Silly things that often happened in other rooms of the big building, were now happening on the air. Characters were sent on adventures around the area, something that was never thought of in the more convienient College Town location. In the end, the East Hill location was a good thing for The Last Exit and it's creativity.
The Last Exit for the Lost regularly plays host to bands, who often perform live in studio, both acoustic and electric. Returning bands are also put through various trials and... experiences, involving anything from Balloons to lapdances. The playlist of the show, often consists of more usigned bands from around the world than larger, more well known bands. The show has always been about bringing out the best and most interesting music, not following the crowd. Oftetimes you will hear stuff here first, and when that is said, it is actually true. It is a unique listening experince in every way.
The Last Exit also hosts regular local shows and puts out various DVD series. There is a whole other page set up to explore and watch clips from the live shows and various DVD series, named after the initial series, Xtreme Soundscapes.
All from the last few years are archived on this site. You can listen to them in their entirety at any time, see pictures, video recaps, etc. The Last Exit for the Lost has always been on the cutting edge of using the internet, from having a live internet stream WAY before most stations, to utilizing e-mail lists, chat rooms, a webcam, various social networking sites at their inceptions... The Last Exit always strives to be as interactive as possible and stay on the cutting edge of what technology offers.
There used to be a lot of themed shows, but over time, many of them have gone by the wayside. Some are likely to stay around. The 'We Love Satan' show, which was created mocking those who think that people who listen to Heavy Metal by default worship Satan (and actually created in direct response to such a comment) now airs twice a year, once on Easter, and once on the closest Sunday to Xmas. Often it is a bizarre and mocking type of show. The Pre-Anniversary End of the World show has been going on since around 2002, and celebrates the end of the Mayan calander on December 21, 2012. Now this is a common theme, but back then, it was not, and once again, The Last Exit was way ahead of the curve in it's strange, often mocking, way. There is also the Tribute to the Past Show, held usually when the clocks are set ahead in November, which features only older music.
A variation of the Tribute to the Past Show, is the Russian Roulette, Tribute to the Past Show, based on the once weekly Russian Roulette sets. These work like this; A folder of over 10,000 older songs is dumped into MusicBee and set to Random. The first song for the set is selected, after that, it is completely randomized. A 'Bullet" is a cheesy 80's glam song, aka Europe, Poison, Bon Jovi, etc. A 'Bullet' is also anything that is regularly played on mainstream radio, now or in the past, for example, Faith No More's "Epic", judged to be a bullet due to oversaturation. Sometimes two cover songs in one set are also considered a 'Bullet". Before the set, a punishment or reward, or both, is determined for a host or co-host of the show. Or a band. Or guest. A few times these have been done as full shows, where everyone takes turns, and after a bullet plays, the person whose turn it is, has to determine whether they want the mystery bullet or not, and if not them, who it goes to, and then they pick blindly from a bag of bullets. Essentially those shows are Tribute to the Past shows played at random. Game show style. More correctly, Japanese Game Show style.
In 2012 the show has expanded yet again, as Seriah has always wanted to include more Paranormal and Fringe Science themed elements into the show. With the help of Eric from Ire Clad he was able to do that more than he was in the past, where the closest he came before that were the occasinal Anomaly Corner segment. In June, he and Eric (and Kal) spent an entire show talking about various fringe and paranoprmal subjects in between the music. It seemed to be very well received and has been kept in the main part of the show ever since. Also in 2012, The Last Exit started a working connection with 2CW Wrestling, doing interviews and some promotion for the excellent local wrestling company. Movie time has also become a weekly segment in 2012, where everyone present reviews movies they have seen since their last visit.
As of this writing (September 20, 2012) that is the basic history and current state of The Last Exit for the Lost. As stated above, the Media section contains a ton of free audio and video history of the show, so please feel free to explore it. And, thanks for listening.