Say “lawbreaker” around a pearl clutching, moral panicker and you’re bound to get an earful about the downfall of society. And because these voices are often the loudest -- and often the most well funded -- it’s easy to let them dictate how we talk about the rules. But what about breaking an unjust law: one that sequesters our innate humanity in favor of economic or social control. Wouldn’t breaking such a law be a moral obligation? Better yet, should we not relish in the destruction of such a decree if good old fashioned lawlessness could set us free?
“Illegal Radio” may have begun as a joke but it quickly became an institution. When not playing saxophone or cutting deals with Alex Cameron, Roy Molloy can be found on the Blast Radio airwaves taking requests and connecting the masses with the sounds and inspiration they’re craving most. Whether trying to quench their inner “thirst pig”, power through another day of selling their labor, or searching for a mellow soundtrack to soothe the Sunday scaries, the vibes and selections are largely user-curated with Sydney’s very own at the controls.
Anyone thinking a lawless society is doomed to chaos would be hard pressed to describe what Molloy has cultivated as anything short of community. Requests and conversation abound in the show’s Discord, the nexus of the Lawbreaker hivemind, with Molloy reading emails and messages between songs from listeners waxing poetic about the tracks they love, or encouraging the group to stay positive in the face of society’s abject failings.
Most recently, Molloy has been going live daily throughout the work week for the newly minted Illegal Radio Drive Time Power Hour in an attempt to push back against the bootheel of the daily grind. With work becoming more and more decentralized, it’s only fitting that the soundtrack of the resistance responds in equal fashion. Though often live at times incongruous with a typical 9-5 commute, the prevailing ethos that elicits the show’s “tune in or fuck off” mentailty suggests that prescribed times are just one more law worth breaking.