People complain a lot that triple j’s Hottest 100 doesn’t feature enough rock and roll nor enough Aussie artists, but it seems that even when an Aussie rock band wins the countdown nobody’s happy.
You might recall how a few years back, people claimed that the Hottest 100 was rigged because The Rubens happened to be in the studio to hear the news of ‘Hoops’ winning the poll.
Triple j is rigged no way this can happen 3 years in a row fuck the hottest 100 #hottest100
— steph (@stephhola) January 26, 2016
There are people out there who think that the Hottest 100 was rigged because “The Rubens were in the studio”.
— Spencer Scott (@ImSpencer77) January 27, 2016
In previous years, we’ve seen numerous campaigns to try and rig the Hottest 100, including attempts from members of the public to get random artists to that #1 spot.
In fact, anyone who was paying attention to the 2016 Hottest 100 campaign will remember that there are rules in place to prevent anyone from rigging or trolling the Hottest 100. We dubbed it the ‘Taylor Swift clause‘.
After experiencing a roller coaster of controversy following BuzzFeeds‘ #Tay4Hottest100 campaign in 2015 and narrowly dodging a bullet with a similar campaign involving Justin Bieber in 2014, triple j simply knew better.
Now, any songs that become the subject of troll campaigns will simply be disqualified from contention. One unscrupulous betting company even tried to profit off this rule by launching their own troll campaign.
However, all the way back in 2002, triple j actually tried to troll the Hottest 100 themselves. No, really, look it up, it happened. Though they’ve understandably adopted a hardline stance since then, in 2002 triple j trolled a song straight into the Hottest 100.
During a promo for triple j’s heavy metal show, Full Metal Racket, then-breakfast hosts Adam Spencer and Will Anderson began riffing on on the names of metal bands. When prompted for his favourite metal band, Spencer replied, “Salmon Hater”.
The band apparently hailed from the hills of Glenelg in Adelaide (when informed that Glenelg is devoid of hills, Spencer insisted they were “underground hills”) as members of the local Fish Metal scene.
Peers to bands like Trout Destroyer and Red Goering, Salmon Hater were best known for their single ‘6.66 (1/100th Of The Number Of The Beast)’, an homage to Iron Maiden and Spencer’s love of mathematics.
It didn’t take long for this impromptu radio bit to result in an actual song, which crafty listener Mitch Hertz created and sent in to the studio for the pair to play on air. Spencer and Anderson subsequently encouraged listeners to vote for the song in the Hottest 100.
Despite the poll being mere days away from closing, the track ended up at number 26 in the triple j Hottest 100 of 2002, flanked by John Butler Trio’s ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’ and Silverchair’s ‘Without You’.
Though some fans were incensed that Spencer and Anderson had unfairly influenced the poll and thus knocked off an actual band from the countdown, Salmon Hater still sit as an official part of Hottest 100 history.
A group of volunteers even made a music video for ‘6.66 (1/100th Of The Number Of The Beast)’ and the clip was broadcast on Rage, which traditionally plays the Hottest 100 shortly after the countdown broadcast.
In fact, 2016 finally saw the release of Salmon Hater’s ‘long-lost’ album, A Brief History Of Salmon, which is available for purchase on Bandcamp.
So are triple j right to ban troll campaigns from attempting to rig the poll? Absolutely. Did the station once try to rig their own poll? You bet, and it really worked.