Wednesday, March 23, 2011

And Where Were You?

A couple weeks ago I was in Tulsa and went to a local music showcase at Cain's Ballroom that was sponsored by KMYZ The Edge. They featured 4 local bands one of which was getting some attention outside of Tulsa. The turnout was a bit less than I had hoped for but the room looked ok. I spent the evening in the VIP section up in the back balcony-like space at Cain's and had a really good view of what was happening on the floor. As the night wore on, I kept looking for people I knew in bands not playing the showcase in hopes of seeing some local unity, solidarity and support for the local scene. How many band members not playing the event do you think I recognized? Sadly, there was only one person that I saw in the crowd from a band not playing that night. I will mention him because he was the one guy that actually "gets it." Paul Cristiano, the bass player from the band Radio Radio, is the winner of the "I GET IT" award for the evening. Where is the sense of community? Where is the drive among the Tulsa band community to unite and help create a real scene? Once again, all you fucking wannabe's that bitch, piss and moan about the lack support for local music in Tulsa decided to sit this one out. Is it that you were pissed that you weren't selected for the show and your absence was a silent protest? Were you pissed that the radio station doesn't play your music? Were you pissed off at one of the other bands on the bill and thought that showing up would make them look better? Well, you fucking missed an opportunity to mingle with 300 people that support local music and the chance to gain a fan or two that obviously does support the local scene. In fact, they support it more than you do. They paid for the ticket, spent gas money to get downtown and at least showed up. Meanwhile, you were sitting on your couch, or on a bar stool, or at a movie, or hanging with your friends consciously or unconsciously excluding yourself from something that you should be a part of. Once again I will say that LOCAL MUSIC SCENES MUST START WITH THE BANDS! Maybe some of you will never understand this. You have been conditioned to be competitive. You have been conditioned to hate on and talk shit about the other band's in town. You have been conditioned by the old paradigm to exclude yourself from the fan experience as a band. If you really want what you say you want then you better own up to the fact that you cannot do this by yourself. You need the other bands in the market to be a part of what you want. They need you as well. If you are in a band and were at the event, I applaud you. If you weren't, you are part of the problem, not the solution. Hope the movie was good.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I remember back in the old days, the really old days before I was in Gravity Kills, it seems that the my bands were always trying to finish projects that seemingly always went unfinished. The other 3 guys in Gravity Kills had bands before Gravity that were in the same boat. Back then, if you wanted to create a recording that was worth a shit, you had to spend what seemed like a ton of money. Studio technology was not affordable at that time and if you recorded at home, it was on some piece of shit cassette four track (I guess I am dating myself now.) Gravity Kills owned our own studio but I actually did demos at home for Perversion on a 4 track mini disk player. In the old days, you would write a bunch of songs with your mates and save up some cash so you could reserve some studio time in hopes of banging out at least an EP in a few days. We all know how the studio goes in relationship with the "best laid plans" concept...It rarely goes perfect in the studio and the band would end up finishing 2 or three songs. At that point everyone would need to start saving again to get back in the studio as soon as possible. I personally have volumes of unfinished recordings from pre-gravity bands. Fast forward to 2011...

I really want to broaden this topic to other tasks that simply go along with having a band in 2011. The other day I went to a band's reverbnation account to check some availability for an upcoming small festival that I am booking. The band hadn't updated the calendar for almost a year and a half! Really!? This is a band that is currently playing shows and has upcoming dates to play but without calling the band personally, how the fuck would I know what they have available? I have talked about this before and you know where I am going...There is so much available to bands now to promote your music and shows but if you don't use it properly, it doesn't mean jack shit. It's great that you are take the time to set up your accounts and start uploading band pics and music. Is it like having a new girl friend that you are totally into it until you find out there is some maintenance involved in the relationship and you lose interests? How long does it really take to update this stuff? Newsflash...If you want to be in a band and get anywhere with it at all, dealing with your web presence on a daily basis is part of the gig. Maybe that's the difference between you and the band that you hate because they have a following and get the gigs you think you should be getting? Maybe they work harder? Maybe they finish projects? Maybe their fans actually know where they are going to play? Maybe they update their website and other accounts on-line frequently while you and your mates sit around and bitch about things not getting done and pointing fingers at everyone but yourself? I have said this before but I have learned that it is far better to have a bad plan and great execution than have a great plan with shitty execution. If you don't finish music and keep your on-line presence frequently updated, do you really think that the stars will magically align for you? You can tell that this frustrates me. Maybe it frustrates you too? I know that most of you reading this can't afford to be in a band full time without having a day job that takes up the better part of your time. Some of you have families that take up more time. In today's climate, there will be fewer and fewer of us that will be able to do it full time. Can you find an extra 30 minutes in your day? You make time to write, record and play shows. Suck it up and figure it out. With everything you don't finish, the chances of you gaining any traction at all diminishes. What would have happened if Gravity Kills would not have finished "Guilty" before the deadline? It would have never fucking happened. Glad I finally got in a band that had resolve.