Welcome back. I took a few weeks off around the holidays, but now it is time to get back at it.
As I start this journey back into the world of music, I get asked many questions by the groups I am starting to connect with. Many of these questions are the same, so I thought it might be a good idea to start a little unofficial FAQ, of sorts.
How did you find us? This is the most frequent question asked. I spend at least two hours a day doing nothing but looking for new groups. I call this “gold mining”. For now, my search goes no further than looking for unfamiliar names mentioned on my Twitter feed, and occasionally looking at pages recommended by Facebook. Like actual gold mining, there are good days and bad days. Some days, I don’t find anything of interest. Other days, I find one exciting group after another, and hit the “mother lode”. For now, this is keeping me plenty busy (I found 11 new groups on Twitter last night in a two hour period). At some point, I will expand my search to include some of the music sharing and streaming sites, but now is not the time.
Can we send you our music? The simple answer to this is “no”, but for a specific reason. I went into this project with the desire to be a promoter, influencer and super fan of indie music. I want to support the indie music community. One way I can do that is to make sure musicians are getting properly compensated for my listening habits. This means that I will do the right thing and either purchase your music outright, or at least listen on a streaming site that compensates the artist. Down the road, as the podcast grows legs, I will be asking for permission to include some of the music, and I’m still trying to come up with the best arrangement for all involved.
What was it about our music that made you take notice? Anyone who’s been following me on Twitter has probably noticed that I mention musicians from a wide variety of styles and genres. For me, it has always come down to the quality of the music, and not having everyone I listen to fit into one particular category. This allows me to enjoy music across the artificial boundaries of style. So, I took notice of a group due to one or more of the following:
- Great musicianship I appreciate talent and the dedication required to master the instrument. I love hearing that dedication, whether it be a command of the guitar, bass, vocals or any other instrument on the recording. One of the things that excites me is to pull up a song and get lost in the technical expertise demonstrated.
- Great mix When I find something that interests me, one of the steps is to take the song off the speakers and go under the headphones with the music. This allows me to hear every aspect of the mix. Is there the proper balance between everything, or are things getting lost in the mix? How is the musical space used? It also allows me to hear and isolate each layer and instrument distinctly. As a composer/arranger, I listen to the interaction of all instruments together, looking for that perfect combination of sound and movement in the recording.
- Emotional connection This can be the most important aspect, and can sometimes trump the first two items on the list. The only way I can fall in love with your music is to feel the connection you have with your work. You have to have fun for me to have fun.
Notice there is no mention of style, as these items are critical to every form of music.
What’s in it for you? Honestly, there is nothing in it for me, except for the satisfaction of knowing that I’ve helped get the word out about your music. This isn’t a business or hobby for me. I don’t have any delusions of grandeur. It is truly a labor of love. I’ll never ask anything of the musicians I am advocating for, except maybe for permission to use their work in the process of getting the word out and helping them grow their fan base.
Podcast update: I am slowly making progress. I added a four channel Behringer soundboard to the setup and simply need to dial everything in. Easier said than done, because I am encountering a lot more ambient background noise than I would like. The studio also looks like a war zone, and I need to spend some time organizing and making sense out of the setup. However, I am making progress. I have the format of the first episode laid out, and hope to have it out in the coming weeks. Thank you all for the support.