OUR DEFINITION OF AN...
D UN FO S HA HO W ER V LO IC US M OR A MUSICIAN IN UL SF ES CC SU BE TO Y A W E V TI A AN ALTERN MUSIC OR THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES.
IM ALSO A Graphic Designer / Tattooist / PR / Journalist / Carpenter Record Producer / A&R scout / Writer / Songwriter Photographer / Model / Tour Manager / Lighting DesigNer Fashion Designer / Make up Artist / Editor / Critic / Poet
Staff Founder / Editor Jennifer Le Roux Deputy Editor Ruby Rebelle Design Editor Simon Potter Sub Design Editor Tonie Lam Senior Designer Lee Anderson Lead Photographer Scott Chalmers Illustrator Suzanne Greenwood Music Editor Daniel Bateman Picture Editor Kofi Agyemang Copy Editor Josh Humphrey Interns Tamsyn Sutton, Taylor Rose Kathrens Mayne, Frankie McCarthy Music Writer Charly Phillips Contributing Designers Sara-Beth Rowland Luisa Lloyd Jennifer Le Roux Contributing Writers Arran Shurvington, Daniel Bateman Edward Couzens-Lake, Eris Eveiller, Laila Khan, Hannah Mesquitta, Jennifer Le Roux, Jon Ostrow, Josh Humphrey, Paula Lawes, Pippa Moyle, Pete Bennett, Ruby Rebelle, Sara-Beth Rowland, Steve Young, Sharon Wheeler Logo Design Sarah Bonnar Cover Page Photo: Scott Chalmers Subject: Pete Bennett Design: Lee Anderson & Simon Potter
This issue is set to be one of my favourites. If like me, you were entertained and intrigued by Pete Bennett, aka the Tourettes dude, in Big Brother 7 then you are in for a treat. He is rocking our cover as featured ALT-MU followed by an interview on page 10 and will be contributing with a regular column in every issue (p.44). Not only that, Pete has taken over our YouTube channel www.youtube.com/user/altmumag recently with coverage of this years Glastonbury. We have focused on gaining as much insight into developing careers in music or the creative arts in this issue including a new regular ‘pathways’ feature that will delve into alternate professionals and their personal journey to where they are today. In this issue we are focusing on the role of a Tour Manager. Check it out on page 6. Further treats include interviews with Peter Hook of Joy Division, the mastermind behind Torture Garden, David Wood and we caught up with We Are Fiction at this year’s Takedown Festival reviewed on page 22. Now that we are in our third issue and approaching the end of our first year, we really would like to hear from you, our readers, to find out how we are doing! Please take a moment to complete this short survey online: www.surveymonkey.com/s/ S75S6VG This really is a blinding issue, so tuck in, flick through and don’t blink for a second or you might miss something epic! Enjoy! Jennifer Le Roux Editor & Founder
FEATURES 22 Takedown 2013 Review Hype Theory, While She Sleeps & More… 30 Fashion Spread: Dumpster Designs Making fashion from the most unlikely materials… 36 Tips for Women in Music Featured artist writer, Laila from SB6 42 Overcoming Adversity or Lucky? Upfromnothing.com share their thoughts… 46 Music Fiction: Final Part The story, Ghosts of Glasvegas, concludes 66 Upcoming Tours We share the latest tours you need to get to…
10 Featured ALT-MU: Pete Bennett Musician / Actor / Comedian / Illustrator 14 Want to Work in Music PR? Prescription PR’s Ellie offers her insight 24 We Are Fiction Interview Well-deserved addition to the UK Rock scene… 26 Le Hat Noir: Melanie Grieve Edinburgh based milliner… 38 Torture Garden’s David Wood ALT-MU chat with owner David Wood… 48 Peter Hook from Joy Division We find out what he has been up to… 62 Interview with Lost Souls Hailed as ‘one to watch’ by BBC Introducing…
6 Career Pathways: Tour Manager TM for Me vs Hero, Lower than Atlantis & More 20 Designers Top Tips ALT-MU Designers share their skills 50 Musicians & Data Marketing expert Jon Ostrow’s top tips… 60 Becoming a Writer Have you got what it takes… 64 Time Management Any creative job needs good time management
16 Make-up Tips: Eris Eveiller Top beauty tips from a top burlesque performer 18 5 Famous ALT-MUs: Josh Humphrey Inspirirational multi-skilled musos in the spotlight 44 Pete’s Planet: Pete Bennett Whats Pete been up to since BB7... 52 Music Photographer: Hannah Hannah Mesquitta’s top pics from the top gigs… 46 Music Fiction: Jennifer Le Roux The final part of Ghosts of Glasvegas 56 The ‘Real’ Wedding Singer: Steve Young The musings of Darren Hayes, session guitarist…
R u to ger a n ma Starte
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d first o sch o o f ma ny h i g h (Stand l bands ard is sue)
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Broke his face and ended up on his first tour as a merch guy & eventual Tour Manager for Me vs Hero
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STARTED PLAYING GUITAR
Started first serious band - we say no
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me i t l hef ul c f t a f s Le nt a e as a e m loy ull tim nder p m e ur f river u e o t o t h/D ss nam c e T TM/ e busine ours th ruso T La
Feature by Jennifer Le Roux
MUSIC CAREER pathways
At ALT-MU we work hard to track down professionals in the music industry that demonstrate the potential job opportunities available. We plan to feature a new music career pathway and interview in each issue, kicking off with Tour Manager Danny Hobson, who reveals his journey through the industry to where he is todayâ€Ś
You mentioned a horrific accident 2010 when you broke your face â€“ what happened?
The music scene became quite potent in my local area during the pop punk boom of 2009/2010, including Me Vs Hero who were part of a large social group in my hometown. When it came time for them to shoot a video for their first release from their debut album, (Days that Shape Our Lives) the whole gang showed up for a party. After the shoot was all done the party continued - up until the point where I got on a trampoline and started doing some acrobatics. I did a forward somersault straight into the metal springs at full speed
which evidently broke my face. I fractured my Zygomas, broke my nose, had a skull deep gash on my forehead, snapped out my front teeth and my nose ring split me from nostril to lip. Blood pouring everywhere and a smile on my face, one of the photographers who was there (Jodie Guest) managed to quickly snap a picture of the carnage. I healed after a few weeks but during my healing period the band called me and asked if I would have any problem with them using the picture as their album artwork. I obviously had no problem at all. I thought the idea was hilarious and great. So that was that, the album was released and the guys started booking tours. One of which was a rotating headline tour with Deaf Havana. I had some time off work and asked if I could come along and sell merchandise (for free of course) seeing as I was the face of the album I felt it would be a good selling point. And that was it I was on tour!
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IT was a real eye opener seeing what went on behind the scenes of a show. seeing what it takes to make it happen and how many people are needed for a show to go well.
Me vs Hero
Lower Than Atlantis Orange For the Foxes Blood n The Dance Floor Hands Like Houses
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Tech UK/Euro TM/Driver Production Manager/Tech Tech, UK TM/Driver
PRESENT WORK Zebrahead Tech Sonic Boom Six Tour Manager,Tech, Driver European Tour Tour Manager Collective For the Foxes UK/Euro Tour Manager, Driver
How did you progress from being on tour for free and becoming a paid Tour Manager? It became evident during the tour that Me vs Hero needed a TM and a guitar tech. I was pulled aside by Deaf Havana’s TM/FOH engineer (Ben Hammond) who said I seemed to have some shred of common sense and gave me a crash course in TM’ing. Along with the help of the band’s manager (Mark Walker, Kilimanjaro) I was schooled on the ins and outs of touring at that level. Teching wise I’d been playing, fixing and fiddling with guitars and amps for years so I picked up that job role almost instantly. Straight out of the gate I was teching and tour managing. I made a ton of mistakes and learnt about it FAST! How is life on a tour bus? And is the job sustainable? I love life on a tour bus, so much more than being in a splitter van. It’s so amazing being able to just know you have a warm, dry bed for the night and you can party as much as you like or have your own personal space to just relax if you feel like and still wake up outside the venue the next day. It’s almost like time travelling. You fall asleep in one city and wake up hundreds of miles away in a completely new place without feeling a thing. It’s great! When it comes to the money, being freelance means when it rains it pours. I’ve had times where for two months I could find no work at all, absolutely no source of income and still have direct debits breathing down my neck. It sucked big time but then as soon as work comes in, it comes in droves. I’ve been lucky to have quite a busy year this year and it’s only getting busier!
I keep all my laminate passes from tours so looking through my collection is always a real nostalgia trip. What are the best bits about your job? Is it as glamorous as it seems? To me the best part of my job is that I absolutely love it. I live and breathe my touring life. Thinking back at all the jobs I’ve had in the past and the career I left to be on the road always makes me smile. Three years ago I was slaving over stoves as a chef working my ass off for the most unsocial hours. Now I’m still working my ass off for the most unsocial hours, but I get to do it all over the world which is completely ok with me. In the past 3 years I’ve met some astounding people and
Three years ago I was slaving over stoves as a chef working my ass off for the most unsocial hours. I’m still working my ass off for the most unsocial hours but I get to do it all over the world. made lifelong friends from all over the globe. One of which is a guy called Simon Gallacher (Letlive’s TM) I met him on maybe my second or third tour as he was our van driver. He taught me everything I know and to this day we’re still really close friends and it’s all thanks to life on the road. I keep all my laminate passes from tours so looking through my collection is always a real nostalgia trip. Is it glamorous? No not at all! Ha. Touring is mainly a bunch of dudes sat in a room on laptops looking for decent wifi and a clean place to poop. The whole myth of sex,
In the past 3 years i’ve met some astounding people and made life long friends all over the globe. drugs and rock and roll is kinda funny because it just doesn’t happen like that (well not for the crew anyway) But this isn’t a very rock and roll answer is it? I feel like I’m telling the world that there is no Tooth Fairy. So yeah it’s super glamorous. Right now I’m doing this interview on my private jet whilst drugs and bitches are dripping from the walls. What is a typical day like for you when you are on tour? Do you get to be home much? You get to the venue and introduce yourself to the shows rep. Check that the dressing rooms are all good and the rider is correct, meet the in house one and go over your technical needs. Then you load in the gear, set up the stage, do the soundcheck. If the band have any press get that sorted. Being a TM is all about being organised. You’re everyone’s parent, counsellor, friend, piggy bank, know it all and conscience. You have to be ready for that and be able to sort any situation that may occur, be it replacing broken gear, finding lost passports, sorting visas or handling cash. The list is endless absolutely anything can happen on tour. Sometimes you can be home for months and have tons of free time for family, friends and loved ones but then you can have two solid months of tour with maybe three days at home and it can be really tough, but it’s all a mental game. Everyone on tour is away from home and everyone is in close proximity for long periods so bad moods and tempers can spread quickly.
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I first picked up a guitar when I was around 12. I went through my teen years and young adult life playing in bands doing small DIY shows and tours.
ur featured ALT-MU for this issue will be familiar to anyone entertained by his Jim Carrey inspired take on coping with his Tourettes in Big Brother 7. He entertained millions, raised over £400,000 for charity and still continues to amuse and touch audiences through his comedy, acting and music. There is no doubt that Pete Bennett raised public awareness of Tourettes and won the hearts of millions with his honest and entertaining personality at a time when the show was still at the height of its popularity. Pete is most certainly an ALT-MU by our definition as a musician who is currently recording his punk and dance music alongside his acting career and comedy YouTube sketches. Not only that, he also enjoys doodling some illustrations on the side, which includes his Poo People who are currently lined up for their starring role in ‘A Shit Book (w/t)’ to be digitally published by ALT-MU in the future. Watch this space, there is a lot of good shit on its way…
You lit up our lives in Big Brother 7 with the way you embraced your Tourettes and allowed it to be funny and entertaining – were you always this accepting of your condition? Na, I thought: “That’s it…me life’s ova!’ I couldn’t accept it for a couple of years man… well I was the worst case ever recorded FACT! 50 out of 55 known twitches. It was full blown mayhem! Literally was fuckin’ uncomfortable as FUCK… and living in South London? Yeah that’s funny! You frequently mention Jim Carrey in interviews and your personality certainly has similarities to his persona, how influential was he in your decision to enter Big Brother and in your success today as a performer? Without that man, I never would have accepted my Tourettes. He was the answer to all of my problems. That geezer was getting PAID to pull stupid faces so
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WHY SHOULD I HIDE MINE? Haha! Instead of meds the Drs should subscribe JIM CARREY films for young touretters, BET THEY’D WORK BETTER! He was so popular being silly, it gave me the confidence to just let it all go. I wasn’t embarrassed about twitchyness anymore, and found that it actually made people laugh, which I loved! Better than being embarrassed innit! It must be difficult being associated with BB when it gets bad press. If you hadn’t then, would you still enter the competition now? Na man, I gotta get as far away from that programme as I can. I can’t handle it anymore. 7.7 million people voted you the winner, that must have felt overwhelming! How did the experience and the winnings affect your life now. Literally everywhere I go people still say hello and want my picture; it’s like it happened last week. It’s
Photography by Scott Chalmers ALT MU ISSUE 3
Instead of meds the Drs should subscribe JIM CARREY films for young touretters, BET THEY’D WORK BETTER! He was so popular being silly, it gave me the confidence to just let it all go. pretty cool being so well known but a lot to deal with. I can handle it though… sorta... except when they’re blind drunk, fag in my face… pilling their tits off with their arm round my neck rambling bollocks in my face. In your biography you told how you used to have to tell your clothes to fuck off before you could put them on, do your ticks and impulses change and develop? Or have they been consistent? The level of twitches have definitely calmed down now I’m 31, maybe I’ve run out! They always evolve slightly, but the most consistent one of course is my favourite ‘WANKERS!’ ... which has evolved into a nice lil ‘WANK”. There is no doubt that you helped to bring Tourettes Syndrome into the forefront in the UK, have you done anything since to support the charity? Or any plans for the future? Well they got that £400,000 I told BB to give em innit, Helped em start up all these Tourettes camps . Imagine that! Going camping with loadsa touretters! One day I was asked to go visit... haha, good thing I was thick skinned! Never heard anything like it. Bless em. Your biography left off with a note about your relationship with long time love, Cherry and you featured your marriage on Four Weddings in 2010. What happened there? It just didn’t work out but we are still friends, so it’s cool. Talk us through the first steps into music and where it has led you to now? Man! The music business is stuuuuuPID, To the point where I eventually got signed by a big label. Then I did a gig in front of them, and got sacked for being too punky. All I said was “my next song’s called superhero, if I had a superpower... I’d have an elasticated cock!”
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So... it’s got me nowhere. So plan B, I’m recording my songs with my mate Nelly at the moment to make an EP. And I’ve got the Sex Pistols rooting for one of my tracks called Miss Great Britain on their youtube channel. IT SOUNDS WICKED SO FAR. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLJG2us347o Can you play any instruments? And do you find your tick can get in the way? I can play the accordion a bit but my strength is definitely in producing on Logic 9. My mum got with a sound engineer when I was 8 and he got me started at a young age. So I have been writing tracks on computers since I was in nappies! NO my ticks stop when I’m producing - it’s known as the CURE FOR TOURETTES. I go by the name of The Daddy on soundcloud to keep my best friend Wobbly Bobs spirit alive. I was the singer in his band as DADDY FANTASTIC, which was my first ever band. https://soundcloud.com/the_daddy We hear you have been in a few movies now and are releasing one this year, talk us through this move to acting? Yeah man! Last year I was in Zombie Women of Satan 2, which was my first ever experience of being in a film and it was definitely one of the best experiences of my life. It’s all about being in films! Soooo much fun. I’ve never laughed so much in all of my career! I think it’s being renamed to ‘Don’t Panic it’s Only a Zombie.’ That was my first EVER attempt at acting in front of a camera and I ain’t even seen it yet! I’d love to do different roles but so far I’ve been doing what I do best... a nice bit of INSANITY! Got more projects coming up with Warren Speed; ‘Fire and Brimstone’, ooohh lavly. So, what’s next for Pete? Dunno I just gotta find some superduper director to whip me up into his new uber filmage! Nam saying?
Pete is not only our featured ALT-MU for this issue
he is on board as a regular columnist and YouTube reporter. Check out his column on page 44 and his latest videos at:
www.youtube.com/user/altmumag Photography by Scott Chalmers ALT MU ISSUE 3
Music PR Career...
When considering alternative jobs in the music industry, music PR is a top choice. We are joined by senior music press officer, Ellie Clarke from Prescription PR, who explains her role, gives advice on how to get into music PR and will be back for the next issue with tips on how musicians can benefit from music PR support and what they should be doing to get noticed… What does a Senior Press Officer at Prescription PR do? It’s my job to achieve press coverage for an artist, particularly via a certain release such as an album, single, video or tour, by encouraging journalists to take a listen and giving them viable reasons to cover them in their magazine or on their site. Although we ensure the music press is covered, we also look at other areas such as gaming, sports, home, women’s mags and more – even car/motorbike magazines! If you see a piece about music in any publication you can be sure that a music PR has been behind it.
What led you to a career in music PR?
Want to Work in Music PR? 14
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Growing up it was my music taste that gave me an identity to be proud of, and a community I felt comfortable in. I suppose there was always a slight concern in my mind that taking a career in music would dilute my passion for it – I worried I’d become disillusioned if I saw what went on behind the scenes or simply grow to hate it if it was incorporated into something as mundane as a day job. But then of course I realised that music could never bore me - by its very nature it is inspiring, stimulating and forever fascinating. My knowledge and passion for it has only soared since I started here, since I get to listen to it and talk about it every single day. Music magazines particularly captured me too, as they often laid out beautiful spreads with striking imagery and interesting writing styles. Originally I aimed to be a music writer. Throughout my youth, I’d write about the gigs I went to, or any new bands I discovered that changed my life. After leaving uni I attempted to publish my own music magazine aimed at girls, spotting a gap in the market at the time (all music mags seem geared towards lads!) I got as far as creating a business plan,
What advice would you give to a musician trying to get the right balance between a career and having the time to write music?
Finding time to write and be creative is important and always a tricky one, but a career in music definitely helps. It can be hectic but keeps you inspired every day and teaches you about all sorts of music processes, not to mention the influential people you meet. I appreciate music jobs seem sparse and elusive and impossible to get with so much competition but don’t forget about all the different roles it offers. It’s not just an option between being a musician or a promoter. There’s legal, publishing, marketing, journalism, broadcasting, distribution, booking, production, retail and more! And once you get into one it makes it so much easier to approach another. The industry can be quite transferrable so don’t be afraid to hop around until you find something that’s right for you. It might sound obvious but location is quite important as well. Try to move to an area with a vibrant and active music scene if you can. That way, not only should you find more music companies for potential work, you’ll also have a community on your doorstep to keep you motivated, supported and inspired.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to work in music PR?
Listen to as much music and read as many music magazines (print and online) as possible, and regularly. This way you’ll naturally learn everything you need to know. And keep an open mind - you absolutely can’t limit yourself to one genre or one opinion because honestly, you’ll be missing out on a lot of great stuff. Even if you don’t like something you can let it feed your knowledge and give you the big picture. Also, knowledge is important but never let any musos intimidate you or put you off with theirs. They can be a scary bunch when they start talking about obscure music or using reference points you don’t know, but just remember that everyone has different pockets of musical knowledge and yours is just as valuable. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask about a band you haven’t heard of, or disagree with someone just because they sound like they know what they’re talking about. Finally, be openly enthusiastic. Basically, if you feel like you love music that little bit more than the average person, and can talk passionately about it, then chances are you’d be perfect for the job.
advertisers to help fund. I needed reliable PR companies to source information from, so after researching and falling upon Prescription PR I thought it couldn’t hurt to drop them my CV over. As much as I believed in my magazine, it was an incredibly difficult and risky venture, one that I probably wouldn’t see rewards from for a long time. PR, I learned, offers a comfortable wage, exciting projects, regular challenges and still lets me be around both magazines and music constantly.
Interview by Ruby Rebelle and Jennifer Le Roux
The industry can be quite transferrable so don’t be afraid to hop around until you find something that’s right for you
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The magic is in the make up Make-up Tips...
After the last column, you should now have an amazing flawless base to work with. But unless youâ€™re wanting to rock the mannequin look, itâ€™s time to introduce the angles, hollows and highlights that will help you stand out under the stage lights.
Burlesque Performer / Costume Designer / Burlesque teacher www.eriseveiller.co.uk
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Photography by Scott Chalmers
MAC #130 stippling brush with contouring cream/highlighter Illamasqua contouring blusher brush (For Blush and Bronzer) Eyebrow Stencils Smashbox #12 Angle eyebrow brush MAC Pro Sculpting Cream Benefit Hoola Suqqu Blusher Smashbox eyebrow wax Illamasqua eyebrow cake Miss Sporty clear mascara
3. Show Off Your Brows… Eyebrows are surprisingly important to your overall look. The right shape can make you look younger, more polished or can almost appear to change your bone structure. It’s better than Botox and a lot cheaper. Where in daytime you want to follow the natural line of your eyebrow, onstage you can block them out using soap, brow plastic or putty, redraw them higher, thicker and with whatever shape you like (eyebrow stencils are perfect for that). If you want to stay with your own brows, then use an eyebrow powder, following the line before sealing with eyebrow gel or clear mascara. If you want to create a certain shape and find symmetry to be an issue, use some stencils and you will be amazed at the difference.
1. Keep Calm & Contour On… An easy rule to use is to darken anything you want to disappear or hide and highlight anything you want to stand out. Contrast is the key for contouring for the stage and there are some amazing products out there to help you create the face you want. You can disguise unwanted features and alter the face shape, all with some clever products and shading. Remember because this is for the stage, it’s not going to be subtle. Subtlety has no place in the dressing room! Also, avoid any products with shimmer or glitter as they tend to react badly in photos under stage lights.
2. Sculpting the Perfect Look… Start by using Sculpting cream or Bronzer to create the hollows and recede anything you want to disappear. Blend it from just under the ear into the hollow of the cheeks, under the jawline and lightly at the temples and the sides of the nose. Now use your highlighter. Start by drawing on ‘whiskers’ radiating out from the nose and blend away. Brush onto the cheekbones, under and along the outer edge of the eyebrows, and down the nose. I also love to use a fine brush to outline my lips. Now use a blusher to bring colour into the look. Apply along the cheekbone and blend up towards the temple. If you want your face to look wider, apply nearer the nose. If you want to slim your face start further away. If you want to add some to the ‘apple’ of the cheek, use a finer but brighter blusher. Now just lightly buff all over with some loose powder to help everything stay under stage lights.
Now Step back and marvel at the amazingly made up person in the mirror. Next time we cover the secrets of the eyes, or at least the secret of eye make-up. ALT MU ISSUE 3
I LOVE USING...
Inspiring ALT-MUs WE DEFINE ALT-MU TO MEAN A MUSICIAN OR MUSIC LOVER WHO HAS FOUND AN ALTERNATIVE WAY TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN MUSIC OR THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES. IN EACH ISSUE I PLAN TO SCOUR THE INTERNET FOR GOOD EXAMPLES OF RENOWNED ALT-MUS WHO HAVE KICKED ASS DOING WHAT THEY LOVE; PROVING THAT THEIR TALENTS KNOW NO BOUNDS. HERE ARE MY TOP FIVE FOR THIS ISSUE. Column by Josh Humphrey
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Before his musical success with singles such as ‘Just the Way You Are’ and ‘Grenade’, Bruno was a highly acknowledged music producer, writing songs for Alexandra Burke, Travie McCoy and Flo Rida amongst others. Moving to Los Angeles in 2004, Bruno had an unsuccessful music stint with Motown Records, where he met songwriter and producer Phillip Lawrence, two-thirds of a trio who created production team The Smeezingtons. After establishing themselves, The Smeezingtons began producing songs for artists on Atlantic Records.
The American musician best known for his music with White Zombie and his solo project is also a budding film director, screenwriter and film producer who has directed seven films and an episode of CSI:Miami. While Zombie’s music draws a heavy influence from horror and suspense filled films it is no surprise that the majority of his movie portfolio is horror films. However, while Rob is more focused upon directing movies rather than his music these days, Rob’s musical endeavours do not conclude within the heavy metal genre, as he has composed soundtracks for games including Twisted Metal III and Gran Turismo 2.
HE WAS WILLING TO WRITE AND PRODUCE FOR OTHERS TO HELP IMPROVE HIS SONG WRITING
ROB IS MORE FOCUSED UPON DIRECTING MOVIES RATHER THAN HIS MUSIC THESE DAYS
Stewart Copeland Will Smith
The guitarist and vocalist of postmetal band Isis is involved in numerous other projects. As well as being the founder of record labels SIGE and Hydra Head Records, Aaron is also one of the owners of Vacation Vinyl, an independent record store based in Silver Lake, Los Angeles. However, those who have not heard Aaron’s music may have seen his artwork, as he is a competent heavy metal and rock graphic designer. Aaron’s artwork has featured on over fifty different albums, ranging from The Dillinger Escape Plan and Jesu, to 5ive. His abstract and surreal artwork has also been featured on concert posters, T-shirts and other music related graphics.
While he is best known as drummer of The Police, Stewart - ranked by the Rolling Stone magazine as the fifth best drummer of all time – he has also composed numerous soundtracks; particularly during The Police’s long hiatus between the mid-1980 and 2007. Copeland established a new career in composing soundtracks for movies, including Airborne and Highlander II. Stewart also composed soundtracks for television programmes, operas and ballet. Furthermore, as the decades passed and computer games became more sophisticated, Copeland was commissioned by Insomniac Games and Universal Interactive Studios (now Vivendi) to write numerous soundtracks for their games, including the hit Psx series Spyro the Dragon.
AARON’S ARTWORK HAS FEATURED ON OVER FIFTY DIFFERENT ALBUMS
Winner of four Grammy awards and once called ‘the most powerful actor in Hollywood,’ Will Smith has established himself as one of the world’s most well renowned actors. However, before he hit the big screen and previous to his television debut on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will was part of the hip-hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince. Under this pseudonym, Will won a Grammy award in 1988 and helped in creating songs laden with radiofriendly vibes. While his musical career did spiral, it helped thrust him into the limelight and become the actor we all know today. WE WANT TO HEAR ABOUT ALT-MUS THAT INSPIRE YOU! POST YOUR FAVOURITES ON OUR FACEBOOK AT: WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/ ALTMUMAGAZINE OR DROP US A TWEET @ALTMUMAGAZINE
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DESIGN TEAM TIPS 1
Calling all ambitious designers, you are in for a treat! We have five smashing tips that will give you a head start if you want to stand out. It is important when as a creative to do your research and tap into what’s missing in the industry, so hopefully we can help you choose an area that you want to specialize in. All of us in the design team at ALTMU can be versatile but hold unique qualities and strengths…
“Practice – don’t wait to get important jobs, keep yourself learning by volunteering your skills to friends and family, do online tutorials, or enter something on a competition based website. You might win, and even if you don’t your skills and portfolio will improve.” James Gold, Issue 2 Lead Designer
“Get it - nothing is more relieving for both parties than when you just ‘get it’. ‘Getting It’ is a rather illusive acquisition but it starts coming about once you become aware of current trends, learn many different design languages, listen to your client’s needs and hone your intuitions. That sometimes means throwing unspoken assumptions into the cauldron of your brain-box, taking everything into account from your client’s taste in music, right up to the cultural personality of typefaces and the stereotypes of your end users.” Lee Anderson, Senior Designer
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Simon Potter, Design Editor
“Some of the most important qualities of surviving as a designer involve certain qualities of character and interpersonal skills: patience, communicating effectively, being able to take criticism, shedding emotional attachments to your work and most importantly being able to get inside the mind of your client - you’re creating for them, not for yourself.” Lee Anderson, Senior Designer
“Step-By-Step - In Design looks really daunting at first, so just sit back and take it step by step. To improve my design skills in my own time, I watched a lot of techniques via YouTube videos. There is a video for every technique! This will give you more confidence to do layouts that are challenging. Always agree to create a challenge because the reward when it’s published is just priceless!” Sara-Beth Rowland, Design Contributor
...ALT-MU is not just a magazine, it’s a visual artwork inspired by the imaginations of the team behind it. You have to feel inspired and let you thoughts flow onto the page when you are designing. You won’t always get it right straight away but enjoy the journey of your creation and the improved skills you will develop from the process. Feature by Sara-Beth Rowland
“Take breaks - not just from the computer screen and office/ studio space - but also the project. You stare at something long enough over too many days and you run the risk of becoming jaded with it.”
TOP TIP: Don’t Copy! Research does not mean see a design you like and copy it. This can be a very easy thing to do when you are struggling to find inspiration. But always refer back to images and keep reading the copy to find your layout. I promise you, inspiration will come at the strangest of times!
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The UK is a definite hot spot for rock music, so it’s no surprise that the summer of 2013 has been a host to many festivals. Kicking off the festival frenzy this year was Southampton’s Takedown. The humble venue of Southampton University housed the surprisingly massive turnout perfectly though, spreading the talent across five stages made for an exciting, but exhausting day for ALT-MU music writer, Charly...
TakedownExperience 2013 A TALE OF TWO CITIES were festival openers and new comers to the hard-core scene. A raw band clearly not shy of instantly raising energy levels set the tone for the whole day. I caught up with the lads after their performance to see how they thought it went… It went amazing! Genuinely one of the most fun shows we've ever done. Opening the stage we weren't sure there was going to be loads of people but they all came filtering down the stairs and packed out the room so it was really good fun! Nice and loud, nice and sweaty, how we like it! These cheeky five-some definitely stood their own against the big acts they opened for so watch this space. I don’t think their days of being loud and sweaty have merely just begun! Another start up band that overshadowed some of the headliners was female fronted, HYPE THEORY, who belted out come hither melodies that filled up the Small Town and Friend’s stage. I managed to catch up with them after their set and get their advice on how to grow as a small band in the ever-growing industry. The lovely Katie, front woman of the band was more than happy to share her words of wisdom… You will get a lot of knock backs and doors shut in your face but you can't ever give up Just do everything to the best of your ability, don't ever settle for second best and you’ll get where you are supposed to be. There's a massive amount of pressure to live up to. It is a hard industry for us girls to be in because it gets seen as being a gimmick most of the time, and we have to shake off everyone's preconceived ideas and prove that us girls are just as good as the boys. Having released their new album in May, they are definitely making their unique mark in the world of rock!
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The Big Deal Clothing stage stole a lot of attention, housing the likes of WE ARE FICTION, SONIC BOOM SIX, and indie anomaly of the day, NATIVES. A pick and mix of bands at different stages in their musical career, yet all alike in their abilities to have the crowd singing back in appreciation of good music!
The Southampton Music stage really delivered with the likes of BREED 77 whose performance left the fans with nostalgic waves of quality punk music ringing in their ears. MALLORY KNOX and ARCANE ROOTS were the definite highlights and along with WHILE SHE SLEEPS who were featured over on the MONSTER ENERGY STAGE, were rivalling headline favourites, WE ARE THE OCEAN and THE BLACKOUT, who gave a mediocre performance. I have to hand it to the Small Town Records stage who stole the day, housing all of the bands worthy of overall best performance. SHADOWS CHASING GHOSTS are worth a special mention, whose tight, loud and in your face performance was a nice surprise, deeming them most memorable. Despite the amazing array of a variety of bands, what I loved most about this humble festival is the un-noticeable difference between the established headliners and those who have just been signed. Every single stage was filled with at least three unbelievable examples of inspiring, honest, good rock music. So well done Takedown 2013, you have once again done the UK proud! I canâ€™t wait for next year!
alt-mu Rating 9/10
We Are Fiction...
Feature by Charly Phillips Photography by Marrianne Harris & Scott Chalmers
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We Are Fiction...
WE ARE FICTION Takedown Festival is renowned for showcasing newcomers to the alternative music industry and this year was no different. The best of that bunch, following their flawless performance, were We Are Fiction; a new but already polished gem and well deserved addition to the UK rock scene. We caught up with the Peterborough born quintet to get their advice on what it takes to make it in this overgrown industry, their journey of growing as a band and what it was like playing Takedown festival 2013â€Ś
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What do you do for fun when you’re not touring or performing? Andi (Guitar): I like playing loads of instruments, my fun is music really, music and hanging out with my cat. Phil: I like sleeping, because I do most of the driving on the tour, when we get to somewhere I like to have a nap. Ryan (Bass): Rock and roll!
can - every genre, no matter what it is. Don’t restrict yourself. Don’t just listen to metal or punk, listen to everything. I listen to everything from Prince to Justin Bieber to Katy Perry. Phil: It’s about having respect. You have to have respect (whilst doing an amusing Ali G impression). That’s how you grow as a musician. Andi: Otherwise you’ll end up playing the same music all the time and be boring! What was the first Album you brought or gig you went to? Andi: I remember the first tape I ever brought, Limp Bizkit, Roller, banger! Phil: First single, Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana. But the first Album which I got brought for Christmas was actually Spice Girls (laughing). It’s got some bangers on it!
If you weren’t musicians, in an idealistic world, what would you be? Andi: Astronaut Phil: Another musician (laughs) Describe your sound in three words? Have you got any advice to Andi: Loud and Meaningful our readers who are inspiring musicians? You guys as a band directed, Andi: Work hard at what you produced, filmed and edited do. You can’t go in half assed your own music video ‘Earth expecting things to fall on your Medicine.’ How did you find lap. To the song writers, play as that process and do any of many instruments as you can, you have any previous... listen to as much music as you
experience in the media industry? Ryan: Me and Tom, our drummer, both make the videos. He films and then we edit them together. We both work for a media magazine company and did media studies in sixth form and just both really enjoy it. Phil: We’re a well-oiled machine! Andi: "It's nice to keep it in the band - you have complete creative control that way. The best part is that you get to tell the story of a song through lyrics and the music but you also get to portray that through the video as well. We Are Fiction are spreading through the alternative scene like wildfire and if you haven’t already, are definitely worth checking out! Their new single ‘The Worst of It’ is now available for download and they are currently doing a headline hometown tour over the summer, Peterborough (UK), we envy you!
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All About Hats...
ow did the set go guys? Phil (Vocals): Really well! It’s the first time we’ve played Southampton. We didn’t really expect many people to know who we were but people were singing the words back to us. It was a great crowd.
All About Hats...
L E HAT NO I R 26
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Edinburgh based milliner, Melanie Grieve of Le Hat Noir, has been creating hats for five years and had a stable brand for three. Her historical influences combined with modern couture make her a lead competitor in the millinery trade. We asked Melanie about creating a self-driven business, her inspirations and collaborating with other companies as well as clients. How long have you been a practicing milliner? I made my first hat just over five years ago but it started becoming more than just a hobby and something to teach my pupils three years ago. I hooked up with a fabulous lass via Facebook called Kelly Lamb who makes fabulous corsets. You should check her out at www.badkittycorsets.com. Anyway, she wanted to make corsets to match my hats and we did a show together at the Panopticon in Glasgow. The show was called, “Ooh La La “and was organised and presented by Miss Dolly Tartan. I have done a few fashion shows and other events thanks to Kelly and probably would not have done anywhere near as much without her and her mad ideas. Did you train to become a milliner? I trained in Theatrical Fashion at Edinburgh College of Art but changed to Fashion part way through my Degree as I felt that my technical skills needed more hands on teaching. However I did dabble in hats but with no formal training. I became a Secondary School teacher and Primary specialist in 2002. All teachers have to do what’s called CPD. Basically learning new skills to pass onto students and so I did a day course in hat making. I absolutely loved it and immediately started making hats with my pupils. We had no proper materials to begin with and used gardening wire and a great deal of imagination. The whole thing has grown into a bit of a fabulous monster since then! I was brought up on “Gone with the Wind” and other huge Hollywood productions. I loved all the fabulous Ziegfeld Follies films that I watched with my Mother, and so when it came to choose a subject in my second year at Art College I really wanted to make costumes.
I thought I might get work in costume as opposed to painting. Sadly I had more enthusiasm than skill. Your work obviously has a strong basis in historical trends, but where do you find the inspiration to re-invent the styles for a contemporary clientele? Luckily Millinery is my second job for now and I seem to have attracted fabulous customers looking for something a little bit different. I have had fashion styles in my head when creating, but generally I make what I like because otherwise there would be no point in me making hats. I really hate to be restricted. Obviously hats are popular for weddings and so I have made a few hats to attract customers and show what I can do. I would never churn hats out simply to make money. That would be really dull. Fabulous fashions will always look fabulous. In my opinion, new fashion ideas died in the 1950’s and then just started repeating itself. Most of the time I make what ALT MU ISSUE 3
Can you explain your creative process in crafting a new hat? I watch a lot of fabulous films with fabulous hats. I get quite distracted by the hats. The Forsyte Saga, Ripper Street, Elizabeth, that sort of thing. It could be a book I’m reading or a painting I have found, and then things start coming together in my head and annoying me. I start with shapes quite often in card or it could be a fabulous piece of fabric that tells me what it wants to be. I rarely draw any of my
designs actually. I prefer getting straight into three dimensions. Recently you have been branching out into men’s headwear, how are you finding the change of style and design? It has been fantastic. First piece was a mad top hat with bird skulls for Adam Hughes of Gutter Lane. I have a stall at his fabulous show once a month at the Jekyll and Hyde Pub in Edinburgh. He then introduced me to the work of the Fabulous Mr. Joe Black and since meeting Joe I have done a fair few things. I have been forced to learn new techniques that I thought might be a bit scary. These techniques also transfer perfectly well into ladies hats so it has really allowed me to offer a wider range of styles and shapes. I have also been working with a friend on creating hat blocks which has been a lot of fun. I have done a lot of blocks myself but it’s really messy and you have to hoover the hats afterwards. My mate Dave has a workshop and fewer cats. Joe incidentally has provided me with utterly fabulous photographs by Scott Chalmers and more than doubled my audience. He does look fabulous that boy and talented too. It’s sickening really! But seriously if it wasn’t for Joe and his mad ideas I might not have learned as much as I have so quickly. Can you say what you’re working on now? What’s the next big thing in the pipeline for Le Hat Noir? I’m about to make some beautiful pieces with hand made flowers and hanging crystals for a photo shoot with my newly found cousin Anne Skinner. Hopefully we will be working together on a few things. I have something else up my sleevebut it’s too exciting and all very hush hush at the moment. I don’t want to jinx it! www.lehatnoir.com Interview by Arran Shurvinton
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I like and what I like is Art Nouveau and dark Victorians. Obviously I make things in new fabrics and brighter colours but I don’t go out of my way to update things particularly. I guess I am just lucky to have fabulous customers with great taste!
We have great pleasure in presenting to you the fabulous eco-friendly unconventional creations of Dumpster Design in this issue. Dumpster has been featured in Vogue, Marie Clare magazine and been named as â€˜the one to watchâ€™ in the international Radical Designer Awards.
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Made entirely from recycled materials and Inspired to tackle todayâ€™s throw-away mentality, Dumpster Designs specialise in producing one off commissions for special occasions, and branded dresses for PR campaigns. Materials are the main focus and starting point, with fabrics ranging from magazine covers and jay cloths to wrapping paper and kitchen roll. The designs create scaffolding for the body. Each garment is hand crafted and brings new life and beauty to items that might otherwise be thrown away. It is intricate architecture for the body, manipulating materials to accentuate elegance and femininity.
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Clive Flint Hair and Make Up
Amy Tomlinson Visit the website to see more outstanding creations
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35 Women in Music...
Top Tips for Women in Music Women in Music...
By Laila K from Sonic Boom Six Photo by Steal the Stage Photography
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AS THE FEMALE FORCE FRONTING ECLECTIC PUNK REGGAE ROCK BAND, SONIC BOOM SIX, LAILA HAS SOME WISE WORDS TO SHARE WITH ANY FEMALE READERS LOOKING TO IMPROVE THEIR POWER AND CONFIDENCE ON STAGE...
Female Takeover... A few months ago, I was asked to take part in some workshops at The Warren in Hull as part of installing confidence and giving performance tips to young females who had never done anything like that before. It got me thinking about how I had got into music and the tips I had picked up over the years performing in Sonic Boom Six. I came from a similar background to some of the girls – poor/ working class, so I felt like I could connect with them straight off. In my first band I had no confidence at all so I used to drink alcohol and shout, a lot! I was a very angry kid so rehearsals would be difficult and I’d take everything personally. Here are my top tips for any ladies looking to gain confidence in their performance…
NEVER SHOW ANGER ON STAGE, JUST GRIN AND BEAR IT AND THEN LET RIP ONCE YOU'VE FINISHED AWAY FROM THE CROWD!
1. Get the Best Sound…
them every 3 songs but it’s a good idea to make little notes on your set list when It is difficult to get female vocal heard you’re going to speak and what you’re over a rock band and 9 times out of 10 going to say. If you make a mistake, the your sound will be very bad but politely audience is unlikely to notice but if it’s communicate with the sound techs so massive then make a joke of it. It always that you can get the best possible result. works. If the sound is really bad on stage then finish the song you’re playing, address the audience first and then talk to the sound person. I always say ‘Hope you guys are having a good time? Hey Mr/ I find on stage that I’m playing an Mrs Sound...’ enhanced version of myself and I never let it slip. If people heckle you – try and make a joke of it. Everyone else will appreciate the humour and the crowd will respect you. There is so much you do that you won’t remember so always watch and listen to WE PLAYED A FESTIVAL IN BERLIN CALLED your gigs afterwards. This will help you PUNK AND DISORDERLY. kick any bad habits. You also need to IT WAS A HARDCORE PUNK FESTIVAL AND be comfortable. There’s nothing worse constantly messing with your outfit – it AND WE PLAY PUNK / HIP HOP, AND I'M A gives off an air of nervousness. I also GIRL, SO IT WAS NOT A GREAT MIX AT ALL. recommend that you watch artists or performers that inspire you for tips – one WE GOT HECKLED, BOTTLES THROWN AT US BUT WE STOOD OUR GROUND AND of mine is Benji from Skindred.
4. Enhance Your Personality…
2. Improve and Review Yourself on Stage…
3. Look After Your Audience… Engage with the audience and make them feel like you’re putting on the show especially for them. I tend to speak to
5. Pre-Gig Tips… I used to have a couple of drinks before I played to ‘ease the nerves’ but I’d never know when to stop! Now I look back at performances and I’m totally
Photo by Charlee Rowton
drunk, singing badly and chatting absolute nonsense! I find that it’s best to use that nervous tension and apply it to the show to enhance your performance. Once you do a show without drinking any alcohol, you’ll know you can do it. Make sure you warm up, it gets you mentally and physically prepared. It took me a long time to feel comfortable standing there with my headphones in doing ‘la lalas’ but then it clicked, if I warmed up I had a better gig – end of. If I look like a tit then so be it, it’s worth it!
6. Last Tip… You’re the one up there and you only get one chance at that moment in time to give it your all and show people what you do – so do it well and enjoy it!
For more tips and to read the full article go to www.altmumagazine.co.uk If you would like to ask Laila any questions post them on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ altmumagazine or drop us a tweet @altmumagazine and we may publish her responses in the next issue! Alternatively, email email@example.com Check out Laila’s new blog online: www.lailaboom.blogspot.com
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Photography by Scott Chalmers
ALT-MU like to explore the world of the unusual and surreal and we would like to give you the chance to explore it with us. Torture Garden is the worldâ€™s largest Fetish / Fantasy club with Body Art, Cabaret and Burlesque performers, attracting 800-2600 + to their monthly events.
orture Garden events are packed with stunning costumes, the distinct smell of latex shine wax and some of the worlds most incredible performers! TG events tour around the world and also run a Production Company and Performance Agency for events like
Erotica, Last Tuesday Society, Wyndstock Festival, Blitz Party, Prohibition, Face Party, Kerrang! Awards etc and a latex fashion label now made & run by House of Harlot. Our Deputy Editor, Ruby Rebelle, caught up with David Wood, owner and creator of the world famous TG!
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Where did the idea for Torture Garden come from? How did it all start? My business partner Allen Peling and I started the club in 1990. We wanted to create a fetish club that we and our friends would want to go to. We were bored with retro alternative clubs and fetish clubs for middle age suburban people. We wanted a younger club with edgy progressive music, performance and art, and a crowd mixing fetish with alternative and the new modern primitive / body art scene that was evolving at that time. We found the name on a book I’d just bought by Octave Mirbeau, we found an Allen Jones artwork that we used as our early image & logo, and we hired a small gay club in Shepherds Bush on a Thursday night. We shared a flat 5-min away and carried all our equipment to the club in 2 shopping trolleys! You’ve gone from having 100 guests at your first event to having in the region of 2,600 at one event, how have you managed to gain so much popularity? Our numbers exploded pretty rapidly from 100 to 500 in the first 5 months, then up to 1000 by the 2nd year and a general increase till recent peaks. We attracted more people than other fetish clubs then or since because fetish has only ever been half of our story and we always mixed it with other scenes like Body Art, Goth / Alternative, Burlesque, Cabaret etc. So that multiplies the numbers. Fetish purists may say that we dilute the fetishism but I’d say the mix makes it more interesting, diverse, creative and edgy. Also our early concept of multiple themed rooms, contemporary eclectic music, shows and performances, and fantasy dress code, was really ahead of its time and it’s got more and more popular in recent years. Do you ever get negative press about your events? If so, how do you respond to your critics?
In the early years we’d get exposed by the tabloids and occasionally lose a venue because of it, but that kind of bad publicity was always good. People like to feel naughty! But since then we don’t really get bad press and the press are generally very positive. But they’ll just decide fetish is either in or out of fashion every few years. We try to be beyond being in fashion, and that helps
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it be timeless. Things like Facebook have opened up Torture Garden information to new crowds and global scenes and in a way have made the press less important for spreading the word. Some people may say we’re more commercial than we used to be, but that’s rubbish. Our policy and line-ups are as edgy as ever and if you want to see extreme shows you’ll still see them at TG first. But we have always mixed things up, and from the early years we realised that when you pull big crowds it gives you power, and with power you can get away with almost anything! You studied conceptual art & film before starting TG. How much of an influence did this have towards creating TG?
I did a two year general art & design course and then a three year fine art degree specialising in time based conceptual art (conceptual film), so I saw the club as an open platform to throw in all the forms of art that I liked: Fashion, Performance Art, Video & Photography, Exhibitions, Installations, Live Music etc. To mix up the art forms that would normally be separate scenes. One thing I wanted to do was take art out of the boring sterile gallery setting and make it exciting for people that wouldn’t normally go to a gallery. I also wanted the whole club and the crowd to become part of a live art happening / ritual, so the crowd weren’t just spectators but participating in a ritual performance art event, whether they knew it or not. You’ve had some incredible performers and musicians perform at your events, what qualities do you look for when booking artists?
Originality, talent, modern styling, and doing something unique and different more than anything else. It’s not what you do but how you do it, so we want to see an original concept or story, original costume and modern styling, and onstage performance talent & personality. Ideally the best Torture Garden performers are just out in their own category doing something outside of the box. You’ve had some incredible guests at TG, Boy George, Marilyn Manson, Dita Von Teese, to name a few, are you proud that celebrities feel comfortable attending your events?
We appreciate interesting artists and characters and we’re happy if they want to attend. But we don’t really care about celebrities and we don’t cater for them. Marilyn Manson’s manager asked for a VIP area and we said no sorry everyone’s a VIP at Torture Garden, we don’t want separate areas. He attended with Dita and the rest of the band, and the band said it was the best club they’d ever been to. For me I don’t see them as any better or bigger than the underground performers and friends that attend, they’re equally cool and interesting. It is also the easiest club in the world to attend incognito, so if a celebrity does not want to be seen they wear a mask! What are you future plans for TG?
When we started we didn’t think the club would last 6 months, and everything could crumble as quickly as that any time. Fashions can change rapidly, so I never look too far ahead with the club events, it’s like riding the crest of a wave. Our production and performance agency is rapidly expanding so that’s something that’s building for the future. Otherwise we could get into a lot of interesting new areas with our experience so it would be exciting to do something very different. Let’s see.
Overcoming Adversity... Photography by Scott Chalmers ALT MU ISSUE 3
Overcoming Adversity Or Just Lucky?
Written by Paula Lawes Associate Contributor at www.upfromnothing.com & Author/Editor of www.paulaswork.com
Whichever way you look at it, the term ‘adversity’ will provide stories in your mind of someone experiencing life in a somewhat negative way. I, however, see it as something pretty fortunate. It seems to me that most people who have ‘suffered’ in some way have learned that life doesn’t have to be that way and stay like it. Each of us has obstacles in our lives and it’s up to you to define if that’s unfortunate or fortunate. It’s a purely personal thing. The difference however is what you perhaps term as being difficult or impossible. There is a huge difference between the two but it’s not the defining of it that matters, it’s whether the story you are telling yourself is true. It’s whether you believe it or not. To put this into perspective, I want to show you some examples of key people and artists that
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have achieved success when most of us would have given up. Whether you know it or not, for these people getting the success they wanted was not as straightforward as you might have imagined. The main point, however, is to ask yourself:
Did they overcome adversity or did they use it to propel themselves to their chosen paths? ” Jimi Hendrix Born in 1942, Jimi’s upbringing was rife with poverty and neglect. His father Al took on the role of raising his young son after his release from the military. Jimi
and his brother often resorted to stealing from local grocery stores to find food to eat, due to his father not being able to secure employment. Jimi’s first guitar was a one stringed ukulele made from a broomstick and he took it upon himself to learn and hone his own skills. He, however, still opted for the ‘criminal’ route and nearly headed for prison, if the army hadn’t been the other alternative. On being discharged from the army (no one really knows why) Hendrix pursued the musician route full time and did not give up. His first real successes came from minor gigs with the likes of Little Richard, Ike, and Tina Turner. This is until he formed The Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1966.
Pete Bennett. Column..
JK Rowling Joanne Rowling became an ‘international literary sensation’ in 1999 when her first three instalments of her Harry Potter children’s book series became an overwhelming success. Rowling came from a rather humble background, graduating from Exeter University, and it wasn’t until she became a single mother who relied on government benefits, whilst struggling with depression that she decided to write a book. Her now famous Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, after receiving a number of rejections, eventually was published earning Rowling £3500.
In a mere 5 years, J K Rowling came from living on benefits to finding international success through her pure determination, hard work, and perseverance whilst at the ripe ‘old’ age of 44.
Michael J Fox Known mostly for his brilliant appearances in all three of the Back to the Future films, Michael became an actor from a very early age starring in the hit American TV Comedy series Family Ties. At the very height of his success Michael was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991 at the age of 30, but did not announce it to the world until
1999. He made an emotional and testimonial speech with regard to research/funding for Parkinson’s in America. Whilst Michael has hit some measure of success, if you read his inspiring autobiography ‘Lucky Man,’ Fox describes himself as being lucky to have this disease. He has a totally different outlook on his life, family, and priorities. He continues to provide a very active role as founder of The Michael J Fox foundation and wants to overcome the disease to ‘dance at his children’s weddings”
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Pete Bennett Column... nett Column and doodles by Pete Ben had a writer’s block for a and I’ve never writ a column before I just have to ramble a load of couple of weeks! Apparently s… shit about myself, so here goe
SECRET GA MEMORIA RDEN L
This mo nth I we nt The Sec ret Gard to en Party fe stival to s ee my clow ny mate Vito’s as he in firewo s sent up rk request s on his , it really w a nice s end off. as His stones n ow lay o n the grou nds with his famous slo is a serio gan “this us Heartbre party” ak is de finitely the hard es face in li t thing we fe it take o , sad to see ne of th e most lovely p eo ever me ple I t.
The trac k I’m recordin g now is called M Great B iss riton, a punky t cheek n ongue in umber t hat tols love d .They The Sex Pisev an old v id of me en plugged rehearsin their Yo uTu go Channe be The Sex Pis n t l which I was co ols ly gob s m p ma let to finish cked by. I can’t ew it and g ive them ait first free the copy! Been re
music with my mat e nelly for a while trying to g I caugh et an EP ready t a nasty but c when I was cas ough up north t as lead ‘the whit clown in e room’ a short director horror b John W y illiams. if you lik Check it e your o ut horror! A n hard ge yways so it’s be tting a g e ood voc n al
IN THE STU FILMING DIO & 44
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GOT A QUESTION FOR PETE?
3 1 0 2 Y R U B GLASTON
s, which olling Stone R e th g in e se ve been ce then I ha in S ! ic p e s a w ormal way apt to the n d a to g n yi tr pressing. is proper de h ic h w e lif f o ple only nice Why are peo r at to each othe festivals?
ZOMBIE W SATAN 2 OMEN OF
Speaking of horror, I’m going back up north to reshoot the
beginning of Zombie Women of Satan 2 this month. Can’t wait to see pervo the clown again. It should be released this year, fingers crossed. Haha. Get amongst it!
rpeteBennett twitter.com/m ire /myarseforh YouTube.com mag /user/altmu Youtube.com uk petebennett Instagram:
ury... on Glastonb Ok, I’ll start The been to yet. best one I’ve e Ltd g s Public Ima highlight wa ssert. e Mash for D and Pie and ed p p and kidna Getting lost at th s of trannie by a bunch y tt , was pre adopted me rest I can’t e fun too! Th side remember a from
Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and altmumag et a response in the you will g ! next issue Follow Pete!!
IN Y E R AR 2 C M I J S S A K KIC
see Kick I can’t wait to a Jim carrey Ass 2 being heard he’s super fan. I be at the not going to d h has cause premier whic an uproar.
Jim, it will Don’t worry e it more of probably giv ell done for a boost . W ur guns ... sticking to yo a hah So to speak
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The Ghost of Glasvegas The final part of our three-part story about a young music journalist who gets more than she bargained for at her latest gig review…
Part 3: Best Review Ever! Written by Jennifer Le Roux As I watched the lead singer reaching his arms into the air and bellowing long drawn out tones, I realise that if Nick were here right now he would be in his element. Launching his voice into the air, like a missile of self-preservation – this would be his musical heaven and that was when it struck me. Just stop listening. I grabbed for my phone and began writing notes: ‘Glasvegas make the kind of music that is enjoyed in a euphoric spaced out state, in the late night of a festival, by a strobe junkie ‘raver’ in a club and from anyone open and ready to be willingly absorbed into an alternative abyss of sound.’ I closed my eyes and attempted to let go of any musical knowledge or thoughts. Memories of Nick singing at the top of his voice echoed in my mind as I allowed myself to free fall into the clashing sounds, letting each and every note pluck at my soul and release
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any preconceived ideas. I thought about my old friends and how we had all lost touch after the funeral. Oli, Mike, Annie and Bishy. We went from being a family to being completely dispersed out into the world on our own individual journeys of self-discovery. Were we ever lost? Or have we all just found a new hiding place?
Imodium from him and feel my face flushing red. He knew way too much about me. “Erm, thank you. I mean, what are you doing here?” He hadn’t changed. He looked like home with his floppy hair and dreamy eyes. “Well I was visiting Nick’s grave today and I heard that one of his favourite bands were playing. Silly I couldn’t believe it. What was I know but I guess I wanted to feel going to be my worst review close to him.” ever, had turned into the most “Yeah silly,” this was too bizarre. fascinating, transcendent live “It’s good to see you.” music experience of my life. I “You too.” reach into my bag for my energy There is an awkward moment that drink and drop the packet of we both attempt to fill by staring Imodium in the process. back at the stage and bobbing our “Oh shit” I stoop to grab the heads in appreciation. I wonder if packet but someone has already he’s single. grabbed it. I rise to find the owner “So, you here with anyone?” his of the hand has a very familiar face. words drown in the loud music. “Mike?” “No I’m single.” The music goes “Hi Sarah. I see some things quiet and I get a couple of funny haven’t changed.” He rattles looks from people around us. the packet. I quickly snatch the “Oh I didn’t mean…that wasn’t what I was asking…”
Another silence creeps in packed full with the raging crescendo of the bands final song. Some idiot pushes past me and knocks Mike’s pint over my chest. “Oh shit I’m sorry.” Mike starts dabbing the drink off. “Oi you, careful what you’re touching” I say, secretly wishing he would touch me more. “Sorry. Not doing well, am I?” The crowd begins to make their
way to the exit and close any gaps around us. Now face to face that old feeling of warmth and excitement engulfs my body. “So you’re single?” Mike holds me closer and looks into my eyes. “Yep, you?” I answer, returning his gaze. “Very much so.” My lips crave Mike’s touch. My voice is only just audible. “Right.” I search my mind for reasons not to kiss him and find nothing. “So…” “Oh Sod it!” I say before grabbing him close to me and kissing him passionately. We sink into an earth-shattering embrace. All of the old feelings flooding back along with a whole new rush of emotions. We finally break from the spell and return to the reality of an empty room. Mike is the first to speak. “I think we better go before they
kick us out.” “Yeah,” I check my watch “It’s getting late.” “Fancy a drink somewhere else?” “Sounds good to me.” Mike shoots me a smile that sends a tingle of excitement through me. Nick obviously wanted us to finally hook up and who was I to question him. Best review ever!
That’s the end of our three-part story. If you missed out on the first two parts go to www.issuu.com/altmumagazine for previous issues.
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Mike seems awkward and uncomfortable. I hadn’t seen him like this before. “…I meant are you here with anyone at the gig?” “Oh, no. I’m on my own, doing a review for a magazine.” I suddenly feel like an idiot. Why on earth would he still be interested in me? “Wicked so you finally got to be a music journalist then?” “Yep. Living the dream! What about your music?” “Not so bad. Do a few gigs here and there.”
I WOULD LIKE T THAT I AM DOING A D MY MAIN HOPE IS TH DOWN AND AGREES! from…
From small beginnings in the back streets of late 1970’s Manchester, a band emerged quite unlike any other of its time. A statement that can still be used today when referring to the impact Joy Division has had on an ever expectant pop culture, desperate for the next great thing. Apart from the genius writing and mesmerising stage presence of frontman Ian Curtis, it was the distinctive and instantly recognisable bass playing from Peter Hook that set Joy Division apart. Indeed after Curtis’ death in 1981, he continued the trend of the phoenix from the ashes that was New Order. Peter Hook revisits the ghosts of the past and talks to ALT-MU about playing Joy Division’s music again, what it’s like to take centre stage and what he hopes Ian Curtis might have felt about the whole thing…
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How does it feel singing these lyrics and playing these songs again after so long? I must say, it feels fantastic! I am really enjoying it all. It is probably the most I have ever enjoyed a tour. The band can now play every single Joy Division song ever recorded, and in January we also played a set of the first two New Order Albums, plus all the relevant Singles/BSides. I think we can play around 90 songs at the moment, some of which have not been played by anyone for over 30 years! It’s a great feeling to bring them out again so they’re not forgotten any longer. Musically we sound great. Singing the lyrics took some getting used to, but I feel after almost 3 years in the job I can do it. The best thing about singing the lyrics was to be able to study them and gaining more of an appreciation for Ian’s work. I was able to discover how much of a genius writer he really was.
Are you comfortable being a frontman these days? I have to admit that at first I found it very uncomfortable, and almost intimidating. Throughout my career I was just the bass player, on the left hand side of the stage, doing my thing. To catapult yourself into the role of frontman is a different thing altogether. Even that seemingly small alteration of going from stage left to middle is huge! This is before you even consider that I am singing the words of Ian, one of the greatest frontmen of all time. As time went on and we played more gigs it became easier as I became more confident. I would like to think that I am doing a decent job! My main hope is that Ian looks down and agrees!
most money... Also ‘Sucks’... but each to their own I suppose! Why have you chosen to tour the two albums in this way rather than a mixed set? To me, playing the records in full gives people a chance to really experience the albums. Sometimes you will see people in the crowd with their eyes closed, listening intently. The nature of our set list is that most times - people know what’s coming next but this doesn’t change the fact that a place will erupt when you break into ‘Shadow play’, or on the outro of ‘She’s lost control’. I think playing the records live demands more concentration from the band but also from the audience. From an Arty point of view it works great. We were lucky that the track listings of both albums work fantastically well as a live set. Have you considered re-recording any older material with The Light? We released an EP back in 2011 called 1102/2011” which featured some different takes on a few old tracks as well as me and the lads finishing off an old unreleased Joy Division track called ‘Pictures in my mind’ But other than that, there are no plans to re-record anything again.
As a fan I get the impression Ian would have loved the fact that you’re keeping this music alive... what do you think? I would like to think so, yes. Next week Have the other members of Joy Division/ we will be playing 3 gigs in Russia and New Order responded to what you’re I honestly believe that Ian would of doing lately? loved that – his music and his words Yes, I saw an interview with Barney resonating in a place as far away as The reaction to these performances of where he just said the whole thing Russia…and over 30 years on! I think the Joy Division music has been huge, ‘sucks’... He always did have a way with he would be very proud. The main has that surprised you at all? words that one! I guess I could turn inspiration behind this entire project is Well when we decided to do it, it was around to him and say that touring as to make him proud and I hope that one only meant to be one gig at my club in New Order, when it clearly no longer is day, when I am sat up there with him he Manchester ‘The Factory,’ in May 2010. New Order, playing the same greatest will tell me that he was. The idea was to do it as a one-off in order hits set list every night whichever to celebrate Ian’s life, as it was 30 years massive festival that will offer you the Interview by Daniel Bateman ALT MU ISSUE 3
All About Data...
TO THINK DECENT JOB! HAT IAN LOOKS
since he had passed away. There was an event planned in his home town of Macclesfield which would put on a big tribute which for one reason or another fell through. It made me think that I had to do something myself as I couldn’t let another anniversary pass us by without paying some sort of tribute. So, we announced this one gig that sold out in 6 minutes! That was the first surprise! Afterwards, we were inundated with requests to come and play it all around the world. We’ve been everywhere; Brazil, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and all around Europe, Next will be Russia. I have been really taken aback by the reaction to our shows. The band are doing a fantastic job so I hope that the praise is justified.
All About Data...
TRULY KNOWING YOUR FANS AND THE MARKET MEANS YOU SHOULD FULLY UNDERSTAND HOW, WHEN AND WHERE THEY PURCHASE THEIR MUSIC.
IT’S ALL ABOUT DATA For some musicians, data collection seems to be the dividing line between musician and business-person, approaching the topic with extreme caution and scepticism. However, the reality is that in an age where social media reigns supreme and music sales are becoming increasingly difficult to come by, it is the data that can be the shining beacon to pull you out of obscurity. Our marketing expert, Jon Ostrow, is here to shed some light on musicians and data…
WHY COLLECT DATA?
Collecting data can help you identify and learn more about your super fans, who will help you achieve a stronger fan base and stronger sales. This will help you better understand their social and consumer behaviours so that you can make more money and more fans with everything you do.
WHAT DATA IS MORE IMPORTANT?
The following are 5 different types of data that will most certainly help you identify the best opportunities to grow and strengthen your fan base, and make more money from sales in the process >>> 50
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IN ORDER TO TRULY CONNECT WITH YOUR FANS, YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND HOW THEY ARE USING SOCIAL MEDIA
SOCIAL MEDIA BEHAVIOUR...
CATCH THEM ONLINE...
Understanding the location of your fans has two very important benefits. First, it will help you plan better tours and promotions. Second, you can send out targeted show updates and announcements only to fans living within a certain distance of the venue. This is a critical step in avoiding your events pages, specifically Facebook events, being seen as spam.
In order to truly connect with your fans, you have to understand HOW they are using social media. Answer the following questions to better understand your fans’ social media use: Are your fans sharing? Are your fans engaging? Are your fans opinionated? Do your fans purchase through social media? Do your fans use social media to stay updated for news? Do your fans prefer videos over streaming music?
Social Media is based on the idea of staying connected in real time. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter have created algorithms to help users see the most relevant updates from the last few hours, but there is no guarantee that your updates will get seen if they are missed when they first go out. It is critical that you understand not just how, but WHEN your fans are using social networking sites so you can maximize the potential of all of your updates being seen by the right fans.
WHERE THEY BUY THEIR MUSIC... Truly knowing your fans and the market means you should fully understand how, when and where they purchase their music. Knowing this information will help you make your music available to them where they already are and give you the opportunity to study what your fans purchase. The more convenient you make it for your fans to purchase your music, the more likely they will be to do so..
Collecting data doesn’t need to be a complicated mess of databases and fancy math – it simply needs to have a purpose. Collecting the right kind of data will bring you one step closer to understanding who your fans are, what the scene is about, and what your current and future goals should be. As you prepare to collect data from your fans, make sure that each type of data works to give you a clearer picture of how you can succeed. Now you know the data you should be collecting, please click here to go to the full article from Jon Ostrow and find out how you can collect it! Feature by Jon Ostrow Jon Ostrow (@jon_ostrow) is the Campaigns Director for Cyber PR and is available for freelance writing projects upon request. ALT MU ISSUE 3
The age of your fans will dictate your live music strategy. If your fans are in their teens, it would be a poor decision to book a string of 21+ shows, which would alienate your existing fans. Plain and Simple, knowing the age range of your fans will help you pick the best venues for your music to be showcased and may even help you to identify other places to find new fans.
LIVE TOP PICS FROM TOP GIGS...
HANNAH MESQUITTA IS AN EXPERIENCED MUSIC PHOTOGRAPHER WHO SHARES HER LIVE MUSIC PHOTOGRAPHY IN EACH ISSUE OF ALT-MU. HERE ARE HER TOP PICS FROM TOP GIGS OVER THE LAST FEW MONTHS, WHICH SHE HAS GIVEN A LIVE MUSIC PHOTOGRAPHY EXPERIENCE (LPE) RATING. WANT TO FEATURE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY? POST YOUR BEST PIC ON WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/ ALTMUMAGAZINE OR @ALTMUMAGAZINE 52
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Column & Photography by Hannah Mesquitta
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IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE YOUR OWN MUSIC PHOTOGRAPHY IN ALT-MU, POST YOUR PHOTOS ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE OR SHARE THEM ON TWITTER WITH YOUR LPE RATING. THE BEST ONES WILL FEATURE IN OUR NEXT ISSUE! @ALTMUMAGAZINE WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/ALTMALTMUMAGAZINE ALT MU ISSUE 3
THE REAL WEDDING
SINGER CHECK THE ATTITUDE... www.steveyounguk.com
Hello and a very warm greeting to you all. Issue #3 and ALT-MU are still calling on me for words of wisdom… Crazy!
THE CONTEXT OF THIS MONTH’S ARTICLE IS ABOUT HOW MY CHANGE IN ATTITUDE AS A MUSICIAN HAS ACTUALLY BENEFITTED MY LIVE PERFORMANCE RATHER THAN HINDERED MY ‘IMAGE’ AS I ONCE BELIEVED.
Today as I write this, I’m sat in the back of an SUV on US Interstate 40. I’m currently on Tour in the USA with Ramin Karimloo and his ‘Motley Crue’ of acoustic/bluegrass musicians. We have just passed the Mississippi River and the high rises of Memphis on route to Nashville where we have a private ‘educational’ performance for some very excited high school kids. We’ve been doing these kind of shows all over Texas but this school is slightly different as most of the kids are the offspring of some of Nashville’s most successful songwriters and performers. “No pressure!” After that we have a nice 14 hour drive to Washington DC. The context of this month’s article is about how my change in attitude as a musician has actually benefitted my live performance rather
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than hindered my ‘image’ as I once believed. Not long after I moved to London I rented a room from my new best friend Clive. He was a computer guy, clever, successful and could never understand why someone who was able to play guitar so well and sing never took the obvious route of earning money gigging in the many bars around London. At the age of 26 and having enjoyed the rollercoaster ride of being in a band signed to Warner Bros the thought of singing other people’s songs in a bar horrified me. “What if an A&R man saw me?” I’d argue or “what if I became soft and lost my edge?” and a whole host of ridiculous ideals. The deal with Warner’s had recently fallen through and for the first time since moving to London, I was out of work with no hope. To Clive, the answer
WATCH THIS... 2007 New York Darren Hayes 2011 - Blackpool Insatable Darren Hayes 2013 - Ramin Karimloo “Music of The Night”
was simple, to me? Not so. This ideal went on for several years. Years which involved a number of non-musical jobs – van driver, shop keeper, bar manager, legal photocopier, telesales operator and so on… all in the name of ‘original music’. I imagine some of you are thinking ‘What an Idiot!” and I agree. As a new arrival to London I had no influence from anyone who made cash singing covers. I wouldn’t have known where to start, even though back on the Isle of Wight I played pub gigs for years. So eventually real life caught up and I took my first solo acoustic gig, a christening party for my girlfriend’s boss. I had learnt 50 or so covers and was terrified but did ok. More than ok actually as the ‘Boss’ in question owned an events company who proceeded to fill my diary with all sorts of events from Pharmaceutical award ceremonies to team building piss up’s on the Thames. Fast forward to December 2007. New York City and I’m on a promo trip with Darren Hayes, just him and me, a voice that has sold 26million albums, and my acoustic guitar to back him up. With the wonderful advantage of hindsight I can now say that without a doubt my endless various solo gigs gave me the confidence and ability to cope with the pressure of sitting in front of a camera
and playing with one of the world’s most successful artists. Same deal, without years of facing up to audiences on a Saturday night this performance would have been [more] terrifying. I wish I had listened to my friend Clive and gone out to earn a living doing mostly what I do now. If you’re a good player, have a great selection of songs and convincing voice then there is work out there for you. Don’t worry about the A&R guys. Opinions have changed; we all have to do what we can to pay the bills. Tours come and go but there are always people getting married and always people who want to have a beer and sing along to a road dog like me. Back to the I40 – the lights of Nashville are on the horizon and I have a date with some crazy bars on Broadway full of live music and guitarists guaranteed to make me cry into my pint. Oh! And the acoustic performances haven’t stopped. Here’s a clip of Ramin & I performing on Good Morning Texas to several million people early one morning. No warm up, no sound check just 5-4-3-2-1 & GO!!! Until next time, Stevie Y
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Horslips Digital Comeback...
social networking for musicians Written by sharon wheeler
So youâ€™re a fan of a band that split up nigh on 30 years ago with a dedicated supporter base still out there, and the musicians themselves are up for the craic of some reunion gigs. And you have the power of social media at your fingertips. Sharon Wheeler looks at how bands past and present can utilise social networking and chats with marketing expert and Horslips fan Lora Lee Templeton, who successfully reconnected a band that split in the 1980s with their fanbaseâ€Ś
digital comeback... 58
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IT WAS FACEBOOK WHICH REALLY BOOSTED THE HORSLIPS FANBASE – THE PAGE CURRENTLY HAS 12,300 LIKES. page currently has 12,300 likes. But Lora admits it took a while to spot its potential.
admin feature. Two members of the band, the manager, the merchandising company and three fans all have varying levels of administrative access. This sometimes expands to ‘guest admins’ during concerts for liveblogging experiences.
“When Facebook arrived, I didn’t think much of its potential for musicians ¬– the plug-in players are clumsy and the downplaying of personal identity within Facebook’s template was not “Above all, social media should the MySpace model at all. Yet, orbit around the band’s official site for Horslips it worked very well. and activities.” I believe it is precisely because what Facebook delivers best is the ability to connect with old friends, and through them, others Lora Lee Templeton is behind learned about Horslips’ reunion much of the band’s very active and continuing career. And it took social networking. She says: “I 1. Buy your domain names. All off from there. Remember, these would definitely say that the of them. Then get onto ever y Horslips experience demonstrated would be the fans who fondly remember Horslips but would have platform you can think of and how heritage bands could grab your name on those as reconnect with a fanbase scattered perhaps never thought to google well. them in the last two decades far and wide over a 30-year to see ‘what ever happened.’ stretch. This was particularly 2. What do you want to do? important in Horslips’ case as many Facebook brought the news to them.” Tumblr is great for pictures, but of the fans had immigrated to all corners of the globe.” not the obvious choice for word Lora is keen to keep a beady eye blogging. Go for WordPress, on what the fans want. “To grow Lora, whose day job is marketing which is user-friendly and has manager for John Wiley publishers, the Horslips page, I watch the plenty of add-on bells and analytics closely and pay attention soon had a clear game plan. She whistles to play around with. to what the fans enjoy the most. says: “When I came on board, Get used to blogging little and For Horslips, there’s a definite I went out networking far and often. demographic and I cater to that. wide in just about every possible One of my ‘shares’ from an Irish corner of the web – Amazon 3. Monitor the accounts to record reviews, ProgRock Archives, Pop Culture page was a 1960s stamp out spam and trolls. And advertisement of ice cream bars. discussion boards of like bands engage with fans. Talk back. If It was one of my most successful … But Web 2.0 was the real you’re too busy, get someone to posts to date. Humour especially firestarter. YouTube became a do it for you. valuable channel for videos of gigs music related - also works. When there’s a significant event or news and television spots. Prior to that 4. Don’t overdo the blatant selfto share, I will use promoted it was one fan burning discs and publicity (BSP). If all you’re doing stories. circulating to friends.” is constantly plugging your new “Another tool that’s been It was Facebook which really record or your next gig, you’re boosted the Horslips fanbase – the increasingly helpful is the multiple not doing it right.
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Horslips were probably the first supergroup to come out of Ireland and paved the way for the likes of U2 and The Pogues. They split up in 1980 and the band members pursued careers in the media and music. An exhibition put on in Derry by three fans in 2004 brought the band out of retirement to play some acoustic numbers. An unplugged album, a DVD and occasional gigs have followed, with a history of the band due later this year.
Joss Wheldon, an American screenwriter and film/TV producer once not particularly famously, said, “You either have to write or you shouldn’t be writing. That’s all.” Which is, if you hadn’t realised it already, complete bullshit.. It’s all down to personal opinion of course.His thoughts have a lot in common with a whole lot of other people, all of whom devote considerable time and energy to letting anyone and everyone who wants to be a writer not to bother and to abandon the dream. Take Susannah Breslin for example, she is best known for being an active blogger, airing
her views on, amongst other places, Forbes.com. Back in December, Ms Breslin made her views on the subject quite clear, proclaiming; “Most people cannot write well. This is a fact. This is something that is true. This is a hard thing to accept. Most people cannot write well, and that includes you, and what we can conclude from this is that the person we are talking about here who cannot write well is, in all likelihood, you.”
Now, quite apart from the fact that the piece in question is badly written in itself, can anyone establish what platform she is standing on which makes her feel able to issue such sweeping statements? And there-in we see the problem - there is nothing that the vast majority of writers, mostly bad ones, detest more than people trying to gatecrash their own little world.
Successful writers can be amongst the most insanely jealous and paranoid professionals on earth. Talk to one if you get the chance-and if they decide, at that precise moment in time, to spare a few seconds of their priceless existence with you, mention that you want to be a writer. Do you think you might get a few words of encouragement, a tip or two, a generally positive response that you will take away with you? Something that you will never forget and which will have cost them nothing? The likely answer to that is no. The more probable one will feature such phrases as, “it’ll never make you rich”; “don’t
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bother if you haven’t got an agent” (or a mere “don’t bother”) and “If only I could be given £1 for every time I’ve heard THAT”, followed by a withering stare and a view of their rapidly retreating back. It’s not as if you’ve asked them to read through your novel or put in a good word for you at their publisher. Just a simple acknowledgement that you have the same dream as they once had.
Because, whether th or not, they were on position. That dream
hey like it nce in your mer.
written above, how often would someone have sidled up to her and said something along the lines of,
“Schoolboy Wizards and talking hats Jo, do yourself a favour love, no-one will want to read that.” And what if she’d listened to them? Thank goodness she didn’t.
Lost Souls Interview...
Let’s go big time. JK Rowling. She dreamt up the idea for the Harry Potter saga whilst sat upon a delayed London bound train in 1990. Her first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone was not published until 1997. How many times do you think, in that seven year period, would she have heard words and phrases like those
riter? w a e ce? nt to b a w of advi og, a u e c o e i y p So art a bl st one -
t - and ju y if you can. S someone e n o r a r ffe ight I o . Write everyd t something o t above M . t a e r e u t G i Bu o hat. Wr red piece ab e, go to bed. sked what t t s u j a rit de Do a consi . Wake up, w le who, when ve to be a r o l e v no you d lo eop cinates rld is full of p living, say “I’ aven’t written s a f t a h t h o ra r robably o do fo e! The w all-writ ld really like t is that they p g at all in you nd it u on ya they wo ut the truth of is nothing wr ith it, seriousl B w re writer”. for years. The the very best l l g anythin d I wish you a . an writing e m dream ely. o s do eve at alk and happen, beli w passion e h t l k wal s wil . hat you e, then thing riter anyway t e r u s aw ke ob But ma f it is meant t at. You’re still i h e rs. Becaus f it isn’t? So w aysaye i n d e n h t A . me with to hell d n A . y oda riting t e Start w ens-Lak z u o C ard by Edw e r u t a Fe ALT MU ISSUE 3
Lost Souls Interview...
The Lost Souls Club It’s always great when you listen to an up and coming band and you get genuinely excited! Hailed as ‘one to watch’ in 2013 by BBC introducing with a sound compared to The Black Keys and The Jesus and Mary Chain, combined with a look described as a young Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. Ruby Rebelle is thrilled to be joined by Lead Vocalist and Guitarist, Jon Tufnell, from The Lost Souls Club.
you were asked what genre of music you are, what would it be?
A. Rock ‘n’ roll if we had to label it but that wouldn’t cover our softer, dreamier side. Q. You’ve been compared to the likes of The Black Keys, The Jesus of Mary Chain and even a young Nick Cave, do you feel you can live up to that comparison? A. We really don’t think about it. We are our own harshest critics and only play and release music we love which seems to me the best judge of whether something is good or not. Whether it is comparable to such great bands in other peoples’ opinions; well I don’t know.
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Q. Your new EP ‘High Noon’ is incredible - do you have a favourite track? A. It changes a bit over time, but ‘I Know I Spoke Too Soon’ has a special place for me as it was the easiest to write. It really did just happen though, arriving whole in my mind. It’s exciting as a writer to have that and I still feel amazed by it every time we play it live.
"From Hendrix through to Jack White I just love raw, crazy guitar, then the song writing of people like Johnny Cash, The Kinks, The Who, BRMC and Rob Dougan" Q. Who are your main influences? A. I think there are two kinds
of influences, the ones who are with you all the time, the people who inspired you to start playing and develop your initial style, then there’s the people who you’re hearing for the first time who’re inspiring you. From Hendrix through to Jack White I just love raw, crazy guitar, then the song writing of people like Johnny Cash, The Kinks, The Who, BRMC and Rob Dougan. There are many more, but it’d take forever to list them all. Q. You definitely seem to be on your way up, are you feeling any extra pressure when gigging and recording? A. None at all, as we have always put so much pressure on ourselves to do the best job we can within the band.
Q. Who decides on the general look and sound of TLSC? A. There was no conscious decision about the look; we all look like this every day anyway. As for the sound, again, it just seems to happen. James (bass) and I write 99% of the material and I suppose that means we, to some extent, dictate the sound. However we never plan anything, we just go with the feel of what we’re writing at the time. Q.Your EP was part produced by Sam Bell (Editors, REM, Bloc Party.) Do you feel this support is helping you to be noticed?
A. Sam just mixed Romeo. The rest of the production and mixing was done by me and the other guys in the band. I’m not sure if having Sam’s name attached helps, but he did a great job on getting that song to sound pretty damn huge. He is also a great guy to have in the studio as he is hilarious. Q. Fame comes and goes; does that bother you at all? A. Not at all, we’re not famous and I doubt we ever will be beyond music geeks and gig goers knowing who we are so it’s not something I have given much thought to.
"Playing halfway round The world in Asia to 2000 people singing along to every word. That was pretty magical."
Q. If you were to start again, what would you do differently? A. Spend more time socialising with bands and going to music related parties. I have seen enough now to know “who you know” is more important than anything and I know no-one. I was holed up writing songs when I should have been out offering weed to Zane Lowe. Q. What plans do you have for this year? A. Record and release an album and then to tour as much as possible. Ideally support someone in the same kind of genre with a big fan base so we can reach lots of new people. Interview by Ruby Rebelle
Any advance in terms of career is actually a bit of a weight off our shoulders as to some extent it means our efforts are paying off and it means we’re doing something right.
"I have seen enough now to know 'who you know' is more important than anything and I know no-one. I was holed up writing songs when I should have been out offering weed to Zane Lowe." ALT MU ISSUE 3
management Success takes time…
…Your time! The high-flying, successful person you’re aiming to be is going to be one busy body. Lots of exciting projects will be thrown at you, everyone will tell you that you’re going to burn out and your break will consist of those few moments spent sipping or gulping down coffee. How will you handle it? You’ll take control. You’ll know those projects inside out, you’ll hit every deadline and you’ll prove to everyone that you can be this person without burning out. All because you know the world’s worst-kept secret to success… time management.
Be organised, be motivated and be prepared: that’s the key. Here are five ways you can do it:
SEPARATE AND ALLOCATE
Let’s face it, you’re going into the creative industries, every single job you have is different – sometimes conflicting – but they all need your attention. Control the inevitable pressure by writing EVERYTHING down. Create categories for each project and put your mammoth to-do lists in them – it’ll help you see things clearer. Make a personal one too, it’ll remind you not to shut it out. Once you’ve got everything in front of you, prioritise. Add deadlines if they don’t already have them, get all the must-be-done-today jobs together and start to make a timeline.
You’ve got your to-do list in front of you, you’ve made some sort of timetable to keep you in check and it looks like everything’s going to be grand. So, procrastination can be justified, right? No, darling, don’t even think about browsing that website or checking your Facebook, it’s a slippery slope. It may sound cliché but if you’re going to do something, do it and do it properly. The trouble most creatives have is that they love what they do but often feel overwhelmed. You can minimise that feeling by putting your whole head into whatever you’re working on with no distractions.
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KEEP TRACK OF YOURSELF
It’s very easy to get carried away with a project, but doing jobs that aren’t urgent can be detrimental to another project. Always look back to the piece of paper with everything that you have to do on it and cross off what you’ve done. Not only is it extremely liberating, it’ll help you to stay calm and in control.
We will do absolutely anything to get where we want to be, so saying ‘no’ to something is a no-go. Not to be the bearer of bad news, but there’s going to get to a point when something’s got to give. When that day comes – and trust me, it’ll come – go back to the drawing board (aka that life-saving piece of paper) and prioritise. Think about it, I bet you anything that you don’t need all of the projects you’re involved in.
Musos are dreamers. We dream of a life on the road: playing music every day to crowds of adoring fans. That dream is realistic, but sometimes the way we plan to get there isn’t. Think seriously about how much time you have in the day. You need to practice, promote, play live and deal with all the legal and financial business. Sure, when you start to see some success, you’ll get help, but until then, there’s only 24 hours in the day… and you need to sleep too. When you start prioritising things in that life-saving/soul-destroying list, be honest with yourself about how much time things will take. Time on the social media accounts: twenty minutes? No. Don’t sell yourself short and try to cram everything in unless it’s life or death necessary.
This is your life, your career and your time. Take control. Feature by Pippa Moyles If you want to share your own tips on time management post them on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/altmumagazine or tweet them @altmumagazine
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