OUR DEFINITION OF AN...
A MUSICIAN OR MUSIC LOVER E IV T A N R E LT A N A D N U O F WHO HAS IC S U M IN L U F S S E C C U S E WAY TO B . S IE R T S U D IN E IV T A E R C O R TH E
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 Deputy Editor Jennifer Le Roux Ruby Rebelle Design Editor Illustrator Simon Potter Suzanne Greenwood Lead Photographer Music Editor Scott Chalmers Daniel Bateman Proof Reader Copy Editor Joy Lothian Josh Humphrey
CONTRIBUTORS Editorial Assistants Contributing Writers Alex Novakovic, Alexandra Gaiger, Emma Beatty, Vicki Parker Chris Simmons, Daniel Bateman, Edward Contributing Designers Couzens-Lake, Elisha Claire Ellison, Joanne Norwood Dang, Eris Eveiller, Gary Stafford, Hannah Sara-Beth Rowland Mesquitta, H L Lowe, Jennifer Le Roux, Josh Suzanne Greenwood Humphrey, Lizzie Jennifer Le Roux, Cooley, Martin Wake, Music Clout, Paula Logo Design Lawes, Pete Bennett, Sarah Bonnar Roger Greasby, Ruby Rebelle, Sean Kelly, Magazine Identity Steve Young, Zoe Lee Anderson Cunningham
cover page Photo: Scott Chalmers Subject: Cat La Chappelle Design: Simon Potter
EDI ‘ TORS
Despite the constantly evolving team of volunteers we have leaping in and out of the magazine and a Design Editor with a new bundle of joy in his life – we finally bring you our first issue of 2014! An issue that is packed with interviews and tips on how to make it in the music industry and features that will help inspire you to rev up the engines on your music careers this year. This issue brings you more advice from music professionals, including follow up music PR tips, a look at being a multi tasker or maestro and ways to make money as a music photographer. Our featured ALT-MU for this issue is the gorgeous DJ, musician and alternative performer, Cat La Chappelle. Find out more about Cat on page 10. We are also very pleased to feature Scottish fashion designer, Brian Chan in our fashion spread. A man that makes fashion into art and art into fashion! If that doesn’t float your boat we have a Papa Roach gig review written by the singer of Set Your Sails and our artist feature in this issue is written by singer/songwriter, Chris Simmons. He reveals his experience with House Concerts and provides top tips on how to run your own. We also return with the second instalment of Big Brother 7 winner, Pete Bennett’s column, revealing what he’s been up to since Issue 3. It feels great to have made it to our second year and we look forward to releasing some ass kicking issues for 2014. Please don’t forget to follow us on Facebook or Twitter @altmumagazine for updates.
jennifer le roux Editor & Founder All rights reserved © ALT-MU Magazine www.altmu.co.uk issuu.com/altmumagazine
20 Positive Thinking Three ways to get a spring in your step… 22 Steve Jobs Feature How many of you own an iPod... 28 Getting Paid Vs Music Quality By unsigned radio host, Zoe Cunningham… 30 Fashion Spread: Brian Chan Blurring the lines between fashion & art... 36 Artist Feature: Chris Simmons The secret of house concerts... 50 The Clash: A tribute to Joe Strummer The Truth Behind That Album 64 The Grunge & Post-grunge Scene More of the same? 66 Papa Roach Review Written by lead singer of Set Your Sails…
10 Featured ALT-MU: Cat La Chappelle DJ / Musician / Alternative Performer 26 Black Metal Band, WOLAND On their Debut album ‘Hyperion’… 48 Filmmaker & Musican, Ankit Love A chat with an inspirational ALT-MU… 60 Musician & Music Journalist Jordannah Elizabeth… 62 New York Singer / Songwriter Woman’s Mafia chat to Conrad Korsch… 68 Creative Charity Founder & Author Rob Starr from The Starr Trust...
6 Career Pathways: Recording Studio Surviving a changing music industry… 14 Get Noticed by Music PR Agencies Prescription PR with more top tips… 38 Marketing Musos @ThoughtShift We chat with entrepreneurs Helen & AJ… 42 The Multi-talented Debate Are you a music maestro or multi-tasker? 58 Making Money in Live Photography Professional photographer, Gary Stafford
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 Filming, Robocop and what’s next… 52 Music Photography: Hannah Mesquitta Her top pics from the top gigs… 46 Music Fiction: H L Lowe Part 1 of thriller ‘Parental Control’… 56 The ‘Real’ Wedding Singer The musings of guitarist, Steve Young
G N I D R O REC STUDIO
6 9 19
opened first recording studio
becam e pro t rucke worki ng uk m r for fly by n ajor f estiva ite, ls.
got into an accident turning an artic on its side and worked for 2 years in general haulage
9 0 0 2
opened born in a barn studio 'bb studio'
way y m ied part f the o o ut s i o n s rece the with ch of ... laun
MUSIC CAREER pathways How One Man Survived the Changing Pace of the Music Industry The ever evolving state of the music business is something we at ALT-MU are always interested in. It’s important to be constantly on the lookout for new ways of doing things. Owner of UK recording studio ‘Born in a Barn Studio’, Roger Greasby talks us through his journey...
We Party! We always have and we always will – it’s just how we do that changes. X-Factor spin-off and party animal Cher Lloyd wrote the words ‘work hard, party harder’ and week-by-week, we live the reality! So, approximately 18 years ago I was building a studio which became what is relatively well known today as BB Studio and the joke is that in building it back then, I lost my band, business partner, budget and bird!! (I’m a part Northerner, so for nonNortherners, bird is colloquial for girlfriend!). Back in those days, there was no Internet – shock! I used 1/4” spool tape to record on and produced band demos mixing
down to DAT and then copying onto cassette tapes. “Oooooooo what’s that?” Well it’s old and been heavily replaced with far better digital media which doesn’t wear out Tape does of course still exist – the police use it in some less developed interview rooms and some studios still probably swear that analogue sounds far better but frankly, digital media is here to stay.
Over the years the studio has changed a lot. It used to be full of hairy blokes with denim jackets, ripped shirts and studs all over their clothes, drinking beer and smoking fags ‘et al’. Nowadays, it’s full of excited children with denim jackets, sparkly shirts and studs all over them – funny how fashion goes around and around. People have studs in their coloured hair too and are not called punks anymore.
“It’s true to say I had found a way to totally ‘party’ my way out of the recession!”
Along the way many tactics have been employed to keep the studio alive and vibrant – all sorts of stunts have been pulled not least of which was keeping a studio rabbit as an attraction (some had expensive snakes etc.), which certainly attracted the ‘partners’ of many bands and kept the spiders out. Events have been run, marketing campaigns organised, competitions have been sponsored and adverts placed, as any studio does but it’s been tough – fact. I have not always exclusively run the studio either. I took industryrelated jobs to earn capital, outsourced work and even let groups sub-let the building whilst I pursued other activities; such as stagehand work, monitor engineering (on short tours) and sound technician for SSE, but later tried my hand at driving. This, I was assured, would lead to seeing the music industry from within. It certainly did and after gaining an HGV class 1 licence I was regularly sent off on various short tours working nearly every major music festival in the UK. Good
jobs and plenty of tour parties were attended. All good things come to an end though and ultimately I became one of the legendary drivers who had a great accident – turning an artic on its side was a life changing moment believe me – “I need to get the studio back on its feet” was my only thought after this happened! My trucking days were numbered. So I did and fortunately the housing market had swung in my favour. Voila! The studio was reborn in 2004. Bouncing back onto the scene, it became immediately very popular with bang-up-to-date Pro Tools & Mac based rig. With a massive live room and a new cool overnight Chillzone, the studio was perfect for parties. So, many parties happened after and indeed during recording sessions and the studio certainly got a reputation for being a good bolt hole! During this time I focused on maintaining the studio, improving the facilities and developing the now incredibly important online presence. How did we cope without Facebook? Does anyone do anything, which is not documented – or recorded! Will
Twitter be with us forevermore? Does anyone remember MySpace? Now there’s SoundCloud, ReverbNation, Blogger, Pintrest bla bla bla! So the industry changed a little and just when you think you are winning, the economy crashes. In 2008 the recession years kicked in - forcing many people to suck in their finances and stop any, what was quickly labeled ‘vanity purchases’ like foreign holidays, new cars and… recording stuff. In the next 2 years my business brain developed and 2 major side arms/
Many local studios closed but this just fuelled my desire to survive the recession and use my studio for any means neces sary, to ride out the recession and burst out the other end – all recessions end right? services were developed keeping interest high and turnover revving, not idling. In 2009 I realised that I could develop a new service focusing on parties. In July 2009 Pop Star Party was born – it got its own page on my website and I started to talk about it at network groups. I advertised it in small local mags and ran online ads through the now globally recognised search engine and family name - Google! After many hiccups and a few near misses, the penny dropped on how to fully utilise my premises for this service, so lots of changes took place, including completely refurbishing the side room into a ‘Green Room’ and devoting it to being a place for kids (and adults alike) to eat their buffet food during parties and hang out, whilst I sort out some of the initial recordings. However, being the master of duality I managed to ensure the room doubled as an overnight room, which adequately sleeps 4 people – perfect for bands! Unwittingly in 2010 I met Tony White who was impressed with the studio, my work ethic and attitude. We developed a working relationship as he rekindled his songwriting passion and our combined production approaches slowly started to develop a seemingly unique flavour. In 2011 we started to put together a songwriting service dubbed RantProd Music Production, which after just 1 year we turned into a business. When Tony suggested we should develop the studio more with a separate studio for songwriting. I was in full agreement and building
began. Further to this, we incorporated a ‘corridor’ to join our 2 buildings and business ventures together. A totally unique room was designed to incorporate a red carpet. So who in the music industry would think that having a ‘red carpet room’ could be lucrative? Well it is and we named it Pop Star Parade. Adding lights, lasers, magic mirrors, posters of pop stars and making a feature out of steps (no, not the 90’s supergroup Steps!), a Hall of Fame was born. Running photo sessions on the steps had started a small but growing buzz about the magic of having your party at the barn. It’s true to say I had found a way to totally ‘party’ my way out of the recession! With Pop Star Party, the recording aspect of the service is now only a small part – singing, team spirit, food, photos, video and a full-on disco are all part of the service run – but the CD at the end is the cherry on the cake. Nowadays I’m still focused on producing the best music I can for all of my clients but I have a business to run and a recessive society to deal with. Pop Star Party has grown in size and numbers since 2009 and now is a registered trademark. We have branded clothing, local radio adverts and a presence in national magazines going directly to school kids such as Primary Times. Aside from running the kids parties and writing songs, I continue to work with many bands and soloist singers, undertake loads of corporate and vocal work, sponsor various singing competitions both locally and nationally and collaborate on some writing ventures. The difference is that now the pressure is off to go hunting for the work and I have peace of mind to deliver my productions from a relaxed studio during the week. Most recently the studio has received a substantial upgrade moving away from the ProTools TDM system to a Native system utilising the superfast Thunderbolt interface and we are rapidly gaining interest in music video production. To summarise: the studio has grown a lot in 9 years. We have developed the upstairs Chillzone, partitioned the control room off to make a unique entrance area with a kitchen and have a large ‘Green Room’ to one side. My song writing partnership, RantProd Music Production now has the relative luxury of a purpose built song-writing room, which has led to the creation of countless great tunes, including Jubilation Nation - the video that gained well over 4,000 views on YouTube in a fortnight of Jubilee fun.
So, yes, parties have played an important part during the ‘barns’ development and success, alongside producing countless bands EPS and albums. Who knows what the future holds and what Simon Cowell, Apple, and alike will next do to shake the music industry up, but BB is destined to be around for a good while yet. Feature by Roger Greasby www.borninabarnstudio.co.uk email@example.com
I took industry-related jobs to earn capital, outsourced work and even let groups sub-let the building whilst I pursued other activities
CAT LA CHAPPELLE
ur first cover-star of the year and featured ALT-MU for this issue is the gorgeous and abundantly talented DJ, musician and alternative performer, Cat La Chappelle. Cat is primarily a DJ / live remixer and percussionist who specialises in bespoke music sets for commercial events. However, this girl doesn’t stop there – she has also been a circus and fire performer for nearly a decade travelling the world. We catch up with the lovely Cat La Chappelle to find out what inspires her, how it feels to make a living doing what she loves every day and what her plans are for 2014.
Let’s make sure we have this right… You are a musician, percussionist and DJ who looks like a model and can make fire dance? That is quite a combination, what came first? And how do these talents work together? I’ve always been a musician and been making noise from a very young age - burning things didn’t follow too long after that! Music, dancing and fire to me is a natural amalgamation of things I enjoy. They go hand in hand for me and I’ve even composed my own music for some of my fire performances.
Bjork, 2manyDJs, Plump DJ’s, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, Chic, Stanton Warriors, Bill Cobham, KJ Sawka – I could go on for hours and hours... You’ve taken the underground scene by storm! What would you say sets you apart from your peers musically and creatively? I try to be as creative as I can with the songs I select and what parts I use, so there’s a mystery and also the element of surprise in my sets.
What is it about music that inspires you?
What was your first DJ gig like?
It’s universal it speaks to the world.
F*ckin scary! But seeing the crowd go crazy made me feel like I was home.... Behind decks is where I belong.
Who or what would you say your biggest influence has been within and outside music? Just listening to so many great people like, 10
Music dancing and fire to me is a natural amalgamation of things I enjoy
Do you still get the same rush when you DJ now? Oh hell yeah!! Which venue is your favourite to play at and do you have a dream venue? Islington Metal Works as there are so many different rooms and it’s been home to some great parties! I suppose my dream venue would have to be a beach in California or on my home turf at Brixton Academy. Your music has an excellent fusion of electronic riffs with down tuned bass lines and soaring vocals. Undoubtedly you have mastered creating auricle material. How does your performance stimulate the other senses for your audience? Depends what they’re on [joke] no, seriously I think because of my performance background, I like to think I add a little “stage presence” to my set.... I connect with my crowd. I also get my tits out [joke!!]
your last gig and marketing sucks but is very necessary. What advice would you give to any musicians keen to expand their talents into more diverse performance areas like you have? If it’s dangerous - train! If it’s not... Try it all. Finally, what is on the horizon for Cat La Chappelle in 2014? I did some great corporate gigs last year so I’m looking forward to more of that. I’ll be creating more bespoke sets as well and I’m going to be incorporating my own percussion with my DJing! I’m also in the throes of recording an EP at the moment that will be available shortly via my website: www.borntomakenoise.co.uk Y’all can keep up to date and watch this space for more noise!!
What is the hardest and most important lesson you have learnt during your career?
For creative content from Cat La Chappelle email: CatLaChappelle@gmail.com Or, for bookings, email: Georgia@wearefullcircle.co.uk
Your rep is everything you’re only as good as
Interview by Josh Humphrey
Music PR Tips...
Behind decks is where I belong.
Music PR Tips...
The music industry is vast and fast! Getting noticed is difficult, which is why music PR agencies like Prescription PR are becoming more valuable to musicians. We are joined by senior music press officer, Ellie Clarke from Prescription PR, who gave our readers advice in the last issue on how to work in music PR. Ellie is back with some top tips for musicians who want to get noticed by PR Agencies…
Get Noticed by
Music PR Agencies…
Remind us, what does a Senior Press Officer at Prescription PR do? Considering the sheer diversity of music (particularly at Prescription because we’re not a one genre horse!) a massive part of my job is selecting relevant areas of press from hundreds to choose from and creatively thinking about how to achieve the desired results. If it’s an unsigned, independent or unknown artist it’s mostly about getting them as much as possible to raise their profile while also aiming for those key pieces that might propel them in front of the eyes of the people that could make them a success. If it’s a larger artist the focus is more about being selective and organised, particularly when it comes to arranging interviews - and a lot of the time you have to be tactical to maintain the press/artist relationship.
How do you find new clients and do you get to choose your own? We’re lucky in that a lot come to us via recommendations or through our website so a lot of the time we just get to take our pick. But that’s an extremely hard part of the job because we’re a small team and can only do so many – unfortunately we’ve had to turn down a lot of really fantastic and exciting projects just due to limited resources. Otherwise, I do love a schmooze around a new music festival, business cards in tow! I do get to choose about 90% of my clients – we’re only a small company (3 of us in the office) so we all work together in bringing new things in and will often discuss who wants to do what. A certain percent does just get given to us by labels who we work with on a contract basis. But because they’re such incredible labels we rarely grumble at what they put our way! And even with these we decide amongst ourselves in the office who’s most qualified (or who’s most excited) to work it. Through this I’ve had the chance to work with Eric Burdon from The Animals, legendary producer Butch Vig and Paul Weller!
we look for Hard work and originality. These two traits combined normally makes for an interesting and respectable sound. If it’s a larger artist sometimes the amount of emails you receive from interested parties can be overwhelming, especially for me because I’m so keen to provide everyone with what they want! I’m so used to that demoralising feeling of sending out millions of emails and getting very little back (a regular plight of the PR) so I made a decision early on to respond to every single email I get. Most of the time though I’m the one doing the request inundating, to journalists!
What do you look for in
a PR company do? I.e. Do musicians need to be more proactive these days with
having a PR agent?
their social media sharing
How would you advise artists to get noticed by
What promo materials do
you think is important for an
I would advise they put more effort into getting noticed by others such as the press themselves, or record labels. We are a mere service they can use to help them get there! But if there is a particularly good PR company that an artist has their heart set on they should try to be flexible with release dates and have all their eggs ready in one basket – we don’t want to have to chase you to put your music up on Soundcloud or to get press shots taken. It’s also an idea to consider your ‘story angles’
artist to have?
Hard work and originality. These two traits combined normally makes for an interesting and respectable sound.
How much of the work can
What are the benefits of
Access to the thousands of journalists just waiting to report on all the music that’s out there! At the end of a campaign you’ll have press quotes, an increase of followers/fans/video views and a noticeable ‘buzz’ if Googled for, all of which appeals to labels and the like. Also if you’re only concerned with the actual music side of things we can offer invaluable industry insight and advice.
mugs and things like that are all well and good for gigs but it’s not needed so much for press – journalists are interested in the music, not the bumf around it, so get that right and you don’t need much else.
An EP or an album of course. Singles are great but you do need to have something lined up if the public starts demanding more – the public’s attention can drift quickly. Press photos and videos that have been done well (not necessarily professional but they definitely need to look it), a comprehensive biography and some kind of web presence (at the very least a Facebook and Twitter but preferably a Soundcloud and Bandcamp page too). Posters and badges and
that can help slot you into press. I don’t just mean ‘our story is that we’ve done everything ourselves’ (everyone is diy-ing nowadays) – I mean what is it that truly makes you interesting? Have you released an album on a floppy disc? Have you managed to get your music heard by any celebrities? Did a ghost come to you and tell you to form a band?! They might be a bit corny, but the idea is to have something that’s newsworthy!
Are you inundated
etc? Yes absolutely – as a PR company we can certainly get your work into the public eye and offer advice for where you can improve your chances of getting picked up, but it’s much easier for us if the artist has already reached an accomplished stage for themselves. As bands and artists have become more and more abundant the days of relying on a label to do all the work for you are diminishing. The majority of artists we work with have done all the work themselves – put the effort in to make their work look and sound professional, found their own gigs, created their own websites and nurtured their own social media. It is an incredible amount of work but particularly worth it to end up with something inherently yours and with something that will plainly earn you respect.
Feature by Ellie Clarke from Prescription PR
The Eyes Have It Column by Eris Eveiller Burlesque Performer / Costume Designer / Burlesque teacher
They say that your eyes are the windows to your soul—and facial expression is a vital part of any performance, so make sure your baby blues (or browns) shine bright! In the last issue, I explained how to apply your base and highlights. Once, they’re all sorted; it’s time to make your eyes bling…
Smoking hot make-up to withstand any stage lighrs. 16
Photography by Scott Chalmers
The Classic Smoky Eye
1. Eyeliner first… Follow the outline of your eye socket with an eyeliner pen above the eye and along the lash line. Build up on the corners in the shape of a sideways ‘V’. Blend like crazy with a blending brush using small circular ‘buffing’ movements towards the centre of the eye.
2. Time for eyeshadow…
I love: Urban Decay Potion Primer for the base, Estee Lauder Doublewear eyeliner and Mac Fluidline eyeliner. My favourite shadows: Illamasqua, Mac, Bourjois and Estee Lauder Gelee. I’ve also just fallen in love with Guerlain Cils D’Enfer Mascara; it doesn’t flake or clump at all. *TIP* With the right brushes, blending is much easier and the results are so much better. I use Smashbox and Bobbi Brown brushes but recently I’ve been impressed the affordable professional brushes from Victoria Loves Beauty.
Remember to tap off any excess colour after loading up the brush before applying to the skin. It’s better to build up layers than trying to apply it all at once.
7. Add Your Falsies...
3. Take the lightest shade…
Take a breath and prepare to add the false eyelashes. There are a couple of tricks here. First, trim them to size – if they are too long they’ll start to droop. Then flex them a couple of times into a ‘C’ shape to make them more flexible. Then, dab a blob of glue onto the back of your hand and drag the lashline through the glue. Once the glue on your hand gets tacky, your eyelashes should be ready to apply. While you wait, apply a thin coat of mascara to your lashes. Gently press the false lashes down as close to your natural lashline as possible. Wait 10 seconds and then gently press down again. Add a couple of trimmed down individual eyelashes on the lower lash line on the outer corner of the eye before wiggling a mascara wand through the lashes.
...and a large eyeshadow brush and sweep the entire eye socket as well as below the eye. Blend as you go.
4. Blend with a Medium Shade… Using the same brush, take the medium shade and blend over your eyelid, sweeping it out to the outer corner of the eye. Using a smaller shadow brush, apply the colour close to the lower lash line. If you want to use a very bright or dramatic colour, apply another layer of eyeliner as before and blend
5. Add the Drama...
With the smaller brush, apply the darkest/most dramatic colour to the upper and lower lash line and the ‘V’ corners, blending outwards.
6. Define and line Use a fine eyeliner brush and gel eyeliner to define the lash line before using an eyelash curler.
It’s not a subtle look, but it does look amazing on stage or under bright lights. ISSUE 4
5 Famouse ALT-MUs...
Here’s a basic ‘go-to’ smoky eye technique that many performers use to make their eyes stand out. You can use any combination of colours, even nudes. Just ensure you have three different shades—light, medium and dark. As always, the key to long-lasting makeup—fit to withstand the glare of stage lights—is using a great base. A primer will lock the shadow into place, no more fading, smudging or transferring.
Inspiring ALT-MUs WE CONTINUE TO SEARCH FOR FAMOUS ALT-MUS TO HELP INSPIRE OUR READERS. IN THIS ISSUE WE BRING YOU OUR TOP 5 MULTI-TALENTED MUSOS. THESE ARE ALL MUSICIANS OR MUSIC LOVERS WHO HAVE FOUND AN ALTERNATIVE WAY TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN MUSIC OR THE CREATIVE ARTS. Column by Josh Humphrey 18
Robert Downey Jr
This “Summer of 69” singer first wanted to pick up a guitar at the age of 14 but he has recently been handling a different instrument – a camera. His photography has been published in high profile magazines including British Vogue, Esquire and Interview and he also shoots advertising campaigns most notably for Converse, Fred Perry and Escada. Bryan has experienced the most success in Germany, winning awards for his fashion work and founding the art fashion Zoo Magazine. He even photographed Queen Elizabeth II on the Golden Jubilee, which featured on a Canadian postage stamp in 2004 and 2005.
The troubled actor may be known more for his portrayal of Marvel’s Iron Man and crime fighting Sherlock Holmes but before his big comeback, Robert spent a stint as a musician releasing his solo Jazz, Folk fusion album in 2004. 16,000 copies were sold in the first week despite mixed reviews.
HIS PHOTOGRAPHY HAS BEEN PUBLISHED IN HIGH PROFILE MAGAZINES INC BRITISH VOGUE
Robert has also contributed to the soundtracks of films he has been in, including Chaplin, To Much Sun and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. He also had heavy radio coverage of his remake of the 1973 Joni Mitchell Christmas song “River” in 2000.
ROBERT SPENT A STINT AS A MUSICIAN RELEASING HIS SOLO JAZZ, FOLK FUSION ALBUM IN 2004
Frank Carter was best known as the lead singer of punk band Gallows from 2005 – 2011. The energetic band who allegedly broke the record for the world’s loudest band playing at 132.5db. Creative differences led to Frank’s new musical project Pure Love. He also co-owns the Austin Tattoo Co and tattoos out of many different shops, including Frith St in London and Smith St in Brooklyn. Music is more of a hobby to Frank compared to his livelihood of tattooing. As of now, you can still get inked by Frank by appointment or walk in.
AS OF NOW, YOU CAN STILL GET INKED BY FRANK BY APPOINTMENT OR WALK IN
James Maynard Keenan
Rage against the Machine
JAMES HAS OTHER CREATIVE OUTLETS INC COMEDY, ACTING & WINEMAKING
WE WANT TO HEAR ABOUT ALT-MUS THAT INSPIRE YOU! POST YOUR FAVOURITES ON OUR FACEBOOK AT: /ALTMUMAGAZINE OR DROP US A TWEET @ALTMUMAGAZINE
Although he is best known as the intellectual songwriter and frontman behind the bands Tool and A Perfect Circle. James also has other creative outlets such as comedy, acting and interestingly his penchant for winemaking. His grandparents and great uncle made wine in Northern Italy, inspiring James to own his own wine cellars, Merkin Vineyards and Caduceus Cellars, based in Arizona where he lives. He has toured with his wines promoting them with signing sessions at Whole Foods Markets in California and Nevada. After his mother died in 2003, James named a Cabernet Sauvignon “Nagual del Judith” after her.
Activism in music certainly lends itself to our definition of an ALTMU. Rage against the Machine’s heavily political incorporated lyrics were based entirely on the bands background, which turned the rap metal band into pioneering activists. Offstage, the band vigorously campaigned on behalf of numerous causes, including the Zapatista revolutionaries in Mexico and the jailed activists Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal. RATM have also expressed disagreement with corporate America and cultural imperialism. The band may not have played together for years but each member still campaigns for their political beliefs.
Beat the Blues... Design Tips...
Beat the Blues
Three Positive Ways to Beat the
Change JUST one thing
Although most of us by now have managed to escape the annual January blues, you may have started to slip back to food binges, boozy nights and astronomical over spending whilst burning the candle at both ends! It doesn’t feel like long ago that the dreaded month of January showed us all the cold light of day. Hitting us straight between the eyes and sending us into a frenzy where we found ourselves saying ‘next year, I’ll not spend so much’ or ‘this year, I’m finally quitting the cigarettes, booze, spending’ blah blah blah! During the holidays, you had the best excuse to ignore your bank statements, drink yourself into thinking everything is wonderful and eating the contents of the fridge just because it’s Christmas! Now that you have had some time to recover and we enter Spring everything starts to come back into focus and the determination to be more positive even stronger. So you know what that means for Spring? It is time to dust off those January blues and start making steps towards a more positive year. It’s time to get a spring in your step.
Here are 3 positive ways to get them well and truly beaten! I hope our tips will help you shake up your year with positive energy and vigour for your future. If you are struggling with more intense feelings of depression then please check out this guide: www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_tips.htm Feature by Paula Lawes 20
Live in the present moment
Right here’s the thing, the change you’ll need to adopt has to be something life altering. It needs to be something that you know deep down has to be changed because without that change your life would stay exactly the same as it did in 2013. This isn’t a New Year resolution - it’s more of a New Year intention. An intention to do something and take action each and every day to make sure it happens. For example, you could get up an hour earlier every day so that you can better organise your life before you head off to work.
You can practice meditation every morning to get your head where it needs to be. Alternatively you can get cracking on that secret burning ambition to start your own business! The key here is to make a change that excites you; that makes you want to take action. There has to be a long term reason for making it happen too. Like exercising daily to get fit, to live healthier and be around for your kids until you’re in your 90’s! So, what’s it going to be?
week are things many people across the UK and the world over would love to have. Try to remember before complaining about your life and sharing it. What you focus on expands, so try to turn your attention daily to all the good things you have in your life. This in turn will attract more of the good stuff making January a great month to start with a new grateful attitude.
This is the easiest one and by far the best gift you can give yourself if you want to beat the January blues and kick start your positive thinking in February. In a world where social media is watching your every move, be it on Facebook or Twitter, we tend to forget that little issues we moan about, like the weather, our home comforts, money and the job we go to each
Take the time to really look around you with fresh childlike eyes and feel the wonderful sensations of that very moment, here and now.
How many times have you felt anxiety or stress over things you have done in the past or things that are going to happen in the future? In both instances, you are completely missing the present moment which causes the unpleasant emotions coming up time and time again. What do you think would happen if you decided today to only live in the now? Take the time to really look around you with fresh childlike eyes and feel the wonderful sensations of
that very moment, here and now. So instead of wishing for something that might happen, in the future or continually worrying about what might have been, remember that neither the past nor the future is real and that only the present moment is. Start to live this moment right now and enjoy life one beautiful moment at a time. You’ll start to see things as they actually are and life will feel amazingly exciting just like it did when you were a child.
Steve Jobs Feature...
This isn’t a New Year resolution - it’s more of a New Year intention. An intention to do something and take action each and every day to make sure it happens.
Steve Jobs Feature...
HOW MANY OF YOU OWN AN IPOD? 22
his piece is indirectly about iPods, but I wondered if I made the title something like “How to emulate the success of Steve Jobs,” how many people would bother to read it? In other words how many people know who Steve Jobs is? For anyone who is wondering what the hell I’m going on about, Steve Jobs was the coFounder of Apple way back in the 1970s. Steve Jobs was a hugely successful serial-entrepreneur who owned a few companies you might have heard of:
Apple - I know I already said that, but it’s quite an important one!
NeXT - a computer platform company)
Pixar Animation Studios bet you didn’t see that one coming, did you?!
Steve Jobs has been described as many things and had a great number of achievements before he died in October 2011. You may think the words “inspirational”, “innovative” and “futuristic” are overrated, or perhaps over-used but I am sure that if you achieved anything close to what he did, you wouldn’t mind them too much! His legacy will most definitely live on in the form of his life’s work.
Anyway, back to iPods. So, Steve Jobs achieved a great many things in his life but the one that is potentially most relevant to all of us, is his influence over the music industry. The first iPod was released in 2001 and was described, by Apple, as “the Walkman of the twentyfirst Century”. The product was developed and launched within a year. The concept of a digital music player wasn’t too rare, but Apple worked hard to differentiate their product in a relatively fledgling marketplace. They did this by creating a small music device with a
LET’S GO INVENT TOMORROW INSTEAD OF WORRYING ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY.
Steve Jobs Feature
comparatively large memory and an easy to use LED interface. The first iPod had a 5 GB memory and could hold around 1000 songs. Now I know, they weren’t the only digital music player around at the time so this is all very interesting but hardly ground-breaking… Bear with me!
iTunes – a digital music revolution What really changed the music industry was iTunes, the software that you use to manage your iPod. The iTunes Music Store launched in the US in April 2003 to Apple Mac users and facilitated 2 million music downloads within 16 days of launch! Initially every track bought on iTunes cost $0.99 and every album cost $9.99. iTunes first came to Europe in June 2004.
In February 2010 iTunes sold its 10 billionth song, making it the World’s number 1 music retailer, a mere 7 years after launch. In February 2013 Apple announced the 25 billionth song purchased via iTunes and claim that, on average, 15,000 songs are downloaded from iTunes per minute! Let’s also not forget that iTunes was a significant step in paving the way for the iPhone and app store. Since iPhone sales reportedly account for $1 billion per month in revenue to Apple this is not something to be sneered at! But the key to Apple’s success was through a bold but ultimately genius move. In 2005, when iPod sales were a roaring and growing success, Steve Jobs negotiated a deal with vital NAND flash memory suppliers, guaranteeing supply until 2010. At the time this was said to be in order to grow the iPod range, however the same memory was later used for many other Apple products including the iPhone. This ballsy approach to business is what kick-started Steve Job’s business in the first place. When he and his business partner Steve Wozniak developed their first computer, Steve Jobs secured a contract with a local computer shop for 50 computers if they came fully assembled. Apple did not have the money for the parts in order to assemble 50 computers. Instead Steve Jobs took the purchase order for the 50 computers to the parts supplier and successfully negotiated a 30-days payment terms so that he could construct and sell the 50 computers in time to pay for the parts. Steve Jobs knew what he needed in order to be successful and he was not afraid to ask for it.
What is the music industry of tomorrow? 24
Could you make it happen? Steve Jobs was a perfectionist who gave no quarter, something was either good enough or it wasn’t. His entire approach to business was product perfection. He held the arguably rare view in the business world that product was more important than profit, because ultimately, if you got the product right the profit would follow. On this point he has been called an “egomaniac” and “ruthless” and made it onto the list of America’s toughest bosses! I guess it’s really up to you on how you feel about being remembered by those words, maybe you would see it as a well-earned reputation in your journey for perfection or maybe you find the idea abhorrent… Either way this man practiced what he preached:
“Let’s go invent tomorrow instead of worrying about what happened yesterday.”
So whether you have an amazing idea for a new music device, you are a music marketing genius or you have an awesome band, you can help to shape the music industry of tomorrow. But it won’t be easy, you will need to put yourself out there and take risks. You will have to be completely dedicated to what you want to achieve and refuse to compromise on anything less than perfect. You will probably get knocked-back and have to try again. But if you work tirelessly in your pursuit of perfection you can achieve your goals.
Feature by Alexandra Gaiger
Image credits: Illustration: Tsevis Visual Design Deanna Lowe @ Fortune magazine. Original photo by Corbis
WOLAND SocialInterview... Networking...
interview by daniel bateman
INTERVIEW WITH METAL BAND...
We are joined by LXIV from WOLAND founded in the year 2010. In 2011 they released a double single called “Conquer All & Live Forever” for the international event Finnish Metal Expo. While the songs have been freely streamable online, WOLAND focused on their full length album “Hyperion”, which is since completed and features elements from flamenco guitar to jazz piano, resulting in a unique and modern outcome.
FUCK OLD SCHOOL. LEARN THE RULES, BREAK THE RULES working with who etc. I on the other hand have long ago lost engineer by trade. interest in metal music not counting a few interesting acts. The Hyperion album teaser is very It originates from Bulgagov’s sexual and yet disturbing. What kind classic Master and Margarithe. What is the harshest criticism of reaction are you after? The tone of the novel provides you’ve had as a band? us with some good parallels on They are probably the two dominant ‘how’ we approach black metal and We’ve had some good reviews on feelings we are trying to evoke. thematics associated with it our album and live performances How do audiences react to your live and some extremely malevolent comments. That’s the way I like shows? it. Considering criticism or praise, I really don’t care, as long as the The reception has been somewhat panegyric accompanied with some reaction is deep and fundamental. I know Hyperion is a great album. bursts of discontent. so naturally it shows in “It’s ok”, is the worst.. that makes our visual material also. Considering me want to throw something the disturbing side of the visuals, through the wall. Ecstasy is good, there is, of course, the simple pure utter hatred is good. That’s notion of our personal interest nothing.. Something that’s ‘ok’ towards these types of visuals, but might as well not exist. personally, I see it more like a De Sade type of view to observe the How much of your live set is world. planned and rehearsed?
If some people feel ecstatic while other people feel the urge to wave their middle fingers at us, we are clearly doing something right. What is the best live experience you’ve had so far? As of yet, we don’t have enough material but both our shows last year where met with excitement and praise. What are your musical influences?
Our tastes are quite different, what we do share is a long history with black metal. We both grew up listening to the 90’s era classics, that’s what anchors us to this band. I believe W’s still quite active in the black metal scene, and is well versed in what’s going on, who’s
The evocation of sexuality is a pretty strong underlying theme on the whole album
Well, since we use backing tracks and invest some thought in lights and video installations, due to technical reasons that somewhat ties our hands a bit, of course considering solos, transitions, fills etc we leave some wiggle room for each other to throw ideas and communicate on stage. What do you guys do when not playing in Woland? Do you have any other talents? Our rhythm department consists of full time musicians, and they have some other noteworthy projects when not tied to Woland. W’s a graphical designer and the frontman of Cavus. I’m an audio
What advice would you give to any aspiring musicians reading this interview? Fuck old school. Learn the rules, break the rules. What’s next for Woland? As I’m typing this our album Hyperion is being released worldwide, and we are packing our bags for Blastfest, Bergen for our album release show. We have some shows here and there, some festivals in the summer and hopefully a tour.
Writing Tips... Feature... Zoe Cunningham
Why the name Woland?
GETTING PAID VS MUSIC QUALITY Why being unable to earn a living as a musician will increase, not decrease, music quality » Zoe Cunningham I’ve been presenting radio shows on unsigned music for over two years. One topic that comes up whenever I meet a band is how to “make it”, or failing that just how to make a living. As an unpaid volunteer at two community radio stations, with a parallel challenge of how to make a living from radio presenting, it’s a conversation that I have a lot of interest in. The solution for me has been very simple. I don’t try to make a living from radio. I earn a living working in technology and pursue radio as an outside passion. As the coveted deals with record labels get fewer and less lucrative, more and more musicians are treating their careers the same way. I rarely meet a band who support themselves with their music alone. Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to attend the Scottish Album of the Year Award and interview the winner, RM Hubbert. “Hubby” has been making music for over twenty years and spent three years “in a darkened room eating nothing but chips” retraining on acoustic guitar. Despite his long career and widespread critical acclaim, he told me in the radio interview that he can’t make a living from his music and recommended unsigned bands to “find a better paid career”. This story is now old news in the music industry. Back in February LL Cool J announced the “end of music” at the Grammy Awards. “There is no money in this sh*t any more, except for sponsorship from fizzy pop companies” he said , elaborating “[…] we now realise that ‘artistic’ values often do not serve the core brand values of fizzy pop makers.” But the simultaneous rise of the portfolio career, based on part-time work across different sectors and roles, can give musicians greater freedom. Hi-life wedding formed as a band in Taiwan. “It’s
a really good scene for artists and musicians” says Davos, one half of the musical duo. “The local scene is really unique. There’s no real market to make money so you’ve got to just do it for the love of it.” The result? Musicians who don’t feel the need to fit into a genre and so can be truly creative. Furthermore, the lines between professional musician and skilled amateur are blurring. A year ago punkster Amanda Palmer wrote an extremely eloquent open letter on playing music for free, and working with unpaid musicians. She insists that she wouldn’t have been able to achieve the success that she has without having the chance to play unpaid gigs. The advent of the internet has increased the diversity of music available. More people are listening to more music, but they no longer just listen to the same top 20 singles. The availability of flexible jobs means that rather than one rich mega-band, we can have hundreds of artists who need to work but have time left over to spend making music. Better music.
I donâ€™t try to make a living from radio. I earn a livingÂ working in technologyÂ and pursue radio as an outside passion.
The advent of the internet has increased the diversity of music available. More people are listening to more music, but they no longer just listen to the same top 20 singles. ISSUE 4
W O G S A L G BOY
IT H A S I G IN N I A R T L O ART SCHO ON THE RUNWAY
Meet Brian Chan...
cottish designer Brian Chan makes fashion that looks like art. He takes fabric and works with it as a painter does with a canvas, splashing bright bold colour in expressionistic form, and collaging found elements like a modern-day Cubist. Such is his skill that he’s been selected as a finalist for Britain’s Top Designer Award 2014, and next year he will begin work for the international fashion brand RMC (Red Monkey Company) aka Yoropiko and MKWS. Chan trained at the prestigious Glasgow School of Art, studying painting and printmaking. After graduating in 2012, Chan found himself naturally gravitating towards the burgeoning Glasgow art and fashion scene. Here, his passion for graphic shape and the power of expressive colour found a natural home in the creative industries - despite his lack of formal training as a designer. Chan’s first fashion ranges span the casual to formal wear, full of zesty new ideas and innovative collage-effect prints. His sculptural eye lets him cut new and inventive garment shapes. These designs defy current mainstream trends with their innovative art house look.
Photograph by Rita Michelberger and Superstar Club
Artist Feature: Chris Simmons Page 28-29 & 32-33 credits: Creative Artist/Designer: Brian Chan Photographer: Dawn Marie Jones Hair: Chris Dickson Make up: Johanne Ballantyne Models: Julia Brown, Bethany Brown, Kirstin Gribbin, Assistants: Stanislav Stoyanov, Ian Hanlon, Dennis Penev
House Concerts The Secret of
Written by Brighton based Singer / Songwriter
Among the roster of Brighton based artists, Chris Simmons is making himself stand out with a D.I.Y. campaign. The singer-songwriter has shared his experienced advice on building a fanbase and getting paid to do it through little more than demonstrating his talent and passion. Chris gives his advice on playing House Concerts and how they can make any aspiring Musos career. Boasting a history of supporting big acts including Kate Nash, The Maccabees and Seth Lakeman, Chris is no stranger to touring. With the new release of his second single, ‘The Occupant’ now under his belt and an album due for release in early 2014, Chris teaches aspiring Muso’s the secret of house concerts.
So… House Concerts?
As an artist trying to make their name known in a tough industry, getting into House Concerts are a new must. It is an impact method to establish your act, get on tour and get your music heard. The setting is intimate (usually between 20 and 40 people), which makes them fantastic shows for both the artist and the audience alike. Playing to a crowd who are all genuinely there to listen, you can give them a truly unique and memorable experience that they will enjoy. House concerts give you the opportunity to build a fanbase and make
money playing music, so use it to establish yourself. You are playing to a small crowd so make it worth it.
“You have an opportunity to build a fanbase and make money by playing”
How does it work?
The premise is simple - it’s in the name. A house concert is a private gig at home and the host of the evening will invite friends (and friends of friends) over to hear an act perform for the evening.
Can anyone do it?
Anyone can host a house concert! Make it unique and play around with a basic formula to get the biggest impact. Do the work and find out what works best. Some hosts cook for guests and put out nibbles and drinks, while some invite guests to bring their own food.
So, I’ll get paid for playing?
Do enough shows and house concerts become a cost effective DIY tour for any musician. The whole ethos is about making sure the artist gets paid for being good at what they do. Most house concerts I have experienced do a “suggested donation” per guest but I’ve known a few where a hat goes around. The terms are sorted between the performing artist and host at time of booking but generally all profits go to the artist. I have done many tours and house concerts are now a huge part of the touring process for me. They have become my favourite shows!
I’m sold! How do I get booked?
Usually I will do a standard tour that is supplemented with house concerts. I start booking the next run of shows after and post on Facebook and Twitter, calling to all the new fans I’ve picked up on the way. Use these free channels and tell your fans you’re looking to tour and you want to add a few house concerts. This has been a surprisingly good way of elevating my music career, mainly because I don’t have a UK booking agent. House shows has also helped me build a following in Europe. I followed up recent shows with Passenger and Kate Nash with house concerts in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and more over Europe. You can book Chris by contacting him on www.facebook.com/chrissimmonsmusic or Tweeting @silentbroadcast. www.chrissimmonsmusic.com
Digital Marketing Musos...
“Anyone can host a house concert!”
Music Loving digital marketing Entrepreneurs…
helen & AJof
Billions are turning to the internet to get information, which means that businesses now need to be more savvy about search engine optimisation (SEO). Meet the ladies that know their Google Penguins from their Pandas, AJ Coutts and Helen Trendell. These are the music loving entrepreneurs behind successful Brighton digital marketing agency, ThoughtShift UK.
How did you end up becoming business partners? AJ: Helen and I worked together and we were often up against the rest of the team trying to push internet marketing. We just got to a point when we were doing 90 hour weeks and sat at a pub with a cold pint thinking; “there must be a better way to do this?” Helen: At the time we were also working on a pitch over the weekend for a blood diamond company. We didn’t want to work with an unethical company or work over the weekend - we wanted to be at the beach! We ended up writing our business plan on a till receipt because we couldn’t find anything else to write on.
I understand a TV programme on children struggling in Guana that inspired you. When did that come in? Helen: That was the second stage of our planning. The first was coming up with the idea of running white label SEO so that we could build our reputation first. Because we had been working with the blood diamond company, watching the children in Guana go through the various rubbish dumped on their island for scrap made us want to do something. We knew we couldn’t help them directly but digital marketing can affect change
and influence so we decided to work with ethical businesses or treat their customers well. For example we are now working with a diamond company that offers a lifetime guarantee and does business ethically. AJ: We can’t help kids in Guana but we have helped people carve out careers through our apprenticeships. We also do our Do it Different (DiD) challenge whereby we support local charities by running events and using our digital marketing to help raise funds for the homeless or young people. Helen: We have an ethical approach and offer a high quality service that ultimately delivers revenue. We are not about delivering fluffy rankings results. We are transparent and we educate our clients providing free content on our blogs and offering training. We teach our clients everything that we teach our employees.
Why did you create your apprenticeship programme, the ThoughtShift Academy? AJ: I am very passionate about young people and strongly feel that the education system doesn’t work. There are too many of them going to university and coming out with no job opportunities. We offer practical training that they can utilise in business. I would love to run training workshops in local colleges and help more. Helen: Our industry is so new that SEO and PPC weren’t even covered
Now is the time to reinvent how things are done and reimagine digital marketing as a way of helping people solve real-world problems funded by brands.
Photography by Paul Goodwin
n e l e H t ) e t e M ough (Th
meet A J (shift )
I personally would like to own a music venue in Brighton... that would be the dream.
“ You can find out more about ThoughtShift at
A lot of our branding and language is influenced by our passion for music. Our email campaigns are titled ‘Thoughtshift Guestlist’. We offer ‘backstage passes’ to our events and our branded flags are festival inspired.
Helen, we understand you are a musician and AJ you are a music enthusiast! Did your passion for music have an influence on your business? Do you really want to be rock stars? AJ: We are rock stars in our own right. Well Helen is… Helen: I’ve been in five bands and I have an album does that count? Helen: Actually a lot of our branding and language is influenced by our passion for music. Our email campaigns are titled ‘Thoughtshift Guestlist’. We offer ‘backstage passes’ to our events and our branded flags are festival inspired. I think we have let our love of music influence our direction because it is who we are and if we are passionate about our company then it will rub off on our clients.
Photography by Paul Goodwin
So, why the name ThoughtShift? Helen: It actually came quite naturally. The world is going through a paradigm shift - the internet is changing the world. Social media, smart phones and eCommerce are transforming how brands and people communicate. Now is the time to reinvent how things are done and reimagine digital marketing as a way of helping people solve realworld problems funded by brands. Digital marketing becomes a respected communications profession - people get access to information they previously had to pay for and brands shift products and services which keeps more people in jobs. Everybody wins! If you can think it, you can
do it and that’s our entire approach, we first think of a plan to help our clients, then we deliver it. You’re looking at Thought (me) and shift (AJ) right here. It’s all about balance and we’re ying and yang.
What advice would you give to an ALT-MU looking to increase their website traffic? Helen: Make sure your website is accessible to search engines. AJ: Think about what you want to get from your website. Before you say “I need a website”, or design it, or throw it together – think about who your audience is, what do they want from your website? And then you plan it. So it’s back to the planning.
Meastro vs Multi-tasker...
in marketing degree courses so there is a distinct lack of people with search marketing experience out there. Creating our own training programme means we get everyone up to the standard we demand for our clients - which isn’t for the faint hearted!
Have you considered branching more into music related companies? AJ: I personally would like to own a music venue in Brighton. I actually would like to take over the Hippodrome because it would be an awesome venue. I want a venue where you can download music, talk about music, watch music - that would be a dream for me. Helen: I think the music industry is quite far behind the curve in the digital world as well. Last year we put together a ‘How to Launch an Album in 2013’ blog post and that kind of covers off what bands are doing nowadays to promote their albums and drive sales in that way. It is all part of how the industry is changing, it used to be the record companies. If it was the 80s trying to sell digital then we would go and sell to the record companies but now it’s the bands, I would rather see them use the tools themselves and have us help them through our free content. That is another reason for our blog, to help bands out there. Interview by Jennifer Le Roux ISSUE 4
Maestro vs Multitasker...
At ALT-MU we feature musicians or music lovers who have a plethora of creative outlets and work to expand their talents in other areas. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t argument for specialising in one area and mastering your craft. Here is a great article from music careers website, Music Clout… Are you a serial dabbler, forever switching instrument and genre? Or do you stick with what you know, fearful of making any change? Human beings—and perhaps, especially, the more artsy minded ones—tend to get bored with routines and habits. When something becomes predictable it can lose its excitement.
This is true of the life of a musician—one which revolves around the creative impulse and the need to experiment.
As the years go by, you are constantly learning your craft. You may even change your instrument, or the genre you play. You might have a yen to experiment with a new fad, suddenly exploring jazz or classical, even though your band-mates all play Metal... It’s a business mantra that you need to specialise to succeed; corner the market and be the best at what you do. But is this the same for musicians? What creates a more successful musician? One who is well rounded, been here and there, played keys in one band, guitar/vocal in another, and plays bass now? Or, is it someone who has always and only been a lead guitarist, since they began playing 15 years ago?
1. You’re trying to get your full band signed and put out many albums (A&R reps need to see constancy and steady growth in what the band or artist has been doing.) 2. You’re trying to be a mainstream Top 40 artist (think of all the successful legends, known for being the best at one thing) 3. You want to maintain a steady and loyal fan base (think of the musicians who have dramatically changed their style and how negatively their fans react)
But, which is best for you?
1. Your band is a cover band and plays a large catalogue 2. You teach music, theory, composing or music therapy 3. Your band play many instruments and create a dynamic live show by switching up who plays what throughout the show 4. You’re a studio musician who writes and records your own materials 5. Playing music is your hobby and passion but not a career
If you work with the same band for years, everyone in their own time will experience different sounds and improve their own skills, bringing new and exciting concepts to the band. It’s like being in any other relationship. You have to work as a team, grow together, communicate, express feelings—just look at how many bands split up when they can’t do this. Regardless of which you decide is best for you, being a successful musician takes time. It’s a lifelong journey of never quite being perfect, or feeling like you have not yet mastered your craft. If it truly is your passion and you feel connected to it, it should never really feel like a job or chore, but a duty you must do. Follow your own instinct and see where it leads you. Maestro or multi-tasker? Only you can decide. A guest feature by MusicClout.com ISSUE 4
Pete Bennett ‘s Column... Column by Pete Bennett
at I’ve been Here is a few snippets of wh up to since the last issue...
THE MOTH ER TOWN
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ASK PETE & LAILA (SB6)
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FANCY A P ILCHARD CURRY?
What’s Happening Magazine ﬁlmed me cooking my pilchard curry – it was pretty yum if I say so myself.
Go to my website www. petesplanet.co.uk to watch me cook a curry and maybe you can make one innit? Yum yum yum!
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ONE DAY I’LL MAKE HER STOP!
This year we bring you a more grizzly tale with this three part thriller. Brilliant concert pianist, Julian Masters, is known worldwide and has fame and fortune. The only dark shadow over his life is his over bearing mother.
Witness his great escape.
There had been times in Julian’s childhood when he had hated being alone at Deerwater Manor. When he had been frightened of sights and sounds he didn’t understand and scared to have doors shut behind him. On this particular evening he would have preferred the company of unearthly spirits to that of earthbound mortals, who interrupted his valuable practise time with their superficial drivel. He closed his eyes and covered them with his hands. Any second now Mother would be back ‘what’s the matter now, Jules? Has Mr Nerves escaped again? Go away you stupid bitch!
notes flowed through his body like currents of electricity. It was a relief to hear the discordant sounds after three hours of striving to play the perfection of a Mozart’s concerto. He was half way through the third movement of K595 in B flat, Mozart’s last concerto and performed only months before his death. It was recognised as a work of serene transcendent beauty but Julian was beginning to wish he had never heard of it.
His childish display of frustration would not go unnoticed, so he just sat and waited, counting the seconds until the door opened and Mother breezed into room. He didn’t The suspense of waiting for his mother’s react to her entrance but stayed motionless next invasion was at the piano, feeling stifling his creative the heat of her body mood, sapping his strength until he felt as she stood behind weak and useless. In a him pressing against fit of rage he slammed his back. his closed fists on to ‘You mustn’t let Mr the keyboard, and Nerves win, Darling . . . continued to hit them until the cacophony of you know that.’
Music fiction by H L Lowe ‘Mother, please . . . the last thing I need now . . .’
‘I’ve had enough for today, I’m tired.’ He was attempting defiance, something he rarely managed successfully with Mother. ‘You have an important concert next week . . . you can’t afford to slack off now.’ He closed his eyes and tried to block her out. His mind was flooded with childhood memories of days shut in the music room. She had beaten him into submission, starved him for days and then force fed him on a pure meat diet which she believed stimulated his genius. She stood beside him with a thin equestrian dressage whip and flicked it across the back of his hands; forcing him to practise over and over again until she was satisfied that perfection had been achieved. She no longer needed to abuse him physically, the memories were enough. ‘Practise for one more hour . . . just another hour, there’s a good
boy,’ she kissed him affectionately on the head and then left the room quietly. Julian stared at the keyboard and then at his hands, now unclenched but shaking with anger. She would be waiting for him to start, standing motionless, hand held in front of her with fingers interlocked. She reminded him of a pointer dog or bitch in her case.
Ankit Love Interview...
‘I know what you need Jules. You know that, don’t you? Mother always knows what you need.’ She stroked his shoulders with her long fingers and immaculately manicured nail, a mother’s caress.
If he didn’t start playing within the next few minutes she’d be back whining at him with her sharp, nasal voice. How many more years must he suffer her? Was there no escape for him, no escape from her constant nagging and interfering? She suffocated him, allowing him to have no thoughts of his own and to make no decisions without her prior agreement. He had dreams of ending her tyrannical control over his life. He knew one day he’d stop her. One day I’ll make her stop. The story will be continued with part two in Issue 5 out in a few months. Please follow us on Facebook www.facebook. com/altmumagazine or Twitter @altmumagazine for updates.
Filmmaker & Musician...
ANKIT LOVE Ankit Love is not only a talented performer but a fantastic film maker. He is also the creative director of a new and innovative magazine that combines fashion and science. Having loved music from an early age, Ankit spent hours teaching himself with no schooling in the subject. He really fits our definition of an Alt-MU so we caught up with him to find out more…
How did you get into the music industry? I had been writing several poems on the back of acting courses I attended at the RADA and Lee Strasberg in West Hollywood. I wanted to express and communicate these feelings. Messages, music and lyrics seemed the most natural and effective way of doing that. At an early age, I had a love for music and performance but did not get to really embrace it until much later when at CalArts (arts school) in California, I was living with experimental musicians. I then began to get more connected to a possible future in this enchanting medium. As I was not formally schooled in music and had no natural musical skills, I had to learn how to carry a melody with many hours of practicing the keyboard. Attaining an understanding of music theory so I could create and communicate with my musical calibrators on the album. How do you balance your time between projects? Magic. Are there any skills that cross 48
over from project to project? Yes… creation.
“Every project I make is fundamentally based on vision, direction and creation. So while classically it seems I am a renaissance man across many fields and genres. In essence, all I know and do is one thing - directing a vision to creation and production.” Out of all of your jobs, which is your favourite and why? Performing. I love to communicate, I love to express with my body and voice. I love finding a genuine and creative imputes from which to release myself with the use of my entire being. And I love the attention. Your most recent venture is Mist Magazine, a magazine that combines both fashion and science. How did this come about? I am a keen fan of both style and science. Recently I was meditating on the break down of classic genres and divisions between knowledge.
When the opportunity came to make an online magazine, it seemed an ideal place to make a statement. Mixing concepts that seem so far apart, yet on closer examination are related. Fashion is design, which itself draws from science, whether it be the material you use or way it is manufactured. I want to make science sexy so as to draw the attention of the youth to the potential that technology has to offer in improving their human condition with the hope that more young people get into the field, bringing more direct civilian funding to science. What would your advice be to others that want to pursue a career in music alongside other creative talents? Strategy and love. It’s somewhat a paradox to pursue a career in something so beautiful and close to the fabric of the human soul.
“You need to be both pragmatic and romantic at the same time.”
Joe Strummer Tribute
“The great human capacity to create.”
While that sounds arduous on the surface if you learn to break the Victorian bonds between subjects and your thoughts
“you can be both the fire and the ice at the same time. This is great human potential. The great human capacity to create.” Is there any advice you wish you’d known when you first
began your career? Be open minded to different types of music that may be better suited to you as a performer rather than your favourite. So consider who would be your best audience and what they want. Understand your limitations, work to improve them but work to create the maximum beauty with them. Balance and proportion are sometimes more crucial than being the best at
any one aspect. Realise that luck is as important as talent and give it everything, but give it everything by being smart with your heart. Breathe, and enjoy! It’s meant to be fun! You can find out more about Ankit Love on his website www. ankitlove.com or tweet him @ loveadovepax Feature by Lizzie Cooley
Joe Strummer Tribute...
Feature by Edward Couzens-Lake
A TRIBUTE TO
JOE STRUMMER NOT THE AVERAGE MUSO
It is one of THE definitive album covers in rock and roll history, and an almost primeval antidote to the symmetry and straight line perfection of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side OfThe Moon. An iconic photograph inspired countless young men to pick up a Fender, play it until their fingers bled and then smash it into a thousand pieces. The iconic image upon London Calling by The Clash. Picture it, bassist Paul Simonon, straddling the stage as he demolishes his beautifully crafted Fender Precision Bass at The Palladium in New York City. Pennie Smith, the bands photographer, had originally considered the image as unusable, claiming it was ‘too out of focus’ for publication. Fortunately, the bands entourage thought otherwise, as did lead singer and lyricist, Joe Strummer who claimed it would make the perfect album cover, displaying in that one grainy shot, the sweat, blood and tears that went into any live performance. That instinct, borne of Strummer’s Alt-Mu years spent at London’s Central School of Art and Design in London was the band’s money shot-except that it was cheap, produced in-house and so nearly consigned to oblivion. What might have become of The Clash if Smith had binned the photo? If ever an image summed up an art form, this is it. Both icon and music pulsate on, the photograph ultimately being named as the best rock and roll photograph of all time by Q magazine in 2002. Had, of course, it been submitted to the magazine, glossy and prone to self congratulatory excess as it was, an upmarket Grammar School version of the rawer NME, the irony is that Q’s photographic desk would have hooted in derision at its perceived poor quality and rejected it. Strummer and the band’s most well known single has also been sanitised for the middle class masses. The apocalypse fearing London Calling became a theme for London’s 2012 Olympics. Had no-one looked into what the song was about? Apparently not. Strummer’s epiphany, the famous ‘nuclear error’ howls of the near nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island, an incident which he said made him feel as if, he and the world “...were struggling, about to slip down a slope...grasping with our fingernails..and there was no one there to help us.” This is angst and despair not eternally smiling athletes clad in Nike. His lyrics also talk of a controlling state, of police brutality, how ‘... we ain’t got no swing, Except for the ring of that truncheon thing.’ 50
Strummer defines enigma. Born of a wealthy Father and earthy Mother, his background is as eclectic as his music. His Father was a diplomat and Mother, a grafter and worker a potpourri of class that had, against all the odds, agreeably mixed and sired a son, one whose early destiny was to accompany his Father’s tea chests around the world, cocooned from the masses in diplomatic splendour in places as diverse as Mexico City, Cairo and Bonn before, lest the energies of childhood disrupt the cocktail parties and cricket matches, he was packed away, at just nine years of age to boarding school in London. Strummer described his school as “where thick rich people sent their thick rich kids”. Yet he was anything but ‘thick’. He was different from the social norm. He was creative, enquiring, intelligent-almost bohemian. The love of art and music was already gestating in his eager mind. As he dreamt his way through and out of school, the adolescent Strummer was lured to Art College where he tossed around the idea of becoming a professional cartoonist. His musical tastes were already rich in taste and sound, ranging from Little Richard and the Beach Boys to Captain Beefheart. He never discriminated. If he liked it, he bought it, he caught the live show. Small wonder that the music he compelled out of The Clash covered such a broad canvas itself. The Clash, lazily tagged as a ‘punk’ band had elements of reggae, ska, funk, rap, dub and even rockabilly splattered into their songs. In 1982, they married jive and cabaret with the lively, Radio Two friendly Rock the Casbah. This turned out, just as London Calling did thirty years later, a case of inappropriate adoption. Rock the Casbah became US Armed Forces Radio’s soundtrack to the invasion of Kuwait. Worse than this, the song title even ended up being chalked onto a US bomb that was dropped on Iraq during that conflict. Strummer wept upon hearing the news and any sane person could only agree with his grief and anguish at such folly. Strummer also worked as a cleaner amongst the faceless wealthy that attended the English National Opera, a venue where he would have been seen as the lowest of the low and on a social footing with most of the garbage he collected daily. Ever innovative, he made the most of the venue, eventually being sacked for having the temerity to practice his guitar playing in the orchestra pit. This defiance and drive typified Strummer during those early years. He did what he had to plied his trade whenever he could, often alone and nearly always to little or no response or favour. He did that and so can we. We can all wait on tables, crunch numbers and wield a mop and bucket if we want to live our art. It was Strummers time and the living was sleazy, but look at the music it eventually gave us. Strummer sang, snarled and sobbed from the heart, wielding his guitar like a chainsaw as he did so. His sudden death on December 22nd 2002 robbed the world of a modern Mozart, a plain speaking, hard living and scarred man who was kissed by a touch of genius. Strummer’s angst was directed at the decay of his time; unemployment, racism, homophobia and social deprivation. Little has changed. So we should play his music loud, get angry and feel compelled to act. Joe would approve of that so much more than knowing one of his songs was on the same bill as Land Of Hope And Glory.
please don’t leave me alone
Angry man, angry lyrics, angry generation. Whitewashed by a committee who didn’t know any better.
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 54
y o T E n C e theti H: I c LP 10 d o c n b q ies f l y i E uere ght t u s i n d th rails g lot e ba s of r and i r s d sta h e i a d LPE r t e c g u t e h r tain e ba RAT a e s fl c IN k 7/
as thing grou G nd! h to crea s like : This gig te a idea l loo fire exit was at king b Another show where flash was for th ehind th a social e c e ph used. I had to stand at the frontLPE otos stage w lub so h of . 7/1 hich ad a mental crowd moshing around 0 w . a s me. nâ€™t They are always the best times to get good shots though. A lot of red lighting was used above the stage so ev en though I got good photos they all came out quite similar.
The Wedding Singer... Session Guitarist...
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO OWN MUSIC A veSHARE nue wheYOUR re anything g oes, so ON PHOTOGRAPHY IN ALT-MU, PHOTOS had to figPOST ht to geYOUR t to theON front and avoid OR OUR FACEBOOK PAGE the SHARE crazinessTHEM o f c ro wd surfers wit geneLPE ral mRATING. h TWITTER WITH YOUR ayhem going o n at the front. There were n o rules or res trictions but did have to b THE BEST ONES WILL FEATUREeIN OUR ISSUE! care ful wNEXT ith the fe ar of people lan ding on top o f me. @ALTMUMAGAZINE
WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/ALTMALTMUMAGAZINE ISSUE 4
The Wedding Singer...
THE REAL WEDDING
SINGER SURVIVAL AT SEA...
www.steveyounguk.com AHOY THERE! AT THE TIME OF WRITING THIS, I’M AFLOAT SOMEWHERE ON THE CHOPPY WAVES OF THE NORTH SEA,HALFWAY THROUGH SOME 160 PERFORMANCES AS A SINGER ON SEAWAYS FERRY. I’VE BEEN ON STAGE IN FRONT OF OCEAN-GOING MUMS, LAGERSWILLING LORRY DRIVERS AND UNRULY CELTIC FANS.
IN THIS ISSUE I WILL BE TALKING ABOUT WHAT IT IS LIKE TO SING AT SEA AND HOW TO KEEP YOUR VOICE FROM GETTING KNACKERED WHEN YOU HAVE TO PERFORM NIGHT AFTER NIGHT AFTER NIGHT… Greetings from the port of Amsterdam - I am a ‘Troubadour’ aboard the Princess Seaways Ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam (or just ‘Dam’ as the veteran seamen call it). Today is day 12 of a 32-date contract. Thirty two gigs… in a row…. That’s FIVE 45-minute sets EVERY night from 7.30pm to just after midnight (160 in total). That’s a punishing schedule for anyone’s vocal chords. This is not a show for the faint-hearted and my daily ritual has become all about getting my range back before 7.30pm. This is how I survive...
EAT, DRINK, SLEEP & STEAM I drink… Lots of hot fruit teas and honey and ABSOLUTELY NO ALCOHOL, which is forbidden on board anyway. Gallons of water! I eat… Fresh fruit, veg. Not too much dairy. No onions, spicy meat or garlic - all of which have a knack of coming back to say ‘Hello’ half way through a tender love song. I sleep… as much as possible. Earplugs, sleeping pills and anti-seasick tablets (which knock you out) are a must. My cabin is below sea level so I hear every wave crashing into the bow of the ship. I steam… using a portable steamer which I use every morning. Sometimes I put Albas Oil in and let it mist away, filling the cabin with wonderful fumes to help me breathe.
If you’re serious about singing, get yourself down to a PA shop and try out some mics. Do some research – is your voice loud or quiet? Husky or clean? High or low? I use an Audio-Technica Condenser Mic because I have a very loud voice and tend to distort most mics. It has minimal feedback and cuts through all the mid-tones produced by an acoustic guitar. My guitar is a Takemine Santa Fe, bought for £1100 in 2004. It seemed like an enormous expense but has more than paid its way. The three-band graphic lets me shape the sound for each song eg: hard strumming, finger picking, soloing etc… Takemine’s are a bit jangly and thin, but this makes my vocals sound warm and clear. I have to boost the lows and cut the mids on the desk but, once sorted, it sounds professional. There are so many great guitarists who have awful £200 acoustics with cheap pick-ups - and then they wonder why their sound is always so hit and miss? BE NICE TO YOUR VOCAL CHORDS Imagine sitting on a couch for a week then jumping up and running 10 miles. You probably wouldn’t finish the distance - your voice is the same. I hum to myself all day and do scales under my breath. The shower is a great place for singing. Hot, steamy, perfect!
On stage, my first set of songs have very low registers, Dire Straits, Bob Dylan and all that jazz. Each set gets a little harder; peaking at set four. Set five is peppered with easy classics so I don’t flake in the final lap. Let’s hope I survive my next 20 days. Not to mention the 1000 plus Celtic fans that nearly wrecked the boat last week, or the Newcastle revellers who charge on board each Friday with P-A-R-T-Y on their minds. Oh, and in case you’re wondering – the pay is great. Probably the best paid gig I’ve ever done. Weirdly, I feel more energised and enthusiastic than I have for a long time.
Aye aye Captain!!
Making Money in Music Photography...
GET THE BEST MIC AND GUITAR
HOW TO MAKE MONEY AS A
ver wondered how on earth people make money as a pro music photographer? It’s not an easy road but pro photographer Gary is here to share his experience with ALT-MU. Giving some amazing tips along the way for those looking to break into the business.
You have your DSLR and a nifty fifty, maybe even a 24-70mm 2.8 and a 70-200mm 2.8 but you’re not making any cash from music photography. How does one make the jump from shooting for free, to a fully paid up promusic photographer?
You Have To Deal With ‘The Man’ The first thing you need to do is tell Her Majesties Revenue and Customs. It’s a legal requirement (you’re going to be self employed), they will give you excellent advice with regards to bookkeeping and expenses and it will force you to start thinking like a professional and looking for business opportunities to exploit. Show Me The Money: Where Is It? How do concert photographers make money? They usually sell images through a photo
agency or have been assigned by a magazine to cover a show while being paid a fee. Magazine assignment is getting very rare now due to very few live shows being reviewed by them. Have you looked in NME or Q recently? Those back pages used to be full of images but not anymore. The shows that do get covered tend to be covered by their staffers, leaving you with just the photo agency career route. Unfortunately, most large photo agencies are full of concert photographers and don’t need another to arrange gigs for. Fortunately there are some smaller agencies that will take on photographers. However these smaller agencies might not be able to get you into the bigger shows. This is where the online zine comes in.
Zine’s & Getting Past the Velvet Rope There are literally thousands of online music zines all looking for concert photographers like you, these zines are very good at getting access to venues that are below arena size.
They most likely will not be paying you but they should be letting you keep copyright in your images, allowing you to exploit them further. Do not give up copyright! Avoid websites that state they have full copyright for the images. Having joined a small photo agency and got yourself a zine to get you into shows you can then work towards making money. After shooting the show, send some frames to the zine and pick some to send to the photo agency, who will be able to licence them for you. Be warned though, you really need to keep your ear to the ground as to what is hot and what is not. You are a pro shooter now and you will need to shoot groups and artists you may not like.
your time shooting for the zine you have come across various PR people, making contacts which should give you the ability to approach PR yourself for submitting images to agencies for exploitation.
The Big Bucks Arena shows are usually the most press interest orientated - mostly female singers and hot boy bands. Here you have to think really commercial - the most potential exploitation is the opening night. Feature & Image by Gary Stafford
Journalist / Musician....
LS - 45
Bigging Yourself Up After shooting larger shows your portfolio should hopefully be looking better with quality images and better well known acts. When this happens you can approach larger, better established photo agencies. Remember these photo agencies have plenty of photographers already and editors want an easy life. By shooting for a zine already you have reduced the photo editorâ€™s job in having to sort out passes for you, making you an attractive option for them. It is important to stress here that you are seeking an agency to represent your images. If all goes well you will get signed up by a larger agency and maybe they will get you assigned to bigger shows. If not, during
Journalist / Musician...
MUSICIAN & mUSIC JOURNALIST jORDANNAH eLIZABETH
Here at ALT-MU, we took time out to get ourselves acquainted with musician, radio presenter and journalist, Jordannah Elizabeth. When she’s not using those creative fingers on her blog TPR-Mag.com she is channelling her business mind into her other baby, Think Like a Label. Jordannah gives an insight on what motivates her, the lessons she’s learnt and her exciting future plans. 1. Explain to our readers who you are and what you do in a short paragraph… I am a musician, arts and culture journalist, and music editor. I host a seasonal radio show called TPR Psych Nights on DKFM Shoegaze radio online, and I founded an international music collective called The Process Records, along with a blog called TPR-Mag.com. 2. How would you say you fit within our definition of an ALT-MU? I have led a very alternative career path. I started managing bands and booking shows at about 17 years old. By the time I was 19, I was curating art galleries’ shows. By 23 I was booking events in New York City for a living,
and then moved on to journalism. I constructed a career in the music industry so I could be a well-rounded independent musician. I didn’t want to live my life waitressing or serving coffee, so I worked on my education and a professional career in music. 3. Would you say that there have been increased expectations on artists to be multitalented in the music industry? I.e. artists designing their own covers, running their social media, recording their own music… No. The mainstream music industry never expected indie and DIY musicians to take such initiative. Now, smaller labels have lowered their costs and workload and expect musicians who sign to them to do all the work, and feel like they are officially “distributed” by putting their songs out on Spotify. I don’t agree with that. I still feel labels should invest in artists. But honestly, musicians are in control. They can do as much or as little as they want. 4. What were the hardest lessons you had to learn about the music industry over the years? Well, I learned that life is hard in general. People are complex. And the music industry is about relationships. It’s also about being very self-aware and self motivated. I’ve always been a quick learner, but learning to survive relationships and critics comes with the lifestyle. If you
Meastro vs Multi-tasker New York Singer / Songwriter...
I constructed a career in the music industry so I could be a wellrounded independent musician. winter, I’ll only write and mix down my album. I function like that. 6. What advice would you give to anyone trying to balance a healthy independent music career? Do what is best for you and your health. If you know you can’t work in an office 9-5, find a job where you can work remotely or independently. If you have goals, plan them out logically. Research, make your tour and travel plans months in advance. Finding a flexible day job is really important. 7. What are your plans for 2014? are sensitive and don’t choose your battles wisely, your career can backfire. 5. How do you manage your time between your music as an artist and working on ‘Think Like a Label’ and any other projects? At this point, I’ve been working the way I do for ten years. I’m just learning how to balance everything and maintain a stable lifestyle in regards to traveling and maintaining long term personal relationships. I work seasonally. I’ll book my summer up for travel and play shows, I’ll book fall to work on school, do a season of the radio and record,
I’ll be preparing to tour Europe. We’ll be mastering my new EP, Bring to the Table, and I’ll be continuing to work as a writer and editor for fun and reputable publications. Jordannah provides a valuable view of what it’s like to forge a career in the music business, which is of huge value to up and comers or those dreaming of musical ambitions. She continues to tour and perform America. Interview by Josh Humphrey
www.thinklikealabel.com ISSUE 4
New York Singer...
NEW YORK Conrad Korsch Multi-Talented New York based Musician and Singer/ Songwriter 62
ALT-MU’s penchant for enlightening interviews brings you many of the most exciting figures in art and culture. Music is one of the most intrinsic parts of ALT-MU, and we always seek the best and brightest, so what a pleasure it was to bring you a conversation with multi-talented New York based musician Conrad Korsch.
When did you realise you could make your passion into a career?
With a repertoire that consists of acoustic and electric bassist/multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, and educator, tell us how you do it all.
I honestly never considered any other options. By the time I finished college (I earned a B.A. in Jazz Bass Performance from Temple University) I was already supporting myself playing music and never looked back.
Playing bass is the main thing that pays my bills. When I’m not on tour with Rod Stewart I work with other well-known and not so wellknown artists in live concerts, in the studio, on TV, etc. I also run around NYC playing in Broadway pits, jingle studios, private parties, jazz gigs, and some teaching at the collegiate level. About 1/2 dozen years ago I started a music production studio called “Scrumptious Music” which, in addition to recording bass tracks for people, I’ve used to compose and record music on a variety of instruments for various commercial enterprises, as well as produce my own record and music for other artists.
Where are you from? Where do you live? And what is the most interesting place you’ve ever been?
With credits including playing with Rod Stewart, Carly Simon, Andrea Bocelli, Bette Midler, and Clay Aiken, to name a few, is there any one that inspired you to go on to release “Live Love Leave” in 2010?
Conrad has recently featured on Rod Stewart’s album ‘Time’ and continues to pursue his passion for music. ALT-MU magazine always enjoy talking to musicians, and Conrad Korsch shines a rare light on the industry. Bass, Broadway and Bette Midler - he gives us a glimpse into the unique mindset of a musician.
I wouldn’t necessarily say that any one of them has specifically inspired me to release my CD that year, but I’ve learned a lot from having worked with all of them in the supportive role of their bassist. Rod was particularly selfless and supportive of me in my musical endeavors outside of his band, which is great. This record was a departure from my “bass” world and gave me a chance to contribute on a much broader level by writing all of the music and lyrics, singing, playing many different instruments and even arranging and conducting a string quartet.
I was born and raised in Philadelphia, moved to Manhattan 2 months after graduating college, and I’ve already been here 18 years… in Harlem on the west side for the last 8. With all the touring I do, people often ask me where my favorite place is and I always say New York City. I’m sure it has something to do with being “home”, but NYC is undeniably one of the best cities in the world, and if I really thought someplace else was more interesting, I’d probably be there!
For more information, please visit:
www.conradkorsch.com This interview has been brought to you by Women’s Mafia, a magazine focussed on only the best fashion, lifestyle and art. Interview by Elisha Dang
The Grunge Scene...
When it comes to taking passion to the next level, there are few that have come as far as the talented Conrad Korsch. Conrad’s notable credits include movies, Broadway performances, television, and working with many well known musicians.
The Grunge Scene...
Grunge and Post-Grunge: More of the same?
THE GRUNGE SCENE THAT DEVELOPED IN SEATTLE IN THE LATE 80’S EARLY 90’S HAS REALLY CHANGED OVER THE YEARS, AND NOT BASED ON THE REASONS YOU MIGHT THINK. Written by martin wake 64
ourselves? Or is simply the fact that Grunge bands in the early 90’s were so poor they couldn’t afford any clothes and lived in Seattle, hence the lumber jackets to keep warm. Also the music featured many more varied influences other then Punk and Metal; very common in offspring genres. Despite people complaining that it was not pure Grunge anymore..
they still remember DEATH & REBIRTH when grunge first hit the mainstream and people people are divided as to complained it was not what killed grunge in the pure punk anymore - it’s a mainstream. some people say progressive circle which it was kurt cobain’s death in is needed to keep the music 1994, and others say it was industry fresh as it possibly when soundgarden split in can get. 1997. Whatever the main reason, the word Grunge became a dirty word for a number of years until the dust settled and Post-Grunge was born (Alter Bridge, Nickelback, Stone Sour and Black Stone Cherry to name a few) in the late 90’s/ early noughties, but like all post music genres, it is very different. So what was different? Firstly clothes and image were very different first time around with lumber jackets and torn jeans, but with Post-Grunge it’s a more professional turnout, with tattoos and more focus on band imagery. Is this a sign of the change in society as regards to how we present
Post-grunge has signs of numetal and signs of modern heavy rock which makes sure it gets in the mainstream with a wide audience appeal. .
money and nothing to do but listen to bands in damp houses which inspired them to start their own bands. And PostGrunge started with bands that were fans of Grunge, so they played music similar to Grunge bands. I wouldn’t say they were fans of the lifestyle, and maybe the image too. So Grunge music has changed musically, in the image of the bands and the reasons why the music is played. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but hopefully the original Grunge bands can be seen to be influential and important to further music being created even to this day, and not a bunch of smack addicts that sat on their arse, got high and died young. And hopefully it’s refreshing that a music genre is not motivated by politics, but by people wanting to create music they love, which is a great reason to create music.
JUST SAY NO When comparing these two you cannot ignore the lack of Drugs (at least in public anyway) in Post-Grunge as compared to Grunge, and this can be reflected in society as Heroin is not as glorified as it was when Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley were at their mainstream peaks. You can say this reflects why all these bands did what they did, Grunge started with bands that had no
Papa Roach Review...
Grunge peaked in late 1991. The song and video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana was played on MTV and the youth of America identified with the music and movement known as Grunge. This made people think the movement was an overnight sensation. Of course, Nirvana and the other bands that went mainstream had been playing and working in bands for nearly four years before Grunge struck.
WRITTEN BY SET YOUR SAILS VOCALIST, SEAN KELLY
LOVE THEM OR HATE THEM, THEY ARE BASICALLY STICKING THEIR FINGER UP TO ALL THE HATERS AND DOING WHAT THEY LOVE! As I walked into the venue, I could tell that this was a show that had been sold out for a while. Once the support acts had finished, the crowd was strangely subdued in anticipation for the headliner Papa Roach. The lights go down, the crowd roars and smartphones fly into the air as they take to the stage with an intro that gives you shivers. Despite playing for years, they are jumping round the stage like they are all still 18!. “Burn” is their first
track and Jacoby Shaddix has the crowd in his hands. The band move on to “Blood Brothers” and “Give Me Back My Life,” their new and old songs blending perfectly and showing how the band have moved with the times whilst keeping their identity. Any young vocalists out there looking to learn how to take control of a crowd need to watch Jacoby of Papa Roach, he reaches
out to the very back of the venue and you can’t help but be dragged in as he truly owns the stage! “Angels and Insects” is next on the agenda for this nostalgic band, seemingly improved and performed like it’s brand new. “Where Did The Angels Go” kicks in and I can feel the ground thumping as the whole crowd is jumping! With its breakdown esque bridge it appeals to the metalcore that I love and live for while the eery backing
track resonates through your body and it seems like certain bands have followed these guys route!. Papa Roach take it down slightly with “Forever” and Jacoby has the whole of the audience singing the verse. As a vocalist myself I can truly say this is a dream for any singer/screamer that takes to the stage.
by decides to take a walk around the pyramids which I imagine is the band manager’s nightmare but fair play to him, a nice touching moment in what Papa Roach call “a good old fashioned rock show” Papa Roach gets back to old business with “Still Swinging” and “Born With Nothing”. and not slowing down. You could truly believe
“Life Line” is next for the lads from Sacremento, and you can almost hear the crowd over the music! They have one of the most dedicated fan bases I have seen in all my time going to shows and their class and stage performance has not relented almost one hour into their performance. “Life Line” and “To Be Loved”, rounds off the playlist as the crowd erupts; imitating a band which have not relented an hour into their performance.
they could play with this intensity and raw aggression all night! Love them or hate them, they are basically sticking their finger up to all the haters and doing what they love!
“Leader of the Broken hearts” shows a side of Papa Roach I have never seen before, it’s a mature _Papa Roach that have . infusedsouthern and stadium rock with choruses that you can’t help but chant back. Jaco-
After banter with the crowd involving Nutella and Jacoby’s girlfriend’s arse cheeks the band move onto one of my personal favourites “Scars”. There is a strong feeling of nostalgia filling the venue as Papa Roach touch upon the songs that made them successful.
Anthem and most well-known track “Last Resort” finishes the night off. If you’re into Alternative music and have not heard this what rock have you been living under!! The crowd go mental and everyone in the room are the new combined vocalists for Papa Roach. The boys have made the crowd wait for Last Resort and this UK crowd are showing their appreciation!! The whole night was full of nostalgia and pure professionalism, if you haven’t seen Papa Roach live your missing out!
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Creative Charity Interview....
However, with the chants of one more song echoing, PR oblige with “Getting Away with Murder” and “Dead Cell”, leaving this crowd with the classics.
Creative Charity Interview...
ROB STARR - author & founder of starr trust The Starr Trust is a young person’s charity based in UK city, Brighton. The Starr Trust are an independent, family run charity that sup ports young people aged 10 –18 to fulfil their potential in sports, arts and education. The charity has one main objective - to champion young people and help them achieve their goals. We took a moment to chat to co-founder of the Starr Trust and recently published author, Rob Starr. Finding out what motivates him and how the memory of his father, Edward Starr, continues to have a profound influence on his life. So Rob, where did this all start? How was the Starr Trust born?
Like many people I have always given to charity when I could, be it £1 or £100. As I got older, I realised that giving money away when you have it is easy. But what about those facing financial difficulty? I started to believe, that no matter your own position you should always still support others; be it financially or otherwise. When I lost my father in 2006 it had a very profound effect on me and really made me dig deep and try to not only deal with my own loss but also concentrate on the loss my family were feeling. The loss that all my father’s friends were feeling. Offering help to someone else, even though I was struggling, seemed like the right thing to do. A year or so after losing Dad, I decided that it would be great to honour his memory somehow. I also wanted to help others more intelligently with a more structured focus. I felt I could do so much more than I was doing and that it was my duty as a business owner to give back. So I came up with the idea of combining the two and setting up Brighton charity, the Starr Trust. In 2008, two years after losing Dad we received our charitable status from the Charities commission and the rest as they say …
Describe the charities mission in your own words…
To help young people fulfil their potential; simple as that. I would quantify that though by saying it is not 68
Following my Dad’s way and helping people believe that they can achieve is amazing... actually helping them... is simply a dream come true for me.
Photography by Paul Goodwin ISSUE 4
to champion young people and help them achieve their goals about us helping them to “be the best”, it is about us helping them to “be the best that THEY can be”. Also we are passionate about very core principles; Education, Art & Sport – these three headings we believe expand into all the areas that a young person (and an adult for that matter) desire in some form or other. Following my Dad’s way and helping people believe that they can achieve is amazing, but then going that one step further and actually helping them in some way, be it financial help or otherwise, is simply a dream come true for me.
What has been your proudest or most profound moment so far with the Starr Trust?
You know, in truth, every day is amazing. I look at the work that the trust staff & volunteers do and I remain in awe of them. I look at the moment people donate to us and I sit there shaking my head in amazement. I consider the time people put in to the trust without expectation back and I’m lost for words. I know that all sounds rather cliché but to have so many people come to us and offer help, financial and otherwise. Just so that we can fulfil our dream of helping these youngsters, which means they are buying into our dream; amazing. With so many charities and causes to support in the world, for them to choose the little youth charity we set up over a conversation in my house one night is remarkable. Our CHOCS programme won the AVIVA award for best community education charity this year; that was pretty cool! Of course also every time one of 70
our Starr Champions tells us how they are doing and the impact we have had on their lives; that brings out a plethora of feelings!
Tell us about your swim across the English Channel? What made you decide to do it?
I tried to run the marathon in 2010 to support the Trust; but my Crohns and my rheumatism put paid to that. So in a minute of madness, I thought swimming would be non-impact and much easier. I thought: “I know I’ll learn to swim and swim the channel; that’ll be easy.” I spent the next two years every day in the sea in all conditions and weather just trying learning to swim yet the channel constantly felt a million miles from possible. Apart from being in the sea every morning, I was also in the pool three times a week, running twice a week, cycling once a week and in the gym three times a week – all in a week, every week! On the side I was also running the charity, a business and had three babies at home. That whole period between 2010 until 2012 when I did the swim was just nuts. I also squeezed in the Brighton Marathon in 4hrs 15 minutes as well!
We understand you have now had a book published about the experience?
It is out now in hardback and as an ebook, please click here if you want to get your copy! It’s basically my daily blog which I turned into a book. I guess it’s
a very frank account of the two years I told you about. My fight with my illnesses, my children destroying my sleep and at the same time trying to keep my business from sinking further below the waters than my swimming was taking me. I hope it’s a good read; certainly the feedback has been good. Apparently it’s like having a conversation with me; I’m not sure if that’s a positive thing! 100% of profits go to the Starr Trust so I really hope people buy it just for that (and not the picture of me standing on the beach in my trunks!)
How does it feel to be published author?
I have always wanted to be an author. I’ve co-written two musicals and written two plays solo. All of these have been staged at least once; some more. So I am not knew to writing. But books; that’s the real dream. But as this book is about me and my feelings it doesn’t feel like I have achieved the author dream yet. For me being an author, which really is my dream, is about me writing fiction not fact. So whilst I guess I should be thankful and smiling a lot, I am a little embarrassed and still have that author dream to chase.
What advice would you give to anyone hoping to receive sponsorship?
Be honest with us and tell us your story. We are here to help you fulfil your potential, but without understanding you and knowing what you want to achieve we can’t
do what you need us to do. We are all inclusive; we are not looking for the “special talented” children only. We are looking for anyone with a dream, a desire and the drive to do their best in whatever it is they choose.
How can anyone reading this help the charity?
Financial support and donations are always great of course as we can only give out what we receive. But also giving us your time and ideas. Time is such a valuable commodity that it can be priceless and holding charity events is always helpful. You can put on a show, run a marathon and get your children involved. If you own a business you can choose us as a charity of choice and work with us for a year – you’ve heard it from millions of others I’m sure. But please understand this the Starr Trust will never be a charity that just holds its hands out. We are a charity that considers all of our supporters, our friends and partners. If you support us then we will support you back; this is all about us partnering with individuals and companies to help us all help others.
You can find out more about the Starr Trust online at www.starrtrust.com and get hold of Rob Starr’s book, From Starr to Starrfish on Amazon.
Interview by Jennifer Le Roux ISSUE 4
Published on Mar 26, 2014
ALT-MU is a music careers magazine that will engage, entertain and educate musos with alternative careers and ideas. This issue is packed wi...