Independent and unsigned music & the creative arts
All That Glitters independent designer jewellery
Jake Morley Ned Rundell Spaceship Days â€˜Band of the Yearâ€™ The Book Club Dan Korn - Jo Hamilton - Tina Lie - The Toronto Drug Bust
Independent and Unsigned music & the Creative Arts
Dan Korn EP review
First published online , 19 October 2010
Tina Lie album review
First published online , 05 November 2010
Interview with Jake Morley
Interview with Ned Rundell
For more interviews, features, reviews and news from the world of independent creative arts please visit our website.
Jo Hamilton album review
First published online , 20 December 2010
The Toronto Drug Bust album review
First published online , 26 October 2010
Snow Skull Ring £295
All That Glitters
Independent Designer Jewellery 30
Interview with Spaceship Days
First published online , 27 June 2010
Interview with The Book Club
Some of the content in this edition of Somojo Magazine has previously been published on our website. Front cover: “All that glitters” Model: Elizabeth M Jewellery courtesy of: ORAH of London Photography: Rob Wilkinson www.robwilkinson.com Make-Up: Sarah Heap using MAC & Nars products. Somojo Magazine Editor: Kevin White Design by: Kevin White CD Reviews: Ashley Pieciak Information is correct at press time. Visit www.somojomagazine.com for latest news. Somojo Magazine is published 24 times a year by Dotw Media and is available as a free download from www.somojomagazine.com and other selected websites. © 2011 Somjo Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or whole without permission is prohibited. Opinions and content of articles and interviews do not necessarily reflect the official company policy. For all editorial and publishing enquiries: email@example.com For all advertising enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org For all enquiries for cd reviews: email@example.com
Welcome to the first of our pdf editions of Somojo Magazine, a new year and a new direction for us here at Somojo HQ. The emphasis is still on independent, only now we will bring you fashion and beauty features alongside the music reviews and interviews, with a few other surprises from the world of independent creative arts along the way. There will still be regular updates on our website and a new pdf edition will be available every couple of weeks for you to download and enjoy! If you’d like to be interviewed or featured in a future edition of Somojo Magazine, we’d love to hear from you. Happy New Year!
To hear some of the music by the artists interviewed in this edition of Somojo Magazine and to hear more great music by independent and unsigned artists. Please visit our sister website www.somojo.net Somojo Magazine | 3
Track Listing 1. Dustbowl 2. Song For Syd 3. Like A Dove 4. Lost Love Shanty
While listening you experience that joy that comes from finding “that” artist. It’s like slipping into something comfortable and sitting on the front porch with a whiskey and a smoke on a perfect summer day. Toe tapping, smile inducing, smooth as silk, Dan Korn is definitely a keeper. With vocals that are reminiscent of The Beatles and music of jazz greats intertwined with a little Dylan-esq folk it’s a clever arrangement. Singing is one thing but, his lyrics are astounding as well. It’s not easy to write a meaningful song. Writing down some gibberish that rhymes and slapping a melody behind it doesn’t make a song and this is something that he has successfully avoided. Dan Korn is an oddity, and that’s a good thing. It’s rare that you’ll stumble on an artist who can play an instrument, sing, AND write really great lyrics. The trifecta is impressive and intriguing. This concept is something that many don’t understand. Those that get it see someone who they know is going to deliver a knock out performance every time. When a singer gets to sing their own songs is a powerful thing knowing that this is YOURS and yours alone and that no one can take it away from you. Each song on this EP has a different feel. You think you’ve got it figured out and then he throws another curveball. Dan Korn will appeal to all listeners because he has an eclectic style that just keeps on giving. His voice is haunting and it pulls you in, you listen and then a couple hours later you’re pulling it up to listen again. I cannot wait to see what else he has in store. I did get a chance to read a little more about Dan after listening to the EP and what I learned made me love his music even more. He’s a very humble man, grateful for the opportunity to do what he loves. He knows that in order to make it sometimes you have to depend on the talents of others and is not afraid to be open to, well, everything. He gives you a great perspective on what music should really be about: playing because you love to play and that everything else is purely a bonus.
∞ Ashley L. Pieciak ∞
4 | Somojo Magazine
Free Enough To Fall
Track Listing 1. Black Swan 2. Twilight Hour 3. Consumed 4. Gambling with the Stars 5. Do Right to Me Baby 6. Pirate’s Heart 7. Freedom Child 8. Home Ground 9. Get it Right 10. Winter Moon
WOW! Such amazing vocals right off the bat I was blown away by how simply amazing her voice sounds. It really reaches out and grabs you by the nuts. Each song tells a story about her life. You feel her pain, her joy, and perhaps a little sexual frustration. Add those emotions to years of smoking and drinking and you get her wonderfully crispy voice. Sometimes I wonder where all these great artists like Tina are hiding. “Gambling with the Stars” is one of those songs that really tug at the heart strings. I mention this song specifically because it is one of two that I relate to the most. I can relate to them all, but these two really make me tear up. This one is about your child growing up and getting ready to make that first step out into the world on their own. You feel the mother’s pain at letting her baby go and not really knowing how to handle it. The second song that keeps me listening and coming back to this album is “Consumed.” There is a specific line in this song that, no pun intended, just consumes me. “If this is freedom, give me back my chains.” Those are mighty powerful words. This song is about life being unfair and having to give up someone you love so deeply they devour your thoughts and never let you go. There’s real pain in her voice and in the lyrics themselves. This song is extraordinary. Then again, if I’m honest, they all, without exception, are. I can’t wait for more music from Tina and her band. And I know once you lend her an ear you’ll agree. Before you know it you’ll be joining the mailing list and waiting on pins and needles for her album to finally be released. I think she’s got some big things ahead, and I have a feeling there will be no keeping her down!
∞Ashley L. Pieciak∞
Somojo Magazine | 5
Jake Morley www.jakemorley.com www.myspace.com/jakemorley www.facebook.com/jakemorleymusic www.youtube.com/jakemorley Discography. Debut Album ‘Many Fish To Fry’ out February 2011 Hi Jake, how are you? Terrific thanks. How are you Mr/Ms Somojo? Which instruments do you play? Anything I can get my hands on. I learned piano and drums when I was young, but it wasn’t until I hit my teens that I realised the ultimate truth: guitars are the coolest most awesome instruments ever.
6 | Somojo Magazine
What made you decide to be a solo artist and not want to be in a band? Probably just the usual control freakery I guess. It’s part of the reason I developed my guitar style where I smash out drum beats on the guitar and play lots of notes - I was trying to compensate for the lack of a band. Do you work with the same musicians when recording as you do when performing live? Absolutely. It’s about developing a bond between each other so everyone can perform to their potential. My set-up is just perfect right now - I get to make music with the best musicians I’ve ever played with, yet still call all the shots.
How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t yet heard you? I’m pretty bad at describing my music, so I’d probably stutter and then mumble something about being a singer/songwriter. My record has a big choir on it though, and lots of double bass, and it’s full of charm and soul.
Are you self-taught or did you have lessons? Self-taught on the guitar - lessons are useful but what you really need is the will to learn. With that you can do pretty much anything. If you had an unlimited equipment budget what would be on your shopping list?
What can your fans look forward to in the next 12 months?
My drummer really wants a sparkly 50s Gretsch drum kit, so I’d get him one of those.
A rollercoaster ride of pleasure and frustration, with an almost imperceptible increase in experience and wisdom.
Would you sign with a major record company?
Did you always want to be in a musician/singer when younger? Once you get taken in by the awe of it, it’s hard to imagine doing anything else. What music did you listen to while growing up?
Maybe. But I’d want to retain the freedom to write honest, authentic music. And I’d want Jacuzzi with a limo in it. And 10,000 brown M&Ms in a brandy glass before I go on stage. How much involvement do you have with the arranging and production of the songs when recording?
Bob Marley, The Joseph & His Amazing Technicolor Dream coat Soundtrack, The Cats Soundtrack, Michael Jackson (ages 4-11), Oasis, Blur and The Beatles (ages 11-15), Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam and Rage Against The Machine (ages 15-19), Everything else (19-present)
Quite a lot. Luckily I’ve been working with some phenomenal producers like Phill Brown and Calum MacColl. It’s been a fantastic collaboration built upon trust and respect of each others abilities.
How long have you been involved with writing & performing music?
I love it. My favourite bit is about 70% of the way through a great take where you’re riding on a wave of nowness.
Ever since I drunkenly stood on Vidisha’s balcony playing Oasis songs on her brother’s guitar whilst all my friends sang along. What was your first music making experience? Sitting on my dad’s lap as he played boogie-woogie piano classics by Dr John. What is your current equipment? I’m a big fan of £300 guitars and hours and hours of practice. I’ve just got a new Stonebridge guitar and I love it to bits.
Do you find the process of recording enjoyable and does it get easier the more you do?
Do you have any favourite tracks on your album? Yep, but I’m not telling you which. Do you write songs/tracks only about personal experiences? It’s important to me that a lot of myself goes into the music, but that doesn’t mean it always has to be autobiographical.
Somojo Magazine | 7
Do you find song writing easy or difficult? I’d bet everyone answers this the same - it depends on the song. Which countries would be at the top of your list to tour? Japan baby! My bags are packed just in case! Do you think music promotion sites and the internet are good tools for independent and unsigned artists? It’s almost impossible to be an independent or unsigned artist without the internet these days. It’s obviously massively important and beneficial, but also kinda sad really. Not all artists are born with the desire to share their lives directly with their fans, in fact some show them nothing but contempt. Which artists will never make classic albums because they weren’t active enough at social networking to build a fan base? How do you relax? Doing Rubik’s cubes, learning the saxophone, playing football, chasing my dog Mango. What’s your best/worst experience at a gig? A guitar string snapped while I supported Scroobius Pip and the ground could have ate me up. Gladly the amazing moments completely overshadow the bad ones. One of the best gigs I ever did was filmed and recorded and is up on my YouTube channel
8 | Somojo Magazine
Do you get nervous before a gig- how do you calm down? I don’t get nervous before gigs unless my equipment’s not working properly, which happens now and again when you spend your time beating up your guitar. What else do you do apart from being a singer/ songwriter? I make excellent sandwiches. If you ever fancy one just pop by. Would you like to be a full time working musician or are you happy with things as they are? I think about it full time, so I might as well get paid for it please. Is there anything you’d like to add? Never eat the yellow snow.
Ned Rundell http://www.somojo.net/Ned_Rundell/ http://www.myspace.com/nedrundell
How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t yet heard you? If a gentlemen lost his job, his wife left him and his baby fell out of a moving plane, he might go to a bar, he might order a string of double whiskeys, and then try and walk back to his flat, but when he gets to the corridor of his apartment block he sees his wife stood at the end, and he runs to her, shoulders smacking off either side of the corridor, tripping on the carpet, clawing at the wallpaper trying and stay on both feet at an impossible momentum just so he can get to his baby; I’d like people to get that kind of vibe from my songs, you know? But it’s probably better described as “a nice bob-along”. How do you relax? Hi Ned, how are you? I’m okay thanks, I’m sat in my university library, listening to some girls whisper at a hundred miles an hour – I want to think they’re whispering about me, saying I look great in my new sneakers, but they’re probably not. Which instruments do you play? I play the guitar and sing, I also stamp. What have you been up to recently? I played a show at a pub on new year’s eve and have a show at Cardiff Art’s Institute on the 26th of January, that’s all unfortunately due to university work. What music did you listen to while growing up? My dad played a lot of George Thorogood on Sunday mornings whilst he made the Sunday lunch – my room was right next to the kitchen so I got a good ear-full.
There are these videos on youtube where a woman shows you how to do your hair right, or how to put on makeup so you look like a lion or something – I don’t follow the advice but it’s relaxing to listen to. What else do you do apart from being a singer/ songwriter? I’m in my third year at Cardiff University studying Philosophy. I like to go to out to the disco. Would you like to be a full time working musician or are you happy with things as they are? I am happy with the way things are, very happy, but it’ll be impossible to sustain when I’m no longer a student. To become a real rock star would be wonderful hell yes – who wouldn’t want to be a full time working rock star! Is there anything you’d like to add? Thanks ever so much for the interview! Somojo Magazine | 9
Gown Special Edition
Track listing 1. Exist (beyond my wildest dreams) 2. Pick me up 3. There it is 4. How beautiful 5. Deeper (glorious) 6. Paradise 7. All in adoration 8. Liathach 9. Mekong song 10. Winter is over 11. Think of me 12. Bonus track- Alive, alive 13. Bonus track- Release Us (live) 14. Bonus track-Think of Me (radio mix)
Jo Hamilton has given her listeners the perfect gift for the holidays. This mix of old and new lets her long time listeners fall in love all over again. Jo provides another treat in the full color booklet of photos from her travels. If I had to choose just one song of hers to recommend to new listeners it would definitely be Winter is Over this tune is about shedding past hurts and moving on to new life and love. I am entirely impressed with her vocals and the whimsy of this particular song. When you close your eyes you can see the stars and feel the warm breeze blowing across your face. Summer love has a feeling of its own, and nothing compares. This song oozes of that feeling of wanting summer to never end. The second best song on the album I would have to say is Think of Me as one of her bonus tracks I am very delighted that she decided to include this one. Jo has a sound unlike anything else and this song really allows listeners to get to know and learn her sound. Her voice is also very nicely presented on this track (and all others) and for the first time listener you almost want to climb though the screen and sit at her feet and listen to her sing. Her voice is so magnificent that the world could go tumbling down around you and you won’t notice a thing. I can’t imagine Jo not excelling even further than she already has in this business. She is an instant classic, meant for great (greater) things. On one final note, be sure to look for the video of Jo playing the AirPiano , amazing stuff.
∞Ashley L. Pieciak∞
10 | Somojo Magazine
The Toronto Drug Bust enfent terrible
Track Listing 1. The Best Of Me 2. The Dandy Song 3. Rated B1 4. The Death Of Romance 5. Gimme Yours, Love 6. If You Were Mine 7. Emerald Green 8. In Line 9. Cigar Superstar
I have stumbled upon a band that I can’t pin down exactly why I like them. I. Just. Do. But since that most definitely doesn’t qualify as a review (well, maybe a blurb for the album inlay, but that’s about it) I’ll give it my best shot. They’re pretty amazing. One of the great things about this band is that it is always changing. You take front man, Sir Izak K.O. (a.k.a. Izak Kosir) and throw together a lineup of different musicians and you end up with something great. You never know who you’ll see on stage with him so his sound is always changing. Each song on this album benefits from this unique setup, more artists should get on this bandwagon. The songs speak of love, hate, deception, and possession. Izak writes them all himself and then he goes out and finds the right musicians to match the feel of the sound. The rhythms are rough with a little touch of grunge on the side. They are hypnotizing, when a song is over you feel like a little part of you is gone and then another one starts. When the album is over you’ll most likely start it again. This is one of five bands that I have heard thus far in my life that makes me want to shout “OH MY GOD, this is awesome. Not one song on this album even remotely sucks, they’re all great. I couldn’t pick a favorite if you held a gun to my head, they’re all different. This is another of those bands that demands a listen. I know I say this often, but I will be waiting on pins and needles to hear what else is in the works for The Toronto Drug Bust. I’m sure it won’t disappoint.
∞Ashley L. Pieciak∞
Somojo Magazine | 11
12 | Somojo Magazine
All That Glitters independent designer jewellery
Courtney Necklace £130 Pink Coral Ring £135 Braided Pearl and Tibetan Skull Bracelet £39 http://www.jolitajewellery.com Somojo Magazine | 13
Snow Dome Ring £265 Purple Dome Ring £ 265 http://www.orahlondon.com 14 | Somojo Magazine
Spartan Necklace ÂŁ190 http://www.hayleykruger.com
Somojo Magazine | 15
16 | Somojo Magazine
Gold Leopard Bracelet Large ÂŁ890 Golden Cobra Pendant ÂŁ265 http://www.orahlondon.com Somojo Magazine | 17
Prehnite, coral and pearl ring £105 Aliya necklace £280 Arqus braided bracelet £75 http://www.jolitajewellery.com 18 | Somojo Magazine
Ensata necklace ÂŁ130 http://www.hayleykruger.com Somojo Magazine | 19
Chion Necklace ÂŁ105 http://www.hayleykruger.com 20 | Somojo Magazine
Prehnite, coral and pearl ring £105 Carevna ring £105 Memento Mori Ring £105 http://www.jolitajewellery.com Somojo Magazine | 21
22 | Somojo Magazine
Snow Leopard Bracelet Large £890 Snow Moon Pendant £225 Snow Dome Ring £265 http://www.orahlondon.com
Somojo Magazine | 23
Talis ÂŁ230 http://www.hayleykruger.com 24 | Somojo Magazine
Orange Bird Ring ÂŁ265 http://www.orahlondon.com
Somojo Magazine | 25
Pink Moon Pendant £225 Pink Starfish £240 http://www.orahlondon.com 26 | Somojo Magazine
Purple Dome Ring ÂŁ 265 http://www.orahlondon.com
Somojo Magazine | 27
Leo bracelet ÂŁ75 Braided necklace with vintage medallion ÂŁ150 http://www.jolitajewellery.com
28 | Somojo Magazine
Somojo Magazine | 27
‘Band of the Year’ Somojo Awards 2010
www.somojo.net/Spaceship_Days www.reverbnation.com/spaceshipdays www.myspace.com/spaceshipdays Would you mind introducing yourselves and telling us what instruments you play?
How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t yet heard you?
Matt Mocharnuk I’m the vocalist
(Matt) Big melodies!!! We try to write songs that are immediately captivating but continue to reward the listener with each spin. The pop of Duran Duran, the teeth of Catherine Wheel, and the melancholy of Pink Floyd.
Greg Torsone: Guitars. Keyboards. Producer Chuck Cox I play bass How long has the current band line up been together? (Chuck) The three of us started a band back in college called grey. We’ve been together as Spaceship Days since June 2009. 30 | Somojo Magazine
(Chuck) I would ask them to listen to it and then describe it to us
What can your fans look forward to in the next 12 months?
What were your first music making experiences?
(Matt) Obviously we are looking to complete the new album within the next few months and a handful of songs will be accompanied by video concepts developed and directed by our very own bass player extraordinaire.
(Greg) First music I ever wrote was “Denial”, a song on the first grey album. Matt turned one of his poems into lyrics, and together we worked out the only Vocal line we could come up with. Voila, our first song. Arguably the best song from the early grey days. Then we proceeded into such international smash hits as “Skeleton Moon”, “Tin Gods”, and “Charlotte in the Rain”. But you probably won’t find them on any Pop charts...
How did you meet each other? (Chuck) Matt and I have known each other since before we liked girls—second or third grade. We were on the same swim team, went off to swim at the same college, lived in the same dorm room and on and on. There were a lot of years where we either lived together, or a mile or two apart. I met Greg on a recruiting trip to North Carolina State University senior year in high school, ran into him again when we both got there as freshmen, and Matt joined us the following year. We’ve all go back quite a long way. How did you come up with your name for the band? (Matt) “Spaceship Days” comes from a lyric in a Catherine Wheel song. They are the one band that all three of us could really agree write music the right way. I also like the name because on one hand it’s an obtuse reference but on the other hand it does seem to reflect the atmosphere and themes of many of our songs. Did you always want to be in a band? (Chuck) Pretty much. I had my first concert experience—which was Rick James—at a very young age. I think I was eight. That night I decided I was going to be in a band called The Excites. I drew a logo and everything.
(Chuck) …or anywhere outside the bookcase at Greg’s house. The first song I came up with was called “Scab”. I remember feeling particularly clever about it because I used a borrowed wah wah pedal on the bass, but it still wasn’t very good. Do you have a set routine when writing and recording or does it depend on each track and the inspiration? (Greg) We approach each song differently when developing what it should sound like. Each song has it’s own feel; it’s own life. (Matt) Interesting question. I very rarely “approach” song writing because every time I try to write a song, I come up with something stale, uninspired, and contrived. The best songs we write seem to be plucked from the air and developed. If a chord progression and vocal line don’t hit me immediately, I usually back away and get ready for another day. I’m not a very spiritual person but it’s weird, songs just kind of arrive and as a song writer you just have to be open enough to accept them, understand what they are and then not screw it up once you’ve got your hands on it.
What music did you listen to while growing up? (Greg) Duran Duran, Zeppelin, Rush, Boston, Pink Floyd, etc (Matt) Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, U2, The Cure (Chuck) My parent’s music which was more or less all things Motown, until my sister introduced me to Prince. Then I discovered Queen and that road took me everywhere else
Somojo Magazine | 31
How much involvement do you have with the arranging and production of the songs when recording? (Greg) Spaceship Days has complete control over our songs, creatively, arrangements, and in production. It’s how we are able to treat each song like it’s own entity. (Matt) If I’m considered the song writer of the band then this is where Greg really shines. I will write a song and in my head it should be a pure “grab you by the throat” rocker and once it swirls around in Greg’s head for a few days it comes back as a sweeping orchestral soundscape...and you know what... he’s usually right. Is the production side of things something you’d like to get involved more in the future, maybe working with other artists? (Greg) Personally that would be a dream come true for me. Developing musical arrangements and Production has become what I love most about music. I truly believe that each song that Matt presents to the band is a sacred gift. Each one is unique and special, and I feel a great deal of pressure, in a positive energy sort of way, to give each song the treatment it deserves. I want to give each song as much as I was given. Do you find the process of recording enjoyable and does it get easier the more you do? (Greg) YES in all ways. (Matt) Absolutely! My favourite thing to do in the world... because I certainly don’t like spending time with Greg and Chuck otherwise. Do you try to capture your ‘live’ sound on recordings or do you think that the ‘live’ sound and recorded sound should be different experiences for your fans? (Greg) I think great bands develop a “recorded” song as it’s artwork, and then develops a “live” sound as a different rendition of each song. The most boring concerts I don’t remember are where the band sounds exactly like their CD. I’d rather stay home, avoid the beer spilling and the ear ringing, and hear that on my Ipod.
32 | Somojo Magazine
Who are the main songwriters for the band? (Matt) Nearly 100% of songs start with me but the final versions that you hear recorded are the product of three guys that feel very passionately about creating the best songs that we possibly can. When the songs leave me, they are basically chord progressions, vocal lines and lyrics, and some degree of structure but all the interesting bits come later once the three of us get involved. Do you have a method for writing songs? Usually when I write a song I will start by singing nonsensical words and phrasings. Sometimes that vocal blathering actually yields a line and then I sit back and reflect on what that lyric could mean. Once I’ve figured that out, then I can build the rest of the lyric. Very rarely do I sit down and say, “OK I’m gonna write a love song now.” Although “My Life with You” is the one exception. Do you write songs only about personal experiences? (Matt) Yeah, probably. I’m not a very tortured person or anything, so I don’t feel compelled to exercise any demons but all of the songs do have elements of my personality in them. I wish I could remove myself from them sometimes; they might be a lot more interesting songs if I could. Do you find song writing easy or difficult? (Matt) Yes and No. I tend to write in waves. I’ll write five songs in a week and then I can’t write anything for a month. I think over time I’ve gotten a lot better at knowing when I’ve got something special and when I’m just spinning my wheels. When it’s not happening, I don’t force it. Who are your favourite songwriters? (Greg) Roger Waters and Rob Dickinson for me. Both have written unbelievably unique songs, having passion and emotion and unabashed energy. (Matt) Rob Dickinson and U2. Both have the unbelievable ability to tap into that vast reservoir and creative catchy, important songs that stand the test of time. And somehow, after two very long and successful careers, they can change (staying relevant) but still retain that signature sound.
Is there anyone who you would like to collaborate with on writing songs or performing?
Would you sign with a major record company?
(Greg) Right now I’m loving the company I’m in. I feel like Matt is the type of song writer that could write 5 songs every day, only time gets in the way.
(Matt) Would be a great problem to have...I’ll let you know if it ever comes up.
(Matt) No. There’s a lot of history with Greg, Chuck, and I...like any family, we’re better together than we are apart.
What’s your best/worst experience at a gig?
(Chuck) Writing wise not particularly. There is a very talented lady in Oregon whose voice would be a welcome addition on the performing side though. How do you promote your music and get your music out to new fans? (Chuck). We use social media to the absolute fullest extent that we can on all the major sites (Facebook, Twitter, Myspace) and several others as well. A very large portion of our fan base has come from people who have liked our music and passed the word on to their own social media networks about it. Watching how quickly things progressed that way really made us rethink how we had been promoting up to that point. We’re thankful for Limey59, Girlierox, and HaychStorm not just for getting our promotional ball rolling with a good solid push, but also for teaching us how to get creative with all the tools at our disposal. Do you think such sites and the internet are good tools for independent and unsigned artists? Completely. They aren’t just good tools, but vital ones for indie artists without massive promotional budgets, which is more or less all of us. People sort of look through flyers on the coffee shop wall, but might check their Twitter or Facebook page 38 times a day. Making connections, finding venues to play, and getting your music out to people who want to hear it are very important for indie and unsigned artists. The internet helps us do that efficiently, and effectively. That leaves more time for the most important stuff, which is writing songs.
(Greg) In a heartbeat. Isn’t the goal to share your music on a wide scale?
(Greg) Paying the bouncer at the end of the night, since we didn’t make enough at the door to cover the Sound Man’s cost at the Blind Tiger, in Greensboro, NC (Matt) We played a pizzeria at a military airport. (Chuck) Worst: We were playing a house party once, and this random girl walked up to Matt (who was literally in the middle of singing his heart out) and said: “Are you guys almost done?” Best: Its sort of messed up how hard the good ones are to remember—they go by so quickly. I’m going to have to go with the shows we did in Austin TX. Cool city, great crowds—all the stuff you think being in a band is about when you’re nine and watching videos late at night. With all the various websites out there for independent and unsigned artists, is there still something that is missing from them that you think would benefit the lesser-known artists? (Chuck) Many sites have fantastic resources, but the biggest thing that’s missing is people who aren’t in bands. Artists, by and large are on those pages to promote themselves, which is essential obviously, but it’s uncommon to find the ones who use sites pages to indulge their own inner music fan. Networking is cool in its own way, and it’s also great to discover those really good artists that you might not have heard otherwise but as far as finding new fans to engage with, it’s something that sill needs to get done one person at a time. Muso-friendly websites have helped to increase an artist’s reach, but building up a real following is still something you have to work at. Is there anything you’d like to add? (Matt) Yes. Oprah’s net worth to my savings account. (Chuck) Thanks for talking to us, and we hope that people remember to support independent art in all its forms, everywhere. Somojo Magazine | 33
http://www.myspace.com/thebookclubofficial http://www.facebook.com/TheBookClub Discography
What have you been up to recently?
The Book Club, March 2010 (self titled debut ep)
Gigged in Catania - Sicily. Amazin.
The Fantastical Adventures of Mr K., Nov 2010 Hi, how are you? Fair to middling thankyou Would you mind introducing us to your band members? Thereâ€™s Me (Joe) and Ant (Ant plays drums.) Then Tom (Bass) and Pat (Guitar.) How long has the current band line up been together? Nearly 1 year. How would you describe your music to someone who hasnâ€™t yet heard you? Music to get ready to. Music to come home to.
34 | Somojo Magazine
What can your fans look forward to in the next 12 months? Hopefully an album. The Fantastical Adventures of Mr K. parts 2 & 4. A European Tour might be on the cards too after some recent Euro dates. A definite Uk Tour. Civil Partnership? How did you meet each other? Family and Friends. By fate, by chance, by the bus stop How did you come up with your name for the band? My brother sarcastically gave us the label to reflect our academic tendencies ant it has stuck with us.
Did you always want to be in a band?
Which software/recording process do you use?
No. Playing football is the dream but then I suppose you have to be fit, talented and surround yourself with self-obsessed idiots.
We get everything down and have a good idea of what we want to achieve, then we work with a gentleman named Alan Smythe in Sheffield. He uses mostly wizardry and sorcery software to make us sound good. He is a genius.
What music did you listen to while growing up? The Jam. The Clash. Prince. Talking Heads. David Bowie. Dylan. Guns n Roses. Beautiful South. Housemartins. How long have you been involved with writing & performing music? Since I was 16. Technically I should be good by now. What were your first music making experiences? With friends in a loft. Are you self-taught or did you have lessons? Self-taught. All of us. What is your current equipment? We all use pretty standard equipment, nothing insanely expensive, there’s just no need for it. Pat uses a few fancy pedals and what not. If you had an unlimited equipment budget what would be on your shopping list? I would buy Paul Mcartney and force him to be sound again. Do you use the same equipment live as you do when in a studio? Mostly. Although it is nice to use a Hammond organ. Do you have a set routine when writing and recording or does it depend on each track and the inspiration? I bring the goods to the boys. They taste it. We negotiate a price.
Would you sign with a major record company? Yes! Ha, joking, no we wouldn’t. Do you have any new recordings planned? Hopefully complete an album early next year. How much involvement do you have with the arranging and production of the songs when recording? A lot, its an important part of the process for us. Is the production side of things something you’d like to get involved more in the future, maybe working with other artists? Yes. It can sometimes be more fun on the other side. Less protective more objective. Its not as close to you in the way that a it is if it is just you. Do you find the process of recording enjoyable and does it get easier the more you do? Mostly although you do tend to despise your own work as you may have heard it a million times. Do you try to capture your ‘live’ sound on recordings or do you think that the ‘live’ sound and recorded sound should be different experiences for your fans? Live is a good start then we bring in the gimp. Do you any favourite tracks from your album? Sir Walter. Very different for us. Quite sexy. Who are the main songwriters for the band? As said before, I write pretty much everything, then Ant and Tom work on Bass and Drum parts, while I iron out the rest of the guitar parts with Pat. Somojo Magazine | 35
Do you have a method for writing songs?
Which countries have you gigged in?
Not really. On Tuesdays I tend to write good lyrics...
Japan. Europe. UK
Do you write songs only about personal experiences?
Which countries would be at the top of your list to tour?
Yes but that gives very little material. looking at other peoples lives is more liberating.
Do you find song writing easy or difficult? Easy. It’s something I’ve been doing for a long time. Is there anyone who you would like to collaborate with on writing songs or performing? John Barrowman. Who are your favourite songwriters? Holland/Holland/Dozier.
Who would you like to tour with? If it was Absolutely anyone, Supergrass would be top of the list, even though they have split up, and if death wasn’t an issue, The Beatles would be up there too. How do you promote your music and get your music out to new fans? We were pretty lucky that people twigged with us pretty early, we don’t have a huge prescence anywhere really, when it comes to the internet we just kind of planted a seed, and it grew without us, and the word spread. Which music promotion websites do you use and do you have a favourite? Erm, not really a favourite, they all have pro’s and con’s. I think Myspace has done great things for music, but it may also be the downfall of an industry. Do you think such sites and the internet are good tools for independent and unsigned artists? Extremely. It’s a music revolution. With all the various websites out there for independent and unsigned artists, is there still something that is missing from them that you think would benefit the lesser-known artists? Things happen less organically via word of mouth which is a shame. How do you relax? Haha, erm, its a concious decision, i say “relax,” and i do.
36 | Somojo Magazine
Have you ever entered any ‘battle of the bands’ competitions? No, we’ve been very fortunate to not have to do things like that. What’s your best/worst experience at a gig? Catania - Barbara Disco Lab. Two encores. Free drinks til 6am. Do you get nervous before a gig? How do you calm down? Gigging is a normal thing now, its just like going to the pub, but with your 3 mates, and playing music to a crowd of people that like what you do. So to answer your question, we don’t really get nervous, because we have so much fun doing it. What are your day jobs if you have them? We all have our fingers in many pies at home (Sheffield.)
Would you like to be full time working musicians or are you happy with things as they are? Full time is the dream. Has your music been used on any film soundtracks? No. Shame really. Is composing for film or tv something you’d like to get involved in if the opportunity came along? Oh yes. It’s a landmark achievement for a writer and artist. Is there anything you’d like to add? Thanks to all the lovely people that keep buying our music, and keep your eyes peeled for lots of fresh stuff in the new year, cheers.
Somojo Magazine | 37