We’re returning to the stage with a show at MonkeyTown on Wednesday, September 30th. It’s unbelievable that it will be over 6 months since we’ve taken the stage. The show will be a mix of live electro and visual art. Oh1oM1ke will draw each song on a wacom as we perform it live. We’ll be playing in the middle of a room surrounded by 4 25 ft screens. More details can be found here
Tag Archives: Commandante Zero
Brian Douglas has joined us as Comandante Zero’s official ‘Communications Manager.’
When Ken and I began the ‘Indie Way’ project, the idea was fundamentally to figure out new ways in which an indie band could survive in an era when the old models of the music biz were collapsing. The traditional route for a band went something like this – write songs, play gigs, gain a couple of fans, get a manager, get a lawyer and get picked up by a record company. The record company would then give the band, their manager and lawyer some $$ to do a record, to live on (all recoupable against future sales) and then they would hire a PR agent, booking agent and get their songs placed with a publisher.
Fastforward to 2009. The model is broken. The failing record companies aren’t picking up many bands, and when they do, they often expect them to come to them with a finished record and an established fan base. (the question remains – why should they get such a high percentage of the artist’s royalties if they are no longer putting in such high initial investments, but that’s another post)
The death of the record companies doesn’t make us sad in the least – it’s a really exciting time. Essentially, with the web, a band has the ability to communicate it’s music, videos and other content to the entire world. Whereas, the day of the rock stars may be over, a new era may be emerging in which a middle class of bands emerges. These are musicians who can support themselves as artists, not with private jets, and mansions, but enough to be able to simply continue making their art and not be destitute. These artists essentially will be supported by their network of fans who can now be spread throughout the world but tied together through the internet.
Basically, we believe that bands of the future are going to have as a key member of their team a person who is in charge of their online content, overseeing it and making sure it presents a coherent image to the world. However, as it becomes more important for bands to constantly release content besides music (i.e. videos, interviews, blogs, tweets) this person will act as a producer as well – documenting shows, producing videos and other material to transmit to the world. Currently, this job does not even have a title, and often is given to multiple people, but we believe that more and more, bands will take on this person as one of the first members of their team.
We’ve worked with Brian for a couple of years now. He designed our great ‘Indie Way’ website. So were really excited that Brian’s agreed to work with us and we’re sure he’ll be one of the first of the many ‘Communications Managers’ that will arise in the music biz (or whatever other title someone thinks up in the future)
Today I worked on a new version of ‘Enter The Rain’ Ken’s in Florida visting the fam. Sisko ordered us to have this version done by tomorrow, and it’s pretty much finished. The way we generally work – we come up with a groove first. Then I create the chord, words and melody. I model the whole thing in Garageband, which has iffy sound, but is good because it’s quick and simple. If we want to record stuff seriously, we then enter it into Logic where Ken produces it and mixes it.
For the record, the stuff will be modeled in Garageband, we will then rehearse the drum, bass and guitar parts live and record those in the studio. Subsequently, we will create the electronic sounds in Sisko’s studio on Crosby St in Soho.
Here’s a version of ‘Enter the Rain’ from the Garageband model. I know it’s a big no, no to put unfinished stuff out there, but if anyone wonders what a tune in progress sounds like, here it is.
The keyboard horns will eventually be played by a live horn section, the backing vox will be done by female singers and hopefully we’ll have a chance at using an actuall B3 and Rhodes for the keys.
So we’re moving along on the production end of the record. We met with Sisko on Friday who laid out a schedule for us. We’re shooting to be recording the week of April 13th. For the next month we’ll be finishing and changing some music that needs work and from mid-March to mid-April we’ll be in the studio practicing it daily. Our idea is to do an old school dance record – meaning that we want to nail the groove live in the studio, not have it chopped up and put together on a computer.
Another great piece of news. Russell Graham, an old friend of mine from college, has agreed to do the keyboard work on the record. Russ is an incredible musician/player/singer/producer. Currently he’s the keys/guitar player for the great Apollo House Band and works with Nile Rodgers among others. He’s also in the process of releasing his own record which I’m sure is killer.
Here’s a song called ‘Feels Like’ that’s in the process of being worked on. The way we often do tunes is get a loop, build a model with form, melody and words, then fine tune the groove, with Ken and I developing a much heavier live groove and Ken is also going to add a couple of layers of percussion. This tune is still being modeled – I’m still working out the form for the dance breakdown at the end…d