A (Much Overdue) Rant: In the Key of Rock

*AUDRA* says:

"Does nobody like rock n roll now? Well I don’t really think so."

Above is a quote from one of our newest songs. At first glance, when I was told to sing it, I thought, "How untrue is this?! People love rock music!"

Well over the course of my (extremely awesome and fast-moving) career with Chaser Eight I've learned a couple truths about the music scene. Allow me to enumerate:

1. Rock is dead. I didn't want to believe it, but it is. True rock that is and especially if you're a woman. The days of Janis Joplin, No Doubt, Garbage, Hole, etc., are over. And that's much to my dismay and sadness. Mostly because girl rockers rule. Seriously.

2. Covering other artists songs makes you way more popular than playing original tunes. This goes for making YouTube videos and performing in a live cover band. I honestly had no idea this had become a career path.

3. If you're a hot guy lead singer you have a better shot of making fans than a hot girl lead singer. Unless you are in the cover band and wear midriff bearing clothes on stage.

Sidebar: Sorry, I'm not dressing up half naked to parade around stage with a wireless mic and dance like I'm earning dollars. I play a white Gibson SG through a Orange Dual Terror and a Roman Custom Cab. And when I'm not playing my microphone game is that of Freddie Mercury: a commanding staff yielding rock power.

4. Pop music has taken over. People would much rather see the hot guy lead singer and/or midriff bearing woman sing upbeat, sappy love songs than hearing the cry of an electric guitar. Pop AND new wave hip indie music. There are a lot of those "indie" bands these days and, yes, it pisses me off. You're so contradictory, clever, ironic, and hip. Get an amp that goes above 1 and rock your ass off for a change. Oh and eat something.

5. If you say you support us, than come out and support us. Live gigs are only as successful as the fans that walk through the door. Get off the couch and listen to good music.

So, put down your iPhone and step away from the crappy pop tunes and support rock music again! There was a revolution in the 60s and 70s. Music was being created that you could hear and feel. Can we get back to that? Or at least get back to the point where people support that?

Note: I'm not hating on the hot guy lead singer or midriff bearing woman and the poppy cover songs they perform. Nor am I hating on the new wave hip indie band. There is room for all of us and everyone has their own path to follow. Just because I think it's soulless work doesn't mean that people don't enjoy it. Actually, it's quite the contrary. I know people love it. Do you. We'll do us. And maybe our paths will cross.

Another note: There several acts in this area that I respect and appreciate for their talent and dedication to their craft. I'll name a few: Seth Adam, Chris Grillo, The Smyrk, When Particles Collide, Atrina (Andre Roman),Goodnight Blue Moon (Nick D'Errico), Echo & Drake, Broadcast Hearts, Moving Brooklyn, Porcelain Clocks, Deception Fades, Danny Henry, and Kevin Reed (I see those videos you're posting on Facebook. Fantastic. Keep it up, kid. Help bring rock back).

So, now, I ask, "Does nobody like rock n roll now?"

End rant. 

A Tap Dance

*AUDRA* says:

This is my correspondence with an interviewer . I thought it was insightful on both sides and worth sharing. I don't tend to agree with everything this person says, but have a look for yourself: 

XXX,

Just a quick note to say thank you for taking the time for the interview yesterday afternoon. I truly appreciate our conversation and am pleased with how it came out. Providing the indie music scene with your coverage and attention to artists like us is a great service, and we've already gotten some good traction out of the interview. Thank you!

One thing you did mention in our talk was that you hear again and again that groups have the desire to make it, but actually do not. For the ones that do "make it", what have you seen that sets them apart from the rest? Obviously it's quality music, of course, but what other attributes do you think help to garner success versus wallowing gig to gig? 

I like to ask this question to get different perspectives. I hope that your offer to help me out could include the above conversation. :)

Many thanks in advance, and again, I truly appreciate your time and our conversation. I look forward to speaking to you again in a couple months when we launch the new EP.

Best,

*AUDRA* from Chaser Eight

____________________________________________________________________

From: XXX
To: *AUDRA* from Chaser Eight
Subject: Re: Thank you!

Thank you for being on the show Audra! We had a great time speaking with you. I am always interested in bands and performers perspectives on their career progression.

I like to ask the question about where bands see themselves in 2/3 years or "down the road" to get a feel for how sincere they are and if they understand the commitment it takes to succeed. The difference to me is being able to understand that it is more than a career choice. It is a lifestyle choice. You have to be on the road in markets where nobody will know you for the most part. You have to understand that is necessary in order to network with others doing the same thing. By building and utilizing these relationships on the road is where doors will begin to open. Believe me there are 10's of thousands of talented bands everywhere. Most never leave their comfort zone and eventually implode from life in general...work, marriage, babies etc. It doesn't mean you cannot fall in love and have a real life it’s just that those people in your life need to understand your choices....being on the road etc. They and you have to be strong enough to handle time apart.

One of the biggest challenges, of course, is money. That is why cultivating relationships elsewhere is so important. You need places to stay, food etc. to keep costs down. You need to have merch to sell in order to have gas money for the next gig. Venues will not begin paying you a decent amount until you build a following in their area. That takes time and work...not just partying with people. (Another roadblock to success).

You also have to ask yourself ...what is your definition of success? Is it fortune and fame or an established career within the industry where you make a nice living? In either case it takes full commitment to the lifestyle and a consistent approach to your craft every single day. You are a professional artist first.

I hope this helps Audra. I am always available to answer your questions or give you insight. If I am able to introduce you with others that might be good for you to work with I will do so....other bands, promoters, etc. Just keep me in the loop on what you are doing and we can take it from there. Contact me anytime you wish. Ask me anything you wish.

Peace, XXX

____________________________________________________________________

Hey XXX, thank you for your reply. Right now, we definitely want to build a huge following locally; drill a niche an inch wide and a mile deep and fill it with people versus broadcasting to anyone everywhere and having a very thin following. Not that I don't agree with your views, I just think the game is a bit different now with the ever-expansive use of the internet to market music. I think you can stay in your comfort zone more now if you are making great music and have a great web marketing plan that can reach millions of potential fans. Or if you are making music that is good enough to license (as a mentioned yesterday we already have a few deals). This way you can make some money off those avenues or gain traction in your own area through doing local shows then you can do a tour. I would never want to be like some of the bands we see out on "tour" now; playing everywhere to no one and just to say you did it. I would rather dominate my market then go on tour opening for bigger acts. Make a new for ourselves and leverage it. Otherwise, it can just be a terrible waste of money.

Every single member is fully invested in the Chaser Eight lifestyle and everything that entails. Even our manger (our 6th member). Unfortunately, we all have day jobs to pay the bills right now, but we drop everything for a commitment to the band. Also, the day jobs do help as it allows us to fatten up our band fund with the weekly dues. This way new merch, music videos, studio time, and whatever else can all be afforded. But one of the main band mottos is: Always show up. And we live by that.

Success would have to be both for me. It would be the fame and fortune and an established career within the industry making a nice living.

I always tell people that I didn't choose music, it chose me. So for me and for the band is this lifestyle choice AND a career choice. I believe it has to be both. In this age of DIY musicians if you don't treat your band like a business and make the best and informed business decisions, you'll also fail at achieving your goal. The goal being "making it."

Thank you again and we will definitely keep you in the loop and appreciate your help and advice!

*AUDRA*