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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Other stuff to report...

Ok, just a quick post today with some stuff that's going on elsewhere in the world of music and entertainment...

The Coheed & Cambria album is out this week, and I spent most of the last 7 days streaming it from their MySpace and it is brilliant, a great progression from the last three albums. Find out more info about it at www.coheedandcambria.com

I got hold of the new Robyn album and was surprised at how good it was - I heard the singles and thought it would be a little throw-away but it has some teeth and she has a cool voice. It could do with being a little more rock and a little less electro - but I'd say that about pretty much anything. Check out www.robyn.com for more info about her and the album etc.

A new tour announced today that three of my favourite bands are touring together - Paramore, New Found Glory and All Time Low. Anyone who knows me, knows that this is like a wet dream of a show for me. If anyone knows when tickets are going on sale, let me know. Dates are available here.

I am bummed because yet another of my favourite bands have released a new song today, but I can't find it on UK iTunes yet to buy. I will probably have to wait until tomorrow until the people at Apple get their ass in gear!! The band is Brand New and the song is called 'Fork and Knife'.

The new series of Dexter is being shown on US TV and I've have been streaming the episodes from SideReel - are sites like that having a negative effect on viewing figures, I never watch anything anyway, I just Sky+ it, does that matter?? Who cares. Anyway....Dexter is awesome, watch them all.

That's all from me, I am behind with everything so a few minutes is all I can spare, I'll be back though....by the way, I know I said I'd have photos from our trip to Norwich the other day, but the camera on my phone sucks and it deleted them, sorry.

Max.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Sense Of Community

If you've noticed that my last few blog posts have more been a random outpouring of opinion than an update on my life, or the band - that's pretty much because everything is just ticking over at the moment. We are booking shows, writing and rehearsing and have a few things in the pipeline that will all be cool when they happen.

If you like my band at all and you have a little time to spare then please consider signing up to our street-team at www.thelifers.co.uk - the reason I ask is that it's what I'm gonna write about in this post.

Ok, not specifically about The Lifers (although good chance for a plug though right?) and more about the community that I want it to become. I am personally a member of a couple of street-teams and they are rubbish. They consist of the odd email every now and then, usually when the band head out on tour in the US - useless for me here in the UK. What I really want from a street-team, or any community that I become part of, is to be involved and inspired as often as possible. I want to get to know the other people and let them know me. I want to be engaged and given a sense that I am a valued member of the group. That is what I want our street-team and fanbase to become in the future - a community.

If I'm not wearing a plain t-shirt, then the odds are pretty high that it has a band's name and logo across the chest. I like displaying the bands that I love to people around me - it's like a uniform, it tells people something about me without a word being spoken. I am far more likely be proud of wearing a band that engages with their fans on a regular basis, that is answerable to them (to an extent) and is always looking for ways to communicate with them beyond shows and tours.

I think that some bands forget this and are worse-off for it. We have met people who started off fans and are now just friends of ours. This is a only ever a good thing. When you are fan of a band, you believe in them and you don't want them to let you down - it's a responsibility on the band members to have the honesty and integrity to do their best not to let those fans down. I think the idea of "selling out" is an odd concept and pretty out-dated in the ever-changing music industry (if it was ever relevant in the first place) - I don't care of the band do and advert for a product, as long as they can justify why they did it and communicate that to their fans, if the fans demand to know.

Let's try an example - product placement in the recent Fall Out Boy videos. I noticed it was pretty heavy advertising in a couple of the videos (a phone company and a brand of deodorant) but when I checked their website, one of the band members explained that their label wouldn't give them the money to make the video they wanted to make and advertising was the only way they could fund it. You can argue the creative validity of being forced to put something into your video just to pay for it, but as long as I understood why they made the choice and was able to hear it from the band themselves, I felt more included and glad that they had acknowledged it when someone asked.

What I'm trying to say is that, as a fan, I understand the responsibility that comes with putting yourself out there and what is owed to the people who respond in a positive way to what you do - I have no idea whether in my life I'll be able to live up to the standards I have set for those bands that I love, but I promise to try my best and that's all I can do right now. If you see me failing, then call me on it - don't let me off easy.

Catch you all later,

Max.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Keep It Simple

This morning I went through and caught up with all of the bands that had sent through their MySpace pages for me to look at in my capacity as a record-label hopeful. I really want to find bands that I love and promote their music, I am passionate about good pop music and I want to make that a massive part of my career as I get older.

It is upsetting to see how many people don't seem to grasp the basics though. Why make a band's MySpace page barely readable with some crappy layout? Why hide the bio information? Why is the gig listing empty without a little blog entry or note explaining what you're up to instead of playing live?

It's not rocket science. If anyone, whether they are a stranger that you handed a flyer to, or someone from a label - whoever they are - they wanna hear the music and find out about you as easily as possible. That's it. Only when they've done that, will they even consider taking part in the more interactive stuff you have to offer.

I am in the process of updating our website all the time to try and do those two things. Provide people with all the information they need within a click or two - and then, if they choose to, give them a whole website full of things to play around with and get involved in.

If you do play in a band and read this blog, please make sure you have your shit together before sending your details out to anyone. It only takes a few hours to get it all sorted, and it'll pay off in the end.

Rant over.

Max.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Putting the 'pop' in pop-punk.

Worked on a new song tonight. We tend to have few unfinished songs kicking around at any one time, when we get a chance in rehearsal, we run through them...see what we like and what we don't and then try and fit all the parts we like together into a new song.

Despite spending loads of money of recording equipment which is in the room, we still record everything on my mobile phone (it's so loud in the room that I have to put it on the ground outside). It sounds like shit, but it does the job.

I hope the new one sticks around coz I think we got it right by the end.

Dan and I are off to Norwich tomorrow to see Maunder who is studying there, I'll try and take some photos of our little day-trip to keep us all entertained.

Catch you later,

Max x

Thursday, October 04, 2007

"Waiting to be famous and wondering why they do this"

So i'm pretty busy at the moment, but only with good stuff so I don't mind one little bit. I just got back from the gym where I'm pretty sure my twice-weekly jaunts are having little to no effect on my overall fitness or physique. This is probably due to my awful diet and unwillingness to stop eating pizza and chips...I guess you win some and you lose some.

So last post I made, I put up a Frank Turner video for a song which looks at the motivations and integrity of people in the music industry. As someone who is stumbling over the starting blocks of a career, this is always something that crosses my mind. In a time when the music industry itself is in a state of massive flux and sustained success has become harder to achieve than ever before - what motivates people to attempt to build a life from music they have made? Is it the quest for fame, the chance of massive wealth, the chance to impress massive numbers of the opposite sex? You gotta ask yourself why you're doing it at some point.

So what do I answer when i do ask myself? I suppose the stock answer is "I'm doing it for the music..man", which is of course, only ever partly true. My passion for music is absolute and I love the songs that me and two other smelly boys make in our little garage, but when you're dragging a ton of equipment through the snow at 2.30am as we load out of the van, the music is the furthest thing from my mind.

The reason I do this is because I'm yet to find a part of it that I don't like - from the business side of things, the hundreds of emails, spreadsheets, website admin, money (or lack thereof), and organisation stuff..right through to the live shows, the adrenaline, the long drives, writing new songs and the hours spent just hanging out. Don't get me wrong there are parts I'd rather not have to bother with (see the bit above about loading gear in the snow), but even they are nothing compared to the alternative which is a life left wondering if I could have filled my days with a more passion-filled career.

I do this because the few highs make up for the, day-to-day plateau of waiting for the next good show to come along - because there is always something new to learn and it's something that I actually care about, beyond my almost total indifference to the rest of life.

Even though I ask myself why I do it, I am proud and happy to say that my answer has never come up short, and I have never doubted whether I make music for the "right" reasons - and as long as you can answer to yourself, nothing else matters.

Back to work,

Max.

 
 
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