Wednesday, May 25, 2011

On a shoestring project part 39

  Sweeney's basement on Dame street tonight every one! We're pulling out all the stops for this one, it's going to be a rocker.

  The King Kong Club was great fun as always, the Village is such a great venue to play in! The sound is just to die for, and the lighting system is top notch. It makes you as a musician think, this is what you want it to be like! As to the competition, it all comes down to how big (and loud) crowd you can bring in. On the night there were bands with much bigger following and they deservedly wont the night. But we made new friends, built up our mailing list nicely and we are dying to see the video.

  It would have been nice to get to record our album in a top notch studio with a top notch producer, but it was not meant to be. The day after a competition like this can be bit of a downer, and I could see this in the faces of my band mates. I have been around the block long enough to learn not to get your hopes up until some thing really is happening. We did pull out all the stops to bring in our supporters, but it just wasn't meant to be. And this is such a good point, there are ups and downs in music business, and very often lot more downs. You need to build up a tough skin, get used to rejection and most of all, never to give up! But I have been planning things bit further a head anyway. It is good to have always something in the future to look forward to. So usually day or two after a concert we take a break, but then it's back to rehearsals and start preparing for the next show. We had the Sweeney's to look forward to. We could get focused on something new, not dwell on the past. I came across on the net this concept that what you are going through in music business is actually past, or more so, its the fruits of your work from weeks, months or even years a go. True, but bit deep...

  Anyway, we all know and/ or use Facebook. It is a great tool to promote bands, events, companies etc. But also great way to keep in contact with old and new friends. I have talked about Facebook promotion in the past, but let me go back to it for a minute. I am pretty patient man, but came across something I personally think you should never do to promote your band. There is certain event organizer, not very active and this is why I have been patient with them, here in Dublin. If they have an event coming up, what they are promoting, they post an poster image on Facebook and tag all the people on their Facebook friends on it. As a result this poster turns up on everyones wall... I would highly recommend against this. If you do so you will only annoy all your friends, for example this organizer is the only person who I have canceled as my friend on Facebook. You can Email the link to them and ask them to post it, but it should be everyones own choice, what do you think?

  Next week Sebastian is going for a short trip back to Poland to charge his batteries:-) And of course we will stuff his pockets with E.P.s for some serious networking. It would be great some day in the future to go and play some concerts in the guys home country. Speaking of which, for our Polish friends, check this out: And for those of you (me included) who don't understand Polish, it is a profile of our band in Poland's main rock music magazines website. Europe is full of music magazines, so Google for them and send emails asking if they review independent artists. Its never too early to start spreading your bands name. And very often the readers of these magazines are targeted audience, priceless!

  Our new video “Everybody dies”is doing well, 600 views in youtube. Its also getting some views in other sites as well, for example I also submitted it to BlankTV, if you like your punk rock, you need to check this out:-)

  So thats our updates and tips for this week, we'll be back for more next week:-)


Glory to the World - Single - J.P. Kallio

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

On a shoestring project part 38

  I am really exited about the King Kong Club semi-final :-) For those of you who don't know what I am talking about check out last weeks blog. Tomorrow night, the 19th of May, upstairs in the Village on Wexford Street. Come along!
  We go some nice news this week as well. During the week I bought the Hot Press (An Irish music magazine), there was an article that I wanted to read, but never got around to it due to a busy week. On Saturday morning I had a chance to chill out and as usual, started my morning with Coffee and Emails. In my mail box I had an Email from Jackie Hayden, a journalist who writes for the Hot Press, among other publications. He informed me that our E.P. “Play it loud!” was reviewed at his column “The First cuts”. Well I was up like a flash looking for the magazine, and after about fifteen minutes I found it between my lyric sheets and other papers :-) And there it was, the first acknowledgment of on a printed press. The review was very nice and as our first one I am chuffed.

"Lumps of punk and punchy hard rock" "Some impressive guitar work from super Kallio himself. One suspects they are possibly best in a live setting"
Jackie Hayden - Hot Press

  Now once again I find my self telling you, this is something you can do as well if you are in a band. Once you have a recording, there are music magazines around that will review it. But start small, don't just expect your first recording to appear at the top of new releases. Hot press has the First cuts column that does review new bands, and You can find more magazines with similar columns. Just do your research, all music magazines have websites and most of them have review submission information on their website and if not, the information should be only Email away. Here again I believe very much in a personal contact. So if the magazine does not have specific submission information, I usually email them with a link to our music or video. I ask if our music would be some thing they could include in their publication, and if so I ask for mailing address. Also check what they want, some just want MP3s hosted on your website, and some magazines need two copies of the CD, one they send to a reviewer and one they keep for the design team in the office. Also include a A4 bio, and sometimes a letter to go with it. Unless they specifically ask for it, I would not send press clippings from other reviews, reviewers like to make their own mind about your music and no amount of fancy reviews by other reviewers is going to change this. Going after some publicity works just like everything else in the music business, small steps at a time. And when you do get a review, it is only good manners to thanks the reviewer and let them know you appreciate the work they do. If the review is not so good, do the same thing. No one wants to read just sugar coated reviews. Besides, it is still just review by one person. For example, Foo Fighters new album got really bad review in Irish times, but Metal Hammer magazine called it their best album yet. You win some and loose some.
  So the past week we have been busy rehearsing for the King Kong Club. The set is going to be rocking! Next Wednesday the 25th of May we are playing a concert in the Juke box slot, in the Basement of Sweeney’s on Dame Street. The night is organised but the Music Medium Live, and should be a good night. This looks like it is going to be our last gig in Dublin for the next few weeks, but we'll be back for more in mid June :-) We have hand full of new songs on the way again, and just wan to work on them for a few weeks.
  Big thank you to all of you who checked out our new video last week :-) It is getting some nice views. We still would like to hear what you think of it, so keep those comments coming. Also if you have any ideas for future videos, we'd love to hear them as well.
  So that’s all for now, I'll talk to you more next week.

Glory to the World - Single - J.P. Kallio

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

On a shoestring project part 37

  As you know from last week’s blog, life as a musician has its ups and downs. This week we have some great news! was selected as the wild card in the King Kong club! So we are performing at this months Semi-finals in the Village on Thursday the 19th of May. As you might know from the last time, it is the band with loudest claps, wildest cheers and craziest fans that gets to the final. They have an Empire state shaped Clap O Meter that measures the volume of the cheers for every band at the end of the night; it's pretty cool looking apparatus!

Also the upstairs venue at the Village is a brilliant, great sound system, amazing lights. It’s going to be one cracker of a night, and we need you there to support us. Here is a link to the event on Facebook
You can select your friends to invite to it, if you are on Facebook and we would really appreciate if you could do so :-)
  The next bit of good news is: has a new video out! And boy we are proud of this one ;-) Check it out!

  The video is once again a DIY production, our favourite kind of production ;-) I built the set, Qra set up the camera and we just went for it. And I can tell you; those guitar heroe games have not a patch on the entertainment value we got out of it! Then Qra edited the video and we were ready to go. Once again I am trying to make few points here: first videos don't need to cost an arm and a leg. Second: the promotional value of cleverly shot good looking video is priceless!
  So we hope you will enjoy this video, and share it with as many friends as you can. I was talking to a friend of mine last week online. And he asked when we will be on tour in Europe. Well I told him that it is way too early for that! We need to build some following first online. It comes down to the same thing; the value of the band is how many people they can bring to a venue. So if you are reading this outside Dublin and would like to see us play live, you can do us a favour and share this video with as many of your friends in your area as possible, so that when we eventually approach a venue, we can say: look, we have had ex amount of views from your area on our YouTube video.
These really are some of the great tools of the modern music business. Most social media sites offer you statistics and analytics that if used correctly can be valuable tools.
  And how about last week? As you know, Qra was in a bad way with his back, but we still had some concerts... So Krystian Mazur stepped in. And he did unbelievable job, considering he had a 24 hour notice to the first concert!
Krystian on our way to Leixlip

The Wednesday night in the Pint was quiet, I think most people were either broke or partied out after two bank holiday weekends on the row, but this kind of suited us fine as Krystian got to run through the set without too much pressure. On Thursday we were in the Arthurs bar in Leixlip. This was a great night! It is so nice to play at a band night when all the other bands are just nice people, no egos ;-) We were first on and Krystian really stepped up to the task! We made loads of new friends.

The second band of the night was 9thlife, a melodic metal band rocking it hard! The have been taking a bit of a break from gigging due to some line up changes, but this was their comeback gig, and boy was it good! No signs of rustiness here. The last band on the night was The Lost Colours, young acoustic rock band. It is so great to see young guys who understand the business and treat it as such! These guys had some great rhythmic play and tight harmonies. Both of the bands, I am sure you will hear about in the future.

  Also we will be playing the basement of the Sweeney’s bar on the 25th of May in the Juke Box night, so if you can't make it to the King Kong, then see you in the Sweeney’s. But sure, why not come to both :-)
Talk to you more next week. Oh yeah and almost forgot to tell you, Qra's feeling better and will be with us next week in the King Kong!

Glory to the World - Single - J.P. Kallio

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

On a shoestring project part 36

  I was supposed to be writing this blog about something completely different than what I am about to tell you. We were supposed to talk about our new video, how we filmed it, came up with the idea and so on. But sometimes life takes its turns and you just need to go with it. So we had a very mixed week, good rehearsals and preparations for this weeks two concerts. And we even filmed our new video for the song “Everybody dies”. It is looking really cool and we will be sharing it with you very shortly. The whole band was really looking forward to our next concert.

  But then the bad news came in. Some of you know already that Qras (Tomek, our bass player) back has not been the best lately, he ended up in hospital about three weeks ago. He was finally starting to get his mobility back, but on Monday the pain returned with what I can only imagine is over whelming intensity. So since then we have had a soldier down, actually literally on the floor, as it is the only place he can get any relief. This brought up some urgent issues for the band, first of all we have four concerts booked for the next month, which two is this week... As a full time musician for a long time, I do know what the consequence of canceling a concert on last minute are. Even though people can be understanding, they still will have a memory at the back of their heads of you canceling on them for years to come. But at the same time, what can we do? Well we could just do an acoustic set just me and Sebastian, but we would be jumping in to the deep end of the pool, as we don't have an acoustic set rehearsed. The other option is to get some one to temporarily to step in for Qra. Even the thought of not having him on the other side of the stage is devastating, but at the same time, show must go on. It is better for the whole band including Qra that we get some one in for him for these few gigs, and when he is better at least we are still welcomed to play there in future. These are hard decisions for any band, only last week Bon Jovi announced that Richie Sambora is in rehab, but the tour will go on. It is one thing to cancel a concert when you're only starting up with your first school band, but if you are trying to make a profession out of playing music, you need to act professionally and take responsibility. When you book a concert you are promising to deliver, and that's what you should do. Sometimes life just deals these cards, and all you can do is make the best of the bad situation. I have seen lots of bands crumble in these situations, and proper communication is very important here. It was as much Qras decision as ours to find a replacement. We talked the pros and cons over, and this seemed to be the only sensible option. So we had to call on a friend of Sebastians, a bass player, who very kindly promised to help us. No one wants the job of learning six songs on the day of the concert, but thats what musicians sometimes need to do. But still as I write this, the day before, I hope for a miracle, I hope for Qra on my side on the stage and I know Sebastian very much feels the same.

  So now I have small favor to ask you. If you could pop over to our facebook page, and leave Qra get well messages, I don't think nothing else would cheer him up more than to know that people, who follow our bands progress are thinking of him.

  I know this is not the most cheerful blog in the world. From the beginning of our journey I promised to share with you the good and the bad, and to be honest with you, in the past few days I haven't really thought much else. Working as much together as we have in the past... eight months? Wow! Time just seem to slip through my fingers. Yeah, you become like family, so it is devastating when one of your brothers is down. But hey, he is still young. We'll send him in to the garage, fit a new head gasket, change the oils, clean the filters and he'll be good as new:-)

  So tonights and tomorrows concerts In the Pint and in the Courtyard hotel in Leixlip will go ahead as planned, so come along to support us especially now we will need it.
  I think still I'd like to finish on some bit better news. As I mentioned in the beginning about the video, it will be out very shortly. We are maybe thinking of a midnight Sunday/Monday morning, but We will keep you posted on our website, facebook, twitter and myspace of the exact time. Stock up on popcorn;-)


Glory to the World - Single - J.P. Kallio