Wednesday, June 29, 2011

On a shoestring project part 44

  The rain is beating its subtle drum beat on my window while I write this. It's always a bit of a dull after show like the Whelan's. But this time I hardly had time to sit down. But that's the way I like it anyway:-) Here is a video from the Whelan's concert.

  Now we got an extra gig next week in Sweeney's. It is the Juke box slot night and it is the basement venue. Also our good friends who we used to share rehearsal room with, the Casement ghosts are playing with us:-) We are really exited about this one. For those who don't know them, Casement Ghosts are a Punk rock band . I have been helping them out recording a demo in the past few months and I must say, they have some kicking songs, be sure not to miss them. Also on the night there will be Ivan St.Leger, Tom White and WillBury, who we are looking forward to hear on the night. Come along, the show starts around 8pm and it is free in:-)

  And the week after that on the 14th we are back in the Pint, but we'll talk more about that next week:-)

  So let me talk a little bit about attitude towards modern technology in music. What I mean here is particularly in the punk rock, metal and all us distorted guitar and pounding drum loving rockers. We embraced the Myspace when it first came along, then it was a must to be there! Now it is gone... waste of time, one of the worst sounding music players out there and why did they change it in to a pop up? Anyway at the time it was powerful tool, and helped loads of bands to get around. Then came the facebook and twitter... Yeah they might not be the coolest things in the world and we love to give out about them, but for a musician they are tools. Use them! We got our first bit of negative feedback few weeks ago when I was emailing radio stations, but to be honest with you this was more entertaining to me than anything else. In the email I send to the stations I tell them bit about us, send them a link to our music and in one part I explain how we embrace the DIY ethos. I have set up automated signature in my Email (You should do this as well! Check out WiseStamp), there is links to our website, facebook, twitter, youtube and myspace. The reply I got went in the lines of this: “DIY Punk on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube! When are you gonna sell out at Wal-Mart?” Well... you can't please everyone can you? So, lets go back to the world of making cassettes with our boom box, sharing them with our friends, few posters around the town before our gigs. Rocking it out and being so anti-establishment on Friday night, but back to nine to five on Monday morning. Now don't get me wrong, nothing wrong with nine to five, or having bit of fun on Friday, but criticizing bands for trying to get the word out there? Oh yeah, and the radio station in question has facebook, twitter and youtube pages;-). For musician social media is a tool, a means to connect with your audience and build a following.

  But in general, as you might know the response from radio stations around the world has been unreal! As I said so many times before, most of these people are music fans and like to help out new bands, so one negative mail against over 30 positive? I can live with that:-)

  Here's something light from the imagination of our drummer Sebastian:-)

  Now, the rain has changed to sunny blue sky:-) Better go out and enjoy it, we don't get much of it here in Ireland:-) Back for more next week.


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

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

On a shoestring project part 43

Last week's gig was a huge success in our eyes :-) And once again I would like to thank you all who made the effort and came to see us. The upstairs venue in Whelan's is really nice space. The bar is to a side, so it won't disturb the show, and the whole space has really nice living room kind of feel. The stage is not too big, but big enough. It was a perfect setting to our night.

The Wicked few played a kick ass set. I’ve seen them live once before and kind of followed a bit what they have been up to since then. I must say this was the best I've seen them. Check them out on their Facebook page

 JPKALLIO.COM When we were preparing for the concert we set out to do a longer set, but keep it flowing. We didn't want to have too many slow numbers or long breaks on the set. I suppose the more we have been playing together, the better vision we have what we want the shows to be like. We had 13 songs on the night, and even then we had to leave several songs out :-). I think it worked out very nicely, even if I say so my self. We only had few hiccups on the night, small problem with one of my guitars, but that's why I bring two with me ;-). It is hard to explain what goes on during a show. It kind of takes you over... You get up there, hang the guitar on your shoulder, and quickly check the tuning. Then it's those four beats from Sebastian’s drum sticks and the race is on. You are more exposed than ever, but at the same time more in control than ever. The guitar grunts, air pushes from the bottom of your lungs through your vocal chords. The work your stomach muscles do is only short from a serious work out that in any other situation would leave them burning. But you don't feel a thing. With out you even noticing, you are drowned in sweat. Still you just want the moment to last. Time can play funny tricks on you during a gig. If you are in front of a drunken bar crowd that really don’t want to hear you, 45mins can feel like six hours. But in Whelan's, the time just flew by. You were in a song, giving it all you have, but at the same time looking forward to the next one. And sooner than you think, it’s all over. When we played for example in the King Kong club, we had a set of only three songs. In Whelan's the 13 songs just flew by. Every aspect of your career as a musician is important, studio work, rehearsals, song writing... But what we live for is the live show. This is very much why we want to do this. This is what we work for long hours, writing, rehearsing, promoting... That short moment on the spot light when it all comes together, adrenaline pumps through your body. Drums, bass and guitar fills your ears and you sing your heart out, no drug comes near the feeling :-)

14th of July we are back in the scene of the crime, we're we had our first concert: Live and Unsigned night in the Pint. This concert has a soft spot for us, and Billy's nights are always good fun. It is a Thursday night, I know lot of you have been asking us to do a concert on Friday or Saturday night and believe you me, we are working hard on it;-) But as some you might remember from our first concert, we need minimum 10 people in to qualify for the competition. And the prices are sweet :-) The winner gets a slot on the City channel TV show and a day of recording in the Trackmix recording studio! So put this one in your calendar ;-) There are few more dates on the way as well, but more on them later.

Just a quick update on the radio front: JPKALLIO.COM has been added to the play list of Dutch station Also :-)

That’s all for now, back for more next week.


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

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

On a shoestring project part 42

  So it is the morning of our concert in Whelan's, upstairs that is, and we really hope to see you there. It's 8pm doors and music starts 9pm sharp. And as I mentioned before, there is a 11 a clock curfew, so all you people working the next day will make it for the last bus, dart or luas :-)

  And that’s enough advertising ;-). As you can imagine we have been busy rehearsing for the gig, and while doing this we realised that even after leaving out the tracks from our first E.P. We have more than enough material for a full album. But even more so, it sounds like a collection of songs that would work together as an album. Now obviously this was always some thing we were aiming for, but at the same time, the time needs to be right. There is no point recording an albums worth of songs just for the sake of doing it. All of us in the band love our music, we live and breathe it. We message each others YouTube clips of cool new bands we find and when ever we get together it never takes long before we start to talk about some new band one of us heard, or a new album some one got. And we have very old school approach to music. We still like albums, as a collection of songs that together becomes something more. Listening to some inspiring music is very important part of being a musician. It is very easy to take music as a granted these days, with it being available all over the internet by a click of a button. But most of us know it was not always like this. I remember a good family friend giving me a birthday gift of a cassette player when I was four or five, I think. Before this my parents did not have any way of playing music in the house. Although there always seemed to be a guitar around ;-) My dad used to drive trucks all around Europe and I remember the car stereos in the trucks being a great excitement to me. But when on that birthday I got my first cassette player and a cassette (it was Boney M...) it gave me freedom. Freedom to listen to music when I wanted and by god did I make the most out of this freedom and I must say my mother was very understanding ;-). The same family friend also introduced me to Lou Reed. Then my uncle had a collection of vinyl records. Everything about them fascinated me. The covers, the art work. There was Stray Cats and Motorhead, the two that stood out to me. And I am sure the guitars on those albums did start a life time fascination for the instrument. But still today when I hear a great album, it gets me exited. For example at the moment I can't stop listening to Social Distortions new album, a real genuine collection of songs that just works together so well. This is what I would love to achieve. To make an album that would have that same effect on people. Good album gets you hooked. You listen to it non stop for a long time and when you finally had enough, give it a rest. But when you come back to it, it just lights up something inside again. I do know music has a very different effect on every person. And I would very much like to hear what it means to you? Is it just something to dance to? Or something you just listen when you turn on your car radio? Or are you as obsessed about it as we are? And what do you expect from a good album? Or do you only listen to single songs? Leave us comments here or on Facebook and share your musical story :-)
  We got loads of more Radio play this week, this is the list so far:-)

Punk Britannia

Punk Rock Demonstration

King Kong Radio 2xm

Pluto Radio


Music world radio



Off The Chart Radio

Radio Arcadia - Toronto

Monorock Radio

Radio Quebec

Ragnar Rokk Radio

  It is half past midnight when I write this, and I need to be up for rehearsals in the morning so it's time to get some shuteye. But before I go and drift away, let me just say something I don't say often enough: Thank you for reading this blog :-) It started as only a small blog, bit of a hobby for me, but 42 weeks later, the blog and everything around it including JPKALLIO.COM genuinely has had a big impact on me, and to my delight we are getting more and more hits every week :-) Thank you people and stay tuned, we are only getting warmed up!


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

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

On a shoestring project part 41

  Even though Sebastian was on his holidays last week, we've had a busy week. Our music has got around lot :-) First of all the Punk Britannia show played us on Tuesday and the show is repeated Thursday After the weekend the show will be available at Also we'll be featured at the and Tide 96.0 FM (Hamburg, Germany). Also a video of us in the King Kong Club semi-final came out:-) So here it is, let us know what you think.

  Now as I talked about this last week, our show at the Whelan's is only week away. We really hope you all can make it in. It is going to be a really cool night. We've been sticking up posters around town, but it's hard to get every where, so if you have any places where you would like to stick a poster you can either copy it from here and print it out or get in contact with us and we can drop them down to you (in Dublin). So here's the poster again.

  I have heard from quite few people in the past few months’ compliments on how we promote JPKALLIO.COM. To me this is great to hear as we do put lots of hours in to it. But at the same time, I can't stop wondering why isn’t everyone doing it? I do understand that there is the weekend worriers who just do it for fun, but if you do have any ambitions bigger than that, get to work! All the information is at your finger tips, right in front of your eyes. Internet is full of valuable advice; Google is a tool I use every single day. How did I get our music to these radio shows and podcasts mentioned at the beginning of this blog post? I found the radios and podcast shows on Google, I visited their website, I listened to their shows, while I was doing other work (writing blog, designing gig posters...) and if it sounded like we could fit the bill, I contacted them. Send nice email with bit of info on you (who you are, where you're form and who do you represent). Now I personally think that this is an important part: on the server where our website is (Thanks Greg for the space) I have also posted our E.P. Tracks as high quality mp3s, so I can include links to them on Email. I would highly recommend against emailing any sound files, unless you have been requested to do so. The links I send, the person can download the files if they like them :-) And if not, well at least it’s not going to fill their Email box. If they want a physical CD, I'll gladly send it to them, but if your mp3s are high enough quality, it is actually faster and more practical for podcasts and internet radio, as they would end up compressing your CD files anyway. I talked about the difference of commercial radio, independent and internet radio in the past and lot of people in the podcasts and internet shows are music fans, and if your music is good enough quality, they will be happy to hear about your band.

This actually leads to another thing: In the past few months I have heard stories of bands investing their hard earned cash to some studio time, but the results being not very encouraging. It can be tough work if you are new to it. The studio environment can be intimidating, especially if it costs several hundreds a day and the clock is ticking. But I know these bands and I know they are capable of producing good recordings... Just because there is a sign on the door saying it is a studio, it does not mean you will come out sounding good. Some of the best engineers I have worked with are able to produce a dissent recording with minimal equipment pretty much anywhere, and no amount of fancy recording equipment can make you sound good if the person using it can not use it. I have worked on both sides of the recording process and still do. My two cent on the subject is this: first ask for some resent project done by the engineer with the equipment studio you're going to use and pay for. You are paying lots of money! You won’t buy car without test driving it, you won’t buy new guitar without trying it, possibly reading reviews about it on the net. It is your right to hear what they can do, and if they have problem with this, just walk away! Fancy equipment is nice, but worth nothing unless the engineer has the skills. And when you schedule your studio time, by the love of all the goods of rock! Leave enough time for mixing. This is where you will make the magic happen. This is where you glue all the elements together. I remember working on a compilation CD I had a track years back, and talking to the engineer, this guy was a pro, been at it for years and knew his way around the desk and computer. He said you should spend as much time on the mixing as you do on the actual recording. At the time I thought it sounded bit too much, but years later I have come to realize the wisdom in his words. Even this can be bit excessive on most people budgets; it is something to keep in mind.

Well that was a bit of a rant again, but it just gets to me a bit when the artists end up being the payers in a business that would not exist with out them ;-)

Back for more next week!


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

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

On a shoestring project part 40

  Week 40! and still here, you'll never get rid of me now;-) I get easily exited about big numbers... Anyway, this week I have lot to go through, so lets get straight in to it.

  As you might have noticed, the “On a Shoestring project” has been a bit evolving project, first it started with idea of a solo album, that very fast turned in to a band that you know now as JPKALLIO.COM, then out came the E.P. “Play it loud!” followed by our 100 concert challenge. Now we are taking on again another aspect, which hopefully we can make in to a some how regular thing later on, and this will be the “On a Shoestring presents” concerts:-) Obviously JPKALLIO.COM will be featuring heavily at these shows, but also we are hoping to help out and share stages with similarly minded DIY bands. And our very first event will be on 15th of June in the upstairs at the Whelan's on Wexford street. On the night, headlining as you guessed JPKALLIO.COM, and our friends The Wicked Few will be supporting us. The doors open at 8pm, The show starts 9pm sharp, and we'll be rocking until about 10.45pm. The ticket price is €5. Most of the ticket fee goes to cover the costs of the venue and promotion, but if we manage to make anything extra, that will all go towards future “On a Shoestring presents” nights. To get updates on the future nights, just sign up to our mailing list, if you haven't done so yet (There's a free E.P. In it for you)

  So we really hope to see you all in there, and if your band would like to get a spot at a future event, just come along, check out the night and have chat with us:-)

  And now on to something that I meant to talk about for a long time, and this most certainly has influenced everything we do:-)

  The mid seventies brought out a new music gender that actually had strong political links and became a movement. The origins of the music is too much of a debate for this blog to participate in, and I would not be an expert at this anyway, for more on the history of it all, check out a wonderful article by A.S. Van Dorston at We are of course talking about Punk rock. I actually had a debate about the rock part in the punk with a fellow musician, but again as I am writing this blog I will leave the rock in it;-). I associate roaring distorted guitar, pumping bass lines and pulsating drums with rock music, and punk has it. I am not a big fan of drawing very strict categories in music, more of a general ball park indications. But the reason I am bringing punk rock up is to do with the way these bands went about their business. Before the record companies “discovered” local bands and made them national and international. And in those early days there were lots money made and not by the artists... So the punk rockers very much rewrite the rule book. They made records on a shoestring budget, printed them by them selves, booked their own tours by hooking up with other bands in other cities, sleeping in the floors of friends flats, driving around with doggy vans. They were not too bothered about the best equipment, or making loads of money, they just wanted to play music, loud! Sure thing it had its boom, as does everything, The Sex pistols, the Clash, the Ramones... But most punk bands were not signed to a major label. And once that boom was gone, lot of people were sure the punk would just die a slow death. But what started as an underground scene continued as an underground scene and was probably the most unaffected by the crash of music business (as we used to know it). And now 25 years later, the future of the music business is very much built on this DIY concept. Sure we have the internet and all of its wonderful tools, but the basics are the same. Record some music, get out and play some live shows, build following and then expand this to next town and so on. Hard work, good music, great live show and word of mouth. Too often people think there is some magic formula, or some super promoter who is going to elevate them to “The next level”... But the punk rockers always had this down to earth mentality. And if you stop trying to find that magic formula and just concentrate in making the best music you can, playing the best gigs you can and promoting your band the best you can, you will be so much head of the game from the most bands out there.

  So thats all for this week, back for more next Wednesday:-)


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