Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How to make sure you won't get booked again

  So here we go, I'll get the rant out of the way first. In the past seven months we have done 15 concerts. In these 15 concerts we have done anything from battle of the bands to show case nights to organizing our own concerts. And as lot of you know through my experience with Sliotar and other bands I have played in over the years, I have done well over thousand concerts. So I have seen a lot and I know how hard it is to get band of the ground. Here is one thing that has been bugging me lately: when a band takes a part in any kind of show case/band night, I would expect them to stick around and listen to the other bands. And believe you me I know some of the music would not be up to every ones taste, I don't have much tolerance for out of tune guitars (get a tuner and get your guitar intonated!) and bad timing (Practice with a click), but suck it up, they are in same situation you are or were. Ok, you might have to get up the next morning early to work, but first of all you can talk with your band mates and some of you could stay, if some of you must go. Second, and do I have news here for you, if you seriously want to make it some day, I mean make your living out of music, you will need to learn to get by with very little sleep. Let's repeat that one just to make sure you got it: Being a full time musician, you need to learn to get by with very little sleep! Six hours is a good night sleep for me. Now in all fairness, about once a week I do pass out for nearly twelve hours... But You get my point. There is always some excuses and sometimes they are more valid than others. So just stop and think about it the other way around. Think what you would want the other bands to do while you play? Musician’s talk that's how the word goes around and to be honest with you, what I've seen in the past year, this is what separates the frustrated amateurs from the pros.

  Let's look at this from a different perspective. As I mentioned there above, we have organized some of our own gig nights, and helped other organizers to book bands as well. This is something I have big plans for, and will be doing more and more. From a gig organizers perspective, unless the band has a genuine reason, I mean if you have a important festival gig the next day and a long drive, that's fair enough. But if I just see the band come in, play their set and run off, because it's well past their bed time, you can be sure I won't be booking them any time soon. And if you think I am the only one who thinks this way, I've talked to few organizers and it is one of those things that register at the back of their mind. They will remember the band that stayed till the end and checked out every act. You might think here, what does that have to do with music? Everything! You expect other people to support your band if you don't support others? Anyway, enough of that ;-)

                                         Thanks to Will Bury for the photo.

  So we had a busy week :-) JPKALLIO.COM played twice in Sweeney's. Wednesday was the Music Medium Live night in the basement. As the regular readers of this blog know we've been there few times before. They are a small group of people working hard trying to do something for the music scene in Dublin and slowly but surely they are building momentum, once again proving that hard work and persistence does pay off in music business. They run a Singer songwriter night in the Sweeney's on Tuesday nights, Juke box slot showcase on Wednesday nights, FissionFriday once a month upstairs in Sweeney's and they are just starting another night in the Mezz on Sundays. So if you are looking for a gig for your band or solo act, get in touch with them, they are really nice people as well :-)

  On Saturday night we were back in the Sweeney's, upstairs this time. Weekend nights in Sweeney's are busy, so we had a hopping gig. This was number 15 in our 100 concert challenge, slowly but surely getting there ;-) Also on both gigs it was great to see so many familiar faces, we are making friends on the way.
The next concert at the moment is the Rocktober semi-final in the Fibbers on Saturday the 19th of November. The standard of this competition has been very high, so it will be a great night of music. I think we need to pull out few extra stops for this one ;-)

  In the mean time, we have decided to go and record few tracks in the Trackmix studios, so in few weeks time we'll lock our selves in there for few days and we'll see what comes out of it. We will be bringing camera with us and try to document some of the stuff while we're there. So before that we'll be rehearsing our backsides off. Oh yeah, and we need to agree on the songs we want to record...
So that's enough for this week. Hope you managed to get through the autumn with out a cold; I'm trying to shake mine. Have a good week and I'll be back for more next week.

  Oh nearly forgot to mention:-) The Halloween is on its way. I am taking few days off and going to Warsaw for the long weekend, but there are some great concerts around during the Halloween weekend that deserves a mention. Our friends the Pimps and Gimps are playing in the Harbour bar in Bray on Sunday the 30th of October, so head over there for some quality punk rock. Also the EHT promotions are running a fancy dress metal night in the Pint and our friends 9thlife will be on the bill along with loads of other great bands. Hmm... how do I get a feeling you might find Qra at the Harbour bar and Sebastian at the Pint;-)


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

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New review and other stuff

Part 60

It's freezing cold October night outside. I am listening Thousand Watt Stares debut album, and it is a killer! If you have not checked them out yet, you should. Whether I'm writing this blog early in the morning or late in the night, it always feels like it's happening in the dark :-)

We had a busy week rehearsing new songs; they seem to be falling out of me at the moment. But that is a great complain to have. I talked about this bit before, but it's been on our minds this week. One of our main goals at the moment is to record an album, but there are little obstacle on the way called money:-D. This is a problem we share with most bands. The valuable information we gained from the interviews on this blog with into the void records and Trackmix studios has given us a very clear idea what it would take to record the album on our own. At the same time we are still contemplating weather we'll do it our selves, or try to go after the all so magical record deal with some underground label. As Darragh O'Laoghaire pointed out in his interview two weeks ago, if we do record and release the album on our own, we would pretty much limit our sales to live concerts. So yeah lot to think about. At the same time we have new songs coming out all the time and the band sound is evolving the more we play. Our debut E.P that came out in March, and still available for a free download from our website, is now about seven months old, and we would very much like to bring out some new material. So at the moment we are playing with the idea of either recording a single or another E.P. Both of these would be possible for us to do pretty fast. It has been a while since we brought any new music and we'd hate to keep you guys waiting ;-) So we'll keep you posted on this.

We got a very nice review at the open-mic blog at: I'll include the review here, but do check out the blog and we'd love to see some comments there as well :-)

“Weekly Feature: JPKALLIO.COM 17 October The feature this week on the-open-mic is JPKALLIO.COM with every body dies on the homepage. Play it Loud! The first words you see when you pick up JPKALLIO.COM’s first EP. Sentiments that compliments exactly what the boys from Poland and Finland are about straightforward Punk. First things first: the song. Everybody dies is a clear example of what three guys with a love of punk can do. With a lull just as the intro begins it really sets up the songs strong rift which continues throughout the entire song. This pause between rifts also helps to create a build up effect throughout each break in verse, which always builds to the strong drumming we see in all the bands music. The Bass seems mellow and then very deep at times, which always brings with it the strength and deepness presented in the songs lyrics. All of which is again brought home by the bands impressive guitar playing. The crisp and clear lyrics really show just how well polished an act JPKALLIO.COM really is. With a slightly dark undertone in both the lyrics along with the music one can instantly find themselves listening to the lyrics and connecting with the band. They really demonstrate the no nonsense punk that has stood the test of time from the Sex Pistols to the Offspring and now to JPKALLIO.COM. If you haven’t already checked out JPKALLIO.COM do it now and be sure to watch there video for everybody dies. -Dave Murphy” The Open Mic

I think it has something to do with the fact that I write blog, but when we get featured in other blogs, it always gets me bit exited. I mean most of the music press is run by money, but the blogs are where the real new music can be found :-)

Don't forget that JPKALLIO.COM will be tonight, 19th of October in the Sweeney's on Dame Street as part of the Juke box slot, organized by our friends Music Medium Live. The night is packed with great music, and Sweeney's is always a good night. Hope to see you there tonight.

And just before we finish, some more news just of the press. JPKALLIO.COM will be doing a late night gig in the Sweeney's again this Saturday the 22nd of October as well. We'll be taking to the stage just past midnight and rocking a full one hour set!

So that's all for now, come back for more next week.


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

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Make your own band website part 3

Part 59

  Winter is really staring to push its way in to Dublin. Friday night was great :-) Thanks to every one who came in and big thanks to Taran for a kick ass sound!. Now well be back in the Rocktober semi-finals in the Fibbers on the 19th of November, but before that we’ll be in Sweeney’s on the 19th of October. I really enjoy when we meat new similar minded bands during these band nights. Check out Pimps and Gimps Great punk band that we'll most certainly will be organizing a show with sooner or later :-)
Also last weeks blog got exceptionally good response, so inspired by this we are scheduling new interviews as I write. I'd really like to get as much inside on the music business here as possible, so watch this space.

  And now back to our band website project. How are you getting on? This week I'll show you how to add more pages. So let’s log in to our site again, if you still don't know how to do this, I'd recommend you’re read through the parts one and two of this build. Once you are logged in, in the side bar on your dashboard you'll have a Pages button, just click on it. Now on the next page there is Add new button almost on the top of the page, beside the title. Click on this. Now the next page is really as simple as it seems. Let’s say we want to do a Biography page, your band do have biography? If you don't, then you are skipping over things here. I'll assume here that you do have one. But if you don't, let me know, as if there are many bands without biographies, maybe the subject would be a worth a blog. Anyway you can copy and paste your Biography, or type it in the text box on the page. And above the text box and below the Add new page title you have the title box, where you can type the title of the page. This is how it will show up on your web pages navigation bar as well, so for example “Biography”, “Bio” or maybe just “Band”. You can also add a picture on the page if you want. For example if you have text already on the page and you want to add a picture of the band above it, place your cursor here and then above the text box you have upload/insert followed by four small icons. The first one of the icons is for adding an image, second for video, third for audio and last for other media. Click on the add image icon and an upload window opens up. Click on the select a file and choose a file from your computer, up to 2MB. Once you have done this, the WordPress uploads the photo and once it is uploaded you will get a window where you can add info on the photo. I would recommend you to change the title of the photo to something short and relevant. Also add an alternative text. This means if some one has a computer that would not be able to open the picture; there will be an alternative text instead. You can also ad an caption on the photo, this will appear under it. Below this you have the description part. It would be good manners to add here the photographers details, after all they are artists as well and need any promotion they can get. Below this you have alignment and size options. Once you have selected them, you can press the Insert into post button and you should have a picture on your page. So that's the Basics. Now that you have image and text on your page, you can press the blue publish button on the right side of the screen and your page is live. There are few self explanatory text editing options on the page, similar to the once you'd have on your Email or word processor. With these you can ling the text, Make bullet points, Bold Italic, check spelling or insert a link. Once your page is up, you can repeat the process and make more pages. For example, if you want to make separate page for individual band members, booking and contact information...

  The two pages I'd like to take a quick look at are the live concert list and gallery page. For the concert list you can either write all your gig dates on a page with times, locations etc. Or you can use an external widget. For example ReverbNation has nice ready made widgets. I personally like to use I have it linked to many of my social media sites, so I can just post the dates in one place and this posts them for me in to many of my social media sites. Both websites provide a html code that you can copy, and then just return to your add new page. On the top right corner of your text box you have option for visual or HTML, click the HTML. Now you can paste the gig list code here: after this click on save draft on right hand side of the page. Then you can click back to the visual and add additional text if required. As to the gallery you can start a new page, title it as “Gallery, “Photos”, “Images” etc. Upload images to your gallery as on the biography page. You can do this one by one or several at a time. To do several at same time, just select more images by holding down Ctrl and select with your mouse (this is for PCs, not an expert on macs...). Once the photos are uploaded, at the top of the upload window you have gallery tab, and at the bottom of this page you have insert gallery button. This places the Gallery on your page.

  So that is the basics of our band website. Now if you want me to cover more detailed info on the WordPress subject, let me know. I do know not all of my readers are musicians so I don't want this project to take over the blog. But we’ll add more to it as questions arise.

  Now just a quick note on bit of a reflection of the past blogs, as you know we had Darragh from Invivctus, and four weeks before we had Michael from Trackmix studios. The beauties of these interviews are that JPKALLIO.COM has gained lot of valuable information from these interviews, as I hope you have as well. And it just goes to show. If you ask for information the right way, people are willing to give it to you. We learned that it would be possible for us to find an underground label that specializes to our kind of music, so now we have endless hours to be spent researching labels on internet. We also have much clearer view of the budgets required, the pros and cons making the CD by our selves, or with record label. But at the same time, we have only scraped the surface, and we'll be looking in to much more information before we make any decisions. But we have been working on new songs, and they are sounding better every day. So the next step will be starting to make some demos. These are exiting times :-)

That’s all for this week, we'll be back for more next week.


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

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Darragh O'Laoghaire Into the Void records

This week I have something very special for you, but before that just a quick reminder that JPKALLIO.COM will be in the Fibbers again this Friday the 7th of October for the Roctober round 1. This is a full night of music, some great bands and JPKALLIO.COM will be delivering a monster set. And oh yeah, a brand new song. Doors 8pm, Check out all the details here Hope to see you there! But now for the good stuff:

We all know the story; music business is in turmoil, record sales are down, doom and gloom... But In the middle of all this a brand new independent record shop opens up in Dublin. I would say Metal is their speciality, but there is room for punk and hard rock as well. Also when the man behind the counter also runs Invictus Productions, an Irish independent record label with 35 releases under its belt, I knew this was a brain I had to pick. Thankfully Darragh O'Laoghaire was more than happy to help, so I and Qra with his trusted camera headed over to 3a Whitefriar Place, just of Aungier Street and I had a good old chat with Daragh.

J.P. First of all big thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Tell us little bit about your background in music and music business and how you got involved in it in the first place?

Darragh Basically, like everybody else I was a fan, got in to Heavy Metal when I was around twelve. Started with more commercial bands like Guns N' Roses, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, that sort of thing. Then when I was fourteen got in to heavier side of things and started to tape trade, you know. Writing to different people all over the world, getting demos and that kind of emerged me in to whole new and really exiting movement at the time, because the Death metal thing had just exploded. There was so much new music around. There were people who were not much older than me, like the Dismember guys from Sweden who were 17-18 and making really interesting and exiting music. That led me to doing a fanzine, started to promote underground shows here. I did two fanzines in the late nineties and in 1999 I basically had a brain fart one day. Why don't I start a label? Because I never played an instrument, never had the patience to play an instrument, so it all came from the continuity and being involved in the underground, like writing to people, trading tapes, ordering demos, LPs, 7incs and stuff like that. That connects you with lot of different people internationally, so that's essentially the bases where I come from with music.

J.P. Lets first talk about your record label Invictus productions. For people who might not know the label, can you give us an idea for example how many releases have you done and some of the artists you worked with?

Darragh Sure. Invictus is still very much an underground thing, it's by no means big or commercial or anything like that, its pretty underground label. Part of the reason behind that is the interest I have in the kind of music that I release is explicitly underground. But as well as that being located in Ireland you are against lot of odds in terms of promotion and putting your self out there. Having said that, what I have done in the past decade is worked almost exclusively with international acts, I've only ever worked with one Irish act, I ended up in that band incidentally, so that's why I ended up working with them. Every thing else has been like Australia, New Zeland, Canada, Sweden, UK, USA. Some of the bands I have worked with are: The Gosbel of the Horns from Australia, Diocletian from New Zeland, Negative Plane from US, Tyrans Blood from Canada, Portal from Australia and Vomitor from Australia. In total I have about 35 releases starting from 2000.

J.P. Wow! That's a lot of work! I've been involved in releasing handful of albums just with the bands I've played in, but 35 in 11 years. That's a lot of work.

Darragh Yeah it is.

J.P. You started the record label in 1999. Since then the music business has basically turned upside down. How has that effected you?

Darragh This is interesting point. People say downloading music is killing music, I don't think it is. To me it's not one sided thing, it's multifaceted argument, there is so many different points to it. For example the accessibility and availability of recording has become much easier, people can record to a laptop for example. Musical instruments are cheaper. That means there are more bands, they are able to produce their own CD's, their own vinyl what ever, that means there are millions of bands. I remember 20 years ago there was big fuss in the metal media, for example the Swedish metal bands “oh they are all clones because they all have Sunlight studio sound (popular studio in Stocholm among the Death metal bands)”, when in reality there might have been between five and ten bands in total. Now you are talking between 100 and 500 bands trying to do the same thing. So there is a huge amount of bands on the go and that has an impact on things as there is so much to consume. So that has an impact on sales for start. Secondly, if you are unsure of something, you go and download it and if you like it, chances are you'll go and buy it. That won't apply to mainstream music. It's more applicable to people owning the hard copy or vinyl. They tend to be people involved in more kind of exclusive scenes, not just metal, but punk and say elements of the indie scene, but also in dance and techno music vinyl production is quite large. So a lot has changed, but one of the things that gets over looked is is that the barriers have come down on doing these things, which is why someone like me is able to do a record label. Before you would have certain amount of record labels that would have ruled the roost, and having a smaller label was pretty much a non starter. But now days you can do it all, you can have as many things as you want quite cheaply. That affects the industry over all, I think its the sheer volume that effects releases and how much is sold. But like for example there was a girl here last week , she works for Nuclear blast that is one of the biggest metal labels in the world, based in Germany, she works as warehouse packer. She said they are busier than they have ever been. OK they sell T-Shirts and bullet belts and what ever as well as CD's and Vinyl, but it just goes to show that people are still interested in the physical product. So the illusion that the music business is going to collapse on its ears is not quite true but it does make it difficult for bands to sell 100000 copies. Selling 100000 is considered now like selling millions years ago, in that sense things have changed. But I think music industry is fluid thing, it's constantly changing and the Major labels, because they had so much power, never saw internet age creeping on them and they never adjusted to it, instead they tried to inhibit it legally, which failed. The truth is I don't know where it is going to go. Inevitably the recording budgets for albums will decrease as you will going to be able to sell less. That has an impact on who and how you work with bands.

J.P. There was lot of money wasted in the past.

Darragh Absolutely. I know one particular band who's name I wont mention, they were advanced something like 120 or 140000 pounds sterling in the late nineties for one album. There was no way they were ever going to be able to pay that back.

J.P. I get the feeling lot of bands still lives in the dream world where they are going to be discovered by a record company executive walking past their rehearsal room, or discovering them through facebook. So can we have a quick look at the process of you taking a band on, and if they make a record with you what can they expect from you and what do you expect from them.

Darragh I'm going to talk about Irish bands here as we are based in Ireland. Lot of Irish bands are extremely delusional, because the bands they listen to are big, I come from underground background where putting out a demo and selling hundred copies is a big deal, these band they like Slipknot, they like In Flames, they like Marilyn Manson, they like these huge bands. These are models for them and they thing this is what they want to be. Ah, sorry, but that whole market is, for example In Flames has been going since the early nineties, they got nearly twenty years of history which they built. Or for example Amon Amarth keeps getting bigger, but they again have existed for 20 years. So there is huge amount of work that has gone in to it. And the audience that like those type of bands are not necessarily going to like amateurish up and coming demo band in the same style. I'm not saying these young band should not play that kind of music, play what ever you want, just be realistic. Just realize you're not going to break in to the same field these bands are in, because the opportunities just aren't there. I mean if you play in traditional metal band, weather its death metal, black metal, doom, there is huge underground there for you right away. You can get right in to it, you can get your demo out there and people will pick up on it right away. Obviously it has to be good for that to happen. But most of the bands and kids seem to like things that are more mainstream nature and they have their expectations build on that. There are other bands that are more brutal core, death metal style here, there is underground for that as well, and I'm sure they work with in that, but again the more mainstream type young bands we almost set our clocks to it. They appear, big bluster, 6 to18 months they are gone as they realize they'r not going anywhere. So that's one thing, but if I am working with a band it's all pretty straight forward. I pay for the recording time, manufacturing, promoting, distribute the CD's. You kind of need the band to be active in its own right as well to warrant you investing in them. You don't want people sitting in their asses expecting you to do everything because the world isn't like that anymore. Band has to grab the bull by the horns so to speak and get it done. Paradoxically you do get some bands that you deal with that have all the best intentions in the world when it comes to talking about it, but when it comes to delivering then its very gray area.They reflect back on you, shouldn't you be doing this and shouldn't you be doing that? And I'm like, hold on a second, this is underground, I'm not road runner records. You do have certain limitations and limited capabilities. Sometimes band believe their own hype... sometimes.. So they think all they have to do is sit back and relax and it'll all be fine, but it takes work.

J.P. Yeah I've seen bands dreaming about getting signed, and thinking if they do that's it. When that's actually when the real work starts.

Darragh Yeah it's a beginning of a whole new process. Like say, think about Primordial for example. Primordial celebrated their 20th anniversary last week. I've known them since two year after they formed, when their demo came out. I've tour with them, I've seen them play in venues in Dublin for less than hundred people. They put in the work, they've gone out, they've toured vigorously over the years in Europe and they've done album after album, they've built and built and built. I mean they have worked twenty years for it and now they are being rewarded for it. You can't be in this for five minutes and think you will succeed. I think that is part of the problem as well that people expect, you know “wow, we're going to be big, we're going to be famous and important” and I think that is the wrong way to approach it. If you approach it from the love of the music and out of love for what you're doing and you gather interest along the way, I think that is much more positive and healthy attitude to have.

J.P. I'm sure from your point of view as well, band needs to be willing to tour a lot?

Darragh Actually that was an argument I had with one of the bands while ago, there was reluctance on their part to get out and play gigs. They did tour subsequently, a very difficult tour for them in the end. They were well intentioned, but I felt they were miss guided in what they were trying to do. They didn't pull the finger out, they didn't go f*#k this, I'm going to take on the live environment and I'm going to show people that our band is worth supporting, our band is worth watching, instead of having this kind of a aloof “Well we don't need to play, because we know we're good anyway”.

J.P. Well that's a dead end straight away.

Darragh Well that's the thing, you meet lot of different personalities and people have odd perceptions sometimes of how things should work and their way shy of the mark.And then you meet people who have been in the industry for a long time, twenty odd years and they played every F*#king dive and s*#t hole, you know. They've not done it easy, but yet they're always piss easy to deal with. They're always gentleman, no problems you know, there's no fuss, there's no drama “Oh can we be looked after? I need my hair groomed, or I need a water mattress to sleep on” or any of that shit. Younger bands can be like that, they seem to be much more delusional than some of the older bands that have been plugging away longer while.

J.P. Invictus works very much in the underground. Do you think in Heavy metal, Punk, Hardcore etc. Who work very hard, this day and age is there a living to be made?

Darragh There is. It will depend on lot of different things. If you're... single, I mean you don't have any kids, you can have a girlfriend, but if you don't have any major responsibilities and you can live frugally, well then yeah. But I think if you're in your twenties you can do that for certain period of time, it's great to have that kind of physical Independence and social Independence outside of the whole system. But of course as everybody gets older everything changes and you will want certain level of comfort, certain level of stability. So I think its a temporary thing that you can live of it. But yeah you definitely can live of it. There's no question it can be done. If you're doing a small tour, which work of premise that you have a van, you have a driver, you pay the driver, you pay the diesel and you are getting paid in door deals, so once the promoter gets the cost you get everything else, you sell T-shirts, you can make OK money. Again it all depends on the band and the interested there is on the band, but yeah, it can be done.

J.P. Should up and coming bands should still try to get signed or should they make their own CD's?

Darragh Again it depends on the context. I think in the underground there are so many labels that you more than likely can find some one who is willing to work with you. And sadly that is the case with so many things, as my god there is so many bad bands out there that gets CD's put out. But it's the same if you're a demo band doing it your self. The thing is, if you want to do everything by your self, you press your thousand CD and you press your merchandise you have to realize that your avenues of selling them are almost exclusively live. That means you have to get out and play, sell the CD's and sell the merchandise and that means you are constantly on the road. Again you have to have that hunger, passion and drive to want to do it. And being in Ireland you can't expect to be able to do it here, you have to get off the island over to UK and then over to the continent. So if you're motivated, organized and disciplined enough to do it on your own, by all means go for it. Because if your music is quality and you can sell your product, selling thousand CD's, that's ten grand. That's a lot of money in the kitty. The avenues are there. But again it comes down to the quality of the music and this is the fundamental thing. I think Ireland has been quite behind many of its European contemporaries in terms of producing bands of high caliber of the rock / metal area. There are some really good bands here, but for example Norway or Finland who have similar population and their metal scene is enormous, but that's all other argument.

J.P. Lets say band would do an album with you or on their own, what would be a realistic budget?

Darragh It depends. Some of the Hard core bands get very good recordings for really cheap. Yet Irish metal bands go on to some ridiculous studio and spend stupid amount of money and end up with productions that are piss poor. It depends on the quality of the band, it depends how much they are looking for, what their aims are and also what amount of work they are willing to put in. Some of the big labels out there are able and more than willing to pay quite big budgets so to speak, but underground bands the maximum you'd be looking would be between one and three thousand euro. For example I sent a band I was working with to Poland to record for three weeks for €2500, I mean if you're up and coming band and cant get your Shit together to record an album in three weeks...

J.P. Something's wrong there alright

Darragh Yeah. Then other bands like Diocletian recorded lot of their album in their rehearsal studio. They rented out really expensive microphones, they had all their own equipment, they build their own amps and stuff like that anyway.

J.P. Wow! That's a proper DIY!

Darragh Yeah, so they had a really good sound, they knew exactly what they were going for and they were able to get it. Now it cost a bit of money obviously but there was no going to the studio and f*#king around “yeah , we need lot more time than we thought”, they just did it.

J.P. Now lets say band gets the €3000 budget, could you break it down?

Darragh Well, for all I know if you pay something to a band to record, they could spend €100 on recording and the rest of it on f*#king drugs, you don't know.

J.P. So there's no control on your part?

Darragh Especially working on this level. Having said that, lot of the time the money goes straight to sound engineer’s account, so you're not paying the band directly. The money can go to anything from Renting amps, microphones, specific drum kit or just paying for the recording outright. It will vary depending on the band and what they want to do specifically

J.P. Now let's say band still wants to go after record deal any tips on how they should contact record company? Any mistakes you've come across?

DarraghWell yeah, there are so many mistakes. Presentation is one thing, approach is another. I get Emails from bands all the time. You open an email and you know exactly that you're not interested. The way things are phrased, the way they come across, the type thing they are trying to sell musically it's not interesting. It's bad quality, not even B grade but D grade has been done so many times before. Come back to one of the earlier questions on how everything in the music business has changed. For me specifically the only requirement is I have to like what I hear. That’s it. If I like what I hear and I want to work with it, I'll say yeah ok that’s cool, but having said that, I've only ever signed one band by getting CD in the post. Again there are so many bands out there. I get ridicules amount of promos from Italy, not one of them is good. And then I see that one of these bands get on to some other label, and I'm like who's listening to this and thinking it's worth putting out for people to buy. But that's someone else problem, not mine. But like I said the approach the context the competence of the whole thing all comes to question. And again for Irish bands, Irish bands don't really know about the underground and so they exist in this kind of other world where they think they are going to be big. Or if they are aware of it they some times think they don't need it, that it's not where they want to be. But then again there are so many weird things about Ireland when it comes to Metal and approaching metal music. For example there was a band on the last week from the North saying “we are going to organize a gig in Dublin, we're going to organize a bus as our fans want to come, and it’s going to be huge. And automatically you're like, what? It's great having self belief, go for it, but this is ridiculous lads. Who are you guys? And who cares? No body, especially down here. And then it becomes a laughing stock and comedy. The thing is this happened last week, but it happens consistently. Metalireland has been online for 10 years and this has happened for decade over and over again bands doing the same thing. I don't know if it's something in the Irish psychic that once people get in to a band they think they are the most important band in the planet, 16 to 18 months and they’re gone and the circle repeats again and again.

J.P. From my experience I have stopped sending physical promos, unless people specifically ask them. Whats your take on that?

Darragh Unless it’s absolutely necessary, I won’t send physical copies to magazines, I send digital promos. I remember years a go I was up all ours sending physical copies to magazines and for 100 magazines maybe like twenty to twenty-five got back to me. Seventy five copies, that’s a lot of money down the drain. Some magazines have this policy of no digital copies, we want the physical CD. Well then give me something back for it. So yeah I would encourage bands not to send physical copies, A to stop clogging up the post system, B for environmental reasons and C you can send it for free in an Email. Use your head in that regard..

J.P. Lets talk about the shop. Into the Void opened in February 11th this year, again in very interesting times. Lot of independent shops are closing at the moment.

Darragh Yeah we went against the grain. All of us involved in the shop have been part of the underground for best part of twenty years. We've all done different things, we've collaborated in different projects in different times, but one of the guys owned a shop in Temple bar for years, he was doing it on his own and had to deal with big overheads and all and finally closed summer of last year. We were all at Hells pleasure festival in Germany and one of the other guys involved asked me why you won’t think of opening a shop. So that kind of planted the seed. There are five labels involved, Invictus, Sentinel, Underground Movement, Scarlacc and Blin men & Occult Forces and the Devil's Den tattoo studio at the back. So we all sat down decided to see what we can do. We set a budget and set out to look for property. Some of the property in this city is still ridiculous. Eventually we found this place and the rent is more than reasonable so we snapped it up straight away. Then it was real, it was happening. It's been open since February and we are already getting handle of running things and getting an inside on doing it properly. We're selling fair bit as well so it's going good.

J.P. We all hate categories, but where would you place the shop?

DarraghIt's a metal shop, but it's much more than that. There are lot going on here, it's very alternative, I mean we have a tattoo shop in the back, in the basement we have a room where we have shows, we have art exhibitions, we have parties etc. It's not just a shop its like a community gathering for people who are in to the alternative things. That's the kind of biggest strength of the shop, I think anyway. In the broadest possible sense in to the void is alternative community based hub. Encourage creativity and be the driving force behind it.

J.P. I also noticed on the shops website that you do help local bands. Can you tell me more about that?

Darragh One of the things we do is split flyers, where we promote our selves on one side and promote events on the other side. We sell Irish stock here all the time, so people are able to get it. There are also few things on the pipeline that will come out in the next six month or so that I can talk about yet. We also do booking in the Pint, so we can help bands get shows there. Or even get them as supports for certain acts.

J.P. As you mentioned, you guys run gigs in the Pint. JPKALLIO.COM has fond memories with the place as we played our very first concert there. It really is starting to build its name as a venue in the Dublin music scene. Can you tell us bit more about the concerts you run there?

Darragh I have to say all credit to Brian who manages the venue, I remember going down to see him few years ago about booking gigs in there. It was a very much a shell at the time, there was awful lot of work that needed to be done. We had an three hour meeting with Brian, he was very much open to suggestions and he has done the absolutely best to make that venue the best he can for the Rock, Metal and Punk in Dublin. We have a dedicated venue now for these gigs which is fantastic. The scheduling is picking up all the time, all the weekends are booked until the end of the year. A Lot of bookings are starting to come for the first half of the next year. We had the Dublin Doom day few weeks ago, and the venue staff were brilliant. I mean they are not in to metal or anything, which must be difficult for them. But the staff are friendly and accommodating, the security staff were brilliant. And Brian again has done hes best to make an welcoming environment to Metal, Rock and Punk gigs. The shows we run can be anything from local bands to international acts, it's up and down all the time. Its another element to the shop, we'll be bringing bands over for show, I mean, we have all been promoting shows for years.

J.P. That leads to my next question nicely. We have organized few concerts in the past year, and I think every band should do it some stage just to understand what it takes to put on a show. Any tips for bands who do want to organize their own shows?

Darragh Yeah this is one of the benefits of the Pint again. You can book a show in there, charge nothing in, and there will be no venue cost and you will get 10% of the bar. If you're up and coming band, playing for free is great as people might just walk in to check you out as it is free. This is what used to happened in the mid early nineties in the Rock garden, that later turned in to Eamon Dorans, the Sunday afternoon gigs were free. The place used to be wedged. The other thing about pint is that they are open for all ages gigs on Sunday. Having that facility I think is brilliant, where young kids can go see bands and enjoy them selves, and their interest in music can keep growing.

J.P. Thanks once again for your time and to wrap up, any big plans people should know about?

Darragh We do have plans extending in to the new year that we will be announcing in the next few weeks. Also we are building a web store that will be open soon. So everything that's in the shop is available online, especially for people who can't get to the shop. We'll be open for year on 11th of February so we have weekend celebrations planned. We'll be around for another while anyway, were not going anywhere.

So that's all for this week. Next week we'll be back to our band website project. Big thanks to Qra for the photos again, you should check him out at:
Have a great week and hope to see you on Friday:-)


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