Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The big secret behind success in music business: Hard Work.

Part 66

  I was talking to a friend of mine about all the things I have been up to in the past few years. It really has been a roller-coaster ride. It got me thinking once again about how interesting time it is to be a musician. I have learned so much. But the thing I really like and would like get it through to every one, when I started this, yeah I had some experience in music business due to the fact that I had played in bands since I was about ten, but as to music promotion and trying to break a band through I was new to it all. All I had in the beginning was hand full of songs, laptop and a bag full of enthusiasm. So I set out to learn more. And I still do every day! If I need to get something done, first I try to see can I do it my self. If I can, I try to learn how to do it really well. If there is something I can not do, I try to find some one who can and ask for help. Most of the information on band promotion I have acquired, I found through Google. Sometimes it can take time, but usually persistence is rewarded. I get a great buzz out of it when people come to tell me how well we promote JPKALLIO.COM, but at the end of the day I can tell you this: There is nothing I have done that any one with bit of enthusiasm and internet could not do. If you need something, look for it and I can bet you will find more on the way as well. There are some great blogs out there on music business, and I think you should be reading them. It is very important to keep up to date with everything in today's music business.

  And here is another one of my favorite rants:-) We have all met these people in the past, the ones who said they are going to start a band and it's going to be better than anything else out there. Yeah, and that band never even leaves the pub or plays a note. I am sure you have all seen it at some stage. Now the truth is that I was once one of these people, even though I always played in a band. I still had an idea brewing at the back of my head of the "ultimate band". Did I do anything about it? First, no. But eventually I decided to take control, get the ball rolling and since then I really haven't stopped. It has been some of the most rewarding time musically in my life, and not only does it show in JPKALLIO.COM, but in everything else I do. I have pushed my self harder than ever before. The point I am trying to make here is that you can do it as well. And If you get off that bar stool, or sofa for that matter, watching X-factor and giving out you could do it do much better, if you bothered;-), I bet you will have great time doing it. You will be rewarded. I mean, yeah you need certain amount of talent, but most of it is just hard work! There you go, that is the best tip I have given you in all the blogs I have written so far, HARD WORK!

  Some of you know already that JPKALLIO.COM did advance to the final of the Rocktober battle of the bands in Fibber Magees. We had two great gigs at the competition so far and got to play with some great bands and made loads of new friends. Unfortunately the final falls on a day that Qra will be in Poland to visit a doctor about his on going back problem. So we are sad to pull out of the competition, but obviously Qras health comes first. We'd just like to wish all the other bands good luck.

  So that's all for this week. I shall be back for more next week:-)


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

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Musician in the twenty first century

Part 65

   It is funny how the modern age has changed the life of a musician. I am talking here about independent musician, the working musician. We depend on things like smart phone, our laptops, internet, wifi, 3G... I got thinking about this after for one day I lost all my phone numbers, notes, pictures and music on my mobile phone. Luckily I had backed up everything on my laptop, but I could not restore any of it until the next day. That one day made me realize how dependent we are on all this modern technology, that simply was not available to us twenty years a go.
  I think for me it was about 14 years a go when I set up my first Email account, and the thought of finding a concert through internet first dawned to me. Now it seems to be the first port of call for almost everything. But the potential of it all still surprises me from time to time. And I must admit I am still surprised how personal in its very sterile nature it has become. Now I am mainly talking about internet for music business here. As an example, when I first came aware of YouTube, I saw it as a great way for a band to represent a video of them selves. I assumed it should be a high quality video of professional quality. Of course if your video is of a high standard it helps, but the real potential seemed to dawn to me when I added more personal short videos of the bands every day life. This is something that I also have find hard to explain to others in the past. Sometimes it is better to do a quick video of something simple and mundane, than wait until you release your master piece that you will take you months or even years to complete. Share something simple. But keep it honest, be your self and people will see this. It is this honesty that makes you easier to relate to, more real. Of course if the part of your bands image is your stage character, you could make videos of your self in that character as well, but my opinion is that it is easier to be your self than put on an act and keep it consistent. This really is one of the many tools that make this an interesting time to be an independent musician. But don't get fooled here. It is not a mater of posting few videos on YouTube and next you become an over night success. We hear stories like these, but there are only hand full of them, and every one would like to think it is so easy. What it comes down to at the end of the day is numbers. The more videos you have, the bigger chance there is that one of them will be the one that gets picked up by the general public and shoots through the mass of videos out there. But if not, even hand full of views on loads of videos ads to a nice number. And don't for get the age old wisdom, at the end of the day, if your music is not good enough, the chances of you making it are slim.
   But let me just challenge you with this. For the next ten weeks, make ten videos, post them on your YouTube channel and share them on Facebook, twitter etc. And they don't need to be the best videos in the world, even half decent camera phone will do. I bet you will be surprised of the reception you will get from these videos, and you might even be inspired to make more. For an example, check out JPKALLIO.COM's YouTube channel at: And don't forget to have fun while you do this:-)

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

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

JPKALLIO.COM in the studio

  It is 7.45am Wednesday morning. I am walking along the river Liffey. My feet are carrying me faster than usual, I must admit I am little bit exited. I am on my way to our rehearsal room at Volt to pick up our equipment and then heading to Trackmix studio in Blanchardstown. Back in July we won the Live and Unsigned night in the Pint and as part of the price we got a free day in the Trackmix studio. We must have been one of the last ones to get to go to Trackmix, as since then the studio used for the Live and unsigned nights have changed. Me and Qra had been there before while doing the interview with Michael Richards for this blog, check it out here, so I had a good feeling. One day can be little bit short, so we decided to splash out and pay for a second day our selves. We had prepared a list of songs, that was more than what we thought we had time for, but none of us had any idea what we would accomplish in the next two days, not even Michael. The list consist six songs, when I told this to Michael, I could see the doubt in his mind, but I assured him that if it looked like we were going to run out of time, we would start cutting the list from the bottom. But we had worked very hard on rehearsing the songs to have them as tight as possible, in the past month or so. We broke down the songs several times, trying to find trouble spots. We had all worked extremely hard on our own as well to have everything ready.

   After setting up and sound checking the drums, setting up guide guitar, bass and vocals that me and Qra were playing live in the control room, we were off. I did loose the track of time very early on in the day, but it must have been around mid day when we started the actual recording. It took Sebastian few takes to warm up, but after this most tracks were first or second take. Playing to klick is like second nature to him, which makes things in the studio so much easier. It is funny how human mind can play tricks, even though we knew we were well prepared, still there is that small bit of hesitation if every thing will sound ok. But when we first time heard back the first few notes of “Flying high” we knew we were on the right track. Sebastian can be very critical on drum sound, as any professional drummers should be, but when he first time heard him self through the studio speakers I could see Michael had won him over. I have worked on both sides of the controls in a several studios over the years, and I was impressed as well. He knows his way around Logig pro, but he also uses old school techniques, like EQing on the way in. But most of all I was impressed how he understood our sound.

   By 4pm we had drums and guides down and lunch over and done with. It was time for the guitars. I must say I did feel bit like a kid in a candy shop :-) Michael, being a guitar player him self, has some really nice guitars and amps, that he lets his customers use. The Gibson ES137 was one I found particularly hard to put down, I'm sure if you ever were in the Trackmix studio you have seen this beauty. Doubling and layering guitars can be a real art form on its own, and again the Trackmix studio has the tools for this job. But still I did bring in my Laney GH50L, that stood proud beside the Hughes&Ketner TriAmp and Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier. I told you, like kid in the candy shop ;-) At the end of the day one, we had done all the basic rhythm parts and doubled them. So it was time for a good nights sleep.

  The next morning we returned with charged batteries and full of enthusiasm, and even the fact that we got lost on the way did not dampen our spirits. I started my day with strong cup of coffee and guitar solos. I have bit of a love hate relationship with guitar solos... I love playing them, but hate the idea of them. Figure that on out... But in the six tracks there were two of them, in Misery and one in Forgive my self. Misery showcases the Gibson ES137's neck pick up beautifully and on Forgive my self my own Gibson Les Paul proved once again why it is my number one guitar. We also Beefed up some parts of the tracks with a third guitar track on the middle. The result is a guitar tone, which is the best electric guitar sound I have ever had on any of my recordings, but let me just make a few quick notes here. First of all guitar sound is very much a taste thing, so what works for me, probably would not work for every one. Also I am very heavy handed guitar player, and this does play a big part on the sound, if you attack the strings hard, the stronger signal drives the amp in a different way. All the amps went in to a Mesa Boogie cab that had Celestion V30s in it, and the signal went through a very nice Mic preamp and Michael’s magic EQ settings. So it was not any one magical piece, but a combination of things that resulted in the guitar sound that I am very happy with. I suppose what I am trying to say here is: that's what you pay for when you book your self in to a professional studio. Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention the Ibanez TS 808 tube screamer :-)

  We had the guitars done before 1pm on the second day. Next we recorded the Bass; this was something Qra was looking forward to as much as dreading. His past studio experiences were haunting him at the back of his mind, but he had been rehearsing his parts a lot. His trusty Epiphone Thunderbird bass was the tool for the job, it really has that growl and attack that is very much part of the JPKALLIO.COM sound. Michael had a Warwick bass head and a 4x10 cab. Qra was in bass heaven. And after all the worrying, he recorded almost all the tracks in one take. Bass done in an hour! I must admit that me and Sebastian were watching Qra’s fingers fly on the Thunderbirds neck and the hairs at the back of our necks were standing up.

  But I was very relieved that the bass was done, as it left more time for the vocals. And again I had been working a lot on them at home to be ready. Singing is always a difficult one, and the most temperamental instrument of them all. It can be affected so much by things like stress and tiredness, nerves and even what you had to eat on the day. But I could really feel the confidence I got from all the hours of rehearsing kicking in and managed to relax without any problems. And again most vocals were first takes. Good headphone mix that Michael set up really made things so much easier as well, I didn't need to ask for anything :-) After the lead lines we laid down some vocal harmonies, and me and Qra did bit of shouting as well. “That's nice guys, but how about you try it with bit more melody?” After we had done backing vocals for four tracks it was starting to get late, and Michael had the sense (and experience) to decide to start mixing the tracks. Again his working method is fast and lot of the work was already done during the recording.

  So about 8pm on Thursday night there were three tired but happy men standing on a bus stop outside Blanchardstown shopping centre with CD’s in their pockets. Even though the time had gone so fast, it was obvious to us that we were not holding on to a new EP, but the bones of an album and no matter what it would take, we'd be back early 2012 to record the rest.

  Big thank you to Michael for all the hard work he put in and making us feel so welcomed in his studio. We can't wait for the second chapter. Oh yeah, and we could not just talk about it with out giving you a taste;-) Here is one of the tracks from our recording session. This one is called Wasted Mind. Let us know what you think :-)

Wasted mind by

 Also check out our studio video diary
  That's all for this week, I'll be back for more next week. Feel free to share our new song on Soundcloud and the video diary:-)

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

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Alan Weldon from Near FM Sessions

NearFM Sessions

   This week I had the pleasure to pick the brain of a radio presenter from Near FM session Alan Weldon. Needles to say, I was dying to find out the do's and don'ts of getting radio play from some one who actually works in the radio. The Near FM sessions are having their 5 year birthday this month, so the time was right for our chat:-)

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

 Alan I've been involved in music since I was little. I started playing drums when I was eight and I was in and out of bands from maybe the age of 13-14, recording stuff our selves, you know. I never thought of it as being something I wanted to do in the future professionally, but it's kind of turned out that way. So yeah, as I said, in and out of bands 13-16, then I went to college to study sound design.

 J.P. Where did you study?

 Alan I studied Communication and Media production in Colaiste Dhulaigh in Dublin, then I went to London to study broadcast and sound design. While I was in college I was working with Near FM, volunteering with them. I wanted to do radio and I liked the idea of live radio, thought there is a buzz about it. So that's how I got in to Near FM. When I started there they had a show called Near FM session, just started, maybe six months old. So I got in almost right at the start and that's where I've been since then, among other things.

 J.P. It's a great show.

 Alan Yeah. You see, as I didn't create the show, I wasn't there from the beginning, I can say yeah, it is a great show and not feel big headed about it. Now it has changed since then, but it is a great idea and it has a really good format.

 J.P. Is radio where you want to see your self in the future?

 Alan At the moment I am doing lot of radio stuff with Near FM, sound engineering stuff. And I am also doing few films, that sort of thing, short films. For future I'd love to work with radio again, I like the buzz of it and I'd also like to work in post production sound design.

 J.P. Lets talk about the show. I know you mentioned that you were not there in the beginning, but you know how it all started?

 Alan Yeah, as I said I came in six months in to the show. Originally it was set up by four guys, Peter, James, Dave and John. Their idea was, they all had sort of different interests in music, some liked electronic, some liked rock music, they could do a show together. Then they looked at the scene and said, who's not being represented? And the idea of unsigned element and underground element came from. That was in Summer 2006 and in autumn 2006 they started the show, and it's gone on since then from strength to strength. It's great as every week new band comes in and they bring new listeners, and in turn other bands get heard through that. Also it has always carried its own weight as lot of the time we don't have to, in fact we very rarely go look for bands as we usually have acts constantly coming to us. I guess it shows when there are people coming to us, there is a market for it.

 J.P. For sure. From our experience with JPKALLIO.COM it is very hard to get radio play in Ireland. There are so called underground or unsigned shows in the bigger radio stations, but when you contact them, it's rarely they give you a chance, unless they know you.

 Alan There is a lot of community radio shows that deal with underground, there is a show on Dublin city FM that is very good, there is one on Phoenix FM and Trevor Halpin does stuff on West Dublin access radio as well. These people do it for the love of the music, which is good.

 J.P. It is and I think it does show.

 Alan It really does because they are willing to go that extra mile. Now I am not saying the commercial radio doesn't, but I am guessing, you know there has to be a reason...

 J.P. Of course, commercial radio is there to make money. How do you select the acts for your show? Is there any criteria?

 Alan As I said we are luck in that lot of our promotion is through word of mouth, so if we have one band in that likes what we do they tend to either tell their friends in other bands about us, or other bands hear them advertising, so that gets them motivated and they get in contact with us. Now what we get is, they send us a CD or Email us with links to Sound cloud, YouTube etc. That we listen to. As a community radio station we are there to provide service to acts in the community, so most of the time it's not like we are looking for the best or most talented musicians out there, although we have had some very talented acts in, we are not always looking for the most talented acts. We are looking for people who show interest in the community and in music.

 J.P. Actually by taking that risk you sometimes come across something really special. There might be a band that is not great yet, but are on their way to something better.

 Alan There are lot of acts that came to us and since have progressed and got signed and stuff. And we support them and we're behind them, but once they get to that level they are above what we do. Once they are signed some one else will look after them and we wont be able to look after them anymore. We are there to stand for the little guys.

 J.P. Yeah, I'm sure it would be great buzz for the show to have some big act in there, but they would be taking the place of a small band that need the exposure much more.

  Alan Sometimes we get CD's from big acts and it's nice that they think of us, but we can't really play them as that's not what we're there to do. But yeah, it's always nice to get free CD's.

 J.P. So what way would you prefer bands get in contact with you?

 Alan Well the easiest way would be Emailing us. Send us a link to your music. There is four of us involved, and we will listen to it. And if it is somebody who's doing an alright decent job, we certainly give them an airplay. Because it is only an hour a week, we are little bit limited and sometimes we do get bands that are not quite ready and we'll just tell them to come back to us in few months. Also if there is something that stands out, for example you need to have certain amount of songs, or we don't really want bands that only play cover songs, that's not what we do. So yeah, really the way to get in contact is the email, or drop us a line on Facebook and we will get back to you.

 J.P. We can back that, as JPKALLIO.COM got a reply from you guys. In the past five years you have seen lot of bands come and go, what would be some of the mistakes bands do when they come to your show?

 Alan Well, I'm not going to name any names. But when they come to us we tend to say for radio, unless it's 2fm don't bring in your full drum kit. I've seen bands coming in with massive drum kits, big amps and just trying to out do each others and all it is is just distortion. When it's that loud we loose control over it, you know, its all live in one room. So that would be one tip, if you doing radio, think about doing it acoustic. Or think about bringing in a CD of your stuff and do few acoustic songs and then play something from the CD. That way you get to represent both. Another thing would be, I don't think acoustic basses do really do justice. I've yet to hear an acoustic bass that I really like, so I would say bring an amp for the bass. Interview wise, I've seen bands turn up late, which is across the field Spinal Tap kind of moment. I guess one mistake is, when you are young band that hasn't done much yet, they come on and have nothing to talk about and get flustered with their words. It's almost like learning to run before you walk. You have to get out there and play some gigs, put the time in before you got stuff to talk about. If you are on radio and have nothing to talk about, then people are going to hear just that. For any band starting up it's a good idea to learn few songs acoustically.  There is always those house parties, and then when you go to radio, you have something ready.

J.P. In the other hand, is there any bands that stood out in their professionalism and why?

 Alan Again there are few bands. Sometimes there are bands that are just 12 or 13 and I have been highly surprised how organized they have been. It's the younger bands that are socially media aware as well, but even the way they carry them selves, turn up early, they are fully tuned, well rehearsed and they know exactly what they want to play. That's actually another thing in your last question, sometimes you get bands that decide on air what to play. Dead air is not a good thing... Sometimes you get 25-30 year olds that are not half as prepared as these 12-14 year olds. It's an interesting thing to see. Most bands turn up well prepared, we are lucky in that respect. There have been some really large set ups as well, it's really funny to see the small studio full. A band called Amazing few, they go from one piece to 12 piece. They have been in few times. And a nine piece reggae band.

 J.P. The Near FM session works with independent artists. We all know there is a lot of talk about regulating Irish radio to play more Irish acts. What is your take on this and do you think this is something that can be done.

 Alan I think it can be done and I think it should be done. Simple as. Because if we don't do it, no one will. I mean the scene in Ireland, if you go to somewhere like New York or London there is enough people to go to the gigs and listen to the radio, sometimes I feel we have almost too much in Ireland. Over saturation, and as a result I feel people maybe get tired of it or find other things to do. But for the likes of Irish radio, there are stations that play Irish music, but it's not enough. There should be more, and there should be percentages. Obviously it can't be fifty fifty, but maybe forty or thirty percent.

 J.P. But how do you regulate it? The thing is that then the big names, like U2, Westlife etc. get the bulk of it anyway.

 Alan It's a funny thing as you can't regulate it in that sense. You can't tell radio station to play this band, you can't. And at the end of the day it comes down to money again. You can say play this much Irish music, but you can't say play this band, but not that band. But even if it's these well known artists, at least it's Irish music that is getting out there. But I think as people we need to get behind Irish music as well. The scene needs to grow a bit. People are in to English indie bands, where there are lots of Irish indie bands, great indie bands that because they don't get the radio play, people don't hear about them. People are less likely to go search for it these days, if its not put in front of them. But conversely as well these days with YouTube and everything it means you are able to get the music out there. You are not necessarily waiting for the DJ, you are not waiting necessarily on television or network companies to send your stuff out as you are releasing it, it's on YouTube, you sell the copies at your gigs. And suddenly you are a working musician. I think consistency is important as well, if people hear low quality songs, they are less likely to click on it again.

 J.P. From seeing bands come through the radio station, do you think up and coming band should still try to get signed, or should they work on making their own Records?

 Alan That is a hard one to call because there are bands who's soul purpose in life is to get signed. I mean 99% of bands you would be better not going that way. You'll have more fun, you actually get more done. It's kind of a trade off because it's going to be really hard work to try to get signed, but you are going to have to sell off lot of creativity. It's all about image if you are going to get signed. Where as if you were to do it your self, and you can do it your self. You will make some money back if you're good. And I think you just have more fun if you do it your self. But it does com down to person as well, you need to be self motivated, in both situations. I do think it comes down to luck as well, as there are bands that do get signed, and other that are great and try to get signed for years. And I do wonder if ten years from now they say “I wish we just did our own thing”

 J.P. Do you think bands have unrealistic expectations what being signed actually means?

 Alan Oh yeah, The idea of record company advance, I don't think many bands realize that you need to pay that back. They think record company give us money and then we sell million records. If you spend it you have o pay it. And I don't think bands realize that it is going to put lot of pressure on you as well when you are signed and suddenly you are like, how we not get dropped. I think it can cause lot of inner conflict as well. Now that's not to say getting signed is not a good thing as well. Different people have different aspirations and different working methods.

 J.P. Now as you work in the radio, would you have any tips for bands who are trying to get radio play and how should they go about it?

 Alan They should make contacts with DJ's, believe it or not. Email or phone call. Being clear and concise is always a good idea. So make sure your press release is clear, no more than one page and has contact details for you. Lot of bands send their MP3s and files, that has its benefits, but also its drawbacks. My advice would be send MP3s but send physical copies as well. When it comes to DJ's, they will choose stuff that is around them. Lot of bands are not pressing CD's anymore, but you got to remember when your band is one small file in a long list of files that all look very similar, or if your band is a CD in a group of CD's, you do have chance to stand out more. So I would say, where possible, do a physical CD. You could get in to the ins and outs of actual song writing. People tell you if you want to get your song on the radio it needs to be three mins long, intro 30 secs etc. It's one way of doing it, but would not be the way i would do it. From the creative point of view, I would not like it being that organized. I don't think it works for every genre either. In terms of getting radio play, make sure your music is up to quality. Don't send in any low quality recordings. Don't send stuff that you recorded at home, unless its for demo purposes, as in stuff that might be recorded on camcorder. If it is low quality, the chances are it will not get played. It's good to follow up any mailing with phone call. Just to make sure they got your CD. Don't ring them up saying “why haven't you played my CD”, ring them up “did you get our CD, did you get a chance to listen to it?” If you make it clear and concise for the DJ, there are bigger chance they will play it. If you hide you tracks in YouTube or Myspace  where you can't down load them, just stream, he will not play them, because he can't. If you are clear and concise and make it easy for the DJ to find your music and play it, there is more of a chance they will play it.

J.P. Do you think bands should start small with smaller stations, instead contacting 2fm straight away?

 Alan My feeling from person being in the bands I would say contact them all but don't expect to hear from them just yet. But they see the name once, second time... I think Repetition is the way to go. They might delete the email the first time, but three or four times down the line and if they have seen the name some where else as well, they will start paying a tension.

 J.P. JPKALLIO.COM has had quite lot of success with internet radio. How do you see the future of radio and the Internet radios part in it?

 Alan Internet radio is really good. To be honest with you even FM radio is podcasted now days. And the reason it is podcasted, is that people want to have the choice to listen to it on their own time. Internet radio is a great tool for all bands. There is no reason there shouldn't be more radio stations, there should always be choice. I guess the great thing about internet radio is that it is international. It comes down to theory of long tales, not to get too technical but with big enough stretch of people, sort of catchment area, like with internet radio, you will reach enough people with interest in your music.

 J.P. Lets talk about your birthday celebrations. So whats coming up?

 Alan What's coming up is that Near FM sessions will be five years old and we are having a birthday gig in the Grand Social on Friday the 18th of November. We have really talented punch of bands from a variety of genres. The Rambleers are dirt blues rock. We got eight piece reggae band Indica, they are fresh from the Picnic this year. They came in to the session and they blew me a way. We have Johnny and the Beep Beeps who are alternative rock. We have The Statics who are 60's revival band really talented band, I know I use the word talented a lot, but they are. We got singer songwriter/ folk artist Longtails. He is a strange artist because sometimes he is just Guitar and laptop, sometimes he has a full band behind him, so I don't actually know what he is going to do on the night. All great acts and they all have songs up on YouTube or Bandcamp. They all agreed to play for us. It's a fiver in, we are not looking to make money, we just want to cover the cost of the venue, as with everything we do in the Near FM Sessions. We don't get payed, we all volunteer.  We're not in it for the profit, we just want to get the word out for bands. Doors 7.45pm, live bands until about midnight and then we have DJ's from Near FM taking over until about half two. It should be a good night. The Grand social is a lovely venue.

 J.P. Sounds great. So any plans for the future?

 Alan We are always looking at things to move forward. We are looking in to adding a visual elements to the show it self. I can't say too much about it at the minute, but we are talking about stuff for both community television and videocast. I think it would be good for the bands if there was some visual imagery.

 J.P. That would change the whole show for the bands.

 Alan Well yeah, and that's why we need to look at it carefully as we have nice relaxed atmosphere and we don't want to loose that. We also recently started podcasting the show and that is going really well, so we are going to make an archive section on our website of the bands that we really enjoyed having on the show. I'm giving away all our secrets now... Mainly we are focused on getting bands in and doing what we do and trying to get the music out there.

 J.P. Once again big thank you for taking the time to talk to us

Check out Near FM Sessions at:

That's all for this week. Let us know your thoughts. Back for more next week.


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

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Rumble and roar in the Dublin music scene

  I find my self getting little bit exited about the way things have been going in the underground music scene for a past while. It's obvious that more aggressive music is building up again. The Metal scene in Ireland is growing like a wild fire, and the punk brewing up as well. I personally do think that the times we are living does play its part in it. Good old friend of mine and some one who has worked in the music business for well over 30 years once said that it is a historical fact that music and arts always has its boom during recession. I know it can sound bit crazy, but it does make sense as well. I know things like classical music will suffer due to its exclusive nature, but on the street level things are happening. During the boom, pubs did organize music, but it was more tourist oriented in Dublin. Now the local hangouts have realized the power of live music, and it is great to see. There are many venues JPKALLIO.COM have played in in the past year that are great examples of this, Sweeney's on Dame street are hopping! And I am sure they would say it is lot to do with the live music, which in most days of the week they have in two or even three floors. The Pint on the Eden quay has really started to establish it self as a serious venue in the Dublin music scene, especially for Metal. After a small break Thomas house is back organizing live punk nights. The Gypsy rose on Aston quay is running gigs in the basement and acoustic gigs upstairs. And this is only small scratch of the surface of the bubbling music scene in Dublin.

  The other factor in the picture is money. Whether we like it or not, it plays it's part on everything. Sometimes when times are good, and it is easy to make money, that's just what we do. We take the well payed corporate gigs, mold our set lists to suit them, ware our black suits and jump when we are told to jump. Don't get me wrong, nothing wrong with this. But when the work isn't there, you need to keep your self busy, and that's often when you have time to concentrate on what you really want to do. And in tough times people do look for solace in music. Also during good times, music can be more of a party tool, where as when things are not so good, music can be the language to express frustrations and anger. For example cover bands, something like “Sweet home Alabama”, always a strong classic, would have been very popular, but now you get “Killing in the name” by Rage against the machine. But very often these are all things that just pass us by, and we don't pay attention to it. But what always amazes me is how the big promoters tend to work in the past... Only in 2012 German Hard rock/ Metal legends Rammstein play their first concert in Ireland. Now think what ever you may of them, they will fill the O2 and would have done so long before. Oh yeah, and do you remember the famous Manu Chao visit to Dublin quite few years ago? The promoter booked him to Whelans, as they didn't know him and didn't think it would sell... The concert was eventually moved and Manu Chao played to a full house in the Point. But the good thing in all this is that the smaller promoters have had a chance to break in to market that was very much dominated by two giants in the past. Now we have Napalm Death coming to play in the Pint, and the ticket price is very reasonable, thanks to the fact that the major promoters didn't have their "major"cut out of this.

  So as much as we all get dragged down by the news of doom and gloom every day, in music business it is the time of the independents. Small labels who do what they love, small promoters who put on shows for bands they love, and most of all bands who do what they love, not what they are expected to do. What do you think the future holds for Dublin music scene?

  I am just back from a long weekend away, I was in need of charging my batteries, and that's just what I did:-) But now JPKALLIO.COM is very busy getting prepared for some recording. As I mentioned last week, we'll be going in to the Trackmix studios next week for few days. And at the same time I am busy getting the recording of Sliotars new album done. So busy times, but hey, it's the only way how I know:-) Talk to you more next week.

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