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Tim Renner: "Crowd Funding Is A Part Of Digital Revolution"

Published January 20 2014. Photo by Alexander Mertsch.

  by Mario

At the end of last year Swiss band The bianca Story rocked the boat with successfully crowd funding their upcoming album on wemakeit.ch. Last October Wolfgang talked to Moritz Gombert of Motor Music about the campaign. Now I asked the boss of Moritz, Motor founder Tim Renner, what this campaign means for the label and the future of music business ...

50K MUSIC: With your recently published book you tell stories and anecdotes about today's music business. What do you think musicians can learn from it?
Tim: The book can help musicians to understand the mechanisms behind the industry and enable them to go their own and independent path.

50K MUSIC: The bianca Story have successfully funded their upcoming album with their crowd funding campaign on wemakeit. Are you happy with the results of the campaign?
Tim: Absolutely – the band got over 90.000 Euros out of the campaign. To my knowledge this is the highest result of a swiss crowd funding ever and more money than any music project got this way in GSA ever.

Read more: Tim Renner: "Crowd Funding Is A Part Of Digital Revolution"

Alex Highton: "Just Be A Bit Nicer To Each Other And See What Happens"

Thanks Alex for taking the time to do this Q&A. Published January 18 2014. Photo by Frank van Delft.

  by Mario

It's been a while since we've heard of Alex Highton. He's back crowdfunding his upcoming album "Nobody Knows Anything" on Pledgemusic. There's still time to pledge by the way - 30 days strictly speaking. I talked to him about the album, the Pledgemusic campaign, new and old fans and a lot more ...

50K MUSIC: You're raising funds for your upcoming album "Nobody Knows Anything" on Pledgemusic at the moment. Why does it make sense for people to pledge?
Alex: Well I suppose it only makes sense for people to pledge if they like my songs! For me it means I get to make the record and send it out into the world. The less money I raise up front the less I can do with it when it's finished.

50K MUSIC: There are some familiar faces among the pledgers. Where does the current support come from - old or new fans?
Alex: I think a bit of both. I'm extremely lucky in that I have a small but dedicated bunch of people who have really supported me from the start. It's very humbling actually. I wouldn't be making records without them and I think they know that, so they do what they can. I'm just really grateful that they're willing to get behind me. They also spread the word, so I've had lots of new people get onboard with the project.

Read more: Alex Highton: "Just Be A Bit Nicer To Each Other And See What Happens"

It’s All About Struggle – Andrew Horn on “Twisted F*cking Sister”

This time we have a cool Indiegogo project to feature: a film about the early Twisted Sister years in New York by Andrew Horn. Thanks to Sabine for interviewing him. Published January 15 2014.

  by Sabine

“I love you!” This is what most people say when they meet Dee Snider. But – what does it mean? Maybe “Twisted F*cking Sister” could help to answer this: The so called Iron Men of Rock’n’Roll are about to celebrate their 40th birthday. And – maybe as a kind of a gift – film maker Andrew Horn made a documentary about their first ten years of club life from the early Seventies to the early Eighties. I talked to Andrew about his soft spot for painted people, the fact that having no money but time can be good for making movies and how similar the band history is to his own story of making this film.

50K MUSIC: What did you know about Twisted Sister before you started the project? Did they mean anything to you?
Andy: My connection to Twisted Sister came from my previous film, “The Nomi Song” about the New Wave singer Klaus Nomi. Twisted weren’t really on my radar at all but I must have known enough about them to automatically think that the idea of Klaus Nomi opening for them was a recipe for a spectacular disaster. Which it was.

So I met Dee Snider and Jay Jay French while researching that story for the movie and Jay Jay then appeared in the film describing the wild scene that erupted when Nomi, a German operatic counter-tenor and performance artist, was booked to open for Twisted in a club in suburban New Jersey. After the film was completed, Jay Jay and I spent an afternoon together where he started filling my head with stories about Twisted’s own wild shows in the bars. Jay Jay’s description of what he called “bar band shtick”, which is the various ploys they used to engage their crowd in the bars, sounded to me like its own kind of performance art – just for a whole other type of crowd. And the kinds of things they would come up with, seemed to me to be pretty surreal. This sounded interesting and the more I followed up on it, the more I realized there was a real story there. And it was engaging on a human level, but sometimes it could get just as surreal as the atmosphere of the shows.

Read more: It’s All About Struggle – Andrew Horn on “Twisted F*cking Sister”

The Duhks: “There Is No Box That Anyone Can Safely Put Us In And Walk Away From”

Thanks Linda and The Duhks for doing the interview. Published Jan 04 2014.

  by Linda

Hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada, and now NYC and Hudson, NY USA, The Duhks are releasing a new album. Juno Award winners and Grammy nominees The Duhks are working hard to bring new music your way with their Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. I got a chance to ask the Duhks a few questions about the musical journey they are on. Then head over to Indiegogo, check them out and pledge away!

50K MUSIC MAG: ‘The Duhks’ have been an extremely successful band since 2001, has your perspective in the music industry changed your views on how music should be brought to the people?
The Duhks: I think we are in a fascinating time of transition for the music industry. While I think there are still a large number of people who prefer to have music delivered to them via mass media, there is a growing contingent who want to be involved in the process; who are interested in “how” a record is made, what life is like for musicians, what the creative process involves. They want wackiness, they want diversity, they want the musicians that they feel a connection with to have artistic freedom, and they want to be more deeply connected to those artists as well. I love this new model that is being shaped right now with the help of crowdfunding (a.k.a. crowd-fundraising) campaigns like the one we are doing with Indiegogo. Though it requires a much higher level of organization to execute than if you had a label and all the wonderful trappings that come along with it; distribution, radio, publicity, and of course funding. In the process of launching a project such as this, we are building the team and the process that is exactly right for us, not trying to fit ourselves into an existing mold.

Read more: The Duhks: “There Is No Box That Anyone Can Safely Put Us In And Walk Away From”

Phia: "A Real Mix Of Things"

Thanks to Phia for taking the time to answer my questions. Published December 06 2013.

  by Mario

A few weeks ago I've experienced Phia live for the first time at Franz Mehlhose and was thrilled by the music of the girl with the Kalimba. I talked to her about her music and living in Berlin ...

50K MUSIC: Please introduce yourself, who is Phia? Where do you come from (musically)?
Phia: Phia is me! It's a nickname of my full name (Sophia). I've been performing solo for the last two years but recently have started performing on stage with guitarist Josh Teicher, who also my producer.

Musically I come from many places. In school I used to sing in choirs and loved musical theatre. This has definitely shaped my performing and love of harmonies. My dad introduced me to classic 60s songwriting, The Beatles are a massive influence on me. My mum introduced me to jazz, like Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett, which I loved and actually studied jazz piano at university. So a real mix of things.

50K MUSIC: I would characterise your songs as everything but ordinary, your music is rather puristic. How come that your songs are only made of your voice, a kalimba and the help of a loop pedal?
Phia: It was something I discovered about myself, that I work best when I have limitations. So only having a few tools to make music, and knowing I had to be able to make all the sounds myself really freed me up creatively.

Read more: Phia: "A Real Mix Of Things"

Birdeatsbaby: “We Really Want To Bring You All Over To The Dark Side…..”

Still 4 days to support BIRDEATSBABY on Kickstarter ..... Published December 01 2013.

  by Linda

Orchestral Punk Rock band Birdeatsbaby, are releasing their third studio album ‘The Bullet Within’, through their campaign on Kickstarter. I got lucky enough to get in touch with Birdeatsbaby while they are so busy with working on their new album. With ‘The Bullet Within’, they want to bring everybody over to the dark side and I suggest you follow. Here is what Birdeatsbaby has to say about their campaign, new album and what’s in store for their future, then head over to Kickstarter cause there are only a few days left to pledge!

50K MUSIC MAG: How did you meet and become Birdeatsbaby?
BIRDEATSBABY: Mish, Philippa (original drummer), Garry and Keely (original violinist) met at University. We quickly realised that we had something, as each one of us came from completely different musical background, different ends of the country, different ages and a love of all things musically alternative. It took us some time to blend together all of this and make it work. We never planned for BEB to sound the way it did, it just happened. A happy accident! After some years we went through several member changes and now we are Mishkin, Garry, Tessa and Katha.

Read more: Birdeatsbaby: “We Really Want To Bring You All Over To The Dark Side…..”

Death Metal Without Borders - Defect Designer Going International With New Album

Published November 23 2013.

  by Jonathan

Novosibirsk, Siberia, may not be the first place that springs to mind when you think of death metal but it’s from that land that Defect Designer originally hails. Their formation has taken quite a few twists and turns, namely the number of line-up shifts that has left Dmitry Sukhinin the lone original member and of course the band leader. He’s also relocated to Norway, to avail of a work opportunity.

“We have quite a complicated case about the band,” says Dmitry. “[Novosibirsk] is a million and a half by population but we’ve always struggled with musicians in the city and we managed to do the first record [Wax].”

Nevertheless the band, though its line-up fragile at the time, were determined to record this first record, Wax, and even did so in Hertz Studio in Białystok, Poland, which has housed some Polish death metal greats such as Vader and Decapitated. That however was nearly five years ago and much has changed for Defect Designer.

“After a couple of years of struggling within the band I got an offer to join the company [I work for] in Norway that I accepted so basically I had to re-establish the band from the very beginning,” explains Dmitry, clearly laden with several obstacles in trying to get Defect Designer off the ground. The band’s second album is now, unsurprisingly, turning into an international affair.

Launching a crowd-funding campaign on Music Raiser, Dmitry has successfully raised the desired $1,500 (€1,100) to record the new record with some high profile names, including one Flo Mounier of Cryptopsy. The Montreal death metal drummer has long been a luminary in the field of extreme metal drumming and Dmitry is quite proud to have him involved but how did this come about?

Read more: Death Metal Without Borders - Defect Designer Going International With New Album