Music, What makes you happy?

Interview

Andy Anderson Sartori….Amazing musician looking for work.

Last year it was my honor to interview Andy for some of our first interviews for this blog. As of a couple months ago Andy is looking for work. I had a wonder phone conversation with him a day or two before the original interview came out. He sent me a CD with his music and I purchased handmade guitar strap for myself that he makes when he has extra time. Personally I have been impressed with his musical styling’s as well as his extensive musical background. He would be an asset to any band.
Check him out. Here is were you can find him.
Myspace page.
LinkedIn
YouTube
ReverbNation


Serotonin……a bright spot in UK music.

This interview was one I had been looking forward to for a long time since I first heard there music awhile ago. Jay Cobain took time out from the very busy schedule he has had of late tells us about himself and the band.

How did you get started, little history bio basically?
Serotonin was born in the summer of 2007. Myself (Jay) and one of my closest friends, Jody Shinton (Drummer), had been in a band together prior to Serotonin for several years. At the start of 2006, we disbanded and parted ways. Jody went on to work with other musicians in our town, doing various musical projects whilst I took some much needed time out. During this time, I was still writing music, but it wasn’t until mid 2007 that I was ready to “test out” the new material I had written. I called Jody and explained that I had this array of new material and I was desperate to get back into the scene again. The music we wrote in our previous band was very grunge and had a lot of Nirvana influence behind it, but I didn’t want to go back to that as it was getting us nowhere fast. After showing Jody the new music, he loved it and so did I. This was our sound. This was Serotonin.
Jody was good friends with bassist, Dave Chatterley. They had been working together in another band whilst I was taking time off. Their project had not long disbanded and Jody suggested bringing Dave in to play the bass guitar for us. As soon as we all got together it just clicked. We all fed off of each others passion and we were ready. I guess that’s how we were born.

What or who inspired you?
From a very early age it was Nirvana. Kurt Cobain was a huge influence on me and got me into writing music from the start. However, my guitar idol is one Mark Tremonti; the guitarist for Creed and Alter Bridge. Mark is the reason that I became more experimental with my music and made me want to learn to shred and solo more. Corey Taylor (Slipknot & Stone Sour) is another huge influence of mine.
Jody is a huge fan of Bon Jovi and has named Tico Torres as one of his idols, but he has many others such as The Rev (Avenged Sevenfold).
Dave is a big fan of Matt Bellamy from Muse.

What instruments do you play and who manufactured them?
I play guitar. My guitars of choice are Paul Reed Smith guitars (PRS). I absolutely love them. The trouble is that they are very expensive, but worth it.
Dave enjoys his Fender Jazz bass guitars.
Jody plays DW drums.

What do you listen too?
A lot of rock, metal and alternative metal. I like to think that I have an eclectic taste in music, but these genres seem to shine through more. I can’t stand pop music, R&B or drum and bass.

What makes you happy? sad?
Music for both. Music is such a very emotional tool.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love spending time with my fiance and our son. They are a huge part of my life.
I also enjoy directing and editing. This helps when it comes to our music videos. I am a very artistic and creatively driven person, so I channel it all into areas that interest me.

If you could do anything you wanted what would it be?
Honestly? Make a living through music for the rest of my life. I understand that a lot of musicians say this, but it’s true. I guess the only difference is that it’s not about the “fame and the fortune” for me. I only need enough to support my family and be able to eat.

Anything else you think people don’t already know about you that you want to share?
This is a good question and a difficult one to answer. I don’t think there is anything… at the moment.

Have you got another album in the works and/or music videos?
There is another record in the works. Actually, we’ve not long finished it. We started working on a new EP last September and finally finished this past spring. It’s called ‘The Missing’ and consists of 5 tracks. There have been talks of releasing a new music video for one of the new songs, but nothing is official yet.
We are planning to begin work on another record soon and I’m also contemplating a possible solo album.

How hard has it been managing your own label and yourself?
We signed to Crash Records who are an independent record label in 2009. Since then we released 2 records through them. However, we have since parted with the label and we have been doing everything ourselves. Our new record (The Missing) will be released through my own label and was even recorded in my home. It’s been challenging doing everything myself, but it’s all a part of the journey.

What’s the new album about?
The new record is easily our darkest to date. The title of the EP is apt because they were songs that didn’t make our first 2 EP’s. We had a lot of requests from fans that wanted copies of songs that weren’t available on our previous records.
The record itself is based around deceit, fate and broken relations. It sounds depressing, but makes for some good music. One of the tracks is called ‘I’m Nothing’ and is actually the first song I ever wrote. I originally wrote it when I was 16 and did nothing with it. It’s changed a little bit since it’s creation, but I am proud of this song.
The inspiration behind the songs on this album?
A lot of the music that I write stems from some form of experience, whether that be past or present. The songs on the new record are based on past experiences and dealing with deceit. I enjoy the way that I wrote the lyrics for the track ‘Twist of Fate’. The first verse is written about the past, but the second verse describes how that fate was changed for the better. It’s hard to explain, but I thought it was a good way to show that everything happens for a reason.
The opening track on this record is an intro track. I wanted something to set the mood for the rest of the record. It’s called ‘Absentia’ which is Latin for ‘absence’. I felt that this was a fitting title as the EP is ‘The Missing’. It’s quite a peaceful track and even has orchestral pieces in it. In my opinion, it certainly sets the tone and the mood for the rest of the record.
When do you hope to have it released? and where?
Originally, we hoped to have it released in June, 2012, but due to unforeseen circumstances, this didn’t happen. We’re now aiming to release it in August.
The release will be digital and will be worldwide. As with our 2 previous records, it can be purchased on iTunes, Amazon and many more.
Once we have the official release date ready, we will announce it on our official Facebook page.
Thanks to Serotonin for the interview and good luck.
ReverbNation
MySpace


Serpent Underground…….WOW!

Cruising through the people on ReverbNation and I received an a friend request from Serpent Underground and WOW it took my breath away. They recently released a “Official Video” which I will give you attach here in the blog. Ralph was kind enough to answer a few questions and give me a copy of their information to share with all of you.
So how did you meet?
I started the band with a friend of mine (Guitarist) who I met at work in 2003 (He left the band in 2007). There have been several line up changes in the band since it’s birth in 2003.

For those people who don’t know you, who does what and who manufactures your instruments and equipment?
The band currently consist of four members: Ralph Buso – Vocals/Keys, Cody Walker – Guitar/Backing Vocals, Anthony Arguijo – Bass/Backing Vocals, Mike Elliott – Drums. I (Ralph) use a Sennheiser Microphone, and a Yamaha MOTIF 6 Synthesizer. The Guitarist (Cody) uses a Schecter C-7 custom (7-string) Guitar, a Mesa boogie dual rectifier (Head), and a Custom made Cab. The Bass Player (Anthony) uses a Schecter stilleto 5 string bass, a Ampeg 4 pro amp head, and a Ampeg 8x10HLF speaker cabinet. The Drummer (Mike) uses a 5 piece Tama kit with Paiste Cymbals.

How is your first album doing and the new video?
Our Album “The Lie”, and our Video “The Fallen” is receiving rave reviews from both fans, and Industry professionals.

Is there going to be another video soon?
A new video is in the works, and it will feature a special celebrity guest star, our friend and colleague Steve Santini (Creator and star of T.V.’s “Deals From The Dark Side”, Collector and historian of rare and dark antique relics, “World’s Most Extreme Escape Artist” : Ripley’s Believe it or Not!)

What’s you favorite types of venues to play?
We are all about great sound, and powerful visual effects, so we like to play venues who can support our performance standard.

How far way has touring been taking you and how is the road treating you?
We are not currently on the road, but we plan to be on a national tour sometime in the late fall.

Who’s managing you, and how can venues sign you up?
We are currently being managed by The Monstour Agency. Venues can contact Todd at tma@themonstouragency.com

What kind of things do you like to do in your down time?
I enjoy good beer, and good company! lol

What makes you happy? Writing good music that people can relate to.
or Sad? The high price of gas! lol
If you could do anything you wanted what would you like to try?
I would eliminate sickness, and death!

Links to them, ReverbNation, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Metal Underground,Youtube
Keep on Playing and thanks for the interview.

Information provided by Serpent Underground
Biography:

Dark, melodic, emotional, heavy and intense. These terms have all been used to describe the force behind Serpent Underground. Yet they don’t even scratch the surface of the band itself. Formed in 2003, Serpent Underground hit the Southern California metal scene with a vengance. With their heart-pounding rhythms, melodic guitar work, rib crushing bass and electrifying vocals, Serpent Underground quickly carved a name for themselves and they haven’t looked back. Their dynamic live show has stretched all over Southern California as well as across the nation, sharing the stage with Dragonforce, Five Finger Death Punch, Asesino, The Dreaming and Powerman 5000.

Since then, the band has released 2 albums. The first, Devils of Flesh, was released in 2006, and featured hits such as “Caroline”, “Tangled” and “Someday Soul”. This album has a dark, gothic mood, and with its haunting lyics quickly established Serpent Underground as a force in the music world.

The bands second album, “The Lie” was released in September 2011 under Downpour Records. This album features everything Serpent Underground fans have come to expect, and adds a progressive drive to their already aggressive “in-your-face”sound. With hits like “Broken”, “The Fallen” and the fan favorite “God on the Mic”, Serpent Underground once again shows the world their talent as song writers and musicians.

One of the most dedicated groups in the industry, Serpent Underground continues to play shows to their ever-growing fan base while striving to push the boundries of their art with every new track they write. With upcoming songs like the dark and edgy “Other side of Sanity”, the epic “Anthem for Destruction” and with the beauty of the ballad “Wait for Me”, Serpent Underground remains a paragon of dark, melodic metal. Each track telling a story that allows the listener to see the world through their eyes…

For Booking Contact:
serpent.underground@gmail.com

Achievements

Throughout the years, Serpent Underground has played across America including the Gothstock Festival in Hartford CT and the San Diego State Fair. They have played with numerous national acts such as:
Five Finger Death Punch, Dragonforce, Asesino, The Dreaming, and Powerman 5000. They were first runner up in the 2006 Bodog Battle of the Bands and the Nitrorocks Ultimate Battle. In 2007 Serpent Underground was nominated in 3 categories for the Rock City News Rockie Awards and were awarded 2 of them. The nominations include:

• Best Metal Band ~ Serpent Underground (AWARDED)
• Best Male Drummer ~ Rich Costa (AWARDED)
• Best Male Front Man ~ Ralph Buso

In Addition, Serpent Underground:
• Is being promoted and featured by Metal Sanaz who has over 1,000,000 friends http://www.myspace.com/metalsanaz
• Has one of the most viewed episodes on the metal show
The Bloodstream
• Is demanded by over 2,000 people on eventful.com
• Was featured weekly on XM Radio’s Liquid Metal (42)
• Had 3 songs from “Devils of Flesh” featured on the Playboy TV reality series Jenna’s American Sex Star
• Have been featured on several occasions on the Southern California radio stations X103.9 and Rock105.3 with tracks from both of their Albums “Devils of Flesh” and “THE LIE”

Serpent Underground made the ‘Rock Solid Pressure’
‘Top 10’ list for the most requested tracks of 2008.
‘Rock Solid Pressure’ is a national FM show,
and to be one of the most requested bands on
‘Rock Solid Pressure’ is an amazing feat.


Postcards from the Deathbed….talks.

Andrew Gemkow, his solo project is called, “Postcards from the Deathbed.” If you check out all the places on the web to find him you realize that one style of music is not in his vocabulary. Alternative, R&B, Rock, Folk, he has a wide variety of sounds out there, and all of it is great stuff.

His own Bio on ReverbNations says,
“Postcards from the Deathbed is the story of a man who has chosen to hide in plain sight through his use of music to make sense of the world around him and the events of his life that he cannot possibly understand. The purpose of all of this is to allow the truth to flow out though the vehicle of sound; the wording is carefully chosen to protect all who exist within the spaces of these electrons that bind us all as one existence. As the memories slip from the failing mind of an old man in his fate, these postcards may well serve to remind him of memories lost within the chaos of passing time.

The multiple sketches and refinements as they are released here are with the intent to show the evolution of understanding and acceptance of the self and the impact others have had upon his very being. These creations are a shelter within the soul from the storm that rages within the mind. This is me.”

We asked a few questions,
What or who inspired you?
Coming from a family of musicians, they have always been an exceptional source of inspiration to me. My great grandpa Rudy could play anything he heard on the concertina. My uncle Bob played drums in a wedding band. However, my greatest inspiration came from my uncle Ed. Shortly after I began learning violin, he had me stand up on a side table and play the first three songs I ever learned. When I finished, he gave me a dollar, saying, “Now you are a paid professional. It’s up to you to go as far as you want because you can be the best if you work at it.” I keep this in mind whenever I play music for someone else.

What instruments do you play and who manufactured them?
I play any stringed instrument. The physics of a vibrating string has fascinated me since my time studying with Nelle Meintz. She taught me harmonics. Later, when I learned to regulate pedal harps at Lyon and Healy, Peter Wiley introduced me to the bible of tonal physics by Hermann Helmholtz titled, ‘On the Sensation of Tone’.

The instruments I own have been carefully selected for their tonal characteristics and playability within the capabilities of my hands. Let’s just say that it’s unlikely I will ever buy an instrument off the internet.

I play a 2006 Fender Jaguar Bass that I have customized to suit my playing techniques. For example, I played about 30 different jag basses at the time before I selected the one that sounded and played best. It is strung with Thomastick flatwound strings and has a Hipshot D-tuner. I removed the pickguard and custom shaped a rosewood coverplate for the electronics pocket and added a thumb block to accommodate my right hand technique. Everything else is stock.

My guitar is a walnut 1979 Gibson SG. It was a factory “second” from the Norlin era that has had much work done to it over the years by Kagan and Gaines in Chicago and Northwest guitars. After a complete restoration in 2008, I stripped the original body finish to the natural wood and applied a hand-rubbed linseed oil finish. It has the stock “tarback” or T-top pick-up in the bridge and the stock “super humbucker” pickup in the bridge; split series/phase/parallel. Everything is stock except for a bison bone nut.

There are other instruments in the rack, but these two instruments define my sound.

What do you listen too?
My musical taste is eclectic. I listen to all forms of music. My preference is toward music that is innovative and isn’t an emulation of previous artists. “Sound-alikes” bore me. I do enjoy the recognition of an artist’s influences in their compositions; so long as their own style and personality is dominant in their sound.

I also listen intently to what other people are saying. Without this fundamental base in communication, the intent in my own compositions holds no merit.

What makes you happy? sad?

It took me a bit to think about this question. I’m pretty happy most of the time. When I’m not, it usually leads to 3am writing sessions until I can sleep again. It’s the only way that I know how to at least be completely truthful to myself. As long as I have truth, I have happiness. This doesn’t necessarily exclude sorrow, remorse or joy. Truth just happens to be the justification for experiencing all other emotions I feel.

Sadness has come from innumerable directions in my life. It is not an emotion I dwell upon for fear of becoming awash in its consumption. It’s emptiness is the very thing I avoid at all costs. It will have its place in time in its lesser forms, but holds no shelter from the night when it rolls in like a fog. I choose happiness for its limitless reward when continually shared. Sadness brought me nothing but a quick fix, hopelessness and death in all its forms.

But, if one thing makes me sad, it is those who may walk through this life having never known they are alive.

oh… and White Sox fans in a ‘shakin’ my head’ kinda way. Only because they suck so bad at being fans. That’s right, you 35th st. mutts. I said it

We would like to thank Andrew for talking with us and wish him the best of luck.
ReverbNation
Facebook
MySpace


Mil-1-lion…rap with emotions.

Insightful, raw, upcoming talent. Looking for more in the coming years.
Meet Mil-1-lion.
Well, for me it started when my dad bought me a tape called bible break when I was 6. This was the first time I heard hip-hop and from that point on I was hooked. I started writing songs shortly their after.

With no way to record myself I decided to store all of my songs till I got old enough to buy equipment but as the years passed I started to have a love for something else in life that was basketball. Basketball became my life as I entered my teen years and lasted till I blow out my knee. I took this really hard because I almost forgot about music by this point-I mean I was so set on be coming a basketball player it was blinding me that I had other passions in my life.

By this time I’m 18 I dropped out of high school and was starting to rebuild that lost love of music again. It took a few year to decide that is was what I wanted to do not because it was a hard choice but I knew the road to making a living off of music is hard road to travel. Once I decide to do this I was going full out I started creating tracks for me to rap on and started save money to get equipment.

Now in my early twenties I was looking forward again and everything was full go for music I was meeting people that I still work if today. I would spend thousands of hours online looking for any info on how to create and produce music. During this Time I also moved back home to Cincinnati, OH because my grandma got sick and then it happened something that just crushed me to pieces. One of my biggest supports in my life was my grandma and in 2001 she died from cancer. I was so angry so mad at GOD for taking her that for the next 10 years I gave up Rapping. I felt that the main reason for me doing music was gone so why even try anymore but GOD on the other hand had a different plan.

After this I just filled my life with meaningless things just to pass the time, I end up getting a managers job at a restaurant for a little while but it didn’t work out and I quite. During this time my uncle at the age of 40 started going to college and tried to get me to go for over a year but I keep telling he I got a job and I didn’t need college. Well after quitting my job I ask my parents if I could move back home to go to college for music production.

So I went to college for 3 years and figured not I really didn’t need it. All of my professors would always ask me why am I in college for music production when I am already doing producing music? They told me these things after hearing the tracks I made for project and told me to just go find a record company and sell them my tracks.

Finally after loosing my house and mom getting laid off I ended up in Tennessee with my great family. And I stated “moving on” not only about my grandma but about I lot of issues I was dealing from my past this is where the Artist came back because I need a way to release what was trapped inside of me. All the emotion and feeling that I kept bottled up all those years I realize I had to let go because progressing in my life will never happen if I don’t release the issues I have. So this is where the Album comes in I haven’t set a date for its release just yet hopefully by May if all goes well. For those who have never heard my music you can listen to it over at reverbnation.com/mil1lion and all song are free downloads. I also would like to thank heishort for putting on her blog thank you so much and I will let people know about your blog GOD bless. M1n I’m out.

Thank for taking the time to talk about your passion. Good Luck!


Thurkills Vision…winner of the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands 2011.

From the bio on Sonicbids,
“Thurkills Vision is a 5 piece melodic metal outfit hailing from Lowell, Massachusetts. Formed in 2006, the group is led by the fierce and equally alluring voice of singer Yamil Melendez; combining influences of metal, alternative, and rock to create a hybrid sound that can’t be easily categorized. The hard hitting rhythm section featuring David Malave on drums and bassist Matt Frotten lay the foundation for guitarists Eric Williams and Bobby Rourke, who drive the band with their aggressive, thrash-inspired playing. Along with the auditory assault that is their music, the band also brings to the table a high-intensity live show, which has become a staple for the group. Since forming, the band has played shows all over the New England area, sharing the stage with national touring acts such as Sevendust, 10 Years, Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet For My Valentine, Three Days Grace, Escape the Fate, Seether, Taproot, Nonpoint, and Powerman 5000, to name a few.”
“Instrumentation, David Malave – Drums, Eric Williams – Guitar, Yamil Melendez – Vocals, Bobby Rourke – Guitar,
Matt Frotten – Bass”

Their EP came out in March of 2011. Here is the interview we did.
How did you get started, little history bio basically?
We mostly met in high school, and we found Eric in the classifieds like a puppy.

What or who inspired you?
Sevendust, Pantera, Metallica, Korn, Rage Against the Machine. Seeing these bands live inspired a few of us to want to be musicians.

What instruments do you play and who manufactured them?
Pearl Session Custom, a Gibson Les Paul, a Schecter, a Fender bass, the singer uses Shure mics.

What do you listen too?
A little bit of everything…Sevendust, A Day to Remember, Of Mice and Men, Lil Wayne, Eminem, Tupac, some local artists.

What makes you happy? sad?
Performing, writing, friends, the van. The Patriots losing the Superbowl.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Watch movies, play video games, travel, spend time with friends.

If you could do anything you wanted what would it be?
Fly.

Anything else you think people don’t already know about you that you want to share?
We love each other’s hair and we have separation anxiety.

Have you got another album in the works and/or music videos?
We have another album in the works. We are spending some time writing currently. Possibly an acoustic album in the future also. Another music video, definitely. We had a lot of fun creating the first one. (www.youtube.com/thurkillsvisionmusic – video for “My Theory“)

Who manages you?
Ali Pini & David Malave

You can find out more at these links, best of luck in the future to Thurkills Vision and thanks for talking with us.
Thurkills Vision, ReverbNation, MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn


Manor House Media Composer Cody Maniates

Music from Brighton Colorado. Cody is extremely creative, he gave us a few minutes of his time to tell us more.

How did you get started, little history bio basically?
My mother found me at a hospital in 1977 and filled the role of a vicarious artist, and so it all began! Seriously though, I got my start playing guitar and diversified from there. The piano is my main instrument and my forte, which helps me to write balanced compositions with a solid melodic platform.

What or who inspired you?
Bill Collectors, people with big houses and lots of cool stuff, that Nickleback song “Rock Star”. Mostly my inspiration came from film scores like those by John Williams (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park), Jerry Goldsmith (Star trek Movie themes, Poltergeist), and Alan Menken (numerous Disney movies) which always drove a scene beyond where the actors could take it emotionally.

What instruments do you play and who manufactured them?
I currently play a keyboard by Roland, acoustic guitar by Sigma, and any other instrument I can find time with!

What do you listen too?
Vulcan logic, my heart, the universe, oh and my two daughters begging for things I can’t afford…

What makes you happy? sad?
Happy: Skinny jeans on women, montages, root beer, cool people who interview me, and of course my family.
Sad: Movies where people lose a finger, when “The Wonders” broke up, and skinny jeans on men.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Try to ignore the endless TV theme song database in my head. There’s no reason to still remember the theme song to Webster or Buck Rodgers, it’s weird. Remember Air Wolf…? I DO!

If you could do anything you wanted what would it be?
Bungee jump from the moon. I haven’t found a cord long enough though…Among my career goals, I hope to compose soundtracks for major motion pictures…. Steven Spielberg, call me.

Anything else you think people don’t already know about you that you want to share?
I am a cancer survivor and it has shown me that life can be short. Live in the moment while planning for the future and go after your dreams no matter what stands in your way.

Have you got another album in the works and/or music videos?
I am constantly working on new songs and ideas, so check often! I also have a top secret project in the works, but you can’t see that yet.

Who manages you and how is that going?
My wife…um, it’s going great according to her!

Check out more about Manor House Media at these links. Very best to Cody.
Facebook, ReverbNation, Twitter, YouTube.


Reign Project makes beautiful music.

Mysterious, creative, worth taking the time to listen to their style of alternative music.

Reign Project took sometime to give us more about them.

I was born in the US but at the age of five I went with my mother to Germany, where I spent the next fifteen years. Living in Europe has allowed me to travel and explore other cultures which has formed my view of the world and shows itself in my music as well. It was during that time that the era of the synthesizer began and I discovered the great sounds of Analog Keyboards, starting with the Mini-Moog. I was utterly fascinated and though I had no formal musical training I taught myself and could not stop playing it. Musicians like Jean-Michael-Jarre and Vangelis were hitting the airwaves in Europe and taking me by storm. Through my step-father, who was in the event business, I attended and worked at large music festivals which also gave me a chance to experience Chris DeBurgh, the Scorpions, Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, John Denver, Judas Priest, Dire Straits, Phil Collins, Madonna, Marillion and a number of others. They were my heroes, but I guess what impressed me most was the fact that these artists could unite a people so different from each other, in color, religion, politics and lifestyles – I understood that there are no borders for music, neither visible nor invisible ones.

At the age of 20 I returned to the US, wanting to meet my father, of whom I had no memory.He lived with his new family in Colorado, but the meeting turned out to be a disappointment. I moved to Denver, tried to re-built my life and eventually bought a keyboard again, which I have now, a Korg Triton Workstation 88 key with expansion boards. There is nothing I cannot do with it and I hope that it continues to serve me as well in the future.

For a few years I managed bands, and in that capacity I met countless musicians with real talent but no feeling for what the public wanted. None of them were prepared to change anything in their music to make the listener happy. It was so frustrating that I decided to try and write my own music to see if I couldn’t convey the things that are in my heart to a larger audience. I am probably an idealist, but with my songs I hope to bring people together and to make them forget their troubles or hate. At first it was only one song – “In My Dreams” – which took me six months to feel good about. That was in 2010. Then it became easier, “I Believe”, for example, was written in less than an hour. Now I often finish a song and I start writing two, three, four more. But the idea, that started it, was for me to see the difficulties of these bands and I found that I had no problem changing songs as long as the message within them was kept pure.

As I said, I was never trained in classical piano, I hear what I like and extrapolate from there, it has to be in tune with the words. I don’t have a great singing voice and lyrics are most important to me. I want to lift you up, I want to carry you when you’re down, I want you to have fun and enjoy your life or, on the other hand, give voice to the things in the world that I find wrong. That is my music, I play every day, I love it and want to get better at it, I want to open my heart and mind to strangers and find a connection. I have only now discovered the rewards of this, I have found friends all over the world and they tell me that they want to hear more. At this time I am in Germany promoting RP, but I can’t wait to get back to the US and finish some of my last songs for release. We are hoping that the 1st Album “Evolve” will be out by June. It is rather difficult for me to keep up with promoting, song writing and the travelling I have to do for work. We have no management and have to do everything ourselves, but it keeps me in touch with our fans out there. We are also talking about making a video and are trying to decide on the song. Money and time, of course, are our greatest problems at the moment and I don’t think we will overcome that anytime soon. We just started a MySpace site and also have a Facebook page and ReverbNation.

We would like to say thanks Reign Project and continued good luck.


Manager Richard “Rickey” Lee Watson…..Management that cares.

I would like to introduce a manager today. He manages for the Billy K Band as well as a number of other artists. He too is an artist in his own right and he gave us some of his time to talk about being a manager.

What made you interested in doing this kind of work?
I have been interested in music and always been fascinated by talented performers and started back in grammar school, when my music teacher discovered my voice and music interest which grew into my first debut in Eastman School of Music in a choir where I performed on my first recording as a young boy titled “Children’s Plea for Peace”, and soundtrack for the Movie “Oliver”. After a few years at the age of 13 I got my first drum set and started my own group and played locally. Then after a 14 year run I as a rock vocalist and felt it was not enough. I started reading many books and attend many seminars for marketing and constantly stayed tuned into what was going on behind the scenes, this seem to interest me more, then babysitting musicians who were comfortable doing things on a local level. So I loaded up my bags and said I’m going to head to Nashville in hopes of being discovered, and when I arrived I knew no one, but found my way to Gilly’s Porch on Music Row, where I looked through the book and found a song to sing proudly and a talent scout came across me, he approached me and introduced me to a producer that turned out to be my guiding light in the music industry. As his right hand man I was his apprentice for many artist, for 12 years on Music Row, working on press kits, getting them to the studio on time, and matching songs with each different style, making sure the photos were done on time over seeing the artist and what was needed to get them performing, and traveling the states as a talent scout. I did not have a total interest in being an artist but always loved the behind the scene movement, so after 30 years of networking and making connections and the untimely death of my mentor and master trainer in 2000, I decided if I was going to help anyone else in this business I needed to wear out my own boots and shake enough hands to acquire a team that I could depend on that will do what they promised. So I had to record 48 records myself knowing that I had the team of true professionals that meant what they said , and said what they meant. The songs were liked and loved by many of the Nashville Recording Artist and the time was spent learning the business from all angles. As an A&R, artist, and a promotion director, by the time 30 years had passed it was time to allow the deserving artist a chance to play on the same field with the true professionals I had worked with and knew on a personal level. So I recorded my last CD “Time for Change” and started my own label with my partner based on my experience, which was the last piece of the puzzle. So now I’m older yet as I let the years sneak up quickly and decided to build my Label by producing and managing my own Artists from A TO Z, so that we can both be blessed with my goal in mind to run my own company, and Artist Management company feeling fortunate enough to see it from all sides of the coin making my experience valuable to upcoming deserving artists.

What are some of the pitfalls, and what the rewards are?
Many have asked the same questions about Pitfalls and Rewards although there are several pitfalls and many Rewards. I’ll point out a few to keep it brief.
One of the Pitfalls we sometimes don’t see coming is who and whom you are associated with, meaning if someone you are doing business with has been labeled a shark and practiced unfair dealing with others before you, and you do business with them unfortunately you wear the same suit, as a young artist I would say it’s not always the person you’re dealing with creditability, it’s the people’s people they are dealing with that can hurt you or enhance your chances as an Artist, so do your home work and check under all the rocks to make sure your on the right path.
Another Pitfall is Don’t get excited to play all your songs for anyone and anyone at songwriters nights, or conventions, or in public unless you are protected by your copyrights and you are affiliated with songwriters associations like ASCAP, BMI ,SESAC, SOCAN , see when you post many songs all over the net unprotected a songwriting professional will not steal the song but write around the song and steal the hook the most valuable part of your song. So be very careful about where you perform you own personal creations as many eyes await and ear are alert and you will lose all of what you have worked so hard to create.
Third but not at all the last Pitfall you will be faced with is if you don’t have the guidance or representation. Know that this is a Business and should be treated as any other business, this is your business and career just like being a Doctor school is important and staying educated in your field. Many Artists I have found want a manager, but don’t want to be managed. Letting your manager do what he has trained to do and working together by keeping communication open at all times is so important. If you think you can go do it alone then you don’t want to be managed so don’t bother signing an agreement you know you will not follow.
I say Know your Craft and then many doors of opportunity will open one lock after another, don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek attorney advice when this is most difficult business in the world and all contracts have hidden lines you may not notice without professional opinions.

Rewards
The rewards come in many ways not only monetary value or dollar value from a successful production, but playing a part in someone else ‘s dream has its own reward knowing that the time taken to educate yourself being the messenger and laying on the finish line from exhaustion from a job well done with integrity. The point is to breathing life into a deserving talent to be shared with the world, touching one heart at a time. Changing someone’s bad day into a good day with some words story lines and melodies wow just being there at the right time is a reward that is priceless.

What are the hardest things to deal with?
I would say one of the hardest things to deal with would be keeping the upcoming artist on task, on time, and not babysitting unprofessional musicians, holding a job and playing at night till you make it so to speak.
Trying to make a living only by playing music feeding the family and staying focused without being taken off sides resisting the urge to give up. Growing into the career not being a victim of what you chose for your life. And then making your personal life work if you have a happy family at home then you can stay focused on your career. So keeping the 5 areas of balance in your life is the hardest.

Family
Social
Spiritual
Health
Financial

If all is in place and balanced your career will flourish.

What do you do in your spare time?
What I do is not what a typical guy would do, mostly work 24/7 and find many to advance my career as a Manager, Recording Artist & Record label owner, by seeking out great songs for upcoming acts.
Network and attend music conventions staying active in all fields and tuned into the ever-changing markets in music, stay revitalized at all the new marketing opportunities and scouting out showcases of potential artist for consideration while constantly honing my craft.
Building a SUPER STAR takes time and strategy.
Knowing what moves to make first like a game of chess against the biggest in the world challenging and rewarding. Then spending time with my family and my son as young man growing up his talent is something I take with pride and devotion.
Thanking many for my blessings.

If you could do anything else, what would you like to try?
There is not anything else I would consider doing except build a musical empire and facility to school. Complete with a production and control room, recording studio, and video production company all under one roof to educate and groom our next generation of talent for years to come before I take my final dirt nap.
Knowing I was a meaningful specific in someone’s life and played a part in helping another dream realized.

As a recording artist I am known as “The Man behind the Shades.”
American Artist Showcase
Rickey Lee Watson
Nashville Music Pros
LinkedIn
Facebook
YouTube

Thanks to Rickey for his time.


What happens when Polka music meet Metal……The Polkanauts.

Ok I know what your saying to yourself, What? When I think metal names like Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and others come to mind and you wouldn’t think of polka bands who play metal but let me introduce you to the Polkanauts.
I have friends who are in the polka scene and love these guys. They may look kinda like Devo on some level but the music they play is lively and fun.
Here is our little interview with links so you can check them out.

How did you get started, little history bio basically?

One of us (Paco) is from WI. He grew up with Polka – he had the drunken idea to put his two favorite styles together – Metal & Polka. Came up with the original logo, name, everything, several years prior to getting this started. He recruited the rest of us over the course of a year or so & we jumped into this strange hybrid. The NASA/ astronaut, flight suit thing was just too good (or stupid depending on your point of view) to pass up. We’ve only ever played one show without the Orange Flight suits and we’re 75 or 80 shows in now .

What or who inspired you?
Hard to say – we love Metal in most all forms; But Polka is just as visceral in a totally different way. There is a Documentary out there call “It’s Happiness” all about Polka in the mid-west – that is a great explanation. As for specific performers –The cornerstone of Polka will always be Frankie Yankovic. And of Metal- Black Sabbath.

What instruments do you play and who manufactured them?
We would be a pretty standard Rock/Punk/Metal trio, but add in the Accordion and it’s a whole other world & a 4 piece! Fender J. Bass / Jackson reverse headstock-{because it’s just so damn metal?} “Dinky”. Custom Drums, all Vic Firth Sticks (yep, that’s a sponsorship plug!) / Roland Accordion. Orange/VOX Amplification.
What do you listen too? Everything! – We are all full-on music geeks! Lots of Metal in all varieties imaginable, especially; Black/Death/Doom/Grind/Thrash/Sleaze, but also a lot of Brit Pop, Indie and Classical mixed in. Between the 4 of us you’ll find love for damn near everything from Sweet to Sunn(((O And from Gregorian Chant to Jay Z.

What makes you happy? Beer, $240 worth of Pudding (look it up!), Dancing.
Sad? Empty beer mugs. People who take themselves & us too seriously.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
We all periodically play in other projects and see a hell of a lot of live music!
If you could do anything you wanted what would it be? We want to go play a tour of the Oktoberfest Tents in Germany!

Anything else you think people don’t already know about you that you want to share?

Polka Rules all it surveys!! – But it’s also prone to being blind drunk and thus misses out on some things. We love people that dance- good – bad- or otherwise. If you come to a ‘Nauts show, dance your ass off- your very likely to get a reward of some type!!

Have you got another album in the works and/or music videos?
We will be recording later this spring and we have a video planned for later this year – we plan to search for volunteer/extras to fill the location and dress in matching orange flight suits just like us! Watch for it!

Do you manage yourselves or who manages you?
We’ve had a few offers, but so far we are a lot more comfortable doing it ourselves. But we’re not opposed to interesting offers!!

Thanks to the Polkanauts and his is some links for you.
Best Polka Bands
GigSalad
ReverbNation
MySpace
Facebook
YouTube