Thursday, July 26, 2012

INTERVIEW: generation no

[Conducted via email]

     When I first decided to start doing email interviews again, and maybe work my way back up to in person interviews, I knew that the first one had to be generation no.   Not a lot is known about this one woman project, but hopefully my set of six questions can help you get some more information.   Probably not though. 

     There are currently three albums available for free download via Band Camp at:

I strongly encourage you to do that as well.

1)                    What do you want people to hear most when they hear your music?

Songwriting-wise, I’m a pop traditionalist (4/4 beat, verse/chorus/verse, major chords), so I would hope that people would, first and foremost, find my songs catchy. I’m also a sucker for good lyrics, and I think that all a songwriter can hope for – especially when throwing shit out there via platforms like Bandcamp – is that someone gets what you’re doing and where you’re coming from, and derives some kind of pleasure from your stuff.

2)            Having music on Band Camp, along with other such platforms in music right now such as Sound Cloud, Spotify and others, do you feel that music is moving into a virtual age?  Personally, I fully support the idea of downloading songs for free from Band Camp and then if I like them buying them on vinyl.

Oh, yeah, man, it’s totally the future of music! I think most musicians get that, and most are happy about it. The fact of the matter is, you can’t have fans if people don’t hear your music, and the easiest way to get someone to listen to your music is to give it to them for free. And the people that gripe about that don’t understand that the nature of these platforms – the comment options on Sound Cloud and YouTube, the mailing lists on Bandcamp – actually help foster fandoms for bands. So maybe John Doe didn’t pay ten bucks for your album upfront, but if you’re cool to him and he becomes e-invested in you, he’s going to come to your show, he’s gonna buy a t-shirt, he’s gonna buy the fancy vinyl edition. It’s an investment of trust, kind of. Maybe your audience will be smaller and more niche, but they’ll be legit. And musicians, especially the ones of this era, should recognize that.

3)            How important of a factor do you feel that record labels play in music these days when pretty much anyone can put their music on the internet as opposed to having to hand out demo tapes at shows, the distribution record labels can offer, etc.   It just seems like it’s a bit easier these days to succeed as a band- and even build up a strong fan base- before a label possibly comes calling for you.

This is a complicated question, ha ha. I definitely think that the role that labels play in the distribution for new artists is getting smaller and smaller every day, and I think that eventually, in order to make a name for themselves, artists will have to play the internet PR game on their own terms. Whether that’s a negative or a positive depends on how good they are at it, and I can imagine that some really good musicians who aren’t so good at self-promotion might get lost in the fray. However, I don’t think that label-less time’s entirely here yet, and indie bands who have earned a really devout internet following might be desperate to sign with a major label just to get enough money to tour or live on. And I don’t think it’s fair to hold new artists to the standards of well-established artists that are connecting with their fans directly, like Amanda Palmer with her million dollar Kickstarter.

On a smaller scale, using Bandcamp as my demo tape of sorts has really helped me connect with some awesome local musicians, and when the labels go kaput, I do think the internet will really help artists in the same area support and even find each other. Blogs and Twitters are the new zines, man.

4)            If you could tour with any single band or musician who would you pick and why?

I would really like to tour with Stephen Malkmus because I love him, and I would just love to have the chance to watch him perform upfront and talk to him about music. But then, on the other hand, it would be fun to tour with a big pop star, maybe someone semi-interesting like Avril Lavigne or something. Plus, she seems to enjoy her liquor.

5)            Who is your favorite New Kid on the Block?

I was a bit too young to be caught up in that hoopla, but I’ve always thought Joey McIntyre seemed the most fun. And the cutest.

6)            Who would win in a musical fight: Jack Black or Jack White?

White would win, but Black would have a hell of time competing!

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