Music

One Less Reason Treat Fans Like Shit

The below is from the Facebook page of One Less Reason.

Fan 1;

“Hi guys, I bought your new CD on 11/15/12 and we are 01/25/13 and I’m still waiting for it…. There’s a problem with the shipment? I’m starting to find it strange…”

Your fans are meant to spread the word about you, to gather others to the cause.  Your fans are not meant to wait 9 weeks for a CD. 

Fan 2;

How many more posts will it take from fans who did not get the cd and t-shirts they ordered before the band will respond? Or how many more of these posts until the fans stop ordering off their website?

Fan 3:

I would like to know what happened to my CD that I ordered????? Sent emails to your site and msg’s on here and no response whatsoever. Not impressed at all, especially since your band is my favourite! I ordered it in early November…………………………………..?

Fans do not deserve to be doing the above.  They do not deserve to be questioning their heroes.  They are not your haters, they are you likers, they want to spread your name, they probably already have.  Respond to them, let them know that they are important, that they mean something to your band.  But the band ignores them. 

Fan 4:

How long should we wait to get the album – no answers from the band till three months…what a great band?

Fan 5:

Hey! I’m still waiting for the pre-ordered album. Sincerely, try number 6 to contact you guys.

Fan 6:

I ordered Blueprints for Writhing back on the 9th November and it still hasn’t arrived. I have sent numerous emails to the bands website and still have not got a reply. I am trying hard to help support a great band, but this is really frustrating. If anyone from the band is reading this and can help me out please email me at

Again, why have a Contact Us page on your web if you are not going to monitor it and respond to it.  I had an issue with Coheed and Cambria’s deluxe order of the Afterman.  Basically, Customs in Australia opened it and damaged it.  I emailed the band, I got a response within the hour and after another email back to them, a new Deluxe package was shipped out to me. 

Fan 7:

Can someone answer me why i have not gotten my cd?? Just a reasonably simple answer or clue to why i have not would be great!!!!!!!!!!!

Fan 8:

Wish they would have enough respect for fans to at least answer

Why are they torturing their fans?  Just reading all of these posts makes me angry.

Fan 9:

I haven’t recieved my pre ordered cd yet, and has been over 5 months already. I am a big fan of you guys, but this is already frustrating. At least an answer back on whats happening. Thanks !

Any musician or band these days, needs to be available.  They have to allow their fans to reach them.  There are heaps more posts on there, and the band just keep ignoring meanwhile they post up items like shopping at Walmart and what songs their listening too?   The person above is a fan.  But they are not getting no love back from the band. 

Fan 10:

Read the posts under the Walmart posting on this page. You are not alone. And odds are not good that you will ever hear a response or receive your cd. Every couple months they will promise to reship the cds, but nothing ever comes.

Fan 11:

Well, they are unhappy about Walmart’s service according to their latest status but they don’t care about the service they should be providing to their own fans who have supported them!!!!! I am still waiting as well with no response from them!

That is one thing that pisses my off.  They are still posting messages about Walmart experiences and are ignoring all the posts from the fans about CD’s they haven’t received.   Shit like this gets under my skin big time. 

Fan 12:

In my case, there have been 8 follow ups and not a single response back.  18 weeks worth of waiting.

Is this how fans should be treated?  In this day and age when so many bands are forming connections with their fans, the memo seems to have been missed by One Less Reason.  

Reasons and Explanations have been given by the band.  US Postal Service has been blamed, but never themselves.  Talk about a con job. 

So the question is why?  They keep on pushing their song Uneasy, so they are marketing themselves and are gaining new likes and more YouTube views.  BUT in all of this they are ignoring the fans that have outlaid money.  The rules of the game are simple. 

A person pays for a product they expect to receive the product.  In my case and in a lot of other cases involving fans, this seems not to be happening.

Lesson Number 1; Don’t piss off your fans?  They are the ones that support you. 

Lesson Number 2; If you offer something for sale, you need to deliver.  Taking the money and not delivering is fraudulent.

Lesson Number 3; Take lessons from bands like Coheed and Cambria and Protest The Hero on how to treat fans and what to offer fans. 

Lesson Number 4; Once your brand suffers damage, it is hard to re vitalise it.

The funny thing is I came across this band by accident.  It was Faces and Four Letter Words and the track The Distance that did it.  Then I came across All Beauty Fades from the new album A Blueprint For Writhing.  Both great songs that made me want to delve deeper into their music.  Since then I have found a lot of other great songs like Blueprints, A Day To Be Alone, Ghost and Better Days.

Regardless of what cool music they make, I feel that I have been ripped off.  I feel like I have been taken for a fool.  They have lost me as a fan.  

Standard
Music

Bullet For My Valentine – The Hi Fi – Sydney 27 February 2013

Basically if any member leaves Bullet For My Valentine I will no longer be interested.

Stories abound that the band had issues with each other during the tour of the Fever album and that they where close to breaking up.  Lets hope that they realise that they are a sum of their parts.  Does anyone remember Axewound?

The guitarist Michael Paget is a shredder in the classic Randy Rhoads sense, he was spot on all night, and a pleasure to watch.  The drummer Michael Thomas was a machine.  The whole night he was nailing his parts effortlessly.  Singer / Guitarist Matt Tuck was also in the pocket with his vocals and riffage.  

But the star of the show was the bass player Jason James.  He was the crowd instructor.  He got everyone jumping, he got the mosh pit going crazy, he got all the fists in the air going, plus he killed it in delivering high quality backing vocals and taking the lead on the screamo parts. 

If there was an issue with the show it was the small venue vs the high volumes clash and no Your Betrayel.  Ohh the betrayel…

Their latest album Temper Temper has moved 56,900 units in two weeks in the US and a quick look at The Pirate Bay shows at least 1500 seeders for this album with about 100 leechers.

This is the new world.  When the labels used to control the distribution, albums used to do a two year run via scheduled release windows.  These days with the internet, the album run is over within two to four weeks.

I still don’t know why bands spend three months or more in a studio recording a full album for it to disappear within a month.

Don’t get me wrong, good albums will stay the course like American Capitalist from Five Finger Death Punch has sold 500,000 plus units in the US and it was released in 2011.

Danish band Volbeat’s Beyond Hell/Above Heaven has just cracked the 200,00 mark in US sales, three years after it was released.  This one has been a slow riser, without all the mainstream marketing.  The fans have been spreading the word.  The fans are in control now.  The labels hate it, but if the bands are switched on, they can monetise this to the max.  Anyway i digress.  Back to the live show.

1000 plus people crammed into THE HI FI venue at Sydney’s Moore Park.  They where treated to a good show.  For $63 a ticket it was worth it.  I have no interest in Miss May I and The Cancer Bats.  They opened with Breaking Point and all i can say is they had the audience singing the song with them.  That is one thing that caught my attention, especially on the new album, the songs written are designed so that they work with the show.  All the songs worked and the energy levels where always up.  Highlights for me where Breaking Point, Pleasure and Pain, The Last Fight with it’s ballad like intro,  Scream Aim Fire, Waking the Demon and Alone.  This was a gig for the hardcore fans and BFMV didn’t disappoint.

 

 

 

 

Standard
Music

CD’s and other Facts

They still have those stupid FBI Anti Piracy Warnings. Do the labels and the FBI believe that these work or deter people.

They still have that stupid sticker on the top that takes forever to get off, even after it is wrapped in plastic.

Lyric booklets are almost no more.

I still buy em from independent self release artists like Digital Summer, One Less Reason, etc as a form of support.

Bands should take a leaf out of what Coheed and Cambria did with The Afterman releases and Stone Sour with the House of Gold and Bones. Take care of your fans.

For bands that listen to what their support team tells them, don’t. Listen to your fans. They are your bosses. Know your fans and connect with them.

Piracy is here to stay. Accept it, and use it to your advantage. If you are one of those bands that has their music with the large labels, speak up when the RIAA claims its a win for artists. The RIAA represents the labels, not the artists.

Don’t wait for the label to sign you and think that once that is done you will be a star. You need to work at it..

Standard
Music

Friendships + Business = Music Detonation

Friendships + Business = Music Detonation

Let’s face it, you meet a few different people and strike up a friendship due to your similar tastes in music. You can all play instruments, so you decide to start up a band. You have quite a few songs written, musically and lyrically and the jamming begins. Within a week, over 10 songs are down. Its beers, hugs and smiles all round. It’s time for a gig.

A quick two song showcase recording is completed to get the gigs, complete with cover art, lyrics and thank you. The music and lyrics are stated as a band effort. You don’t feel that is correct, however you let it slide just to keep the peace. Because in the end it’s all about the gigs, the music and having fun. Who cares what some CD cover states?  Why cause arguments within the band.

The gigs start coming, the shows keep getting better and you bring more and more songs to the table. The audience is getting larger and there is a demand for new recorded music. You engage certain super fans and get them to list their 10 best songs and off to the recording studio the band goes.

By this time, it’s more than just the band in the studio. There is an audience out there, who want the music, who want information. The drummer does a local street rag interview, where he claims that the songs are a band effort, everyone has their input. This doesn’t sit well with you, as you know that is not true.

All the songs have been written by you and only you. If there has been any input it has been minimal with the suggestion of doing the chorus twice instead of once. You confront the drummer at his untrue statements, and he disagrees with you, stating that the songs did have his input. You ask him what input did he have. He answers by saying he gave you the idea on the subject matter for the lyrics. You go to him an idea does not mean that he wrote any music and lyrics. At this point, the singer and the bass player are sitting on the fence.  You feel betrayed. It’s all splintering apart. Then the engineer mentions about the performance collection agencies and if the songs are registered. Everyone has dumbfounded looks except you. You tell them that you have registered the songs as 100% yours and that most of these songs date back to before the band was formed. The lawyer friend chimes in with a band agreement, stating that since the songs are written by you, you will get 50% of the mechanical royalties and split the other 50% between the other members. He also suggest that you get 100% of the publishing royalties.

This causes disagreements and resentments and you know that this band is on borrowed time. You tell the members in the band that you are leaving and that you are taking your songs with you. They say nothing. Then you get a call from the collection agencies telling you that your old band mates have just registered your songs in their own name as songwriters and if you agree with their request to amend your registrations. You are angry and you tell the agency that you do not agree. The agency tells you that you need to sort it out with them and until then, the songs are placed in suspension and any monies earned on those songs will be withheld until an agreement is struck. You feel violated, used and angry.

How can this happen? The onus is now on you to prove that you wrote your own songs. After exhausting all the free legal advice you can get, you finally speak to an entertainment lawyer who tells you he will do it cheap and take care of you. So you have email conversations, phone conversations and you request the lawyer to write a letter to your ex band mates. All this is done. You get the bill for the month. $700 for one letter, a couple of email conversations and a couple of phone conferences. And the letter is ignored by your ex band mates and nothing is solved.

More anger and more resentment. You can’t believe this is happening. You have done nothing wrong, except create music, which you loved doing. And now you are paying money to prove what is yours. This goes on for months and the band responds to the letters with different demands and always stating that they had input in the songs creation. The album was finished, and they go about releasing it, without your permission.

Even more anger and even more resentment. They even changed the previously agreed booklet, adding themselves as songwriters.

If anyone thinks the above doesn’t happen, then they are living in a delusional world. This is what happens in bands, as everyone is greedy. This is what happens as everyone wants to trump up their efforts as being more important than what it really is.

Gone are the days, when a drummer was just a drummer, a bass player just a bass player and so on.

If you are the songwriter, then you don’t need a band anymore.  You see previously a songwriter needed a band to play live shows.  That was how it was done once upon a time.  These days, its not like that.  Live venues are not what they used to be (has anyone come across gigs where the band needs to guarantee a certain turn up and if that turn up is not there the band has to pay the shortfall.

Write your songs, release them yourself.  Don’t waste your time with people who will bring you down.  If you are great and your songs are great, great musicians will come knocking.

Until then, keep writing and be great.

Standard
Music

White Lion – Mane Attraction

Vito Bratta – White Lion – Mane Attraction Review

Back Story

After the success of Pride and Big Game, Bratta and Tramp took time out to demo songs for Mane Attraction. All up the writing and recording process took two years. To me this is the most mature White Lion album. Mane Attraction was more thought out compared to Big Game, which was an album that was recorded and released in a very quick fashion as the label wanted to cash in on the band.

1991 – The Year of Change

1991 was a funny year. It has been written that all the labels and radio stations jumped on the grunge explosion and totally ignored the rock audiences during this time. That may be true; however other factors also played a part in the fall of hard rock, glam rock, glam metal, etc. The Metal Evolution series and its episodes on glam more cover this area in depth. Even Mike Tramp summed it up in an interview during one of his solo tours.

“Grunge didn’t kill commercial metal. Rather, commercial metal committed harakiri by copying itself so much that there was nothing original left. The eighties killed the eighties. In the end, every band cloned each other and copied each other so many times and there was no originality left at the end of the eighties and people just wanted an alternative. “

It happens with every scene. It starts off as a niche scene, one artist breaks out to the masses and then the labels are all chasing similar artists so that they can cash in. The market then becomes over saturated. Seriously how many bands started with the term White. Whitesnake was the original and then you had the rest. White Lion, White Tiger, White Cross, White Heart, White Diamond, White Eagle, White Russian, White Sister, White Trash, White Vision, White Widow and Whitefoxx.

The Competition

Mane Attraction was released in April 1991 as well as Temple Of The Dog’s tribute album to the Mother Love Bone singer Andrew Wood who died of a heroin overdose. In March Mr Big released Lean into It with the number 1 hit To Be with You. Skid Row released Slave To The Grind in June and Lollapalooza is launched in July. Metallica releases the Black Album and Pearl Jam releases Ten in August. Guns N Roses Use Your Illusion I and II and Nirvana’s Nevermind are released in September.

You can see that the album was already up against some stiff competition in the rock circles with Skid Row, Metallica (the biggest selling album of the SoundScan era), Mr Big and the GNR circus releasing big career defining albums and the rise of the Alternative Seattle Scene.

The Album

I remember borrowing the CD from a school mate as I was short on cash. Back in those days, people in my area where not sharing their music as the people that purchased the music felt cheated as to why they forked out $30 for a CD (yes that is how much we paid for CD’s in Australia) and the copier would fork out $3 for a blank cassette and dub it.

Regardless after much persuasion and promises that my mate could copy my Motley Crue collection, he coughed up the CD and I took it home. I remember putting it on my Sony CD Player, plugging in the headphones and just laying back.

Stand Outs

Lights and Thunder – It kicked things off. This was written as a fuck you to the label that was pushing the band to write hit songs. Coming in at 8 minutes long it’s far from a charting song. The album is produced by Richie Zito who is a guitarist himself, and in my view is the reason why Lights and Thunder sounds so heavy.

Let me take you to a place
Where everybody knows your face
There¹s no King and there¹s no Queen
And everything is like a dream
You can live in harmony
With those who were your enemy
You can do just what you want to
No one here will ever hurt you

No one bothered telling the above to all war mongers that kicked off the Gulf War and the Balkan War.

War Song – Again this is the band writing for the band and not listening to their label about writing ‘hit songs’. This song has many different styles into one 6 minute plus song.

What are we fighting for?
When the price we pay is endless war
What are we fighting for?
When all we need is peace

As Axl Rose sang in Civil War, “I don’t need your Civil War; it feeds the rich while it buries the poor”.

It’s Over – It blasts out all sleazy and bluesy from the speakers with its 12/8 feel. Fans of Ready N Willing and Saints n Sinners era Whitesnake would be happy with this song. To me it shows Bratta at his blues pop best if there can be such a term.

Blue Monday – gives Vito a chance to show off his Jeff Beck/Eric Clapton/Gary Moore blues muscles by paying tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan who died in a helicopter crash while the writing process was happening.

Clichéd Songs with Great Bratta Moments

Broken Heart – Maybe they saw how Whitesnake got traction by reinventing Here I Go Again, Fool For Your Loving and Crying In The Rain, maybe they thought the same thing would happen with this song. Maybe the record company thought the band handed in a weak record and wanted a single for it. Either way, the song is catchy, I just wish that Mike Tramp re did the lyrics.

Leave Me Alone – One thing that captures you is the Rocket Queen meets ZZ Top meets Van Halen groove. The whole intro goes for 1min and 10 seconds. The label would have been pulling their hair out with that whole minute intro. It’s a shame that Tramp had to ruin the song with crap lyrics and crap melodies. Like many White Lion songs the lead breaks from Vito are songs within a song, and this is no different. The 7#9 chords also work well.

In a Guitar World issue for September 1989 after Big Game came out, Vito was giving a lesson and had the following to say;

‘In my early years as a guitarist, another thing I found helpful was making up a chord book. I wrote down every chord, from triads to thirteenth chords. Then I sat down and worked out every possible fingering and inversion. It took me a year and a half to do – there must have been about six to seven thousand handwritten chords. Then I played through each one of them and removed the chords that sounded like shit. It would have been easier to buy a Mel Bay Chord Book or something similar, but I didn’t believe in that because I was really learning a lot in the process.’

Originality is summed up there. He could have just purchased a Mel Bay book, and learnt from that, but he did it his own way and that is how an artist can find their true voice. Books could give you the guide or the tools; however you need to take what is out there and apply it in your own unique way. I especially like the part where he played through each chord and crossed out the ones he didn’t like, keeping the ones he liked until those chords became a part of his style.

Love Don’t Come Easy – The song is a good progression from Wait. The chord inversions sum up Vito’s style. He starts off with a D5 power chord, then that moves to the 2nd inversion which is D5/F#, then D5/G and finishing it off with an Asus4 chord. In the second verse he plays an arpeggiated part.

And did anyone pick up the Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’ vibe in the intro where Schon does pull offs, Vito does tapping with hammer – ons and pull offs. That idea would have to have come from Zito as he was working with Bad English and Neal Schon in 1989.

‘Do you want it, do you need it, because love don’t come easy’.

You’re All I Need – This is Love Don’t Come Easy part 2 as the chords are identical except in a ballad format. It could have been left off the album in my view and then that magical classical trill a thon lead break appears from Vito.

She’s Got Everything – The song itself is pretty weak, until the Peter Gunn blues boogie kicks in to close the song, and then it goes into an Air on G String style guitar solo unaccompanied.

Till Death Do Us Part – the Phil Collins I Wish It Would Rain Down for pop metal. They did a good job with it. This is the full blown wedding waltz song.

Out with the Boys – ‘Out with the boys, to make some noise’. The song is average, again killer Bratta lead break. I like the bass and drum groove after the lead break.

Farewell To You – closes the album and the lyrics tell me that Vito and Mike knew that Mane Attraction was going to be their last album together.

Vito Bratta is easily the most overlooked songwriter/guitarist of the 80’s. Brad Tolinski in a Guitar World issue from September 1989, described Vito as a guitar player who understands music in a classic, rather than classical sense after commenting on his leads in Wait and Don’t Give Up.

Since White Lion called it a day, Vito has stayed away from the music business and as a fan of his style, I wish that he will be back to create music the way he likes it.

 

Standard
Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music

Seperate Ways (Worlds Apart) = Message of Love

This is one of my favourite  Journey song.  They even cloned the chorus and called this new song Message of Love (that was co-written with hit maestro John Bettis) on the 1996 reunion album Trial By Fire.  It was probably the reason why the album went platinum.

This song came back into my life, because I used the Journey version to put my little guy to bed.  He has now moved on to Coheed and Cambria and Stone Sour for sleeping music, which also works well with me.

And then I just kept on hearing this song covered by other bands on hard rock / metal releases, most recently Asking Alexandria and the metal band DeverauX.

It’s the whole package at the start that hooks you, the keyboard intro, with the heavy guitar and drum patterns underneath it.  And then you have the six syllable staccato chorus melody.  Even Message of Love is identical.

Someday love will find you  = Baby can you hear me (from Message of Love)
Break those chains that bind you = Can you hear me callin’ (from Message of Love)
One night will remind you =  Baby can you hear my (from Message of Love)
How we touched  and went our separate ways = Message of Love (from Message of Love)

If he ever hurts you = Baby can you hear me (from Message of Love)
True love won’t desert you = Can you hear me callin’ (from Message of Love)
You know I still love you =  Baby can you hear my (from Message of Love)
Though we touched  and went our separate ways = Message of Love (from Message of Love)

Check em out and enjoy.

Seperate Ways – You Tube

Message of Love – You Tube

Standard
Music

PPCA (Phonographic Performance Company of Australia)states its an important win for artists

There is an article over at Computerworld about how the Federal Court of Australia “ruled that Internet simulcasts of radio programs are not broadcasts under the Copyright Act and therefore are not covered by existing licences granted to commercial radio stations.” 

The Federal Court believes that the a radio program transmitted from a “terrestrial transmitter is a different broadcasting service from the delivery of the same radio program using the internet.”

This is typical of the record labels still keeping one foot in the past and not moving with the present.  It is clear that the recording business survives by sales of recorded music.  Since recorded music revenues are not what they used to be compared to the glory years of the 90’s when everybody was re-purchasing their scratched LP’s or chewed up tapes onto CD, the labels have tried every lobbying/bribery trick in the book to get legislation passed that gives them back the control that the Internet has taken away.

Could this the labels secretly trying to kill off radio simulcasting so that the streaming services are all that remain, like Spotify, which the labels have a stake in.  As the Australian Copyright Council said, the decision “leaves open the possibility for new licences to be negotiated for content that is streamed by way of radio simulcast on the Internet.”

Based on the labels past experience, the labels will insist on a super high licence fees as they hate the current statutory cap on commercial radio who need to pay just one percent of their gross income.  Therefore i am sure the radio’s wont pay this new excessive rate and hence the labels will kill this promotional outlet.

“This is an important win for artists and labels whose music is used widely on the internet to help drive profits for Australia’s radio industry,” said PPCA CEO, Dan Rosen.

I wonder how many artists where signed up for this action.  I wonder how much of the new fees would go back to artists as the labels are renowned for their creative accounting practices.   And what artists are we talking about here, as most independent artists don’t get played on mainstream radio.

To me Radio should be the last thing up and coming artists should strive for.  PSY was broken by YouTube without any mainstream publicity.  He dropped Gangnam Style without publicity and the online world built it into the monster it became.  The mainstream channels just picked up the crumbs.

Standard