Below if our interview with JT from up and coming music organisation New Music And Gigs! Their aim is to get as many unsigned bands heard as possible, their site will be launching shortly!
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PART 1 - THE INTERVIEW
What was your first musical memory and what pushed you towards pursuing a career in the record industry?
"Seeing Marc Bolan on Top Of The Pops and thinking he's got strange eyes, how does he do that! For building the site it's from years of travelling in countries where the local scene is dire and just wishing to easily hear great new music again. I now live in Saigon, Vietnam and the music scene here is very slowly improving but it's still mainly Thai and Korean pop."
What kind of records were on around the house when you were younger and would you say that these records still have an influence on your music today?
"My parents weren't into music at all and my sister used to play David Cassidy, The Osmonds and the Bay City Rollers. Pleased to say those records have had no positive influence on my music today, but friends at school started playing punk when it appeared (the Pistols and The Clash etcetera) and that kicked off my love of music. My tastes have broadened over the years but I still love bands who play with that energy and commitment."
Had you been involved with any bands or musical projects prior to launching New Music and Gigs?
"I've got no musical talent whatsoever and so my only involvement was buying records and going to gigs, which I was good at."
Can you talk us through the concept behind New Music and Gigs?
"There's a lot of real talent out there but it's hard for them to get heard. Virtually all other sites just put up any music they receive and so the good artists are buried under thousands of crap acts. We actually listen to everything we receive and filter out the crap. People can then download a free album every week of various artists, various styles, knowing it will be good. Everyone has their favourite musical style but we hope they will step outside this and listen to other genres as well."
What sorts of acts or organisations are you aiming to feature on your site?
"For acts we are simply looking for good! We will help highlight any style of music as long as it's good. We've got tracks ranging from old school punk to jazz funk to highlight. We won't highlight cover versions though, we want original music only. For organisations we will accept any company who can help acts get ahead, this can be venues, promoters, video makers, bloggers etcetera. The aim is to get the acts noticed and help them build their name and reputation."
How can acts get in touch with you if they want to feature on the site?
"We haven't yet launched the site as we are connecting with the official UK charts so that all online sales will count. However, we have a holding website and www.newmusicandgigs.com where new artists can upload music and videos. For any information I can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org - I will always personally reply."
What are your thoughts on the music scene of today?
"Because I live overseas I'm not as closely exposed to it as I used to be, but to me it seems to be going through a lull at the moment. Record labels and radio are playing it safe as they're not making their return from record sales and too much focus is being placed on the pushing the big, guaranteed sellers rather than trying to break the emerging talent. If U2, for example, release anything there is huge (free) publicity everywhere which they hardly need. That's why we are trying to help get the good unsigned acts noticed."
What advice would you give to young bands that are just starting up today?
"Keep trying, you never know when your break will come. Believe in yourselves but be honest about your abilities. The web is an excellent tool to help raise your profile so build your own site and get it out there as much as possible. Use the blogs, in particular those that cover your musical genre. Never sign a contract without getting a second and third opinion first. Oh, and join New Music and Gigs!"
If you were in a band, who would be your dream collaboration?
"The Stone Roses. They'd add something cool to any music."
Who would be in your dream super group?
"Reni on drums, Paul Simonon on bass, Johnny Marr on guitar, Bowie on vocals and me in the audience."
PART 2 - THE QUICKFIRE ROUND
"Changes depending on whose on the iPod at the time but probably Joy Division. Some of their music still sends shivers up my spine."
Favourite new band?
"I think the best first album I heard last year was by Spector. Not had a chance to see them live but an excellent record.
"So many but if I have to name just one I'll go with the Manic Street Preachers - Motorcycle Emptiness."
"London Calling - The Clash. Not a bad track on it, great variety of influences, excellent cover and a brave step forward."
Vinyl, CD or download?
"I love vinyl, crackles and all, you can't beat having that slab of plastic and proper sleeve in your hand but I've been travelling for years so now it has to be downloads only for me. Not the same sound quality but a hell of a lot easier to catch a plane with."
When you press shuffle on your iPod, what is the first song that comes on?
"Preston School of Industry - Escalation Breeds Escalation."
"Don't really have one (style or icon!) but to me the coolest guy was Joe Strummer."
"Some Like It Hot, classic. Seen it so many times but still makes me laugh."
Favourite TV show?
"Not been able to watch TV for years but liked Dexter."
Who would play you in a film of your life?
"My mates would probably say Rowan Atkinson..."
"Tottenham Hotspur. No other team can so regularly take you to the dizzying heights of pure brilliance and then plunge you to the depths of comic despair in the same ninety minutes."
Hope you enjoyed this feature on New Music And Gigs! Check out our previous feature on DC Fontana!
Contact JT here - email@example.com
Check out New Music and Gigs here - http://www.newmusicandgigs.com/
Contact JT here - firstname.lastname@example.org
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