Frank Iero streams first FRNKIERO and the cellabration track, WEIGHTED

10481728_10152536062248913_3095516632312489969_n

Frank Iero has streamed his debut single, Weighted.

The ex-My Chemical Romance man, whose new project goes by the name FrnkIero And The Cellabration, will be releasing his debut album, stomachaces, through Hassle Records on August 25. You can pre-order the release now on iTunes, or through Hassle’s online store.

Of FrnkIero And The Cellabration’s debut album, Frank says: “When I first started writing this record I didn’t actually know I was writing a record… I kind of just thought I was dying.”

 

Listen to Weighted below:

 

via

 

Advertisements

Gerard Way on fan/artist interactions—“If you look…you will find the one middle-finger extended”

1779708_603211789754800_1718687914_n

Gerard Way reflects on fan interactions, empathy and the lessons he’s learned nearly a year after My Chemical Romance‘s breakup. 

In a new open letter Way prefaces may not be relevant to the “casual follower,” the former MCR frontman opens up about the things he’s learned following the band’s breakup nearly a year ago on March 22—particularly on the nature of opening up oneself as an artist to one’s fanbase. 

Circa spring last year, Way became much more interactive with fans, both through snail-mail and social media—particularly on Twitter—where he answered questions, set up art contests and let followers in on lesser-known facts about his art, both relating to and beyond My Chemical Romance. 

His reflection is mostly positive, the overarching theme being that he has learned to “restructure how he operates” in the face of the access he has allowed fans. (“As an artist, I am continually reminded and encouraged to be of limited access to the audience. But I found that this is not my way- well, not all of the time.”)

On the positive side of things, Way notes: “I feel now that I know you all more, even if I never responded to you, than I ever did before, and what I have come to know is love, and how different each one of us is, and how much we all have to share.”

However, Way also makes it clear that it’s easy to pinpoint and focus on the negative:  “I call it ‘the one-finger’ rule, and a person that possesses a desire for a negative reaction a “one-finger” because it is usually within an audience of a thousand raised sets of hands in togetherness that, if you look hard enough, you will find the one middle-finger extended out. Almost 100% of the time it isn’t negative but the desire for a reaction, which is all any of us really want- a reaction. To be loved.”

One particular negative behavior Way picks out as “disheartening” was “the need to create fantasies of separation,” or the need to pit friends, musicians and fans against each other for amusement.

“It is difficult for people, including myself, to see the truth for what it is- again because it is boring, and it doesn’t agitate or excite us in the same way as a fantasy, like a drug. But in the year, something that stood out was witnessing a fair amount of people try to divide up a situation, like a band, into “camps” or “sides”… If I could say there is any kind of behavior that I would rather not have witnessed it was that. The aims of the confused or bored. But I’m glad that I did because it makes sense- that in all the chaos of a break-up people needed an order of things, and a side to take, fictitious in origin as they may be.”

What do you think? Particularly artists: Have your interactions with fans changed the access levels you allow people to your life or the way you think about those interactions? Let us know! 

Read Way’s full letter below: 

“It would have been a fairly simple matter to not write a letter. We can often re-establish ourselves through simple action as opposed to words but that hasn’t been my style this year as I have become more open and connected. Which has been, like all things, both positive and negative. And if you are a casual follower then please, go about your normal business unless you feel there might be something in this letter for you. I am very close to having my own place on the web to put things like this.

1 year.

A year in and I had always thought I would take a look at things once it had passed since the breakup of the band. I saw a lot of great things, a lot of honesty and a lot of courage, a lot of self expression through words or art or feelings and it was rewarding to know you are followed, through your art, by people of such passion, conviction, and self awareness. 

I have, for some time, felt that connecting too close would bring with it some negative things. Things out of my control but things nonetheless, and of course I was right, though this did not deter me from continuing to be open. But the last few months have felt different. And it wasn’t specifically any one event but the building up of many, and the sound of too much white-noise. Too much access leading to only the same type of confusion and unrest that I have seen throughout the year. But again I want to stress that all of this has been good progress and good learning. Positive and negative. 

As an artist, I am continually reminded and encouraged to be of limited access to the audience. But I found that this is not my way- well, not all of the time. Actually it is both in and out of access I need to be. There is a time and a place for both. I have learned this.

When I started being open for the first time in what felt like ages, it truly did feel that it was helping. Helping some of us get through for sure but it also helped me a great deal in accepting things. It became a kind of therapy for me, and even the occasional anger and frustration I would field all added up in my head, creating a large broad-stroke picture.

The thing that was mildly disheartening, and resulting in somewhat of a restructuring of how I operate, is the division, or the need to create fantasies of separation in order to cure anger, boredom, or frustration. 

It is difficult for people, including myself, to see the truth for what it is- again because it is boring, and it doesn’t agitate or excite us in the same way as a fantasy, like a drug. But in the year, something that stood out was witnessing a fair amount of people try to divide up a situation, like a band, into “camps” or “sides”. Literally seeking to pull apart the very friends that created the reason we even have a dialogue, why you are even interested. If I could say there is any kind of behavior that I would rather not have witnessed it was that. The aims of the confused or bored. But I’m glad that I did because it makes sense- that in all the chaos of a break-up people needed an order of things, and a side to take, fictitious in origin as they may be. 

But I think the thing that I learned the most, and have come to embrace, is the simple fact that you cannot, and will not take everyone with you. As an empath it is in our nature to want to reach everyone, share with everyone, get everyone to love each other to keep the feeling in the room somewhat manageable for the empathetic as opposed to the rollercoaster of extreme emotions which tend to feel like going from feeding ducks in a pond to witnessing a car accident. It’s the same when playing live for ten people or ten thousand. A rush-in of emotion, good and bad, it becomes the performers job to then inspire a positive connection throughout the audience, that they then share, though we can sometimes fail at this, and often it is because of a very vocal and negative minority. The performer lets that bit get through the wall and it starts to fall apart. You have seen it before when going to see your favorite band live. I call it “the one-finger” rule, and a person that possesses a desire for a negative reaction a “one-finger” because it is usually within an audience of a thousand raised sets of hands in togetherness that, if you look hard enough, you will find the one middle-finger extended out. Almost 100% of the time it isn’t negative but the desire for a reaction, which is all any of us really want- a reaction. To be loved. 

Know this, that I am aware it exists and I’m also aware it is small. I am aware it is simple noise, easily tuned out if in the right headspace, which we are all capable of. I would like to imagine that all of us, including my friends know this as well. I don’t generalize a tremendous fanbase like this one. It would be naïve. The outpouring of positive emotion and support for an idea and it’s individuals has been unmanageable in it’s size. So thank you.

But it has always been my job to create, not ask you what I should create before I do it, as that would do you an enormous disservice. This time I do not seek a bubble, or to close myself off. I seek to keep the thread alive, but a thread and not an alarm. This year has been a lot of fun and I feel now that I know you all more, even if I never responded to you, than I ever did before and what I have come to know is love, and how different each one of us is, and how much we all have to share. 

I’ve got a lot of work to do this year, and I would love it if you joined me but I understand if you cannot. I will be here, creating, regardless, and it’s going to be a lot of fun. 

G”

Frank Iero – “B.F.F.” video premiere

bff

The Story

Frank Iero solidifies the “Best Dad EVER” title he claims in his Twitter bio in his latest musical collaboration—with his children. Not only did he enlist his twin daughters Lily and Cherry as primary songwriter and backup vocalists for it, but the proceeds from all sales of “B.F.F.” go toward their, and their brother Miles’, college funds. “So no piracy please,” Iero said in his original announcement of the song. “You will literally be stealing from a baby.” 

The digital-only single is currently available via Iero’s B.CALM Press through the following retailers: 
iTunes | Amazon | Google Play

“[B.F.F.] began when my daughter Lily started singing this song she wrote over and over again at the top of her lungs whenever her and her siblings would get into a fight,” Iero told us. “One day I sat down with her and a guitar and we figured out the melody and finished the song together.”

 He continued, “While I was tracking some stuff for my upcoming record in my home studio, the kids kept asking my wife what daddy was up to downstairs. So I thought what better way to show them than by recording Lily’s song together. We tracked everything ourselves at home and when it was done, we sent it to the amazing Ed Rose who mixed the track and then to Alan Douches for mastering.”

Iero remained true to his DIY ethos with the creation of this video—his first ever venture into the world of music video production.

“We cleared out a room, set up a tripod, and over a 3 day period filmed us performing the song. I then edited the footage together myself into the video you’re about to see. So now at the ripe old age of 3.5 Cherry and Lily are releasing their first single, having their first music video premiere on AltPress.com, and preparing for their and their brother’s college education all at the same time, and I’m basically the proudest dad in the history of the world.”

See the video HERE

Exclusive: Electric Century – “I Lied” (SONG PREMIERE)

ElectricCentury-2014

Last week, we exclusively unveiled Electric Century, the brand new project featuring former My Chemical Romance bassist Mikey Way, Dave Debiak (Sleep Station, New London Fire) and Justin Siegel (ex-Stars In Stereo), in our 100 Bands You Need To Know cover reveal. 

Today, get the very first listen to the band with their debut single “I Lied,” a track we say “forges an alloy of decades-proven electronic pop and the kind of sincerity found in bands like fun. and twenty one pilots” in our Electric Century article in the upcoming issue, out March 4. 

“I Lied” will be available for purchase via iTunes on February 26, and the band are expected to release their currently complete debut album (recorded and mixed by D. James Goodwin at The Isokon Studio in Woodstock, NY) later this year. 

Stream the first single below and tell us what you think!
 Pre-order AP 309, featuring Mikey Way

Hear HERE  the new song of Electric Century

Exclusive: Mikey Way Moves On From MCR With Electric Century

1621956_10153807289465652_1698699847_n

 Mikey Way began planning Electric Century long before My Chemical Romance hit it big, he just didn’t have the means to pull it off … mostly because he was 12.

“I was in my seventh-grade science class, and I wrote ‘Electric Century’ on a notebook, and I was like ‘I want to do this band,'” he told MTV News. “And right then I began filing away the kind of music I wanted it to be: Britpop, the party influence of bands like the Happy Mondays, New Order, Public Image Ltd. It was always something I wanted to do.”

And now, with MCR officially over, he’s finally (re)turning his attention to the project, teaming with David Debiak (Sleep Station, New London Fire) to make Electric Century a reality. The band was formally unveiled Wednesday, when Way’s image graced Alternative Press’ “100 Bands You Need To Know” issue, and since then, things have hit hyperspeed (EC is still so new that they don’t have an official press image).

But that’s fine with Way and Debiak … after all, they’ve been waiting for this moment for a while.

“We were supposed to have a little break after [My Chem’s 2006 album]The Black Parade, and I was like ‘Dave, me and you should really get together and start writing stuff,'” Way explained. “But unfortunately, we jumped right into another album after Black Parade, so we didn’t have a chance to do it … but we talked about it a lot.. And that basically continued for about four years. I told Dave ‘I don’t know when it’s going to happen, but it’s going to happen.'”

“Mikey would send me an annoying amount of voice memos, just little musical ideas, and I’d listen to, I don’t know, a countless amount of them before something stuck,” Debiak added. “I’d start writing lyrics based on those ideas, until eventually, about a year-and-a-half ago, we had time to make this happen. Since then, we’ve written about 35 songs, and right now, our entire focus is finishing a full-length album.”

 

Debiak handled the lyrics, and Way wrote the majority of the music — “I’m doing a little bit of everything; guitar, keyboards, background vocals,” he explained — and slowly, Electric Century began taking shape. There’s a full lineup being assembled as you read this (Debiak assured me fans will learn the full lineup very soon), and the duo plan on meeting with potential labels in the next few weeks … which means that, after nearly 20 years, Way’s fantasy band will finally become a reality. And, after spending a decade shying away from the spotlight as MCR’s bassist, he’s ready to step to the forefront with Electric Century.

“You know, on the day I showed up for the AP shoot, I was like ‘Where are the rest of the dudes?’ It was kind of like jumping into the ocean, like, ‘Here goes,'” Way said. “When I started in My Chem, it was no secret that I had bad anxiety and depression and drug issues, but then, starting with Black Parade, there was a sea change, and I broke out of my shell. And it led me to this point, where I’m ready to take charge now. It took me years to get here, but I know I’m ready.”

And to that point, Way knows that there are some My Chemical Romance fans that will probably never give his new band a chance. Shoot, some are still holding out hopes for a reunion. But he’s not concerned with the past … rather, with Electric Century, he’s embracing the future.

“When people first used the term ‘Electric Century,’ it represented the shift from steam power to electricity, and it changed the entire universe. And, for me, this is a complete change in my life, on many levels,” he said. “No matter what, throughout time, whenever somebody who was in a popular band goes to another band, there’s people that unconditionally love it, and there’s people who unconditionally hate it without listening to it … you’ve just gotta take it on the chin, and do what’s right, and write the best possible songs.hat point, Way knows that there are some My Chemical Romance fans that will probably never give his new band a chance. Shoot, some are still holding out hopes for a reunion. But he’s not concerned with the past … rather, with Electric Century, he’s embracing the future.

“As far as people saying ‘It’s too soon, My Chem just broke up,’ it’s like, ‘No, it’s just done,” he continued. “We’ve been formulating this in a laboratory for like four years now. We’ve written 35 songs. It’s time to do it.”

via

My Chemical Romance stream their final song, “Fake Your Death” (video)

1004880_603509919686696_386161373_n

My Chemical Romance just debuted “Fake Your Death,” the final song they recorded together, via BBC Radio 1 and are now streaming it on their website.

Fans who pre-ordered the band’s greatest hits CD/DVD May Death Never Stop You through the band’s website will receive a download code for the song, and it will also be available to download on iTunes with the purchase of the full digital album. 

Watch the video for “Fake Your Death” below: 

Yesterday, guitarist Frank Iero said of the song, “It’s one of my favorites we ever did,” and in arecent statement, former MCR frontman Gerard Way called “Fake Your Death” a “eulogy for the band:”

“…I consider “Fake Your Death” to be the “last MCR song”, and to me, it is absolutely the final fully realized collaboration between the members of the band. Oddly, or fittingly, it was written while the Los Angeles Kings beat the New Jersey Devils and won the Stanley Cup, though this did not inform or inspire the song as I was unaware (along with James and Doug) that this was happening and have only a small interest in sports. After the game, the rest of the band had arrived at the studio where we added elements to its existing structure, fleshing it out some more, and it started to form.

What was not so obvious at the time was that the song was, and would serve as, a eulogy for the band, though I should have known it from the lyrics. I think internally I did, as I felt an odd sense of sadness and loss after hearing back the words on top of the music. I also felt a strange sense of pride in how honest it was, and could not remember a band recording a song of this nature, being so self-aware. Ending felt like something honest, and honest always feels like something new.

So it will exist, and it is no cowardly act to release something of this nature, but a service to those who believed in a band that did not compromise, and a wave goodbye to all. And yes, it is fucking heartbreaking.

And while I don’t believe the lyrics of the chorus today- I did at the time, which to me is a core ingredient to the music of MCR. And it is through that belief, and yours, that we were able to achieve many beautiful things.”

The song was originally recorded as a part of My Chemical Romance’s incomplete and unreleased fifth album, which the band said was moving in a very “dark” and “bleak” direction during the recording. The album was set to follow the concept of a support group for parents who had lost their children. 

Via

“Fake Your Death” by Gerard Way

O1300222351194896_1

Somewhere in the liner notes for “May Death Never Stop You”, there are written statements about each song on the collection. These statements were contributed by the members of the band and reflect their personal thoughts on the songs (dispersed to members at random). There is however, one song that bears no statement.

I consider “Fake Your Death” to be the “last MCR song”, and to me, it is absolutely the final fully realized collaboration between the members of the band. Oddly, or fittingly, it was written while the Los Angeles Kings beat the New Jersey Devils and won the Stanley Cup, though this did not inform or inspire the song as I was unaware (along with James and Doug) that this was happening and have only a small interest in sports. After the game, the rest of the band had arrived at the studio where we added elements to its existing structure, fleshing it out some more, and it started to form.

What was not so obvious at the time was that the song was, and would serve as, a eulogy for the band, though I should have known it from the lyrics. I think internally I did, as I felt an odd sense of sadness and loss after hearing back the words on top of the music. I also felt a strange sense of pride in how honest it was, and could not remember a band recording a song of this nature, being so self-aware. Ending felt like something honest, and honest always feels like something new.

So it will exist, and it is no cowardly act to release something of this nature, but a service to those who believed in a band that did not compromise, and a wave goodbye to all. And yes, it is fucking heartbreaking. 

And while I don’t believe the lyrics of the chorus today- I did at the time, which to me is a core ingredient to the music of MCR. And it is through that belief, and yours, that we were able to achieve many beautiful things. 

-G.Way, Los Angeles, 1-20-14

My Chemical Romance reveal ‘May Death Never Stop You’ tracklisting, launch pre-orders

tumblr_lrs9gaRJ4s1qjvm6lo1_500

My Chemical Romance‘s greatest hits album, May Death Never Stop You, is set to feature a never-released track titled “Fake Your Death” as well as the attic demos of “Skylines And Turnstiles,” “Cubicles,” and “Knives” (“Our Lady Of Sorrows,” also known as “Bring More Knives.”) 

Official pre-orders begin at the band’s official website at 7 a.m. PST/10 a.m. EST, according to Gerard Way. The website-exclusive package includes a CD, DVD, “Thank You For The Venom” T-shirt (as worn by Gerard at their first show) and a funeral brassard (armband).

Pre-orders are now available on Amazon in CD, CD/DVD and vinyl format and on iTunes. The deluxe version on iTunes features 19 songs and 12 music videos, including an unreleased video for “Blood.”

CD Tracklisting:
Fake Your Death (unreleased song)
Honey, This Mirror Isn’t Big Enough 
For The Two Of Us
Vampires Will Never Hurt You
Helena
You Know What They Do To Guys Like 
Us In Prison
I’m Not OK (I Promise)
The Ghost Of You
Welcome To The Black Parade
Cancer
Mama
Teenagers
Famous Last Words
Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)
SING
Planetary (GO!)
The Kids From Yesterday
Skylines And Turnstiles (Demo)
Knives/Sorrow (Demo)
Cubicles (Demo)

DVD Tracklisting:
“I’m Not OK (I Promise)” Version 1
“I’m Not OK (I Promise)” Version 2
“Helena”
“The Ghost of You”
“Welcome To The Black Parade”
“Famous Last Words”
“I Don’t Love You”
“Teenagers”
“Blood” (*Previously Unreleased)
“Na Na Na” & “Art is A Weapon” 
(*Includes Previously Unreleased “Na Na Na” intro)
“SING”
“Planetary (GO!)”

Frank Iero announces “B.F.F.” single collaboration with his children

cats

Frank Iero, who is currently featured in our Most Anticipated Music Of 2014 issue, has announced that he will be releasing a collaborative single titled “B.F.F.” with none other than his own twin daughters Cherry and Lily.

All proceeds from the single, which will be available through his own B.CALM Press and digital retailers on February 25, 2014, is set to go toward the college funds of his three children.

Read his full announcement post below:

 
“hola mis amigos y amigas,
     i am incredibly happy to announce that my newest musical endeavor will be a collaboration between myself and two of my favorite artists of all time…. my 3 year old twin daughters, Lily and Cherry Iero. our single, B.F.F., will be released worldwide by B.CALM press available through all online digital music retailers on february 25, 2014. 
all proceeds from the sales of this recording will go directly into Lily, Cherry, and Miles Iero’s respective college funds (so no piracy please…you will literally be stealing from a baby). 
   B.F.F. was written by Lily and i, and features vocals by myself, Lily, and Cherry. i recorded and performed all of the instruments on the track at B.CALM Underground studios, it was then mixed by Ed Rose and mastered by Alan Douches at west west side music.
    i look forward to sharing more details on this single as the release date approaches but for now….that is all. 
thank you to everyone for stopping by,
                                                     xofrnk,lly,&chrry (2014)”

As pointed out in the comments, it’s very probable that “B.F.F.” could be a new song Iero played at the Fadeaway Records showcase in New Jersey recently. Check out live footage:

 

 

Via

Frank Iero: ‘DIY is where the revolution begins’

10973094294_6fd8f53236

Frank Iero has done a little bit of everything in the music industry. Perhaps best known as the rhythm guitarist for My Chemical Romance, he’s also fronted bands like LeATHERMOUTH and Death Spells, and worked on original material for soundtracks. Before all of that, he was a member of Pencey Prep, perhaps one of the paradigm examples of contemporary garage punk.

In December, Iero set up shop with B.CALM PRESS, releasing an EP of covers called for jamia… Earlier this month, Iero took some time via e-mail to share the B.CALM origin story and his thoughts on DIY with Velociriot.

Velociriot: I know you’ve talked about this before, but what is B.CALM? Where did the inspiration for it come from? Where did the name come from?

Frank Iero: B.CALM is an entity under which I can release the different things that I make. Instead of finding a label and a publisher and a merch company and a fine art distributor, etc, etc, for all of my different outlets, I just decided to start my own thing, from which I can independently release certain projects under one umbrella. So far we have done music and merchandise and I would like to expand that into the other mediums I feel creative in, but it’s an extremely small operation and a lot of work.

The name B.CALM stems from the nature of the company I wanted to make. It’s intimate and pure, very hands on and personal to me. A place where I can release the things that I hold dear, a sanctuary for my art. It’s an acronym of sorts…possibly more of a letter jumble. I wanted the name to really mean something so used my children’s initials, LB CB MA, and formed a statement I needed to hear.

V: B.CALM seems like it has been a pretty personal project for you – do you see it continuing to be a place for personal pieces, like for jamia…?

FI: Yes absolutely. I’m not saying I will never release things that I make anywhere else, but I wanted a place to have absolute control to do the things I’ve always wanted to do, the way I wanted to do them. I think of B.CALM as a home base of sorts. There are no ulterior motives or big schemes, just a love of the craft and a place to be as crazy as I want to be.

V: How are your experiences working with B.CALM different than your experiences working with major or independent labels? Is it different from just releasing your stuff on SoundCloud?

FI: Well every label is different, but it’s a very different thing doing it all yourself. It’s fun, terrifying, difficult and exciting all at the same time. It provides a great satisfaction when things work out the way you wanted them to… but on the flip side there is also a horrible feeling of loneliness and fear when you need help and you turn around and realize you’re the only one there. But I am lucky to have an amazing wife and friends that help out wherever and whenever they can and ultimately I just have to realize it’s all for fun and the love of creating, otherwise what’s the point?

V: Your career has always highlighted your work ethic, and you’ve done a lot of do-it-yourself projects. What’s the draw in DIY for you?

FI: I don’t know, I’m a masochist probably. Haha. I guess I like getting my hands dirty. I have always been a fan of the do it yourself thing, ever since I was young. You start a band, you raid the copy shop, and you make do with the materials at your disposal. It’s inspiring, it teaches you problem solving skills and a good work ethic and ultimately, it means more. For me I enjoy the process…every step is important. The things I create are a part of me, and I like to be there every step of the way…falling all over myself. Fucking things up as I go along. My favorite parts end up being the mistakes.

V: Do you think DIY is important to the punk scene? Have you seen it grow in the community?

FI: I do, I think if it weren’t for the DIY ethics nothing would ever change. What you have to understand is, as disheartening as the thought may be, our world is run by business and all businesses have to make money. that means labels, distributors, publishers, hospitals, schools, government; you name it, it’s all about the bottom line. Yes, making ‘great art’ is wonderful and when ‘great art’ makes a profit everyone benefits and the world can change…(yes I believe great art can change the world). But if that ‘great art’ doesn’t sell, someone at the company is going to tell you and everyone else that your ‘art’ isn’t that ‘great’ and 99% of the time they will move on. It’s the nature of the beast, it’s not fair…but art and life seldom are.

Our creative world these days, especially the music industry, is set up to fail. We have a business that is losing money rapidly and the bossman is scared. ‘Don’t take any risks, play it safe, because we cannot afford to lose any more than we already are in this economy.’ So the same things are green lit over and over, more polished, more sexually explicit, dumb it down even more than last year, different packages of the same shit. Big money won’t take a chance on something new until it proves itself, because no one wants to be the guy or girl who lost their ass on some out of left field artist. But you see there is the problem..the only thing that can truly change the industry, or the world for that matter, is something truly new and inspiring. A hail Mary. Something so undeniably risky it ignites the world’s imagination. So, here we lie, dying in a vicious cycle. And this happens every 15-20 years or so.

DIY is where the revolution begins. Because greatness starts with being so goddamned crazy no one else in their right mind will help you, so you have to do it all by yourself. It’s how punk rock began, tattooing, street art, the fucking internet, you name it. Anything the mainstream has adopted, monetized, and bled dry over the years at one point in time started in someone’s basement. And that last statement sounds bleak as fuhk, I know, but it’s not all bad. Some amazing things have happened because of that. DIY has changed the psyche of the mainstream, of course it also means you have a billion or so dickbags wearing bedazzled tattoo flash on their jeans…but well you can’t win ‘em all I suppose.

V: DIY can mean a lot of things to different people – with B.CALM, you’ve released vinyls, whereas a lot of bands have taken to recording their music on their own and releasing it on sites like Bandcamp. What does DIY mean for you, as an artist?

FI: DIY to me just means doing it yourself on your own terms. I love the recording process. I enjoy it as much as I enjoy writing the songs and performing them… maybe even a bit more. And in today’s technological world it is a lot easier to have a home studio or a laptop and a microphone and be able to record a whole record in your bedroom. I for one feel blessed to be creating in a time where that is attainable. But that doesn’t mean you can’t record in an actual studio and still do it yourself, it’s all about the mindset and having your hands in the project at all times. The procedure of recording everything yourself allows you to make mistakes and learn from them. This will change you as an artist and as a player, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to all musicians at one point or another. I independently funded ‘for jamia…’ I created the art, I performed everything on it, recorded it and mixed it. I only turned the songs over to have them mastered and pressed. And when the records were returned to me I hand packaged, numbered and mailed all 400 to those who purchased them.

As far as releasing your material I believe that is up to the artist. No one should be able to tell you what to do with your art. If you want to put it up for free on a site like SoundCloud, as I’ve done in the past, or if you wanna put it on 8track and sell it through mail-order for a thousand bucks a song, that is your prerogative as the creator, and whatever you deem appropriate for you art is correct in my mind. DIY doesn’t have to mean give it away for cheap or free, that doesn’t change the do it yourself operation in my opinion, nor does the location of recording or sale.

I chose to press vinyl for my recent release because I have always wanted to release my own 45 and also because of the statement I feel vinyl has. For me I am a fan of the ritual. It takes more effort to put the vinyl on, and therefore demands more of you attention. I didn’t want ‘for jamia…’ to just be in the background, I wanted it to be an intimate conversation. I wanted the listener to be a part of it. You take the record out, lay it down, drop the needle and listen. Converse. Switch sides, hear a response, it should be an experience. Vinyl has more gravity than digital for me. However I am not oblivious to the world in which we live. I knew in order to have it reach more ears digital had to be widely available. But for me it was always about giving my wife the vinyl.

V: What effect does DIY have on the scene, given the recent trends of releasing music digitally?

FII think consumption of music digitally has really opened the doors and the reach for DIY artists. Before it was all about limited hand made releases, but now you have websites facilitating the worldwide distribution of independent artists, and I think that’s a great thing. Even though I have always been and will always be a fan of the artwork and packaging, I’m glad more independent artists will be able to see their work reach a wider audience. It’s much easier to fund your own batshit crazy projects these days, especially without the overhead of a physical release, and I think we’re going to see more and more artists doing what they want on their own.

V: It seems like DIY has become increasingly trendy – do you feel that it’s been commodified in any way? Do you think it will continue to grow as it has?

FI: I think DIY may be the new buzz word, but the trend of going back to basics in my opinion, is because of value. Doing it yourself brings the intimacy and care back to your art. Plus no one can tell you what to do, you’re your own boss, and that’s a special place to be as an artist. I’d like to think it’s also starting to make people realize there is a person and a soul behind the art and not just a product. But commodified? I don’t know. That seems to have a negative connotation, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with selling the things you create. Inventors and artists deserve to make a living and be paid well for what they do, I don’t see anything wrong with that.

People for some reason feel like if you’re able to download music easily or steal an artists whole discography in seconds that somehow you should, that it’s justified. That’s bullshit. The time taken to create and invent should be valued, respected, and revered…especially from independent artists.

Via