Friday, November 30, 2018

Alunah - Amber&Gold


Before this release the UK doomsters Alunah changed vocalists and sometimes that’s a risky part in a band. When they announced they were changing Sophie Day to Siân Greenaway last year, it came out of nowhere.

It left the band with a heavy burden. They needed to find a new vocalist that could fill the shoes of their predecessor, a vocalist that like Sophie could give us the haunting singing style we are used to with the band. When listening to the new ep ”Amber& Gold” you can immediately relax.

The new vocalist Siân adds more dynamics and richness to the new songs. She has a more dark soul in her voice. Her voice creates imagery to the listener of old Wizards on top of mountains adding curses to the people in the village. With the lyrics centered around nature it’s a perfect match to the tones of doom. It will be really fun to hear Greenaway sing the earlier material.

In the first song ”Mangata” you get the eerie harmony and you get the absolutely gorgeous lead work that are well known for the band. It’s soaked with the warm feeling that Dave Day has given us in the present. The warmth of the guitarist’s sound is and has always been a central part of the band’s music. He’s only adding a more aggressive tone or introducing a doomier part just right before the glorious voice of Greenaway comes in and it’s very effective and will be delivered through the whole ep.

To be clear the band doesn’t present any major changes on this EP but that’s not a negative thing. If you are a fan of Alunah’s former releases you see that the band continue the course they started with Solenial. That band is sounding like Saint Vitus did back in the day but with more grace. Amber& Gold has the same swirling and mystical feeling vibe as the previous ones. But it will also include something that makes you hungry for even more.

One of the standout songs of this album is ”Awn”. It has a wonderful Cure-feeling in the beginning before the song kicks in and Daniel Burchmore, the bass player, plays a distorted bass line adding an extra dimension to the song and with the swirling vocal tone that Sian delivers the song is nothing but epic.

The only downside for me on the album is “Wicked Game”, the old Chris Isaak song. If you need another version of that song it has to add some extra but I can’t see that coming.

-Doomsdaysjesus

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Xroadie Files


Sektarism – Fils De Dieu
Cruxvheryn K, Eklezjas Tik Berzek, Messiatanik Armrek, Shamaanik B, Kristik AK, Vagnus Nox

Orderint Dum Metuamt slow tribal beats chants and strange sounds worm their way into your brain as it slowly grinds away and builds in intensity for over ten minutes. Sacrifice evil surrounds you as it slowly works its way up from the underworlds over 33 minutes of strange eerie music to fit any nightmare. 
    

Jean Luc Guionnet & Miguel A Garcia – Siticidelhous
Jean Luc Guionnet – Saxophone/Organ. Miguel A Garcia – Electronics

Siticidelhous strange sounds and weird vibes just envelope you making for one strange trip.      Lomburthstific another electronic mind trip thru space and time.
      

Matthijs Kouw – Obscurum Per Obscurius
Matthijs Kouw – All Instruments

Untitled songs 1-9 – starts off like drifting thru a black hole in space all alone then taking a trip thru your very mind and senses and seeing various things from the past present and future just close your eyes and drift along for the entire experience.


Jos Smolders – Spaces
Jos Smolders – All Instruments

A=f-l=o=a=t 3, 4, 5, 6,7 is a collections of sounds in a museum with added electronic sounds that just have you drifting along take the trip in separate sections. Ode A Loublie more sounds of people talking walking and just enjoying their day in the museum. Dans La Nuit Des Images strange electronic sounds that just make you float away into nothingness. Traum Des Kuenstlers sights and sounds in your mind that just seem weird.  (Traum Des Kuenstlers Rework 7,3,4,8) continues the weird mind trip just try to make it thru. Torqued Ellipses drags you into a black abyss in your mind.
     

Orphax- Saxophone Studies
Sietse Van Erve – All Instruments

JF over 17 minutes of strange sounds that just are one mind f**k. JvE being pulled into a black abyss all alone and just drifting thru time for over 19 minutes.
      

-Xroadie

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Announcing PostWax - A Curated Heavy Music Vinyl Subscription Series!




PostWax is a groundbreaking year-long series of exclusive limited edition records from some of the best stoner/doom/heavy/psych bands on the planet.  Heavily curated by the creative minds behind MeteorCity and Lowrider, the PostWax series is 7 killer records sent straight to your door all year long, including new music from ELDER, SPOTLIGHTS, DOMKRAFT (with a guest appearance by MARK LANEGAN), LOWRIDER and more, all on gorgeous vinyl with jaw-dropping artwork and next-level design.

Shipping begins with the Elder release in Feb/March, and the only way to get this exclusive series is to subscribe.  Check out the Kickstarter (kck.st/2qIO75u) before Dec. 9th for the best price and exclusive backer bonuses, or www.bluesfuneral.com for 3-month and 6-month payment plan options.  It'll be a hell of a ride in 2019!

Monday, November 26, 2018

A Ripple Conversation With Under The Mountain



What have been your musical epiphany moments?

I'd have to say Porcupine Tree. The level of musicianship in that band is just incredible, they're on my bucket list of bands to see live for sure if they ever get back together. - Myles

I'd say Korn, just because they were so different than other bands at the time. -Fred

Seeing Tool live for the first time, or any time. - Curt

When I was about 8 years old, the first time I ever hear Ozzy's Crazy Train was my first, and possibly my biggest musical epiphany. I was just sitting alone, listening to my parents' radio when it came on, and that guitar riff entered my ears and absolutely blew me away. From then on, I realized what music was capable of doing for people and that's when I really knew I wanted to be a musician. -Steve

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

It really changes song by song, sometimes one of us will have a full song written out, sometimes we'll piece together riffs we've got. Usually by the time a song has finished we've all made some kind of change or addition to it. – Myles

I usually listen to the riff that the guys wrote and then come up with an interesting drum beat to follow. Then I will work on the drum fills. -Fred

For me, personally, I always start with music, and that's what inspires me to write lyrics. It can take me years sometimes to get a musical idea to the point where I feel I've actually written a song, and sometimes it literally can take ten minutes. This being said, writing a song with a great band alongside of me is even better, everybody has an input and every song we write, we all write. -Steve

Who has influenced you the most?

As far as rhythm guitar goes, I typically write more groove oriented riffs. I take a lot from bands like Clutch and Down. As for soloing I try and channel my inner Angus. – Myles

Too many.... John Bonham, Vinnie Paul V.I.P, Danny Carey... the list goes on. - Fred

Since beginning this band with Myles, I have definitely been taking on more the role of a singer and less as a guitar player, since he now blows me out of the water with his solos, I've been really working at exactly that. The singers that I've really been idolizing, are also some of my very favourite songwriters as well. I would have to say that my biggest influence with singing and songwriting would have to be Chris Cornell, especially when it came to Soundgarden. I'd also have to mention Freddy Mercury, Maynard James Keenan and Ed Kowalczyk. -Steve


Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

Steve and I saw Clutch live a couple months ago and that really lit a fire under me to try writing something simple and stripped back, but still heavy as hell. – Myles

I try to not get too wrapped up in "what's popular" because I don't want that to be what influences me, I want it to be from within, not outward. That being said, I'm constantly discovering new bands and new music that my old favorites are still putting out there. Of course, any kind of life experiences can be a great motivational tool. -Steve

We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music? Where'd the band name come from?

I'll let Curt tell this story since he came up with it - Myles

It was probably the hardest decision we've had to agree on so far. We all had pages and pages of ideas. I was reading a fantasy novel when the phrase under the Mountain came up (several times). And speaking of being a product of our environment, Nanaimo, B.C. is located at the base of Mt. Benson. We all live under the Mountain. - Curt

Growing up on Vancouver Island has definitely given meaning to "island time" for me and it's definitely given me a laid back approach to writing music. It's also definitely given me an appreciation to some "loving life and the place I live" kind of Skynyrd type music. -Steve

You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?

Oh man, I think it'd be awesome to write a soundtrack for like a badass gritty western movie... Something with Clint Eastwood in his prime. I'd be so down with that! That's an awesome question, haha. – Myles

I think it would be really cool to write the soundtrack to a Wayne's world kind of movie! Just write a bunch of fun rock n roll songs.... Not unlike a lot of Under the Mountain stuff! -Steve

You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?). You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?

You're really making me think with this one... My first thought would be Lateralus for obvious reasons but I don't know nearly enough about music to do it justice and would probably end up getting torn to shreds for it. I think I'd pick Oblivion from Mastodon. It's one of my top favourite songs and after all these years still gives me goosebumps once in a while. - Myles

I always like to talk about how people have rules and regulations to music, like there's some improper way to writing. But as long as music gives you some sort of feeling and vibes, then you're doing it right, you know? I realize that's not what you asked, but there are so many songs out there that just give such a mood and feeling, whether it's the lyrics or just strictly the music, and I could talk for hours about that. I'm thinking of a lot of Chris Cornell and Soundgarden songs with this and I just can't pick just one. -Steve

Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

There's a couple I probably shouldn't say, my mom's probably going to read this and I'd like to be able to look her in the eye next time I see her, haha... I think one of the first times I really felt rock n roll was on our first tour. I jumped off the stage in the middle of my solo for "Crawl" from our first album and had a chick pour a shot in my mouth while I was in the crowd. Another good one was... I think new years? A couple years ago we were playing and for some reason I was chewing gum, which I never do on stage, and totally unrehearsed, I'd never even attempted this before, I spat my gum up in the air and caught it in my mouth while I was playing. I just remember looking at my buddy Jon, who drums in a couple bands back home, and he was going THAT WAS AMAZING! - Myles

I have played a handful of shows of which I have absolutely no recollection of doing so. Auto pilot is on point. - Curt

Well, there's only been indecent exposure at one of our shows, at least that I've witnessed, which is a little disappointing to me, haha. One girl flashed us at a show a few years back, but that was pretty awesome! But my favorite thing to see on stage is fans singing our music while we're playing live. That to me means that we've actually affected people's lives, people really want to listen to us to the point that they know the lyrics!! That's been happening more and more, and outside of our hometown too! So every time I see that happening, I feel like a f*cking rock star! -Steve

Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans?

We've got a really high energy show, we love goofing around on stage. Between Steve and I pushing each other around or messing with each others pedals, or me flipping off Fred, we just always have a great time. Every time we play a show in Nanaimo by the end of the set we usually can't move around on the stage cause we'll have people from the crowd jump up there with us and sing the last couple songs. We love those guys! - Myles

It's my happy place. I was nervous my first time on stage with a band in high-school, but the hundreds of cheering schoolmates sealed the deal for me. - Curt

Myles nailed it on the head there. We just love to have fun and get people amped up!! -Steve

What makes a great song?

I'd say a great song speaks to you when you're in a particular mood. Not every song is great for every moment, but every song should be great for the right moment. - Myles

When it gives you a skingasm. – Curt

I definitely find there are many things for different songs and for different reasons. Before how I was mentioning how some songs take ten minutes to write and some take years, well some really need that extra time to put more thought into and some only take ten minutes because they have no real substance to them, they're just fun in a nutshell, really. But finding the right chord progressions, right melody, right lyrics, rhythm, attitude, instruments... The list goes on, and it sounds complicated, but sometimes you just feel it and it clicks, and you just know what the song needs. It's like they live and breathe and you need to feed it what it needs. -Steve

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

The first song we wrote as a band was called One More Line, it's all about wanting to bring back real music. – Myles

I'm not sure if One More Line was written before or after the song I wrote called Digging a Hole. But that song sounds like a song about death and depression... It's just about digging a hole -Steve

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

Personally I kinda feel like Ash and Dust is my baby on this album. We've all made our contributions but it started out as my song and I really put a lot of thought into it. – Myles

I'm definitely most proud of Relapse as more of a personal song. From the beginning of writing it to the final touches of recording, I feel like I really put my heart into it. Our producer, Tony, got me to sing it after a long day of recording and I was all drunk. He got me to go for a walk and get really pissed off to get the right vibe for it... I think he was right, and I love the final product. -Steve

Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?

I feel like I keep going back to them, but fuckin Clutch man... Those guys just consistently throw out these amazing albums! We actually got to meet Neil and JP after their show at the Commodore Ballroom. Super awesome guys. HEY NEIL IF YOU'RE READING THIS, LISTEN TO OUR DAMN ALBUM ALREADY! – Myles

Well, unfortunately, I can't just default back to Soundgarden/Cornell on this one. I've been getting into quite a few different bands lately though and I usually want to give it a while before I say too much good about anyone, but Graveyard has been blowing me away lately, they're a super awesome band writing some kickass music! -Steve

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

For local, smaller bands I buy cd's because I like having them, for big bands gimme digital. I don't have a good enough ear to tell quality changes and it's just so convenient. – Myles


Lately it's been digital. I feel like a hypocrite, because I feel like Spotify is kind of shitty with how much they pay the artists. At the same time, it's introduced me to a lot of amazing music and it really gets us out there to the listener's ear, which is really what we're after. But I have to say, there's something to be said about throwing on some vinyl with a glass of whiskey and just enjoying the hell out of it! -Steve

The only thing other than gear that I collect is vinyl. Great way to support bands too. – Curt

Whiskey or beer? And defend your choice

Yes – Myles

I don't drink... - Fred

My body tells me I can't drink beer no more and I hate it every day for it. But thank-f*cking-god there's whiskey! If I had to give up a nice neat glass of bourbon or scotch, I think I'd just off myself right then and there. -Steve

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

I'm from Nanaimo, and you gotta check out Fascinating Rhythm! – Myles

Nanaimo, BC. Definitely Fascinating Rhythm and Sound Heritage. -Steve

What's next for the band?

Tour! We haven't decided where yet but we've got big talks in the works with our label, Risqué Disque and we'll let all y'all know as soon as we've made some decisions!! – Myles

Money and fame!!! Just kidding...Another tour would be awesome. -Fred

Myles said it, we gotta hit the road man! And maybe even the air!!! -Steve

Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?

SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC! If you're reading this, you like music. Go to shows, get off your ass. Buy merch, buy music don't just stream it. Doing this is expensive and every little bit helps. Thanks for the interview Todd, it's been fun! – Myles

Exactly what Myles said. - Fred

Stay tuned for more Under the Mountain, we're just getting started!! -Steve

Sunday, November 25, 2018

WOORMS sign to Sludgelord Records! | Première New Song ‘Stiff Upper Lisp’ and Announce Vinyl Pre-Order


Slake, the debut album by WOORMS is officially released 18th January 2019 on Hospital Records/Sludgelord Records

Pre-order the album and stream/share new song 'Stiff Upper Lisp' here - https://thesludgelord.bandcamp.com/track/stiff-upper-lisp

"Offering tooth-rattling bass and some serious drum bashing [...] shrouded in layers of crawling riffs, feedback and noise. Of course, it wasn’t enough to just pulverize your spine musically; lyrically, we can all relate to what WOORMS are feeling."
DECIBEL MAGAZINE

“‘They ram together The Jesus Lizard, Eyehategod and Neurosis into a swampy hodgepodge full of shifting musical personalities […] This trio is heavy on cosmic weirdness.”
TEETH OF THE DIVINE

WOORMS on Bandcamp | Facebook | Web | Instagram
Sludgelord Records is thrilled to announce the signing of the Baton Rouge-based colossus, WOORMS, for the release of their debut album Slake this January.

Formed in 2017 in Louisiana and featuring guitarist/vocalist Joey Carbo, bassist John Robinson, and drummer Aaron Polk, WOORMS has been delivering a devastating and brutal mélange of riffs and noise-rock righteousness on the precipice of significance for some time.

Yet despite only being a year or so into their sonic existence WOORMS has already racked up a number of releases; a collection of demos, digital one-offs (‘Daddy Was A Masker,’ 'The Math Says, Yes') and a split with NOLA thrashers, A Hanging. Last month, WOORMS returned with the first sanctioned cut from their debut album, Slake (which gets its official release this January) when ‘Mouth is a Wound’ scored an exclusive premiere on Decibel Magazine. Fully stirred from a delirious slumber, a second cut soon followed with 'Find a Meal, Find a Bed, Find a God', which, for all intents and purposes is the perfect introduction to the band; a lumbering, symphonic noise-rock shank fight between the fattest of riffs and the thinnest of patience with the world at large. Making for a devastatingly terse and perverse experience, from the pinnacle to the point of no return, it falls psychotically through the fuzz and unholy grind of bands like KARP, Jesus Lizard and Neurosis. As lead vocalist/guitarist Joey Carbo explains:

“Every person is a perfectly unfucked being at the outset.
The birth process takes care of all that.
This is like my ninety-ninth misanthropy song and, hopefully, it’s my best on the subject.
A fetus finds itself free of need or want; coming into consciousness in a dark and warm, red cloud.
Head down in the water.
It’s all downhill from there – as they say. And the greatest minds of any era: the artists and thinkers and titans of science, they all had a few things in common. Three, to my mind. They would need food and shelter and most of them would create or find (or be subject to) a god or group of gods.
You’ll also need a job out here. You may find it necessary to kill, to do terrifying things. All things considered, it’s a rigged game and a shit show from one end to the other.
What were you thinking?
Best you stay in there, in the water.”

Slake, the debut album by WOORMS is officially released on 18th January 2019 via Hospital Records in the US and across UK/EU by Sludgelord Records.

Pre-order the album and stream/share new song 'Stiff Upper Lisp' here - https://thesludgelord.bandcamp.com/track/stiff-upper-lisp

WOORMS:

Joey Carbo – Guitars, Vocals
John Robinson – Bass
Aaron Polk – Drums
Album artwork by Victor LeBlanc (www.victorpierreleblanc.com) entitled ‘Ascent to The Machine Gods’ / Layout by Joshua M. Wilkinson (www.thecompanykc.com)
TRACK LISTING:

1. Corpse Corps
2. Find a Meal Find a Bed Find a God
3. Veni Vidi Fucki
4. Stiff Upper Lisp
5. Urine Trouble Now
6. Mouth is a Wound
7. Our Lady of Perpetually Shitfaced
8. Racist Kevin
9. Rise Cripsy
10. Sore Afraid

Artist: WOORMS
Release: Slake
Label: Hospital Records/Sludgelord Records
Date: 18/01/2019
Format: Digital/LP/CD

SOCIALS:

Website – https://woorms.org

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Bandcamp Bonanza – 084


Today I’m going to do something a little different. Rather than featuring a bunch of recommended albums I have dug up on Bandcamp I am going feature a piece of writing by a good friend of mine and fellow Bandcamp guru Marc-Eric Gagnon. Some of you may know Marc as vinyl collector extraordinaire, others may use his kick ass custom fuzz pedals known as Stonefly Effects, that he crafts by hand from his home in Montreal Quebec, Canada. Marc is a good dude and passionate enough to share with us his piece on Bandcamp: 




The Definitive Guide for Bands and Labels

You may be wondering why write a guide for Bandcamp?



Well, many people do not understand the full range of features Bandcamp has to offer them. I am a Bandcamper and I want to convert you. Although I do not write music reviews, I am someone who is very active on social networks within the Stoner/Doom scene, don’t get me wrong, my guide does not only address the followers of these genres; it also concerns all other emerging genres or "underground" genres too. I like to discover new music and share it. Being an avid vinyl collector and a boutique guitar pedal maker (known as StoneFly Effects), I often find myself in contact with musicians and record label guys. I know the vast majority of the active people who work in this scene to which I identify. With all of the reasons mentioned above, I think I am well placed to teach you the inner mechanics of Bandcamp. Maybe you know them already or maybe you think you know them… Well, if you're a seasoned Bandcamper, it’ll be a good read anyway and that should makes you happy to see me preach the Bandcamp gospel to the unconverted.



Unfortunately, I see bands or labels too frequently wanting to make a name for themselves and missing golden opportunities; either by not using Bandcamp at all or not using it to its full potential. As an example, it’s as if these people were playing a first person shooter for years but without ever realizing that on their gun, there is also a laser beam, a grenade launcher and even some a headhunter missiles available... So, the purpose of this guide, is to explain how Bandcamp can serve your purpose as a band or a record label and also the various strategies to adopt in order to put the odds on your side.



Often, people ask me, how I discovered all of these incredible bands that I listen to. To this question, I answer mainly via Bandcamp, via friend’s recommendations, via blogs, music review pages or through the various Facebook groups of which I am a member.



The really important thing you need to understand as a band or label is that Bandcamp is the main tool used by the majority of "socially active" people in the community.

BANDCAMP IS THE SOCIAL MEDIA OF MUSIC PLATFORMS

This is exactly what you need to understand; Bandcamp acts as a form of social media. Maybe you thought that Bandcamp’s only purpose was to download or stream music? If so, you’ve got it all wrong my friend! But, be aware of something, those who promote the music (reviewers and such) have fully understood the power of Bandcamp. Not being on Bandcamp or using it poorly simply means one thing; you’re missing the boat!!!



So, here's how it works (at least for me).



My Bandcamp profile does not only allow me to follow the bands and labels I like; it also allows me to follow other fans like me, who share similar tastes as I do. These other Bandcamper fans can be either my friends or pure strangers. At the risk of repeating myself, most music critics are also Bandcampers with often incredible digital collections. Can you see where I am going with this?

The FEED

It works pretty much like the famous WALL on Facebook.



On the feed, you not only see the newest albums released by the bands or the labels that you follow but also, and more IMPORTANTLY, the albums purchased by the other Bandcampers you follow. Let me tell you something, when I see an album appearing repeatedly in my feed, it then becomes mandatory for me to listen to it as this album must have a little something awesome if everyone is buying it. Maybe in the end I will not buy it but, at least, I will have listened to it once and I will know what this band is up to. In short, the feed is the equivalent of word of mouth; the best form of promotion in existence!!!



So, as a band or a label, to get exposure, you have to organize yourself so that your music will appear in people feeds. I'll give you later some tips on how to achieve that but first, let me tell you about some other Bandcamp features.


The COLLECTION

The strength of Bandcamp is that it’s not only a digital selling platform but also a merchandise selling platform. Whether you listen to your music only on digital medium, on CD, on cassette or on vinyl, the digital format stays the common denominator and allows it to bring together the various types of physical medium consumer. Personally, my favorite medium is vinyl; I buy here and there some albums in digital format only but mainly on vinyl. I haven’t bought CDs for several years.



What I like about buying vinyl on Bandcamp is that it automatically comes with a digital version. I think we all agree that a turntable on the passenger seat is not very convenient in your car to listen music! Owning the digital version in my collection means I can download the album in my phone whenever I want without caring for storage. The streaming is very useful while at home but once out of my free Wi-Fi network, it consumes my monthly data...



Moreover, having an album in my collection helps to share it!



So, when an album is available on Bandcamp, I do not understand why bands and labels do not automatically provide a download code to anyone who buys the album via another purchasing platform.



I'm going to give you an example of a label that makes the most of Bandcamp in my opinion, this is Ripple Music. Ripple are a very vigorous label in the Stoner Doom scene, they release an average of 3-4 albums per month. They offer a Bandcamp channel subscription; for $5 a month their subscribers automatically receive their albums into their collections the moment they are released. This means with every new release, all their subscriber’s feed are filled up with the new releases, almost making the news of these releases unavoidable. Ripple Music doesn’t stop there; they do also offer a 15% discount code to their Bandcamp subscribers to use to buy physical merchandise on their other sales platform. This makes the subscription to their Bandcamp channel a must for all of their fans. By doing this, they assure themselves great exposure but also builds up a loyal fan base and gather recurrent monthly incomes.




So, dear labels, help us help you out!!!



Keep in mind, I’ve already paid once for the album on vinyl format; I won’t pay again to add it to my Bandcamp collection... I want to support the bands and labels I like but there is a limit to my financial means. Very often, I already have the digital version anyway… I personally mainly add it to my Bandcamp collection to promote the album. And no, as I have already paid for the physical version of the album, I do not feel guilty at all to have a digital pirated version.



Another great Bandcamp feature is the analytic interaction you have with your fans. These can indicate which song is their favorite and even leave a short review or some comment on the album. These mini-reviews are helpful guides for new visitors. The strength of Bandcamp lies in its dynamism versus the static state offered by the other music platforms.

The WISHSLIST

You don’t have money yet? There is only a few songs available for now but you don’t want to miss the full release of the album? A friend tips you off about an album or someone shared something making you curious on Facebook; but that moment isn’t good for you to listen to the album in question. Click on that little ‘’Heart’’ logo and your good to go! The album goes straight into your Wishlist which will allow you to easily find the album later.

The FOLLOWERS

You have access in this section to the collections of other fans following you; they are the ones which you have somewhat of an influence through the feed. You can follow them if you wish; these people surely have similar tastes to yours. I bet you can find some gems in these collections!

The FOLLOWING


A section that is subdivided into 4 categories.



1. Artists and labels you follow.



2. The other fans you follow (and who influence you).



3. The musical genres to which you can subscribe if you wish. Personally, I do not use this feature since these categories appears too wide to me; I prefer to search by keywords when I want to explore.



4. Fans to follow that are simply suggestions of others Bandcampers who have purchased the same albums as you.

STRATEGY

Okay, I’m sure you want some tips now on how to reach the Feed.



You must realize that we are currently living a Golden Age.



Bandcamp allowed the liberalization of music; the yoke of old record labels that systematically dictated what music was going to be heard is over. Of course, there will be always a category of people who will never listen to anything but what traditional radios broadcast but, anyway, these people are not your target audience... Nowadays, whoever wants it, can have access to a myriad of bands through the internet.



But the fight is fierce; album releases jostle on all fronts. The underground scene is not just a local battleground anymore but one that is global. Bandcamp is your sword but do you know how to wield it?



You must realize something important. Even though you think your music is great, you are not the judge. It's the public who will judge you! But, before you get there, they must listen to you. You are a gladiator and you must win the crowd!!!



Here are some strategies that will allow you to hear from your target audiences.



1.         If you are serious in your approach, hire a professional graphics artist, someone recognized in the scene in which you’re involved. If there are 3 to 5 people in a band, it doesn’t work out that expensive. Whether your music is good or not, an interesting EP/Album artwork will attract some traffic. Visuals are significantly important when promoting your work on social media. How else are you going to grab the listener's attention without them having previously heard your music or having the music recommended to them elsewhere? Ex: Many new people have checked out Iron Maiden simply because their album covers look very unique and have a distinct style. Dopethrone is another example. Great looking front covers. Electric Wizard has a very distinct style as well.



2.         You are at a stage where you have no monetary considerations in mind, you just want some exposure. Do not make the mistake of putting your album in ''Free Download'' which is an option offered by Bandcamp. When you choose this option, you deprive yourself of the best weapon Bandcamp offers you; accessing people’s feeds which acts as "word of mouth". When people download your album for free, this one will never appear in their collection and therefore will not appear in the feed of their followers. The ''Free Download'' also has another disadvantage; albums cannot be ''bookmarked'' since there is no little heart that can be clicked with this option.



Instead, opt for the ''Name Your Price'' option; people will pay you a few cents and your album will end up in their collection.



3.         Do not ask too much for your digital album; be realistic and consider the importance of the offer. I strongly suggest staying in a price range between $1 and $5. If your asking price is too expensive, despite the quality of your album, people will pass or wait for a physical media version.  Always keep in mind that you are a gladiator who wants to win the crowd, earn the feed.



4.         Bandcamp allows you to search by ''keywords''. Take the time to list the genres that your music fits into; this will allow you to appear in the search engine. Bandcamp offers 2 ranking when doing a keyword search: ''Bestseller'' and ''Novelty''; with this type of research, it is easy to be aware of every musical release in any given style. Put yourself in the shoes of the listener on bandcamp seeking out new music to listen to.



5.         Most people don’t buy (or very rarely) isolated tracks; I suggest you to wait until you have at least 3-4 songs and go with the EP format instead. Otherwise, you giving sword thrusts in the water and won’t reach the peoples feed. If you absolutely want to publish isolated tracks until you have enough, use the option ''Free download'' and once you have enough, release them again but this time in EP format and ask the price you want.  By doing so, no one will be frustrated when the tracks they bought disappear since they were free anyways.



Here's some other reason to join Bandcamp. Their payout model is probably the best around. No middleman, Bandcamp collects 15% of digital sales and only 10% on other merchandise. And yes, you understood it; if you want to get rid of other selling platforms you can if such is your desire. Compared to many of the other more popular platforms such as Spotify and iTunes, Bandcamp is a much more profitable option for artists who want to sell directly to fans, but I recommend you put your music on them all. Just don’t neglect Bandcamp. Bandcamp allows you to build a fan database email so you can reach your fans with a newsletter if you want. With Bandcamp, you stay in control of your own music.



Although I have put a lot of emphasis on the importance of Bandcamp, an indie artist seeking to break through in 2018 should be on as many streaming/ digital music outlets as possible. You want to have your music available everywhere possible. Even the platforms who go for volume such as Walmart. You do not want to limit yourself. Ex: Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Deezer, iHeart Radio, Shazam, etc...



Why do I compare these other platforms to Wal-Mart?



If I am a fishing lover, I will go shopping for my fishing rod in a specialized hunting and fishing shop; not in a Walmart ... It's the same for the music I love. I'm your target audience and I'm fishing for my music on Bandcamp. Therefore, never exclude your Bandcamp link on your promotion page. Have links to all the platforms. I do not know your band; I’m not interested for now in your Facebook page or web page; I want a direct access to your music and the opportunity to buy if I like what I hear. How many times do people invite me to like their Facebook page and have to fight across the web to find their music.; plain ridiculous!!!



I would like to finish this little paper with some comments I collected from Lars-Erik Skogly, bassist for The W Likes, a killer hard rock band from Norwaywho is also owner of Rahma Records. I remember that myself and Bucky Brown(Ripple Music / Doom Charts) had encouraged The W Likes to put their album on Bandcamp in which they promptly did. So that's why I immediately thought of Lars-Erik to express his views on Bandcamp and why it is has helped him and his band.






Lars- Erik ( The W Likes and Rahma Records) says:



“Bandcamp is not so widespread here in Norway. But it has a good effect on our sales. We have sold more on Bandcamp than any other platforms. It gives us a greater look into streaming statistics than any other streaming sites and gets closer to the fans. Hopefully it will blow up even more.”



The Bandcamp codes are also a great, easy way to spread our music even further. I always try to have some with me.



Oh yeah, you read well my friends, they have something incoming and my little finger tells me it’s gonna be on Ripple Music.



So, StAy TuNeD and get the hell on Bandcamp !!!



-Marc-Eric Gagnon

We hope you enjoyed what Marc had to say and we endorse his take whole heartedly here at The Ripple Effect. I personally would like to give kudos to Marc for all he is doing to help promote the heavy underground music scene and to give a shout out the fact that this guy arguably has the great modern heavy rock and metal vinyl collection on the planet going right now. Follow Marc to see just how impressive his collection is. In a way, he makes me feel good that my addiction isn’t so bad. Haha. Thanks Marc!!!!

Find Marc at these locations









-The Huntsman

Friday, November 23, 2018

Bay Area tech-doom metal purveyors THE GHOST NEXT DOOR join the RIPPLE MUSIC roster


New album A FEAST FOR THE SIXTH SENSE coming in early 2019!

Impossible to pigeonhole, Ripple Music blazes into the prog-doom realm with its signing of veteran Bay Area metallers THE GHOST NEXT DOOR to its endlessly diverse roster.

Living in a new home in Berkeley, California, singer/guitarist Gary Wendt, a former student of guitar legend Joe Satriani, found an abandoned acoustic and began toying with the idea of a new band.

Unexpectedly, the name came first, when he learned he was living next to a supposedly haunted house where a glowing orb was rumored to roam during the night.

The new band, with no members and no music yet, had a name:  The Ghost Next Door.

Gary grew up in the infamous bay area music scene as a founding member of crossover legends Sacrilege BC and alt-metal champions Release.  He spent a year recording and touring with Skinlab before embarking on the development of his own musical vehicle.

Emerging from the desire to marry the dark melancholy of 80s/90s alternative with the aggression and drive of Bay Area metal, The Ghost Next Door blends styles and influences from punk to jazz, progressive to sadcore, and modern rock to thrash into meter-bending, riff-driven heaviness fueled by abrasively honest lyrics.

Following the release of their 2015 debut on Belgium's Mausoleum Records to critical worldwide response, the band set to work on their follow-up album, now set for release in early 2019 on new label Ripple Music.

The Ghost Next Door gigs tirelessly out of a compulsion to create and perform their expressive take on modern metal.  Front man Gary has also been a featured artist in the Rob Flynn and Friends performance series, along with members of Metallica, Slayer, Exodus, Testament, Death Angel, and Machine
Head.

Of the band and forthcoming record, Gary says, "We're not interested in trends. A song is born from a single idea, but always mixed with some alternative sensibilities. Fusion, extreme, shoegaze, thrash - we write the unexpected.”

And of the signing to Ripple Music, CEO Todd Severin gushes, "Man, do these guys rock!  Perhaps not the sound you'd immediately associate with Ripple, but their doom-laden metal simply destroyed Ripple HQ and left us mesmerized!"

Look for A Feast for the Sixth Sense, the new album from The Ghost Next Door, coming in early 2019 on deluxe vinyl, CD and digital from Ripple Music!
The Ghost Next Door:
Gary Wendt: Guitars/Vocals
Aaron Asghari: Guitars
Sebastien Castelain: Drums
Noah Whitfield: Bass

Web and Socials:

Thursday, November 22, 2018

A Ripple Conversation With Scratch


What have been your musical epiphany moments?

When I was 6, my sister (who was 17) had a job and would regularly spend her paycheck on CDs. Mostly on what was popular at the time, like the “Now” series, but sometimes she would try something different. So one day she brought home Guns N Roses’ Appetite For Destruction. Luckily for me she didn’t care much for it and it just sat by her bed. So I took it and put it on. The minute I heard Slash’s opening riff to Welcome To The Jungle and Axl’s raspy growl I was hooked. I remember thinking “what is this?” and I immediately fell in love with rock and roll. That was one of my first musical epiphany moments.

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

Since we work long distance, with a 12-hour time difference between us, our writing process works within those constraints. For this album, we collected a bunch of ideas onto a google drive. It could be a small riff or sometimes the whole song roughly structured out. Then we’d start picking the ones we liked best and worked on them. We did this using Splice. An amazing tool that lets musicians collaborate from anywhere in the world. Splice really made this whole process manageable. So for example, I would record something in Logic and save it on Splice. Ruz would then be able to download it, see what I did and add to it. And layer by layer we kept developing the songs. This process worked very well for us because we got to work in our own space and use our strengths. Ruz and I compliment each other well. We have different strengths and a tremendous amount of trust in each others musical instinct. The 12 hour time difference worked to our advantage too. I would work when he was asleep and vice versa. The lyrics and vocals were written last, once the whole song was in place. We did that because we wanted it to be about the music first.

Who has influenced you the most?

I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of music played around my house all through my childhood. My parents are music fans, from 50’s music to Indian Classical, Bollywood, and of course all the rock that my sister would accidentally buy. It’s almost impossible to pinpoint one band. 90’s grunge and all the Seattle bands have been a big influence. And Dave Matthews Band was a huge influence. The way Dave plays his guitar and his choice of chords definitely helped improve my guitar playing.

Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

Without trying to sound too cheesy, we’re artists at heart and we like to translate our deepest thoughts, fears and fantasies into our songs. As for a lot of musicians, our songs are an outlet. So inspiration comes in from all aspects of our lives whether it’s celebrating love, apologizing to a friend, feeling inadequate or insecure, getting through rough patches in a relationship or simply wanting to share a story. Also, just listening to a lot of music inspires us.

We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?

The band’s hometown is split between New York, USA and Perth, Australia. But we grew up together in India, listening to the same bands and having many similar influences, and that background helps with our shared understanding of music and how we think a song should flow. Currently, I’m based out of New York and Ruz is based out of Perth. The two different time zones and seasons provides for some interesting dynamics in our songwriting. Perhaps that’s why a cold dark verse is sometimes met with a warm welcoming chorus like in our song Soak.

Where'd the band name come from?

We were on the hunt for a name for a long time. We had over 100 names written down but nothing 
really stood out. It’s true when bands say finding a name is one of the hardest things to do. We knew we wanted something short, a one word name but almost all of those were taken. Then one day my wife and I were out having dinner, we were sitting at our table when all of a sudden she yelled out Scratch. Even though there was no context I knew what she meant. I liked it immediately. So I did a quick search to see if there was any other bands with that name. Nothing major showed up. That was good enough for me. So I told Ruz and he immediately liked it too. It was short, strong and mostly not already taken.

You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?

Almost Famous 2.

You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?).  You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?

Sia’s Chandelier. Because of her story: She’s been playing music all her life, was in a couple of bands, then put out 5 albums under her solo name prior to getting any sort of international success or recognition. She moved from her home town in Adelaide, Australia to make it in music. She’s a female pop star in her 40’s and doesn’t base her music off her appealing image but instead hides her face. And most importantly, she never gave up. In fact I don’t think giving up was a choice. Music is just what she did.

Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

During our set at Rockwood Music Hall, we had this great plan to change the mood for a few songs to a more intimate, acoustic setting. I borrowed my friends acoustic guitar, except, I didn’t realize that the volume knob on it was set to full, so there was this horrible feedback. Turning down the volume on the amp didn’t fix it either. With all the nerves of playing and the horrible ongoing feedback, we couldn’t work out what was wrong. We even had our friend shout out “turn the volume on the guitar down” but I ignored that of course. So I decided to kill the acoustic set and switch back to my electric. So much for a quiet, intimate moment. It was the exact opposite.

Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans?

It’s been a bit of a learning curve. We love playing live but it took a little bit of work of work. And we’re constantly improving. We wrote this album in our bedrooms so bringing it to the stage posed many challenges. How do we play three guitar parts with only two guitar players? How do we end songs that fadeout? And how do we get the right tones using pedals instead of software instruments? But we’ve managed to figure it all out and we’re happy with our set. We played the whole album at Rockwood Music Hall in New York last month, a one hour set but also our best. The crowd seemed to love it. We had people come up to us after and compliment the music. And we had a blast playing too.

What makes a great song?

I think it’s all about the melody. No matter what genre, speed or instrumentation. The melody has to be interesting. 

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

I Don’t Mind was the first song we ever wrote and recorded as Scratch. We made this decision to start a band across continents but didn’t really think of the ‘how we going to do this?’ part.
I Don’t Mind answered a lot of questions for us and it confirmed that we could do this.

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

There’s a bridge in our song ‘Soak’ that goes on a bit of a journey. We spent a couple of months working out that bridge. There were many variations and mental roadblocks But we didn’t give in. We didn’t scrap the idea and go with a shortened watered down bridge instead. And we love what we have now.

Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?

Jack White. His solo’s are screaming! He can put a song together with such simple parts, yet it doesn’t feel recycled or boring. And his guitar tones are amazing!

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

Vinyl is really my format of choice. I’ve heard songs on vinyl that I grew up listening to on CD and just love the warmth and fullness from the vinyl versions. The only downside is having to get up to change sides after 4-5 songs.

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice

Ruz - Beer. No fear.
Avi - Whiskey. Feelin’ frisky.
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