The #4 seed in the playoffs, forgottenprince orchestrated a come-from-behind victory to capture the crown.
Forgottenprince defeated strick414 in the championship and liquidtrailz came in third.
I have been a member of TheSixtyOne for less than a full year—which makes this all the more troubling, given that there are people like AnnieB who have been there basically since Day One; but in these few short months, I watched something beautiful, elegant, and unique get reduced to an unoriginal face in the crowd.
How many music sites are on the internet? More than any of us can name, I am sure. How many game sites? How many social networks? But, for the real kicker, how many sites combine all three in a package that's as addictive as it is impressive? For the fun, for the music, and for the people—for a moment, TheSixtyOne looked like the future of the music industry, in the same way Digg and Reddit are often looked upon as the future of news.
So what happened? Maybe it started with the ban of KosmikRay. Maybe these events were set in motion from day one and could never have been avoided. But look where we are now: A complete site redesign without forums to even report glitches, let alone to express members' concerns. I have to laugh at the fact that the designers had the nerve to include a section called “zeitgeist” after going to such lengths to ignore the people who tried to make this once magical place their home on this crazy world wide web. Sorry, you can't post anything but bugs in these forums. Sorry, you can't post on that person's wall anymore. Sorry, you can't post anything on this site but blips... on the walls of the people you already know. Sorry, no more tuneboxes. Sorry.
Yes, I recognize that this site is the baby of a couple of college kids who had a vision one day. I recognize I have no obligation to return there, and just as I would not want someone to tell me how to raise my own children, I recognize I have no place to tell them what to do themselves. And yet, there is something so disheartening about watching a parent forcing their kid to be something it's not.
So, to all of the people who have dedicated hours of their lives to advancing themselves on TheSixtyOne—to all the AnnieBs, the dalryaugs, the SallySilveras—all of your work and dedication amassing more points than the people who never had the love you did for this site, Sam and James want you to know that you're not anymore appreciated than the guy who signed up yesterday, bumped a couple of times, ran out of points and didn't come back. All of your progress reduced to a partially filled bar.
I hope one day, I stop by to observe that this has all been reversed. I hope the channels of communication are reopened, and Sam and James can compromise some small bit of their as-of-yet indecipherable vision in favor of restoring the glory to what was once the cutting edge of music and web design. I hope I'm reading too far into all of this. But ya know what? I feel most for the artists. The people whose success was attributed not to their talent, but to “groupthink”, and people bumping because they were playing a game that the creators themselves saw fit to implement. You take away the game, you take away our desire to bump, and this just becomes a listening party. The sad news is that there are better places on the web for that; and everything that made this site great has been sacrificed in favor of a layout that hurts your eyes if you stare at it for too long.
This isn't Detroit. You're going to be fine without me, or any of the likeminded groupthinkers who will leave this site as a result of the “improvements”. But next time your loyal members are expected to Digg something to help you guys out, don't be surprised if we just go ahead and pass. I watched you deconstruct this site piece by piece over the last few months, and I've sat back and tried to get over all of it. Though I'm sure I won't be particularly missed, and though I may not have convinced anyone of anything with this post (Even if it gets deleted for being completely against the spirit of MaxBumps), I felt this all needed to be said. Good luck with your future endeavors—it was fun while it lasted.
// UPDATE: 12/17/09 //
First off, I want to thank everyone for the comments and support. Glad to see I'm not alone here.
Secondly, I want to address lankysob's very valid concern. While a number of us mentioned supposed alternatives to TheSixtyOne, none of us gave anything concrete. That's my reason for this update.
CherryPeel is like Digg for music. I'm sure you've heard that claim before, but this is as direct an imitation as I've seen. Artists submit music, users vote it up *OR DOWN*, and the most popular stuff makes it to the forefront.
Sorry, there's not a point or achievement system in place that will fill that particular void. If TheSixtyOne was all about the game for you, it's still the only place on the net for that. However, this place will offer you something different: A sense of community.
It's still in the early stages of development, but I sent some feedback to one of the site admins earlier today... and I received a response. As utterly mindblowing as that might be to anyone who's ever attempted to contact James, I've got even more goodies for you. Not only were my suggestions addressed, in the way of a forthcoming mini-feed and even forums (Remember those?) are coming, but Andrew had something very intriguing to say in this e-mail.
"I'm curious as to what The Sixtyone admins did that hurt the site. Would you mind giving me more details? We don't want to be making the same mistakes over here."
Amazing right? Feeling like your opinion and advice is actually worth half a damn? I know.
In closing, I'd like to say that the site still has a few interface bugs. The good news is that I brought one up with an admin, and it has already been resolved. I think this place has great potential, and I urge you all to check it out. Lemme know if you do!
White Lies - Unfinished Business
Looks like they've been around for a handful of years already. Currently they're supporting Glasvegas on tour, both of whom will be part of the 2009 NME Tour along with Friendly Fires and Florence & The Machine.
At the end of the video above, you can check out a couple other songs of theirs, "Death" and "To Lose My Life".
Also, here's one more track you can preview over at Hype Machine.
White Lies - From the Stars
White Lies myspace
White Lies website
In continuing my characteristic bias toward promoting Canadian talent to my friends south of the border and across the ocean, (as well as artists NOT on T61... oops) I'd like to bring a band from my hometown of Calgary to your attention.
Woodpigeon is an ensemble of various artists, helmed by Mark Hamilton. I first heard them three or four years ago, at a Christmas show put on at a cozy commmunity church that frequently doubled as a concert venue. The recordings were rough around the edges then, and the performances not as tight, but they have an undeniable charm.
The large lineup has changed a little since then, but perhaps in a similar vein to some other popular Canadian indie bands (Arcade Fire, Stars, Broken Social Scene), their quantity still produces quality with every track. Expect lush arrangements, pensive lyrics and catchy hooks.
Maybe it's because of the circumstances surrounding my first experience hearing Woodpigeon, but I will always associate their music with a warmth that is best enjoyed indoors on a cold winter's day. Hot chocolate is optional.
Their site is linked below. Once you're there, you can visit an online store by choosing the left image, or hear four of their newest tracks by clicking the right image.
They have also just announced tour dates in Europe for Feb 2009:
we're excited to announce the following february 2009 tour dates in support of the release of 'treasury library canada / houndstooth europa':
07 February 2009 PERFORMANCE WORKS Vancouver, BC
15 February 2009 BOTANIQUE-ROTUNDE Brussels, Belgium
16 February 2009 PONT EPHEMERE Paris, France
17 February 2009 PARADISO Amsterdam, Nlands
18 February 2009 PRINZENBAR Hamburg, Germany
19 February 2009 SCHOKOLADEN Berlin, Germany
21 February 2009 WESTGARTH SC Middlesbrough, UK
22 February 2009 THE CAPTAIN'S REST Glasgow, Scotland
23 February 2009 THE END Newcastle, UK
24 February 2009 THE DEAF INSTITUTE Manchester, UK
25 February 2009 ICA London, UK
26 February 2009 THE AUDIO Brighton, UK
"we'll also be collaborating with clinton st. john and many others at the 2009 high performance rodeo in calgary, re-interpreting the works of bjork, godspeed! you black emperor, mogwai, and rachael's."
Surely we have at least one T61er in some of these locations!
Hey! Alles glänzt, so schön neu!
Speaking of Berlin... In a different vein entirely, this was a random find I picked up on YouTube. It has a few million hits, and it was either featured or showed up as a "related" video to something I saw. As far as I can tell, it hasn't really been blogged about in the Occidental world. So, I present to you Peter Fox, a Berliner who has recently released a new album.
Alles Neu is a song about reinventing oneself, and though I do not speak German, the drumline and orchestral elements go so well with his vocals. Apparently also the front man of a reggae-dancehall crew named Seeed, Peter Fox and the Cold Steel Drumline are currently on tour throughout Germany.
Peter Fox - Alles Neu
DOWNLOAD MP3 | ALTERNATIVE LINK
- Sintonia Buffetlibre
- 2 Unlimited – Get Ready For This (Orchestral Version)
- Gossip – Standing In The Way Of Control (Soulwax remix)
- Snap – Rhythm Is A Dancer
- Daft Punk – One More Time
- Eric Prydz – Call On Me
- Justice vs Simian– We Are Your Friends
- And One – Metal Hammer
- Les Rhymes Digitales – (Hey You) What's That Sound?
- Stardust – Music Sounds Better With You
- Simian Mobile Disco – Hustler
- Gala – Freed From Desire
- Wildchild - Renegade Master (Fatboy Slim Old Skool remix)
- Armand Van Helden – You Don’t Know Me
- Soulwax – Ny Lipps
- Whigfield – Saturday Night
- Mylo vs. Miami Sound Machine - Doctor Pressure
- Modjo – Lady
- Justice – D.A.N.C.E. (Mstrkrft remix)
- Run DMC – It’s Like That
- Ann Lee – Two Times
- Chemical Brothers – Hey Boy Hey Girl
- Alter Ego – Rocker
- Tomcraft – Loneliness
- Basement Jaxx – Red Alert
- Cassius - Feeling For You (Les Rhymes Digitales remix)
- Tiga & Zyntherius – Sunglasses At Night
- MGMT – Kids (Soulwax remix)
- Josh Wink – Higher State Of Consciousness
- Scatman John - Scatman
- Digitalism – Pogo (Shinichi Osawa remix)
- Vitalic – La rock 01
We will do some special shows to celebrate the releasing of "Hit!". We hope to see you there!
FORTHCOMING BUFFETLIBRE DJ'S SHOWS:
27 nov 2008 - Buffetlibre Dj’s @ Noise Club (Barcelona)
28 nov 2008 - Buffetlibre Dj’s @ Obbio (Sevilla)
29 nov 2008 - Buffetlibre Dj’s @ Fever (Bilbao)
3 dic 2008 - Buffetlibre Dj’s @ The Ruby Lounge (Manchester, UK)
4 dic 2008 - Buffetlibre Dj’s @ Sick Note (Edinburgh, UK)
5 dic 2008 - Buffetlibre Dj’s @ Whip It! at The Amersham Arms (London, UK)
6 dic 2008 - Buffetlibre Dj’s @ The Lock Tavern (London, UK)
18 dic 2008 - Buffetlibre Dj’s @ Cultura Club (Palma de Mallorca)
19 dic 2008 - Buffetlibre Dj’s @ Be Cool (Barcelona)
25 dic 2008 - Buffetlibre Dj’s @ Noise Club (Barcelona)
26 dic 2008 - Buffetlibre Dj’s @ Pop Bar, Razzmatazz (Barcelona)
31 dic 2008 - Buffetlibre Dj’s @ Verbena Fin de Año en Be Cool (Barcelona)
9 ene 2009 - Buffetlibre Dj’s @ Club Gare (Porto, Portugal)
10 ene 2009 - Buffetlibre Dj’s @ Minimercado (Lisboa, Portugal)
24 ene 2009 - Buffetlibre Dj’s @ Low Club (Madrid)
31 ene 2009 - Buffetlibre Dj’s @ Cotton Club (Lleida)
20 feb 2009 - Buffetlibre Dj's @ Sixty Million Postcards (Bournemouth,UK)
After weeks of planning, nominating, and voting, we are pleased to finally announce the winners of first annual Max Bumps Listener Awards For T61. First we'd like to thank the people who made this possible. We could not have done this without the web-hosting and technical help of batface89. She was also quite encouraging. Our anonymous jury did a great but difficult job of narrowing the under-bumped song nominations to five. We're grateful for the efforts of three listeners who responded to our project by doing things we didn't even think of and offering them to us. Bcbomb47 adapted our publicity banner to blend into t61 decor. Carpex ingeniously created a ascii thumb when images were removed from about me spaces part-way through our campaign. Also, philomath created playlists with the nominated songs from each category, making voting a lot easier.
I'd like to thank our committee as well. Our leader was Evonity, who kept the project together. The awards were his brainchild. mathmanmrt was the person most involved in the nomination lists, and both surveys. Iyzie was the graphic designer on the committee, and SallySilvera was the member most active in promoting the awards. Although Evonity published the blog posts, I (ganglyblueheron) wrote them. It was a pleasure working with this team.
We would also like to thank all the users and artists who helped us with publicity. We could not have gotten the turnout we did without the help of your about me sections, wall posts, tuneboxes, and avatar thumbs. Thank you very much for spreading the word. The Powncers as a group were very helpful in the effort to get the vote out, so we'd like to acknowledge them. Thank you as well to each listener who submitted nominations and voted. (I'll include number of voters here when we know it)
Not Off The Hook Yet
We have a few remaining favors to ask of you. We would love to have feedback about this year's awards in the Max Bumps Awards forum. This will give next year's committee an idea of what direction to take the project. If you appreciated an aspect of the project in particular, or if you have improvements to suggest, please let us know. Politely pointing out concerns or problems is educational; it will not get you banned from a forum at Max Bumps.
As usual, we could use help alerting users to this blog post.
- We would love it if you would put this in your about me space:
<h2><a target="_blank" href="http://www.maxbumps.net/2008/11/hurray-for-max-bumps-listener-awards.html">WHO WON A MAX?. CLICK THIS LINK TO FIND OUT</a></h2>
- Please send out tuneboxes or wallposts to anyone you sent previous notices to, saying:
"The results are in! See the winners of the Max Bumps Listener Awards For T61 at www.maxbumps.net"
- Copy following code and past it on your Comment Wall (not in your About Me) to display the complete list of winners. Have a look at our wall for an example:
<img src="http://i492.photobucket.com/albums/rr283/Evonity/maxbumps/AwardList2008List.png" />
And the Winners Are....
We have no red carpet, and we're not wearing fancy gowns or tuxes, but we're pleased to present the winners. We're sure we weren't the only few who found voting to be a series of difficult decisions, because all the nominees were worthy of attention. We had ballots submitted by 214 listeners. If you like, you can review the nominees at our forum. Here are the winners of the Max for each category:
Best Alternative Song:
Best Blues Song:
Best Classical Song:
Best Country Song:
Best Dance Song:
Best Electronic Song:
Best Experimental Song:
Best Folk Song:
Best Hip-Hop Song:
Best Instrumental Song:
Best Jazz Song:
Best Pop Song:
Best R&B Song:
Best Reggae Song:
Best Rock Song:
Best Vocal Song:
Best Cover Song:
Best Non-English Song:
Most Underrated Song:
Most Listener-Oriented Arist:
Overall Greatest Artist:
(Our only tie):
(In this category, only four artists were suggested for nomination. We chose to award each with the award)
Congratulations to all the artists listed above. Each winner will receive a graphic (Max) that they can display both on t61 and elsewhere on the web. Congratulations also to t61 for a year online. Thank you to the entire community of listeners, artists, and developers who have made t61 an adventure worth celebrating.
ganglyblueheron, writing for Evonity, Iyzie, SallySilvera, and mathmanmrt.
If you have not filled out the Award Ballot, do it now!
Old Enough from Miky Wolf on Vimeo.
Radiohead's Ed O'Brien and Phil Selway will once again back Neil Finn for a follow up to the acclaimed Seven Worlds Collide, a project supporting international development organization Oxfam.
Seven years ago OBrien and Selway were invited by Finn to participate in a special series of concerts in New Zealand under the banner Seven Worlds Collide. Also returning from that original Seven Worlds Collide lineup will be founder of the Smiths and member of Modest Mouse Johnny Marr, Soul Coughing bassist Sebastian Steinberg, songwriter and violinist Lisa Germano, and Liam Finn. Artists newly joining the project include Jeff Tweedy, John Stirrat, Glenn Kotche and Pat Sansone from Wilco, and New Zealand songwriters Bic Runga and Don McGlashan. Behind the mixing desk will be master recording engineer Jim Scott. More names will be added to the lineup in the coming weeks.
The album will be recorded over the next few months in Auckland's Roundhead Studios and is due for release in 2009. Like its predecessor, the project will also see a series of concerts featuring many of the artists included in the lineup. The shows will take place in Auckland early in the New Year. Details will be announced soon.
Worlds Collide is a live album released in 2001 by New Zealand singer/songwriter, Neil Finn. This is a live recording culled from a series of five shows from April 2, 2001 to April 6, 2001 featuring Neil Finn & Friends recorded at the St James theatre in Auckland, New Zealand. Notable guests in Finn's band included Eddie Vedder, Johnny Marr, Ed O'Brien, Tim Finn, Sebastian Steinberg, Phil Selway, Lisa Germano and Betchadupa. The title of this album is derived from the line "Seven worlds will collide / whenever I am by your side" from Crowded House's 1993 single Distant Sun.
Oxfam is an international development organisation working to end poverty and injustice to bring real and lasting change to the lives of people living in poverty and to create a safer, fairer and more sustainable world.
Oxfam believes that poverty is not inevitable. Instead, poverty results from unjust policies, and the denial of basic rights and opportunities. There are 13 Oxfam affiliates working with communities on the ground in over 100 countries. We put all our effort and expertise into saving lives, developing programmes that empower people, and campaigning for lasting change.
Radiohead is Colin Greenwood, Jonny Greenwood, Ed O'Brien, Philip Selway and Thom Yorke. Radiohead's recordings have included 1993's Pablo Honey, 1995's The Bends, 1997's OK Computer (the tour for which was documented by the 1998 film Meeting People Is Easy), 2000's Kid A, 2001's Amnesiac, 2003's Hail To The Thief and In Rainbows, which was self-released via Radiohead.com in October 2007. In Rainbows was released to traditional retail by TBD Records/ATO in January 2008 and entered the U.S. chart at #1.
As long as you're at a low level, say something less than eleven, it's relative easy to make profit out of your bumps. As a rule of thumb you could say that the earlier you bump a song, the more profit you will get from it. The risk of loosing points on songs that don't do as well as you might have expected when you early bumped it, is not particular high. As long as you stay away from unpopular genres (classic, electronic, jazz and the likes), experimental or controversial music and poor productions, you should do fine. Songs by established artists are expensive to bump, but as long as you're at a low level, you should be able to even make profit on these. Don't take my word on it, but you shouldn't be too considered with the decline of your total score, when you browse the today page. As long as you're looking out for quality music instead of an emotional treat, you should do fine. Every point spend on good music, will return sooner or later.
Then again, you might wonder why anybody would want to be a top rookie, or a Sensei of Soul for that matter. Gaming with music probably seems a bit immoral to you. Maybe you think that bumping songs because you expect them to become popular, instead of bumping them because you like them, or camping around the upload pages just to get that first bump, is childish and even compromising. Of course you can find and enjoy the best music to be found on the Net, without clicking that big triangle. You can also perfectly support artists by commenting on their songs and walls. But if you want artist to become popular on t61 you need points and you only get these by making profit on bumps.
I know that listeners at levels below 11, who want their favorites to become everyone's favorite, can get quite frustrated by this. I've read a lot of complaints about not making enough profit to be really able to support all the great music. Just hang in there, sooner or later you reach a point where you still care for music AND games, but stop caring about points and levels. When you get there, you stop being a rookie and start being a regular. In the mean time, don't try to convince the developers of t61 that they should downgrade on the game aspect of the site. I happen to love the game - not as much as the music that arrives in uncountable measures of rhythm, tunes and lyrics, but enough to hardly ever search for indie music outside t61.
On November 4, it was all about McCain Vs Obama. Some of us wished we were involved that election, but we didn't qualify to choose. From November 5-15, it's all about RAC vs Meiko vs ZUBA vs band of horses, etc, and each of us can have a voice in that!
The Sixtyone is nearly a year old. To celebrate, this month all users of t61will have the chance to vote on the year's best music and artists on the site. A few weeks ago we announced the Max Bumps Listener Awards for T61 and opened up nominations in three categories. You can read about how we came up with all the nominations at The Nominations Process
How to Vote:
We thought you'd like to look over the nominations before voting, and perhaps give them a listen, so we've provided a list with links to each song in our forum: All nominations with links to songs and artists. To make it even more easy, our fellow listener Philomath created playlists in his My Music section, so that you can continuous play every song in a category of your choice. Get the links from our forum or go directly to Philomath's profile page.
To vote, go to
Survey Monkey and fill out the survey. Say, for example, If you want to vote for Best Hip Hop Song, and Best Classical Song, but have no opinion for Best Country Song, simply click the option "No opinion." We ask you only to vote once, and in light of this, the survey site will only accept one entry for every IP address. Please alert us to any problems or questions that come up by posting them in our special awards forum here at Max Bumps.
Help Us Get the Word Out
With further changes to communication options at T61, we have had trouble getting the word out about our awards. We think that there are still hundreds of users that haven't heard of our project, and we'd like everyone to be able to vote, so that winning a "Max" will truly mean something to the artists. Please help us in one or all of the following ways:
- Display our trademark - a hitchhikers thumb or thumbs up on your profile page. Select the code below, copy it and then paste it in your About Me (listeners) or News (artists) section. What the code does, is render a so called ascii drawing, which are drawings that exists solely from keyboard characters.
<br /> _<br /> ( ((<br /> \ =\<br /> __\_ `-\ <br /> (____))( \---- <br /> (____)) _ <br /> (____))<br /> (____))____/----<br /><br />
- Use big words to link your profile page to this post. You can do that by copying and pasting the next code.
<h2><a target="_blank" href="http://www.maxbumps.net/2008/11/max-bumps-listener-awards-for-t61-get.html">Get Your Vote ON. CLICK THIS LINK</a></h2>
- Send subscribers a tunebox about the awards. Use your own words, or this quote:
From Oct 10 to Nov 21 maxbumps.net is hosting the Max Bumps Listener Awards for T61. There will be awards for artists and songs in several different categories. We - the t61 audience - are going to pick the winners. Voting is from Nov 5 to Nov 15. For more details visit maxbumps.net asap. Pass this message or something similar on to your subscribers if you want to support this initiative, but before you do, check if they are not involved already.
For those of you who sent a tunebox to subscribers with our first campaign, here is one that might be more fitting to update subscribers:
The time has come to vote for the Max Bumps Listener Awards for T61. Voting takes place Nov 5-15. Visit www.maxbumps.net for more details. If you support this project, please pass this message on to your subscribers, but before you do, check that they are not involved already.
- Publish a quote of your own onto your wall, or choose one of these. Please consider also posting a sentence on the wall of your group, if no one else has:
- Love the sixtyone? Let's award the best artists of the past year with the Max Bumps Listener Awards for the 61! See www.maxbumps.net/ for the whole story.
- T61 turns one this November! At Maxbumps.net, we're celebrating with the Max Bumps Listener Awards for T61. Click for more details
- Vote for the best artists and songs on T61! Go to www.maxbumps.net to learn about the Max Bumps Listener Awards for T61
- Not eligible to vote for US President? No matter, at least you can vote for the Max Bumps Listener Awards for T61. Go to www.maxbumps.net to read more.
- Celebrate the best of T61 over the last year by voting for the Max Bumps Listener Awards for T61. Visit www.maxbumps.net for more details.
- When max bumps aren't enough, there are the Max Bumps Listener Awards for T61. Vote for the best songs and artists of the past year. Find out more at www.maxbumps.net
- Vote: It's the it thing to do this fall, and here's another reason: The Max Bumps Listener Awards for T61. Visit www.maxbumps.net to see nominations.
- If don't have it already, please consider putting a thumb on your avatar. People who never see our walls see our avatars on bump lists and wonder what it's about. See the forum at http://www.maxbumps.net/forum/viewforum.php?f=22 to find our how.
Thank you for your help with publicity, and for voting for your favourite songs. We will announce the winners of the Maxes November 21. Not all of us can vote for American President, but we can all vote for The Max Bumps Listener Awards for T61. Vote: It's the it thing to do this fall.
Evonity, Mathmanmrt, SallySilvera, and Ganglyblueheron
This is a conversation with Arrie Oliver of The Shift by mathmanmrt.
mathmanmrt--I notice that the gig you have up on your artist page is going to be in Georgia. Are you guys originally from Georgia? If not where are you guys from?
Arrie Oliver--Absolutely! We were all born and raised in Atlanta, and have pretty much lived here all of our lives. That being said, we've done I think just about everything there is to do in this wonderful city though, so it's wearing on us a bit, haha. If anyone reading this lives in Atlanta, shoot us some ideas for a great Saturday night, because even an insane pack of guys like us can't find anything fun to do!
How did you get together as a band?
Well, it's actually an epic tale of love, betrayal, loss, fortune, and fame. But in a nutshell, Seyt and I (Arrie) have been best friends since we were 3 years old. We've been practically inseparable our whole lives. We were at Summer camp one year, I think as we were going into 11th grade, and we wrote our first song. It felt really good to create, and everyone we showed (even though it was DEFINITELY a juvenile attempt, haha) really liked our song. To be able to affect and inspire people with just an experience you've had turned audio, is the absolute most amazing feeling in the world. I started learning guitar, and he learned drums, and here we are today. We added Chad and Ben, our amazing guitarist and bass player, respectively, and even though the core of the band really consists of Seyt and myself, we'd love to find really permanent members who are as dedicated as we are.
How did you come up with the name of your band? Does it have significance?
Seyt and I were sitting around one day, and came to the realization that we really needed a name for our musical ventures. We chose "The Shift" for various reasons. First off, pursuing music was quite literally a huge "shift" for us out of a lot of our previously defined comfort zones. This band was in our minds a sure harbinger for greater musical horizons, in addition to new life experiences. It's something we've decided to stick with till the end... and while musical pursuits, and such a long commitment might sound very fickle to some, to us it's everything we love, and what we feel like we're here to do. Not only that, but we've been best friends our whole lives, so I don't think we could even escape being in some sort of musical group if we had to. Second, it was a huge stylistic change for us from what we had previously been playing (the hardcore scene wasn't really our thing, haha) so we just felt it fit. Mainly it's the first part of the answer though :-P
What kind of musical experiences did you guys have before you got together? What kind of music were you listening to when you were growing up?
Well I really was raised on Folk and Country music, so I was naturally a child of the pop scene in every sense of the term. I like powerhouse choruses, vocal harmony, and the songs "Empty Apartment" by Yellowcard and "I'm With You" by Avril Lavigne (I'm prepared to get thrashed about this, haha) totally shaped my mind as far as what an ideal song should sound like, haha. Seyt was raised by wolves (Finnish people) on Speed Metal. He's extremely technical if I don't bash him into a pop mold, but never fails to impress me with his unique blend of stylistic flair. On the recordings, naturally, he has to hold back a bit, but when people see us live, they're really impressed by the raw energy he brings to performance. As far as experiences we had together, we were always in bands together and/or with mutual friends, and about 10 people in our immediate lives sort of all grew as musicians together. We were the only ones that took it to the next level and actually decided to pursue anything musically related though.
How do you go about writing your songs? Is there a collaborative process or is there a member or members more responsible for song writing than others?
It's definitely a little bit of both; let me clarify. Essentially, I end up writing all of the songs, be it music and lyrics, but as far as shaping the song after that skeleton is formed, some of the best hooks in our songs are not even often added by me. Seyt definitely has a huge influence over the sound of the songs, if not just as much as I do in initially shaping them. They're usually my experiences, and he helps me express them accordingly.
What do you think are the biggest influences on your sound? And how long did it take you guys to develop your sound?
Well, it took a very long time to develop our sound. It took 4 years of pretty much just trying every style of music and learning everything we could about music to narrow things down. We spent time in hardcore, metal, rock, country, punk, ska bands and even a jazz group before we really found what we wanted. Our biggest influences I'd have to say would be the bands Blink-182 and Stratovarius. A VERY odd combination indeed, but they really influenced our individual style of playing even though there aren't so many direct stylistic similarities. But yeah, so one day I came to Seyt with an idea (a song now called "Innocence" ) and he loved it. So we ran with what we had; a pop-rock group that was going to forge amazingly melodic, somewhat technical, and extremely moving music.
Your website, heartheshift.net, says you have an album on the way. Is it available for purchase yet?
Although it's not available for purchase, it is DEFINITELY in the works, and it sounds really good so far. I wish there was a preview I could offer you, but unfortunately it would violate some agreements with our producer. Keep checking the website, and you're bound to see something soon. The interesting thing about the website is that it's really only there as a quick reference. See, websites are very impersonal, and they provide little if any actual interactive content. We much prefer websites like T61 just due to the fact that there's so much more opportunity for communication with the people who actually listen to our music rather than just sending them aimlessly to a place on the web.
All of your songs are currently downloadble for free. That's a great way to treat your fans. What went into that decision?
It was literally not much of a decision. In fact, it was just a no-brainer for us. We want people to hear and be inspired by our music. And if it means them downloading them for free, then so be it. Plus if it weren't for people spreading music, then we wouldn't be anywhere. Fans are just as crucial in the process as we are. We don't look at it as a way to treat them, as much as we look at it as something they deserve.
I believe you are going to college. Are any of the other band members? And what are you all studying?
We are all in school at the time of this interview. Seyt is studying to be a chef, Chad is studying to be an engineer, Ben is studying to be a teacher, and I'm studying to be an English major. We don't really know what we want to do with any of that other than support the music we make. Music, music, music. After we graduate from school, well, more music. College is great for spreading the musical word though, for sure. It's opened a lot of doors for us.
What do you mean by that last bit about opening doors for you?
School opened a lot of doors, and was a great move. We met TONS of new people, which gave us more honest feedback on our music, and caused us to be even more critical of ourselves. It also opened doors for us socially, which increased our networking and communication skills with not only individuals but also more massive audiences. We also met a lot of very wise people in the music program that taught us a lot about the actual musical side of things, and even though neither Seyt or I are classically trained, it was definitely a great learning experience.
Over on your myspace page you have a cool song called "Springtime." Any plans to put that up on the sixtyone?
We might, it's definitely a bit of a stylistic deviation from our usual sound, but who knows. It's definitely a good song, and I encourage everyone to go check it out. It was one of the first songs we actually ever recorded, and it's definitely more upbeat. Although we've moved away from that sound a bit, it's still a great and energetic song to play, and the absolute best sound-check song ever, haha.
Are there any songs you like to cover? If so, what?
Well, we all have our personal favorites. And even though we don t usually throw in covers, a couple songs we've played in the past couple months include: "Crazy for This Girl" by Evan and Jaron, "Hemorrhage" by Fuel, "Kokomo" by The Beach Boys, "Enlightened by The Cold" by Shadows Fall (that was a one time thing, haha), and "7 Things I Hate About You" by Miley Cyrus. Yes, a very diverse group of covers, but we like to throw it up a bit. It's always fun to do stuff like that, and if anyone has any suggestions, we ll play whatever you can throw at us. ;-)
Of course no interview for maxbumps would be complete without this question, so let me ask you how you heard about the sixtyone and what you think about it so far?
Well, to be honest, I heard about it completely by fluke. I was literally really bored one night when I started clicking random links off of a couple of music-related websites, and I don't really know how, but I ended up at the T61 homepage. I created a profile, uploaded a song, and people really gave us a positive response, so I stuck around. T61 is an AMAZING community of listeners and artists, and it 's constantly growing into an even better environment for everything music. It's built off of a very unique system and a very fun idea. Props to the creators!
Your drummer is listed as Seyt, son of Jorg. What's up with that?
Well, his real name is Tzvi Weinreich . Try pronouncing that :-) So we gave him a stage name after his favorite drummer, Jorg Michaels of Stratovarius, and it just sorta stuck. The name Seyt honestly came from someone slurring his real name, and for some reason that stuck too. Kind of an odd background, but that s exactly what happened.
Have you been putting together any songs for another album?
Absolutely! In fact, we never stop writing, and it sometimes turns into a problem. We keep writing better and better music, and can't ever decide what to actually track on the record. I have nearly 200 songs written on my computer, some of which I have demos of, but when we went into the studio we had a list of about 50 songs that we had to narrow down to 12. Talk about your all-time hard decisions.
With respect to the last questions, what are your plans for The Shift for future?
We want to pursue music. We're currently looking for a manager/management team so we can take the next necessary steps in our musical career, but that proves to be hard. Any fingers in the right direction would be great. Long term though, we love music. It's absolutely everything in the world to us, and it's everything we want to do for the rest of our lives. So what the future has in store, we have no clue, but what we will be doing is taking this as far as we can for as long as we have the will within us. We have such a drive and passion for all of this, that nothing ever stops us from taking the next step, and we can't be slowed down. I don't mean to sound conceited, honestly, but we just love what we do so much, that we can't afford to let anything get in the way.
What have I missed? Tell me anything you think we need to know about you that I haven't thought to cover.
Well, we pretty much summed up everything that has needed to be said. Thanks so much for the interview, and I really hope that I didn't leave anything out, haha. All I really want is for people to listen to our music and try to take it for what it is. We've put so much into this and it's what we love doing more than anything else in the world. Tell your friends, family, loved ones, or whoever, so that maybe just one other person can get what we do from these songs and all that we do. And if you live in the Atlanta area, come see us live. We promise not to disappoint. And talk to us if you'd like! We're goofy, fun loving guys, and we're gonna throw our contact information up on our profile page in a couple days.
- Max Bumps Group - People from Max Bumps, obviously
- Powncers - For those on Pownce
- Hawaii - Hawaiian 61'ers
- Indier Than Thou - James' group.
- Squish - Private group
- Parents Who Still Love Music for those of us with kids who we refuse to expose to Barney or the Wiggles.
- FESTIVE - indie love
- None More Indie - How much more indie can it get? None!
- Beat Geeks A mixed bag of music addicts with eclectic tastes. Music is our sustenance and who doesn't love ...
- The Art of Noise - Music is Art, sometimes charming our ears, sometimes deeply irritating, sometimes inspiring, some...
- Asafasa - no idea what it means
- The Rack Discovery Group
- t61 drifters
- Country Lovers
- Dancing Hedgepigs
- for the win
- Czech group
- Friends Of Stumpy Moose
- thesixtyone on MOG
- T61 Canadians
- Happy time fun luck bar
- Dancing Hedgepigs
- Heard It Before
- mrbanks awesome group
- Scott and Cassidy
- The Pants Guild
- Das Whassup
- Canadian Content
- group mutability
- no pants dance
- Electro Freaks
- Video Game Music is the Bes...
- Forget the RIAA
- Musician Ship
- Your Vegas fans unite
- Dance in my Pants
- Acoustic Lounge
- Chicagos Local Music
- Hearing Aid
- Eclectic Taste
- Downloadable Brigade
- latin music
- Artists with listener accounts
- Guitar Heroes
- One Hit Wonderland
- no pants dance
- Mile High Music Club
- Pure Essence
I found these just by clicking around and I'm sure there are loads more out there and loads more that will be started in the next few weeks. I'll keep a running list here. You can email me at batface89 [at] gmail.com or post a comment below and I'll keep the list going.
Hello you crazy 61 ers'
I can't believe how many of us (you) have hung in with James and Sam. It's been a while for me so I am just getting back into the swing of inhabiting the site and listening to good music again. So what has everyone been up to? I myself had to take a break as I was spending way to much time refreshing the less than ten bumps page (trying to play the game.) I'm over that now and just looking for some good tunes. Here is what I found when I came back.
Seriously. I really thought we were trying to avoid groupthink. Bah, I'll skip this one as I'll probably just get angry. I did join the MaxBumps group though.
if:then:goto has been one of my favorite artists on the site since I have arrived and these tracks continue to stand out for me amidst all of the other artists. I highly recommend checking them out.
This next track is just bad ass.
I have known of Bobby Conn for a long time and this song has always cracked me up. The borrowed Jackson 5 sounds and the lyrics about giving head the man are the spotlights. Since I just wanted to get my feet wet after being away for a while I will leave you with this song.
Hasta la pasta!
We will have 22 categories:
- Best Song personally uploaded by the artist themselves in each of the 16 genres (You know--the genres listed down the left panel of the homepage)
- Greatest Overall Artist
- Best Cover Song
- Best Non-English Language Song
- Most Listener-Oriented Artist
- Most Underrated Song
- Artist's Artist (chosen only by artists)
As most of you are aware, some of the music we enjoy on t61 is actually scraped from blogs and other online sources, rather than being posted by the individual artists themselves. In light of this, the Best Song by genre awards will only be open to songs personally uploaded by artists, but the Best Overall Artist, and Best Cover Song will be open to any artist or song on the site, whether the artist is actually involved there or not.
The Nomination ProcessFrom October 11 to October 25, you have the opportunity to offer nominations in two categories, if you're a listener, and one other category if you're an artist.
- Listeners can nominate the artist that they feel is most oriented to listeners with this special Submission form
- Listeners can nominate one song with less than 50 bumps for the Most Underrated Song award by sending it in a tunebox to Evonity or Ganglyblueheron. The song should also have been uploaded at least 2 months ago. Please indicate that you are sending this song as a nomination in the tunebox text. We will confirm receipt of your nomination by posting your name on our wall, so please check back to see it. A Jury will select 5 songs from all that are sent to us as nominations.
- Artists can nominate the artist that they feel exemplifies the best of what it means to be a t61 artist in their support of other artists, attention to their fans, and quality of their music, regardless of genre, by tuneboxing their nominations from their artist accounts to Evonity or Ganglyblueheron. The text portion of the tunebox should state that they are making a nomination and which artist they are nominating. Receipt of the tuneboxes will be made daily on our walls, so please check back to look for it.
Artists with listener accounts are free to offer nominations for Most Listener-Oriented Artist, and Most Under-rated Song using their listener account, but we ask that you refrain from nominating yourself.
Max Bumps Listener Awards For T61 Special ForumWe've set up a special Max Bumps Listener Awards For T61 forum to make announcements, troubleshoot any difficulties that arise in nominating or voting, and answer any other questions you might have. You can find it on the Max Bumps forums page. If you are new to Max Bumps, we hope you take the opportunity to look around the various conversations and join this extension of t61 community.
Help Us Get The Word OutUpdated!
With all the spam prevention measures in place on t61, we can't personally contact everyone about our awards. We need your help to make this project to a success. Here's what you can do:
- Display our trademark - a hitchhikers thumb or thumbs up on your profile page. Select the code below, copy it and then paste it in your About Me (listeners) or News (artists) section. What the code does, is render a so called ascii drawing, which are drawings that exists solely from keyboard characters.
<br /> _<br /> ( ((<br /> \ =\<br /> __\_ `-\ <br /> (____))( \---- <br /> (____)) _ <br /> (____))<br /> (____))____/----<br />
- Use big words to link your profile page to this post. You can do that by copying and pasting the next code.
<h2><a target="_blank" href="http://www.maxbumps.net/2008/10/max-bumps-listener-awards-for-t61.html">HITCH A RIDE TO THE MAX BUMPS LISTENER AWARDS FOR T61. CLICK THIS LINK</a></h2>
- Send subscribers a tunebox about the awards. Use your own words, or this quote:
From Oct 10 to Nov 21 maxbumps.net is hosting the Max Bumps T61 Listener Awards. There will be awards for artists and songs in several different categories. We - the t61 audience - are going to pick the winners. For two categories - Most Underrated Song and Most Listener oriented Artist - listeners can submit their own favorite nominees. For more details visit maxbumps.net asap. Pass this message or something similar on to your subscribers if you want to support this initiative, but before you do, check if they are not involved already.
Please check their wall to make sure they're not already involved before sending them anything. We don't want to annoy anyone!
- Edit your own avatar to display our project logo - a hitchhikers thumb. Visit the Awards project forum to find out how.
- Publish a quote on your own Comment Wall. Write your own, or pick one of these...
- Love the sixtyone? Let's award the best artists of the past year with the Max Bumps Listener Awards For T61! See www.maxbumps.net for the whole story.
- When max bumps aren't enough, there are the Max Bumps Listener Awards For T61. Vote for the best artists of the past year. Find out more at www.maxbumps.net
- T61 turns one this November! At www.maxbumps.net, we're celebrating with the Max Bumps Listener Awards For T61. Click for more details
- Love a song no one else has noticed? Nominate it for Most Under-rated Song in the Max Bumps Listener Awards For T61. See www.maxbumps.net for more.
- Which artist seems to care the most about you, the listener? Nominate him or her for Most Listener-Oriented Artist Award in the Max Bumps Listener Awards For T61 (www.maxbumps.net).
- You're an artist, but this person is the artist on T61 who supports you the most. Nominate them for the Artist's Artist Award in the Max Bumps Listener Awards For T61(www.maxbumps.net)
- Is there an artist that takes your interests to the max? Nominate them for Most Listener-Oriented Artist Award in the Max Bumps Listener Awards For T61 (that's max for short). See www.maxbumps.net for more.
Help us choose the best nominations so that in November you can vote for the best of the best.
Evonity, Mathmanmrt, SallySilvera, Iyzie, and Ganglyblueheron
So, first, I'd like to thank you for your time. And, as an arbitrary place to begin--Where'd the name Sunday Radio come from?
Haha, my friend JUST asked me this. most of my music was created on lazy Sundays in the spring and summer. and also, it was a really cool synth sound in Reason (one of the programs I use)
To get the compulsory question out of the way: What brought you to the SixtyOne?
I went down to visit a friend in Raleigh, NC. We got back from the bars at 2 in the morning one night and her fiance brought up this website – thesixtyone.com. He stole a bunch of my songs off of my phone and asked if he could make me an artist account. I said sure! and that was it. Ironically, I didn't even sign myself up, haha.
Well, your music has certainly been warmly received. Did it surprise you to make as many fans as you have?
I was quite surprised - T61 is one of the best places to dwell as an artist in my opinion. People here really care about the MUSIC. To everyone who's brought my songs to the homepage - thank you so much.
How long had you been making music before having it hijacked from your phone and shared with the world? And what got you started in the first place?
Well, it wasn't really hi-jacked per say - I was just as excited as he (Matt) was to share my music. But back to the original question... I started playing guitar freshman year of high school and almost immediately started writing and recording music on a cruddy little 4-track! I hope the few people who have heard those songs will never talk about, share, or breathe a word about them, haha. I'd have to thank my mother for starting me on the piano at age 4. She is incredibly musically inclined and was an accomplished pianist herself.
At what point did Sunday Radio come into being? Have you had--or do you have--any other musical projects?
I was in a bunch of bands in the past and played everything from metal to indie-rock. I was actually playing bass for a band and sprained my left wrist quite badly. I decided to pick up a MIDI controller and software for the couple months I was incapacitated so I could keep making music. And it just kind of took off from there.
What was the first song you would attribute to "Sunday Radio"?
The first song wasn't ever released! It's a little tune called "Radio Track" that only a few people have heard.
Well, let's get to the fun stuff. I have noticed that there seems to be a range of techniques and inspirations across the songs you've uploaded to TheSixtyOne, where you have something like California, upbeat and playful; and then something like The Break-In, where you seem much more careful and focused. Do you see your music heading in either of those directions, or will you try to keep a mix of the two?
I've always been a fan of artists who write a spectrum of music - it keeps things fresh and unpredictable. Who wants to listen to an entire CD of the same type of song? I think I'll try to keep a mix of the two.
Have you written anything since your arrival on TheSixtyOne? And if so, would you say there were any artists on there who influenced you in any way?
Death Cab for Cutie is on T61 - but they have been a longtime influence. Owl City just recently joined too - Adam was another one of my early influences.
Moving on from influences--I'd like to talk about your lyrics. They quickly became one of my favorite parts about your music—can you give us some idea of what inspires you to write a song?
To put it vaguely - Everything. I love photography and trying to see things in a different and new perspective. I love sitting down to analyze exactly how I would feel, or other people would feel, about a certain situation. I was really angry at the pharmaceutical industry at pushing happy pills all over the fucking place so I wrote Pharmacists and Anarchists. I often dream about moving out to the west coast and sunbathing and surfing all day long so I wrote California. I guess my inspiration comes from desires and complaints about different aspects of life. Is that cliche?
I'm not sure what is considered a songwriting cliche, but I think your music certainly speaks for itself as far as originality goes. I know you've got an EP coming out—I believe it's available on iTunes now—called Building Seascapes. Would you say the songs flowed from that idea, or was the name an attempt to unify the songs afterwards?
Definitely an attempt to unify the songs afterward. Actually, my good friend Andrew, who's helped me in many different ways during the last 6 months of recording this EP, came up with "Building Seascapes." I think he said that the music sounded very fluid and oceanic. I loved the title as soon as I heard it.
For various legal reasons, I understand that your cover of Transatlanticism--to date your most successful song--could not appear on the EP. I suppose that's got to be somewhat of a bittersweet feeling--but do you have any more cover songs planned?
One of my favorite songs of all time is "Never Meant" by American Football. I might take a shot at that. And actually, this idea was Andrew's. So was covering Transatlanticism. The kid has a lot of good ideas.
Well, that's all I've got. I'd like to conclude by thanking you again for your time, and by tipping my hat to Andrew. Any final thoughts you'd like to share?
Not really. I'd just like to thank the listeners again - many people say this but I really do appreciate my listeners and their feedback. So thank you.
The Rosebuds - Life Like
P.S. There are also tracks (from what I can tell so far, "Nice Fox" and "In the Backyard") that feature Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, who also appeared on the track below which was part of the remixed version of the previous album, Night of Furies.
The Rosebuds - Get Up Get Out (Bon Iver Remix)
I like the colors in the video and this track reminded me of The Ting Tings a bit.
Holy Hail 'Cool Town Rock'
This song has some great percussions.
Free Blood "The Royal Family"
And this poppy tune has some handclapping and cool female vocals.
Stricken CIty - Tak o Tak
Anyway, this is one example of how I utilize t61 and why I like it.
The following is an interview with Heavy Jack, one of my favorite bands on T61.
On July 15th, 2008, I met Heavy Jack. From the moment I heard their music I was seriously blown away. Not long after posting a comment on their wall I was even more amazed that thee seasoned musicians were so young yet performed with a solidity of an established band.
I have never seen 20 wall posts on a band's 'wall' for just the first upload. The enthusiasm these guys generate through their hard driving music and grateful acknowledgment of listener appreciation is contagious.
Here's the story of a band of brothers in their own words. I asked the questions and here are their unedited responses.
myktoronto: How did you come up with the name Heavy Jack?
Ben Falk: Heavy was always going to be part of the name in regards to the Heavy rhythm section that Adam and Jon laid down. Initially I thought of Heavy Cherry and envisioned this massive cherry. However after closer consideration a massive cherry wasn't a moniker any of us wanted to wear.
Adam Falk: Both me & Jon agreed that it needed to be Heavy something and I suggested Heavy Jack - Jack being the name of Ben's guitar whom he had named in memory of our Grandfather, Jack, a proud Canadian soldier. If you want to meet Jack you can find him relaxing inside the J of the Heavy Jack sign on the main entrance page of our website www.heavyjack.com
myktoronto: So, about your first gig... how did it go? Anything embarrassing, funny or incredible happen?
Ben: There are two gigs that come to mind, but the one that meets the true definition of "first gig" would be at "Manhattan's," a local pub in Cowtown, so not quite New York. I was outside the Mac's convenient store with some buddies when I heard music coming from Manhattans. I was underage at the time but I strolled in and talked to the owner Mark. He was really supportive of local indie music and was just a really nice guy. We had a great time and great night that show. Shortly there after we headed west and moved to the Okanagan Valley on B.C. Canada to look after our other Grandfather Jake (not Jack) where events would come together that would eventually lead to the gig that solidified our commitment to Rock & Roll.
Jon: When we arrived in the Okanagan we had a chance encounter with a resident nurse Bernie, who was looking after our Grandfather in the extended care hospital. He heard our sound and suggested when we were out in Vancouver we go see his brother-in-law.
Adam: His brother-in-law was John McLaughlin, an Entertainment Columnist for The Province Newspaper in Vancouver. We showed him the demo CD we had recorded at the time & he said he knew some people @ the Yale and he would pass it on to them.
Ben: We lined up the show and had three weeks to come up with three hours of material so we headed back to the Okanagan and made that home. A local Penticton Pub, Cousin Larry's, gave us the ability to road test our sets for the upcoming gig at the Yale. Our show was on a Thursday night the 20th of September, nine days after 9/11. We didn't know what type of atmosphere we would be walking into. Turned out that there was an ample crowd but not a full house for a Thursday night. We were still underage at the time and when we showed up we heard the usual remarks like, "great, what are we in for tonight?" and ," What is this the Hanson brothers???" We set-up and fired off a quick rendition of Gate Mouth Brown's ,"Better Off With the Blues," for sooooouuuuund check. Which quickly grabbed peoples attention and quashed the earlier comments.
Jon: The show didn't start till nine so we decided to take stroll up Granville street to help with the nerves, leaving all our gear unattended on the stage.
Ben: We get back and are informed that "This is the big city boys and leaving your gear unattended is not a very wise move." We then began our three hour tour of the Yale stage, dropping originals and covers alike in front of an enthusiastic crowd. At the end of it of it all we felt pretty damn proud of our selves and were certain that this was the road for us.
myktorontoIs there one of you that does the majority of songwriting and where do your themes come from?
Ben: As the guitarist I do most of the writing however anything I bring to the table is then re-evaluated as a band. The approach to song writing I choose is kind of a different process in my view.
When I first started out on the guitar I took lessons from a local guitar instructor Brian Griffiths. An incredible player who has a great story himself (read some on our website www.heavyjack.com) He taught me how to listen more than read and how to feel more than play. This was done using Blues as the vehicle for inspiration.
My buddy at the time, Dan, handed me a cassette tape with a few Hendrix songs on it. The one that spoke to me was "Red House" from there I became enthralled with Blues artists like John Lee Hooker and Buddy Guy. When I got back into the Rock guys. I heard a definite thread that connected them to the blues. In reading about both musical scene's, the blues scene and the rock (mid 60's mid 70's) in guitar magazines and other resources, I became puzzled in the conclusion these publications were making. That conclusion being that there would never be another time period in music like that again.
I thought of course there can't be another time like that, but maybe one could get similar results applying some of the same methods. In the beginning of my guitar lessons I tried to place myself in the times of, for example, a youthful Beck or Page, listening to the music that they grew up listening to as well as the music they would eventually create. I was also being influenced by the music my peers were listening to, music from the 80's 90's and on. Because of technology (DVD, You Tube and Mp3) coupled with the access to a massive back catalogue of music and with the guidance of Brian, I was able to recreate my own community which I was then able to apply in real time with Adam and Jon.
As our band began to take shape and work cohesively as a unit we imagined that Heavy Jack had come out as a peer to the groups of the great Rock & Roll movement during the late 60's and early 70's. This helped in the inspiration and the crafting of our own original material. Another crucial element was in not learning any songs by our favorite artists note for note. Instead we would take their songs and rearrange them so there was a familiarity of the original but also an original approach from our end. Now through the feedback from sites such as thesixtyone.com and stereofame.com along with reviews coming in on our music, it looks like we are achieving our aim of creating a new sound based on familiar themes.
As for the theme of Multiply the songs were written with current events and universal themes in mind. In doing so, I was able to create a sort of character foil for the more personal themes that the songs are about. Lending a familiar ambiguity to them with out having to wear my heart on my sleeve.
myktoronto: Once a song is written what's the process that brings it all together?
Ben: I have never written anything down, if it's good then it will stay with me. So the process is coming up with many good pieces and constructing a finished product that is refined and tempered through a constant process of jamming. Music usually comes first then words follow. However "Peace Soldier" and "Bandits In the Night" are the exception.
Adam: I approach the bass as a supportive role, so I tend to write parts that help push what Ben has already laid down. In a live situation I have more freedom to play both rhythm guitar parts & bass parts @ the same time because of the trio format. It is easy play rhythm parts on a bass guitar using power & diatonic chords in the mid-to-high registers - allowing Ben some room for strict lead playing when needed.
Jon: As a drummer I have a very different approach than most. I guess it is due to applying my fills and beats around the guitar more than the bass in our early years of playing. Now I have married the two styles and try to incorporate ideas on the drums that revolve around both the guitar and bass at the same time. For me it's all about feel - Ben or Ad come up with a riff or idea and I feel out the best beat to fit that riff or idea.
myktoronto: Would you say, or how has your music evolved since your early tunes?
Ben: The tunes on Multiply are some of the first songs that we wrote, Bandits In the Night being the first. These songs were not written with much musical theory in mind. They were more like a musical jungle gym for us in the beginning that allowed the freedom of exploring music and sound without boundaries. The studio allowed us to solidify the arrangements of these 8 songs. In terms of writing and playing there is a continuous evolution.
myktoronto: Did you experience any obstacles or challenges along the way outside of an obvious artistic challenge to do better?
Ben: Yes we have encountered challenges and obstacles along the way but hardship and struggle are the two main ingredients that go into being a successful Rock & Roll band.
myktoronto:Are either of your parents musical or from families with musical backgrounds?
Adam: Both of our parents have always had an appreciation for music, but are not musically knowledgeable. Outside our immediate family we haven't had much contact with the extended family for many years, I think some of them did have some ability - who knows we could have an entire brass section lined up and not even know it.
myktoronto: Have your parents always been supportive of the band and the fact that even though you were underage you performed in clubs?
Ben: Our parents always support us in anything we do. In the beginning they had to be present as we were underage and required a guardian to play jams or gigs in the bars. Initially we even had to get permission from the government to play the bar stage. Now that we are all of age the humour of having to get government permission to Rock & Roll has never really escaped us.
myktoronto: Can each one of you list the brand or brands on instruments you use and the ones that are fav's and why they are special?
Ben: I have two electric guitars and an acoustic. My electrics are both Strats. I find them to be the most versatile guitars suitable for anything I demand of them. I use a Fender "Evil" Twin amp for both clean and distorted sounds. As well as delay and wah wah pedals for colour. I like to keep it simple so I rely on my fingers more than my gear. For the album I mainly recorded the guitar parts through an old Matrix MA20X - a 20 watt amp with an 8 inch speaker.
Jon: I have been fortunate to have drummed on many different kits in my time but I have only ever owned 2 sets. The first being my Duke Dixon drum kit and the second being my Pearl expert series. My true favorite kit, and the one that was used primarily on the album, is a Yamaha stage custom which we borrowed from Bully's Rehearsal Studio. I like to use SD1 Generals for my sticks because they are short and heavy which really gives me a bombastic sound behind the kit. Sabian and Zildjian our my cymbals of choice and I prefer to use a single bass drum pedal made by Gibraltar, it gives a really bouncy feel for my bass drum.
Adam: I own a Fender P-Bass deluxe, as well as an Ibanez TR-50. Both which I use for different purposes. On the album I mainly recorded through direct input, though the bass-line to Bushfire was recorded live through my vintage 70's Ampeg V-6B amp head. I also have an Epiphone El Capitan Acoustic bass which I recently had modified by Barry Ewert of Ewert Guitars in Vancouver - who added a thumb-rest to the sound hole - it's pretty bitchin'.
myktoronto: What three artists or album or songs are each one of you currently listening to the most.
Ben: For me music has to have had a 20 year shelf life and be nearing its expiration date before I listen to it. Lately I've been listening to a lot of old R&B stuff, big horn arrangements and tight pockets, artists like Curtis Mayfield, James Brown and Joe Cocker. This is because of the desire to write something that could stand along side those artists. Listening on an enjoyment level is a revolving door for my ears, the two constants being Jimi Hendrix and the Stones.
Adam: Lately I've been listening to English Settlement by XTC quite a bit - but the last two albums I listened to on my mp3 player were AoxomoxoA (the '69 original mix) by The Grateful Dead & Remain In Light by Talking Heads. The groups/artists that have had the biggest effect on me are The Doors, The Band, Frank Zappa, & Oingo Boingo.
Jon: I usually am pretty open to all sorts of music. I like to take into consideration a lot of varieties because it's just more musical taste that I can throw into my instrument. The bands and artists that my brothers listed above often have my ears attention but I also like good old classic rock & roll like Led Zeppelin, The Who, Supertramp etc. I also dig Canadian artists like the Tragically Hip, Neil Young, the Band and so on. To obtain a greater library of bands that we might not have heard of otherwise we started our own collection of vinyl to satisfy our massive musical appetite. I know that this is not three artists, but what can you expect from a musician.
myktoronto: How often do you rehearse and where?
Jon: As a band we try to get in as much time as possible behind the rig if you will. Our time is somewhat constrained as we live in an apartment and are considerate of our neighbours. We play on a broken down set-up, Ben and Ad with two small combo amps and myself playing with brushes using a drum throne as my snare and a old box as my bass drum. We still manage to throw down a pretty good sound on it though.
Ben: To satisfy the need to play on the big rig we go to our local rehearsal space, "Bully's Rehearsal Studios," located in New Westminster here in the Lower Mainland. They have a variety of rooms and gear so it's easy to just go in, setup, and unwind for a few hours and we also like to show up for local open mic jams around town when we can fit it in.
I can still think of a ton of questions I'd like to ask these guys. It's not hard to predict a great and well deserved musical future for the Falk brothers. Certainly Jon could go far as a band promoter as well. He's everywhere, introducing himself, returning tboxes, answering and posting on listener walls and keeping in touch with the Heavy Jack listener base by dispensing a steady diet of Radio Bumps.
Kudos HJ! and thanks for your great words and thoughts both musical and written
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