It's great to talk to you again - I can't believe it's like three years
since our last "Virtual Interview"!
I know man, time flies when your building sites and making music!
I know you and the guys have been up to loads of cool things in that 36
month period, but let's first talk about the new album "digging yourself
deeper" - what's the feedback been like since it's release?
The feedback has been great, we get a lot of complements on the recording
and the fact that the song writing has come a long way since the first
CD. We're actually in the studio now recording 4 new songs for an upcoming
EP. "Staring Down A Gun" from "Digging" is actually
going to be a featured song in a new indie movie coming out shortly in
the US called "Showcase" as well
Excellent! It's a great track too - visitors can hear it on your promo
page or the FAOTM page
- is the new E.P. in the same vein.. I.e. VERY cool, & VERY rockin'?
Its actually probably a little heavier Finespun than your used to....
not to say we've gone the way of a thrash or hardcore act by any means,
but these tunes definitely have a bit more bite to em
Nice... I've always leaned to the heavier side (what I grew up listening
to) - looking forward to hearing the tracks - any projected release dates
We were hoping to have it done during the summer, but that hasn't been
possible. We have all had some family issues that needed to be taken care
of, our guitar player lost his best friend to a motorcycle accident as
well, so things have been on and off hold for a while. We're actually
up to recording vocals right now
Bummer. I feel for him - I've lost a few myself on bikes over the years
(though it still hasn't stopped me riding!) well I can't wait to hear
the disc when it hits the streets.
Yeah, we don't know what we're doing with it yet, we may remix and re-release
some of the other tracks along with the 4 new ones
What's the live scene like in NYC nowadays? I remember talking to Lyn
Ann of Gate 18 back in March and her saying it was in a dire state in
as much that the clubs paid virtually nothing unless you could guarantee
at least 100 bodies turning up to the gig! Is it still like that??
That's exactly what's its like, I couldn't have said it better myself,
except for that unless you can drag at least 50 people down to see you
on a Tuesday night, NYC clubs don't wanna deal with u
Wow! That's bad news man! I mean, if you're starting out how the hell
can you arrange that many people??
A question we've been trying to answer for a long time
I'm almost glad I've only the nerve to do webcast "live" shows
via sites such as Bumpskey.com!! Talking of which - have you played on
Jerry's show recently??
Not recently no, but Jerry has been a long time friend of the band. We
don't talk as much as either of us would like, I'm sure, but he's always
in our hearts and minds
I always hope to give Jerry the fist crack at our new releases
(Laughs Out Loud) I was going to say!! is that some sort of deviant behaviour???
(Fist crack!!) (Laughs Out Loud)
Seriously though - I owe what SkidMark has become to the big man and I
too have been lacking in talking to him in recent months. My problem is
he's live at ~7pm EST onwards which is the early hours of the morning
here in the UK & having the little one now I NEED to sleep!
Yeah I know, scheduling is hard when its USA to USA, you've got a bigger
problem being across the pond!
Speaking of the pond - when're you guys going to paddle over and treat
the UK to some full on Finespun?
I'd love to do that man, we have some kids over in London that really
dig us, I'd love to get over there to play for em, but the $$$$$ are always
the #1 thing to hold us back
Don't I know it!! I was supposed to come over to your side last year for
my 5th wedding anniversary (married in Vegas) but the lack of greenbacks
meant a 100 mile trip to the Welsh coast instead!!
Well, I have to imagine the Welsh coast is much prettier than Vegas anyhow!
Oh yes.... But HELL I love the bright lights, "ching ching"
of the slot machines and the "in your face" every thing over
the top under belly of the American way of life!! (Laughs Out Loud)
haha, well, let me know if you go, I have friends over at the MGM!
Better start saving now!! So, any plans for any kind of touring in the
Money is really holding us down, but as we always say, if there's something
fruitful offered to us, we'll be on it like white on rice
We blew lots of money this year on a commercial radio promotion that got
us a few spins and some good contacts and interest, but that's where most
of our money went this year
Industry contacts I take it? Any whiff of a deal or label interest?
There's always one thing or another going on with label interest for this
band. We have interest from a major label producer, but again $$$...who
knows what the future will bring, we just try not to get too high or too
low about it
Funnily enough I'm currently reading a book called "How NOT to make
it in the pop world" by John Barrow who is a member of a recently
listed SkidMark band, The Swinging Laurels...
Haha, I'm going to have to look into that one! Sounds like a fun read
And it's amazing how much time and graft he and the boys put into gigging,
they were signed to Warner Bros briefly, appeared on top of the pops twice,
toured with Culture Club, Beautiful South & worked with many artists
including the clash as session brass, yet never quite made it on their
That's just a shame, congratulate them on their success, its just a shame
to not be able to get it out there as much as you would like ti to be
and come so close
Another project you've personally been involved in is www.StretchTheSkies.com
tell us a little bit more about what that involves..
Well, STS is an artist empowerment company as well as independent record
label. About a year ago, I met some of the guys from the company down
at SXSW in Texas and they silently followed my band for about a year before
they liked what they saw and started working with us
In the time we spent working on the band, they got us on Itunes and worked
all kinds of other deals for us and basically just helped us move forward
in any way they possibly could. I've never met a nicer bunch of people
who seemed to genuinely care about how my band was doing or about getting
us ready to move to the next level of our career we ended up getting a
music button from them which enabled us to sell our CDs online from tons
of sites, which REALLY helped our sales since we weren't selling much
online, most likely due to the use of paypal as our only way to sell
In any case, to this day, they continue to help the band by any means
possible, they helped negotiate our commercial radio promo, distributed
our press releases, hooked us up with a major label producer in a class
A studio*which we cant afford!(Laughs Out Loud)) and continue to do so.
When I got laid off from my day job, they were kind enough to hire me
into slavery and the rest is history!
Ah right - so you're actually a full time STS employee now huh?? Cool!
Yes that I am, and I'm proud to say that we have some big things happening
in the near future with this company that I cant talk about yet muhuhhahahahaaaa
World domination and that kinda thing eh? (Laughs Out Loud)
World domination is key, the rest will follow!
So fill me in on a couple of points:
What would u like to know my friend
I've been working on and off on a brand new web site for my own stuff
aka incubuslovechild at www.incubuslovechild.com and obviously I want
to sell my own CD's and merchandise directly from the site. I was going
to use my Ebay account to generate carts for the various items but if
my memory serves me right, Ebay take about ~3.5% of every sale as their
fee - how does a STS button differ from that??
Well, its like this
As an artist, you can set your own price for the CD, sell it for $2 or
$50, we recommend $10. We take $4.00 from each sale to cover our processing
fees. When you sign up, you ship 5 copies to our warehouse and every time
someone orders your CD, you get an email invoice. At the time of purchase,
we do all the work for you, pull a CD from the shelf and ship it where
its supposed to go. As an affiliate, which you would be for Skidmark,
every time an Artist buys a Music Button, you receive 25% of the price
of the button(its sells for $39.95 so you get roughly $10) and every time
one of your artists sells a CD, you get $1.00 commission out of OUR pocket,
not the artists
This starting to sound interesting! (Laughs Out Loud)
Hehe it is very interesting
The idea is this:
You can post your music button ANYWHERE that accepts HTML code, your site,
other sites, you can even send it in an email! This means that you can
create a virtual storefront anyplace to sell your CD from
Very versatile. Finespun not only has its button on our own site, but
also on myspace, pure volume, Skidmark, and a host of others. The button
is also customized per product, what I mean is the same technology can
be used to sell a DVD, Shirt, Book, whatever you've got, the only thing
that changes is the graphics of the button.
Nice! And how does an artist get involved ? Who should they contact?
Well, they can contact me at [email protected] anytime, they can
go to www.themusicbutton.com or www.stretchtheskies.com but in fact, if
you become an affiliate, you would post a link on your site and they could
sign up directly through Skidmark
Okay let's do it! (Not right now during the interview though hey??!) (Laughs
So what other subjects of independent music mayhem do you want to talk
I don't know man, there's just so much out there for a musician to work
with its hard to know where to start end or be in the middle
Its hard to avoid the scams and do what's right, but we all keep plugging
on and hopefully, success will follow indie music is just that, artists
working for themselves, I think id like to see us come to gether as an
even bigger community and stop trying to compete so much, we can all help
each other if we put egos aside
For sure! I get the vibe that myspace.com is doing a pretty good job of
connecting bands with fans and vice versa what do you think?
is great for that indeed. We;ve gotten nothing but love on there as a
band. I hope that it continues to grow and flourish because its truly
a place where independent bands can gain new friends and fans (and sell
a fantastic marketing tool
I only discovered it through being invited to join by an ex-SkidMark listed
artist and when I got there I saw it has got loads of potential - within
a couple of days of being listed I'd got 20 "friends"!! Very
nice! I also like www.purevolume.com (but that's only because I feature
quite regularly in the psychedelic genre top 10 (managed No.2 last month
wahoo! ) (Laughs Out Loud)
Hey! Congrats on that! We're on Pure Volume as well, but I don't pay much
attention to that page for some reason. I find I can do much more damage
on myspace (Laughs Out Loud)
Definitely - I seem drawn to checking out the myspace page more often
than any of the various other sites I'm listed on and also the fact you
get emails from myspace from fans / people wanting to become your "friend"
- it's all good!
That's right, its not a site, its an addiction! any of my friends on there
will tell u that. Its actually helped us in the real world alot, it lets
you connect with local people and lots of them actually show up at our
local shows believe it or not
Fantastic! Well if I was a stronger swimmer I'd come to a gig or two!
I'll just have to wait until the buttons have generated enough $$$ for
you to tour the UK
So matey, anything else you want to talk about before I completely dry?
Anything you want to ask me about SkidMark??
Yeah man, when are you going to get a team of people to help you out so
you don't work so hard!
heh heh Yeah I feel pretty bad being behind and late uploading stuff every
month & taking so long to process new band pages - the bane of the
site being a "part time" project still after all these years!
Although I've actually got "staff" started this month!! I introduced
a new section called "Indie Editorials" to the site (reached
through the type writer button on the home page nav bars), containing
a new monthly piece by ex-Blue Remedy front woman Danielle Sottosanti
under her pen name of Dani Veracity - the first piece is great!
you need another rock writer, I've got just the guy for ya
we have a street teamer who's just a wealth of rock knowledge, so much
so that its scary
on top of new indie bands and nationals and things like that
played a game with him at dinner about a month ago, we named a band, he
would tell us what dates they were playing across the country
That IS scary!! (Laughs Out Loud)
It really is, ill have him contact you if you wish
Yeah - fill your boots bro
I know he writes for 1 local site at the moment
Well bruv that's me spent anything else you want to chew the fat over?
Yeah, what's the cure for carpal tunnel syndrome dude! my hands are killin
Stop masterbating...(Laughs Out Loud)
Or change hands (works for me heh heh)
(Laughs Out Loud)
Well it's been a pleasure as always Oren
As always with you too man, always a good chat! Keep riding that Finespun
Thanks for taking time out to talk to SkidMark - I'm proud to have a class
act like Finespun listed on the site - bands like you make SkidMark a
cool place to hang. 8-) And yes the GPz is still terrorizing the locality!!
Keep making a cool place for bands and we'll keep being cool!
DEAL! Later bro....