Since you’re reading this post in a publication that is distributed through a music discovery Web site, there’s a good chance that you’re pretty familiar with the ins and out of the Internet. You’re on Facebook, maybe you’ve tweeted and there’s a good chance you’ve checked in on Foursquare. So, that’s it for social media, right?
Wrong. You can’t really think it’s OK to keep active with just the big players, the major social media platforms that everyone online is already familiar with. These days, you can’t just be on Facebook or Twitter or MySpace (even though your band hasn’t been logged into for years). The reason is that the game is changing every day. It seems every week there is some new social media or Web site that you need to get involved with. Since it can be daunting to peruse through all the different sites and understand both what they offer and what they can do for your band, we’re going to highlight some of the more useful blogging tools that musicians like you need now.
Tumblr has been around for a while now”founded on 2007, it’s a twentysomething in Internet years. But it really just began to come into its own in 2011, and now is as good a time as any to get into it. Why? There’s a few reasons. Tumblr’s simplified platform is easy enough for anyone to use and the various themes users allow anybody to make a clean, attractive blog. The ask and reply system allows for straightforward correspondence between users. But the most impressive aspect of the Tumblr experience? It’s personal. Facebook allows for mass communication, Twitter allows for mass broadcasts but Tumblr is far more intimate. The artists that do it right, like indie band Toro Y Moi or the Beastie Boys, combine little glimpses into who they are, from their interests to their lives. For more ideas and inspiration, check out the tumblrs for Tom Waits, Childish Gambino and OurStage’s own Bethesda.
Yes, you’ve heard of Google and chances are you’ve heard of (but maybe not used) Google+. Fair enough, you’re not alone if you’ve tried and not kept up with the search giant’s attempt to break into the social media game. However, it may just be the time to give it another look. A number of major name artists are beginning to make use of the burgeoning social media platform. Big names like Britney Spears, T-Pain, Mark Hoppus and Trent Reznor are all users. Google+ has already had it’s fair share of breakout stars, like OurStager Daria Musk. Daria has mastered the medium and became a sensation on Google+ overnight, with over 200,000 people tuning into her last livestreamed show. Check out footage from the Daria’s first Google Hangout concert below.
Finally, you would be forgiven if you’ve come across Pinterest and not thought anything about it with regards to your musical career. Pinterest is like an online cork board; users share images on their pinboards and can browse the pinboards of others for inspiration. At least at this early stage, Pinterest is like Tumblr but with a more human element, or Facebook without all the excess noise. While the number of musicians on Pinterest as of right now is limited”the Backstreet Boys appear to have the the biggest presence”the service is still very young and growing fast. In fact, the invitation-only site has seen explosive growth in the past six months, growing from 2 million to 11 million weekly visitors between September to December of 2011. So while there’s no obvious strategy for musicians on Pinterest”self-promotion is frowned upon and the service is image based for now”it would be good to get in on the ground floor of the wildly popular service.
- Paris Hilton’s new music to grace our ears with its presence
- She may not have been born at Number 1, but Lady Gaga’s singles are certainly living there
- Lil Kim and Nicki MInaj digitally duke it out
- Got some birthdays in da house!
- Ozzy Osbourne gets sentimental on Valentines Day
- The most devastated person by Wentz and Simpson’s breakup is… Mark Hoppus?
- Guns N’ Roses axe man “slash”ing prices on memorabilia
- Jim Morrison releases a record from beyond
- Bruno Mars behind bars?
For pop-rockers Motion City Soundtrack, 2010 has been”and will continue to be”a busy and successful year. The band released their fourth album, My Dinosaur Life, in January and followed up with performances at Bamboozle and the first half of Warped Tour. OurStage’s Jay Schneider caught up with vocalist Justin Pierre to talk about recording with Mark Hoppus, pushing the boundaries of pop rock and Motion City’s post-Warped Tour plans.
OS: So how’s the Warped Tour going for you guys?
JP: So far so good. We’re on the homestretch for us. We have six more shows including today and then we’re done. Just half of the tour.
OS: Some bands, after being on tour for so long, get excited to wear a t-shirt or something they haven’t seen in months when they finally get home. Are there any plans like that for you?
JP: Not necessarily the t-shirt, but I tend to keep myself very busy by doing many different projects. So I have like two weeks worth of projects that I’ve got planned, and we’ll see if I pull them off. They may involve a video shoot, some recording of stuff, some movie things and some hangout sessions with some friends.
OS: Yeah, that’s always good.
JP: Yeah, maybe some Red Dead Redemption. I just started playing it before I came out on tour, so I think I’ve forgotten how to do all the things. I can’t really ride a horse very well.
OS: I’m sure it’ll come back to you. It’s just like riding a bike.
JP: Actually it’s not like riding a bike, because I was in Japan a few years ago riding a bike for the first time in 10 years, and I fell off and totally sliced up my arm. So whoever said It’s just like riding a bike is full of shit.
OS: You just released a new album this year. It was produced by Mark Hoppus. What was that studio environment like?
JP: It was pretty relaxed. This time we used his studio”the one he and Travis own and run. It was very interesting because, they had Blink rehearsals for their tour. So it was a very weird schedule. We were shuffling around between the main studio and the B studio. I don’t know. It was really relaxed more than anything”very easy. I think that’s what’s great about Mark. He just creates an environment in which you totally feel comfortable. As opposed to some people, who shall remain nameless¦not people but person¦Anyway, it’s a long story. There’re other experiences where it’s more stressful, where things are just chaotic. Mark’s good at keeping it relaxed.
OS: It seems, for the new album, that you were pushing the boundaries a little in terms of your sound”maybe a little bit heavier than some previous releases. Was this a conscious effort?
JP: I think the only thing we were aware of was that we wanted it to be more of a rock record, as opposed to a pop record. I feel like the last record we did was very pop-oriented, and for this one, we wanted to just put a little more energy in. I feel like it was a success in that regard.
There’s a song called Pulp Fiction which is totally the brainchild of our bass player Matt Taylor. He tends to write these songs with just like keyboards and drumbeats. It started out as an electronic song. He sent it to me while I was actually in Japan, when I had the bike incident. It was so fun and easy for me to write lyrics, I wrote the entire first verse and chorus within minutes and sent it back. We ended up turning it into a real song, as opposed to an electronic/techno thing, where it started. So I would say that that was different. I think another one, like Disappear is very dark and a lot more aggressive. So, yeah I would say that that is a fair assessment.
OS: During Warped Tour and shows in general, it seems that you guys in particular like to mingle and hang out with the people who came out to the show- before/after the set, like at the merch booth for example. Why is that?
JP: I think when we do our tours, it’s really easy. It just kind of makes sense to go hang out with people. It’s only like 30 minutes or an hour out of your day. When we do longer tours, I tend to lose my voice, so I usually don’t talk. But on Warped Tour I’m talking all the time. My voice actually is going right now. It’s kind of on its last legs this week. Hopefully, it’ll hold together. I like actually talking and hanging out with people, and I don’t really get to do it that much. I guess that’s why”for selfish reasons. Most of the time I spend in my bunk, I spend it reading or watching X-files or something, and not talking with people. When I’m around people I tend to not stop. I just keep going and then I lose my voice.
Motion City Soundtrack are performing at the Leeds and Reading Festivals this year in the UK as well as Bumbershoot in Seattle, WA in addition to their own fall tour.
8/26-The Underworld, London, UK
8/28- Leeds Festival,Wetherby, UK
8/29- Reading Festival, Reading, UK
9/5- Bumbershoot Festival, Seattle, WA
10/14- Soma, San Diego, CA
10/15- Avalon, Los Angeles, CA
10/16- House of Blues, Anaheim, CA
10/17-The Regency Ballroom, San Francisco, CA
10/20- Portland, OR, Crystal Ballroom
10/22- Salt Lake City, UT, Avalon
In recent months, Twitter has been exploding with popularity. In part, this explosion is due to a an increasing number of celebrities using Twitter to connect with their fans. Celebrities aside, there are many other features that are drawing people to twitter in droves; on the music side of things, Blip.fm, is a great example.
The concept is pretty simple: you want to share songs and comment about them to the world. Of course you’ve been able to do this for years, but it has never been so simple. Type in an artist or song name and Blip will pull up a list of songs you can instantly listen to, preview and post. You then have 150 characters to explain the significance of the song. The updates can be placed on your Twitter account to share with friends and the world.
When you combine this powerful service with users and even celebrities sharing their musical tastes, you open up an entire conversation for the masses. This social media allows users and companies (including @OurStage) alike, to interact and share their musical tastes almost instantly. So if you’re tweeting, give blipping (can it be made into a verb yet?) a try to share your favorite music with the world.