For those of us not living in the Sunshine State, we’ve been facing some pretty harsh cold spells lately. And those of us in the Northeast this weekend, well, we’re about to get smothered in snow. When the weather is dipping below zero degrees, and you can’t leave the house without five layers and some seriously dependable thermal wear, you just might get what I like/hate to call the February blues. To help you cope, we’ve put together a Soundtrax that’s full of songs honoring this increasingly chilly month. Enjoy.
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Oklahoma pop-rockers Stars Go Dim won the Grand Prize for the SUBWAY FRESH ARTISTSâ„¢ Competition back in October, and earned the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to open for GRAMMY-Award winning band the Goo Goo Dolls. In addition to the performance, the guys scored a one-on-one songwriting session with professional songwriter Evan Kidd Bogart who, in case you hadn’t heard, has worked with some of the biggest acts in today’s music industry including Beyoncé, Rihanna and Britney Spears to name a few. Bogart is synonymous with songwriting gold in the pop universe, having penned mega hits the likes of Beyonce’s Halo and Rihanna’s S.O.S. The guys met with Bogart last week to discuss all things songwriting, and we caught up with Stars Go Dim lead singer Michael Wittig to see how things went. Take a look at our most recent Q&A below!
OS: Did you guys have a song in mind to work on when you went in to the session?
MW: We had a couple of ideas that we’ve been working on before we went out to LA. We basically started working on the first idea we showed Evan called Lose It. We came in with a hook and a first verse and then finished the rest of the song in about 4 hours. The song turned out great! We plan on recording it later in March.
OS: Did you have any specific questions lined up for him?
MW: Not really at first. We just were excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with a great writer and his team. Towards the end of the session we just talked about the music industry in general and how to release music in today’s market. We also took time to watch YouTube videos and listen to artists that Evan thought were going to hit soon.
OS: What kinds of advice did Evan offer you?
MW: He basically said to keep on doing what we’ve been doing. It felt good to know that we are on the right track and that we saw eye-to-eye with his thoughts on the industry.
OS: Were you surprised by what he said?
MW: We were pleasantly surprised and it felt good to hear it from a well-respected player in the music industry.
OS: Has the session changed the way you look at writing songs? If so, how?
MW: You never know how writing sessions will go. Sometimes you click and sometimes you don’t. We felt that we clicked with Evan and the writing camp. It felt natural and the song came easy. It was a true collaboration.
OS: Did Evan share any cool stories with you guys about his experiences working with famous artists?
MW: All of his stories were cool. He has worked with a lot of great artists. What was really cool was his wall of signatures. Almost every person he has worked with has signed his wall. On another wall, he had a bunch of sheet music as wallpaper. Of course they were all hit songs. He called this wall, The wall of inspiration. I think we are going to steal that idea.
In October, Tulsa, Oklahoma pop-rockers Stars Go Dim won the Grand Prize in the Subway Fresh Artists Competition with their song Get Over It, which awarded the band the incredible opportunity to open for The Goo Goo Dolls at the Star 103.3 Jingle Ball in San Francisco, CA on December 10, 2010. In addition to the to the performance, SGD will also receive $1,000 cash and a songwriting session with professional songwriter Evan Bogart, famous for writing hits for artists the likes of Beyoncé, Britney Spears and Adam Lambert! The guys in the band got the incredible opportunity to meet the members of the Goo Goo Dolls, as well as share the bill with Hedley and former American Idol winner Kris Allen. Leading up to the show, the band was featured and interviewed on Tulsa’s rock radio station KMOD, which also broadcast their winning single Get Over It to thousands of listeners. The band later performed at a local Subway in their hometown, drawing a crowd of dedicated local followers. We caught up with Michael Wittig, bassist for Stars Go Dim, after the show to hear all about their experience.
OS: How did your performance go? What kind of increased buzz have you guys seen up to and after the show?
MW: Our performance at the Star 101.3 Jingle Ball with the Goo Goo Dolls and Kris Allen went awesome. We’ve been told we played very well. I don’t know about the other guys, but I rocked the bass that night, ha.
OS: How did the audience respond to your set?
MW: The crowd was very receptive and showed it spending their hard earned money on us after the show. I was surprised by the amount of CDs/shirts we sold. We took pictures with some of them after the show and have kept in touch with some via Facebook since the show.
OS: How did it feel to have the opportunity to open for the Goo Goo Dolls? Did you get to meet them?
MW: We were very excited about the whole thing. The Goo Goo Dolls have had so many hits and great songs. We did get to meet them. They set up a private meeting for us with them and had a photoshoot. The guys were very friendly and encouraging. John even gave us a shout out on stage during their set.
OS: How did you get your fans to come and judge in the competition?
MW: We asked them very nicely 🙂 Many of our fans have become good friends of ours. We made sure that a handful of them were able to attend the show on us. And when that doesn’t work blackmailing sometimes helps get those extra votes.
OS: What do you think is the most important way to market yourself as a band?
MW: Be personable with fans and give them your time. You just might get their time in return and win huge contests like this. Oh, having good quality music helps too!
OS: How do you plan to use this opportunity to further your career?
MW: Every time something great like this happens, it just helps build our story. Not many independent artists can say they’ve played with John Mayer, Chris Daughtry, Jason DeRülo and now the Goo Goo Dolls. Being able to add this to our history just makes it easier to land new opportunities. Being a part of events like this opens doors.
OS: What has been the most exciting aspect of this whole experience?
MW: Being recognized by Clear Channel and the Goo Goo Dolls out of so many other great artists. Also, getting to meet and watch the Goo Goo Dolls perform. It was pretty cool to watch them play Name and their other hits live. We travel so much we don’t really get a chance to “attend” concerts for fun. We definitely look up to them and their songwriting.
Stars Go Dim is scheduled to be interviewed by local radio stations in and around their hometown in the coming weeks, and their story has been picked up by a local paper who will cover their entire experience in the Subway “Fresh Artists” Competition from start to finish. Stay tuned to the airwaves for word from this up-and-coming band. Click below to check out the video of the band’s meet and greet with the Goo Goo Dolls.
After thousands of submissions from artists nationwide and months of battling, the “SUBWAY FRESH ARTISTSâ„¢” Competition has finally come to a close. At the end of September, ten Number 1 artists from the Regional phase of the competition walked away with $1,000 cash and gift cards to SUBWAY® Restaurants In October, the competition moved into the National Finals phase, offering the Top 50 artists from each of the regional channels a shot at the grand prize: to open for the Goo Goo Dolls on one stop of their upcoming tour. At the end of the month, a panel of judges consisting of Clear Channel Radio Programming executives, music experts at OurStage and members of the Goo Goo Dolls came together to pick one winner out of the Top 20 artists in the channel. Meet Stars Go Dim,a pop-rock four piece hailing from Tulsa Oklahoma. In addition to opening for GRAMMY Award winners The Goo Goo Dolls, the guys are scoring a songwriting session with professional songwriter Evan Bogart, $1,000 cash, and an editorial feature on “SUBWAY FRESH ARTISTSâ„¢” online platform, iheartradio, and OurStage.com. To check out their music and OurStage profile, click HERE. Stay tuned to the OurStage blog for when we interview Stars Go Dim about their experience opening for The Goo Goo Dolls.