INDY ROCK BLOGS
INDY ROCK BLOG #201
By Paul Denton
Back In The Saddle
Well I must say this Blog was not expected. But I must say how much sharing my experiences with everyone is always special and I wish all our Blogs are helpful and inspiring to everyone. Feel free to express your own thoughts with us as we do for you.
As most friends of mine have known that suffering with arthritis and musicianship don’t agree. Well all I can say ,it takes more than a bullet to stop what’s in your heart. Many changes over the years have made me make some of the hardest decisions, and unfortunately, lost some friendships along the way. For those that have been by my side, family, friends and of course the vast music community that have always supported what I have accomplished, my heart goes out to you.
So here it is to be unannounced, definitely not planning on spilling all the beans but I’m giving this one last kick in the arse.
INDY ROCK BLOG #199
By Tom Bland
Over the years in my musical journey I have been blessed with playing with some very talented musicians. Pete Zilinski, Mark Watson, James Gregory, Rick Saunders, Bill Isfeld, Suzanne Mcintosh, just to name a few, all truly talented and helped in my progress over the years. While not being Neil Peart and being the “weak link” in most cases due to their talents, I held my own. I did what I do in life, be as dependable as possible, try not to burn bridges and be as open to ideas and direction as possible. These things don’t always work out and there is the odd time when you have to stand your ground. Younger me, as most newer musicians often see, egos prevail over good decisions. I’ve seen band mates get ousted over nothing more than someone needing to stroke their ego. Now that I’m older I’m happy to say I don’t see much ego stroking. As you mature in this business we seem to know when to “hold them and when to fold them”, with no one getting damaged in the process. You find the right people for the right results. I have played in a band with my guitarist, Pete who is behind most of the music we play for over 30 years (god, I’m old). The new guy lol Bill, has been with us for over 15 years, he’s the young pup. Even though we are slowing down and not in the hunt as much anymore we will continue getting together in Pete’s studio to work on new tunes and record. This music thing never leaves your soul but time plays a significant role that you don’t have a say in. So to all you young guns out there, leave the egos at home and giv’r shit, love what you are putting out there so far, ROCK ON!
Indy Rock Network
INDY ROCK BLOG #198
By Paul Denton
How important is it to promote your band? I realize that I’ve talked about this over the years. For me it means everything. Call me crazy, but I truly believe that a band should always be in the media. Even though we all support each other, as a band we still strive to get a leg up on the rest. I will be honest and say with all the bands our Network supports its easy to forget who some of you are, what your about because there is so much talent being added. This is one reason I enjoy our year end charts, because it gives me a chance to catch up and listen to everyone who is apart of this Network.
The real reason I wanted to re-hash the promotion topic was due to some of the things that caught my eye over the past several months. Some of the Christmas greetings, some of the ways you got us involved by showing us the venue and what it meant to you and the bands that put out Christmas video recordings of your version, were truly priceless.
It doesn’t have to be a certain season to promote yourself. The year is long, and as a fan we wait to see what you have next to offer. Paralandra were the Indy Top band for 2022. Like many of our bands I think they caught our attention not just based on talent but how they promoted their product. The full package.
As a fan of music they and others were able to grabb my attention.
We are just beginning a New Year and look forward to what everyone of our bands may have to offer.
Remember! 2023 could be your year. Promote yourselves and be creative.
INDY ROCK BLOG #197
By Johnny Fast
The dawn of a new year approaches and it's time to set some goals for 2023! I'm sure you've been through it a few times. Write, record, play some shows Yada Yada Yada. Maybe you want to think a little deeper though? Get outside of the box. What can you do differently this year to take your band to the next level? Is it inspiration for the music or better band chemistry? Hire an outside marketing agency to push your exposure or spend some money on a professional music video?
We have been thinking of all these things. As we get ready to release our 5th album the thought is, what can we do differently for this one instead of the old rinse and repeat? What other options are out there relating to marketing and promotion, merchandise, venues so that we can really make an impact? Already notes and ideas are being formed for the next project but I read somewhere that the greatest sin is creating something spectacular and then not marketing it. We have pushed back our album release until the spring for that specific reason. This will give us time to really focus and put together an event and promotion that will hit a little harder. One of our goals, play meaningful shows. Happy new year rockers!
INDY ROCK BLOG #196
By Pete Zilinski
As we head into the Christmas season, I can’t help but think that things sure have changed since I was a kid. Waking up to see what Santa has brought, the excitement around seeing what everyone else got too. Maybe it’s just that I’m not a young man anymore, but I do know one thing, it pays to keep a sense of humor during the holidays. This brings me to my rant. Could everyone please lighten up and stop worrying about whether we should say “Christmas” as it may offend those that are not of a religious nature. Full disclosure, I am a Christian and believe me, I’m not offended by Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or any other word that you want to use to describe a special day. To each his own.
It’s a time to celebrate family and enjoy the season. Maybe strike up some good old Christmas tunes or some Trans Siberian Orchestra stuff. Have an eggnog or two, reminisce about the good times and wait for Santa to deliver that Marshall stack on Christmas morning.
Merry Christmas to all you shred heads and rockers. Stay safe and warm.
INDY ROCK BLOG #195
By Les Mitchell
A recent change of residence within the group has once again brought most of my music equipment under one roof and inspired me to ask myself certain questions.
First of all, how did it come to this? How have I managed to acquire this much gear? For some items, I can’t even recall the exact circumstances that brought them into my possession. Ah the strange looks I get when I have to ask a bandmate if said items actually belong to me.
Having established my ownership of everything, do I really need all of this stuff? As far as the instruments themselves, I could never seriously consider parting with any of them, so any reduction would have to come from elsewhere. Given the fact that most pieces of music gear ‘seem’ to gain weight over time, is it hazardous to my overall well-being to keep lugging the wall of Marshalls that I recently wrestled back into my house? None of them are currently in my live rigs so why hang on to them? Effects take up far less space but when was the last time I used the Talk Box or the Space Echo or the effects units from past pedalboards? Surely something could be sent to a new home.
After serious consideration, I’ve arrived at the expected conclusion that nothing is expendable and I will just have to make room for everything. However, the Marshall stacks may find a permanent place in the living room. I’ll call that a compromise and revisit these questions another time…
INDY ROCK BLOG #194
By Paul Denton
As another year comes close to ending I often find myself reflecting on the past year. Could I have done things differently, better? I guess only time will tell!
I think the last live show I played was sometime in April. A highlight for sure playing the Fernie Alpine Resort. So much fun performing for everyone, especially for the kids who don’t often get to see performers at such a young age. For me this was my Super bowl experience. The rest of this year was some what of a strange experience not being able to perform. Although the decision was difficult to make I now realize it was the right choice. A much needed break and taking care of health issues became more important.
I did however get a chance to rehearse with a new project near the end of summer .It’s funny how the excitement and spark takes over once your within a band situation. Something I don’t think any musician will ever lose.
So as I reflect back I also look forward to the next year and challenges music may have to offer. I look forward to continuing with a new project and playing some great shows. Applying new ideas and inspirations. Music will always be in our hearts.
Long Live Rock N’ Roll
INDY ROCK BLOG #193
By Johnny Fast
Tradition starts as an idea and over time grows into something we look forward to. We have a few traditions which we look forward to and which form a part of the experience. We always order a pizza to the room after the show. Nothing tastes better at 2 in the morning after a night of sweat and rock and roll. It's like a reward for the hard work and effort of the night. When it shows up to the hotel we dig in and devour, usually winding down and talking over the gig, observations and the events and funny things that always seem to take place.
Food usually is a big part of the trip as it is in any venture or vacation. There's the quick meals grabbed on the road and the decision about what to eat for supper before the gig. If the venue also has food, we'll often eat there during or after the set up.
Second to the pizza, my favorite is the morning after breakfast where we can sit down and pound back coffee, get a big breakfast and reminisce some more before hitting the road. The whole experience is so unique and to be enjoyed. Even the tiredness the following day feels different because you know you are tired from having a great night.
There are so many little things in touring that make it amazing. It's nice to make a little money to cut down on the expenses but the riches of experience far outweigh the monetary. We have unique memories and are able to rehash old stories, bands we've met, hilarious or terrifying moments that only those that have experienced the tour life can relate to. We've been playing together now for over 10 years. Looking back at the time we've been doing this, it's pretty amazing and hopefully we have a lot more ahead.
Despite The Reverence
Indy Rock Network
INDY ROCK BLOG #192
By Les Mitchell
Looking back at the shows we have done this year, I see among the many artists that we have performed with, musicians of different ages, styles, and backgrounds at various stages of their musical endeavours. First bands, new bands, established bands, original bands, cover bands, solo acts, loud, quiet, fast, slow, heavy, light, etc.
Accepting the fact that I may be closer to the end of my musical continuum than the beginning, I realize that I have probably experienced all of the above at one time or another. I always find joy in checking out and supporting newer artists, while fondly remembering how I felt at that early stage of band life - a combination of nerves and excitement that can’t quite be replicated.
Any music scene just keeps evolving over time. Musicians and groups are continually entering and exiting scenes, often multiple times in multiple scenes. There is no single cataclysmic event that changes an entire scene. It is a ongoing entity that requires new blood and new energy to be sustainable - yet another reason to encourage new artists.
I’m not sure exactly at what point I became a veteran within our music scene, but it surely has occurred. I will offer whatever advice that I can to the up and comers while simultaneously trying to keep up to them and wonder what I would do differently if I myself were back in those same shoes…
INDY ROCK BLOG #191
By Pete Zilinski
Today, I would like to give an opinion on the state of media as it pertains to rock music. Don’t get me wrong, as I, like many other musicians am all for the various platforms that are available to the artists out there. With the plethora of sites available such as Youtube, Spotify, Soundcloud etc. there are numerous ways to get music out there. This all seems to be a great way to get exposure. The downside is there is very little monetary gain from said sites.
The way that I see it is, how then do musicians generate an income that allows them to sustain their music career. Playing venues seems to be one of the only ways to make money and as we all know the payouts are not great. How many of you will take a paltry sum of money to do a gig just so that you can climb up on a stage and perform. Personally, I would always take an opportunity to play in spite of the lack of funds provided.
It begs the question; do we hold out for more money or suck it up and take whatever is offered. It is disheartening to think about how much time and money musicians invest in their craft. I must admit that most of us don’t do this for the money. It is the pure love of creating music and standing on a stage feeling that energy in the air. I will never forget the words of my father when I told him that I wanted to be a musician, He said “don’t quit the day job”. He may have been right, but I have never given up on being a musician. It’s the day job that has allowed me to pursue my own musical endeavors.
So, keep loading those tunes on each media stream and keep playing and creating the music that we are all passionate about.
Guitar/vocals Dream Sanctuary
INDY ROCK BLOG #190
By Tom Bland
As we begin to wind down 2022 and look back, Indy Rock Network has seen some great bands come on board this year. Canadian bands had a bit of a slump until the end of June and has been picking up since then. We saw the addition of great Canadian bands like Polarity, lords of cowtown, hunting giants, raven witch, lynx, Iron Kingdom and Osyron. Internationally, bands from the USA, France, Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Germany and Cuba were added to the Network. All these bands have their own unique sound and style while showing the immense talent the indie scene has.
With Covid restrictions slowly being removed we’ve seen an insurgents of events and the breath coming back to bands. I’ve noticed particularly that November is going to be one of the best months in over two years for live events. Bands seem to be pushing hard now to get back on stage. With bands hitting the stage more and the influx of new bands to Indy Rock Network 2023 is ramping up to be a stellar year.
A lot of bands are fantastic for promoting the Network and we greatly appreciate it. If we could get more bands to do the same that would be incredible. It doesn’t take much, a mention of us, a link or letting other bands know we exist goes miles for Indy Rock Network. We also appreciate constructive suggestions and feel free to submit a blog about the indie rock scene or your band’s journey.
The end of 2022 and into 2023 is looking to be a new beginning for the music business and I personally feel excited for the future for the first time in a while. All the best to all the Network bands, keep on rockin!
INDY ROCK BLOG #189
By Paul Denton
The Power Of Music
Music has such a strong force that can be considered a phenomenon, religion or cult, if you will! It has the power of reaching into your soul and making you feel overwhelmed with so many emotions. That special song that you may have grown up with and still hold deep in your heart. I remember the first time listening to Supertramp’s Breakfast In America in the summer of 1979. I feel this album still holds up today. Such a memorable time in my life. Of course there were other influences but this one album has reminded me of summer and all the great times that went along with it.
The Power Of Music is not just about the song or album. It is also about how it is able to bring people of all races and ages together. Standing in line many times at an Iron Maiden concert talking to so many people with the same interest and excitement is truly priceless.
Music is also a way of giving. Musicians have always stepped up in supporting various charities and sadly tributes to those we have lost. Music is definitely a strong force. Community and fulfillment describe what music means to me.
I believe we have built a great community here at the Indy Rock Network and I always encourage all of us to support and participate.
I share with you what the Power Of Music is to me. What does it mean to you?
INDY ROCK BLOG #188
By Johnny Fast
The joys of trying to organize a tour! I don't know how anybody does it but for me, it is one of the most tedious things. It comes down to persistence. Over years I have built relationships with different booking managers and owners and developed a bit of a circuit that we like to play. Even with that, it is always a challenge. Many emails and phone calls to line up the venue's and in an order that makes sense and then trying to line up bands, openers and closers. Some are quick to respond and others don't at all. There's the unexpected which can happen and threaten to collapse everything. Like a band having to cancel or a sudden illness or of course, the weather. Our arch nemesis! It never fails to make things interesting.
Once the hotel rooms are booked, vehicles loaded the fun really begins. Arriving at a new, never played venue is a guessing game so we make sure we are prepared for the worst. Extra cables and connections, tape, strings and zip ties, soundboards and speakers. Where to load in and what time does the soundman arrive, or maybe the soundman doesn't exist. Be prepared my friend, it's showtime!
INDY ROCK BLOG #187
By Les Mitchel
As the clock winds down on the summer music season, I can now objectively reflect on the past year of shows. Since live music became a thing again, I’ve re-experienced the whole gamut of performing - an inclusive mix of indoor/outdoor, electric/acoustic, single set/multi set, single band/multi band shows. It was all memorable and I have to say that it was very close to how I remember it.
As expected after a long hiatus of not performing, certainly the longest such break since I became a musician, there were a few clam notes played and brain malfunctions. Strange how the mind can go completely blank, even during a part that I may have written and played flawlessly for years. Overall, I think the performances were solid given the circumstances. We laughed, we cried, we laughed again, and we tried to leave all that we had on the stage. There were nights where everything worked perfectly and there were other nights where it seemed like there was just one long series of technical difficulties.
As this past year seemed like a bit of a musical rebirth, I experimented by using different guitars, different strings, different pedals, even different picks - no small feat for a creature of habit like me. I’m guessing that this approach contributed to some of my gear malfunctions but I’ll be damned if I didn’t create some fascinatingly bizarre sounds that have no musical value whatsoever. Back to the lab before the next show…
INDY ROCK BLOG #186
By Tom Bland
In todays rock and metal music more and more females have graced the stages to entertain their fans. This is fantastic and added a whole new direction especially in metal. Metal bands with scorching hot songs that had growling vocals (nothing wrong with that) now have vocalists with pristine voices fronting the band. Yes, earlier on we had Lee Aaron and others but it was limited up until the last ten or so years. Just in the short time I started Indy Rock Network I have seen an insurgence of talented female performers in all aspects of the industry. From guitarist, bassists, drummers, vocalists and behind the seens workers. Evergray came through a couple of years back and their sound person was a tiny blond that got huge sound for the bands, she was exceptional at her job. What I like about this trend is that we are seeing an influx of female hard rock/metal musicians that will only bolster the band/group dynamic. So keep rockin ladies, I can’t wait to see what the future brings.
Indy Rock Network follows some of the best and here is a list, check their bands out on our band page. My apologies if I missed anyone.
-Casandra Carson - Paralandra
-Kendra Jae Emms - Northern Royals
-Emelle Eternal - Eternal Frequency
-Eva Shamira - Ember Sea
-Valerie Ann - Black Optic
-Chantelle Night - Eternal Now
-Mirte Van Der Ham - Manora
-Yanairis Fernandez - Bonus
-Suzanne Mcintosh - Dream Sanctuary
-Erin Lyndsay - Raven Witch
-Chris T’ Anti - Queen Of Distortion
-Kristina Gasparic-Block - Kriss The Sky
-Krista Lundemo - Wabash & Lake
-Fallon Weidner - All From Nothing
-Jordan Skelly - Co Komono
-Zosia West - Reign Of Z
-Jasmine Virginia - Polarity