IMPROVIJAZZATION Nation - Issue # 79
INTERVIEW with Chris Fellure (BlastMyMusic)
I've played in over 65 "bands" . We will highlight a few of these bands in this (and future) issues.
CLICK the PLAY button to listen while you read - or don't, totally up to you! You can also PURCHASE these tracks, if you'd like to support our efforts; no obligation to do that, but the option is there if you'd like!
Here's another feature Zzaj Band - The album features a more "rock-oriented" set with guitarist Russ Stedman - I played some assemblage of keyboards... I do believe part of it was my Kurzweill, but I'm also pretty sure there were other Yamaha boards on here, too. It's a fairly challenging listen, especially if you're a "middle of the road" type":
Zzaj: You said (in one of the interviews I
read) that your experiences in the music business have made you very familiar
with why musicians ARE making money, as well as why they are not. Please give us
your insights on both of those conditions. Why they ARE/Why they are NOT!
Chris: From my experience, artists are not making money through traditional record label relationships. Typical new artists who are not on the fast track to the pop charts won't sell more than 60,000 records their first release, and for most new artists, that is a good number. But it won't even break them even, let alone recoup their costs and start them earning the standard little or nothing allotted via their contract. Musicians are making money touring, but only if they can successfully tour, which usually means they've sold enough records to generate a fan base (but not necessarily enough to make any money from album sales). Labels are also now trying to acquire merchandising rights in the contracts, something that would have seemed absurd 10 years ago. Our goal is to help artists generate revenues from music from the start, so they can then develop into touring artists who are sustained through funds from every resource a musician has (music, touring, merch, publishing, etc...). For artists that are already signed to a label, we want to give them and the labels tools to help generate more sales, revenue, and opportunities to involve their fan bases.
Labels and artists are spending time and money developing their online presence, we'd like to see them get an immediate return on their investment.
Zzaj: If BMM artists get 65% of the gross sale price & BMM uses the other 35% - where do YOUR profits come from? I mean, is it advertising revenue, or something else? (Not trying to shoot your model down, just wondering how you keep the business going on that slim a margin)
Chris: Our model relies on having as many artists as possible using the service, our profit margin is small, so we rely on sales from thousands of artists around the world to generate enough sales to keep us growing.
Zzaj: Where do you run "FEATURES" on your artists? Is that something you "plan" to do, or is it there already?
Chris: We currently utilize the front page of BlastMyMusic.com to feature artists, as well as press releases, online marketing, and other resources available to us.
Zzaj: I, like many other home-producers, have been doing on-line music for many years now... seen many sites (both free & pay as you go) fall by the wayside. Why will BMM succeed where others failed?
Chris: BlastMyMusic has always focused on easy of use for the customer and artist. We have comments from artists and customers alike who enjoy how much easier to use our service is when compared to others. Many artists have come to us from other services because of our customer service, our transparency and because of how easy to use we are.
Zzaj: Do you review the music loaded (at all) for quality (other than kbps), or will you simply let the market "drive" the quality/music? I mean, at some point, I'd imagine you'd run out of space if BMM gets cluttered with junk music.
Chris: We have certain limits in place to make sure our content does not exceed our capacity, but for the most part we try to have an organic environment where styles and trends of music present themselves and sales generate from a variety of genres.
Zzaj: Your interface is very easy to use, & I really like that. Are there any (significant) changes coming our way that might make the interface even easier (or harder)?
Chris: We are constantly working towards improving the service wherever possible, and we have some great updates planned for the near future that involve an updated, streamlined MusicBlaster, additional methods and forms of payments, and quicker, easier to use accounts for both artists and customers.
Zzaj: How many "worker-bees" are there at BMM? Is it a one or two man show, or are you hiring?
Chris: We are currently looking for additional programmers, and there are a handful of full time and part time staff, founders, investors, etc...
Zzaj: What kind of feedback (pro AND con) are you getting from the artists who are using your services? (just the highlights, please).
Chris: Artists and Customers are constantly praising how easy to use our service is, and most like the layout and function as well. The only cons we get seem to be in the form of suggestions for improvements, which we take into consideration when we plan updates.
Zzaj: Is BMM a "passion" for you, or strictly "business"?
Chris: I've been in the music industry for the last 10 years as a promoter, venue owner, and artist manager. To me, BlastMyMusic is a culmination of 10 years experience put into one site. I believe it can help both new and established artists finally begin to generate adequate resources to succeed as a musician, and make the music industry grow again. So for me it's definitely a passion.
Zzaj: Can you give us (just a bit) of "bio"? Where you're from, what made you become interested in music/business?
Chris: I attended my first concert at the age of 14, and I've been hooked ever since. At 17 I was promoting concerts, opening venues, managing artists, etc...It's been a love of mine for a while now. I think what really got me involved was the atmosphere of a live show. The excitement of the crowd to see the artist, the excitement of the artists that people showed up to see them perform, and the overall sense of fun and community that a bunch of people getting together to see their favorite band creates!
CALL for SUBMISSIONS!!!
ALL artists! I am very, VERY happy to announce that IMPROVIJAZZATION NATION is ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS again. I have been granted a (possibly long-term) stay of execution for my trip to Iraq. I will still be traveling all over the U.S., so new issues may be a little less timely, but (as always), we will review your materials as soon as possible after we receive them. Look at the guidelines for submission below, please:
MUSIC: All formats accepted. Snail mail to: Zzaj Productions, c/o Dick Metcalf, 5308 65th Avenue, Lacey, WA 98513 The only criteria for music you submit is that it MUST HAVE high performance energy... if you submit lacklustre material, it will be reviewed accordingly
POETRY: Poems are accepted for publication ONLY via e-mail. Poems submitted in any other fashion will NOT be published. Poetry that includes some reference to music is granted first priority for publication.
BOOKS: We will review some books; books about music are PREFERRED. We will NOT return any books submitted for review. Snail them to the address listed above for MUSIC.
DIY Announcements: We will post your (e-mailed) ad about DIY projects, regardless of genre or medium... HOWEVER, this is ONLY for INDEPENDENTS... if you are a corporation, don't even BOTHER sending stuff... it will be marked and reported as SPAM!
RETURN to Zzaj Productions MAIN page!