Tag Archives: promotion

Back in Panama!

17 Mar

Hello everyone,

There’s been so much going on since we got back from the states.  It was definitely time to get back on track and keep writing.  There is a LOT to catch up on and I know you don’t have much time so here it goes.

I finally got a solid job I can enjoy. Finally a solid income!  Making plans is fun, but funding these plans is hard work.

General Update:

1.      Fundacion Rockístmo;  A non-profit organization dedicated to creating the means to export independent Panamanian rock bands to other countries in South America, has decided to team up and lend us a hand with releasing and promoting our album.  They do everything related to organizing successful events.  This involves raising funds (through sponsors), booking (venue, sound engineers, and equipment), promoting (fliers, videos, radio, and national television) and overall logistics management.

2.      Our first show since we got back is Rockístmo Sessions 2011 this Sunday, March 20th.  It will take place in the Maria Torrez de Arauz Theater (Its outdoors and amazing!…displayed below) and we will share the stage with two other bands from Panama; SK and Grannada.  We will be playing last before the headliner which will is “The Great Wilderness” from Costa Rica.

The Great Wilderness

Reina Torres de Arauz Theater

 

3. Flyer and Promotional Video for Rockistmo Sessions 2001



There’s a lot more to talk about but I’m not planning on taking up too much of your time.

On my next post (tomorrow):

  • Launch of the Official Gargage Fan Site for Latin America.
  • Album release (Digital and Physical)

P.S. I don’t think I’ve ever been so psyched in my life.  There’s so much going on and I am insanely happy and grateful.



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From Baltimore…

28 Jan

Tracking the album is officially done!

Bass went by pretty smoothly, Ramon did a good job tracking his parts 🙂  After bass, we began guitars…

Tracking guitars was interesting because I had to write a lot of rhythm parts that I don’t really play on a regular basis.  Joel and I share some lead parts and I had to adapt some of what I regularly play to make solid sounding rhythm tracks for Joel to then play over.  After that I would record the necessary lead parts.  It was a LONG but definitely worthwhile process.

Once guitars were done, it was time for all synthesizer parts.  This flew by ridiculously fast.  Most of the violin and string sounds I had already programmed using MIDI (all notes were mapped out on a grid, perfectly matched to the tempo), so all that was left for Ricky to do was record the more unique sounding synth parts live.

Vocals…

This was probably the most challenging part of the whole recording.  I had all my melodies and lyrics rehearsed, but when the time came to begin to lay down some tracks, Justin began to revise the songs and take a different direction with some he thought needed some help.  This represented the challenge because he got me singing melodies I was not used to singing and he also exploited my range.  Again, the results were really good.  I’m pretty sure the rest of the band thought this was cool because it seemed we were in a point where everybody was already satisfied with all the vocal parts we had, and to hear these changes totally caught us off guard.  We were all happy with the results.

We finished tracking everything up to the last minute.  We listened to every song before leaving the studio just to get a taste of what the album would sound like and everything was sounding great.  I can’t even imagine how good this album is going to sound once its mixed and mastered.

Right now, Rhandy, Joel and I are at IBOT studios with our friends from the band See Camden which I mentioned around 2 posts ago.  They are recording some songs which are sounding ridiculously insane.  More to come on my next post 😀

Any questions?

Studio Update #2

16 Jan

Hey everyone,

Lemme tell you whats been happening ever since the last post…

Drum tracking took a little bit more than we had planned, and Justin spent like 20,000 hours editing drums but it was worth the sacrifice because they sound great!

The rest of the band has been pretty much chilling while Rhandy was tracking.  We’ve watched about a million movies and EVERY SINGLE Jackass episode to date, including the movie 😀

Once Drums were ready, it was time for Bass, so Justin experimented with a couple of amps and cabinets to get the right sound, he also added a couple of pedals in there that I wont be naming hehe 😉

There are a couple of videos on YouTube with Ramon recording some drum tracks.  Lemme tell you guys, Justin did an amazing job with the bass tone.  It sounds powerful and completely relevant to the music.

Today is the second day for Bass, and we are hoping to have it all done by 4pm which is when the Ravens play the Steelers in the playoffs.  Justin has made us all official Ravens fans and apparently this is a VERY IMPORTANT game 😀

On a more personal note…

Working with a producer has been a real learning experience.  I’ve never had the chance to work with a professional when writing music and he really does bring out the best of each one of us.  Some songs have changed, and I admit I have struggled a bit to accept the changes, but at the end of the day its about trusting someone with something you value so much and achieving a greater outcome.

More to come! stay tuned…

We Take This Seriously…

1 Nov

Hello everyone,

A couple of days back; we launched our first photo campaign titled “We take this seriously”.  The idea came a while ago when Joel began to explain the concept of a photo advertising campaign.  This particular campaign would serve towards giving our band the professional image it deserves and it would also be a great feature to include in our website.

After an intense brainstorming session one Saturday, we came up with the ideas for the three photos we were going to take.  These photos would be accompanied by a short copy describing the concept creatively.  We then carried out a few meetings in order to get the details settled (what photographer, setting, wardrobe, props, etc…).  Once everything was settled, it was time to execute.

We met with Abdelitoh Troy; a young, Panamanian photographer who is quickly gaining recognition for his picture taking not only here in Panama, but internationally as well (he just won a scholarship to obtain his masters degree in Spain, how amazing is that!).  We didn’t really know what to expect.  We had heard great things about him and after our first meeting; we knew we had acquired a friend.

We decided on dates for the photo shoots and then booked the locations.  It was our job to prepare the sets as well according to the concepts we had decided on.  Joel took the responsibility of editing the pictures once they were given to us. It was a lot of work, but the end result definitely made it all worth it.  Below are the three pictures along with their copy…

At the Show

So what if they don’t want to listen? There are probably millions just like them, but among those millions there are thousands that do want to listen, and we’d have no problem playing our hearts out for them every night, because at the end of the day it’s quite clear…We take this seriously.

At the Office

We don’t like to call it our job, but then again, what else would you call the endless hours we devote to fueling our dream? Whether its producing tunes, working on designs or managing finances, at the end of the day its quite clear…We take this seriously.

At the Studio

Cramming into a room not big enough to fit the band is not exactly comforting, but when succeeding is the ultimate goal, comfort is not always an option. We do what it takes; even if that means sacrificing a few commodities here or there because at the end of the day it’s quite clear…We take this seriously.

Our First Recording Contract

21 Oct

The story of how we signed a contract to record our first album is one of coincidence and opportunity.

In today’s story, Ramon is the main character and Baltimore, Maryland is the setting.

During the time that Ramon went off to college in Maryland, he was determined to become involved in the US rock scene.  He had always showed interest in playing bass for a band in the US and this would be his chance to do so.  He got a hold of a local rising band in Maryland which was coincidently in need of a bass player before his departure, and before he (or any of us in that case) knew it, he was the bass player for Rescue the Hero (http://www.myspace.com/omgrescuethehero).

Rescue the Hero went on various tours playing small to medium sized venues around the area and Ramon obtained a taste of what touring with a band in the US was like.  He was adapting quickly, learning a great deal and making good friends in the process.  Among the closest of friends he made were the members of another local Pop-Rock band known as Victory by Revenge (http://www.myspace.com/victorybyrevenge).

Victory by Revenge eventually decided to record a cover version of Justin Beiber’s “One Time” in New Noise Recording Studios with producer Justin Day.  Ramon decided to tag along and so that is how Ramon met Justin Day.  Justin Day took a listen to some of our music and quickly became interested in the project and that’s when he decided he would like to produce our first album.

He sent me the contract which I signed live on the video below… 🙂

New noise Recording Studios January 2011…Here we come!!

Long Distance Relationship (Part II)

20 Aug

Continued from “Long Distance Relationship (Part I)”

"PTY Beautiful Day!" by Andres E. Rivera

Implementation
Nothing is achieved solely on obtaining knowledge from reliable sources unless you apply what you learn. Implementing is taking control of your career on your own terms. The interesting part about engaging in this industry is that a lot of the stuff you read, however recent it may be, is probably outdated once you put the book down. I say interesting because this is an opportunity to analyze the current situation and tailor a plan that suits your needs. The most exciting part of this career consists on making plans and setting goals, only to watch these plans change in the face of new knowledge that is picked up. Every situation is unique and every decision is crucial.

Music
I leave this for last because it is the gasoline that fuels the fire I described above. Your music is like your birth certificate, without it, there is no record you ever existed. Our biggest accomplishment so far I believe is having finished writing all the songs for our first release. Although it might not seem like much, it is the only aspect of this career that truly fills your heart. It is the one intangible item that is yours to keep, and nobody can take that away from you. On its way via mail is the first contract we will ever sign as a band. That contract assures us that by January 7, 2011, we will be at New Noise Recording Studios in Baltimore, Maryland, recording our first ever professional grade release. Apart from feeling astonished by the idea of being there, and the impatience of waiting for that date to arrive, we see this as a challenge, given that 60% of the songs on that release we have never played together.

It will be interesting to see how the music we have managed to record throughout this time comes to life when we begin rehearsing again on May of this year. More exciting is the idea of playing live once again to our beloved Panamanian audience and seeing their reaction to our new material. So many things to look forward to while I sit on this desk, during my work shift here at Louisville…

Thank you for letting us share this excitement with you.

Recommended Readings:

• The Tour Book: How to Get Your Music on the Road, by Andy Reynolds
• The Indie Band Survival Guide: The Complete Manual for the Do-It-Yourself Musician, by Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan
• Guerilla Music Marketing Handbook: 201 Self-Promotion Ideas for Songwriters, Musicians and Bands on a Budget, by Bob Baker
• This Business of Concert Promotion and Touring, by Ray Waddell, Rich Barnet, and Jake Berry
• Tour Smart: And Break the Band, by Martin Atkins”

The Past.

16 Aug

Like I mentioned on my last post, we’ve been playing together for four years up to this date.  The first two years and a half can be summed up as spent doing the following activities:

Recording Demos.

-Some have been recorded by Daniel Tapia, current drummer of another Independent Panamanian band “Pepe Bahia”, in his home studio.  These are “Vinegar”, “When a Saturday Seems Like a Sunday”, “Stand Alone”, “What You Want” and “Fingers Towards the Sky”.

-The rest have been recorded on our own using our equipment.  Most of these we haven’t uploaded to any site because they lack the quality we desire.  These were recorded, we could say, for the sake of keeping our song ideas in a solid structure for when the time came to re-record these and put them into a professional-grade album.

-Having all our songs in a recorded format also carries the benefit of allowing us to rehearse our songs individually in our own time, which is crucial at this point, considering we don’t make a living off of our music (yet!) and we have other time consuming activities we have to carry out in order to make cash.

Playing Gigs

-At bars, theatres, festivals, fundraisers and the works.

-Gigs are very often organized by the bands playing that night.  Very rarely is a band privileged enough to worry only about arriving at the venue at a given time, playing their set-list and calling it a night.  Artists have to carry out the role of manager, booking agent and promoter for their band at every show.  Reason for which I believe many local bands have called it quits once they realize that being independent was not as simple as they had expected.  One thing I’ve learned throughout these years is to accept it and run with it.

Gargage @ La Quadra Theatre

Promoting

Through our Internet pages mostly (Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Youtube etc…)

This entails renovating them every so often, making new friends, uploading our music, pictures, videos, keeping our information up to date, replying to messages, commenting, responding to comments made by others, updating our status and then some.  It’s not really a workload if you love what you are doing.

I should clarify that these activities were being done while all of us attended college and held jobs, some of us them full time.  We were clear about what we wanted to achieve, but we weren’t sure how.  All we knew was that money would be involved, and so saving was (and still is) a necessity.

After about two years and a half together, it was time for some of us to finish our undergraduate degrees abroad.  I travelled over to Louisville, Kentucky where I studied until I graduated in May 2010.  Ramon (Bass) went to Baltimore, Maryland and Rhandy (drums) went to Florida for flight school.  We were physically separated as a band for about a year and a half which could have been detrimental had we not been determined to keep the dream alive.

The story of our time apart will be the topic of my next post.  Happy Reading!