Its been a rough and tumble year. Things started off looking extremely promising then in a matter of months multiple projects and one bigger one all came to a crashing halt.
Rough and Tumble
The rough… A person I was working with for a nice boost on streaming media ended up stealing $14,000 from me. That might not sound like a ton of money, but as a non-signed artist that is paying for everything – that puts a serious dent in your operational cash flow. This is one of the primary reasons I’ve been so quiet here on my ‘dot com’. I’ve been out money to make things happen when I should have been seeing a return.
In turn, this slowed my process down on making the finishing touches on my website. (grrrr).
Its made it difficult for me to upgrade gear.
I’ve been unable to do any PR.
Not a fun position to be in.
Right now I have someone working on getting that money back from them, but after 3 months of trying, I’m beginning to lose hope.
Another element of fallout from this is losing the lovely lady I had been dating for nearly a year. That was a blow as well.
The tumble… They (whomever ‘they’ are) say “roll with the punches.” I’m feeling more like I’ve been tumbling. Whilst I’ve been recovering from the theft, I’ve been finishing music. Lots of music. Some with co-writers, some for TV placements, some for my future releasing. Writing and recording all this music is part of what keeps me sane in such a conniving business.
In other news. A device, that I developed for my own use a couple of years ago, is now generating interest from a couple of companies. I had a meeting with one company a week and a half ago at the end of July. The meeting was scheduled for 30 minutes. That 30 minute meeting ended up lasting an hour and 45 minutes. To me that’s a very good sign and sometime next week I will reach back out to them to follow and see where their thoughts are. In the meantime, I’ve started the patent process to make sure my idea is protected.
Some friends of mine have started developing a content platform for YouTube. As it turns out, my channel and website titled Inside The Recording Studio will get rebranded to be the umbrella for all the content. I’m looking forward to providing cool content about gear, recording and the process of creating music.
As I sit here recapping on several months of what feels like waiting in a holding pattern, I’m working on keeping a positive attitude going into my birthday. I’m taking yet another trip around that sun. Despite being beat down again in my career as a musician, I can be grateful for being alive and healthy!
As the song image for Spotify shows above – I will Rise Up!
I’ll work on being a bit more energetic with content here. In the meantime, thank you for reading.
BTW – if you haven’t joined my email list, please do!
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone
Been a couple of months since I’ve been able to throw out an update. A whole lot has changed in the world since September, then again, so much has stayed exactly the same.
If you I can get you to recall, back in September I released a single called Thump Thump Thump. I followed it up shortly thereafter with a 2nd release of Thump Thump Thump [remixes]. There’s been some great buzz surrounding those releases and I’m really looking forward to making more cool announcements about that song and its remixes before too long. I’m very thankful that people have been taking to the song. Was definitely hoping to throw out some really cool news regarding Thump Thump Thump, alas I do need to wait until it confirmed.
Then in mid October I released another single titled American Mayhem. If you can’t tell by the title, it very much is a reflection upon the current environment of American politics. While I don’t fancy myself to be a political musician, this song does capture a vibe that resonates with the odd separation that was occurring during the election process. Not written about voting and yet it very much feels like something us 99% can relate to as compared to the 1% and those who are part of the upper 1% of the 1% (wrap your head around that one). This one is also starting to climb the streaming ladder. So I’m thankful people are listening.
New Website Design
If you’ve been a fan longer than the past two months, then you’ll likely notice that there’s a new look to the website. I did a quiet launch of the new website yesterday. This is probably the longest break I’ve had from making updates. Its also the first time where I decided to hire outside help to create a whole new look, feel, and functionality. So I have to say thanks to Dave Bloom of Ginger Soul who spent a lot of hours working on bringing this new design to life. There are still some cool tweaks to be coming, but at long last (because to me 2 months is a long time to spend on a website design) – the new look is here. The really great thing about it, it looks great on all devices. Plus more detailed information will be coming to the music section.
The next season of Nightwatch begins on December 1st. I’m thankful for that as the theme of Nightwatch – Midnight Romp, was crafted by yours truly. Its been awesome to see people react with such a positive vibe to the show and the music that opens it. Plus its allowing me to get some things done more easily. There’s more news to come about Nightwatch in the not so distant future, alas, have to wait on confirmation before I put it into permanent print on the internet and social medias. I will say that I’m excited.
The image to the right is a throwback Thursday image of my sister and I. My parents were avid skiers and this is them (in yellow) teaching my sister and I to ski at Snowbird Utah. Funny how I can recall that I hated it so much initially. Then years later went on to win multiple competitions in racing and freestyle. Now I get to enjoy it for the fun of it. I’m excited to be able to get to do a bit more skiing this year. Decided to purchase a season’s pass, aka an Epic Pass, to vail resorts.
What’s That Really Mean?
It means that while I’m working on booking shows for 2017, creating new music, and producing other artists, I’ll be taking some time out to hit the slopes and rip some pow. Or get out for some fresh air while carving some serious high speed turns. This will result in getting me amped up for new songs.
Lots To Be Thankful For
As we all start to reflect on 2016 and think about where we’re all headed next, there’s a lot to be thankful for. For me, its the amazing new music I’m churning out. The people I met earlier this year while working on a film that will release in 2017. The awesome woman I’m dating. And for the good things that are in the pipeline that I’ve created for you.
Hopefully we can all get beyond the bizarre election and move to a happier, healthier and safer world in the months and years to come. Happy thanksgiving and may it be filled with awesomeness.
That day or rather that night has finally come! Nightwatch on A&E has its season 2 premier tonight and yours truly composed the music that opens the show.
You read that correctly. I wrote the opening theme music for the show Nightwatch on A&E – airing at 10/9c. Set your DVR now, save the show! Watch each week. Tell your friends to watch. Hopefully you don’t end up on the show in the future – and I really do mean that.
Last night I played a little gig in Novato CA. The man in charge came up to me saying how amazing my songs and the performance was. When I enquired about further bookings in the area I got asked about notable things I’ve accomplished. I started to rattle of a list and the guy said – but do you have a following in the area. My take on it was that he didn’t care about the accomplishments. Later last night I read a blog post linked by a friend of mine that was about a musician who refuses to audition for TV shows such as The Voice, American Idol, America’s Got Talent, Rockstar INXS, et al. This got me to thinking about an experience I had with a TV audition and trappings that go with ’em. Get settled in, cause this is a little long.
Several years back there was a show called Rockstar INXS wherein INXS teamed up with a production company to make a show out of finding a new singer for their band. I had numerous friends suggest that I try out for the show. Personally, I wasn’t all that into auditioning for TV shows after seeing some of the results of American Idol. However, it was certainly flattering that friends felt I should front a popular band known the world over.
Rockstar INXS Story
I started getting calls from various friends who were being contacted by the production staff who were looking for specific recommendations for people to audition for the show – not the typical video-yourself-cattle-call thing. I got about 5 of those calls all from different people all saying exactly the same thing “They’re looking for X quality and the only person I can think of recommending for this is you.” So I relented and said yes, you can recommend me for a private audition. Which was how it was presented to me.
I got a call from the production company for Rockstar INXS giving me all the details, the time, the date, what not to wear, what not to do. I said no problem I’ll be there.
When I arrived at the audition location for Rockstar INXS, The Whiskey A-Go-Go in Hollywood, I was a little taken aback as there was a line out the door, down the block and around the corner. I walked to the front door, and mentioned I was there for a private audition to the door person for the production company. He looked blankly at me and said “Go get in line.”
I replied saying that you guys called me, I have a recording session I have to be at at 3:00, obviously that’s a cattle call line. If you want me to audition great, if not, I can go. He then said “Hold on.” Turned, walked inside and brought someone higher up the food chain for Rockstar INXS who came out to speak with me. Said person had a manilla envelope with my name written in sharpie. He said “Fill this out and then come inside.” Then he handed me a pen. I stood to the side and pulled out a contract which I proceeded to read through.
There was one clause in the Rockstar INXS contract that stated any song I perform, the rights would revert to them in perpetuity. Knowing that I wasn’t about to give up the rights to a song for an audition, I decided to scratch out that clause. Initial it, then signed it. I put the contract back in the envelope and proceeded back to the front door to go inside.
The nice person that gave me the contract then shuffled me to the front of the line for my Rockstar INXS audition (not all that private in reality). Which incidentally winded around the room along the wall, until it passed the film crew and ended up at the side of the stage. There was actually two people in line or rather on deck. The “musician” on the stage at the time I was put in line was doing everything the production crew for Rockstar INXS told me shouldn’t be done. He was dressed like Michael Hutchins, he was “performing” an INXS song, and he was doing the moves from the video of that song. Fortunately there was a musical friend whom I knew next to me in line, Kat Parsons. We chatted a bit as we were wondering why this guy was doing everything they asked people not to do. Oh well.
Kat got up, did her thing very well for the Rockstar INXS peeps. Then came my turn. As I walked onto the stage, the stage hand had adjusted the mic to what he thought was the correct height. I walked up to the mic and stood behind it only to have to come up to about my collarbone. I made a move to adjust the mic at which point the stage hand came running out stating I wasn’t allowed to adjust it on my own. Ok, weird.
He got it adjusted and I stood back at the mic that was now towering over his head. Guess, he didn’t realize, I’m tall. The director proceeded to ask me some questions which I answered and got some laughs with. Then they asked about the song, I gave them the story behind it. They asked me to play and I proceeded to roll with the song.
When I finished I got an unexpected response. The whole room erupted in applause, starting with the production crew. This didn’t happen for any of the artists I had seen prior to me. I caught sight of the guys from INXS who were sitting in the upstairs private area. Even they were applauding. As were other musicians in line around the room. It was pretty strange.
But Jody – we never saw you on the show.
This I know. I never got a callback for Rockstar INXS. For a short while afterwards I was a little bummed that I got such a great response from the film crew, even from the band and never got called for the show. Life goes on and I didn’t really think much of it. That is until a year later.
I got another round of calls from people saying hey this show is coming and the only person I can think of that fits the bill is you. This time the show was called Rockstar Supernova, by the same production company as Rockstar INXS. I shined it on until another friend, Brian Austin Whitney, called and very pointedly asked if I would audition and also asked if I could recommend a few other friends. So I came up with a list of several people that I figured would be great for it, including my buddy Jeff Scott Soto.
Brian gave the list to the production company. I never got a call. Brian called me back saying hey – did they call you for an audition. I said no and he replied thinking it was a bit weird because they were asking him for more names. People I had recommended all got called, I did not. So Brian made another list and put my name on it again.
The Second Snub
Again no call.
Brian called yet again to ask if they had called me and I said no. Apparently they were asking him for even more names, but were not auditioning me. So I told him the story about Rockstar INXS, which you’ve now read about. He stated, well, you’re only looking out for your interests, I’m going to ask them why they won’t call you.
I heard back from Brian a few days later, but all he could say was they wouldn’t give him a reason as to why they wouldn’t call me. I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to figure it out. Regardless, I’m not bitter about it. Though I will say it was disappointing to be passed over strictly because I wasn’t willing to sign away my rights to a song on the spot. Any good lawyer worth their salt would have negotiated that point.
Yet Another Show
About a year ago, I was called by yet another friend asking if I would like to do a special audition for America’s Got Talent. I said sure. So he sent the producers forms over for me to fill out. Can you guess what happened?
I haven’t seen you on that show either Jody.
Bingo – no callback.
I don’t begrudge people that are looking to fast-track their roll in the music business. However, as an observation about these shows – very few of the winners and contestants go on to have meaningful careers. Doesn’t mean it can’t happen, but it’s a pretty small amount. I’ve met several people who have been on those shows and gotten to the semis and the finals. Most of them have gone back to their hometown and back to their day jobs. Only one that I personally know, and have worked with, has turned his time on The Voice into something that is working for him. That’s Will Champlin. I applaud him because he’s really been able to use his 3rd place finish as a great springboard. Plus he’s still an excited musician and down to earth dude. Will is a career musician and as far as I can tell, always will be – no matter what. Which is what I am.
As I’m finishing up new songs, I’m now working harder than ever to get things to percolate and rise. One person at a time, until it becomes thousands, then 100s of thousands, then millions. It all comes down to the song and the performer and the audience and the word of mouth. Besides there’s nothing like bouncing back after you’ve lost everything and been homeless.
Thanks for reading.
p.s. – have you signed up for my email list?
p.p.s. – Feel free to comment, discuss, and chat about your TV experience.
The light at the end of the tunnel on a recent project is opening wide. A project I’ve been doing for John Michael Kane has been completed today. I’ve been mixing it up and down with a large selection of songs for John and now it’s over.
The beauty is, a lot this music will be getting heard relatively soon on sports programs and other things TV related. John is part of a library that gets his songs licensed on TV. It’s a beautiful thing.
This particular song is called “Won’t Stand Down”. Seems like I went alphabetical in the song order or I could been saving the best for last. Either way, I’m happy, he’s happy. We’re all happy with the end result. May the music grace your ears before too long.