May 24, 2011

Featured Artist interview: Paris Shakedown (E71)

About: Paris Shakedown from Bath

"They're from Bath, their biggest fan is a strapping lass called Phoebe and they sound like the acid sweet mule-kick of West Country scrumpy. Fiercely independent alternative-rock band Paris Shakedown have just released their debut recording and Phoebe can hardly contain her heaving chest. The band's double A-side single, featuring the songs How's My Driving? and Physical Labour, is available as a free digital download now, right here from the band's website - Glorious."

1).What do you think will happen to music in 50 years?
With regards to pop culture and it’s changes, I would probably say that you’ll see a decline in the numbers subscribing to a particular movement (or at least % wise). Pop music has always been closely tied with fashion so I don’t think you’ll ever see the end of trends (such as the 80’s revival a few years back or indie music in the mid 2000s) but I’m expecting that since music is more easily accessible now than it ever was, there’s going to be even more choice in 50 years. Radio stations for example won’t have the power to influence peoples taste as much as they have had in the past. There are obvious pro and cons to this;
The larger the medium floor, the easier it is for a band starting out to get heard. Unlike 15 years ago, you can have your music accessible to the entire world within 30 minutes of finishing a track using social sites such as youtube, facebook etc.. The flipside of this being that the medium is that much more saturated and the abundance of choice for listeners means your track can easily be missed. Your competition will be that much greater.
Song writing wise, i don't think you're going to see such a large number of new styles being created as we have over the last 50 years. Most songs now use an interesting amalgamation of styles and techniques to create something innovative which don't so much create new genres as mix them. Then again, if new technology breeds new instruments then there is no reason why an original sound couldn't occur.
Business wise, i think paying for music will slowly stop. Most new bands now give their music away for free. They would rather have more people listen to it and come to gigs than potentially lose fans who are put off by the initial cost. Although not a hugely sucessful model, large bands from Radiohead to even Cliff Richard have allowed their fans to decide how much they want to pay to download their latest releases. Whether this was simply to test the percieved value of their music or music in general isn't clear but i've no doubts that given the media attention it received, public opinion is that music can and should be cheaper.
I think that even after 10 years, the music industry is still trying to adapt to how the internet has changed how people listen to and buy music. Some bands now receive donation straight from fans for limited runs of artwork or personal trinkets. Likening this to shareholders in a business would be an extreme analogy but it wouldn't be too hard to imagine aspects of this model being used in the future.

2).What are the main difficulties for being a musician in your country?
Within the UK we have only one national radio station which can greatly influence whether you are a sucess or not - Radio 1. That's not to belittle the benefits of having your track on any other station but should you get your track A-listed on Radio 1, you pretty much guarantee to make a chunk of money simply from PRS alone. That's before you even consider the impact of your profile boost on ticket sales to gigs or sales of your record.
In the US, the fact that their music charts are divided between states and the sheer scale of the land means that you can potentially be sucessful in only a small area but still receive a resonable amount of sucess.

3).Would you like your children to become musicians, just like you do? Why yes or why not?
If they really enjoy it then yes. If they think there's money in it then i would advise them to consider a different career path.

4).What is the instrument of your dream? (type/brand/model)
I'd love a Les Paul but i'm not fussy about specific years or models. Just something that has a warm sound.

5).If you could raise one music idol from the dead – who would it be?
Michael Jackson - think how cool his actual decomposing corpse would look dancing to Thriller in the iconic red jacket. He could finish his O2 tour dates as well then.

Listen to: Paris Shakedown - Physical Labour

Check out more tracks from Paris Shakedown
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