1. Music Royalty Statement Exposed - 0.020p per stream!

    Thanks to Thom Yorke for commencing the Spotifight. His recent tweet about Spotify not supporting new bands really sums up the general view of music service by smaller artists.

    Music streaming sites pay artists very nearly nothing. Spotify is a vehicle for promoting the more well known acts of its record label owners. Therefore its purpose is to promote the more commercial artists e.g. Rhianna, rather than supporting new bands.

    Music streaming sites such as iTunes and Spotify WILL kill music. Cash cows like The Rolling Stones won’t be around forever. How can new artists break though when they’re earning, at best 0.22GBP per play. The royalty statement below shows Rapids!’ earnings at the height of their career - a total income of 400 quid. A band will spend this on petrol alone, let alone recording costs, making your own CDs and the hours and hours ploughed in to promoting the bands cause. Thank goodness for that live session at the BBC - £200 for 15 mins playing. Thank you BBC.

    So thanks Thom, you may have made your millions in the 90’s - the pre-streaming years- however we appreciate the sentiment down here in normo-land.

    Spotify is not mentioned specifically below (i’ve never seen them mentioned in a single one of our royalty statements, even though we have over 5000 plays). I think the point is, if you’re in a new band you need to be doing it for the love of playing rather than any financial reward.#

    Some figures from another statement:

    iTunes play - 0.020p
    Play.com play - 0.030p
    YouTube play - 0.030p
    Amazing Radio 0.50p

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  2. No, there’s definitely no new British guitar bands making awesome music at all. Definitely not.

    In answer to the BBC’s article suggesting the death (yet again) of British guitar music http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/16466803:

    Perhaps you missed…

    Bloc Party / The Maccabees / Foals

    The Vaccines / Blood Red Shoes / Pulled Apart By Horses

    Sky Larkin / Esben & The Witch / Yuck

    Tubelord / Tall Ships / The Chapman Family

     Yaaks / Mojo Fury / Three Trapped Tigers

    Sissy & The Blisters  / Gross Magic / Fear of Men

    We’re No Heroes / Fixers / Brontide

    Two Wounded Birds / Gross Magic / The Joy Formidable

    Mowbird / Racehorses / Flats

    Breton / Veronica Falls / Gallops!

    The Victorian English Gentlemens Club / Deaf Club

    Cut Ribbons / Let’s Buy Happiness / Town

    Tiger Please / Spector / Olympians

     Brown Brogues / Y Niwl / Eagulls

    Bos Angeles / Fanzine / Mammal Club

    Copy Halo / Young British Artists / Post War Years

    Brontide / Los Campesinos / Jonny Foreigner

    Kutosis / Twin Atlantic / Dutch Uncles

     

    and 100’s more. These are just the ones i’ve heard of… plenty more waiting to be discovered!

     

  3. What Makes a Buzz Band?

    I’ve seen lots of buzz bands come and go and a very few come and stay. In  Rapids!, we just play our thing without paying much heed as to whether it’s cool, whether it’s going to get column inches or sell millions. When we do get nice comments, reviews and opportunities that’s amazing but it’s not why we do it. I think we’re probably happiest at that moment in the practice room when a wandering guitar line connects with a drum beat, which latches on the a bass line which suddenly has some vocals and synth on it and becomes ‘a song’.

    But you don’t need to have a good song to be a buzz band, or any particular image. There seems to be no apparent formula (other than £ + $ = buzz). Put it this way, if one of us won the lottery, i’m pretty confident we could become an overnight sensation. A buzz band.

    I find this whole business fascinating and intruiging. How to go from being a nothing…to a something? Can you start a buzz band or is it something you have to become? What is the time limit between being called a buzz band, and being a successful band that has worked sowly but surely to a elevated position? Everyone hears the story of how Snow Patrol were a band for 72 years before they made it big. Equally, everyone knows the story of Brother and how they got big off a random NME cover only to disappear into music industry oblivion. We’ll see how that second album goes.

    Music journalists obviously play a large part. The taste makers and the influencers. An emailed link here, a whisper in the ear there - The Vaccines (who I love by the way) had a queue down the street for an early London show. They’d never even released a single. Wu Lyf had the idustry creaming themselves before even releasing a thing. So are we to all start doing shows in churches, dancing round with hoods and cloaks desperately hating ‘the man’ and striving for contrived anonymity? We want to be anonyous however we’d also like it if you realise that is us that’s being anonymous.

    If you really wanted to remain unknown and mysterious you could always not invite 200,000 journalists and labels to your shows. Don’t get me wrong, I also love Wu Lyf (well a couple of their songs were pretty good), i’m just trying to delve in to the mysteries of the buzz. Obviously they had a good PR man on board with connections, they had a definitive image and some good songs. Maybe that’s all it takes?

    Some bands are just so awesome, the moment people hear their music there is never any doubt that they are going to be superstars. I’d probably put The Vaccines in that category. They and Brother shared an NME front page and we saw who OWNED the summer’s festivals. Subjective of course! I’m sure there are many people who also dislike them, that’s the beauty of music.

    In summary it seems to boil down to:

    Some bands are good and get a lucky break.

    Some bands have some money behind them which gives them a break

    Many bands are good but never get a break.

    Some bands are not that good, but make the right sounding bad music at the right time.

    Thoughts?

     
  4. James laying down his drum tracks on day 1 of recording

     
  5. View from the recording studio DAY1