The combination of a music industry unsure of its future, trying economical times and the ubiquity of the internet has left fledgling bands of the world in a tough situation. How does a band peek its head above the ocean of noise in the hope of being noticed?
Great tunes are a must but it’s never that simple. So it’s good to see an example of an Irish band seize the initiative and attempt to attract listeners and interest in what they are doing. MacroGrizzly are a rock band from Laois who are doing just that in innovative ways.
Since the beginning, the core band members of Cormac Strain (formerly of 79 Cortinaz) and Steve Ryan have used an open source social networking platform called Elgg to upload ideas and work on music remotely when it suited them. Dubbed “The Shed” after their own real-world practice space in a field in Laois, the platform has led to the creation of a (forgive me) shedload of songs.
With DIY spirit firmly intact, the band have hatched plans to release their first of 12 monthly singles on January 15th 2010. Unlike Ash, whose ongoing A-Z singles project happens fortnightly and racks up 26 single songs, MacroGrizzly’s version includes remixes, alternative versions and interpretations.
The band are also doing live web gigs from The Shed. The first took place in November, with another happening this Saturday from 10pm with streaming video via HD cameras or an audio stream. There’s even support from Carlow band The Louis Walsh Assassination Project.
Purchasing just one of the band’s singles gives you access to the virtual version of The Shed for a year where you can download all 12 singles and their accompanying songs, watch archived web gigs, give feedback on what the band are working on, friend others, read blogs, chat and all the other standard social network functions.
MacroGrizzly are currently in talks with The Damned’ drummer Rat Scabies in getting him on board for one of the virtual gigs and thus far, he has agreed to join them on their cover of The Damned’s ‘Love Song’.
“Our ultimate goal is a long shot, but we really would like to help develop a working music network,” Cormac says. “We’d like to get to know these bands and encourage them to do much the same as what we do. We’ve worked out our own format, we have our own Shoutcast radio server and we’re quite willing to share the resources and knowledge with bands who want to make music and let people hear it.”
Check out the live gig and The Shed at the MacroGrizzly site – http://macrogrizzly.com