Recently, I had a twitter exchange with a chap who asked me what I thought about streaming services. The crux of his argument was that if an artist owns the masters, they stand to make more in streaming revenue than those who do not, and that if this was the case, then an artist can make a lot of money through streaming services if you can get your music in the right place/places.
I’m not sure if that’s true – to make some cash from music you need a proper release strategy, good PR and luck. It remains to be seen if such an approach can work for streaming. Royalty distribution is poor for all but the most popular artists, regardless of whether they own their own masters. Instead, I advised him that the best way of making a success of yourself, of getting your music heard, is to work hard touring and just get your music out there as much as possible.
That’s what Kamikaze Girls did. They’ve only released one EP and a single to date, but they’ve been a band for a number of years. 2016 was a busy year for the band, touring extensively in the UK and the US. The result? Signing to Big Scary Monsters, booking bigger tours and releasing their debut album. That’s what hard work, drive and focus get you.
There is no such thing as an overnight success, and I think most people realise that by now. The old-fashioned ways still work.
It’s been great to see Kamikaze Girls grow in stature. Their new album Seafoam is brilliant, showing a real progression as songwriters and performers. There’s a weathered quality to their music now, and a focus which is entirely different from what’s come before.
I met Lucinda and Conor when I arranged a show for the band in 2016. I tried to arrange an interview at that time, but the nature of my brain and the stress of running a show (whilst playing it) proved too much, so the interview didn’t happen. You could probably say this interview was a year in the making.
This is one of the stranger interviews I’ve done. Camped out in a car and under threat from marauding parking wardens, I sat in the back whilst they sat up front. Gnarwolves can be heard soundchecking below us, and there’s a couple of interruptions (some of which I cut out) alongside street sounds and engine noises. It’s a bit NPR, except more punk rock, more fly-by-night, more ramshackle.
We were pushed for time here too, so the interview ends a little abruptly. The next time I see them they’ll no doubt have even more fans, and hopefully we can pick up where we left off.
Intro: David Szesztay – Combat
Outro: Blue Dot Sessions – Inessential
I make no claim to the copyright of any of the music in this episode.
Check out their bandcamp.
Seafoam is out June 9th on Big Scary Monsters.
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