Music recording / production as we musicians know it has been opened up to everyone through serious improvements in the tech needed to create a track & or tracks. This in turn has led to an explosion of music created by immense underground artists from a plethora of genre’s in bedroom’s & garages alike all around the globe. The only other avenue previously available to underground unsigned artists was to pay cumbersome studios a lot of cash for recording time used to record their demo’s to send to record companies or if like me (I was always broke) usually had to set up a tape recorder in the corner of the rehearsal room, press the red & black button together, play through the track & pray the that the take was good! Thank god this antiquated method of recording music and indeed finding new artists has ended! As a music fan, music blogger, online radio station owner (promoting the underground music scene) & a band member, I know first hand the trials and tribulations of supporting, getting support & promoting not only my bands music but the music of other likeminded musicians! Sure there are platforms out there available to us artists that will collectively gather information, then use it to build a profile about music, live gigs & other relevant titbits but at a considerable price to us artists. Some platforms take a percentage of music sales, some build a profile to a certain point and then charge the artist for the privilege of using their cloud space to further promote their profile.
In my opinion this is counter productive to the development of the underground artist who has enough worries to deal with just keeping food on the table whilst trying to put time in to create their art to a professional level without worrying about paying some online company the privilege of hosting it. As a music fan I find some online music hosting sites incredibly hostile to my searching out new music & my music buying needs in general. There is the dreaded ‘Featured Artist’ header on some music sites that completely throws you when it comes to buying music. You click on the link only to be told that these guys are the top sellers in their genre when really you know that they have payed for the privilege of having their ‘music’ as a ‘Featured Artist’. Similarly, finding like minded musicians or genre related artists to contact & build musical relationships with on the world wide web is a daunting experience. Several online companies can ‘HELP’ with connecting but more often than not these said connections are with an artist from a completely different genre to yours so ultimately the connection has no benefit whatsoever. These days its more about ‘who you know’ rather than how good your music is!
Now, thanks to the vision of an Irish man dedicated to actively promoting underground music on the internet through various free platforms, a brand new way of discovering new music from every genre & connecting with likeminded artists, labels & fans alike from all around the globe has been created. Tom Byrne has been actively promoting underground music through various different guises for many years. His unwavering support for the underground artist from many different genre’s is legendary! From his earliest radio shows to his online radio station (RAUG), blogs to full on music related websites, Tom Byrne’s support of the underground music scene is immense. His latest exploration into promoting the underground artist is simply astounding! ‘New Music Directory‘ is a direct portal to the world of the underground artist. Built as a gateway this new adventure will bring you on a journey through active artist profiles, help you find likeminded artists, underground labels & musical genres and on its completion will be will be the go-to place for all things underground music related. I recently spoke to Tom about his reasons for creating this massive platform. Check out his answers below:
“When I began looking into underground music a couple of years ago, as a music fan I found it a bit daunting to get started with. There are already great places to find unsigned or small label musicians like bandcamp or soundcloud and reverb nation etc. But if you don’t know what exactly it is you’re looking for, or you just know of one artists, which is how I started, you’re limited in terms of finding more music from these artists. It’s a bit like a glass wall, you know that there is something really good on the other side, you just cant see where the door is. When I started looking through various sites where musicians store their music , I began with the search engines by looking for genres. What I got was the most popular artists or the ones who were charging full price for their music. That’s absolutely their entitlement and I will always pay for music where I can. However it appeared that the music that was being displayed was being selected because it was promoted by the sites etc. So although I was making some headway, I began to think that there had to be an easier way. When I broke the ice on searching for the music I like, compared to what I listen to from established musicians, the underground musicians I started buying from started contacting me and were really approachable. It was a pleasant surprise as I had previous handed over a considerable chunk of money to established musicians who I never expected to get a thank you from, and here are these incredibly gifted artists who want to get in touch with the people who listen to their music. There’s fantastic support system amongst underground musicians and their listeners. As you know there are blogs, radio shows, websites, you name it. People who are dedicating most of their free time towards helping the musicians and bands they listen to. They’re getting word out to the community of supporters who buy the music and keep the music alive. Its really fantastic to see how much people believe in what musicians are doing. With a growing interest within the underground community more online stations and blogs are available to musicians to get their music heard. This is having a really positive affect on the culture and there’s a growing interest in the music”.
“Up to now, to my knowledge supporters have been using traditional methods of getting the music heard, and a lot of the musicians themselves have taken the helm in promoting underground music in this way. As a non musician I keep thinking back to how it felt as a music fan trying to find a way into this music and looked at a way of presenting the music that’s relatively easy for newcomers to understand and find there way into underground music. I wanted to set up a system that was easy to navigate and work as an introduction to underground music and from there help people to find the artist. Most people now stream music from websites, and because their not buying the music per say, they will often explore music that they normally wouldn’t listen to because they would have to buy the music first. If they like the music enough they’ll buy it so that they can then take it with them. That was the basis for the idea behind New Music Directory. New Music Directory serves as a jumping on point to underground music and media” .
“If a band wants to have a profile added to the directory, which includes links to their music, it’s added to a genre of the musicians choosing and linked to the website. So when a new listener opens the directory they’re prompted to select a preferred genre. Once they’ve selected that they’re brought to a selection of artists from that genre. They then select an artist and are brought to that profile. From there they can read any information available about the band, (any interviews they want to provide etc) and can listen to their music directly from the musicians source via embedded links”.
“I’m hoping it will provide a good introduction to a culture of music that’s under appreciated at the moment. If it succeeds, then I hope to grow it into providing the same for the media outlets, with their co-operation. So from there if people want to delve deeper into their chosen genres of music, there will be a link to the experts in those genres provided so they can find more great music. At the moment the site is in its infancy and it’s going to need a lot of work to try to get it noticed where it needs to be seen, which is where curious music fans are bored with the music provided by established media, and are liking out for something new. I have to find out if this is something that underground artists want. If they do I’ll develop it more”.
So there you have it! Big thanks to Tom Byrne (Founder Of New Music Directory) for taking the time out to speak with us. Will this make a difference in todays new underground music scene? We believe it will. But only time will tell.
The website has officially launched & you can see it in all of its glory by heading over to – www.newmusicdirect.net
If you are in a band / own an underground record label or blog or are just a music fan and feel that you’d like to submit to / find out about New Music Directory you can do so by submitting to email@example.com or you can head over to the brand new facebook page & take a look around for yourselves – facebook.com/nmdweb
ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER:
Del Chaney has spent the last three years not only fronting popular Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the Unsigned or Small Independent Label based Shoegaze Dream Pop Post-Punk & Post-Rock genre’s of music from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog – The Primal Music Blog. His other arm – Primal Radio – has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has hepled him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.