Indie music in Canada has a new forum to showcase it; that forum is the Soundcheck Sessions. Formerly an online television show dedicated to displaying and demonstrating musical instruments and equipment to entertain even the biggest gear junkies, the Soundcheck Sessions is getting a makeover. Here to tell the Canada Indie Music Examiner more is the producer and director of the Soundcheck Sessions Ryan Noel.
Canada Live Music Examiner: What is The Soundcheck Sessions?
Ryan Noel: Basically The Soundcheck Sessions is evolving from a guitar pedal video review series into a weekly live music web series featuring some of the most exciting and talented bands on the scene. Each 20 minute episode will consist of one band or musician performing live in studio, followed by a candid interview with host Alys Crocker. Not to forget our roots, all the gearheads out there will have the option of watching bonus featurettes where the musicians will discuss and demo their gear.
CLME: How did the sessions go from an idea to reality?
RN: Well like most musicians and gear fanatics, I would scour the internet for videos on guitar pedals that I was looking to potentially buy. After hours of watching shaky footage and listening to highly compressed audio, I noticed that there was a real shortage of high quality demos out there. So in December 2010 I decided to start producing high quality HD video reviews that not only demoed the pedals, but also gave an unbiased opinion on each product. Although I had a fair amount of success with the series, I decided to put it on hold and pursue other projects. With that said, The Soundcheck Sessions always felt like an unfinished project and one that kept beckoning to be made into something bigger and better.
CLME: Tell me about the shift between a gearhead type show to one showcasing new bands and artists? What inspired it?
RN: Like I said The Soundcheck Sessions always felt like an unfinished project and the idea of marrying both my passion for film and music into one project, was one that I always wanted to explore. But to be honest I think the resurgence of great music is why it felt like the right time to evolve the series. I’m a huge classic rock fan and to see bands like Tame Impala, Rival Sons and The Sheepdogs reviving that sound and reaffirming that classic rock is a genre, not a time period, really made my ears prick up. As I started to dig deeper and began discovering all these amazing new bands, I grew more and more frustrated by the fact that you would never hear them on the radio or see them on TV. It made me realize that there’s no shortage of musical talent out there, just a shortage of alternative outlets to give these artists the exposure they deserve.
CLME: When is the first session (under its new format) going to air?
RN: We’re currently crowdfunding the project through Indiegogo.com and hope to raise enough money to start shooting the first four episodes in November and then launch the new format in January 2013. If we don’t hit our crowdfunding target, then at the very least we’ll shoot a pilot episode and release that in January.
CLME: Can you share some of the upcoming bands you’ll be having on the show?
RN: We’ve had some dialog with The Sheepdogs, Monster Truck, Great Bloomers, The Meligrove Band, True Romantics, Big Tobacco & The Pickers and Brian Katz, all who’ve expressed an interest in playing on the series. Other bands we’ll be pursuing include; Tame Impala, Rival Sons, Father John Misty, Alt-J, Buffalo Killers, Bravestation and The Coppertone to name a few.
CLME: If you could have anyone on the show, no matter what place or time period, who would you choose?
RN: Hands down it would be The Beatles, although Pink Floyd would be a close second. However that’s the cool thing about concert films and music series… they’re the next best thing to seeing your favourite bands live. Hopefully with The Soundcheck Sessions that’s an experience we can give to people who might not get to see all these great bands in person.
CLME: What do you hope the bands/artists will get out of The Soundcheck Sessions?
RN: Besides having one hell of a time in studio, the biggest and most important thing we can offer is exposure. If we can connect them to a new fanbase, increase their record sales or even give the opportunity for an unsigned band/artist to become signed, then I feel like we’re winning the battle. Ultimately my goal is to promote and perpetuate great music to fill the void that MTV and corporate radio has left behind.
CLME: What do you hope music fans get out of The Soundcheck Sessions?
RN: The series will be made with the serious music fan in mind. Episodes will be shot in full 1080p HD, treated to a professionally engineered stereo mix and viewers will be encouraged to submit questions to their favourite bands. Not only will they discover great new bands that they might not otherwise get exposed to, but they’ll also have the chance to win weekly and monthly giveaways as well… anything from autographed albums to music related gear.
CLME: Is there anything else you’d like to us to know about this cool new project?
RN: Yes, I encourage anyone who’s tired of the talentless cookie cutter pop stars who dominate our airwaves and would rather see passionate and talented musicians do what they do best, to check out our crowdfunding campaign and back us. There’s a ton of perks for your contributions like CD and DVD compilations, your name in the liner notes and even the chance to hang out with us and the bands in studio. Our deadline to fund this project is November 8th, so please help us help promote great music! Thanks.