Interview: Voyno and Hoover of The New Rockstar Philosophy (Part 1)
Kyle Bylin, Associate Editor — Read Part 2
Today, I spoke with Voyno and Hoover, authors of the recently released book and highly popular blog The New Rockstar Philosophy. In this interview, we talk about the stigma that comes with writing advice for independent artists, their theory on consistent new music, and how musicians will continue to ‘take control of their music’ in the next decade.
Leading up to committing to writing the book and starting the blog…
What initially inspired the idea for New Rockstar Philosophy and made you take the task on?
Hoover: Voyno was in a new band and looking to take a serious go of things. I had been wanting back into the music loop. I played in bands, promoted shows, managed bands, and tried to start a record label a few years back. We realized the whole music business was in transition and we wanted some new strategies to promote artists. It evolved from there.
Ever wanted to put a face to a name and get a look at these two helpful guys? (The unvealing after the jump.)
Hoover on the right and Voyno's on the left.
Traditionally or at least in my experience, most career advice books for musicians just sound tacky and outdated. Heck, sometimes it’s unclear if the author knows anything about being in a band, whereas, The New Rockstar Philosophy comes off very timely and full of instantly actionable insights.
How did you work to avoid that stigma and make content that’s widely assessable and actionable?
Voyno: Just by being real. Even though the book is called New Rockstar Philosophy, most, if not all the info is very practical. We believe all of the ideas in the book can be applied by any band. Having been in bands ourselves, we knew doability and practicality were things we really wanted to stress.
In theory at least, any musician whom asked, “Where online can I learn about marketing my band and how the music industry has changed over the last decade?,” would have been given, by anyone of us, a laundry list of blogs, articles, authors, and books to read.
What process did you go through to ensure that and were there any compromises to be made?
Hoover: The challenge is to always find information that our readers can take away and apply to their own band. There's so much advice out there about how to sell your CD, but focusing on a shiny physical disc seems archaic. There's more to the music business than recorded music. We are consistently doing research and did several interviews last year in preparation for the book. We talked to agents, producers, managers, professors, bloggers and artists about their challenges and ideas.
The other day, you released your book for free, in what you call the “beta version.” After five years, Gmail is still in beta, as it’s meant to be a reminder that their service is always in a state of constant refinement.
Do you feel like your blog will serve as a reminder to musicians that your ideas are in a state of constant refinement?
Hoover: The whole point was to give artists a guide to navigate the evolving music industry. Things will change and ideas that work today may not work tomorrow. The blog ties in as a continuously updated strategy and idea base for artists battling it out. The book is a solid starting point, but it will also change as the music landscape changes. We strive to focus on ideas you can actually do without needing a ton of cash. You just need the work ethic, the vision, and the flexibility to change with the times.