Interview: Voyno and Hoover of The New Rockstar Philosophy (Part 2)

Kyle Bylin, Associate Editor — Read Part 1Get The Free BookNewRockstarBookCover

Recently here on Hypebot, we spent a week discussing the future of the album and FREE!. David Allen and I came to agree that the album, as is stands, has no place in the digital future. Obviously, there will still be albums and music, we’re all just trying to think outside the jewel-case or file folder rather.

Could you highlight your thoughts on redefining the album and consistent new music?

Voyno: It was just a one two punch for the album. The advent of the iPod and file sharing on the internet knocked the it out. The album is dead. Of course your hardcore fans would dig an album, but they're your hard core fans, they'll dig any music you give to them. The 3P is the perfect way to build a base. 3 new songs every 3 months is so doable. Most musicans I know make a lot of music. An album will bung you up, the 3P will keep you regular.

Hoover: This is an important topic. It's so ingrained into our head's that the album is a sacred piece of work.  There's just so much music and it's way too easy to access. There's just too much vying for our attention. How many bands were you into a few years ago and have totally lost interest in today? They didn't put out an album for two years and you stopped caring. 

Consistent new music in small chunks like the 3P (three song chunks every 3 or 4 months) keeps a fan engaged, allows all your tracks to really sink in with a listener,  lets you focus on making those few songs great, and doesn't break the bank.

For what could be summed up as, “a very long time,” artists greeted fans at shows and may have briefly communicated with them via standard mail, but that was it.  Over the last decade, the fans, many through their own innovations and ideas, have been renegotiating their relationship with artists and the content they consume.

How does taking on “The New Rockstar Philosophy” define the positive attributes of these changes and help musicians position themselves to benefit accordingly?

Voyno: When you positively communicate with anyone it helps the relationship. Musicians to fan relationships are no different. Using the information in NRP you can create continual and consistent positive relationships with your fans. A happy fan is a generous fan. Its like having your drunken buddies come out to every gig.

Hoover: It's all about that direct artist-fan relationship now.  Blogs, e-mail lists, text, YouTube, Twitter, and other social media allow fans to really be in-touch.  Not only are they constantly in the loop, but the content you put out can keep them engaged while you ready new music. All these tools are basically free and if you really take advantage of them, you can build and stay directly connected with a fan base, without the financial backing of anyone.  This direct relationship has created new opportunities for artists. Artists are asking fans to help fund recording, working with fans to design merch, and collaborating musically via the fan remix.  It's all about really engaging the true fans. They are the ones who'll be your evangelists and spread the word.

In some circles of “the old guard” they may argue that for music, this will have been a “lost decade” of expansion and growth. That losing control of the Recording Industry in the advent of file-sharing and the Internet was the ultimate travesty.

Do you believe the next decade will continue to let musicians take control of their music and why?

Voyno: The only reason I would call this the "Lost" decade would be because of Jack, Kate, and Sawyer. In fact I would call this the FOUND decade. Fans found real artists, fans found real music, and artists are finding ways to make money and talk to their fans directly. I can't imagine any of this slowing down. In fact I can only see things getting more intense. Yes, the majors may get their shit together and figure this puppy out, but no one is going to stop great.

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  1. I agree with Hoover and Voyno that the album no longer fits the contemporary atmosphere of the Music Industry.
    I remember reading an article or two about the reasoning behind the conception of the album – simply a better way to make money for Record Labels.
    There is nothing wrong with making money of course, but I feel that Fans are better acquainted with getting a small amount of quality singles over a shorter period of time, rather than have a album dumped on them yearly or bi-yearly.
    That’s what fans are doing now anyways, on their on – without any of our crazy theories.

  2. If you are into a particular group or artist and find yourself emotionally bound to their music, then you as a fan want their music when you want it the faster the better. The internet has given artists the ability to put out music as fast as their fans are willing to consume it certainly lessening the value and the need for an album. To many the album will no longer be important as they are into single or at the most EP consumption. Others like to collect bodies of work by their favorite artists especially if the music is tied together by a particular theme. They like the way an album is packaged graphically with photos, lyrics and liner notes all of which can be delivered digitally or physically. The album is not dead in its entirety. It clearly will continue to have value for a segment of the music loving population. Only it will not ever be as large as it once was nor will an album represent the tool for music monetization that it used to be.

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