I love graphic design. Even though I am far from professional I have a legit copy of Photoshop, a Wacom tablet and I am always learning from online design tutorials. However, as with music making it’s not the tools that counts it’s the inspiration. The Well Medicated blog has a great post up, “50 Amazing Gig Posters Sure to Inspire“. The next time a promoter shows you a lame flier for an upcoming show your doing send him over to that collection.
I remember when I was 17 ripping down Front 242 posters in the East Village (NYC) so I could put them up in my bedroom. The glue they used was nasty stuff and I usually ended up with a poster that was 20 pages thick! I really like the basic all white poster with large black bold Helvetica type proclaiming a band will be taking over the city on a certain night.
Don’t forget it if it’s your own gig to grab a few posters before the show to give out to fans.
To see all 50 posters: click here
This entry was written by live performance, promotion and tagged Beck, F2 Design, gig, graphic design, live performance, Of Montreal, poster, The Heads of State, Well Medicated. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Brian “Botkiller” from Albuquerque, New Mexico shares his thoughts on playing live. I agree with what he says concerning doing your own share of promotion. Even if your playing an event with 10 other hot acts and you you know it will be packed you want 50 of your own superfans front and center. Remember crowds follow the lead of the people near the stage!
I talk about working with promoters and clubs and promoting your shows. – brianbotkiller
He’s also correct to mention that the person who books you is probably not the only individual who you need to deal with. Getting to know a few people who work at the venue early on could save your if anything goes wrong at 2AM.
I noticed he kicks off the video by mentioning he just bought a house. Congrats to Brian but later in the video he mentions sometimes he only gets $10 for a gig! He must be in one hard working band! Maybe he has a day job? Something about his “vlog” videos crack me up but I respect him for going for it.
This entry was written by business, live performance, promotion and tagged Brian Botkiller, live performance, promotion, video, vlog. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
The above photo was from a show I played in Zaandam, The Netherlands in January. I was on stage and at the time those things were shooting right past my eyes as I was setting up to make noise. When I read the following story I got on my knees and thanked god I still have my vision:
Dozens of partygoers at an outdoor rave near Moscow have been partially blinded after a laser light show burned their retinas, say Russian health officials.
Moscow city health department officials say that 12 cases of laser blindness were recorded at the Central Ophthalmological Clinic in the city. The daily newspaper Kommersant reports that another 17 victims have registered at another hospital in the centre of the capital. – newscientist.com
This also reminds me of the countless high powered home made lasers I’ve seen at events. Of course I still want my own! Check these out: www.wickedlasers.com
What color do you want?
I’m performing tonight in Frankfurt at the u60311. It’s a wicked club built inside a U-Bahn station. I played there in 2001 with Chris Liebing and it was quiet an experience. It was so packed that as soon as we starting playing the crowd pushed forward right onto the stage. We had to stop and wait for security to force everyone back then start again.
I have a general rule that if it takes four and a half hours or less to get to a gig by train (or car) thats a better choice than flying. In Germany the Die Bahn system is excellent. If you order your tickets a few weeks in advance you can get a “Spar Preise” aka savings price. In fact, the Spar Preise is usually much cheaper than airline tickets or car rental. I always go first class on the train. It’s not much of a cost difference (the promoters pay it anyway). You can request things like a small private cubby, non-smoking car and to be in the quiet zone. I say yes to all that because I like my sanity. You get leather seats, a power outlet, a table, waiter service a bathroom in every car (no waiting like on an airplane) and a view of Germany crusing by at over 200KPH.
photo credit: Fatty Tuna
Update: The show was great… photos are online: click here
This entry was written by live performance and tagged Die Bahn, Germany, gig, live performance, The Horrorist, train. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
We flew here last night with Air France; layover in Paris. For the transatlantic leg we were on a huge Boeing 777-200. A small city can fit on these planes. It was boring as ever. I can’t believe when I lived in NYC I used to fly over the Atlantic 2-3 times a month. I don’t think I could go back to doing that. To pass the time I listened to a few podcasts. For readers of this blog the podcast of note you should check out is Sonic Talk from Nick Batts and his crew over and SonicState.com. This week they discussed the Moog Guitar, Turnkey going out of business and in ear headphones. I also had the mispleasure of watching the movie Jumper staring Hayden Christensen and Samuel L. Jackson.
I think it’s funny that the Canadian border is by far the hardest to get through. I’ve been to places like the Ukraine but Canada holds the top spot for always being a major pain in the ass. I always have a proper work permit but it’s never good enough. Every time it’s first a stop at the immigration office and then Customs. This time Customs was extra nasty throwing my underwear all over the table. It took me twenty minutes to fold those neatly! Anyway, we made it though and met the promoters and Nitzer Ebb. I’ve played Montreal a bunch of times before and know the promoters well so we caught up a bit then drove to the hotel.
The hotel is decent, a place called Candlewood Suites. Each room has a kitchen and free wifi. Free internet makes me happy and the kitchen is useful because it’s stocked with coffee. I’m going to need that tonight because I’m typing this to you at 6:30 AM. Luckily jet lag usually doesn’t effect me too much.
They are shooting a DVD of the festival and I know the director Larry Kraman so there will be some wicked footage. They will have six nice cameras rolling tonight. I also did an interview for the Montreal Mirror yesterday. Of course I’ll post whatever media I can grab.
Back in Berlin Miro Pajic is using my studio and feeding the dog. As long as he doesn’t put in the wrong alarm system code again (that was a disaster) he should make some good music this week. By the way he has a full length album that just came out on my label called Everything is Nothing.
After Montreal we head to NYC by car. I will be doing a few music related things like visiting the studio of Mark Ephraim (The Shorebirds). He has some nice API gear. Oh I also have a Voice of Saturn Synth and Sequencer being delivered to my mothers house!
This entry was written by live performance and tagged Ascii Disko, live performance, Montreal, Nitzer Ebb, The Horrorist, Things to Come Records, travel. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
This is very true! I’ve never ever been looked at even twice when I get to a venue and say I’m performing. One hundred percent of the time they just move aside and let me in no questions asked… and I don’t have to wear a stupid outfit!
This weekend I performed in Valencia and Madrid, Spain. To get there I had to use AirBerlin, Iberia Airlines and Easyjet. All the tickets were purchase separately. Airlines have strict weight restirctions. If you go over your weight allowence you have to leave the check-in line and go to the cashier and a pay per kilo charge. For example on Easyjet:
Every item of standard checked-baggage will incur a fee, irrespective of weight, as set out in this section. Up to the passenger allowance of 20kg, each passenger will pay a per bag allowance as follows:
Per bag, per flight (paid at the airport) up to 20kgs): 12.00 â‚¬ per kilo.
And here is AirBerlin’s “deal”:
25 EUR in economy class for an item of baggage weighing more than 23 kg, but less than 32 kg
125 EUR for every additional item of baggage with a maximum weight of 32 kg
375 EUR for every item of baggage with a weight of more than 32 kg, as well as for bulky items (from 203 cm overall dimensions H+W+D)
Imagine these charges times three flights? I have in my contract that the promoter/club has to pay any extra baggage charge but thats not reality because how are you going to get them to pay after you traveled home? The best thing to do is buy a digital scale and make sure your under the 20kg per bag allowance. The one I own (photo above) is from Pelouze and I think it cost me around $80.
By the way the event in Madrid was a nice one with Sven Vath, Vitalic, Ascii Disco, Dave Clarke and many others. There is already a video clip online of my live show from someone’s mobile phone: click here And if yor interested in my thoughts on Easyjet head over to my other blog “The Berlin Image”: click here
In 1994 I performed my first live show in Europe at a huge event called “Hellraiser Immorality”. It took place in Amsterdam and there was well over 30,000 people going crazy. I was with John Selway and we were performing under the name Disintegrator. I remember being pretty shocked how large the event was. I remember there was an ecstacy testing booth (to make sure your pills were “safe”) and a place to get your head shaved! As far as my memory serves me Robert Hood was also playing that night and several people from the classic techno label R&S. I remember Hood had some issues because he didn’t play hard enough for the Dutch crowd. I remember R&S because of certain things I saw backstage (I was innocent back then!).
There was a Dutch act called Haarlem Hardcore Source also performing that night. It turned out they were fans of our music and I noticed a strange red box in their live set up. When I asked what it was they told me, “A home brew TB-303!”. Then to my amazement they offered it to me… for free! You simply don’t turn down offers like that. It didn’t have the interesting sequencer of a real 303 but the basic sound was extremely close. With careful Midi programming (back then on Atari Cubase) you could fake the slides and accents that made the 303 so wicked.
I stayed friends with the HHS crew for some years. I went out to Haarlem and recorded a 12″ with them called “Future Fuckers United“. The title made sense back then for some reason. HHS doesn’t exist anymore but one of the group members William Jordens is a well known DJ in Holland known under the name The Rapist! William also works with Multigroove which throws huge events and has his own event business called Your Dance Company. He books me several times a year. How’s that for a friend? The red clone now lives with a friend of mine in NY who records under the name 8-bit. Over the years I also owned two real TB-303s but they were stolen in the 90s. These days when I am looking for the acid sound I open Audiorealism’s Bassline 2. Using the software let’s me have as many 303s as I like. I challenge you to be able to pick a real one vs the software especially inside a mix.
This entry was written by hardware, live performance and tagged , Cubase, ecstacy, live performance, Roland TB-303. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Being as I am a “techno producer” and travel around to different countries to perform the Grooverider story grabbed my attention. Grooverider who’s real name is Raymond Bingham is from London and is known for Drum & Bass. Here’s what happened:
On 24 November 2007 Grooverider was arrested at Dubai International Airport for possession of 2.16 grs of cannabis, hours before a sold-out show at superclub The Lodge. He claimed he had forgotten it was in a pair of his trousers. On the 19 February 2008 he was sentenced to four years imprisonment followed by immediate deportation. – Wikipedia.org
There are two obvious reactions to this story. First, you have to think, “What an idiot to travel to a Muslim country with drugs on him.”. Second you think, “4 years in jail for a small amount of weed. Dubai is a nasty place!”.
I’ve been throughly searched countless times. I remember in 2001, back in “messy” times. I performed in Amsterdam with a friend of mine who will remain nameless. I’ll admit we were both pretty wasted after the show to the point we changed our flights back to New York to leave two days later. The last night I finally wanted some sleep but he went out again. He borrowed my jacket for some reason. A week later back in New York I went out and discovered a full bag of cocaine in my jacket pocket. I wore that exact jacket from Amsterdam to New York! Imagine I was flying to Dubai? Whenever I tell an old drug story I like to point out that I’ve been sober more than a few years now (applause please).
So what do you think? Did he deserve it? Would you ever touch ground in Dubai?
This entry was written by live performance, political and tagged drugs, Grooverider, live performance. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Imagine showing up to perform at a nightclub and there is no table for you to set your equipment up on. Imagine there are no monitor speakers. Imagine the stage is accessible to anyone in the club so you have to stand there all night watching your stuff. Sounds bad huh? In fact, there is a list of items I need to be happy and if any single one is missing I will be miserable.
There are three strong reasons to make your Kit List / rider with images instead of just text. First, if you perform in a another country and they don’t speak your language and you send only text well your screwed. Even if the promoter spoke English to you in emails that doesn’t mean his tech guy will understand you. Next, be aware that some items are called different things depending what country you are in. For example in the USA we say LCD Projector. Everywhere I have been in Europe calls them “Beemers”. In the USA we call patch cables 1/4″. In German they are called Klinke. Don’t learn this the hard way. Lastly, believe it or not a lot of nightclubs are permanently dark. Give the sound guy an easy to see visual guide and he will reward you with bass!
You can use a number of programs to make your visual guide. Over the years as I updated my own Kit List I went from Quark Express to Adobe InDesign to now Apple Pages. Whatever you use to create it export it as a PDF so anyone can open it. Name the file something like “The Horrorist Kit List.pdf” this way who ever you send it to will easily find it on their computer.
I create two sheets. The first is titled “What we bring with us.”. This is everything we use in the live show. This give the tech guys a good idea of what your doing. The next page is called “What you are required to provide.”. Yes this is the important page and yes here you list all the things you need or the show won’t happen.
Another thing to mention is it’s a good idea to bring a copy of your kit list with you. If something gets stolen you have a visual guide to show the local police. Finally, if your returning from your gig and you get stopped at customs your Kit List is proof you brought these items with you. Especially important if your laptop looks new.
This entry was written by live performance and tagged , Kit List, live performance, Rider. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.