5Q: Ex Norwegian
Indie rock in Miami? Yeah, Ex Norwegian is just as surprised as you are. They talk about being “outsiders” in the Miami music scene and how it shapes their sound. In addition, we get their opinions on industry headlines around Amanda Palmer and DIY technology.
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Now that the whole hoopla over Amanda Palmer is over. Where did you stand on that issue?
Is this the whole not paying musicians “scandal”? Well, I can see both sides of the story. I think Palmer was just doing another little gimmick and it got out of control. If she’s going to subject a musician to a lot of rehearsing and traveling and essentially being her musician, then of course she should pay them. If it’s a come on up on stage and jam with us offer, which is what I believe was the case, then it’s different. Ultimately, Miss Palmer only got even more publicity, arguably free publicity, because of all this!! And may I add, I have yet to hear any of her music!
Do you think DIY technology will eventually render labels useless down the road?
Yes and no. Depends on the concept of the label. It’s clear now that thanks to ONErpm and other distributors, the door is wide open for all artists to go direct with their product to digital stores like iTunes and that is a revolutionary and game-changing scenario. However, on the other side, labels may still play a healthy part because do artists really know how to successfully promote their music? Do they know what IRSC’s are? Or where to submit to get tracked on Soundscan? I will suggest that yes, down the road the old system, including all these technical things, will get more streamlined to the point where labels will be useless. The major labels are pretty useless now as that they don’t even have any money!
What’s more important to an artist: collecting solid royalties or a strong support network?
Both are important but I would say collecting solid royalties is more important. A strong support network is great, but it may actually inflate your ego a little prematurely. Whereas if there is a solid influx of money coming in from music, it will help keep things going and keep you working.
Why does Miami get such a bad rap? What’s the credible scene that goes unnoticed there?
Miami’s a sketchy place. Hence the title of our second album, Sketch. Ex Norwegian is very much on its own here though, very much an island.
Now the credible scene is probably the hip-hop scene. Miami is a strange place. A lot is going on down here but at the same time it can feel like nothing is going on. Our band is very much on the outside looking in. We don’t belong to any particular scene but we’re friends with everyone so it gives us an advantage in the sense that we will find ourselves performing with country folk and indie rock bands one night to underground hip-hop the next. We’re not stuck doing the same thing to the same small audiences. However, building anything beyond that is tricky, regardless of genre.
How much do you think bands are educated about the available DIY technology out there?
I’m not really sure. Occasionally, I will get blown away by how effective some bands are with all things DIY. They are taking full advantage of what’s out there. But for the most part, I don’t think bands are all that educated or in some cases even aware. This is constantly getting better of course, especially as tech is getting easier and more effective.