“Love music, hate the business…It’s tough to make it these days obviously. Streaming has taken over and the royalties are non-existent now. We don’t do this for the money anyway so it’s cool. We just want people to hear our tunes and love them as much or more than we do…” – @sonicxband
Listen to the interview
Episode #305 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax http://www.blogtalkradio.com/avaliveradio/2016/03/10/episode-305-ava-live-radio-behind-the-music-with-jacqueline-jax
GETTING TO KNOW SONIC X
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
Interviewing: Adam Troy (Vocalist) & Joseph Cumbo (Bass Player)
Joseph: Love music, hate the business…It’s tough to make it these days obviously. Streaming has taken over and the royalties are non-existent now. We don’t do this for the money anyway so it’s cool. We just want people to hear our tunes and love them as much or more than we do…
Adam: We are an indie band and I like it. We can be artists and create our art. The fans tell us what is good…not the record companies. Being in the business to me is losing game. My hat is off to those “In the business”. Artist can’t survive out there these days. It’s not from a lack of talent, will power, determination, or drive. It is truly from the business killing the ability of the artist to be heard. SIRIUS XM OCTANE does a good job of exposing people to new music in a very good manner. Terrestrial radio is garbage. I don’t even listen to it. THAT IS THE MUSIC BUSINESS… terrestrial radio and advertising.
Pros and cons…
Joseph: Pro’s are the DIY model that is more available now more than ever before… recording is more affordable in your own studio… there’s more avenues for distribution worldwide etc… the Cons of course are people don’t buy CD’s & they download illegally so the money stream has dried up for the most part. Adam: I love having the ability to write whatever we want to write without being told, you can’t say that, or you can’t play that. Being indie and DIY the artist gets to create art as it is meant to be. If people like it great, if not that’s fine as well. At least the artist and the fans get to choose. Not some corporate spread sheet. The artists of the past were afforded the ability to “CREATE” their art. And it worked. There was diversity in the material. These days I just don’t know. Listen to some of the popular artists out today in “The business” and tell me, when you listen to an “Entire” album that the material is diverse. To me it’s not. This to me is the hand of “The business” guiding the artists to mass appeal. I could be wrong, but why does the first song on their albums sound like the 3rd song 5th song…etc.etc… I realize it is a balance, a tricky one at that. However I know these artists have material that is way more diverse than the industry allows them to produce and market.
Hurdles and pitfalls…
Joseph: Well we aren’t overcoming them as much as we don’t really care about the traditional model most bands follow. We really do things our own way and only to satisfy ourselves. We don’t have to cater to anyone or anything in particular; we pretty well do things on our terms and our schedule so we’re handling things pretty well.
Adam: We don’t subscribe to those things.
Joseph: We love the global reach; we have fans from all over the world. We can reach so many more people now than we ever could. We love the interaction with the fans as well. Also you can deliver a message directly to the fans without going through a media outlet where things can get twisted.
Adam: The fans and the instant feedback. If the music is good or bad, they will let you know instantly. That is amazing to me. The walls that use to surround bands are now broken down. Your fan base can reach you without somebody or something standing between us and them. I don’t need a guy in a huge office telling me my music works or doesn’t work. That is for us and the fans to decide.
Have you found any challenges that you’ve had to overcome…
Joseph: Not at this point really…the only challenge is sorting out who is legit and trying to help us vs org’s just looking for money and they really can’t help you at all.
Adam: Just the typical stuff bands go through
Singles vs an album…
Joseph: We think it’s the way to go, that’s what we plan on doing…either singles or short EP’s.
Adam: I like EP’s…short, sweet and to the point.
Talk about the differences in your marketing strategy to support your preference.
Joseph: Well the new platform allows us to get the info out to the people that are interested the most so when we release a new single or EP we can target the proper audience effectively.
Adam: I don’t know anything about marketing…hahahaha
My personal definition of success is..
Joseph: My personal definition of success is achieving independence, not having to rely on anyone or anything for financial or personal reasons…I like to do the things I want, when I want to do them…that’s success to me…and my family and health of course…that’s a given.
Adam: My definition of success is having peace of mind and heart. Having my family and friends close to me. The ability to create and share our music with those who appreciate, enjoy and most importantly respond to the effort. And of course world domination and riches beyond my wildest dreams….hahahahaha J.K.
My overall goal for my life & career is…
Joseph: Be happy in whatever I do…We’re not in this to sell millions of CD’s although that would be nice. We just want to keep releasing music and getting positive feedback from the people that listen to it.
Adam: To be happy with the work and to be heard.
3 Ways that I challenge myself and how each one moves me forward towards my goal.
1) Be myself, no matter what
2) Find time for everything, mostly family, then music etc
3) Stay grounded, things can go to a person’s head sometimes, stay humble at all times
1) To be real.
2) Spend more time with those I love.
3) Live every moment to the fullest.
Joseph: I joined a band in high school to be cool of course. We played high schools to start, just some friends playing Stones, Rod Stewart etc…Nobody wanted to play Bass so I volunteered…how else do Bass players start!!!
Adam: I started in music in my junior year of high school. I truthfully got into music because I wanted to meet girls….yeah I’ll admit it….It wasn’t because I had a song in my heart that I wanted to share with the world…..It was girls….girls…girl…girls…And of course to be cool. My first instrument was guitar and not being very good at it I switched to vocals. That seemed to be a much better fit as I wound up being a better vocalist than guitar player. Early influences where the bands of the 70’s & 80’s KISS, ELO, Van Halen, AC/DC
from our new EP “Fall From Grace”
Joseph: One thing I can tell you is that we get a lot of people asking if we’re a Christian/religious band because of the title…we are not of course…We’re just a rock band.
Adam: I always like people to feel a song in their own way. Let the song speak to them in a way that they can relate to in their life. I wouldn’t want to ruin that personal connection with what I was thinking when I wrote it. I believe there is a bit of mystery in that. PRAY is about something we can all relate to….RAW emotion
Making the music…
Joseph: Interestingly the original version of Pray was written as a slow grindy song, Adam & I loved that version as well & we may release a version of it in the future. Only sad thing I can think of was having to choose between 2 great versions, slow and the current fast one.
Adam: PRAY is one of those songs that wrote it self. The first time I heard the music, the melody and lyrics just fell onto the page. As Joe mentioned he and I did love the first version and I was a little reluctant to go along with the current version. But once I gave it a chance I quickly realized it was a keeper. The change in direction from the original version was Joey G. and Lawrence playing mad scientist in the studio. They did an amazing job. Choosing….it was a sad day !!…Hahahaha
Joseph: We just want people to hear our songs. We don’t expect anything other than just that. We want people to hear our songs and hopefully be inspired in some way! Internet Radio seems to love us and our 1st single Pray received significant airplay on Sirius XM Octane channel…that was very cool.
Adam: I just hope that our music reaches people, and that they can relate. We all go through things in life that affect us in all sorts of ways. The good, the bad, the ugly. It’s all there in the words and music. We have all been through it. Being able to connect with people is truly what it is about. I think it brings people closer together, it’s cohesive. I think we could use a little more of that in the world today.
Joseph: There’s really not much of a club scene anymore here in Toronto where I live. There are few good places to play but not like the past. Unless you’re a relatively popular band that’s on the radio regularly it’s hard to draw people to your shows… I believe it’s like that in most places though.
Adam: I live just outside of Detroit. The music scene here is odd to me. Every club I go to has a cover band playing Bruno Mars, and whatever else will sell beer to the masses. That being said I spent my early years selling beer to the masses on the Florida cover club scene. The difference to me is. People there, played and still do play “Like they mean it” here not so much. The crowds here are more interested in their phones, taking selfies, posting on twitter and Instagram. Rather than getting involved with the band. I don’t quite know what to make of that.
Tell me about one fun thing you like to do that can be music or non-music related.
I love to…
Joseph: Well I’m a trainer for my sons Hockey and Baseball teams…it’s fun being involved and helping kids out, keeps me active as well as I love sports.
Adam: I love throwing parties. Having a bunch of people over, mixing it up with friends. Listening to music, talking, playing cards, telling stories and tall tales…hahahaha. Entertaining is something I truly enjoy.
I would love to have 5 minutes alone with….
Joseph: Kanye West – to ask why he’s such a Dick…. other than that Jimmy Page…for obvious reasons!
Joseph: Jimmy Page is a genius and tried things nobody thought of at the time…the Zep recordings still blow my mind to this day…nobody can touch those guys in my books.
Balance of trends…
Joseph: I think we found a nice balance…I think we sound modern but retain a bit of the classic elements of Rock.
Adam: Interesting question. I think no matter what we write we will always have our own current signature sound. Based on what I/We listen to which is everything new and old. That exposure to the new and the old is what give us a wide palette to work from. I feel that it works for us because we are not chasing a particular style or sound. We are just incorporating the various music styles, and production values that we have soaked in and are spitting them back out with our flavor. No matter what we do it will always be Sonic
I am most afraid of…
Joseph: Bears…in the forest…inside joke
Adam: Creepy things that crawl…..