By Jeb Wright
Strange Karma are one of the few really, really, really talented bands who are keeping classic hard rock alive and well and breathing new blood, and music, into the beloved genre. Their music is all their own but there is plenty of Zeppelin, Scorpions, Queen, AC/DC and other classic band influences all over their music. What makes the band uniquely strange is their ability to incorporate the influence but still remain their own entity, musically.
The band is attempting to crack the door open in America and is asking their fans for help in the way of donating to their Kickstarter campaign. Read on to learn more about the Aussie rockers and help them help the world of classic rock by donating to the cause.
Jeb: So, you have another album mostly recorded. To finish the album, you’re going the Kickstarter route. Tell me how you decided to use Kickstarter?
Martin: We wanted to go straight to the Music fans, the people who appreciate music and who want to be part of something new.
Jeb: What kind of stuff can the fans get for donating?
Martin: We have great rewards, Digital down-loads, CD’s, Vinyl, T shirts, and VIP passes to our shows. Everything is exclusive to the Kickstarter campaign.
Jeb: Fans sometimes just think that bands go in the studio and a record label foots the bill, and a CD comes out. Not anymore! Nope, describe to the average music fan today’s recording budget, who pays… how it all works so we can understand what challenges you are facing as a band.
Martin: Bands today are left to stand alone. There is no help from the labels at all. No Artist development, no recording money, no touring money. You have to do it all yourself, and this is why Rock music is over shadowed by glorified karaoke singers who sing someone else’s songs, and pop stars which are cheap to produce. It’s a great way to make money for the TV networks and record labels, but in the long term, it's destructive to the quality of music. It takes money and time to develop a good, long-lasting artist. This is why this album is so important to us and the band; we must bring back a standard to music. Bring back Rock music with melody and power to the main arena. The cost to record, tour and rehearse is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, not even counting the incidentals, especially if you are from another country. The challenge is to work harder than everybody else.
Jeb: Now, the new album is mostly done. Tell me about the album as Strange Karma has a strong classic vibe. What can we expect?
Martin: The album is a great representation of who we are as a band and individuals. It’s fresh, powerful, exciting; it’s not one-dimensional. We hope the record appeals to people from all walks of life.
Jeb: Tell me about the producer. What is David Ivory like to work with, and what did he bring to this project?
Martin: David is a great guy; great at what he does. He is a breath of fresh air in this business, that’s for sure, on so many levels. David made a great effort to make our songs the best they could be sonically, and with the arrangements. It was a pleasure working with him; it was a great learning experience.
Jeb: Will classic sounding hard rock ever make a large enough comeback to be a preferred style of music for a large enough American audience, in your opinion?
Martin: It will as soon as this record comes out… ha ha! I think if it’s done right, YES, in a big way. People are sick and tired of what’s out there in the main stream… they are waiting for a band that has a song, a melody and honesty.
Jeb: Why do you think the industry has been brought to its knees? I mean, there is downloading, but there are other aspects as well, like cookie cutter rock bands who all sound that same, and all the pop crap we are sold.
Martin: GREED is the answer. Music is in a lot of trouble right now… if something doesn't change soon, we will never have a new classic song to listen to in the future.
Jeb: Why do people seem to have willingly given up seeking out REAL music? I am talking in the masses. In the ‘70s and ’80s music was special. Today is seems disposable. Not your music, as you embrace a different vibe than what is on the so-called charts.
Martin: I touched on this previously. Music back in the day had a budget where you could get a band and take it on the road and develop the songwriting, show and musicianship, and stage performance, which was very important for the future of the act and the recordings process. In my opinion, it was much easier back then. Bands in the 70s and 80’s were very lucky in what they had. Internet is just the internet; it will never replace being at a gig. Music on the charts is shit and it will always be shit if we don’t change how we do business. Artistic integrity is secondary to Greed. This is why we are going straight to the Music fans, people who want to see a change and be part of the experience.
Jeb: How important is it to you to get this recording funded and to finish? What do you have to say musically that you feel it worthwhile?
Martin: We don’t follow any trends; it’s just us from the heat. The songs are honest and so is the expression. It’s what it was when rock N roll started, that’s what it should have been in the first place. We didn’t slap our shit together just so we can make a record and make our money. We lived through the songs and the gigs in the shadows of the biz.
Jeb: Tell me about who influences you musically the most.
Martin: A lot of bands and individuals who became legendary in whatever way. We were always drawn to the raw emotion and powerful expressions, melodies, and presence. A lot of people think they are listening to music, but really, they can’t really hear it. We never had that problem.
Jeb: Okay, here is a tough one…how do you incorporate your influences and still remain yourself?
Martin: Never copy or follow anybody. Just listen to what you like and what moves you; that’s your influence. When writing, listen to your heart, gut and follow your instincts.
Jeb: Another tough one…is failure an option? If these fans are as broke as me and can’t cough up enough dough…what happens then?
Martin: Failure is not an option; we would have caved in a long time ago. We have worked our asses off for years spending our own money, touring making a killer record. If people don’t have a $1.00 to contribute, then I guess we will have to settle for Bieber and One Direction for many years to come… ha ha ha!
Jeb: With the fans donating money… you give them some goodies of course, but at the same time, having the fans paying for it must raise the bar as far as the responsibility to really make this album awesome goes. Do you agree?
Martin: We would not do this if we knew that people would think that this is just another band and the music is just ok. This album will make you feel good again. It’s just a matter of getting it properly exposed.
Jeb: How does the USA compare to the rest of the world in musical open-mindedness?
Martin: America has a lot more opportunities than any place on earth, especially when you are doing the music that we are doing. It’s where we need to be for sure.
Jeb: Is the musical direction of the band to stay classic hard rock oriented, or with Ivory behind the boards, will he be pushing for a more Halestorm type approach?
Martin: No, it’s all in the songs… we write different songs; it’s all about the songs. The producer only works with what he gets. It's Strange Karma 100%.
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