The hard work of being an artist!

Sometimes everyones tired and grumpy...
Sometimes everyone's tired and grumpy...

Lots of people think it’s just glamour, travels and good times to be an artist. Even friends of mine tell me how great it must be for me to “get to” tour and travel so much. Even they don’t realize I pay for the tour myself most of the time and bringing a band is never cheap, you guys out there who have families know a couple of plane tickets tend to eat up your budget pretty fast.

I also get a lot of questions from up-and-coming artists wondering how to go about the business of starting a record label or how to promote their music. I always try to answer the best I can, but the short answer to all of this is “you have to work your ass off!”. Nothing comes for free in this business and no one will care about your music as much as you do, no matter what that manager/label/pr company is trying to tell you.

.. but most of the time it's great!
.. but most of the time it's great!

So I was very happy to stumble upon this great website where all of the stuff about being an artist and building your brand is collected in a fun and comprehensible way. This post today is mainly for all you artists and musicians out there, but you other guys can check out http://www.eventric.com/ as well (scroll down to featured articles), it’s a lot of fun reading and gives you an insight on all the things you need to know when you want to get out there with your music.Martin Atkins who is the guy sharing all these great tips really knows what he’s talking about!

One of the things that made me laugh was the post about why you need to learn screen printing as an artist. Why? So you can make your own merchandise of course. Just like I started doing a while back. All my tees are hand printed by me, check them out here: shop.sofiatalvik.com. So it’s just a lot of great advice there for all artists, no matter where you are in your career.

Here’s some fast links to my fave posts:

11 (of 27) Things Touring Bands Can Do NOW To Make a Difference

11 MORE (of 29) Tips Touring Bands Can Do Now To Make a Difference

10 Ideas For Making Your Show an Event

Just remember that it's a lot of hard work!
Just remember that it's a lot of hard work!

Some Lollapalooza stuff

I promise I’ll make a better blog about the tour, with pics and videos soon. But for now I have gathered a few interviews and stuff that has been written about my performance at Lolla. Check them out here:

Interview and live performance on Fearless Radio, Chicago
Interview with Consecuence of Sound
Consequence of Sound in writing
Review by Hectic but eclectic
Photos of my set by Shadixpn
Photos by Underground Bee
Review by Chicago Sun Times
Review by Woxy.com
Review by Left of the Dial
Review by Chicago Music Guide
Live interview with Chicago Music Guide

December – mp3 of the month

Salvo Magazine appoints December their mp3 of the month in their upcoming issue. Read it first here!

MP3 of the Month
Sofia Talvik – December

It’s not very often I come across Folk music that’s to my taste. Maybe it’s just a genre that doesn’t really do that much for me, I don’t know. Now, before all Folk artists out there get all defensive and start writing in complaining that I’m dissing them as a collective, please, save your venting, you couldn’t be further from the truth.

You see, although I’m not the biggest lover of Folk music in general, when it’s done properly, like pretty much any genre (especially Classical but that’s a totally different story), it can be stunning.

Look at artists like Gemma Hayes, Kathryn Williams, Nick Drake, Tom McRae or Cara Dillon, with the latter especially being truly sublime. Folk absolutely is a genre that’s both under appreciated whilst also being a backbone to music as a whole and one we must all embrace ‘for the greater good’.

That’s what leads me onto Sofia. We decided to choose December as our MP3 of the month above all other tracks off her most recent long playing effort Street of Dreams as it would be too easy to choose the single It’s Just Love based on the facts that 1 – it’s a single already and 2 – it’s a duet with one of my personal heroes, Bernard Butler, now, that would bias the vote ten fold.
No, what sets December apart from the bunch is that it’s just so much more delicate than the others.

With a vocal range tinged by echoes of Dolores Mary O'Riordan Burton from the Cranberries blended with a light heartedness that in some ways isn’t too distant from Joni Mitchell in her heyday all those years ago, December has managed to remain on constant replay for a good while now and will continue to do so until another track off the album takes our fancy.
Featuring an accent that does at times sound Irish it’s almost unnoticeable that she is in fact from Sweden. Don’t worry. We’ll keep the Abba references to a minimum.

Sofia has obviously been working as a solo artist for long enough now to realise where she wants to get, it’s abundantly clear that she’s working with people who are on her wavelength and are helping her do that

If there was ever a time for artists like Sofia to be in the forefront it’s got to be now, we’ve got others Acoustic Soloists like James Morrison and Blunt pushing acoustic based song writing into the mainstream and whilst we really shouldn’t pin all of our hopes on artists like these, god help us if we did, it is great to see that every now and then artists like Sofia do get the spotlight shone in their direction. 2007 should be the year that spotlight gets turned to face her and we wish her all the best when it does.

I am also green with envy that she’s worked with a hero, but I’ll get over that so don’t worry too much..

www.myspace.com/sofiatalvik

Duncan Buchanan

Beautiful Bass

It’s been a hectic week to say the least. I decided to skip one of the songs for the album (as everybody thought it was horrible except me, haha) and had to choose and record a new one. I decided for yet another song with the word “shoe” in the lyrics and probably will have to rename the entire album to “shoes” now ūüôā .We decided not to put Baby, eeerr I mean Anders, in the corner anymore (as he was forced to be there during the recordings of the last album, that studio simply wasn’t big enough for him and his bass) so we even gave him his own room this time. Check out the video here:

[flv:/video/recordingbass.flv 320 240]

I’m nothing but truly impressed of the way he nailed all these songs in just six hours. We rehearsed a few of them for the gig at Landet and the radio gig last week but there were several he never heard before and he did brilliantly! Even the song “Holding your hand” which he renamed “the Zappa-song” because of all the half times hidden in it. Being unrehearsed may not be the ultimate way of doing it but I must say it does add a kind of nerv that you don’t get if you know the songs too well.

Anyway, next week we’ll be recording Marcus and his guitars, yep he’ll be doing both acustic and electric this time. And I’ll record the last song for the album (no shoes in that one), which I have to do in the studio where we recorded the bass, because I have to play and sing at the same time.

In the meantime, listen to a sample from “I won the first price tonight”

take care now and I’ll see you all next week.

The studio
Me as the true technician.. press "rec" press "stop"... Jonas, behind the camera, did all the real work.
No wonder we had to give Anders a bigger room, we couldn't even fit him into one frame...
It's a kind of magic: the other halft of Anders
Now here's the big picture! With a bit of a distance we managed to get all of him. Isn't it beautiful, well it sure sounds beautiful!

Will you call me when you’re sober

Sometimes when you're working on something creative, like I'm working on my album now, you get alot of other creative ideas.

Isn't it typical, just as I decided which songs to have on the album, I get so inspired I write a new song that I just have to add as well. Not that I'm complaining, a moment of inspiration is always welcome and wonderful. Last night it ended up with this song:

"Will you call me when you're sober"

And for all of you living in Stockholm, don't miss the gig at Landet thursday the 17th.