You love music, so you made music…

10-5-10

You love music, so you made music…

Yes, that’s true.  My band made approx. 5 x albums from ’78 – ’83, and a re-formed version of the group have been working on an album for about 5 years now.

Primary reason I formed a band:  to have something to do with my friends.  Primary reason we made an LP:  nobody gave a damn about cassettes in the mid-70’s – if your band only released a cassette, nobody would take you seriously.  Releasing an LP at least seemed to give the work an element of gravitas.  Our early albums certainly change hands for ridiculous sums these days…

I did not make music to compete with music that I was listening to.  After the band finished, I found that I did, in fact, have some inclination towards trying to make music.  If I thought of something interesting, I tried to get it down on tape.  But I never made a solo LP, never will.  The experience of music making is something best shared with friends, like-minds who want to see something happen, something be taken seriously.

Making an LP was also a good ‘calling card’ – “Hi, I’m Ron Kane – and my band has made this new LP” – I guess not everybody who walked through the doors of Boudisque in Amsterdam could say that!  Having a record and working in the hippie-era music business always seemed like a ‘natural’ to me.

But please remember – in 1978, it was more expensive to print an LP cover than to have the LP sides cut and pressed.  The typesetting for the label was also expensive.  I got to learn all this stuff about making records, in a pre-Indie Rock world.  I now knew what others had to go through.  I now knew that radio stations would not play your record just because it was there.  I knew how records ‘failed’.  I saw it in action.

There was no independent record distribution set up in 1978.  There were a few guys who would buy a few copies of your LP and maybe try and sell ‘em.  And if they didn’t sell, they wanted to return your LP to you and get their money back.  Oh, there’s a down side to this?  “I’ll take 500!” – the LP arrives, you call the guy, “Oh, I only want 100, and just send 25 right now”.

So, yes – I want to release a new album to the world in 2010.  Now, the joke is on the other foot.  I have someone else to pay for replication, so my job becomes facilitator to my recorded music (which was expensive to record, now that we use a studio – instead of my house).  The best part of making music in 2010?  I get to see my friends in a recording studio, and see what they can do (and they do not disappoint me!).  So, our album comes out, and probably I’ll send you a copy – and we’ll see what you think.  It’s a nice hobby.  If I had to make music for a living, I think it would’ve killed me already.  But for fun?

I was not trained to make music.  They tried, but it didn’t work.  What I do best is making all the arrangements to get the musicians to hear the demos, I book the time at the studio and make sure everyone is available and shows up.  I make sure the studio gets paid.  Now, I’ll make sure the record gets released; I’ll do the work.  The part I know about.

New album is called “Aquarium” and is being released on Imgrat Records via Mind’s Ear Records, here in California.  Actually, the album is a “Japan-only” release, on both LP and CD.  I wanted an SA-CD release, but pre-mastering costs a fortune and nobody in the US presses SA-CD’s anymore, apparently.

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8 Responses to You love music, so you made music…

  1. Craig says:

    I’ll buy a copy – how much?!

  2. Brian Ware says:

    A most interesting post Ron. My band experiences ran over ten years with a random assortment of characters. My first group evolved from mutual introductions from friends – I did not know these folks prior to getting together! We couldn’t have been a more motley crew – the only thing we shared was the desire to be in a band – learn some cover tunes, write some artsy fartsy original music, and play out whenever anyone would let us.

    This was the early 80s. I finally felt confident that a nerdy guy with short hair could actually be in a band. We wrote a lot of songs, but man, we were all over the place. Looking back nearly 25 years later, I’m still not sure what we were trying to do. Who did we sound like? Any points of reference? Ummm… I honestly don’t know. Jim and later Chas experienced much of it in real time, but again, considering all the totally focused local bands of the day, we were often just flat out weird, but it never occurred to us to just do something coherent. Jeez, we even called ourselves Still Obscure. We produced some cassettes of course, and I digitized them ten years ago for the handful of friends who still cared.

    It wasn’t until we evolved to the totally eclectic new waveish cover band The Pragmatix that I finally had some real musical focus. Just entertain the crowds, entertain ourselves, and be happy.

  3. ronkanefiles says:

    Our new album isn’t released as yet. I’ve gone back and forth with Mind’s Ear about mastering. I wanted it to be an SA-CD with DSD mastering. Too expensive. So, when I finally hand over a DAT made from original studio media, I hope the sound is still really good. The sound of it is what has been my top priority, this time around.

    RK

  4. Warren says:

    If you release it on Minidisk, could we call it “Pocket Aquarium”?

  5. Warren says:

    P.S. Can’t wait to hear the final mix, in any format.

  6. Dana Madore says:

    Ron,
    As always, I will be interested in hearing the end product. Always good to hear what you do, musically!

  7. postpunkmonk says:

    DAT tape? What, no hard drive?

  8. postpunkmonk says:

    Congrats, Ron on a very substantial posting that I found fascinating, and I’ve known you [long distance, truth be told] for 25 years now.

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