SCORE! Thanks again Richard C !
Mark Austin and his band has been a band I've wanted to feature since I heard them, and since Hotbands.com LLC was just formed in Dallas the first week of January, I thought it would be the appropriate time for his band to be on our homepage. If you are a music lover with a discerning ear, or if you want to stretch the boundaries of rock and jazz, Mark Austin and his "Mystical Horn Band" (as they are often called) is a band you'll want to hear.
We were able to meet up on ICQ chat and have an on-line live interview with Mark and members of his band, and this is what they had to say:
<Mark> There he is
<HotBands> Hi Paul
<Mark> Paul meet Pat, Pat, Paul
<Paul> Hi pat
<Mark> We're all getting a big laugh here. Scott, the drummer is here too.
< HotBands > A big laugh out of what?
<Mark> This whole ICQ trip...there are newbies here. I was doing a session, and so we have a looker on or two.
< HotBands > ICQ is pretty cool
<Mark> We just got some great reviews on my 2 previous CDs
< HotBands > I'm tossing your CD in the computer now so I can get in the right frame of mind
<Mark> I appreciate what you said about it Im going to quote you on the website
< HotBands > How long has your band been together?
<Mark> A year or so
< HotBands > When we first corresponded on email the thing that made me take a double-take on your band was that you said you had an 11 piece horn band...is it still that big?
<Mark> It is 7 actually, that must've been a mistake
< HotBands > No prob...
<Mark> It's a power trio with percussion, and a 3 piece horn section
< HotBands > All of you are obviously veteran players,
so tell me how your band came into being.
< HotBands > Scott is which musician?
<Mark> The drummer. Getting the first gig helped
to get the band off the ground. I knew Larry Spencer (trumpet) from playing with him in Jerry LaCroix's band and he
was the first horn player to contact. Getting horn players was easy after Larry became
<Mark> Pretty big
<Mark> Danny 's last name is Cisnero's. He and Scott just connected in the local club jam that was happening...it was apparent that he should be there.
< HotBands > Kind of funny how the local jams can do that. I'm listening to the CD again now. You guys totally jam!
<Mark> That's because everyone shows up for the music
< HotBands > So in this incarnation, you've been together as a 7 piece for over a year. How many CD's out?
<Mark> One live and one we're finishing now in the studio
< HotBands > I got the one recorded Live at the Blue Cat. I like live albums because it keeps musicians from covering up their mistakes... shows who the real players are.
< HotBands > How long until your studio CD is out?
<Mark> 1 maybe 2 months. I should also mention that there are other great bands that these players have as well...Larry has an incredible jazz trio too
< HotBands > I was assuming that! Most "players" have several different projects they participate in.
<Mark> yea...you've been there
< HotBands > been there
<Mark> I feel grateful for these guys. This is a one of a kind
< HotBands > What are your plans for touring?
< HotBands > Do you play clubs, or are you more of a large venue/festival type band?
<Mark> Either regional or festivals we are definitely
<Mark> That deserves a thank you. What made you pick
<Mark> When you first heard the CD?
< HotBands > I was at Montrose Records hanging out with Richard Cagle and Paul Burnett (from the Clay Farmer band). Richard told me your CD arrived to him just that day. I was hanging out with Paul while Richard was mixing down a band in the control room...conversation was something like philosophy of music, who, where...chit chat with Paul. It was then that Paul made mention "There are so many (weak) musicians out there that make it....not very many real players....like these guys" Your CD was playing in the background and that's when I turned it up and really got blown away by what you were doing
<Mark> Great! Very cool....what a concept! Thanks Paul
<Mark> Perfect! I'll take that as a compliment...I'm a long time Jaco (Pastorius) fan.
< HotBands > I could tell! I believe you are the first
jazz oriented band that I've featured on our site
< HotBands > DANG..... I'm listening to Paul on Guitar just totally tearing it up
< HotBands > Did he think he was getting paid by the note at that gig?
<Mark> he is fabulous isn't he?
< HotBands > yes...quite fabulous
<Mark> All of the players in the bands are absolutely great!!!!!!
< HotBands > I can hear that!
<Mark> The list if credits will blow you away
<Paul> Thanks again I'm definitely the slow typist
< HotBands > Wow! Those are some pretty heavy heavies! Do you have the credits for each musician on your site?
<Mark> yes I do
< HotBands > Are these credits for Paul or all of the players?
<Paul> Those are for all the players
<Mark> Each player has a page with their own bio, a
photo, and that's just the surface too.
<Mark> Lets hope and do what we do because we love it. It would be nice to be able to get recognition even though thats not why we do it
< HotBands > The cool thing about Hotbands.com is that when I started the site, I barely had anything on it (of course... in the beginning of anything, it's like that). I was able to feature some of the bands that I personally knew.
<Mark> That is always a plus
<Mark> excellent idea! It is a small world though I
wouldn't want to paint it!
<Mark> That was a help I'm sure
< HotBands > As I started adding new bands and archiving the old interviews, I got more and more traffic. The biggest advertisement I've had for our site has been word of mouth of musicians that like what we're trying to do for the indie artist
<Mark>And it's a great site I might add. How many hits do you get a day now?
< HotBands > So far this month, I've only had 1 day with LESS than 2000 page visits...that was last Sunday with 1999 !
< HotBands > I'm bummed that my streak was broken, but the next day it was up to over 3000 again and I'm on track to get somewhere around 75,000 for the month
<Mark> Amazing! Congrats is in order!
<Paul> That's fantastic
< HotBands > So far, it's all been done without any investment other than the server.....and thousands and thousands of hours dedicated by me and others that I'm working with to make this site happen
<Mark> Great job buddy. You must have some good folks on your side.
< HotBands > I look at bands like yours and the others that we've featured as inspiration to keep going. I think that if great bands start banding together and skirting the music industrial complex, the consumers will get what they WANT rather than what is marketed by the machine
<Paul> also the musicians are more able to create the music they desire
<Mark> Excellent idea, and one worth attention... again
I have to say "what a concept" I have enjoyed the site so far myself
< HotBands > Well.... the radio thing is something that
I've got going in my local town. It broadcasts to the local Seattle area, but it's a
tool to get on with a bigger station....maybe one in Dallas if you guys can help hook me
< HotBands > I'd like to have you as our featured artist on Feb 13th on the radio show
<Mark> I'd be honored
< HotBands > I'm moving toward having the radio show broadcast via the internet, but until we secure our financing, I'm not pursuing it myself...perhaps we'll bring in a partner that specializes in that. Let me re-phrase that....I am pursuing it, but not willing to shell out the bandwidth costs until I'm on a bigger station and getting the traffic that will support it.
<Mark> yea...what about broadcast.com?
< HotBands > Broadcast.com is in my vision of where I want to go with Hotbands.com, but I can't discuss that openly at this time
<Mark> got ya
< HotBands > When we have the entire puzzle put together, it will be an amazing avenue for artists to get their stuff out there.
<Mark> a much needed one
< HotBands > What plans do you have for marketing your band? I see you've built your website yourself.
<Mark> I'm using the internet as much as
possible......I don't like having trees cut down
<Mark> yeppppppp.. The web is a great tool and I plan to use it
< HotBands > It still takes a tremendous amount of work. I recommend for bands to get their music out there on as many promotional sites as possible....but be weary of bogus sites.
<Mark> You have it going on as far as hits
<Mark> What happened with these guys?
< HotBands > They had a great "free" server at hardcorebands.com that didn't have pop-up advertising....it was great until a week after I featured them and they got a lot of traffic that the host put another page up in the place of their website
< HotBands > needless to say, they moved their website.
Make sure to check the TOS if you are pursuing free stuff.
<Mark> Yep...Nashville Country/Western
< HotBands > Wow! I'll have to check them out! Get them on Hotbands.com!!
<Mark> I'll tell em.... We had a 14 piece bigband at one time. Scott played drums. I started playing when I was about 15-16 and went pro at 17
< HotBands > So, you've been at it a while now. Have you had any major or minor success prior to this band?
<Mark> Country/Western #32 on Cashbox label charts with
my little brothers and I played concert halls with Jerry LaCroix as well
<Mark> Yelp, 40 my history page tells all. I
can't stop...its because of love of it certainly not the money, but I'm ready for my
<Mark> Do it for the right reasons, and play from the heart
< HotBands > And the right reasons are....CHICKS ? :-)
<Paul> Love the right Chicks :-)
<Mark> Of course! Seriously, love the music love the instrument just love and enjoy
< HotBands > How about advice as far as marketing yourself, getting good gigs, good band members...etc. So many bands out there will hang on to lame band-mates because they're friends...
<Mark> Concentrate on your own........
< HotBands > Do you think there is a point where the music should be professional and not just fun?
<Mark> We're friends, so no....well, yes there is a point at which the music deserves it's space or place
<Paul> Most professionals still have fun with it
<Mark> Professional means to treat it as a business, but passion is the reason that you do it at all.
< HotBands > Well, that about wraps up our hour on the net-interview. Do you have some parting words to the readers regarding you, your band, philosophy, music or anything else? What would your recommend to the readers of our site as far as ways to get your music heard?
<Mark> Yes... buy the new CD folks...it's for you.
Its available on our website in CD and
soon MP3 and soon on Amazon.
<Paul> Thanks Pat
<Mark> Thank you Pat for being such a driving force
with passion of your own