Month: February 2017

10 things you might not know about Kolossus!

In April last year I wrote a post with 10 things that people might not know about our Armada album. The post was quite popular and it seemed like the fans appreciated that kind of information.

So, I thought I’d do the same with Kolossus so here we go:

  1. Since the studio we recorded Armada in went bankrupt, as you can read more about here, we took over the studio ourselves together with producer Rune Stavnesli. So we spent the studio budget on buying equipment to run our own studio. The same equipment has been used for all Keep Of Kalessin recordings since. The studio was already built, but all equipment was ripped out so we had to install everything from scratch when it comes to studio monitors and other equipment. But even though we used some money to install everything we have saved a lot of money on all albums since this recording.
  2. Once again, we realized that we had put the bar too high in regards to our own performance. We were struggling and using way more time than anticipated when we started recording. This resulted in less time to mix etc. so the production lacked some power, in my opinion.
  3. We constantly pushed the releasedate for the album because we never were able to finish the album. The releasedate was pushed so much that we at some point just had to say. Ok, enough is enough. We just need to get this album out there! Kolossus was released on June 6th 2008, but we were talking about pushing it further and into the fall of 2008. However, we decided to have it out before the summer. This stressful push for release resulted in the fact that we weren’t able to do any festivals in 2008. So it wasn’t until 2009, a whole year after the release, that we did the festival run for this album.
  4. Kolossus is a truly unique album. It doesn’t sound like anything else out there and when I hear the riffs on this album, I often think “wow. did we actually do that?”. I think that Kolossus has some great moments to it and my personal feeling is that it’s still an underrated album in the metal scene. Maybe lacking a bit in production, but the feeling and style of this album is truly unique.
  5. One of my personal favourites for this album is “Escape the Union”. Which also have one of the better leads I have done.
  6. If you listen to the bass on this track, you’ll be amazed of all the detail and how cool this bass recording is!! Especially the part from 5:16.
  7. I had never done sweeping before the Ascendant track. After the song was done and I was listening to it in the studio, I told Rune. “Hey. We need a guitar lead here!”. He agreed and I started testing a little bit. I was listening to the part and I kinda heard what the lead should be like in my head. I then told Rune “Wow. Imagine doing it like this and then going into this part just sweeping before we move on to something like this”. Rune said, “yep, you’re right we HAVE to do that!”. “But I don’t know how to sweep!”, I said. “Well, you gotta learn!”.
    At this point we only had a few days until we had to deliver the master and I tried sweeping before, but never really managed to do it. I told Rune that I would need at least 2 weeks to learn the sweeping I wanted on this track, but he told me that I’ll be able to learn it in 2 days! I sat down, started to practice and I nailed the solo in 2 days! 🙂
  8. As I’ve mentioned in interview and forums before, I think the Ascendant video did just as much harm as good. We had great ideas for this video and it looked really cool when were filming it, however when we got the edit from the director, I said that this was totally not acceptable. I said to the record label that we needed to re-edit the entire video. We did some edits, but due to rush and pressure from the label we released it without doing all the changes I wanted to do. When we released it there was a lot of negative comments and I just regret not holding my ground so I could have gotten a video that I could be proud of. I saw the comments and I understood where they came from because I actually agree with everything they say! The video became way to cheezy and unfortunately that was the result of me crumbling under pressure from the labels. Lesson learned!!
  9. The middle part of the Kolossus title track is very much inspired by the scene in Xerxes Tent in the movie 300. I remember watching this movie and this scene had just an amazing atmosphere which inspired me greatly to create this title track.maxresdefault
  10. The cover art and the band photos are inspired by the computer game Oblivion as well as the movie Alexander. Some metal heads think it looks too “soft”, but I think it looks epic and it captures the mood we wanted. And besides it’s definitely something different than your ordinary corpsepaint band! You can probably see the resemblance, but you can also see the difference in budget for a blockbuster movie and a metal band as well! 😉

Hope you like the article and maybe you learned something that you didn’t know.

Listen to Keep Of Kalessin on Spotify!

Why you need a CRM system for your band!

Nowadays, almost every business has their own CRM systems!

Yes, I said that almost every BUSINESS has some kind of CRM systems and guess
what, your band is a BUSINESS! And before you get your head wrapped around that fact, you can kiss your dream of being a rockstar goodbye!

It may sound harsh and “non-idealistic”, but that’s the honest truth. Even though you’re still in the garage rehearsing hours and hours just to get to play in the local pub, you’re still in business.

You’re a starting business. You’re an entrepreneur just as much you are a musician.

Here in Trondheim we are 4 guitarists and “band owners” that are about the same age and about the same music style.

I consider myself as the least skilled guitarist of the four of us, but still my band has the biggest fanbase and making the most money of these 4 bands. All bands are on the heavier side of the music biz.

I remember talking to some of them one time and I explained why my band was doing better than theirs and it’s very simple. They use 80% of their time “on the guitar”, rehearsing and getting better and writing songs, and just 20% “in the office” doing boring administrative tasks.

I on the other hand, use 80% of the time in the office and just 20% on the guitar and writing songs etc.

And that’s the reason why my band is the biggest of these 4 bands!

Many musicians don’t realize that their time is more well spent doing the actual work! Doing the boring stuff like sending out e-mails, booking shows, planning tours, pushing for labels, lobbying at festivals or traveling and showing up at the office of the record label they want to sign them.

They tend to get caught up in writing music, not getting the music out there, so they write more music and not pushing that music out there and then writing more and more, but never really get any attention for their new album.

Now, I’m not saying that Keep Of Kalessin is the biggest band out there either and we have done a lot of wrong things in our career. Maybe the biggest one is lack of consistency when it comes to releasing albums and going on tours, but we have also done many things right because we’ve been able to tour the world and make some money in the process. Which is more than most band’s out there manage to and I see that the big difference is actually where the focus is. If you don’t keep focus on the business, you’ll never really get your band off the ground! The day and age when managers picked you up and signed you to a big label while the band was out there drinking and partying and let everyone else take care of business is absolutely over!

So, one of the most important tools when running your band business is actually gathering your fans’ information.

Facebook is great, followers on Instagram and Snapchat is all fine, but to have your own CRM tool is a great way to keep contact with your fans and you can build your own fanbase slow and steady and know that you will really be able to reach them. You can also have statistics and analytics on how well your e-mail campaign is doing as well as do special deals for a certain group of customers sorted by gender, age or adress.

The great thing about this is that when you for instance have a new T-shirt in your webshop, you’re able to send an e-mail campaign with an offer for this t-shirt. If you have a few thousand mail-adresses in your list, it should be possible to create instant revenue from that list by offering the fans a good deal on the new shirt. Promoting shows, selling merchandise etc. is way more effective with a good CRM system.

You don’t need a huge fanbase to start, but I think that if you just start and gather this information, you’ll some day be very glad you did that even though it’s in the beginning of your career.

There are countless CRM systems out there and earlier I used MailChimp, but since this is just an e-mail sender, I feel that I need more. So I’ve been using Wix for some time to gather e-mails from the fans of Keep Of Kalessin, but recently I’ve also been moving my database over to Cashback Solutions by Lyoness.

In Cashback Solutions, I get a full CRM system, not just an e-mail sender. This includes statistics and analyzis on a very professional level for a very low price compared to any competitor. But there is also one crazy benefit of choosing Lyoness as my partner for CRM systems and that is the opportunity to get paid whenever the fans of Keep Of Kalessin is buying their daily household products! Imagine as a band not only getting paid when your fans buy music or merchandise or go to your shows. But rather when they buy things like groceries, gasoline, clothes, shoes and more! Lyoness gives you the opportunity to earn money whenever your fans buy what they normally buy anyway and there is no other company on the planet offering that solution! I honestly just love what this company is doing!!

And besides, aren’t we all kinda fed up about all those different type of loyalty cards and customer clubs now? So why not share ONE customer club with thousands of other businesses instead of trying to create your own!? Lyoness’ motto is actually “Together we are strong!” and I couldn’t agree more!

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Lyoness is a global shopping community offering benefits to all their customers in any type of business.

This means that our customers can save money in many different stores like Carrefour, Lidl, OMV and thousands of small and medium sized businesses across the globe as well as thousands of online stores. Our fans happily save money with their Keep Of Kalessin Cashback Card or the Cashback App on what they are going to buy anyway, and the band gets a cut of every transaction! It’s unbelievable and it’s absolutely brilliant, if you ask me!

If you have any questions on how this would work for your band or business, please don’t hesitate to contact me on mail@morningstarmusic.no and I’ll be happy to assist and teach you a thing or two about it.

To sign up for the Keep Of Kalessin Cashback Card simply go to http://www.keepofkalessin.com/fanclub and fill in your name and e-mail and you’ll be contacted by us!

I wish you success in your endeavours and hope you found this post a little enlightening!

 

all the best,
Arnt