Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Stepping Outside the Musicbox

November 1, 2007

Stepping Outside the Musicbox

There’s nothing new about imitation in media. Apple turned phones into computers, E-books are turning computers into novels and now, Swimfaster Godwhispers is turning music into television.

Swimfaster Godwhispers, a Swedish indie-rock band residing in London, has decided to release their newest album, Life as Promised in our Early Days – Season One, as one new song, or rather new episode, each week on the Internet. True to television style, the album will run from September to March, with a break in December.

“It started when we took a long hard look at what we were doing,” said lead singer and guitarist Ib Warnerbring. “Up until now, we’ve been releasing 5-track EPs every year, generating some interest at the time of release, but a few months later we were outdated again. That is the speed of the new music industry.”

Fortunately for music lovers, this solution to the unforgiving speed of the modern music industry won’t just benefit Swimfaster Godwhispers; it’s designed for listeners as well.

“We think the fact that we’re never more than a week old, and that we also have something new to listen to, will make the listener appreciate the format in a completely different way,” Warnerbring said.

With Swimfaster Godwhispers’ unique release format, the listener will be spared from some of the frustrations of the music industry today. As Warnerbring points out, fans are often forced to listen to the same album for up to three years because a band is busy touring. This new release plan will make this waiting period more bearable.

But as important as it is for the band to maintain fresh interest, there are deeper issues swirling beneath the excitement of a free weekly episode.

“The music industry needs a revolution because it needs to evolve to the next step, which includes utilizing the Internet and the digital format to its fullest,” Warnerbring argued. “Consumers have created anarchy by making music available for free.”

According to Warnerbring, this anarchy hurts mid-sized bands that depend on record companies for profit. As an alternative to this modern dilemma, he advocates self-owned publishing companies instead. These companies report all public appearances, including live gigs, radio spots or anywhere the artist’s music gets played publicly. Because publishers deal in appearances and not sold albums, piracy can never touch them.

This might lead to smaller profits overall, but less money is a sacrifice some artists would consider worth emancipation from record label dependency. Independence means free music and paid artists.

“We’re not in this to get rich. We’re in it because we love what we do,” Warnerbring explained. “But we want to be able to pay rent and have a snack once in a while.”

Swimfaster Godwhispers is crying for a revolution, and not so much in the eloquence of words, but in the reality of their progressive ideas set in motion. By stepping outside the box, the band is creating increased interest, which will lead to more public appearances and more money while still capitalizing technology’s ability to deliver free music.

“We only hope that our very small contribution to the idea box will make other bands and artists realize that there are other ways of releasing music than the regular industry mold that has been used for the last 50 [or] 60 years.”

Freedom from unnecessary record companies, promotion of music creatively through publishing companies, and the revamp of indie, these are the battle cries of Swimfaster Godwhisper’s revolution, and according to Warnerbring, the band is drawing attention.

“Feedback has been great,” he said. “We are noticing massive interest on the website.”

Stay tuned to Swimfaster Godwhispers, because in a musical revolution, it is not televised.

Hannah Kokjohn

hannah@independentclauses.com

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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