Independent must & the Internet
The Mercy League

Escape Grace




It may have taken Escape Grace a year and a half to develop a Web site, but that is not because the band was unaware of the value of a Web presence.

It had more to do with procrastination, said vocalist Cole Harper, adding "We took a lot of time and really got proactive with our Web site because we want it to represent us aesthetically."

The end result is stunning and matches perfectly with the hardcore band's floral-themed merchandise and album artwork.

Like most band's today, Escape Grace uses the Internet to do most of their booking as well as to keep their fans up to date.

"We use it more or less for show notifications and to network with other bands," Cole said.

While he acknowledges the benefits of Internet promotion and exposure, he has also seen some bands come out prematurely, he said.

"We've played with dozens of bands that were kind of bigger than they had to be because of their Internet following before they had a record or anything," he explained. "They kind of made a name for themselves before they really did anything."

Escape Grace has songs available on their Web site and on Myspace, and they have even considered releasing tracks for other people to remix, Cole said.

"We're more than down for people to share our music," he said.

One of the downsides to file sharing that Cole mentioned is when unfinished tracks are leaked to the public.

Besides that, he largely supports file sharing, especially for independent bands.

"I love it," he said. "I do it. I hope people do it with our music. I honestly, truly believe that music is an artistic expression. It's to be shared."

He also doesn't see it as a serious threat to major labels or signed bands.

"It may at the very most make a small dent, but I don't think it goes any further than than," Cole said.

"The exchange of ideas and the spread of expression I think is good," he concluded. "While there are definite cons, I think overall people are getting helped out, people are doing a good job getting it spread out to where kids have an option, an alternative to what they hear on the radio or MTV."

Escape Grace will be releasing a four-song EP in the next few weeks, and they will begin recording their full-length album over the summer, to be followed by extensive touring.

» Read a transcript of the interview.