Independent must & the Internet
The Mercy League

Escape Grace

Morivivi

Morningbell

INTERVIEW WITH ERIC ATRIA OF MORNINGBELL

Morningbell uses the Internet to stay connected with the music scene and hopefully extend their fan base.

"I prefer doing everything via the Internet," said bassist Eric Atria.

He sees the band's Web site as "an interactive calling card," he said, that has, for the most part, replaced press kits.

"You can tell a bad Web site when you see it," he said. "The band is probably not that professional if their Web site is not that professional."

Aside from their own Web site, Morningbell also frequently use Myspace and Gainesvillebands, online communities that allow bands and fans to interact with each other.

"I think the real impact has been through that where it's easier to find bands in other towns with similar styles of music that you like and be able to listen to their music almost instantaneously," Eric said.

Once the band started selling albums, they stopped just using the same songs that are on their album on their Web site.

"So instead what I put up on our site is live stuff or like weird recordings we've done, stuff that's not for sale but that somebody that likes the music would probably like," he said.

Eric thinks that paying the $30 to register for the copyrights of a CD is good for bands at their level who wish to protect their music.

"It's worth doing," he said. "I think a lot more bands should do it."

When it comes to downloading music, Eric uses file sharing programs to preview albums before he considers buying them.

I try to do it kind of looking out for myself and the artist," he said. "If it's independent or a small label, I'll definitely buy it if I like it."

Eric sees paying to download music as a weak attempt to solve the problem of file sharing.

"There needs to be fines," he said. "And that's the only way I think people will start fearing it."

Something else that the music industry could try is focusing on live performances, he later added.

In terms of CD packaging and enhancements, Eric think there will be some kind of an equation to making sure that the artist wouldn't be losing money in the end.

"They really have to know that people will want to buy it for all that extra fluff or else they'd be losing extra money because people won't be buying it and they spent a lot of extra money on packaging," he explained.

"If every CD came with stickers, a button and like, I don't know, a patch, that might be kind of cool," he concluded.

» Read a transcript of the interview.