Monday, August 09, 2010

Music Monday - Chromewaves Talks Grizzly Bear and Keeping it Old School

Sometimes its a bit staggering to think back and see how long many online music/pop culture websites and blogs have been running. Many have lasted longer than print magazines have. For almost nine years now, Frank Yang has kept up and running strong in its home city of Toronto. Live reviews, MP3s of the week, music news, and a blog that covers CD reviews, offers MP3s and videos to listen/watch at your fingertips. While Chromewaves may call Toronto its home, the site covers the finest in international indie music and news, with just a little more CanCon than say, Pitchfork. I can't say enough about this website...they also feature a list of the latest movies, books and albums. They've really got it all. Heck, Chromewaves was voted "Best Music Website in Toronto" by NOW Magazine in 2008. I'll let Frank tell you more about it...

Music Monday Q&A

1. How long has Chromewaves been operating?

As I write this, Chromewaves is exactly one month shy of eight years. September 2, is its birthday.

2. What makes Chromewaves different from other websites?
Nowadays - is that it's still run as an old-fashioned, one-post-a-day, one-writer blog. This used to be normal, but recently the magazine/multi-writer format has become more standard so what I do is kind of old school. But I'm too old and lazy to change formats at this point.

3. Do you think Chromewaves has a specific musical niche?
I don't have a niche that's easily identified- my mandate is simply to write about stuff that I'm interested in and that I think would be of interest to my readership, as I understand them and what they'd like to hear about. It's mainly your standard indie rock with an affection towards Brit pop and stuff from the '80s and '90s that I grew up with.

4. What albums are you looking forward to coming out?
It's already been a banner year for new records, but still forthcoming that I'm keen to hear are the new Superchunk, Belle & Sebastian and the debut from Warpaint.

5. How does Chromewaves support independent music and what's important about doing so?
It's hard to quantify how much benefit there is from coverage on any blog, but I would hope that people would hear something I post about and maybe buy a record or go to a show. It's just about letting people hear stuff that I think is good and having them make up their own minds from there. It's important because there's so much content available now thanks to the democratizing effects of the Internet that some people want filters that they can trust to point them at what's signal instead of noise.

6. Do you think online publications are taking precedence over print magazines? What kind of effect do you think that has on bands?
I would hope online publications could coexist with print - I like print, I still buy music magazines. It's much easier and enjoyable to read feature-length pieces in print. Online's strengths are in immediacy and multimedia, but there's something about sitting down and reading something on print that I still prefer.

7. What blogs/magazines do you read other than your own?
It certainly increases the number of avenues that bands have to be heard, but there's still a funnel effect when it comes to mass exposure. Like there may be a million blogs that can get you five pairs of eyeballs/ears, but there's still only five sites that can get you a million ears and eyeballs. Mostly sites that have similar sensibilities as my own that I can plunder for tips and content. I add tons of stuff to my RSS reader, often I don't even know what they are.

8. What has been your most definitive moment since you started Chromewaves?
Probably the Hot Freaks shows that I and other blogs helped put together at SXSW for a number of years. We assembled those lineups ourselves and established a pretty good track record of identifying acts that would go on to much bigger and better things; St Vincent, Grizzly Bear, Lykke Li and Land Of Talk, for example. It was fun to actually do something tangible beyond just typing on a computer.

9. If you could interview any musician/band (dead or alive) who would it be?
I don't really do interviews so that's kind of impossible to answer, but I think hanging out with Jarvis Cocker would be a lot of fun.

10. If you could be in any band (of all time), who would you rock with?
I would like to play with my site's namesake, Ride. Because that means they'd have reunited.

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