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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Around the World in 13 hours


By: Wish813 Resident

Warm.  Raw.  Robust. These are all traits possessed by The Follow, a band that has a way of grasping emotions by the hand and leading them down a rock-and-roll path of melodies.

The Follow has a sound that aims to uplift and enlighten your musical experience with drums that are progressive and guitar riffs that are sweet and to the point.  Members of The Follow are Troy Rickersten - vocalist/guitarist, Amy Rickersten - vocalist/bassist, and drummer Mat Matlack.  The band has performed in an array of venues, including an appearance in Columbia, Missouri for the Rock for Kent event raising money for the singer's brother, Kent Rickertsen.  This event was in aid of his battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease).  Once again the band finds themselves preparing for The Follow's World Tour In A Day, which is a series of concerts in the virtual world of Second Life at 5 different venue locations and across various time zones (for a list of venues and teleport landmarks, see the bottom of this article for a link to the official tour website).  

I recently had the opportunity to contact one of the members of the band, Mat Matlack, and requested an e-mail interview, to which he immediately responded with the following answers to a series of questions I had prepared.

Wish813 Resident: How long have you been an established band? That is to say, when was your first big debut gig?

Mat: The band’s first gig was Friday January 13th, 1989 during high school. This was before AJ joined the band, but she was also at the gig. We played all U2 covers and became inspired to begin the band’s journey to finding our own voice.  In many ways we are still tweaking our voice with each new album release and we are still enjoying the journey.
 
Wish813 Resident: What current projects is your band working on? When can fans expect the project(s) to go live, and where will they be?

Mat: The band’s latest album release is ‘Building Machines To Reach The Stars.’ It was funded in part by our amazing fan base which included a few people receiving songs as a reward for their backing. We are wrapping up the final songs and sharing them with the supporters now. We hope to share these songs with the rest of the world before the year’s end.
The band has been hoping to finish some videos in support of Building Machines. We have a really fun video filmed for the song “Circuits” which needs a bit more filming and editing. We also hope to showcase the band’s recent tour to California with a still image video of an album track, plus another video with still images taken during a recent career highlight show when The Follow supported Slash & Myles Kennedy in Kansas City. Again, we hope to have these to the public before 2013.
 
Wish813 Resident:  In short, how would you paraphrase your music style to someone who has never before heard your music?

Mat:  After a gig in St. Louis, we had a comedian, of all people; dub the trio “Panoramic Rock” which we adopted. We have always stayed away from classifications and artist comparisons but we know that’s how the industry works and it helps people to have a starting point.  If we must, we’d say Alternative Rock, Modern Rock, or even Pop Rock.

Wish813 Resident: Would you consider your career a "job" or a "lifestyle"?

Mat: A job would imply that we make a living writing, recording, and performing our music. We hope that if that ever becomes reality, we still won’t call it a job. It is definitely a lifestyle for the band and while grateful for what we have, we long for the opportunity to give the music more and more of ourselves.
 
Wish813 Resident:  If you could reach-out to some of the up and coming musicians of our youth, what advice could you offer?

Mat: We always joke around with an answer to this question...which is “stop now while you still have a soul!” Ha! But seriously, this is a very, very hard business.  A big mistake is to make your art too much about the business; and vice versa. You really need to find a balance for success. One would benefit by defining what success means to them early on in their career, too. Our advice may be good for people defining success in some ways and not good advice if they are defining it in other ways. If becoming rich and famous is the reason you are making music, you will more than likely fail. Gain knowledge.  Read some books on the industry and get some people with experience to give you advice.  Pay for this advice if you must.  The record deal is NOT the answer to your problems. They can be good. They can be great. Most of the time a recording deal causes bigger problems and more of them. The often misquoted statement of Hunter S. Thompson stating the music business is “a long, plastic trench full of thieves where good men die like dogs; and there is also negative side” is used so much because of how true it is even today.  It’s a dark place and we have had too many friends and seen too many incredible artists chewed up and spat out by this industry.  So, with that said, our advice is to have a foundation, a strong foundation.  The foundation that our music is built upon is one of a spiritual nature.  We believe that our ability to create music is a gift that has been given to us.  We also feel a responsibility to use our gifts.  We attribute this foundation to the longevity of the band.  Write music from your heart.  Write about your life and your experiences. To us, that is what creates the magic of music that stands the test of time.  And for us, that is how we defined success.  We set out to stir people to their core, to create music that heals, and to develop a library of albums that have longevity.  We are still striving to do this, all the while being sure to enjoy the journey of our careers in music.

The band is currently preparing for their concert set with The Follow's World Tour In A Day, right here in Second Life! They will be starting shows at 6:00am PDT and ending they're last show at 7:00pm PDT. For a list of teleport landmarks, visit the band's tour website for more information at: http://thefollow.com/worldtourinaday/

THE FOLLOW - World Tour In A Day
Friday October 26th, 2012

Event times and locations:
6AM SLT in W. Australia at Looking Glass
12PM SLT in France at Songularity
2PM SLT in South Africa at The Bay
4PM SLT in Ireland at The Rose Theater
7PM SLT in United States at Boom Pony Music Club
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