Friday, July 18, 2014

Kiwi musicians no royals

The weekend's Sunday Star Times carried an interesting piece on the state of NZ music last weekend, focussing on the struggles musicians face here. See Kiwi musicians no royals

The journalist, Jess McAllen, talked to several local musicians and promoters, including Ian Blink Jorgensen.

Blink's replied to the article, via FB (republished here with Blink's permission): " Thanks Jess for taking the time to write a piece for the SST. Was nice to see Liam and Carl getting some deserved props. There were just some really bad interview misquotes and I'm not even sure you read the book that you quoting....

Do APRA really spend "millions" on the silver scrolls. Haha. I think APRA will be pretty angry about that call, even angrier than I made them

"the biggest gripe of all is the way music is funded in NZ"
- not sure how that came across, it's just one of the various issues I raised.

"The book laments the way NZOA chooses who to fund"
- I have no problem at all with the way in which NZOA choose WHO to fund. My entire essay simply reflects on other ideas to build an infrastructure so we don't need funding and tries to stimulate new ideas around better ways to fund music and explore different funding models.

"venue hire, a common practice used to help pay off licensing fees to APRA"
- in my book I say "some" venues collect APRA money from the bands on the night. Quite different from a "common practice".

"To cover fees payable to APRA he increased the entry fee from $5 to $10"
- This is just weird. Even a cursory glance over one of the shortest essays in the book explains why I don't think $5 shows should exist. My reasoning for raising the minimum charge to $10 (other than a few exceptions) had nothing to do with APRA, at all.

"Artists were provided a backstage toaster and duvets"
- Really. Haha, of all the stuff I did at Puppies, and this was the only thing highlighted? No mention of advertised and enforced playing times and everything else I talk about in the book ahead of a toaster? haha, I feel the last two years of my life was just spent promoting the use of a toaster in green rooms.

"The bar also sported a pop-up barbershop, courtesy of doorman Brett who gave customers free trims"
- ? Brett didn't cut the hair, and they weren't free. Haha, where did this bizzare information come from?

"Anthony Healey called for a meeting with Jorgensen and various Kiwis in the industry..."
- Nope. He just wanted to meet me. I organised for everyone else to come along.

"Blink is wrong on many points" (Quoting Anthony Healey)
- Such as? Haha, I don't disagree, just would be nice to hear what they were.

"Part of the problem is all music venues get charged the same amount regardless of if they're open for 10 hours a week or 100"
- There are different amounts charged dependent on the size of the venue, this is made very clear in the book - and the crux of it, being charged on your "potential" audience because of the size of your space, not the actual audience or the amount of time you can broadcast to that audience.

"The per-day rate is a result of a discussion with many venues" (Quoting Anthony Healey)
- curious this, given that I spoke to most of the active live music venues in the country when researching for the book and NONE of them mentioned ever being involved in a discussion from APRA - again, would have been nice for him to elaborate on this.

(in reference to Chronophonium) "Tickets cost around $60 and include accommodation"
- haha, I want my money back chronies..I slept in my car last year. What is this "accom" I'm hearing about now!!

I'm continuely dissappointed at how mainstream media so often try to paint a "sad" angle on everything. The book I released has quite a positive feel, its meant to be inspiring, and though pointing out problems, it also highlights how simple some things would be to fix.

Just like how I couldn't get one feature in the Dom Post promoting any of the shows I had at the bar until I announced the closing of the bar, then they were jumping to do something and even though I made it very clear it closing was a positive thing for wellington and my intention from the beginning - still it painted it as doom and gloom, as you have in a way here.

To have the finish of Camp get lumped in to the hiatus (note: HIATUS, not "end") of Big Day Out is a very clear illustration of that. Big Day Out is taking a break due to massive internal and financial issues in Australia, nothing to do with event in NZ and I ended Camp for many reasons, none of which were due to depressing reasons or a reflection of a scene, one of the most important reasons being that I am doing another project which I couldn't do at the same time as Camp.

PS. Was disappointed to see no mention of Great Job opening in Palmy, even though you hinted you were going to mention, this might have helped put a positive spin on things. Also, was disappointed that you made it appear as though I took aim at Ben Howe in the book. Though yes, I talk about alcohol and the music industry, I never singled Ben out and have a massive respect for him. I just spent two years running a bar....shit, If anyone should be criticised...

PPS. If I were Big Day Out, I would come back in 2016 as Lollapalooza (the new owners), seems like all they need is a rebrand. Makes sense to me...

PPS. I appreciate the final editing of this piece was probably out of jess's hands"

In the comments on Blink's FB post, NZOA's Brendan Smyth adds that Outward Sound is not a NZOA program, as stated in the print version of the article (now corrected online).

Former Amplifer staffer Stephen O'Hoy commented to me via Twitter that "That social media criteria for NZOA funding isn't mandatory, it's 1 of 22 criteria from which a band needs 10. Also the article overlooks the positive changes Making Tracks made to funding. Muzai Records gets funding now."

Blink wrote about APRA in his's Blink interviewed by Noisey's Sally Beaver, excerpt...

"The chapter, 'APRA and PPNZ Are Ripping Off New Zealand Businesses In The Name Of Songwriters Who Have No Idea This Is Going On' was scary.
I just wanted to get other people talking about it. And even in the last couple of days since it’s been out, it’s really resonated. Big articles in newspapers, meetings with APRA and a whole bunch of really high profile NZ acts coming out to talk to me and wanting to be involved with reformatting and making sure APRA become more transparent.

So you’re the man who took down APRA?

Not quite. The idea of APRA is great, but thinking that a band would chase every single radio station and shop that is playing their music is insane. It’s great that we have a company that does this, but the company assumes too much. Music gets played that isn’t on the radio."

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