Bands getting paid to play the music they work so hard on is something I feel very strongly about, be it people paying to download the music or the bands actually getting paid to play gigs, but both things are increasingly rare these days and that, to me, is awful.
When I read Rockpie Promotions mission statement I did a little cheer because we really need something like this and having it in Wales, where there is so much talent and so many bands is perfect.
We caught up with the mastermind behind Rockpie, Tom Bradbury to give us the lowdown.
Can you please introduce yourself to our readers? Hi. My name’s Tom. I’m a bit of a dabbler.. I’ve done a little bit of a lot of things. I only really have 3 passions, though. Music, poetry & comedy. That’s why I decided to get involved in entertainment.
Tell us about Rockpie promotions? Sure. It’s a not-for-profit independent promotions venture I launched earlier this week. Everyone involved is very excited.. and we have huge ambitions already! The main idea, or our mission statement if you like, is to give the local scene a bit of a kick by bringing in some great bands for Welsh artists to support. As long as we break even, we’re happy to let the local artists split any profit we make to help with recording and touring costs, or whatever else they might need it for.
It’s a great idea, how did you come up with it ? Haha, I didn’t come up with it.. more like gone back to it. I think things need to revert back to being more about the artist and their art, whatever that may be, and helping them to develop that.. rather than the lining of pockets of a few people looking to take advantage of demand in the industry.
What’s your favourite music? Oh, wow.. big question. I like a big mix of stuff for different reasons. Genre-wise I’m probably more into post-rock, post-hardcore, Indie and ‘good’ hip-hop. In terms of what they do technically, I think bands like Mars Volta are pretty epic.. but personal favourites, like artists that inspired me or helped me grow/mature as a person in some way, then that’s easily narrowed to 3 artists: Reuben, Radiohead and Aesop Rock.
What bands are on the Rockpie wishlist? A lot. We’re really excited about the plans here. Obviously I’m not going to name any artists that we’re already talking to.. that would ruin the surprise! But I can be open about our ambitions: we want to be sending local bands on UK circuit tours by 2015. I’ve even enquired about buying a bus! It all depends on how much support we get from venues and gig-goers, though. I’ll give it my all over the next 2 years, but I won’t bother flogging a dead horse.. if you know what I mean.
What’s your favourite film? I’m massively into Asian cinema. Not the big ‘House of Flying Daggers’ type epics, but the lower budget stuff where a story has to be told well. I prefer the rawness of it over the glossy Hollywood stuff. Memories of Matsuko would be up there, it’s flimed like a Japanese ‘Amelie’, but not as happy.
In your opinion what is the hardest thing about the current business? Saturation. I think, because of the internet, there are just so many bands and promoters all vying for ‘likes’ or ‘follows’, the public have just become kind of numb to it all… even out on the street. People just switch off, they don’t want to be bothered. Which is understandable in some ways. Before I launched the Rockpie project, I was trying to promote some stuff as an individual but was being largely ignored.. I think people just thought, “Oh, here we go again, another promoter…” When there’s so much saturation and competition for support, it’s hard for people to filter the wheat from the chaff.
Who are your role models or idols? Buddy Wakefield inspires me with his spoken word poetry. I wouldn’t class him as an idol.. I don’t worship the guy, haha.. but he conveys a good message that I agree with for the most part. His TED talk on youtube is amazing!
What do you see for the future of Rockpie? Big things. I’ve mentioned our ambitions regarding the circuit, if that happens in the timeframe I’ve set then I’d be over the moon. I think at that point we’d review our position and make new long-term plans from there.
Who is your favourite Batman actor? Adam West. No question. Because of his trademark entrances and little quips with Robin. Classic.
Rockpie’s first show is in the 200 Club in Newport on the 5th of May, and features the quite frankly brilliant line up of Freeze The Atlantic, the awesome band formed by former members of Hundred Reasons and Reuben, Cut Ribbons, Samoans, Fjords and In The Firing Line, and tickets are just £5 each so please try to support this venture and the bands involved.
Any bands interested in becoming part of the Rockpie team please contact them via Facebook and if they are looking at you for a certain gig you’ll find the eye symbol pop up on your page.
Facebook event page – Freeze the Atlantic + Support @ 200 Club